Archive for July, 2010

Target and Best Buy – Make it Right!

Saturday, July 31st, 2010


HRC Message to Target and Best Buy: Make it Right!



Nation’s Largest LGBT Rights Organization Condemns Political Contributions Supporting Anti-Equality Candidate


Washington– The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today condemned donations by Target and Best Buy to a political committee supporting the election of an anti-equality candidate and asked them to make it right by contributing to groups that support pro-equality candidates.


In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, Minnesota-based retailers Target and Best Buy, among others, contributed a combined $250,000 to MN Forward, an independent expenditure committee advocating for the election of a strident opponent of LGBT equality as the state’s next governor. The same candidate sings the praises of a Christian rock band that advocates violence and death to gays. The state’s next governor will have the opportunity to either sign or veto legislation allowing for marriage equality in the North Star State.


“It’s a huge slap in the face to LGBT people and for that matter to all fair-minded Americans,” said Joe Solmonese, HRC president. “Two of our most trusted brands have contributed shareholder money that could help elect a candidate that wants nothing but the worst for us. Both companies talk about this contribution as a business decision. I would offer that it’s a really bad business decision. Both companies have now earned the bad will of LGBT people and fair-minded Americans. They need to make it right.”


This afternoon, HRC will send out a national email alert to its members and supporters asking them to sign on to an Open Letter to Target and Best Buy. The letter chronicles the outrage and asks both companies to make equivalent donations to groups that support pro-equality candidates. HRC has also purchased a full page ad featuring the letter in Sunday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune. Corporations mindful of the perceptions of LGBT and allied consumers should take notice of the controversy surrounding these political contributions.


Both companies have consistently received a 100 percent rating on the HRC Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, a measure of workplace equality. “What makes this all the more astounding is that both companies have been model employers for LGBT people,” said Solmonese. “They have some fence-mending to do.”


An Open Letter to Target and Best Buy

When lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender consumers — not to mention our millions of supportive friends and family members — used to think about Target and Best Buy, we saw two shining examples of corporations that respected the equality and dignity of every American. As nationwide retailers, both of your brands gave other corporations a standard to which they could aspire. In fact, your consistent ratings of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index were a solid signal of your commitment to a diverse workforce. As a community, we are grateful for that commitment and we fully expect it will continue.


 Now, Americans are questioning their loyalty to your brands with word of significant contributions to the political action committee MN Forward that hopes to install one of the most strident opponents of equality in the Minnesota Governor’s mansion. With these contributions, you have severely damaged those carefully cultivated reputations and violated the spirit of the gold standards bestowed on you. In fact, the long-term effects on families that shop at Target and Best Buy throughout Minnesota and the U.S. will be devastating.


 At this critical time in Minnesotans’ quest for equality, MN Forward and the candidates they are supporting would turn Minnesota backward, away from the promise of equal opportunity and fairness that we hold dear. No matter your motivations in making these donations, they didn’t occur in a vacuum. Same-sex couples in your home state are denied the equality given to other couples in marriage and many state leaders are poised to right that inequity very soon. $250,000 in contributions to those who would stand in the way is a punch in the gut to those of us who want to see all families treated fairly. What may have sounded like a “good business decision” in the board room turns out to be a horribly short-sighted business decision when millions of consumers lose respect for your companies.


 With the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, the landscape for political contributions has changed in ways that no one fully appreciates yet. Your foray into this uncharted water has proved choppy and should serve as a warning to other corporations mindful of the perceptions of LGBT and allied consumers.


 It’s time to make things right. The very least you can do to begin rebuilding your image among fair-minded consumers is to make equivalent donations to groups that support candidates who will put all Minnesota families first and fulfill the promises of our highest ideals.


We’re watching and we’re waiting.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.



William Haines house

Friday, July 30th, 2010


Former Hollywood home of Billy Haines, Tallulah Bankhead






Our heart skipped a beat when we spotted this listing on the MLS for one unit of a duplex in the Hollywood Hills. Built in 1926, the duplex at 1712 N. Stanley Avenue, was once the home of Billy Haines, the legendary interior designer beloved by Old Hollywood glamourpusses such as Joan Crawford, Carol Lombard, and Claudette Colbert.


