Archive for July, 2009

The Directors and the Closet

Thursday, July 30th, 2009


Todd Holland, Don Roos, gay actors, and the closet


Todd Holland


Blogger and entertainment writer, Andre Soares of the Alternative Film Guide, writes about the recent Outfest statements by directors Todd Holland and Don Roos, on whether gay actors should stay “in the closet.” A brief snippet is included here. To read the entire article, please click on the link below.


“First, openly gay film director Todd Holland (right) is accused of telling non-100% hetero performers to keep their sexuality hidden in the closet. Several days later, another openly gay film director, Don Roos, was reportedly even more blatant about the idea of keeping actors hanging in the closet. Adding insult to injury, those statements were made at a film festival named Outfest, Los Angeles’ annual gay & lesbian cinema smorgasbord.”


Click here to continue reading the article at the Alternative Film Guide



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Virginia Carroll Obituary

Thursday, July 30th, 2009


Virginia Carroll; Character actress and leading lady, dies at 95


Virginia Carroll


Virginia Carroll (above) starred with Bill Elliott, who played U.S. Marshal Wild Bill Hickok, in the 1942 film “Prairie Gunsmoke.” She was an L.A. department store model when she launched her acting career with a bit part in a 1935 movie.


Virginia Carroll, 95, a movie character actress and B-western leading lady who appeared opposite cowboy stars such as Don “Red” Barry and Tex Ritter, died of natural causes July 23 in a Santa Barbara retirement community, said her daughter, Carroll Byrd Evangeline.


A Los Angeles department store model when she launched her film career with a bit part as a fashion model in the 1935 movie “Roberta,” Carroll appeared in her first western in 1936 opposite Jack La Rue in “A Tenderfoot Goes West.”


Mixing leads with supporting and character roles, Carroll appeared in westerns with Gene Autry, Johnny Mack Brown, Bill Elliott, Roy Rogers, Whip Wilson and other stars. She later appeared on TV shows such as “The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok,” “The Roy Rogers Show,” “Dragnet” and “Perry Mason.”


Carroll was born in Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 1913. She was married to actor Ralph Byrd, who starred as Dick Tracy in movie serials and on early television, from 1936 until his death in 1952. She was married to her second husband, Lloyd McLean, a projectionist at 20th Century Fox, from 1957 until his death in 1969.


Click here for the Los Angeles Times link



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Vivian Vance’s Walk of Fame Photos

Sunday, July 26th, 2009


From the vaults: Star ceremony for Vivian Vance


Vivian Vance and Lucille Ball


By Allan R. Ellenberger
July 26, 2009


Today would have been the 100th birthday of comedienne, Vivian Vance of “I Love Lucy” fame. To celebrate, here are photos from the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony that I attended in 1991. Among those who appeared at the ceremony, hosted by Johnny Grant, were — Lucie Arnaz; Gale Gordon; Vivian’s sister, Dorothy Jones; Bob Carroll Jr. and Madelyn Davis. Vivian Vance’s Star is located at 7030 Hollywood Boulevard, just west of the Roosevelt Hotel.



Lucie Arnaz

Lucie Arnaz



Vance's sister Dorothy

Vivian’s sister, Dorothy Jones



Vivian Vance-star-ceremony

Gale Gordon; Johnny Grant; Dorothy Jones; Lucie Arnaz



Vivian Vance Walk of Fame Star



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Vivian Vance’s 100th Birthday

Sunday, July 26th, 2009


Vivian Vance


 Vivian Vance




  • BORN: July 26, 1909, Cherryvale, Kansas
  • DIED: August 17, 1979, Belvedere, California
  • CAUSE OF DEATH: Breast and bone cancer
  • BURIAL: Cremated and ashes spread in San Francisco Bay



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New Mausoleums Under Construction

Saturday, July 25th, 2009


 New mausoleums at Hollywood Forever the first in decades


H4E Mausoleums


For the first time in several decades, new mausoleums are being constructed at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (except for the recent additons attached to the Abbey of the Psalms).  Photos taken today show the current progress.


