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Carl Laemmle’s Death & Funeral…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 28th, 2008
2008
Sep 28

CELEBRITY FUNERALS

The Death and Funeral of

Carl Laemmle, Sr.

 

 

 January 17, 1867, Laupheim Wurttemberg, Germany —

September 24, 1939, Beverly Hills, California

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger 

 

He was lovingly known as “Uncle Carl” and the “Little Napoleon” to those who knew and worked for him. Carl Laemmle, Sr., motion picture pioneer and founder of Universal Studios, was the first of the movie moguls to pass away since the death of Irving Thalberg just two years earlier.

 

A German immigrant, Laemmle had only $50 when he first arrived in the United States in 1893. In his early years, he first was a package-wrapper in Chicago, and then a clothing store clerk in Oshkosh, Wisconsin where he eventually became manager and saved $2,000.

 

In 1906 he returned to Chicago and opened a 5 and 10-cent store where he happened to behold  a line of people waiting to pay their nickels to see a motion picture and decided to become a film theater operator instead. He named the theater the White Front and charged 5 cents, offering whatever crude films he could find.

 

From this he established a film exchange and from that success, went to New York where he began to produce his own films. This ultimately led to the founding of Universal Studios and film history when he sent a company to England to film Ivanhoe (1913) in its original setting.

 

Front view of the main administration building of the Universal Pictures Company taken shortly after completion of the building in 1915.

 

Moving operations to California, he eventually purchased 230 acres in the San Fernando Valley, just outside of Hollywood, and here founded Universal City on March 15, 1915. His most successful films included Traffic in Souls (1913), Foolish Wives (1922), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), Phantom of the Opera (1925) and All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) which won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year. When talkies arrived, he remained president but handed much of the studios production to his son, Carl Laemmle, Jr.

 

Carl Laemmle, Sr. and son

 

In 1936, because of financial problems, most notably due to the overruns on the budget of Showboat (1936) and the ravages of the depression, Laemmle was eventually forced to retire, selling the studio to Standard Capital Company.

 

For the next three years, Laemmle maintained an office in Hollywood to take care of his various business interests. He finally ceased this activity, and spent most of his time at his home at 1275 Benedict Canyon, which was the former residence of producer Thomas H. Ince.

 

Laemmle suffered his first heart attack on July 14, 1939; this was followed by several milder attacks. On September 23,  he went for a car ride hoping to gain some relief from the heat. Upon returning he declared that he felt a “little wobbly” but slept soundly the rest of the night.

 

Early the next morning he suffered two more heart attacks and his doctor was called. The third and fatal heart attack occurred while he was still in bed. Present at the time of his death was his son, Carl, Jr., his daughter, Rosabelle Bergerman and two physicians.

 

Laemmle was also survived by two brothers, Siegfried and Louis Laemmle and two grandchildren, Carol Bergerman, 9 and Stanley Bergerman, Jr., 7.

 

Tributes immediately began to pour in. From Mexico City, Joseph M. Schenck, president of the Association of Motion Picture Producers, paid high tribute to Laemmle by issuing the following statement:

 

“The passing of Carl Laemmle was a shock and a great loss to the motion picture industry.

 

“Carl Laemmle was more than a pioneer, he was a builder. A kind, gentle man, he fought for the industry at a time when it was weak and shackled, and due to his courage and independence, the fight that was of nation-wide importance in its time was won.

 

“The whole motion picture industry must mourn the loss of Carl Laemmle, but in Hollywood where he lived and worked, his memory will be enshrined.”

 

That day, Laemmle’s will was taken from a bank vault and scanned to learn whether he had expressed any last wishes as to his burial — which he had not. At the time, his family was undecided as to whether he would be buried beside his wife (who died in 1918) in a mausoleum in Salem Field Cemetery in New York, but finally determined that he would be laid to rest at Home of Peace Cemetery in East Los Angeles.

 

It was also announced that Rabbi F. Edgar Magnin, the “Rabbi to the Stars,” would give the eulogy and read the ritual over Laemmle’s body, which would lie in state at the Wilshire B’nai B’rith Temple from 11:30 AM the next day up until the time of the services.

 

Wilshire B’nai B’rith Temple

 

As a mark of respect, at 12:30 PM on September 26, there was a five-minute period of silence at all of the studios in Hollywood, at the home offices of Universal in New York and at all of the Universal film exchanges throughout the world.

 

Rabbi Magnin intoned prayers over Laemmle’s body as nearly 2,000 of his friends and former associates listened at the Wilshire B’nai B’rith Temple. The ceremony was simple, as requested by the family. Laemmle lay in a copper coffin at one side of the pulpit, banked high with flowers.