And according to the book Tallulah!, Haines also rented the home to his friend Tallulah Bankhead for a time in the early 1930s. Alas, the listing is skimpy on pix, and the ones it does have aren’t very satisfying. (Anyone else have a pet peeve about photos where a TV is on? We also detest it in Youtube videos.) Nevertheless, here’s the description: “Gated, formal entry with amazing panelling, beautiful courtyard patio, incredible living room with high ceilings and fireplace, den or office, spacious kitchen, 3 bedrooms, pets are welcome. Perfect for single or couple with artistic flair.” Monthly rent for the unit is $3,995.–Pauline O’Connor









Hollywood celebrates 50 years of Walk of Fame

Saturday, July 24th, 2010


Hollywood celebrates 50 years of Walk of Fame



 Hollywood Walk of Fame groundbreaking


Hollywood will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Walk of Fame on Sunday with a party. The festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., will include free movie screenings and performances and tours of area studios and theaters.


The Walk of Fame was conceived in the 1950s by business leaders in Hollywood as a way to beautify the historic core. The first star was set on March 28, 1960.


Since then, the attraction has proved a perennial draw for tourists eager for a taste of Hollywood.  An estimated 10 million people visit the 18-block stretch each year.


More information about Sunday’s festivities can be found on the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce website.


And if you’re eager to know more about the 2,400 stars on the Walk of Fame, check out the L.A. Times’ Star Walk — a virtual tour that puts readers on the streets of Hollywood.  


SOURCE: Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times



Walk of Fame polisher

Saturday, July 24th, 2010


Walk of Fame polisher is the keeper of the stars



John Peterson, 61, has spent 14 years polishing celebrities’ stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “Chewing gum should be banned globally,” says the one-legged man. (John W. Adkisson / Los Angeles Times / July 21, 2010)


John Peterson has kept the Hollywood emblems gleaming for 14 years. With 2,412 stars, that’s 110 a day and a full-time job.


By Bob Pool
Los Angeles Times
July 24, 2010


If anyone can restore Hollywood’s luster, John Peterson figures it’s him.


The one-legged man has spent 14 years polishing celebrities’ stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


With 2,412 of them along nearly three miles of sidewalk, it’s a full-time job.


“Chewing gum should be banned globally,” says the 61-year-old, scraping a dirty clump of the stuff off actress and singer Cass Daley’s star near Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. “It’s not recyclable, it’s not biodegradable, it’s not good.”


Once Daley’s star is gleaming, Peterson stows his bottle of Brasso metal polish and the paper towel into a plastic shopping bag. Hoisting himself up by his arms, he inches along on his knees to the next star, dragging the bag and his crutches along with him.


Click here to continue reading



Walk of Fame 5oth Anniversary

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010


Walk of Fame 50th Anniversary




Hollywood Walk of Fame Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Walk of Fame celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2010 and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is planning numerous events to mark this important anniversary.



SUNDAY, JULY 25 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Live music, performances, movies and more at four key locations and throughout Hollywood Special Walk of Fame ceremony for the late Louis Prima with a performance by Louis Prima, Jr. and the Witnesses with a special appearance by Lena Prima at 11:30 a.m.


Hollywood celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with “Walk the Walk” on Sunday, July 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This day-long festival is Hollywood’s “open house” with tours of iconic Hollywood theatres and studios, as well as live music, performances, movie screenings and activities for the whole family. Events have been scheduled throughout Hollywood, many are offered free or at a deep discount for this one day only. Four key locations – Hollywood & Highland Center including the TV Guide studio, Egyptian Theatre, Capitol Records and the Montalban Theatre – will showcase the five categories of stars: motion pictures, television, recording, radio and live theatre – and of course the Walk of Fame itself. Many restaurants, retailers and attractions also are joining in the celebration offering discounts, special menu items and giveaways. Information stations will be located at the four locations with free programs outlining the schedule of events and participating businesses and attractions. Thousands are expected to join in and “Walk the Walk,” visiting the stars that transformed a Hollywood sidewalk into a historic, international icon.


The schedule of events is as follows:


Sunday, July 25
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
11:30 a.m. – Special Walk of Fame Ceremony for the late Louis Prima in front of The Montalban Theatre, 1617 Vine Street.




