Archive for November, 2011

Me and Judy Lewis

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011


My memories of Judy Lewis



By Allan R. Ellenberger


Judy Lewis was the daughter of Loretta Young and Clark Gable. I had the pleasure of meeting her in the summer of 2001 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I remember it was for a screening but don’t ask me the name of the film. There was a gathering before the film where hors d’oeuvres and drinks were served. I happened to see Judy there and she was alone. I got up the nerve to talk to her (I don’t usually do that). I was working on my Rudolph Valentino book at the time and among other things, we discussed her mother and aunts appearance in The Shiek when they were children. She told me that she had heard that story before but her mother never discussed it, which she was sorry about. She was very gracious and kind and wished me good luck with my book. She didn’t hesitate when I asked to have our picture taken. Judy Lewis passed away from cancer on November 25 in a retirement home near Philadelphia. She was 76. Rest in peace.


Judy Lewis Obituary

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011


Judy Lewis dies at 76; daughter of stars Loretta Young and Clark Gable



A psychotherapist and actress, Judy Lewis wrote tenderly about her only meeting with Gable at age 15. Young, an unmarried, staunch Catholic, faked an adoption of Lewis, who did not learn the truth about her parentage until an adult.


By Elaine Woo
Los Angeles Times
December 1, 2011


Judy Lewis, a psychotherapist and former actress who wrote a book about her complicated heritage as the illegitimate daughter of Hollywood legends Loretta Young and Clark Gable, has died. She was 76.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Judy Lewis



Ken Russell Obituary

Monday, November 28th, 2011


Ken Russell, Controversial Director, Dies at 84



By Dennis Lim
New York Times,
November 28, 2011


Ken Russell, the English filmmaker and writer whose outsize personality matched the confrontational brashness of his movies, died on Sunday. He was 84.


The Associated Press quoted his son, Alex Verney-Elliott, as saying Mr. Russell died after a series of strokes.


Click here to continue reading the New York Times obituary for Ken Russell



Thanksgiving in Hollywood, 1936

Thursday, November 24th, 2011


Hollywood folk join forces in attack on holiday turkeys



Premieres, parties and sports vie for attention of Thanksgiving merrymakers


By Marshall Kester
Los Angeles Times
November 29, 1936


Theresa and Tom Turkey certainly took a beating under the carving hands of prominent film folk on Thursday. Abetted by tart cranberry sauce and tasty chestnut dressing, the roast gobblers sacrificed all that the idols of the world might wear a series of benign, well-fed expressions.


Thanksgiving dinners this year followed closely on the heels of a most busy, appetite-inducing twenty four hours. The highly successful Lloyds of London premiere and The Helpers party Wednesday night, together with exciting USC-UCLA pigskin parade on Thursday, were incentive for many ladle gatherings. Now we are in the midst of tapering off for a week on turkey has—something the Pilgrims didn’t anticipate.


Lovely Jeanette MacDonald and her mother, Mrs. Anna MacDonald, held forth in their Hancock Park home with plenty of turkey and trimmings for Mr. and Mrs. John Mack Brown, Dr. Lawrence Singleton, Mrs. Lela Rogers, Ginger Rogers, Mary Brian, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hargreaves (Helen Ferguson), Virginia Reid, Grace Adele Newell, Georges Jomier, Robert Marlow, and her fiancé, Gene Raymond.


Anita Louise and her mother, Mrs. Ann Beresford, have leased the Rod La Rocque mansion in Hollywood. Here they co-hostessed a Thanksgiving party for Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Walser, Mrs. Pauline Miller, David Blankenhorn, John Blankenhorn and George Blankenhorn, Thomas Beck, Eloise Lewis, Marie Rouse, Mr. And Mrs. Sheridan and Mr. Dryden.


