Archive for May, 2011

Jeff Conaway Obituary

Friday, May 27th, 2011

OBITUARY

Jeff Conaway, actor in ‘Grease’ and ‘Taxi,’ dies at 60

 

  

Jeff Conaway came to fame in the movie ‘Grease’ and on TV’s ‘Taxi.’ More recently he was known for appearances on ‘Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.’

 

By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
May 27, 2011

 

Jeff Conaway, an actor who came to fame in the late 1970s as a high school greaser in the hit movie musical “Grease” and as a regular on the TV series “Taxi” but in more recent years was known for his appearances on “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” died Friday. He was 60.

 

Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Jeff Conway

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Vincent Price’s 100th Birthday

Friday, May 27th, 2011

100th BIRTHDAY

Vincent Price

 

 

AMERICAN ACTOR

 

  • BORN: May 27, 1911, St. Louis, Missouri
  • DIED: October 25, 1993, Los Angeles, California
  • CAUSE OF DEATH: Lung cancer and emphysema
  • BURIAL: Ashes scattered over Point Dume

 

 Click HERE to watch Vincent Price do the Monster Mash

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Toto Memorial Marker Dedication

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

HOLLYWOOD EVENTS

Toto memorial marker dedication

 

 

 

TODAY

Saturday, June 18, 2011

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA, 90038

 

Fans of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz will celebrate the dedication of a full size bronze memorial sculpture of Toto, Dorothy’s beloved dog. The Cairn Terrier’s original grave marker was destroyed in 1958 to make way for a Los Angeles freeway. Attendees are encouraged to bring their pets.

 

More on the life of Toto at a future date on Hollywoodland

 

Link to Donate to the Endowment Fund for care of the monument and the cemetery using FundRazr (PayPal) CLICK HERE

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Huguette Clark Obituary

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

OBITUARY

 Huguette Clark Dead: Reclusive Mining Fortune Heiress Dies At 104

 

 

  

 

NOTE-HOLLYWOOD CONNECTION: Huguette Clark is the half-sister of William Andrews Clark Jr., who founded the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is interred in his own iconic mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

 

 

NEW YORK — Huguette Clark, the 104-year-old heiress to a Montana copper fortune who once lived in the largest apartment on Fifth Avenue, has died at a Manhattan hospital even as an investigation continues into how her millions were handled.

 

Clark spent the last two decades of her life in New York City hospitals. She died Tuesday, “with dignity and privacy,” her lawyer, Wallace Bock, said in a statement.

 

The statement was released by Robert Anello, an attorney who represents Bock in an investigation into Clark’s finances.

 

The Manhattan district attorney is looking into claims made by Clark’s family that she was kept isolated from almost everyone except Bock and her accountant and that she may not have understood decisions being made related to her fortune.

 

Clark was born in 1906 to a then 67-year-old U.S. senator, William A. Clark of Montana, and a 28-year-old Michigan woman named Anna Eugenia La Chapelle. Clark had made a fortune in mining and was one of the richest men in America. He built railroads across the United States, founding Las Vegas in the process.

 

Huguette Clark’s fortune is believed to be worth some $500 million. As of last year, she still owned a 42-room, multi-floor apartment at 907 Fifth Ave.; a Connecticut castle surrounded by 52 acres of land; and a Santa Barbara, Calif., mansion built on a 23-acre bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

 

The Daily News writes that Huguette “traded in aristocracy for eccentricity” and removed herself from the outside world — and her vast fortune — after the death of her mother.

 

MNBC ran a report about Huguette’s elusive lifestyle and her abandoned mansions. Andre Baeyens, Clark’s grand-halfnephew, told NBC’s “Today” show that “Everything stopped for her when her mother died. She didn’t want to go out. She didn’t want to have beautiful things, no, no. She just wanted to be home and play with her dolls.”

 

Beginning in the 1960s, Clark rarely left her Fifth Avenue home, having whatever she needed delivered. She moved into a hospital in the 1980s. Bill Dedman of MSNBC tracked Clark down last year and found her living in a very nondescript, almost “drab” hospital room. She was doing fine, but said she just wanted to be left alone.

 

Bock and accountant Irving Kamsler had been in charge of her financial affairs for years, and they’re among the few people who have contact with her. Distant relatives say they have not seen her in years.

