Archive for October, 2010

Gravehunting with Steve

Monday, October 11th, 2010


Evening @ the Barn



Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 7:30PM

Gravehunting With Steve


Lasky-DeMille Barn

(Across from the Hollywood Bowl)
2100 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90068

Admission: $5 MEMBERS, $10 NON-MEMBERS

 Admission sold only at the door 

Doors open 7 p.m., program starts 7:30 p.m


Take a trip underground with cemetery historian Steve Goldstein as he uncovers the final resting places of Los Angeles’ most famous and influential residents. Gravesites to be discussed include: Walt Disney, The Three Stooges, Marilyn Monroe, Bugsy Siegel, Stan Laurel, Sharon Tate, Frank Zappa and Dee Dee Ramone.


The program will include a screening of Steve’s short film, Gravehunting With Steve: A Journey Beneath Los Angeles, an audience Q&A and book signing of LA’s Graveside Companion:  Where the V.I.P.’s R.I.P.:


About the Author:
Steve Goldstein has been a cemetery historian for over twenty years, frequently appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and other media as an expert on the subject, and is a frequent contributor to the online reference site,, as well as being a sought after tour guide and creator of the website, founded in 1998. His book is entitled “LA’s Graveside Companion: Where the V.I.P.’s R.I.P. “


About the book:
LA’s Graveside Companion:  Where the V.I.P.’s R.I.P.:   Over ten years in the making, this elegant and informative guide to a dozen Los Angeles cemeteries unearths the 400 most interesting gravesites in Southern California. Over 270 amazing photos, informative text, and driving directions guide readers to the final resting places of L.A.’s most famous and influential residents. Included are Walt Disney to The Three Stooges, Marilyn Monroe to Bugsy Siegel, Stan Laurel to beloved actor John Ritter. Murder victims Sharon Tate and Lana Clarkson. It includes the graves of rock stars Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, Beach Boy Carl Wilson and the unmarked graves of Frank Zappa and Roy Orbison. Scarecrow, the Tin Man and Toto too!

The text includes insightful biographies of each star and will reveal the secrets to where the bodies are buried that can’t be found in cemeteries! All who are passionate about early LA history will treasure this timeless book. 

Please arrive early to avoid disappointment, as seating is limited. 

Refreshments available for purchase. 

Ample FREE PARKING as usual in “Lot D.”

If arriving by Metro, we are a short walk north of the Hollywood/Highland red line station.



Michael Hopkins Obituary

Thursday, October 7th, 2010


Michael Hopkins; adopted son of actress, Miriam Hopkins, dead at age 78




By Allan R. Ellenberger


Michael Hopkins, the adopted son of actress Miriam Hopkins, died on Tuesday morning in a convalescent home in Riverside, California. He was 78.


In 1932, Miriam Hopkins became one of the first people in Hollywood to adopt a child – and was a single mother at the time. Miriam had just divorced her second husband, writer Austin Parker, and surprised everyone when she stopped off in Chicago on her way to New York and visited the Cradle Society, an adoption agency in suburban Evanston.


Requesting a tour of the institution, she examined all the children and studied their records of what was known of their parents. Finally, she happened upon a tow-headed, blue-eyed baby boy and immediately fell in love. The boy was known as Baby Wilson. “He’s healthy and cute,” said a representative from the orphanage.


Discovery of her plan to adopt a child and the resulting publicity annoyed Miriam and after adoption papers were signed she left the court declaring that she did not want to talk about it, or anything else for that matter.


“I hate all this publicity over a simple thing,” she told reporters. When asked why she wanted to adopt a baby, she said: “I don’t have to give any reasons. It is just a fact and we will live wherever I happen to be working.”


When Miriam returned the following week to pick up Michael, she had her friend, Dorothy Parker with her. Because Michael had blonde hair and blue eyes and closely resembled his adoptive mother, rumors arose that possibly Michael was her biological son.



Michael standing next to a portrait of himself as a child (Courtesy Hopkins family)


“I was adopted in Chicago from the Cradle Society,” Michael said. “There was someone who wrote about a controversy that she went there to adopt a child that looked very much like her – blond hair and blue eyes, because at the time she was not married.”


Michael never knew for certain if the rumors were true – Miriam never said and he wasn’t interested in finding out. He also wasn’t told he was adopted until his late teens. “I didn’t find out that I was adopted until I had to go into the service and I needed my birth certificate,” Michael recalled. “She never mentioned that I was adopted. And no one ever said anything to me while I was growing up even though everyone in Hollywood knew it.”


Even though Michael grew up in Hollywood, he was rarely exposed to the Hollywood scene. Miriam bought John Gilberts house on Tower Road in Beverly Hills and had it remodeled. That is where Michael spent most of his childhood. “Tower place was nice because it had the amenities – a tennis court and swimming pool,” Michael recalled. Later in his life he returned to the place he grew up and was disappointed because it had been razed and was replaced by another house.


