Archive for February, 2010

Oscar’s arrival in Hollywood

Sunday, February 28th, 2010


Oscar arrives at the Kodak Theatre



This morning in Hollywood, Oscar is gently lowered and will be placed on his pedastal in time for next Sunday’s 82nd Annual Academy Awards ceremony



The spectator’s stand is empty now but by this time next week it will be filled with fans waiting to see their favorite nominee’s arrival for the Academy Awards ceremony at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre


 (PHOTOS: Allan R. Ellenberger)

The Hollywood Sign awaits Oscar’s arrival


ACADEMY AWARD(S)®, OSCAR(S)®, OSCAR NIGHT® and OSCAR® statuette design mark are the registered trademarks and service marks, and the OSCAR® statuette the copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.



Maries Osmond’s son dies

Sunday, February 28th, 2010


Marie Osmond’s son dies in Los Angeles



 Marie Osmond and her sons Stephen, Michael (in front), and Brandon in 1999. Son Michael Blosil, 18, committed suicide Friday by jumping to his death.


The Daily Caller
February 28, 2010


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Marie Osmond’s 18-year-old son Michael Blosil has died, the entertainer said Saturday.


Osmond said in a statement through her publicist that her family is devastated by the “tragic loss.” She did not provide details on the death.


Entertainment Tonight reported on its Web site that Blosil jumped to his death Friday night from a downtown Los Angeles apartment building.


Officers responded to an apparent suicide jump in the area, but the victim was not identified Saturday, Los Angeles Police Officer Gregory Baek said.


“My family and I are devastated and in deep shock by the tragic loss of our dear Michael and ask that everyone respect our privacy during this difficult time,” Osmond said in the statement.


Blosil reportedly left a note which referred to a lifelong battle with depression.


In 2007, Osmond said Michael was treated at a rehabilitation facility, but she didn’t disclose the nature of his problem.


Donny Osmond, Blosil’s uncle, told Entertainment Tonight: “Please pray for my sister and her family.”


Michael is one of Osmond’s five adopted children. She also has three other children from two marriages. She divorced Brian Blosil in 2007 after two decades of marriage. She and her first husband Stephen Craig divorced in 1985.


Osmond earned fame at age 13 with the hit song “Paper Roses,” and starred with her brother, Donny, on television’s “Donny and Marie Show” during the 1970s.


They perform a musical variety show regularly at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. The hotel said Saturday’s performance was canceled.



Parking confusion

Sunday, February 28th, 2010


To park or not to park…?



Parking has always been a problem in Hollywood, but these two conflicting signs seen this morning on Highland just south of the Boulevard, makes it more confusing



Joan Bennett’s 100th Birthday

Saturday, February 27th, 2010


Joan Bennett






Click below to watch Joan Bennett in a scene from “Scarlet Street” (1945) 





Andrew Koenig’s body believed found

Thursday, February 25th, 2010


Missing ‘Growing Pains’ star Andrew Koenig’s body believed to be found



By Elizabeth Snead
The Dish Rag


Vancouver police have found the body of missing “Growing Pain’s” actor Andrew Koenig in an area park, the actor’s father has confirmed.


Walter Koenig said in today’s press conference that Andrew had committed suicide.


Both Walter and Judith Levitt Koenig reached out to those who are feeling depressed and hopes they learn from Andrew’s death that there are people out there who care.


They also said that if you know anyone who is showing signs of depression, you should reach out to them.


Andrew’s body was discovered today by a private group of family and friends, including his father, who discovered his body in Stanley Park around noon. His body was found near a park path.


Foul play is not suspected by police.


As of today (Thu. 2/25), it had been 11 days since friends last saw him on Valentine’s Day. Friends and family have reported that the actor had been suffering from severe depression.



James A. Whitaker at Hollywood Forever

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010


James A. Whitaker, founder of Buena Park, California




By Allan R. Ellenberger


James A. Whitaker was a successful businessman and the founder of Buena Park, California, the home of Knotts Berry Farm. Whitaker was born near Cherry Valley in Otsego County, New York on April 8, 1827, the son of James T. and Prudence (Sydleman) Whitaker. His grandfather, Maj. Thomas Whitaker, was a soldier in the Revolutionary Army.


His father died when he was a child and this limited his education to the local Cherry Valley Academy. However, he quickly moved forward in business, first in Norwich, Connecticut where he formed the firm of Whitaker & Price for a $500 investment. After eight years of profitable trading, the firm dissolved leaving him with a profit of $8,000 cash.


In 1853, Whitaker moved to Chicago and formed Whitaker Bros., a wholesale grocery business. Later he joined Loomis & Whitaker, and within two years he bought out his partner.  Over the years Whitaker continued to merge with other companies and rapidly forged a successful name for himself in the commercial world.


In 1885 Whitaker moved to what is now Orange County, California and acquired 690 acres for raising cattle. However, George Fullerton, a land agent for the Santa Fe Railroad, persuaded Whitaker to subdivide his property as an alternative. Since Whitaker’s property surrounded the rail route, the deal included a rail terminal to be built later. On June 17, 1887, when Whitaker registered his platted map with the county, he used the name Buena Park (the city was incorporated in 1953).


