Archive for May, 2010

Egyptian Theater mural – then & now

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010


The Grauman’s Egyptian Theater mural




Above is Grauman’s Egyptian Theater mural, in the forecourt just outside the entrance, as it looked in the 1920s.



 Above, the restored version as it looks today.



Burning bush at Hollywood Forever

Sunday, May 16th, 2010


Small bush fire at Hollywood Forever swiftly extinguished




A burning bush at Hollywood Forever was quickly extinguished today by cemetery security. Let’s hope it wasn’t a heavenly messenger with additional commandments – we can’t keep the ones we have. (PHOTOS: Allan R. Ellenberger)









Constance Cummings’ 100th Birthday

Saturday, May 15th, 2010


Constance Cummings






  • BORN: May 15, 1910, Seattle, Washington
  • DIED: November 23, 2005, Oxfordshire, England
  • CAUSE OF DEATH: Unknown
  • BURIAL: Cremated, ashes given to family



Click below to see Constance Cummings in scenes from Blithe Spirit (1945)






Rosa Rio Obituary

Friday, May 14th, 2010


Rosa Rio, beloved Tampa Theatre organist, dies at 107




By Walter Belcher
The Tampa Tribune
May 14, 2010


Click here to continue reading the obituary for Rosa Rio



Lena Horne’s funeral

Friday, May 14th, 2010


Lena Horne funeral in New York City



Pallbearers carry the casket of entertainer and civil rights activist Lena Horne, into Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York, Friday, May 14, 2010.



Audra McDonald, Chita Rivera and Dionne Warwick were among the hundreds of mourners bidding a final farewell to legendary actress and singer Lena Horne Friday in her home state of New York.


Also attending the service at St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan was her granddaughter, actress Jenny Lumet, writer of the 2008 film “Rachel Getting Married.”


Horne “was so many ideas existing all at the same time in the same space and they were all conflicting and they were all true,” Lumet said. “I’ve tried to sum her up and I can’t sum her up; summing up really means it’s over and I think that she’s not over and that she’s quite infinite.”



 The daughter of Lena Horne, Gail Lumet-Buckley, second right, and grand-daughter Jenny Lumet third right, are surrounded by friends and family



Broadway veteran and “Private Practice” star Audra McDonald stood over the casket and sang “Amazing Grace,” according to the Associated Press. Others attending the funeral included opera star Jessye Norman, Vanessa Williams and Diahann Carroll.


Horne was remembered as a shy girl from Brooklyn who broke through decades of racism to emerge as a world-class entertainer and social leader. She died Sunday at age 92. (EURweb)



Doris Eaton Travis Obituary

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010


Doris Eaton Travis, among the last of the Ziegfeld Girls, dead at 106




By Kenneth Jones and Robert Simonson
11 May 2010


Doris Eaton Travis, the former Ziegfeld Follies dancer who inspired 21st century audiences with her pluck, good will — and fancy footwork — at 12 of 13 annual Easter Bonnet Competition performances for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, died May 11 at the age of 106, according to Tom Viola, executive director of BC/EFA.


Ms. Eaton was thought to be among “the last of the Ziegfeld Girls” — as were known the bejeweled ensemble of women who graced the stage of the New Amsterdam Theatre (and elsewhere) in producer Flo Ziegfeld’s revues in the first quarter of the 20th century.


Click here to continue reading the obituary for Doris Eaton Travis


Did you know Mae Murray?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010


Do you have information about Mae Murray?





Author Michael G. Ankerich is researching a biography on silent film star, Mae Murray. Michael is the author of Broken Silence: Conversations With 23 Silent Film Stars; The Sound of Silence: Conversations With 16 Film and Stage Personalities Who Bridged the Gap Between Silents and Talkies, and The Real Joyce Compton: Behind the Dumb Blonde Movie Image. His upcoming Dangerous Curves Atop Hollywood Heels will be released by BearManor Media in August.


If you have information about Mae Murray that you would be willing to share with Michael, you can contact him at



Lena Horne Obituary

Monday, May 10th, 2010


Lena Horne dies at 92; singer and civil rights activist who broke barriers




Horne achieved a place in the pantheon of female jazz vocalists and broke ground in Hollywood as an African American star in the ’40s. She also won acclaim on Broadway and as a cabaret performer.


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
May 10, 2010


Lena Horne, the silky-voiced singing legend who shattered Hollywood stereotypes of African Americans on screen in the 1940s as a symbol of glamour whose signature song was “Stormy Weather,” died Sunday in New York City. She was 92. Horne died at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, a spokeswoman said. No cause of death was given.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Lena Horne



Cornelius Cole’s memories of Lincoln

Saturday, May 8th, 2010


 Senator Cornelius Cole tells of his friend, Abraham Lincoln




Hollywood history is more than celluloid and movie stars. The town also has connections to some of our country’s history. One of the early residents of Hollywood was Senator Cornelius Cole, who named several Hollywood streets for family members and memories of his youth. Cole knew, and was friends with Abraham Lincoln. He sat on the platform listening as Lincoln gave the famous Gettysburg Address, and was one of the last people to visit him at the White House on the day he was assassinated. What follows is Cole’s personal memories of our 16th president.




