Archive for July, 2008

Elizabeth Taylor Hospitalized…

Thursday, July 31st, 2008


Elizabeth Taylor visits hospital, to return home




LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elizabeth Taylor was hospitalized for an undisclosed reason but was expected to return home soon, representatives for the Oscar-winning actress said Thursday.


A statement released by Dick Guttman, her Los Angeles-based publicist, did not say where Taylor was staying, nor did it specify what might have been ailing the 76-year-old actress.


“Ms. Taylor is fine,” the statement read. “Her hospital visit was precautionary. She will be returning home shortly. At present, she is surrounded by family, friends and fabulous jewels.”


Guttman said he had no further details. A person who answered a call placed to Taylor’s home Thursday, who would not give her full name, said only that Taylor’s condition was “nothing to worry about.”


A number of health issues have dogged Taylor through the years, including congestive heart failure in 2004 that, compounded with spinal fractures and the effects of scoliosis, left her nearly bedridden. She’s also battled ulcers, amoebic dysentery, bursitis, acute bronchitis, two serious bouts of pneumonia, drug and alcohol addiction and a benign brain tumor that was removed in 1997.


Taylor won Oscars for roles in Butterfield 8 in 1960 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1966. She also won a special Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, mainly for her work as an AIDS activist, in 1993. She still lives in Bel-Air, a tony section of Los Angeles that’s home to many of Hollywood’s elite figures.



Spears, Hilton and Lohen to Blame?…

Thursday, July 31st, 2008


LAPD Chief Blames ‘Bad Girls’ For Paparazzi Drama



 LAPD Chief William Bratton



July 31, 2008


LOS ANGELES — A Thursday morning Today in LA report previewing a 10 a.m. City Hall meeting about proposed new restrictions on paparazzi became a showdown between the man behind the hearing, Councilman Dennis Zine, and LAPD Chief William Bratton, who opposes new legislation.



Bratton showed up at KNBC reporter Robert Kovacik‘s side for Kovacik’s 6 a.m. report because he said Kovacik’s previous live interview with Zine about the paparazzi issue aggravated him so much that he decided to leave his morning workout to go on KNBC and “set the record straight.”



Bratton has consistently opposed new legislation that would further restrict and penalize aggressive paparazzi photographers. Thursday morning, he laid the blame for paparazzi problems on former bad-girl celebrities Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.



“I figured I’d come over and straighten out — we have no intention of participating in today’s hearing. It’s a total waste of time. We have sufficent laws on the books that we enforce to deal with this issue,” Bratton said, still sweaty from his workout and with a towel hanging around his neck.



“If you notice, since Brittany started wearing clothes and behaving; Paris is out of town not bothering anybody, thank god; and, evidently, Lindsay Lohan has gone gay, we don’t seem to have much of an issue.



“If the ones that attract the paparazzi behave in the first place, like we expect of anybody, that solves about 90 percent of the problem. The rest of it we can deal with.



“So as far as all this grandstanding and foolishness, waste of city time on this issue — and the fact that I felt aggravated enough about it to interrupt my workout to come over and set the record straight, LAPD has no intention of participating in this farce.”



City Councilman Dennis Zine said he was puzzled by Bratton’s opposition.



Zine introduced the motion earlier this year to create a “personal safety zone” between photographers and their subjects. He said the proposal was prompted by the Los Angeles Police Department’s decision to spend $25,000 to transport Britney Spears from her Studio City home to UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.



LAPD Chief William Bratton told the Police Commission in April that the proposed ordinance would be ambiguous and difficult to enforce. He argued that existing laws, such as jaywalking, speeding and battery, are enough to regulate unruly photographers.



Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and representatives with the Screen Actors Guild were expected at Thursday’s hearing to discuss steps that could be taken to control overly aggressive photographers.




Tallulah is Looped…

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008


Valerie Harper Channels Tallulah Bankhead in “Looped”


Emmy Award winning Valerie Harper (The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda) stars as Tallulah Bankhead in LOOPED.


Looped was written by Matthew Lombardo (Tea at Five).


“The hugely enthusiastic response of Playhouse audiences to Tea at Five a couple of seasons ago gives me tremendous excitement about presenting the world premiere of Matthew’s new play focused on the life of the wonderfully theatrical and outrageous Tallulah Bankhead,” said Sheldon Epps


“He has taken a true incident in this tremendous character’s life and theatricalizes that moment in time to examine her life story with all of the expected humor, bawdiness, and good spirits.  At the same time his depiction of the great lady is also touching, emotional, and very loving.”