Glenda Farrell turned on a fancy feast at her home for her family and a few close friends. Imbibing portions of the glorified fowl were Glenda’s father, Charles Farrell, Gene and Dick Farrell, Jerry Hopper, and the hostess’ young son, Tommy Farrell.  Drew Eberson took Glenda to the football game before setting down to the turkey.


Sue and Chester Morris spread a real family dinner for their youngsters, Brooks and Cynthia; his mother and sister, Mrs. William Morris and Miss Willy Morris, and his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. Adrian Morris. Mr. and Mrs. Cedric Gibbons (Dolores Del Rio) enjoyed a quiet but thorough dinner with their mother, Mrs. J.L. Asunsolo.


Eloise and Pat O’Brien invited their respective families to come join their festive banquet and Brian Donlevy hosted a big dinner for his fiancée, Marjorie Lane; her mother, Mrs. E. W. Lane, and brothers Jack and Bob Lane. Mr. and Mrs. John Monk Saunders carved a golden-brown bird at a quiet dinner with their young daughter, Susan Cary Saunders. Doris Dudley’s turkey was shattered by Fritz Lang, her aunt and two cousins of Pasadena.


Down at Palm Springs, the Ralph Bellamy’s turned on the main course and all the extras for his father and mother, Mr. And Mrs. Rexford Bellamy, and sister and brother-in-law. Joby and Dick Arlen seated at their heavily laden board their young son Ricky; Dick’s sister, Mrs. Edward B. Lilly, Joby’s father and brother, Joseph Ralston and E. A. Ralston.


Marsha Hunt celebrated with a double incentive for the party. She had just completed her biggest picture at the same time her new home in Westwood was ready for occupancy. Guests on hand for a buffet supper, dancing and games were Eleanore Whitney, Mary Carlisle, June Martel, John Howard, Lee Bowman, Johnny Downs and Robert Cummings.


Well, the turkeys have had their day—at their own expense!


The history of the Cathedral Mausoleum

Sunday, November 13th, 2011


The history of Hollywood Forever’s Cathedral Mausoleum




By Allan R. Ellenberger


This past summer a controversial construction project began at the front of the historic Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery—four additions of crypts and niches were constructed, two on each side of the entrance. The mausoleum is the final resting place for many of Hollywood’s pioneers and film celebrities. Every August 23rd, fans of Rudolph Valentino gather there to pay their respects to the actor in the mausoleum’s massive foyer. In 1937, the founder of Hollywood, Harvey Wilcox, his wife Daeida and other family members were moved here from their former resting place at Rosedale Cemetery. The completed mausoleum, in existence now for 89 years, has only a few original crypts remaining for sale. This is a brief story of the mausoleum’s history.


Mausolus, Satrap and ruler of Caria from 377 to 353 B.C., and husband of Artemisia, achieved distinction as the first ruler ever to be honored by the erection of a monument in which his own remains were placed. Though Augustus and Hadrian in Rome may have exceeded in splendor the structure which the widow, Artemisia, built in her husband’s honor, they could not leave to posterity, as Mausolus did, a name for an institution that has continued to surround the burial of loved ones with beauty, refinement and sacredness. It is from Mausolus that we derive the word mausoleum. In 1919, Hollywood Cemetery completed the first unit of a modern replica of such an ancient structure.


The plans to build a large mausoleum on the grounds of Hollywood Cemetery were first envisioned in late 1916. The original illustrations for the imposing building were somewhat different than what was finally constructed.




Above is the original design for what would be the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Cemetery, January 1916.



In October, 1917, the California Mausoleum Company, who had constructed mausoleums at Evergreen Cemetery in Riverside and one at Inglewood Cemetery, was hired to oversee the project. The architectural firm of Marston and Van Pelt of Pasadena drew up the plans and William C. Crowell was hired as contractor. Construction began immediately.


The plans called for a structure much larger than the Inglewood mausoleum with the edifice of concrete, brick and steel construction, faced with heavy blocks of California granite, and set with rusticated joints. The interior is finished throughout in marble, with decorative features in bronze. Art and cathedral glass was used for ceiling and window lighting. The mausoleum follows the Italian Renaissance design, with the central entrance having a Palladian motive executed in marble.