Because the house was located in the hills and was accessed by a winding road, Michael never learned how to ride a bicycle. Miriam was afraid he would ride down the winding road and somehow careen off the edge of a cliff.


Miriam’s neighbors on Tower Road were, Charles Boyer, Edgar Bergen and Sabu. Once, Michael and his best friend, Bob Potter, the son of director H. C. Potter (and Michael’s godfather) found some trouble at John Barrymore’s home, which had several buildings with many glass windows. Temptation took over one day and they took turns seeing who could break the most glass.


Miriam’s third husband, Anatole Litvak was the one who most treated Michael like a son. He was also a very dominate personality, but he gave Michael attention while Miriam’s other suitors didn’t. When Litvak was around it was more of a father son relationship.



Michael with Anatole Litvak (Courtesy Hopkins family)


However, being single during much of Michael’s youth, Miriam took responsibility for being both mother and father. She persuaded Bill Tilden to provide tennis instructions and Jose Iturbi, piano lessons. Because Michael was interested in planes, she arranged for Igor Sikorsky to instruct him on flying.


Regardless, Michael was treated well and educated in a series of private schools beginning with Arizona Desert School  in Tucson, Arizona shortly after Miriam’s divorce from Litvak. His first day there, Miriam was helping him to get settled with his roommate. When she left the room Michael’s roommate asked, “Your mother’s a movie star, isn’t she?”


“Yes,” Michael replied.


“Is she a good actress?”


“I don’t know,” Michael said. “She thinks she is.”


Michael’s schooling continued at Riverdale High School and Valley Forge Military Academy and culminated in four years at Lawrenceville. In his youth, Michael dated Elizabeth Montgomery and Irving Berlin’s daughter, Linda.


After school, he enlisted in the military service during the Korean War. It was during this time, while stationed in Morocco, that he met and married his wife, Christiane Carreno. While they were dating, Michael had not told Chris who his mother was. One evening they went to a Moroccan theater where The Mating Game, starring Miriam and Gene Tierney was showing. Michael pointed to Miriam on the screen and said, “See that lady there? That’s my mother.”


Chris looked at him and replied, “Yeah, and that girl over there is my sister.” So was her introduction to her mother-in-law.  Michael and Chris were married in Morocco without Miriam’s presence.


Michael made a career in the Air Force and as is usual in the military, was assigned to several bases over the world during the next ten years. In 1955, they had a son they named Thomas, and who became the apple of his grandmother’s eye. In 1966 Michael was assigned permanently to March Air Force Base in Riverside, California where they made their home.


Every other weekend, Michael, Chris and Tom would travel to Beverly Hills where they were expected to attend Miriam’s Sunday afternoon gatherings. It was there that they met William Saroyan, Edward G. Robinson, Tennessee Williams, Loretta Young, Shelly Winters and all of Miriam’s friends.



Chris holding Tom, Michael, Miriam and Miriam’s mother, Ellen (Courtesy Hopkins family)


In 1972 Miriam died at age 69 and Michael took his mother’s ashes to her hometown cemetery in Bainbridge, Georgia, and had them interred next to those of her mother.


In recent years Michael suffered from Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 11 at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Riverside, with interment at Riverside National Cemetery. Michael is survived by his wife Christiane and son Thomas.



Marion Davies house on the market

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010


Hearst and Davies’ Beverly Hills house hits market for $95 million





Yet another storied mansion has hit the market. For  $95 million, you can pick up the Beverly House, the Gordon Kaufmann-designed Beverly Hills home of William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies. Located above the Beverly Hills Hotel, the home is owned by attorney and investor Leonard M. Ross, who filed for bankruptcy protection last week, according to the  Los Angeles Times. There’s even an official press release announcing its listing. “ Perhaps the most famous property in Beverly Hills, the 50,000 plus square foot estate is perched on its very own hilltop above the Beverly Hills Hotel.”


According to the press release, “unusual circumstances” led to the listing. Sounds like someone’s angry at the banks. Get in line. More from the release: “Four years before the Goldman Sachs improprieties surfaced, Ross sued the leviathan Bank of America for what he claimed to be “alleged fraud involving a Goldman Sachs-type swap transaction with huge hidden, undisclosed, mark ups and fees.”


According to the Times, the 1920s mansion was owned by Ross for more than 30 years. The official web site has more information, including the fact that the estate has one of city’s longest private drives.