By Cornelius Cole


The first time I ever met Abraham Lincoln was in 1863, toward the close of the Civil War. It was in Washington, whither I had hurried from California to see if I could be of any use to my country. My first meeting with Lincoln did not especially impress me with this wonderful American, but later I came to know him better and the more I saw of him the greater grew my admiration and respect for him as a man and friend, and as the possessor of rare genius as a statesman and leader of men.


At that time I had been a resident of California for nearly fifteen years as I had left my native home in New York and made my way across the plains in 1849 when gold was discovered in California. I was one of the fortunate ones in that rush for treasures and after working awhile at placer mining, which was hard labor, I went to San Francisco with all the gold I could carry.


There seems to be a lasting impression about the gold fields of California in ’49 that is absolutely erroneous. I have been asked about the “lawlessness that was rampant” there.


For my part, I never saw any. The men who got to the diggings first, when I was there, were honest, hard-working fellows, who minded their own business and respected the rights of others.


When the war of the Secession began we men living in California organized troops and I joined but never got into the regular service. As I said before, I went to Washington in 1863 to see if there was not something of service I could do. I got as far as the lines at Fredericksburg, but that was the extent of my experience in the war. I next came to Washington as a Congressman and I saw Lincoln again and soon fell under the charm of his extraordinary personality. Later still, as a member of the House, I was so fortunate as to become well acquainted with him and Mrs. Cole and I were on terms of great intimacywith the president and Mrs. Lincoln.


What a man he was! Courageous and patient, strong and tender, thoughtful yet merry — determined, yet forgiving, and quick to pardon.


Some have talked about Lincoln’s “ungainly” figure and his “ugliness” of features. Let me, who knew him intimately, tell you as emphatically as I can that Abraham Lincoln was not ugly.


He was no boor, nor uncouth. He was courteous in the extreme and always had the right word to say in the right place. In his gentle, respectful way he was quite gallant with some of the ladies who attended the White House functions and they all admired him greatly.


Mrs. Cole and I were among those invited one evening to a dinner at the White House, a very fashionable event, and where, as a matter of course, we all wore our best clothes and white gloves. As the evening drew to a close and Mrs. Cole and I were about to say goodnight to the President, she discovered she had lost one of her gloves and asked me to look around the room for it. As I started to do so President Lincoln detained me with his kindly hand and said with a smile:


“Never mind hunting for the glove, Mr. Cole. I’ll look for it myself after the others have gone and I’ll keep it as a souvenir.”


That didn’t sound like the awkward words of an uncouth clown, did it? No, sir; he was polished and elegant at all times.


I was in Gettysburg on that memorable day when he delivered the address in the battlefield dedicating part of the ground as a national cemetery. I sat on the little platform that had been erected, being quite near Lincoln, and heard those memorable words of his. He had a fine speaking voice, rather high pitched but very pleasant and expressive. When he stopped, the crowd sat motionless, absolutely still, and I suppose Mr. Lincoln thought that his speech was a failure. But it was a solemn occassion and the crowd was inclined to be quietly respectful.


I saw Lincoln on the afternoon before the tragic evening when he was assassinated in Ford’s Theater. I was leaving Washington at the time and called to say goodbye to the President. I read of his death the following day.



Monument on the family plot of Cornelius Cole at Hollywood Forever Cemetery



The Origin of McCadden Place

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010


McCadden Place





By Allan R. Ellenberger


McCadden Place is a street in Hollywood that runs north and south one block east of Highland with the northern most point of origin at Yucca Street until it finishes at Wilshire in the Hancock Park area. In between it meanders for several blocks and at one point disappears completely for one city block where Bancroft Middle School replaces it.





McCadden Place is named for William G. McCadden, a pioneer Hollywood real estate agent who was born in 1843 at Ellicottville, New York. In 1863 he moved to Fairmont, Minnesota and married Lorena Davis five years later. The couple had one daughter, Jennie (1873-1947) before Lorena died in 1893. In 1900 McCadden moved to Lake Valley, New Mexico. On May 23, 1903 he and Jennie arrived in Hollywood where he purchased a large tract of land just east of Highland Avenue. In 1907 he married Clara Beckley of Hollywood.


William G. McCadden died at his home at 1356 Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills on January 9, 1935. His funeral was held at the Hollywood Congregational Church with interment in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.



Grave of William G. McCadden at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Vale of Memory, Lot 150



One famous address on McCadden Place is the house where Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) was filmed at 172 S. McCadden Place in Hancock Park.