Above is the completed first unit of the new Hollywood Mausoleum. For those that are familiar with the mausoleum, does anyone notice something strange? I will address it at the end of the article.




Above is a corridor in the first unit built for the Cathedral Mausoleum. 






Above is the entrance to the Cathedral Mausoleum



It took a year to finish construction and the unit was dedicated in October 1918. The demand for crypts in the new Hollywood Mausoleum, as it was called at the time, was great and quickly sold out. In April 1921, the cemetery announced the construction of the second unit of the mausoleum. New plans revealed that the mausoleum would comprise, when completed, five units covering more than three acres, and provide for 6,000 crypts, all above ground. Both individual crypt groups and family sections would be arranged over a huge rotunda, around a great central alcove and along the sides of radiating corridors. At a total cost of $2 million dollars, it would be the largest structure of its type in the world.




Above is an artists rendering of what the completed Hollywood Mausoleum would look like. It’s not a great copy but the large rotunda and two other units behind it can still be seen.




Above is the rear of the Cathedral Mausoleum. The empty lawn is where the rotunda and the additional units would have been located if plans were followed.



The second unit was finally completed in September 1922. The new structure contained an additional 888 crypts, giving the entire mausoleum a total capacity of 1,454 crypts. In the new section there were 744 individual crypts and twenty-four family sections of from six to twenty-four crypts each. All were faced with Alabama marble. The family sections are separated from the main corridors by bronze gates or marble pedestals (the gates are missing is some sections and the marble pedestals are no longer there). There is also a section for those who desired cremation using specially designed urns provided by the company.




Above is a corridor in the Cathedral Mausoleum with the original gate of a family room still intact.





The cremation section in the main foyer



The main corridor, which originally was designed as a chapel, had a religious note by the design of the interior and by the use of artistic stained glass, which softened the light and gave the entire room an air of reverence. A large floor-to-ceiling stained glass window once located on the southern wall, no longer exists except for the top archway glass. The remaining stained glass has been removed. At the time, plans were made for a series of mural designs as decorations for the room. The corridors were carpeted and lined with potted plants and shrubs.




The main foyer in the Cathedral Mausoleum can be seen above. The stained glass window near the ceiling at one time went down to the floor. It is now boarded up and a door leads out to the rear lawn.




 The stained glass window in the private family room of millionaire merchant, William Adam Faris.




The builders promoted a new ventilation system used in the mausoleum that was advertised as “incomparably sanitary” which can be seen above.



An open house was held on Sunday, November 12, 1922 for the public to visit the newly completed double-unit of the Hollywood Mausoleum. The invitation read:


“Inspect for the first time the building which eventually will contain 6,000 above-ground crypts—built of concrete, and faced with granite and marble.


“See the stateliness of its Italian façade, it beautiful marble interior with solid bronze appointments. View its exquisite stained glass windows, its chapel-like corridors—and feel for yourself the very sacredness of its cathedral atmosphere.”







The plans for the remaining three units and the great central alcove were never completed. Hollywood residents, led by Senator Cornelius Cole, resisted the expansion of the cemetery during construction of the second unit and threatened litigation, even petitioning to have the cemetery closed. At the same time construction of crypts and a chapel were taking place on the western end of the property. Even when the problems were ironed out, the plans to expand the mausoleum never materialized. It’s unfortunate that the vision was not realized; it would have been an imposing and architecturally beautiful structure.


The first internments in the second unit of the Cathedral Mausoleum were Samantha Kelly and her grandson, Harry Earl. Kelly, a pioneer hotel woman, was born in Ohio in 1828. She came to Los Angeles from Indianapolis in 1882 in one of the first trains that travelled westward over the plains. She was one of the pioneers in the hotel business in Los Angeles and at different times owned and managed many of the largest hostelries in the city, including the Figueroa and the old Heatham and Ardmore hotels.