H4E mausoleum



H4E mausoleum



H4E mausoleum



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Charlie Chaplin’s Stalker

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009


Chaplin and ‘Mad Josefina’


Charles Chaplin


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Today, reports of obsessed fans stalking well-known actors is almost commonplace. One of the first incidents of star-stalking occurred in 1923 to comedian Charlie Chaplin whose home was invaded by an infatuated admirer.


The incident concerned a young Mexican girl named Marina Vega, dubbed “Mad Josefina” by the Mexican press. Marina, a beautiful but reportedly well-built girl, was educated in Mexico City and had married Jose Rivero, a prosperous rancher, when she was very young. Marina soon became bored with the ranchers life and escaped to Mexico City in early March 1923, where she went on an extravagant nine-day visit, literally throwing her money away.


Her husband followed, and on March 10, 1923 — after leading detectives on a merry chase — had her arrested for desertion. A brief reconciliation followed initiated by the city’s inspector general, named Almada. However, rumors spread throughout Mexico City that Almada and a General Serrano, had lavishly “entertained” her. Almada admitted knowing the girl and said he gave her money, but only so she could leave the city.


The Mexican press reported the eccentricities of “Mad Josefina” and her desire to become a great motion picture actress. After reportedly buying a thousand pesos worth of dresses and hats, and billing them to Almada, Marina left for Hollywood and her idol — Charlie Chaplin. 


Charlie Chaplin's Temple Hill home

Charlie Chaplin’s former home at 6147 Temple Hill Drive in the Hollywood Hills


Arriving in Los Angeles a few days later, Marina checked into the downtown Alexandria Hotel. On Thursday, March 29, 1923, the buxom admirer found her way to Chaplin’s residence at 6147 Temple Hill Drive in the Hollywood Hills. There she gained entrance to the house through the ruse of dropping a diamond ring in the shirt-pocket of his cook who answered the doorbell, dashing by him as he fished for it.


Kono, Chaplin’s valet, and the rest of the servants were unable to remove her until director Eddie Sutherland was called in as a reinforcement from Chaplin’s studio, and was found in the comedians bedroom. After much cajoling, they tricked her into one of Chaplin’s cars and returned her to the Alexandria.


That evening, while Chaplin was entertaining his fiancé, Pola Negri, and Dr. Cecil Reynolds and his wife, Kono announced that Marina had returned and had somehow found her way back to Chaplin’s bedroom and was now wearing his silk pajamas!


Marina Vega


Reynolds and Kono persuaded Marina to get dressed and led her downstairs to be introduced to Chaplin. She told the comedian that she had come all the way from Mexico City to meet him. After further questioning, Chaplin told her to return to her hotel and that he would buy her a train ticket back to Mexico City. She promised that she would not bother him again.


The next day, Chaplin heard nothing of his crazed admirer. However, on the evening of Saturday, March 31, he was again entertaining Pola and the Reynolds, and as they were sitting down to dinner, Kono rushed in and reported that Marina had come to the door strewing red roses on the driveway and was again refused admittance, but was now lying outside on the driveway dying from a bullet to the brain.  


Reynolds and Kono carried Marina into the kitchen where she told the doctor that she had taken poison. (Kono thought she had shot herself because the moonlight made a oil-stain on the pavement near her head look like blood when he saw her from an upstairs window.) An ambulance was called and she was taken to the Hollywood Receiving Hospital.


Marina was treated and released although doctors questioned whether she had actually taken poison. A half-hour later reporters found her at the Alexandria eating ice cream. Marina declared that her love for Chaplin had chilled – but not for long.



The former Chaplin home as it looks today. This is all that is visible from the street as the estate is now surrounded by twenty-foot hedges. (Please note, this is a private residence. Do not disturb the occupants!)