Hollywood Walk of Fame – Hollywood Boulevard, Vine Street and beyond Hollywood & Highland Center, 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
• Inside TV Guide studio; courtyard radio broadcasts


The Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd.
• Tour of historic theatre; live music in the courtyard; screenings of Forever Hollywood


Capitol Records, 1750 N. Vine Street
• Inside the famous Studio A; live music outside building


The Montalban, 1615 N. Vine Street
• Stage performances; rooftop soccer competitions


Details, map, program of events, and regular updates on activities and participating businesses at


CONTACT: All media requests should be directed to Karen Diehl at (310) 473 -8090 or


November 2010 – You can’t have a 50th anniversary of the Walk of Fame without a grand Gala. Plans are moving forward to hold the Gala in November to mark the date of the completion of the Walk of Fame. More information will be forthcoming. Learn how you can celebrate with us and become a Friend of the Walk of Fame!  Contact


SOURCE: Hollywood Chamber of Commerce



Nelson Eddy voices his opinion

Sunday, July 18th, 2010


Cinema actresses found boring by Nelson Eddy




Edited by Allan R. Ellenberger


In 1936, singer and actor, Nelson Eddy made the list of most eligible bachelors along with Woolworth Donahue, Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, Dick Powell and Gene Raymond. Before leaving Hollywood on a four-month concert tour, Eddy told columnist Sheilah Graham that he hated film actresses!


“They are egotistical, insincere, self-centered, and look like animated paint-boxes (ouch),” he told Graham. Don’t worry; he also voiced his condemnation of Hollywood male actors, Hollywood parties and Hollywood itself.


“The whole place is like a madhouse,” he declared before slipping back to the original subject. “Most film actresses are incredibly boring. I haven’t met one that I’d even vaguely like to marry.


“But it isn’t entirely their fault,” he added. “Movie actresses are forced to lead an unnatural life. When they come to Hollywood their personalities are changed. They must be selfish and ruthless, or they won’t get beyond their first featured role.


“It’s the same with the male stars. In all my life I’ve never seen such a bunch of conceited men as there are here – with the possible exception of those working in opera. But, again, it isn’t altogether their fault. Some of them are forced to adopt an attitude that is purposely misleading.


“Take Ronald Colman, for instance. Several people here think he is high-hat and stand-offish. In actual fact, there couldn’t be anyone nicer. But he is forced to keep aloof or he’d be imposed on by celebrity hunters, and pestered to death by nuisances, ranging from maniacs to insurance salesmen, and lady reporters,” he said smiling at Graham.


“I have to change my telephone number at least once a week – to avoid film people inviting me to their parties. Hollywood parties are very boring. Nearly all follow the same dull pattern. When eight or more people are present, a horde of photographers are invited to crash the gates and take pictures of everyone in every conceivable place and position – not omitting the shower.


“Of course, there are exceptions. A few film people, like Jeanette MacDonald and Basil Rathbone give parties because they want to see their friends, not because they have a mad desire to see their names and pictures in the papers.”


Eddy told Graham that he wasn’t going to marry for quite a while – unless he fell in love, which he said wouldn’t happen for some time (Eddy married Ann Franklin three years later).


SOURCE: Los Angeles Times, January 10, 1936



Barbara O’Neil’s 100th Birthday

Saturday, July 17th, 2010


Barbara O’Neil







Roy Rogers’ auction

Friday, July 16th, 2010


Roy Rogers’ dog Bullet fetches $35K at NYC auction, will join Trigger at Neb. TV station



FILE – In this Feb. 15, 1984 file photo, Roy Rogers is shown with his wife Dale Evans before the stuffed remains of Trigger, Roy’s horse, at the Roy Rogers museum in Victorville, Calif. An upcoming New York auction will feature Rogers belongings including the preserved remains of his famous horse, Trigger. The presale estimate for the dead horse is $100,000 to $200,000. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon, file) (LENNOX MCLENDON, AP / February 14, 1984)


By Eva Dou
Associated Press Writer
Los Angeles Times
July 16, 2010


NEW YORK (AP) — After sitting stuffed and mounted for more than 40 years in a museum, Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger and dog Bullet will be TV stars once more.


Rural cable network RFD-TV bought Bullet for $35,000 on Thursday and Trigger for $266,000 a day earlier at an auction in New York City.


RFD-TV owner Patrick Gottsch said the Omaha, Neb.-based network will begin airing old Roy Rogers movies on Saturdays starting November 6. The movie cowboy’s son, Roy Jr., will introduce each film, as Trigger and Bullet stand in the background.