Kelly’s grandson, Harry Earl, was at one time the stage director of the old Belasco Theater and had died nine years earlier. He was almost worshipped by his grandmother, as well as by his mother, Katherine Earl. When he died in 1913, the two women kept his ashes with them at their home, 417 South Central Avenue. When Samantha Kelly died on July 22, 1922 at the age of 94, she was interred in a crypt in the still uncompleted mausoleum and in the crypt next to hers was placed the ashes of her grandson, Harry Earl.




The crypts of Samantha Kelley (left) and her grandson, Harry Earl.



The statues of the twelve apostles which now line both sides of the inside corridor, were originally to be placed on pedestals in a semi-circular lot behind the mausoleum. But these plans also never came to pass and it was decided to move them indoors, where they will probably remain permanently.






Several years ago electricity and lighting was added to the interior making it available for nighttime services. The damage to the mausoleum caused by the neglect of the then-owner, Jules Roth in the 1990s was restored when Tyler Cassity bought the cemetery. Whether the current changes made to the Cathedral Mausoleum will cause further concern to those who love Hollywood Forever Cemetery, are still to be heard from. Once the facings and architectural trimmings are completed, I will post photographs of the finished product.




The stained glass window that is next to Rudolph Valentino’s crypt.



Some of the prominent people whose final resting place is in the Cathedral Mausoleum are:


  • Barbara La Marr – Silent film actress
  • Rudolph Valentino – Silent film actor
  • June Mathis – Screenwriter
  • Peter Finch – Academy Award winning actor
  • Max Karger – MGM producer
  • Daieda Wilcox Beveridge – Founder of Hollywood
  • Horace Wilcox – Founder of Hollywood
  • J. Peverell Marley – Cinematographer
  • William Desmond Taylor – Silent film director, victim of unsolved murder
  • Peter Lorre – Actor
  • Dr. Henson H. Cross – Early Los Angeles physician
  • Eleanor Powell – Actress and dancer
  • Rick Jason – Television actor on Combat
  • Jesse Fonda Millspaugh – President of Los Angeles State Normal School
  • Ernst Dryden – Artist
  • Cecile Lovsky – Actress
  • Thomas Miranda – cofounder of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Jules Roth – One-time owner of Hollywood Cemetery
  • William Hutchinson – Silent film actor
  • Walter Henry Rothwell – Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl
  • Edmund Sturtevant – Hollywood pioneer
  • Annetta Solaski – Opera singer
  • William H. Clune – Motion picture studio pioneer—Clune Studios (now Raleigh Studios)
  • Harry Delmar – Vaudevillian
  • Max Whittier – Beverly Hills pioneer
  • Mary Eudora Vance – Aunt of Carol Burnett
  • Capt. A.W. Murray – Los Angeles Police Chief
  • George W. Hoover – Builder of the Hollywood Hotel
  • Marie Weid – Widow of Hollywood pioneer, Ivar Weid (Ivar Street is named after him)
  • Theresa Dorris – mother of Wesley and Charles Ruggles and murder victim
  • Henry Smith Carhart – Physicist
  • William C. Crowell – Contractor for the Cathedral Mausoleum



The oddity in the photograph I mentioned earlier is what looks like grave markers in the ground in front of the mausoleum. There have never been graves there. If they are grave markers, they were obviously moved but the questions are who were they and where were they moved to.






Above is the Cathedral Mausoleum as it was on November 13, 2011



“Luck and Circumstance” at Larry Edmunds Bookshop

Sunday, November 13th, 2011


“Luck and Circumstance” at Larry Edmunds Bookshop 



Thursday, November 17, 2011

7:30 p.m.