Looped is loosely based on the true story of Tallulah Bankhead (Valerie Harper), the original celebrity bad girl, who was called into a sound studio to re-record (or “loop”) one line from her final film Die, Die, My Darling


The session was to have only taken 5 minutes, but instead lasted well over eight hours. Southern, but by no means a belle, Ms. Bankhead was known for her wild partying that outshined even today’s superstars, including innumerable affairs with male and female celebrities and outlandish exploits that were even investigated by the British secret service. 


Looped plays at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena until August 3. For more see


photo by Craig Schwartz


Shia LaBeouf Update…

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008


Shia LaBeouf might not have caused collision, Sheriff’s Department says



LaBeouf’s overturned truck at La Brea and Fountain in Hollywood 


The other car involved in a West Hollywood traffic accident was cited for running a red light. LaBeouf, however, was cited for misdemeanor drunken driving.


By Andrew Blankstein
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 29, 2008


Actor Shia LaBeouf may not have been at fault in a Sunday morning accident that led to his arrest on drunk driving charges, a sheriff’s spokesman said.


The accident on the corner of La Brea and Fountain avenues in West Hollywood left the Indiana Jones actor and two other people injured. [NOTE: With LaBeouf was Isabel Lucas, a 23-year-old Australian actress who plays a supporting role in the ‘Transformers’ sequel ‘Revenge of the Fallen,’ according to a person close to the movie’s production who asked not to be named. Lucas was uninjured.]


L.A. County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the investigation suggests that another driver may have run a red light, hitting LaBeouf’s truck. That driver was cited at the scene for running a red light.


LaBeouf made a left turn and collided with an oncoming car about 2:30 a.m. The actor’s Ford F-150 pickup truck rolled over in the crash.


LaBeouf injured his left hand and was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for surgery, according to Sgt. Kristin Aloma of the sheriff’s West Hollywood station. LaBeouf’s passenger and the other driver, both women, were treated for minor injuries and released from Cedars.


LaBeouf, 22, “was exhibiting obvious signs of intoxication,” Aloma said. He was cited for misdemeanor drunken driving instead of felony drunken driving because the injuries suffered by the others were minor, she explained.


LaBeouf has not been arraigned on the drunk driving charge.



Elizabeth Short’s Hollywood…

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

 The Black Dahlia

Elizabeth Short’s



Elizabeth Short

July 29, 1924 — January 15, 1947


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Today would be the 84th birthday of Elizabeth Short, best known as “The Black Dahlia.”  Her unsolved murder is still a point of interest and curiosity to people. Short spent most of the last five months of her life living in Hollywood at the following places:



6326 Lexington Avenue 


Short stayed at the Brevoort Hotel with one-time boyfriend, Gordon Fickling from August 20 to August 27, 1946.







1611 N. Orange Drive [site]


On August 28, Short stayed with friends Lynn Martin and Marjorie Graham at the Hawthorn Hotel which was located on Orange, one block south of the Roosevelt Hotel. The Hawthorn was razed many years ago; a huge apartment complex now stands on the block.




MARK HANSEN residence

6024 Carlos Avenue [site]


Short, Marjorie and another friend, Ann Toth, moved into Mark Hansen’s bungalow, which was located across from the Hollywood First Presbyterian Church at Gower and Carlos. She stayed there from October 1 to October 9, and again from October 23 through November 13, 1946. Hansen was a successful businessman and part-owner of the Florentine Gardens, which was only a few blocks from here. Hansen was briefly a suspect in Short’s muder. The site of Hansen’s bungalow is now a parking lot for the church.







5217 Hollywood Blvd.
Room 726



Room 726 at the Guardian Arms was Short’s residence from October 10 though October 22, 1946. She lived there with her friend Marjorie, and two men, Bill Robinson and Marvin Margolis. Marjorie and the two men slept in the bed while Short slept on the floor. Ann Toth later told police: “This Bill Robinson tried to take advantage of her (Short) once and he slapped her in the face and threw her out of the car. She came home crying about that. I don’t think anyone else tried anything.”










1842 N. Cherokee Avenue
Room 501


When Short moved from Hansen’s bungalow for the last time (November 13), she moved to the Chancellor and shared cramped quarters in room 501 (on the top floor) with eight roommates: Linda Rohr, Sherryl Maylond, Cheryll Haughlamb, Beverly Don’e, Pat Goff, Marion Schmidt, Dorothy Saffrom and Mary Louise Pappe. After Short’s death, the Chancellor’s landlady, Juanita Ringo, told authorities: “She came here for a room last November 13. That’s a bad day, isn’t it? She wasn’t sociable like the other girls who lived in apartment 501 with her — more the sophisticated type.” Elizabeth Short moved out of the Chancellor on December 6, 1946.