 

Touching briefly on Laemmle’s rise to success from a poor immigrant from Germany to a leader in the film industry, Rabbi Magnin pointed out it was not the money he made nor the power he wielded but what he did with his wealth and his power.

 

A PORTION OF RABBI MAGNIN’S EUOLOGY:

 

“Many people are  mourned after their death but not loved while they are alive, particularly those who have power which makes them so susceptible to hatred.

 

“But here was a man who was loved by all. He was kind and sweet. He saw all who needed him and never with a display of arrogance. He was always the same, sweet and simple. He never forgot he was a poor boy.

 

“He gave generously of his purse and his heart. His charities were widespread and of this I, personally, am acquainted. He gave to the organized charities but he helped more people in an individual way. He established a foundation and he took a personal part in it.

 

“He always gave to people who needed help, but he made them feel that they were earning what he gave them.

 

“He was a fine American. He was born in Germany and he always had a tender spot for the German people. He full well realized in the World War as today that they are victims of a government.

 

“His love for his home and his family was second to none.”

  

During the service, Laemmle’s daughter, Rosabelle almost broke under the strain and it was minutes after Magnin’s closing words that she was able to leave the temple and enter a car to go with relatives to the cemetery for the interment.

 

Laemmle family room at Home of Peace (findagrave / A. J. Marik)

 

Carl Laemmle was laid to rest in a private family room of the Chapel Mausoleum at Home of Peace Cemetery. Universal Studios is still a major film company; one of only a few that still survive at their original locations in Hollywood.

 

(findagrave / Gerald N. Davis M.D.)

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Heather Locklear Arrested…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 28th, 2008
2008
Sep 28

CELEBRITY NEWS

Heather Locklear arrested on DUI charge

 

 

Heather Locklear is seen here in the mug shot taken when she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance Saturday night.

 

Actress stopped after ‘driving erratically’ in wealthy area of Santa Barbara

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Access Hollywood
Sept. 28, 2008
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MONTECITO, Calif. – Heather Locklear was arrested and held in Santa Barbara County on Saturday, Access Hollywood has confirmed. A spokesman for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department told Access that the actress was arrested by the California Highway Patrol and released on Sunday.

 

According to The Associated Press, the actress, 47, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance in Montecito, a wealthy area of Santa Barbara that’s home to celebs including Oprah and Rob Lowe.

 

The former Melrose Place star was reportedly pulled over by a CHP officer on Saturday afternoon after she was witnessed “driving erratically” upon leaving a parking lot, a CHP spokesman told the AP.

 

Locklear was taken into custody, where she was reportedly tested for alcohol and drugs. She was reportedly booked at 7 p.m. on suspicion of driving under the influence of prescription medication.

 

According to People, two months ago, Locklear was released from an Arizona facility where she spent four weeks receiving treatment for anxiety and depression.

 

“Heather’s feeling really great,” a friend told the mag at the time. “And she looks beautiful, just radiant.”

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Stars Struggle with Coming Out…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 28th, 2008
2008
Sep 28

Hollywood stars still struggle with coming out

 

 

Days of Rock Hudson-style facades over, but discrimination still an issue

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By Michael Ventre
MSNBC contributor
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Even though, as Simon Cowell pointed out, discovering that Clay Aiken is gay is like “being told Santa Claus isn’t real,” apparently there are a few adults out there who still sit home on Christmas Eve hoping that St. Nick can navigate his way in foul weather.

 

Message boards devoted to the former American Idol runner-up included comments like, “This is really shocking news, as I had no idea he was gay” and “I feel numb I’m so upset; this can’t be real!”    (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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Obit…Paul Newman

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 27th, 2008
2008
Sep 27

OBITUARY

Paul Newman Dies at 83

 

 

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) – Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as an activist, race car driver, popcorn impresario and the anti-hero of such films as Hud, Cool Hand Luke and The Color of Money, has died. He was 83.    (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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Theater Review…Equus

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 26th, 2008
2008
Sep 26

THEATER REVIEW

In the Darkness of the Stable

 

 

 

The young wizard has chosen wisely. Making his Broadway debut in Thea Sharrock’s oddly arid revival of Peter Shaffer’s “Equus,” which opened Thursday night at the Broadhurst Theater, the 19-year-old film star Daniel Radcliffe steps into a mothball-preserved, off-the-rack part and wears it like a tailor’s delight — that is, a natural fit that allows room to stretch. Would that the production around him, first presented in London, showed off Mr. Shaffer’s 1973 psychodrama as flatteringly as it does its stage-virgin star.   (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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Obit…Connie Haines

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 26th, 2008
2008
Sep 26

OBITUARY

Connie Haines dies at 87; big band singer co-starred with Sinatra

 

 

Connie Haines teamed with Frank Sinatra as lead vocalists for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Many of her hit songs were the product of her warm musical partnership with Sinatra. She sang on his 89th birthday television tribute in 1995.