6644 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA, 90028
Phone: (323)463-3273
Store hours:
Mon – Fri: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm


Join us as we rock out with director Michael Lindsay-Hogg signing his new autobiography, “Luck and Circumstance”, and show clips from his directing career including scenes from groups you might have heard of, like the Beatles & the Rolling Stones & The Who & the Dirty Mac! Q & A with Michael who will talk about finding out your father is Orson Welles! A great night to ROCK on the Boulevard.



Cathedral Mausoleum additions almost complete

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011


Cathedral Mausoleum additions almost complete




 The new additions to the Hollywood Forever’s historic Cathedral Mausoleum are almost completed. There are some facings for cremation niches and other cosmetic fixes to be done.




Above, as it looked when construction began last summer.


Below, the following photos taken last weekend show the current progress. 











‘Dennis Hopper-The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel’ at Larry Edmunds

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011


“Dennis Hopper-the Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel” at Larry Emdumds Bookshop




Author Peter Winkler brings us the first in depth look at Hollywood Icon Dennis Hopper. From Dodge City, to the final days of the studio system & the beginning of the new Hollywood, from Hoosiers, to Speed , to Frank Booth and dozens more, it’s the life & times of a Hollywood rebel.


Saturday, November 12

4 p.m. (special time)


6644 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA, 90028
Phone:             (323)463-3273
Store hours:
Mon – Fri: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm


Meet author Peter Winkler, stay for the Q & A, and get a signed copy of, “Dennis Hopper-the Wild Ride of A Hollywood Rebel”.



Kevin Thomas at Hollywood Heritage

Sunday, November 6th, 2011


Evening @ the Barn

Hollywood My Home Town: An evening with Kevin Thomas 




Wednesday, November 9, 2011

7:30 p.m.

Hollywood Heritage Museum

2100 N. Highland Avenue

(across from the Hollywood Bowl)

Hollywood, CA 90068


Kevin Thomas is best known as the longest contributing film critic at the Los Angeles Times but in truth, Mr. Thomas’ life in Hollywood goes far beyond his accomplished writings. Mr. Thomas’ family was one of the first families of early Hollywood and owned property along both Hollywood Boulevard (then known as Prospect Avenue), and Cherokee and La Brea Avenues. His family was French in origin and counted among their Hollywood neighbors and friends the noted artist Paul de Longpré and Louis Blondeau, the owner of the road house which eventually became Hollywood’s first film studio.


This evening will provide a rare glimpse into Hollywood history since, as his career progressed, Mr. Thomas could number among his own friends not only well known luminaries like Gloria Swanson, but also Minta Durfee Arbuckle, wife of Roscoe and Gertrude Olmstead, a Valentino co-star. Film historian Robert S. Birchard will host the evening, interviewing Mr. Thomas about his family and career along with a visual presentation of early Hollywood History.



Hollywood Heritage Members:  $5

Non-Members:  $10 

Doors Open:  7 p.m.


Although tickets may be purchased at the door, we recommend advance purchase through Brown Paper Tickets allowing patrons to buy tickets online (link is below), or over the phone at 1-800-838-3006. You can also have your tickets held for pickup the night of the event. There is a small service charge for the service, but it will guarantee seats at the events. The direct link to purchase tickets to “Hollywood My Home Town:  An Evening @ the Barn with Kevin Thomas” is:



‘William Castle: Step Right Up!” at Larry Edmunds Bookshop

Sunday, November 6th, 2011


“William Castle: Step Right Up! I’m Gonna Scare the Pants off America” at Larry Edmunds Bookshop



Thursday, November 10th, 2011

7:30 p.m.


6644 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA, 90028
Phone: (323)463-3273
Store hours:
Mon – Fri: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm
It’s a night of fright as we celebrate the work of William Castle with the help of his daughter Terry Castle. Terry will be signing a new reprinted edition of her father’s classic autobiography, “Step Right Up”, and a brand new published book , “House On Haunted Hill-the Annotated Screamplay” made from her father’s original script with his notes. Trailers, clips & who knows what other surprises may be in store, so come have a good scare.