“The goal is to introduce Roy Rogers to a whole new generation of kids,” Gottsch said.


Trigger and Bullet were part of a Christie’s auction of items from the now-closed Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Mo.


On Thursday, more than 1,000 items hit the auction block, including the Rogers family dining set, which sold at $11,875, triple the presale estimate; Trigger’s flower-bedecked straw hat, which fetched $2,750, compared with the $500 to $1,000 estimate; and the hand-drawn music and lyrics to “Happy Trails,” which sold for $27,500, compared with the estimate of $500.


All sale prices include the buyer’s premium of 25 percent for most items, or 20 percent for prices in excess of $50,000.


The total sale realized $2.98 million, according to Christie’s. No items went unsold.


Auctioneer Cathy Elkies said Rogers’ silver Jeep Nellybelle was the most anticipated item up for auction, with an estimated sale price of between $20,000 and $30,000.


Pam Weidel, a horse trainer from New Jersey, went home with Nellybelle for $116,500. She said she always felt a special attachment to Nellybelle when she watched Roy Rogers Westerns as a child.


“I called all my cars that over the years. I’d say, ‘C’mon Nellybelle,'” she said.


Now that she has the real Nellybelle, Weidel says she’s planning to keep it in the private museum of businessman John B. Haines IV, who is in the construction industry, in Pennsburg, Pa.


Julie Ann Ream, the niece of another famous singing cowboy, Rex Allen, said she and others in the audience were nervous about where the pieces of the collection would end up. She said the crowd cheered when an item went to a collector they knew would put the item back in a museum for public viewing.


“A lot of it, you just don’t know where it’s going,” she said.


Trigger’s new owner said he’s heard from thousands of relieved Rogers fans.


“Over the last 24 hours, I’ve received so many e-mails of thank you, just wonderful letters, saying ‘Thank you for saving Trigger,'” Gottsch said.


With a Western icon on the line, Gottsch said the auction was heart-pounding. RFD-TV CFO Steve Campione sat at Christie’s auction hall Wednesday night while Gottsch yelled into Campione’s headset from Omaha.


“We almost lost Trigger at $200,000,” Gottsch said. “Steve couldn’t hear me, and I was yelling on the phone, ‘Hit him! Hit him! Hit him!’ and he was saying ‘What?'”


But they snagged the golden palomino after all.


Gottsch said children will be able to come to RFD-TV’s new headquarters in Omaha to visit the famous horse.


The other two preserved horses up for sale, Rogers’ wife Dale Evans’ steed, Buttermilk, and Trigger’s body double, Trigger Jr., both went to private U.S. buyers for $25,000 and $18,750.


Elkies, the auctioneer, said it was the “most colorful, emotional and sentimental” sale she had experienced in her 20 years at Christie’s.


At the end of the auction, the audience broke out spontaneously in a rendition of the Roy Rogers theme song “Happy Trails.”


SOURCE: Los Angeles Times



Marilyn Monroe death house for sale

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010


Brentwood house where Marilyn Monroe died on the market for $3.6 million



By Martha Groves
Los Angeles Times


The Spanish colonial revival house in Brentwood where Marilyn Monroe died of a sleeping-pill overdose in 1962 is for sale for $3.6 million, according to a realty website.


The rambling four-bedroom, three-bathroom house on 5th Helena Drive features thick walls, casement windows, polished concrete and terra cotta tile floors, original wood beamed ceilings and period hardware and tiles.


Built in 1929, the “hacienda” and pool sit on 23,000 square feet of tree-filled grounds, according to the website of David Offer, with Prudential California Realty.


The listing was first reported by Curbed LA, a website that tracks commercial and residential real estate news.


The house stands behind tall gates at the end of a cul de sac. Offer’s website describes it as: “The crown jewel and largest property of all the Helenas (one of Brentwood’s most romantic and coveted locations) affording lovely vistas and great privacy & seclusion yet in close proximity to San Vicente shops & restaurants and the Sunday Farmer’s Market.”


“Marilyn Monroe Found Dead. Sleeping Pill Overdose Blamed.” So read the Los Angeles Times headline on Aug. 6, 1962, the morning after the 36-year-old actress was found by a worried psychiatrist who broke into her bedroom to find her lifeless on her bed, clutching a telephone receiver.