During the time that Elizabeth Short lived in Hollywood, she frequented many of the area’s restaurants and night spots, including the following: (click on images to enlarge)


1652 N. Cherokee Avenue


1623 N. Vine Street



5955 Hollywood Boulevard



L.A. Earthquate – 5.4…

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008


5.4 earthquake rocks L.A. area



The quake, which Caltech officials downgraded from an initial magnitude of 5.8, was centered near Chino Hills. No major damage or injuries are reported.


By David Pierson
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
1:18 PM PDT, July 29, 2008


A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 shook large parts of Southern California, shaking a wide swath from Ventura County to San Diego.


The quake shook downtown L.A. buildings and was felt as far east as Palm Springs.


It was centered near Chino Hills, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.


There were no reports of major damage or injuries. But the Los Angeles Police Department reported minor structural damage at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.


The magnitude of the quake was originally set at 5.8. But Caltech officials downgraded it to 5.4 and said they doubted the temblor caused major structural damage. (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)


Hollyhock House Restoration…

Monday, July 28th, 2008

State funding will aid restoration of L.A.’s Hollyhock House



By Amanda Covarrubias
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 28, 2008


HOLLYWOOD – The city of Los Angeles will receive nearly $2 million in state funding to restore and transform the landmark Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Art Park into a gallery, officials said today.


The national historic landmark in Los Feliz was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1920s in a style he referred to as California Romanza. It was retrofitted and partially restored after undergoing extensive damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake.


The $1.9 million in state funding will be used to complete and expand on that work, city officials said. Project Restore, a city agency, will oversee the renovation, which is expected to be completed in 2012.


“These funds will help us give it a proper restoration so that future generations can enjoy and admire its architecture,” said City Council President Eric Garcetti, who helped secure the state funding.


In addition to its central garden court, each major interior space of Hollyhock House adjoins an equivalent exterior space, connected either by glass doors, a porch, pergola or colonnade.


A series of rooftop terraces further extend the living space and provide views of the Los Angeles basin and the Hollywood Hills.


The house takes its name from the favorite flower of Aline Barnsdall, a philanthropist who commissioned the building. Aline Barnsdall gave Hollyhock House and 11 surrounding acres to the city in 1927 for use as a public art park in memory of her father, Theodore Barnsdall.



Barbara LaMarr’s Birthday…

Monday, July 28th, 2008

“The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful”

Barbara LaMarr





Today would be the 112th birthday of the silent screen beauty, Barbara LaMarr. To celebrate, I am reprinting a portion of a tribute to the actress written by Jimmy Bangley, who was a huge LaMarr fan and admirer.


Celebrated around the world as “The Girl Who Is Too Beautiful,” this goddess of film was much more than a mere screen beauty. Possessing a razor sharp intelligence, a keen sense of humor, and a wise understanding of human nature, Miss LaMarr was also a successful scenarist of the silent screen. Beauty was just one weapon in her arsenal of talents.


Child actress at the tender age of seven years, little Reatha Dale Watson (as Barbara was then called) had a tremendous impact on her turn-of-the-century theater audiences as she played in stock companies up and down the West Coast for over six years.


Her loving rapport with the audience never faded. She experienced the same jubilation again with an adoring audience as she seductively danced to filled nightclubs, theaters, and vaudeville houses in her next incarnation as a hoofer on the road. Her natural grace would be exploited to its fullest as a screen actress, but as a young dancer of 14 years LaMarr made a truly stunning impression.






 LaMarr’s Whitley Heights house interior (photo 2)  




Exterior and rear of house (photot 3)


(click on images to enlarge)


Walking hand in hand with Barbara’s successful career as child actress and dancer was Barbara the writer, beginning with her short stories in newspapers (her foster father, William Watson, was himself a noted newspaper writer and editor). LaMarr branched out as film and theater critic, magazine contributor, and lastly film scenarist. She “doctored” numerous screenplays and wrote (and co-wrote) at least eight movies that we know about today.


In 1913 and 1914 LaMarr filmed some quickie westerns in Arizona. She is also said to have filmed dancing shorts in New York City, Chicago, and in Los Angeles, with such diverse partners as Rudolph Valentino and Clifton Webb. None of this film footage can be found today, at least not yet. What we do know is that by 1920 Louis B. Mayer and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. with wife Mary Pickford “discovered” Barbara LaMarr and set her delicate little feet on the path to screen stardom.


