Archive for September, 2009

Louella Parsons in the 1930 Census

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009


Louella Parsons


née Louella Rose Oettinger

Journalist and gossip columnist

Herself in Hollywood Hotel (1937)


Louella Parsons



Villa Carlotta



Villa Carlotta Apartments

5959 Franklin Avenue

Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California


 Rent, $250


Census taken on April 12, 1930




  1. Harry W. Martin (head), 40 / South Dakota / Surgeon / Medicine.
  2. Louella O. Martin (wife), 38 / Illinois / Editor / Newspaper.
  3. Harriet O. Parsons (step-daughter), 23 / Iowa / Writer / Magazine.



Villa Carlotta


NOTE: This is a private residence. Please DO NOT disturb the occupants.



* 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 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.



Karl Dane Biography

Monday, September 28th, 2009


Karl Dane

A Biography and Filmography


Karl Dane cover


Karl Dane’s life was a Cinderella story gone horribly wrong. The immigrant from Copenhagen was rapidly transformed from a machinist to a Hollywood star after his turn as the tobacco-chewing Slim in The Big Parade in 1925. After that, Dane appeared in more than 40 films with such luminaries as Lillian Gish, John Gilbert and William Haines until development of talkies virtually ruined his career. The most famous casualty of the transition from silent to sound film, Dane reportedly lost his career because of his accent. He was broke and alone at the height of the Depression and committed suicide in 1934. 


To order from please click here.





Sunday, October 18, 2009:

Laura will be in Hollywood at Grauman’s Egyptian Theater doing a book signing and giving a talk about Karl’s life and career. A screening of The Big Parade will follow with Robert Israel on the organ.


Click here for complete information.


Laura Petersen Balogh is a teacher and writer in Madison, New Jersey. Her research on Karl Dane has been published in various magazines across the United States and Denmark.



Roman Polanski Arrested

Sunday, September 27th, 2009


Director Polanski arrested in Switzerland


 Roman Polanski


Director fled U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to sex with 13-year-old girl


The Associated Press
Sun., Sept . 27, 2009

ZURICH – Director Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss police as he flew in for the Zurich Film Festival and faces possible extradition to the United States for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, authorities said Sunday.


Polanski was scheduled to receive an honorary award at the festival when he was apprehended Saturday at the airport, the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement. It said U.S. authorities have sought the arrest of the 76-year-old director around the world since 2005.


Click here to continue reading



Crystal Gayle Gets Star

Saturday, September 26th, 2009


Crystal Gayle to get Walk of Fame Star


 Crystal Gayle


Next Friday, October 2 at 11:30 a.m., Crystal Gayle will get her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Crystal’s star will be near her sister Loretta Lynn’s star, and it’ll be the 2,390th on the Walk. Tanya Tucker will be a guest speaker at the event.


Fans that want to pay Crystal’s star a visit can find it at 1515 Vine Street, near Sunset Boulevard.  — Great American Country



Hollywood Cottage for Rent

Saturday, September 26th, 2009


Alledged Chaplin cottage for rent in Hollywood


French Village Cottages


Following is an update to a recent popular posting on the French village apartments that were reportedly built by Charlie Chaplin as a set for one of his films. Based on the research of a reader (see comments from the posting), most of the legends about this grouping of cottages are more legend than fact.


It appears that one of the cottages is for rent and the owners are once again exploiting the “legend” to find an occupant. The buildings are so quaint, I’m sure they would be a popular residence based on their own architecture and merit. The following is from the web site, Curbed Los Angeles.  I doubt that any of the new claims made in this listing are true. If it were, this would be one of the most historic buildings in Hollywood.



“Someone once warned us to never believe any listing or broker that cites  Charlie Chaplin as a former resident. He’s the Wilt Chamberlain of LA real estate. The man got around. But in this case, it might actually be true. It seems the quaint cottages at 1330 N. Formosa Avenue, just two blocks from the former Chaplin Studios, may have been built by the little tramp. The listing claims the compound of four cottages was built in 1922 for Chaplin, “Valentino, Fairbanks, Barrymore, etc. to live in while filming at his studios on La Brea.” It also mentions that “Drew Barrymore was born here and Patrick Dempsy was a multiple year tenant.” While the listing isn’t exactly clear, it seems the unit available is one of the one-bedrooms, and it tells us “the available unit was lived in by Douglas Fairbanks Sr. & Judy Garland at least.” So it has the gay icons covered with Judy and Drew (to a lesser extent). The unit also features leaded glass, hardwood floors, a gas stove, a small gated backyard, and a false turret. We’ll take it!  Monthly rent: $1,895.” (LA Curbed)
· $1895 Charlie Chaplin Whimsical Hansel & Gretel Cottage for lease NOW[Craigslist]



Susan Atkins Obituary

Friday, September 25th, 2009


Charles Manson follower Susan Atkins dies at 61


 Susan Atkins

Atkins and Charles Manson appear in court on Oct. 13, 1970, in Santa Monica to enter pleas in the July 27, 1969, stabbing death of musician Gary Hinman, 34, at Hinman’s Topanga Canyon home. (Associated Press)


Atkins was California’s longest-serving female prisoner at the time of her death. She was involved in one of modern history’s most shocking killing sprees, the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders in L.A.