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Hollywood Stars and their Telephones

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

CELEBRITY TRIVIA

Hollywood stars and their telephones

 

  

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Private telephone lines refused to remain private for very long and added to the problems of Hollywood stars who attempted to keep their home life apart from their film careers.

 

At one time, someone, wishing to “have some fun” at the expense of actor Lew Cody, published his private telephone number. The next day the telephone company, unable to handle the calls into the Cody home, rushed an emergency crew to his Beverly Hills house to install a new system.

 

Nils Asther’s private telephone number was given out by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio to a caller who posed as a friend. Before long Asther was deluged with strangers calling him at all hours of the day and night. He had to change his number.

 

Few screen stars had their telephones listed, but when they did it was a “blind” number that led to secretarial offices, a personal telephone always was listed confidentially or under another name and address that could not be traced.

 

John Gilbert had a regular house telephone, but had a private phone in his study which he answered himself. Greta Garbo’s telephone was listed to her housekeeper, who was given the names of persons she expected to call.

 

Ramon Novarro’s home number was under his family name of Samaniego, and Norma Shearer’s home telephone was listed as an address only.

 

If one happened to get Lon Chaney’s number by mistake and asked whose home it was, one would be told: “This is Oxford so-and-so. Who is this, please?” Beyond that one would gain no inkling of the subscriber’s identity.

 

Bessie Love had two telephones, one for her household needs and a private line for herself. William Haines also had a private line, and Buster Keaton’s house had an elaborate extension system so he could pick up the phone wherever he happened to be.

 

All of the private lines had cutoff keys so that a star, leaving the house or retiring for the night, could disconnect the telephone, a no-answer signal informing friends that they were not available.

 

Despite all the privacy precautions, however, the number leak out to salesmen and canvassers and the average life of a private number in Hollywood was estimate at about four months.

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Maureen O’Sullivan’s 100th Birthday

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

100th BIRTHDAY

Maureen O’Sullivan

 

 

 

IRISH-BORN AMERICAN ACTRESS

 

 

 

Click HERE to watch Maureen O’Sullivan “Tarzan and His Mate”

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Review of ‘Hollywood Story’

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

FILM REVIEWS

The true ‘Hollywood Story’ is solved 

 Hollywood Story poster

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger
 

Recently I had the pleasure to watch the rare film, Hollywood Story (1951), starring Richard Conte, Richard Egan, Henry HullFred Clark and in one of her early film appearances, Julie Adams (billed as Julia Adams).

 

The film was obviously inspired by the unsolved William Desmond Taylor murder that occurred barely 30 years earlier — a famous Hollywood director (named Franklin Ferrara in the film) is found shot and dead in his bungalow. The case goes unsolved and ruins several Hollywood careers including one of the directors leading ladies, an actor who is rumored to have murdered him and a screen writer who becomes a destitute beachcomber.  

 

Helen Gibson, William Farnum and Francis X. Bushman being greeted by the studio guard at the entrance of the former Chaplin Studios

 

Besides the cast mentioned earlier, there are cameos by former silent film favorites, Francis X. Bushman, William Farnum and Helen Gibson and an appearance by Joel McCrea who plays himself. But the real star of the film, in my opinion, are the scenes of old Hollywood. The film opens with a shot of Hollywood Boulevard looking west from Vine Street with the Broadway Department Store entrance and the Warner Theater clearly visible.

 

Other scenes include the NBC Studios (now demolished) on Sunset and Vine and shots of the Hollywood Christmas Parade as it passes Grauman’s Chinese Theater. The swimming pool of the Roosevelt Hotel makes an appearance as does portions of the famed Sunset Strip.

 

Richard Conte and Julie Adams near poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel in The Hollywood Story

 

The plot of the film revolves around Larry O’Brien (Richard Conte) a Broadway producer who arrives in Hollywood to try his hand at filmmaking. Based on facts presented to him, he decides to make a film about the Franklin Ferrara murder. His friend and now-agent (played by Jim Backus), finds him an old abandoned studio that just happens to be where Ferrara was found murdered. This begins the chain of events for his plans to make a movie about Ferrara — investigating the facts himself and getting in trouble in the process.