On Tuesday, April 3, Kono discovered a trail of muddied footprints on the sidewalk about Chaplin’s home. The police were called and Marina was found in a rented room at a nearby Beachwood Drive residence. A policewoman from the Hollywood division removed “Mad Josefina” to the Business Girl’s Home on Bonnie Brae Avenue.


Chaplin released a statement saying that “the girl’s case is very pathetic and I am willing to pay her way back to her home.” The ever-dramatic Pola Negri was reportedly ill from the excitement at her Hollywood Boulevard home.


“Mad Josefina” apparently was never heard from again and it’s assumed she returned to Mexico.



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Gidget, Taco Bell Dog Obituary

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009


Gidget, former Taco Bell dog, dies at 15


Gidget, Taco Bell Dog


It seems that every time we turn around, another beloved celebrity is passing away. Today, it is with heavy heart that we report yet another celebrity death. Rest in peace Gidget, the Chihuahua who starred in a series of Taco Bell commercials and made famous the phrase “¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!”


Gidget died of a stroke Tuesday at the ripe old age of 15, People Pets reports. She’d lived in comfortable semiretirement since the heyday of the Taco Bell advertising campaign, occasionally making cameo appearances (hawking insurance alongside the GEICO gecko in a 2002 commercial and playing the mother of Reese Witherspoon’s Chihuahua, Bruiser, in the sequel to “Legally Blonde”). 


In the grand tradition of celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich who went before her, Gidget played against type in the Taco Bell ads, portraying a male dog voiced by Argentine American actor Carlos Alazraqui.  A few years later, Alazraqui landed the role for which he’s best known: Deputy James Garcia on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911.” But others associated with the ad campaign weren’t so lucky. Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the creators of the Chihuahua character hadn’t been properly compensated for their work, and Taco Bell was ordered to pay $42 million.


Gidget’s trainer, Sue Chipperton, described the diminutive dog as a consummate professional on the set in an interview earlier this year with People Pets. But, she said, Gidget had been the victim of typecasting, which limited her career choices (or, rather, Chipperton’s choices on her behalf). Although her career waned in recent years, Gidget (and her catchphrase) remained a well-known pop-culture footnote of the 1990s.  “She made so many people happy,” Chipperton told People Pets. 


As Horatio put it so memorably, “Now cracks a noble heart.” Good night, sweet prince(ss).  We’ll miss you and your unerring ability to make us crave fast food.


— Lindsay Barnett

Los Angeles Times

Photo: Associated Press



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Hollywood Wax Wars

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009


Is Hollywood big enough for two wax museums?


Wax war on Hollywood Boulevard


Some locals and observers worry that business will melt away for the aging Hollywood Wax Museum with the opening of a Madame Tussauds. But representatives of both play down any rivalry.


By Hugo Martin
Los Angeles Times
July 22, 2009


 A wax war is heating up on Hollywood Boulevard.


For 44 years, the Hollywood Wax Museum has been Tinseltown’s only wax attraction featuring celebrities, a monopoly that has kept it open through wars, recessions and riots.


But that all is changing with the opening of Madame Tussauds, Hollywood Boulevard’s newest multimillion-dollar attraction, next to the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.


The 40,000-square-foot building officially opens to the public Aug. 1, but visitors can get early admission starting today. Inside, they’ll see 115 wax figures, including representations of President Obama, Samuel L. Jackson and Marilyn Monroe.


Click here to continue reading



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Brenda Joyce Obituary

Sunday, July 19th, 2009


‘Tarzan’ actress Brenda Joyce dies


 Brenda Joyce


Starred as Jane in five movies in the series


By Mike Barnes
Hollywood Reporter
July 17, 2009


Brenda Joyce, the only “Jane” to star opposite two different Tarzans in the talking era of the big screen, died July 4 at a nursing home in Santa Monica. A friend said she was 92.


Click here to continue reading the Hollywood Reporter obituary for Brenda Joyce
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Harriet Nelson’s 100th Birthday

Saturday, July 18th, 2009


Harriet Nelson


 Harriet Nelson






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