Archive for August, 2009

Lucille Ricksen’s 100th Birthday

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009


Lucille Ricksen


Lucille Ricksen




  • BORN: August 22, 1909, Chicago, Illinois
  • DIED: March 13, 1925, Los Angeles, California
  • CAUSE OF DEATH: Tuberculosis
  • BURIAL: Creamated and ashes given to family


Gilbert Roland on Valentino

Thursday, August 20th, 2009


“Valentino Smiled, Shook My Hand, and I trembled”


Rudolph Valentino - Blood and Sand


NOTE: The following article by actor Gilbert Roland is reprinted from the November 22, 1975 issue of TV Guide


A famed actor recalls the ‘magnetismo’ of the legendary Latin lover


By Gilbert Roland
TV Guide
November 22, 1975


We cannot turn back to so little as yesterday. But remembering Valentino, I return to the days when I was a Hollywood movie extra at $3 a day and box lunch, and lived in a small room on Temple and Olive Street next to a synagogue. I covered the somber walls with photos of movie stars, and by a crucifix over the bed, my boyhood idol – Rudolph Valentino.


We cannot shun our destiny. What God has written will come to be. And it was to that one day I would meet Valentino. His real name was Rodolpho Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi de Valentina D’Antonguolla. He selected Rodolpho Valentino for the screen. Friends called him Rudy. We, the young bohemian movie extras, penniless, undefeated romanticists, called him – Valentino.


He arrived in Hollywood, broke. Emmett Flynn gave him his first job as an extra at five dollars a day. Rex Ingram, a great director, selected him for Julio in “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” and Valentino was a star. After the success of The Sheik, he became the great Latin Lover – Valentino was humble in success, yet a man misunderstood. An editorial writer for a Chicago paper called him “a pink powder puff.” Valentino went to Chicago and angrily challenged the writer openly to a duel or fist fight. The challenge was not accepted.


Valentino had dignity, wore elegant English clothes, made bow ties popular, drove fast cards, was a hard-riding horseman, and loved women. We imitated his graceful walk; grew sideburns, pomaded our hair a la Valentino. He grew a beard and it became fashionable. Barbers were alarmed, protested and begged him to shave it off. He introduced the platinum slave bracelet. We wore cheap imitations. He made the tango popular. We danced with beautiful girls who called us – Latin lovers – a sobriquet we did not contradict.


He was a man of charm, magnetismo, the power to attract, captivate. He brought romance to the screen, and to millions of women. Valentino filled an emptiness. The Heartthrob. Women fainted. I saw him at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Women screamed hysterically to touch him. The stormed the theater with a vengeance, like the Bastille. It was like a page out of the French Revolution.


Central Casting called for Spanish and Mexican extras to report at Paramount Studio, $3 a day and box lunch. Over a thousand of us were hauled into trucks and driven through the narrow dusty Cahuenga Pass to Lasky ranch. The picture – Blood and Sand. The star playing the matador – Rudolph Valentino. My father had been a famous matador from Spain. It is an art to be properly dressed for the arena. Often in Mexico I had helped my father. A Spaniard, Jarita, the technical adviser, demanded Valentino to be perfectly dressed as a matador, and knew my background.


Gilbert Roland


He took me to Valentino’s dressing room on the lot. “This boy will help you dress,” Jarita said politely. Valentino smiled, shook my hand, and I trembled. He stood naked, a towel around his trim bronzed body, the slant eyes, a scar on his cheek like a saber cut. I helped him into the taleguilla, the pink stockings, red sash, zapatillas, chaquetilla… All through the ritual he sat motionless, silent, his eyes far away. A tear rolled down his cheek. He brushed it off, lit a cigarette, and walked away.


During lunch a violent fight erupted between the extras. Someone stuck me with a banderilla, and there was blood. Valentino sat under a shady tree with his lady love, exotic Natacha Rambova, as I went by. He saw the blood, cleaned the wound, wrapped his monogrammed handkerchief around my hand and gave me a glass of wine. The lovely lady smiled… the courtesy, gallantry, chivalry of the great; all these things not here any more. I treasured Valentino’s handkerchief a long time. Then a lovely blonde girl came along and went off with it.


The last time I saw Valentino he was driving the Isotta-Fraschini fast along Sunset Boulevard. I raced my old second-hand Moon roadster to catch him. I wanted to wave to him. I kept going faster, the car rattling, then a motorcycle cop gave me a ticket for speeding. I appeared in court before Judge Chambers, expecting to pay a fine, but the judge sentenced me to five days in jail. And I never saw Valentino again. Destiny.


But we had a few things in common. We were both Latin’s, proud of our heritage. We had worked as extras, bus boys, been hungry, loved classical music, believed in God. He had slept on a park bench in New York, I on a church bench in Los Angeles. We loved America, became citizens. We were athletic, healthy. We did not believe in drugs or medicine. We drank good wine, and loved women. On the screen we played the same romantic role of Armand Duval in Dumas’s – Camille. He with Alla Nazimova. I with Norma Talmadge.


One day he died. He was 31. His death plunged America into a nation of mourners. Women wept with unashamed tears. Two killed themselves that day; a day of vertigo, delirium. A dolorous whisper stunned the land. “Valentino is dead.” The whisper made the heart ache.


After his death I was lauded as one of his successors. A Hollywood weekly heralded: “Gilbert Roland Looms As Valentino’s Successor!” It was absurd. An infamy. No one could replace Valentino. He was not cast of an ordinary mold. This was sacrilege. I resented it. It gave me the coraje, that rage I’ve had all my life about injustice. For this was in injustice. There could never be another Valentino.



