Archive for March, 2009

Obit: Altovise Davis

Sunday, March 15th, 2009


Altovise Davis dies at 65; widow of Sammy Davis Jr.


Altovise Davis

Altovise Davis and Sammy Davis Jr., shown in 1972, met in the mid-1960s when both were appearing in Broadway musicals (Los Angeles Times)


By Claire Noland
Los Angeles Times
March 15, 2009


Altovise Davis, the widow of Rat Pack singer and dancer Sammy Davis Jr., died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of complications from a stroke, her business partner, Barrett LaRoda, said. She was 65.    (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)



L.A.’s First Subway…

Saturday, March 14th, 2009


The colorful saga of Los Angeles’ first subway tunnel


 Belmont Tunnel 

Paul Morse / Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Conservancy conducts a tour of the subway tunnel once used by the Red Cars that ran between downtown and Glendale Boulevard near 1st Street.


After rail service ended, the mile-long route was used as a storage site for survival rations and impounded vehicles, as a movie set and then as a giant graffiti canvas.


Steve Harvey
Only in L.A.
Los Angeles Times

What a strange ride it has been for L.A.’s first subway.


Shut down in 1955, the Belmont Tunnel went from being a commuter route for rail passengers between downtown and the Westlake district to a storage site for survival rations, a holding cell for impounded vehicles, a movie set and, unofficially, a giant graffiti canvas and field of study for urban explorers.


Along the way, the mile-long subterranean route acquired an aura of mystery.    (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)



Charlotte Jessel at Hollywood Forever

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


Charlotte Jessel


Charlotte Jessel


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Charlotte Jessel Brod was the mother of comedian George Jessel and the silent party to imaginery telephone conversations on his radio program. Fans of Jessel felt that they knew Brod through hearing the concluding feature of the comedians broadcasts in which he picked up a telephone and engaged in monologues called, “Phone Call from Mama” — his most famous comedy skit.


Brod died on August 4, 1945 at Jessel’s home, 810 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills. In addition to her son, she was survived by her husband Robert Brod of New York and a sister, Deborah Solomon of Beverly Hills.


At her funeral close friends, actor Eddie Cantor and former New York Mayor, James Walker, gave the eulogies. Brod’s grave is located in the Garden of Solomon section (16), fifth row from the road, of Beth Olam which is the Jewish section of Hollywood Forever. This is only a short distance from the grave of her former daughter-in-law, Norma Talmadge.


George Jessel


George Jessel is interred at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City.



Phillip Terry’s 100th Birthday…

Saturday, March 7th, 2009


Phillip Terry


Phillip Terry



né Frederick Henry Kormann


  • BORN: March 7, 1909, San Francisco, California
  • DIED: February 23, 1993, Santa Barbara, California
  • CAUSE OF DEATH: Pneumonitis
  • BURIAL: Ashes scattered at sea off Santa Barbara



Obit: Sydney Chaplin

Friday, March 6th, 2009


Sydney Chaplin dies at 82; stage actor and son of Charlie Chaplin


Sydney Chaplin


Associated Press
Sydney Chaplin stands beside the postage stamp honoring his father, Charlie Chaplin, in 1998. Sydney Chaplin won a Tony Award for starring in the late 1950s musical “Bells Are Ringing” on Broadway.
By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times
March 6, 2009


Sydney Chaplin, an actor who experienced his greatest success on stage, earning a Tony Award for starring in the late 1950s musical “Bells Are Ringing,” died Tuesday. He was 82.    (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)



Obit: Horton Foote

Thursday, March 5th, 2009


Horton Foote dies at 92; playwright, screenwriter chronicled small-town Southern life


Horton Foote


By Mary Rourke
Los Angeles Times
March 5, 2009


Horton Foote, whose bittersweet stories of heartbreak and regret set in small Southern towns earned him wide popular acclaim as well as two Academy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, died Wednesday. He was 92.    (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)



Premio Dardos Award…

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Premio Dardos Award!