Wrapped in a pale blue blanket, her body was strapped to a stretcher and carried to a station wagon that transported it to the Westwood Village Mortuary.


The Times reported that Monroe had only recently bought the $75,000 house and that it was partially furnished.


SOURCE: Los Angeles Times



Douglas Fairbanks last will and testament

Friday, July 9th, 2010


Douglas Fairbanks wills million to his widow





By Allan R. Ellenberger


Douglas Fairbanks died at his Santa Monica beach house on December 12, 1939. When his will was probated less than a month later, it was learned that the actor made no mention of his former wife, Mary Pickford, bequeathing half his estate, up to $1,000,000, to his widow, the former Lady Sylvia Ashley of England. In his will, Fairbanks wrote:


“I respectfully request my beloved wife to devise and bequeath by her last will and testament whatever portion of said property that she receives by virtue of this instrument to such of my heirs and next of kin and for such charitable or education or patriotic purposes as she may decide in her discretion.”


Fairbanks added, however, he did not mean to place any restrictions upon her final disposition of the legacy.


The will was executed on November 2, 1936, shortly after Fairbanks married Lady Ashley. A considerable part of his property was in United Artists, film producing concern in which Mary Pickford was a partner.


There was some conjecture as to whether a reference to Pickford might have been made in a sealed envelope left with the will, addressed to the actors son, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Lawyers said it concerned a $50,000 bequest to his son.


Regarding the letter, Fairbanks had written by hand in the will a bequest of an additional 1/10 of property to his son requesting him to distribute the money “to the people and in the proportion as I advise him by the letter addressed to him to be found with this will.”


The will, which covered 13 typewritten pages, named as executors the Guaranty Trust Co. of New York, which filed the document, and the Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association of Los Angeles.


Among his bequests were $10,000 to the Motion Picture Actors’ Relief Fund of Los Angeles, to be known as the “Douglas Fairbanks Fund;” $10,000 to Charles L. Lewis; $37,500 in a trust fund to Kenneth Davenport of Hollywood and $37,500 to a cousin, Mrs. Adelaide Crombie of Los Angeles.


After these specific bequests, the will disposed of the actor’s property in part as follows:


Twenty-fortieths of the residue to his wife, not to exceed $1,000,000; 12/40 to his son, not to exceed $600,000; 2/40 to his brother, Robert Fairbanks, not to exceed $100,000. Another brother, Norris Wilcox of New York City, also received 1/40 or a sum not to exceed $50,000.


Four nieces – Flobelle Burden, Mary Margaret Chappellett, Letitia Fairbanks and Lucille Fairbanks – also shared in the estate. A trust fund of one-fortieth of the residue, not to exceed $50,000, was provided for each.


Fairbanks provided finally that after the bequests are made and the residue divided among his wife and the others who receive their shares in 40ths, all other property remaining be equally divided between his wife and son.


An affidavit by his lawyer said that Fairbanks owned all the outstanding stock of the Elton Corp., which in turn owned one-fifth of the outstanding capital stock of United Artists Corp. The shares of the United Artists Corp., representing this ownership, are in the possession of the Guaranty Trust Co. which is one of the largest assets of the estate, and is also trustee of a fund of more than $700,000 which, under the will, passes to the estate. The Bankers Trust Co. is also trustee of a fund of about $500,000 which likewise passes to the estate. There were other valuable properties within New York state, including tangible personal properties.


Once the will was probated, it was disclosed in a petition that Douglas Fairbanks left a net estate of $2,318,651.10 (gross valuation of $2,742,060.62) and the executor, Guaranty Trust Co., was granted to exempt the estate from taxes in New York on the grounds that the actor was a resident of California.


Total California assets were listed as $1,301,879.58, New York assets at $1,247,452.80, and Pennsylvania assets at $192,728.24. Fairbanks California property consisted of bank accounts and funds held by the Escondido Orange Association amounting to $63,475.44; stocks valued at $500,232.95; bonds, $76,221.37 and the balance in realty holdings in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Venice, Westwood and Glendale.


The will did not mention Fairbanks first wife, the former Beth Sully, the mother of his son, who at the time was married to musical comedy actor, Jack Whiting. Also not mentioned was his second wife, ‘America’s Sweetheart,’ Mary Pickford.