And more via the official site: “Built of terra-cotta stucco, the H-shaped residence exhibits a perfect combination of Spanish and Italian style, with intricately carved ceilings and paneled walls, French doors, balconies, arched ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, which overlook the famous cascading waterfalls to the pool and the Venetian columns beyond the pool house.” The Beverly House was built by banking executive Milton Getz, the Kennedys (John and Jackie) honeymooned here, and the famous horse-head-on-a bed scene from “The Godfather” was filmed on the site. Additionally, the less acclaimed but entirely satisfying film “The Bodyguard” was also shot here.









Nellie, Mary Ann and Cissy at Larry Edmunds

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010


Alison Arngrim, Dawn Wells and Kathy Garver to appear at Larry Edmunds Bookshop




by authors Alison Arngrim and Kathy Garver


Thursday, October 7, 2010 @ 7:00 p.m.

Larry Edmunds Bookshop

6644 Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood, 90028



Larry Edmunds Bookshop invites you Thursday, October 7th @ 7:00 p.m. for an opportunity to spend an evening with Kathy “Cissy” Garver signing “The Family Affair Cookbook”, Dawn ” Maryanne” Wells signing photos & Alison Arngrim signing, “Confessions of A Prairie Bitch.” We’ll hopefully have a Q & A and some fun with these lovely ladies we loved on television. If you can’t make it, you can mail order your signed copies.



Tony Curtis’ funeral

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010


Fans, Friends, Family Remember Tony Curtis


(Photo by Rex / Rex USA)


The 85-year-old Oscar-nominated actor died Wednesday in Henderson, Nev.




Celebrities, fans, friends and family members said goodbye Monday to Tony Curtis.


The public funeral service in Las Vegas included a film tribute to the actor’s diverse career, The crowd laughed as an animated Curtis appeared in a scene from the television series “The Flintstones” and sparred with actor Kirk Douglas in “Spartacus.”


Jamie Lee Curtis, Curtis’ daughter from his first marriage with actress Janet Leigh, was among family members who attended the service. Jamie Lee Curtis said he was “a little mashugana,” using the Yiddish word for crazy, but always full of life.


“All of us got something from him. I, of course, got his desperate need for attention,” she todl the crowd of about 400.


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recalled Tony Curtis as a generous mentor who encouraged his budding Hollywood career when others told him his foreign accent and name were too much of a hurdle.


“‘You are going to make it,'” Schwarzenegger recalled Tony Curtis telling him. “Don’t pay any attention to those guys. I heard the same thing when I came here.”


Schwarzenegger said Tony Curtis refused to feel old.


“I mean, who has the guts to take off their clothes at the age of 80?” Schwarzenegger said, referring to Tony Curtis posing naked for a Vanity Fair photo shoot in 2005.


Seven colorful paintings by Curtis stood on easels while a photo of the young, dark-haired actor was projected on a screen.


Curtis’ wife, Jill Curtis, eulogized her husband of 16 years. The hourlong funeral will be followed by burial and then a reception for 200 invited guests at the Luxor hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.


Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, actor Kirk Douglas and singer Phyllis McGuire are among seven honorary pallbearers.


The 85-year-old Oscar-nominated actor who starred in such films as “The Defiant Ones,” “Spartacus” and “Some Like It Hot” died Wednesday at his home in Henderson after suffering cardiac arrest.


Known for shifting from a pigeonholed pretty boy in the late 1940s and early 1950s to a serious actor, Curtis reshaped himself over decades of work and make himself impossible to typecast. The transformation was completed in 1957’s “Sweet Smell of Success,” in which he played a sleazy press agent who is manipulated by a ruthless newspaper columnist (Burt Lancaster).


In person, Kilroy said, Curtis loved giving friends and fans extra touches that made their face-to-face moments more memorable.



Olive Borden Remembered

Friday, October 1st, 2010


Olive Borden



Born: July 14, 1906 in Richmond, Virginia

Died: October 01, 1947 in Los Angeles, California



American actress Olive Borden, born Sybil Tinkle in Richmond Virginia, played leads in many silent and early sound films. At age 19, she became a Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty and by 1925 had become the on-screen love interest for cowboy-star Tom Mix. Known for her flamboyance and exotic looks, she went on to appear in silent films by John Ford, Howard Hawks, and Allan Dwan. Unfortunately, her career was destroyed with the advent of sound, and Borden never appeared in film again. She died at the early age of 41. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi



Stephen J. Cannell Obituary

Friday, October 1st, 2010


TV writer, producer Stephen J. Cannell dies



The man who helped create more than 40 shows, including ‘The Rockford Files,’ ‘The A-Team’ and ‘Baretta’ had a golden touch, though he struggled early in life with dyslexia.


Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
October 2, 2010


Stephen J. Cannell, the prolific television writer and producer who co-created “The Rockford Files” and “The A-Team” and later became a best-selling novelist, has died. He was 69.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Stephen J. Cannell