With her gorgeous, exotic looks, her bright personality, her native intelligence, and her inborn grace of form and movement, Barbara was propelled to stardom. She became filmdom’s most beautiful and celebrated vamp. This icon of the art deco era also became a much appreciated and critically acclaimed actress. She received rave reviews in such box office hits as The Three Musketeers (1921), The Prisoner of Zenda (1922), The Eternal City (1923), Strangers of the Night (1923), Thy Name Is Woman, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, both released in 1924, and pleased international audiences with her beauty and charisma in such fluff as The White Moth, Sandra, and The White Monkey (which, by the way, flopped in the United States).



Barbara La Marr’s home at 6672 Whitley Terrace, as it looked a few years ago. Jimmy Bangley, doing his LaMarr impersonation, is standing at photo number 3 in the 1920s version above.  


Barbara once made this telling statement about her film work, “Each characterization I create chips a little piece from my very soul.” She did, indeed, work very hard. She also played very hard. She lived on her emotions and on the very edge of her nerves.


She was generous to a fault and was known in the industry as a “soft touch.” LaMarr could always be counted on to help a friend when he or she was down and out, both emotionally and financially. Friends, relations, directors, producers, and fellow actors realized Barbara had trouble saying no. Many in her circle took advantage of her. She seemed to understand, and placidly accept this facet of her personality.


– Gratefully, Jimmy Bangley

February 1999


NOTE: Barbara LaMarr’s four bedroom, 2 bath home at 6672 Whitley Terrace was recently sold in February 2008 for $1,250,000.




‘The Ramones’ at Hollywood Forever…

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

‘On The Road With The Ramones’ Author to Appear at Outdoor Ramoniacs Event




Johnny Ramone’s cenotaph at Hollywood Forever Cemetery


Monte A. Melnick, long-time RAMONES tour manager and author of “On the Road With the Ramones”, will appear at a special Ramoniacs event to benefit Johnny Ramones‘ prostate cancer research charity on Friday, August 1 at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (6000 Santa Monica Blvd.) in Hollywood, California. RAMONES drummer of 15 years Marky Ramone (“Road to Ruin”, “End of the Century” and more), Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, producer and RAMONES drummer Tommy Ramone (“Leave Home”, “Rocket to Russia” and more) and bassist CJ Ramone (“Loco Live”, “Adios Amigos” and more) will also be on hand to celebrate Johnny’s legacy.


Monte toured with the RAMONES for 22 years. No one knew the fearsome foursome better than Monte. His book “On The Road With The Ramones” (Omnibus Press, $24.95) has been updated with new pages, photos and info on what’s been happening to the legacy of the RAMONES since 2003. A superb piece of punk oral history, this is a must-have book for all RAMONES fans.


Based around the story of Monte A. Melnick, who was the RAMONES tour manager (and much more) throughout their entire career (1974-1996, and 2,263 live shows), “On the Road With The Ramones” is an insider’s look from the people who were actually there, witnessing and experiencing all the extreme highs and lows of one of rock’s greatest bands. The book is packed with interviews from the RAMONES and people who where very close to the band. There are over 250 photographs and pictures of memorabilia Monte collected along the way.



Griffith Park Fire…

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Crews knock down Griffith Park fire


The hillside blaze east of the L.A. Zoo burned 15 acres and prompted some evacuations. About 200 firefighters put the blaze out in three hours. No injuries were reported.


By Stuart Pfeifer
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 27, 2008


A hillside wildfire broke out in Griffith Park this afternoon, prompting a massive response by firefighters trying to contain the blaze before it hit landmarks or a bird sanctuary.


The Los Angeles Fire Department declared the fire knocked down about 3:40 p.m., saying it burned 15 acres of heavy brush but caused no damage or injuries.


The fire was burning an area east of the zoo and Travel Town area, said Ron Myers, a Fire Department spokesman. Officials have shut down some entrances to the park and said evacuations are possible if the fire grows.


There was particular concern about a California condor breeding ground that is located near the area where the fire was burning.


About 200 firefighters were involved in controlling the blaze, which was first reported at 12:42 p.m., Myers said. The Fire Department was also using water-dropping helicopters.


The fire could be seen from parts of the San Fernando Valley and the 134 Freeway, which runs along the northern edge of the park.


Today’s fire comes 14 months after a wind-whipped wildfire consumed 1,200 acres in the park and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents in Los Feliz.