Virginia Davis Obituary

Thursday, August 20th, 2009


Virginia Davis dies at 90; played Alice in early Disney short comedies


 Virginia Davis

Years before Mickey Mouse was created, a little girl with a heart-shaped face, a sweet smile and long blond ringlets was the star of a young Disney’s combination live-action/animation series.


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
August 20, 2009


Walt Disney was a struggling young cartoon filmmaker in Kansas City, Mo., in 1923 when he came up with the idea of having a young girl interact with animated characters in a series of silent comedy shorts. But who would play the girl?


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Virginia Davis


Miriam Hopkins on TCM

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


Miriam Hopkins on Turner Classic Movies


Miriam Hopkins-lounging


“Summer Under the Stars” on TCM

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Miriam Hopkins


NOTE: Times in BLUE are Eastern and Times in RED are Pacific


6 a.m. The Chase (1966) 3 a.m.
8:15 a.m. The Richest Girl in the World (1934) 5:15 a.m.
9:45 a.m. Wise Girl (1937) 6:45 a.m.
11 a.m. Woman Chases Man (1937) 8 a.m.
12:15 p.m. The Old Maid (1939) 9:15 a.m.
2 p.m. Old Acquaintance (1943) 11 a.m.
4 p.m. Virginia City (1940) 1 p.m.
6 p.m. The Heiress (1949) 3 p.m.
8 p.m. The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) 5 p.m.
9:45 p.m. Trouble in Paradise (1932) 6:45 p.m.
11:15 p.m. Design for Living (1933) 8:15 p.m.
1 a.m. Barbary Coast (1935) 10 p.m.
2:45 a.m. These Three (1936) 11:45 p.m.
4:30 a.m. Lady with Red Hair (1940) 1:30 a.m.



 Click here to check out entertainment writer, Andre Soares’ narrative of Miriam Hopkins and the films being shown on TCM at the Alternative Film Guide



Singin’ in the Rain @ Hollywood Forever

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


Singin’ in the Rain




 cinespia cemetery screenings season 09


saturday, august 22nd

singin’ in the rain

directed by Stanley Donen (1952 103 mins)


gates 7:00 pm movie 8:30 pm

hollywood forever cemetery
6000 santa monica boulevard at gower
no reservation necessary
$10 donation tickets available at gate
as a courtesy to other moviegoers: NO TALL CHAIRS!!


starring gene kelly and debbie reynolds


dj jun spins before and after the screening



Ruth Ford Obituary

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


Ruth Ford dies at 98; actress was member of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre


Ruth Ford

Ruth Ford starred in several Broadway plays, including
“Requiem for a Nun” in 1959. (20th Century Fox)


She appeared in numerous Broadway plays, including William Faulkner’s ‘Requiem for a Nun,’ which she costarred in and helped adapt for the stage.


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
August 16, 2009


Ruth Ford, a onetime member of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre who appeared in numerous Broadway plays and in films and television, has died. She was 98.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Ruth Ford



Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Monday, August 17th, 2009


 82nd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service


 Cathedral Mausoleum


Hollywood Forever Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Bld. @ Gower
Cathedral Mausoleum
Sunday, August 23, 2009
12:10 p.m.


The life & legacy of Rudolph Valentino will be remembered at the annual Valentino Memorial Service which will be held on August 23rd, just as it has every year, steadfastly without fail for the past 82 years.


The program for the Valentino Memorial Service will include:


  • For the 1st time in over 75 years a member of the Valentino family will speak at the Valentino Memorial. Alberto Valentino’s great granddaughter, Jeanine Villalobos will be our featured speaker, drawing from family archived letters from Alberto Guglielmi Valentino (to his wife Ada who remained back home in Italy for the first year) of his thoughts and observations about the public’s outpouring of emotion, traveling across country on the Valentino funeral train and the West Coast funeral and burial of his brother, Rudolph Valentino. The letters have never been made accessible to researchers and are being translated from Italian to English for this presentation.


  • A tribute to honor Bob Mitchell, who for almost 30 years was involved with the Memorial first with his Bob Mitchell’s Boys Choir, and later on as a speaker/singer and musical accompaniment.


  • Donna Hill will also be making her first speaking appearance at the Valentino Memorial.


  • A new Memorial tribute video short spotlighting the relationship of Rudy & Natacha Rambova.


Stolen Moments


Also – the Valentino outdoor screening the evening of the 23rd returns after a two year absence. “A Society Sensation” and “Stolen Moments” will be shown. Bob Mitchell recorded his only in-studio recording for a silent movie when he did the score for “A Society Sensation” and that will be presented with his score, and Vince Morton will play live for “Stolen Moments.”

 — Tracy Terhune

More to be announced.



Les Paul Obituary

Thursday, August 13th, 2009


Les Paul, guitarist whose innovations paved the way for rock ‘n’ roll, dies at 94


 Les Paul

Inventor and guitarist Les Paul was featured on “American Masters: Les Paul: Chasing Sound.” He died at 94. (Chris Lentz / PBS)


The virtuoso picker influenced a generation of guitarists and had a series of hits in the ’50s with wife Mary Ford. He invented an early solid-body electric guitar and pioneered new recording methods.


By Claudia Luther
Los Angeles Times
August 14, 2009


Les Paul, the virtuoso guitarist, entertainer and relentless innovator whose drive to produce the sounds he wanted from his recordings and instruments helped pave the way for rock ‘n’ roll, died today. He was 94.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Les Paul



George Hamilton Gets a Star

Thursday, August 13th, 2009


George Hamilton honored on Walk of Fame



George Hamilton poses with partner Barbara Strum and son GT Hamilton after being honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Aug. 12, 2009. (Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)


Dave Willock’s 100th Birthday

Thursday, August 13th, 2009


Dave Willock


 Olivia de Havilland and Dave Willcok

 Olivia De Havilland and Dave Willock in Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)