Archive for June, 2008

Cecil B. DeMille on Wallace Reid…

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Cecil B. DeMille Talks About…



Wallace Reid




Wallace Reid, one of  the outstanding stars of his time, was first brought to DeMille’s  attention in D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915).


“He [Reid] played the part of blacksmith in the picture, and I was very impressed with the marvelous fight he put up. He was probably on the screen not more than seventy-five feet, but his magnificent physical strength and appearance was striking.


“However, Wally wasn’t very much of an actor in those days. He was stiff and rather wooden, and it was difficult to make him unbend. I sent for him and we had a chat. He was very much a kid, but I put him under contract fro a small amount, something like $60 or $75 a week. I gave him important leads to do and later public opinion made a star out of him.


“The first thing he did for me was with Geraldine Farrar in Maria Rosa (1916), then with Farrar in Carmen (1915), and later with the same star in Joan the Woman (1917). Then I decided to allow him to carry a picture, without starring in it, and I called the picture The Golden Chance (1915). Cleo Ridgely played opposite him in it, and it proved indeed to be Wally’s golden chance. It was a big success and Wally was a very big success in it.”

— Cecil B. DeMille


NOTE: I think DeMille had some problems with his chronology


The preceding is taken from an interview that DeMille gave the Los Angeles Times on August 21, 1932.




Hollywood Memorabilia…

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Last act for Hollywood memorabilia


Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times
Movie magazines, including a 1918 edition of Motion Picture with silent film star Norma Talmadge on the cover, are part of a 3-million-piece collection of memorabilia at the Collector’s Book Store in Hollywood that are moving to storage in Newbury Park before being auctioned six months from now


The 3-million piece collection of movie posters, magazines, photos and other items will be stored in Newbury Park and auctioned off in December.


By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 26, 2008


They are packing up Old Hollywood and moving it to Newbury Park.


That’s where about 3 million film studio publicity stills, 50,000 original movie posters and 20,000 vintage fan magazines will be stored until they are auctioned off six months from now.  READ MORE



Milton Sills and Doris Kenyon in the 1930 Census…

Monday, June 23rd, 2008


Milton Sills & Doris Kenyon

(1882-1930) —————- (1897-1979)


Film Actors

Nifty Miller in The Barker (1928)

Lady Mary in Monsieur Beaucaire (1924)


sills-m1.jpg kenyon-d21.jpg


A view of the Sills/Kenyon home as it looks today


315 N. Saltair Avenue

Brentwood Heights

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California

Owned, $300,000


Census recorded on April 18, 1930





  1. Milton Sills (head), 43 / Illinois / Actor / Moving pictures
  2. Doris K. Sills [Doris Kenyon] (wife), 29 / New York / Actress / Moving pictures
  3. Kenyon Sills (son), 3 yrs., 11 mos. / New York / None
  4. Margaret Kenyon (mother-in-law), 68 / widowed / New York / None
  5. Arina Taylor (servant), 59 / Illinois / Secretary / Private family
  6. Alex Lasclo (servant), 41 / Hungary (1905) / Butler /Private family
  7. Marta Peterman (servant), 31 / Finland (1924) / Cook / Private family
  8. Jose Lonana (servant), 42 / Mexico (1916) / Gardener / Private family
  9. Petri Nalder (servant), 49 / Mexico (1918) / Gardener / Private family



Note: Milton Sills died in this house five months after this enumeration took place





* Information includes relationship to head of household, age / place of birth (year of arrival in this country, if applicable) / occupation / industry.



The preceeding text is taken from my recent book, Celebrities in the 1930 Census (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2008). This directory provides an extensive listing of household information collected for over 2,265 famous or notorious individuals who were alive during the 1930 United States Census. Please note: The above photographs do not appear in the book.


Obit…Dody Goodman

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Dody Goodman, stage and TV comedian, dies



Actress made mark on ‘Tonight Show,’ had role in ‘Grease’ films


The Associated Press
June 23, 2008


NEW YORKDody Goodman, the delightfully daffy comedian known for her television appearances on Jack Paar’s late-night talk show and as the mother on the soap-opera parody Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, has died at 93.  READ MORE


Obit…George Carlin

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

George Carlin, 71; comedian tested limits of speech and society


 (Robert Sebree / HBO)


He gained notoriety for his ‘seven dirty words,’ but his incisive commentaries were as clever as they were vulgar


By Rich Connell and Jason Song
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
June 23, 2008


George Carlin, the acerbic, Grammy-winning comedian whose career spanned more than 50 years, died of heart failure Sunday evening after being admitted to the hospital complaining of chest pains, his spokesman said. He was 71.  READ MORE



Hollywood Bowl’s 87th Season…

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

  B.B. King, Liza Minnelli at Hollywood Bowl

(Ken Hively, Los Angeles Times)

The three performers, newly inducted into the venue’s Hall of Fame, give the season an all-star start.


By Don Heckman
Special to The Times
June 23, 2008


HOLLYWOOD – As the summer heat and a sense of nostalgia permeated the air, the Hollywood Bowl kicked off its 87th season Friday night with a stirring, fireworks-enlivened tribute to three new inductees into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. All — flutist James Galway, singer-guitarist B.B. King and singer-dancer-actress Liza Minnelli — were present and ready to perform.  READ MORE


Read Story at USA TODAY


H. J. Whitley

Friday, June 20th, 2008


H. J. Whitley



 Father of Hollywood


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Hobart Johnstone Whitley was born in Toronto, Canada on October 7, 1847, of Scotish-English parentage. As a child he moved to Flint, Michigan, where he was educated in the public schools and later at Toronto Business College.