 

By Don Heckman
Special to The Times
September 26, 2008

 

Connie Haines, a petite and dynamic big band singer who performed alongside Frank Sinatra in the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey orchestras, died Monday in Clearwater, Fla. The cause of death was myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease. She was 87.   (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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Bessie Love in the 1930 Census…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 25th, 2008
2008
Sep 25

THE 1930 CENSUS

Bessie Love

(1898-1986)

 née Juanita Horton

Film Actress

Hank Mahoney in Broadway Melody (1929)

 

 

 

  

 

Havenhurst Apartments

1861 Whitley Avenue

Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California

.

Rent, $125

no Radio

Census taken on April 11, 1930

 

 

HOUSEHOLD RESIDENTS:*
  1. William B. Hawks (head), 29 / Wisconsin / Broker / Stocks & banking.
  2. Bessie L. Hawks [Bessie Love] (wife), 28 / Texas / Actress / Motion pictures.

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* 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.

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Shia LaBeouf Update…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 25th, 2008
2008
Sep 25

CELEBRITY NEWS

DA: LaBeouf won’t be charged in crash

 

 

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shia LaBeouf will not be charged with drunken driving for his involvement in a traffic accident that badly injured his hand, but could have his license suspended because sheriff’s officials said he refused a breathalyzer test.

 

There was “insufficient evidence” to charge LaBeouf with drunken driving, Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison said Thursday. She said prosecutors are mulling charges against two other people involved in the July collision, but could not provide further details.

 

“Shia is most happy that he will not have to go to court,” said his attorney, Michael Norris.

 

LaBeouf was arrested July 27 after an early morning crash that injured his hand and sent him to a hospital for several days. Sheriff’s deputies said later that LaBeouf was not at fault in the accident, which occurred in West Hollywood.

 

The “Transformers” actor faces a traffic hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles that could see his driver’s license suspended for up to nine months, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said Thursday.

 

That hearing was scheduled for Friday. But Norris said he doubts the hearing will take place then, and doesn’t think the actor will lose his license.

 

“I anticipate that once we do have the opportunity to litigate the matter at the DMV that his license will not be suspended,” Norris said. The DMV hearing is not a court hearing and is not open to the public, Norris said.

 

Whitmore reiterated what police said the day after the crash: that LaBeouf showed signs of being impaired the morning of the crash, but refused a breathalyzer test.

 

“The physical signs led to the arrest,” Whitmore said, adding that the department respects the district attorney’s decision.

 

A spokeswoman for LaBeouf had no comment Thursday.

 

The crash occurred during a busy summer for LaBeouf, who costarred in the fourth installment of the “Indiana Jones” films and was filming a “Transformers” sequel.

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Stars Paid to Smoke…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 25th, 2008
2008
Sep 25

FILM HISTORY

Hollywood ‘paid fortune to smoke’

 

 

Tobacco firms paid huge amounts for endorsements from the stars of Hollywood’s “Golden Age”.

 

BBC News
September 25, 2008

 

Industry documents released following anti-smoking lawsuits reveal the extent of the relationship between tobacco and movie studios.

 

One firm paid more than $3m in today’s money in one year to stars.

 

Researchers writing in the Tobacco Control journal said “classic” films of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s still helped promote smoking today.

  

Virtually all of the biggest names of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s were involved in paid cigarette promotion, according to the University of California at San Francisco researchers.

 

They obtained endorsement contracts signed at the times to help them calculate just how much money was involved.

 

According to the research, stars prepared to endorse tobacco included Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford, John Wayne, Bette Davis and Betty Grable.   (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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Clay Aiken Comes Out!…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 24th, 2008
2008
Sep 24

CELEBRITY NEWS

Clay Aiken comes out: ‘Yes, I’m gay’

 

 

‘Idol’ runner-up says ‘I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things’

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The Associated Press
Sept. 24, 2008
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NEW YORKClay Aiken appears on the cover of the latest People magazine holding his infant son, Parker Foster Aiken, with the headline: “Yes, I’m Gay.”

 

The 29-year-old former American Idol runner-up, multiplatinum recording artist and Broadway star credits his son, conceived by in-vitro fertilization with friend and producer Jaymes Foster, with making him realize that he could no longer hide his homosexuality from the world.   (click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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