By Elaine Woo
Los Angeles Times
September 25, 2009


Susan Atkins, who committed one of modern history’s most notorious crimes when she joined Charles Manson and his gang for a 1969 killing spree that terrorized Los Angeles and put her in prison for the rest of her life, has died. She was 61.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Susan Atkins



John Hart Obituary

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009


John Hart dies at 91; the other ‘Lone Ranger’


 John Hart, 1917-2009

John Hart temporarily replaced Clayton Moore as the Masked Man on the “The Lone Ranger” television series beginning in 1952. With him are Jay Silverheels as Tonto and their horses, Silver and Scout. (Boyd Magers collection)


The actor took over the TV role for 52 episodes after Clayton Moore walked out in a reported pay dispute, and also played the lead in the 1947 Columbia serial ‘Jack Armstrong: The All-American Boy.’


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
September 22, 2009


Most TV fans of a certain age know the answer to the question, “Who played the Lone Ranger?”


Those who say Clayton Moore are correct, at least partially.


There was another actor who played the Masked Man on “The Lone Ranger” television series, temporarily replacing Moore in the title role for 52 episodes beginning in 1952.


John Hart, 91, the handsome and athletic actor who also starred in the 1940s movie serial “Jack Armstrong: The All-American Boy” and the 1950s TV series “Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans,” died Sunday at his home in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, said his wife, Beryl.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for John Hart


‘The Green Hornet’ Filming Site

Sunday, September 20th, 2009


‘The Green Hornet’ begins filming in Los Angeles


The Green Hornet


By Allan R. Ellenberger
September 20, 2009


The Green Hornet, scheduled for release on December 17, 2010, stars Seth Rogen as Britt Reid, the newspaper publisher turned vigilante crime fighter, Jay Chou as Kato, his martial arts sidekick, and Cameron Diaz as Lenore Case. Michel Gondry is the director.


Filming began two weeks ago at Sony Pictures Studios (old MGM Studios) in Culver City and in Chinatown where Kato’s apartment is located. Other Los Angeles locations will include Sun Valley, Holmby Hills, Bel-Air, Hawthorne and various downtown locations including City Hall and the Los Angeles Times building, which will stand-in for the fictional newspaper where Reid works.


A key scene  for The Green Hornet was filmed at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a popular location for filmmakers. I am not familiar with the back-story of the Green Hornet, however the scene in question is for the funeral of James W. Reid. Would that be the father of Britt Reid, otherwise known as the Green Hornet? Albeit, here are some photos for fans to look for in the film when it premieres in December 2010.


Green Hornet funeral set

 The funeral of James W. Reid.



Green Hornet funeral set

 The tomb in the foreground is also fake — movie magic


 Green Hornet funeral set

The face on the statue resembles actor Tom Wilkinson who was recently named as joining the cast.



Green Hornet funeral set

All surrounding tombstones have false name plates covering their true name.




Another fake tombstone for the Green Hornet family



Can You Identify…

Saturday, September 19th, 2009


 Where was this building located?





Wayne Aronson runs an online gallery of photographic art ( ) which is centered around Los Angeles and Hollywood landmarks. The photograhs were shot between 1987 and 1999 in an effort to preserve landmarks that were being demolished.
In 1987 Aronson photographed The Studio Coffee Shop (above), but he no longer remembers its exact location — he thinks it may be either Studio City, Universal City, or perhaps Burbank. He asked that I post the photo, hoping that someone may remember it. 
So, how about it? Does anyone in the Los Angeles area recognize this coffee shop and where it was located? Leave a comment or send me an email at and I will post it here.


Dorothy Coonan Wellman Obituary

Saturday, September 19th, 2009


Dorothy Coonan Wellman dies at 95


 Wild Boys of the Road


Warner Brothers dancer was widow of director William Wellman




Dorothy Coonan Wellman, widow of director William Wellman who danced in Busby Berkeley films, died Sept. 16 in Brentwood, Calif. She was 95.


Born in Minneapolis, she moved to Los Angeles as a child and started dancing for Warner Bros. at the age of 14. She appeared in films including “MGM’s Broadway Melody,” “Whoopee,” “Kiki,” “Palmy Days,” “42nd Street” and “Warners Gold Diggers of 1933.”


William Wellman cast her in the drama “Wild Boys of the Road” in 1933, and they were married the next year. Wellman, who directed the first best picture Oscar winner, “Wings,” died in 1975.


She is survived by seven children, 22 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.


Donations may be made to the National Crittenton Foundation.