Whitley engaged in banking and land development in Kansas City and Minneapolis, establishing banks and townsites along the Northern Pacific Railroad, and for a time managed the H. J. Whitley Land and Mortgage Company. He platted the towns and built brick and stone business buildings in Oklahoma City, El Reno, Chickasha, Enid, Medfore, and other cities on the Rock Island Railroad.


In 1887 he married Margaret Virginia Ross and had two children, Grace Virginia and Ross Emmet. Because of bad health, Whitley came to California in 1893 and the following year established the H. J. Whitley Jewelry Store, for many years the largest in the city. In 1900 he bought the Hurd property north of Hollywood Boulevard, between Wilcox and Whitley, south of Yucca Street, which he later subdivided into what became known as Whitley Home Tract. As a result of the success of this subdivision, one of the first in Hollywood, Whitley became known as the “Father of Hollywood.”


In 1905, Whitley and a group of Los Angeles investors undertook the development of 47,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley and carried through a similar project involving nearly 50,000 acres in the San Fernando Valley.




Whitley continued his activities in Southern California property until 1922, when he completed the development of Whitley Heights, which was one of the first hillside subdivisions in Hollywood. The opening of the tract in 1920 was the scene of a public barbeque, with city officials and business men of the city as guests. Whitley Heights would become the first celebrity neighborhood and home to such film stars as Francis X. Bushman, Eugene O’Brien, Barbara La Marr and Rudolph Valentino.


In addition to his real estate development, Whitley was one of the founders of the Home Savings Bank and was identified with the organization of the First National Bank of Hollywood, the First National Bank of Van Nuys and State banks in Canoga Park, Reseda and Corcoran.


On June 3, 1931, while staying as a guest of his son at the Whitley Park Country Club in Van Nuys, H. J. Whitley died in his sleep at the age of 83. Whitley was survived by his wife Margaret, his daughter Grace, son Ross and three grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted at the Strother Funeral Chapel at 6240 Hollywood Boulevard with interment at Hollywood Cemetery.


 H. J. Whitley’s cremation niche at Hollywood Forever Cemetery


Walk of Fame Ceremony…

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Los Angeles Dodgers



Hollywood & Highland


June 20, 2008


HOLLYWOOD — In celebration of the Dodgers’ 50th anniversary in Los Angeles, the team received an Award of Excellence today from the Hollywood Historic Trust and Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.


Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, and his wife, team President Jamie McCourt, accepted the award at a late-morning ceremony in front of the Hollywood & Highland complex. Former manager Tommy Lasorda, manager Joe Torre and broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarin also participated in the ceremony.


The Dodgers received the award in recognition of the team’s significant contributions to Los Angeles and world culture and entertainment, according to Ana Martinez-Holler, vice president of media relations for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.


The ceremony came one day before the Dodgers’ 50th annual Hollywood Stars Game, a softball game matching teams of entertainment industry celebrities.


The Hollywood Historic Trust and Hollywood Chamber of Commerce began presenting Awards of Excellence in 2005 to various organizations and places. The Dodgers are the seventh recipient of the award.


The others were Daily Variety, Disneyland, The Hollywood Reporter, KTLA- TV Channel 5, the Los Angeles Times and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which presents the Grammy Awards. They differ from stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which honor individuals, performing groups and fictional characters.






Star was sponsored by fans

WHO:             The Late Brian Keith
                      Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler
                      Guest speakers: Kathy Garver and Daniel Hugh Kelly
                      Accepting the award will be Victoria Y. Keith
WHAT:            2,365th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
WHERE:         7021 Hollywood Boulevard near Sycamore.
WHEN:           Thursday, June 26, at 11:30 a.m.



Cyd Charisse Funeral Services…

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Services for Cyd Charisse scheduled Sunday


June 20, 2008


Funeral services for Hollywood dancer and actress Cyd Charisse are scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary, 6001 W. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, publicist Gene Schwam said. Charisse died Tuesday at age 86.


Walk of Fame Recipients…

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

25 getting Hollywood Walk of Fame stars


The Associated Press

June 19, 2008


LOS ANGELES—Hollywood will enshrine an eclectic bunch in its famous curbside Walk of Fame next year, including Hugh Jackman, Sir Ben Kingsley, The Village People and fictional Tinkerbell


Other recipients of the sidewalk stars are the husband-and-wife Emmy-winning acting couple Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, Cameron Diaz and Robert Downey Jr.


Tim Burton, Leslie Caron, Charles Durning and Ralph Fiennes join Jackman, Kingsley, Macy and Tinkerbell in the motion picture category.


Besides Huffman, television honorees include William Petersen, Kyra Sedgwick, John Stamos and producers Mark Burnett and Chuck Lorre.


The disco group The Village People are in the recording category with Kenny “Baby Face” Edmonds, Dave Koz, The Miracles, Doug Morris, Rush and Shakira.


The radio category includes KFI radio personality Bill Handel and KCRW host Harry Shearer, who also provides voices for characters on The Simpsons.


The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s Walk of Fame Committee chose recipients and they were ratified by the board of directors on Thursday.