Archive for September, 2011

Hollywood’s First Scandal

Friday, September 30th, 2011


‘Fatty’ Arbuckle and Hollywood’s first scandal



By Jude Sheerin
BBC News, Washington


Guests to San Francisco’s Westin St Francis Hotel still ask to see the room where an infamous bootleg-booze-soused party took place 90 years ago.


The management are happy to show visitors the suite, if it’s unoccupied, but they don’t know exactly what happened in there on Labor Day in 1921 – no-one does.


One thing is clear: In Room 1219 that afternoon, an actress by the name of Virginia Rappe was screaming in agony on a bed.


Later that week she was dead.


And the man charged with her death was Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Hollywood’s first one-million-dollar star.


Click here to continue reading…



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Fay Wray’s Extortion Attempt

Monday, September 26th, 2011


Fay Wray, intended victim!



Los Angeles Examiner
July 15, 1928


Fay Wray, motion-picture actress, was the intended victim of a bold extortion plot, her mother was marked for death, and the suspected extortionist was captured, all within a the span of two hours yesterday.


The suspect was captured by Captain of Detectives Edward Slaughter and a squad of officers while in the act of recovering a packet of fake money at the rendezvous of the “pay-off.” He gave his name as Lyon I. Bernard, 35, of 521 South Cloverdale Street, and a friend of the Wray family.


To avoid arrest, he tried to “shoot it out” with his captors, but was overpowered. 


Miss Wray is the bride of John Monk Saunders, scenarist and author. They returned from their honeymoon a few days ago.


Miss Wray, who resides at 7919 Thelma avenue, was handed a message at her home shortly after noon yesterday by a special delivery postal messenger. On the envelope was inscribed:


“12:15 p.m. Saturday.


“Quiet is necessary to save dear old mother at once today, Saturday the fourteenth. Mum!”


The envelope contained the following grim message, crudely printed in pencil:


“Say ­the life of your mother is in great danger and only the payment by you of $2,000 will save her life. She is being watched constantly. Don’t be foolish or call the police. In fact, don’t tell a soul of this. Follow instructions and she will not be harmed.



“Get money in assorted currency, wrapped in newspaper. Then get in your car and drive to a vacant lot at Sunset and Laurel Avenue.


“You will notice some tall weeds growing on the west side of Laurel avenue between the street and the sidewalk. Slow up as you pass these and throw money here. Then drive straight down Laurel to Santa Monica. Drive like hell!” As long as nothing happens to us your mother is safe. Don’t even tell your husband.


“If we are hunted­good-by Mother!”


The letter was unsigned.   


Miss Wray immediately notified Captain of Detectives Edward Slaughter at Hollywood station. Time was scarce–less then an hour to work before the appointed “delivery” of the money.



Captain Slaughter, with several detectives, hastened to the rendezvous. He stationed Detective Lieutenant Jackson in a house across from the vacant lot. Captain Slaughter and Detective Lieutenant Page concealed themselves near the lot on Sunset boulevard. Detective Lieutenant Dwight was posted 500 feet north of the lot.


Miss Wray, alone in her car, drove to the appointed spot. Driving slowly past the lot she tossed the decoy packet into the weeds and drove rapidly toward Santa Monica Boulevard.



The officers waited. Half a block from the vacant lot they espied a man,without a coat, nervously sitting in a parked automobile. For almost an hour the suspect “stalled.” He stepped from his car, paced slowly back and forth in front of the lot, scanning the weeds. Several times he got back in his car and drove around the block.



Finally the suspect returned to the lot. He again alighted from his car and advanced into the weeds. He picked up the decoy package and returned to his car.


As he was climbing into his car, the detectives rushed him. He drew the pistol–aimed–and it misfired. The gun was knocked from his his hand and he was arrested.   


“I was broke,” Bernard told his captors. “I knew Miss Wray in her schooldays. I went to school with her brother and sister back in Bingham Canyon, Utah.


“I knew she deeply loved her mother, Mrs. Vina Wray. I knew Mrs. Wray lived at 1332 Sierra Bonita avenue. I thought I could get away with it.”


Bernard said he was married.


Miss Wray faced him in the station and asked him why he did it. Bernard broke down and wept. He is charged with suspicion of extortion.



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Paulette Dubost Obituary

Saturday, September 24th, 2011


Paulette Dubost, French actress who worked with Renoir, dies at 100




French actress Paulette Dubost, died on September 21. Dubost, born on October 8, 1910 in Paris, began her career at the age of 7 at the Paris Opera. She appeared in over 25o films and worked with such directors as Jean Renois, Jacques Tourneur, Marcel Carné, Julien Duvivier, Preston Sturges and Max Ophüls. Her 1934 film, Le Bonheur with Charles Boyer was recently screened at Cinecon 47 in Hollywood. One of her most famous roles was as Lisette in Renoir’s La Règle du jeu.