By Allan R. Ellenberger


André Soares from the Alternative Film Guide has recognized my Hollywoodland blog with a Premio Dardos Award!


Thank you!


“The Dardos Award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.”



  1. Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.
  2. Pass the award to another five blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.


Those who accept the award, should pass it on to five other cultural, ethical, literary, and cool blogs. In the spirit of the award, here are my five choices:


  1. Lisa Burks at Lisa Burks Online
  2. Scott Michaels at Find A Death
  3. Donna Hill at The Rudolph Valentino Homepage
  4. Steve Goldstein at Beneath Los Angeles
  5. Brian Michael McCray at The Boulevard Blog   


Please take a moment and visit these wonderful sites.



Tour of Rosedale Cemetery…

Sunday, March 1st, 2009


Angelus Rosedale Cemetery


Angelus Rosedale Cemetery


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Yesterday was a typical sunny day in California and a perfect morning to spend in a cemetery. I attended a walking tour at Angelus Rosedale cemetery sponsored by the Studio for Southern California History.



Steve Goldstein and Joe Walker


Our tour guides for the day were author Steve Goldstein and Los Angeles criminal history expert, Joe Walker (above).  


Steve is the author of, LA’s Graveside Companion: Where the V.I.P.s R.I.P. which is on bookstands now from Schiffer Books.


The tour was a comination of film stars, Los Angeles historic figures, murder victims and killers. Angelus Rosedale Cemetery is located at 1831 W. Washington Blvd.


Here are just a few of the residents that were covered in Saturday’s tour:












Hattie McDaniel's grave


Academy Award winning actress for

Gone With the Wind (1939).





Dooley Wilson's grave


Actor besy-known for his role as Sam in

Casablanca (1942).




Anna May Wong's grave


The first Chinese-American film star and the first Asian-American to become an international star who has more than 80 film credits to her name.





Phinneas Baning's grave


Southern California pioneer. Known as “The Father of the Port of Los Angeles,” he was one of the founders of the town of Wilmington, which was named for his birthplace.





David Burbank


A New Hampshire-born dentist and entrepreneur who founded the city of Burbank, California.





Caroline Severance


Woman’s club leader; women’s rights activist; and abolitionist.




Todd Browning's grave


Motion picture director best known for the films London After Midnight (1927), Dracula (1931) and Freaks (1932)





Maria Rasputin


Daughter of the Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin.





Louise Peete's grave


Infamous serial killer who was executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin at age 66. She lies in an unmarked grave.





Harry Kellar's grave


Magician who presented large stage shows during the late 1800s and early 1900s. A predecessor of Harry Houdini.




Mable Monohan's grave


A once-famous roller skater who once toured on the Orpheum circuit, and was strangled with a strip of her own bed sheet. Barbara Graham was convicted of her murder though she allegedly did not actually participate. Susan Hayward played the part of Graham in the film I Want to Live and received an Academy Award.





Honorable Wu


Chinese-American actor in such films as Stowaway (1936) and Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939)



Rosedale Cemetery




Rosedale Cemetery tour



Obit: Paul Harvey

Sunday, March 1st, 2009


Paul Harvey dies at 90; radio personality known for his distinctive delivery


Paul Harvey


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
March 1, 2009


Paul Harvey, who was long considered the most-listened-to radio broadcaster in the world and whose distinctive delivery and daily mix of news, commentary and human interest stories informed and entertained a national radio audience for nearly 60 years, died Saturday. He was 90.    (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)



Lois Moran’s 100th Birthday…

Sunday, March 1st, 2009


Lois Moran


Lois Moran



neé Lois Darlington Dowling


  • BORN: March 1, 1909, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • DIED: July 13, 1990, Sedona, Arizona
  • CAUSE OF DEATH: Cancer
  • BURIAL: Ashes scattered in the Red Rock mountains near Sedona