Though the exact derivation of the name Buena Park is uncertain, a grassy area where Artesia and Beach Boulevards (formerly Grand Avenue) now meet had been named Plaza Buena (the “good park”) by early Spanish-speaking settlers, so Whitaker apparently adopted the name “Buena” for his town. Within a short time, a little business district sprang up at Ninth Street and Beach Blvd. around Whitaker’s General Store, near the railroad depot. 


Another theory is that Whitaker used the name of a Chicago suburb — Buena Park, Illinois. Both communities were named in 1887, and Whitaker’s brother, Andrew (who is also buried at Hollywood Forever) lived in Buena Park, Illinois before moving to California to join his brother.


In 1888, Whitaker allowed a group of local worshippers to use a room above his general store for holding church services and then donated $3,000 and 100 square feet of land at Tenth Street and Beach Blvd. for a new church. The church became the First Congregational Church of Buena Park and is still worshiping at this location today.


Twenty acres of land within the subdivision was sold to one of James’ two brothers, Andrew. Andrew was an experienced farmer who later helped James operate the Pacific Condensed Milk Company after a local group of investors took over its operation in the early 1890’s. This company was Orange County’s first non-agricultural industry and was commonly referred to by its brand name as the Lily Creamery.


In the early 1900’s, Whitaker and his wife Ella, moved to Highland Park, near Pasadena, where he died on March 13, 1908 and was buried at Hollywood Cemetery.





Whitaker’s imprint can still be seen in Buena Park. Whitaker Street is named for him as is the James A. Whitaker Elementary School on Montana Avenue. The home of his brother, Andrew Whitaker, is now known as the Whitaker-Jaynes Estate, and has been restored and moved to become the cornerstone of Buena Park’s newly established Historical District.


Whitaker’s grave is located at Hollywood Forever in Section 7, behind the Griffith obelisk and facing the sandy path.



Brittany Murphy’s dad finally visits her grave

Monday, February 22nd, 2010


Brittany Murphy’s Dad defies ban to visit her grave




The father of the late actress Brittany Murphy was recently denied visitation rights to his daughters grave by Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills. Read entertainment blogger, Lisa Burk’s account of how he finally had the chance obtain closure.


Click her to read Lisa Burk’s report



The Real Wizard of Oz

Monday, February 22nd, 2010


The Real Wizard of Oz

The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum

by Rebecca Loncraine


The Real Wizard of Oz


When The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written at the turn of the century, it quickly became an icon of American culture. The public and the media were entranced by myths surrounding Baum’s creation. What was the entomology of Oz? What was the meaning of the yellow brick road? Was the Cowardly Lion the leader of the Populist party? Baum himself became a figure of interest: Was he haunted by his world into the characters of his story?


America was itself living i a time of fantasy. With one foot in the more primitive 1800’s — with mysticism and tall tales consuming muchof the population, and the other engrossed in modernization. Baum, spent his early adulthood in the Wild West playing real Cowboys and Indians, fighting for woman’s rights, attending the World’s Fair in Chicago, and getting involved in the first motion pictures.


Ultimately, Baum used his adventures and imagination to create a world that blurred his own sense of reality and fantasy. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz became a force of nature and he was caught up in its power. He understood the magnitude of his fairytale had and began to create a myth around it. He utilized the growing power of media and pop culture to make it bigger and more profitable. He even wrote the first Broadway play to reflect the story of Dorothy and Toto. Later, his estate supported the Judy Garland movei whose iconic ruby slippers are one of the most popular museum items in the world. Even today, modern productions and spin offs are incredibly popular and profitable. The interest in Baum’s world seems endless.


From the Great Plains to Hollywood, Baum’s life had more twists and turns than a cyclone. His writing has touched readers the world over. The story continues to excite and intrigue even more than 70 yeasrs after the classic MGM film first premiered. The Real Wizard of Oz is the first biography of the man behind it all.


Click here to purchase The Real Wizard of Oz at Amazon



Hollywood Cemetery

Saturday, February 20th, 2010


Beautiful Hollywood Cemetery…



By Allan R. Ellenberger


Someone once asked me what it would have cost to be buried at Hollywood Cemetery back in the early days. I have an ad for the cemetery from an old 1931 Los Angeles telephone directory that listed the prices for the various ways to be interred there.


Just as the cost of real estate in the living world depends on “Location, Location, Location,” the same holds true once you pass to the other side.


The ad qualifies the price by saying “and up” which probably means that it depends on where the “inurnment” is. For example, the price for crypts would depend where on the mausoleum wall it was. Crypts that are around eye level are usually more expensive than those at the top. The same would apply to niches. Outside graves would also depend on location: those that surround the lake would cost more than those in the rear of the property next to the wall. Remember, these are 1931 prices!


Mausoleum, private — $1,800 and up

Crypts — $225 and up

Family Plots — $162 and up

Graves, Single — $42.50

Cremation: Adults — $50 / Children — $10 to $25

Niches — $35.00 and up

Urns — $12.00 and up



 Hollywood Cemetery circa 1925 (LAPL)



Lionel Jeffries Obituary

Saturday, February 20th, 2010


Lionel Jeffries, a veteran British actor-director, dies at 83



Los Angeles Times
February 20, 2010


Lionel Jeffries, 83, a British actor-director whose 50-year career included portraying Grandpa Potts in the film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” died Friday in London after a long illness, the Associated Press reported.


He also wrote the screenplay for and directed the 1971 film “The Railway Children,” which the British Film Institute named one of Britain’s 100 best films in 1999. It was one of five movies he directed.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Lionel Jeffries