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Dolores Hope Obituary

Monday, September 19th, 2011


Dolores Hope, widow of Bob Hope, dies at 102



Dolores Hope oversaw the couple’s charitable giving and played a key role in establishing the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. She was a singer when she met Bob Hope; their 69-year marriage ended with his death in 2003.


By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times
September 19, 2011


Dolores Hope, who throughout her 69-year marriage to comedian Bob Hope oversaw their charitable giving and played a key role in establishing the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, has died. She was 102.


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



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Frances Bay Obituary

Saturday, September 17th, 2011


Frances Bay dies at 92; veteran character actress



Starting later in life, actress Frances Bay found success in a series of character parts, including roles on ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Seinfeld’ and in David Lynch’s films.


By Myrna Oliver
Special to the Los Angeles Times
September 17, 2011


Frances Bay, the sweet, gentle housewife who became a successful actress in middle age, appearing in more than 50 motion pictures and 100 television shows, including roles as the “marble rye lady” on “Seinfeld” and the grandmother in Adam Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore,” has died. She was 92.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Frances Bay



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Paul Henning’s 100th Birthday

Friday, September 16th, 2011











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Laura Marling at the Masonic Lodge

Friday, September 16th, 2011


Laura Marling in the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever



Sunday, September 18th, 2011


6000 Santa Monica Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90038


Tickets are $25

Tickets go ON SALE now at:


Doors open: 7:30pm

Show: 8:30pm


In her native England, singer-songwriter Laura Marling, who just turned 21 in February, has often been described as an old soul, wise beyond her years. Her work is indeed preternaturally mature in its worldview and self-assured in its execution, but — as her third album and Ribbon Music debut attests — it’s equally informed by a youthful sort of fearlessness. On A Creature I Don’t Know, Marling is forthright about her emotions, frank about her desires, and she’s not above having a bit of fun before the going gets too rocky. For example, the album’s final track, “All My Rage,” has a purposely misleading title: it’s an exorcism, a celebration, dancing away accumulated trouble on the disc’s liveliest arrangement, a disarmingly upbeat climax to an engrossingly candid journey.


While so many artists of any age attempt to locate their inner child, Marling, with a sometime steely gaze, measures the prerogatives of youth against the looming realities of adulthood – the spectre of mortality, the betrayals of love, the balm of sex, the yearning for companionship, the need for independence. Of late, England has produced some impressively sophisticated young pop artists like Adele, James Blake and the XX, but the folk-oriented Marling remains in a class of her own. As the Times Of London recently posited, “Who else is making music as ambitious, as haunting, as centuries-straddling, as thought-provoking and artistically tenacious as this? And the answer is: nobody. No, really. Not a soul.”


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Neil Patrick Harris gets Walk of Fame Star

Thursday, September 15th, 2011


Neil Patrick Harris gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame


  Fred Prouser/Reuters


(Huffington Post) From his humble beginnings as a boy genius teen doctor to his Smurftastic summer hit and womanizing “How I Met Your Mother Ways,” Neil Patrick Harris has been a Hollywood staple for over two decades. A host of both the Tonys and Emmys, it was only appropriate that he was finally awarded one of show business’s highest honors.


Today, Neil Patrick Harris became an official Hollywood star in front of the Pantages Theatre. The actor, joined by partner David Burtka and “Mother” co-star Jason Segel, received his official star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, where he joined the industry’s greatest luminaries and tweeted a photo of his star after the ceremony.


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Cliff Robertson Obituary

Saturday, September 10th, 2011


Cliff Robertson, 88; actor starred in films and on stage and TV



Robertson won an Oscar for ‘Charly,’ played JFK in ‘PT 109’ and exposed the check-forging scandal of David Begelman.


By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
September 10, 2011


Cliff Robertson, who starred as John F. Kennedy in a 1963 World War II drama and later won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a mentally disabled bakery janitor in the movie “Charly,” died Saturday, one day after his 88th birthday.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Cliff Robertson



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Hollywood From Above

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011


Kodak Theatre and downtown Hollywood




An unusual view of the Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards ceremony. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel can be seen in the top center of the photo, to the right of the dark building. In the upper right section, in the distance you can see Century City. Where these buildings stand was once the back lot of 20th Century-Fox Studios.


Special thanks to Stella Grace for allowing me to shoot this photo and future ones that will appear here.




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