 

While the film is produced by Universal (the old entrance to the studio also has a cameo), they rented the Charlie Chaplin Studios on La Brea just south of Sunset as the stand-in for the studio where Ferrara was murdered and where O’Brien will now make his film. A long shot of the bungalow clearly shows the neon sign atop the Roosevelt Hotel (and is still visible today) in the background and the distinctive brick gate entrance to the studio can be seen from inside the lot. It is at this front gate that Conte greets silent film stars, Bushman, Farnum and Gibson. In another scene Conte runs outside the gate onto the sidewalk just as he sees Julie Adams and Paul Cavanaugh make an escape up La Brea and around the corner at Sunset.

 

I don’t believe Hollywood Story was ever released on video or DVD, but it should be. If you ever have the opportunity to see this film and old Hollywood is one of your interests, I highly recommend it.

 

 

 The studio guard, Richard Conte and Jim Backus walking onto the Chaplin lot. Notice the ornate tower in the background which is the entrance to the studio. That same tower is below.

 

 

 

 The studio guard greeting Francis X. Bushman at the entrance of the former Chaplin Studios in The Hollywood Story. Below is the same spot as it looks today.

 

 

 

 Richard Conte stands on the sidewalk outside the entrance to the former Chaplin Studios looking north toward Sunset. Below is the same spot as it looks today.

 

 

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New Hollywood & Vine Project

Friday, May 13th, 2011

HOLLYWOOD NEWS

Big building project planned around Capitol Records Tower

 

 

A computer rendering shows the proposed development around the Capitol Records Tower on Vine Street in Hollywood. Buildings on the 4.5-acre site would be situated to preserve views of the tower. (Handel Architects / May 14, 2011)

 

Owners of the tower are seeking approval for Millennium Hollywood, a 1-million-square-foot project including two skyscrapers that would be mostly residential but would also have a hotel, offices, restaurants and stores.

 

By Roger Vincent
Los Angeles Times
May 13, 2011

 

After going mostly on hiatus during the economic downturn, Hollywood is poised to debut a major development project around the famed Capitol Records Tower near Hollywood and Vine.

 

The owners of the Capitol Records building on Vine Street are seeking approval to build 1 million square feet of structures, including two skyscrapers, surrounding the famous cylindrical office tower resembling a stack of record discs. The mixed-use complex could be valued at as much as $1 billion.

 

The Millennium Hollywood project, proposed by developers Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures, would be primarily residential but also have a hotel, offices, restaurants and stores. It would be built on the Capitol Records parking lot and another parking lot across Vine Street.

 

Click here to continue reading this Los Angeles Times article

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Norma Zimmer Obituary

Friday, May 13th, 2011

OBITUARY

Norma Zimmer, ‘Champagne Lady,’ dies at 87

 

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 12, 2011

 

Norma Zimmer, 87, the “Champagne Lady” of television’s “The Lawrence Welk Show” and a studio singer, died Tuesday at her home in Brea. Her son, Larry, did not give the cause of death.

 

Zimmer performed on Welk’s network and later syndicated show from 1960 to 1982 as the “Champagne Lady,” the title Welk traditionally gave to his orchestra’s lead female singer. Zimmer sang solos, sang duets with Jimmy Roberts and waltzed with Welk to the strains of his effervescent dance tunes tagged “champagne music.”

 

She appeared on the orchestra’s public TV specials that have aired (along with repeats of the series) since 1987. Zimmer took part in a tribute to Welk and his show held earlier this year at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

 

Welk, who stopped performing in 1989, died in 1992.

 

Zimmer, born in 1923 in Larson, Idaho, grew up in Seattle. The petite blond sang with the Girlfriends, a quartet that performed with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, including on Crosby’s famous recording of “White Christmas.”

 

Zimmer made several film and TV appearances and was the voice of the White Rose in the 1951 Disney film “Alice in Wonderland.”

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Dolores Fuller Obituary

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

OBITUARY

Dolores Fuller dies at 88; actress dated director Ed Wood

 

  

Years after starring in her boyfriend’s low-budget films ‘Glen or Glenda’ and ‘Jail Bait,’ Fuller became something of a cult icon. She also co-wrote several Elvis Presley movie songs, and founded a record company.

 

By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
May 11, 2011

 

Dolores Fuller, the onetime actress-girlfriend of cross-dressing schlock movie director Ed Wood who co-starred with Wood in his low-budget 1950s cult classic “Glen or Glenda,” has died. She was 88.

 

Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Dolores Fuller

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