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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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

Harriet Nelson’s 100th Birthday

Saturday, July 18th, 2009


Harriet Nelson


 Harriet Nelson






Robert Cushman Obituary

Friday, July 17th, 2009


Robert Cushman dies at 62; photograph curator for film industry’s library


Robert Cushman and Allison Francis

Robert Cushman and Allison Francis at her recent wedding in January
(Courtesy Michael and Allison Francis)


The director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Margaret Herrick Library says he had ‘an encyclopedic knowledge of movies that could not be matched.’


By Susan King
Los Angeles Times
July 17, 2009


Robert Cushman, photograph curator for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills, has died. He was 62.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Robert Cushman