Archive for April, 2014

Grave of Forgotten Silent Film Star, Florence La Badie, Marked

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

CELEBRITY GRAVES

Grave of Forgotten Silent Film Star Marked at Green-Wood Cemetery

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By Dana Varinsky on April 28, 2014

DNAinfo

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GREENWOOD HEIGHTS — Nearly 100 years after the death of silent film star Florence La Badie, a headstone with her name has been unveiled at Green-Wood Cemetery.

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La Badie, who was a popular New York movie star from 1909 to 1917, was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery after she was killed in a car accident at age 28. Until Sunday, however, her grave had never been marked.

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“For Florence and her family, this recognizes her as an individual who made a contribution to early silent film,” said Ned Thanhouser, whose grandparents ran Thanhouser Company motion picture studios in New Rochelle, where La Badie worked.

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Thanhouser spearheaded the effort to mark La Badie’s grave after he was notified on Facebook of the actress’ presence in Green-Wood. He raised $3,100, which was matched by the cemetery to commission and install the headstone.

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“Everybody should be remembered, and now people can see that she’s here,” said Richard Moylan, president of Green-Wood Cemetery. “This is a terrific find.”

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The unveiling ceremony for La Badie’s headstone was held Sunday, which would have been the actress’s 126th birthday. During her short career, she appeared in more than 180 films, and was at the height of her stardom when she died.

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La Badie was known for doing her own stunts, and this courage garnered her the nickname “Fearless Flo.”

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Ned Thanhouser poses by the grave with a relative of Florence La Badie.

(Photo credit: DNAinfo/Dana Varinsky)

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At the ceremony, Thanhouser read a quote from a 1914 issue of Blue Book magazine, in which silent film director Howell Hansel said of La Badie: “She’ll do anything I ask her to. If I were to say to her, ‘Miss La Badie, go and jump out of that window; there’ll be someone down below to catch you,’ she’d do it without even going to the window to look out to see. She’s pure steel.”

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Ben Model, a silent film accompanist and historian who played piano at the unveiling ceremony, said he appreciates the continued interest in preserving the history of silent film.

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At the unveiling ceremony, Model explained that in La Badie’s time, seeing films was primarily a working class activity, since it was cheaper than going to the theater. He said it would have cost viewers a nickel to watch her movies.

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After unveiling La Badie’s headstone Sunday afternoon, fans and film buffs celebrated her life by sharing coffee and cookies, and watching portions of her films at Green-Wood’s chapel.

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Barbara Davis, the city historian of New Rochelle, said she hopes marking the grave will help preserve the history of silent film.

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“She was one of the first great American leading ladies,” Davis said.

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Florence La Badie

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

TRIBUTES

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Bob Hoskins Obituary

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

OBITUARY

Bob Hoskins, Actor Who Combined Charm and Menace, Dies at 71

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William H. Clune at Hollywood Forever

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

William H. Clune: Pioneer theater and film producer

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By Allan R. Ellenberger

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William Henry Clune was a pioneer motion-picture theater owner, whose name is associated with the early days of film production. Born in Hannibal, Missouri, on August 18, 1862, Clune came to California in 1887. His interest in railroading ceased with the successful termination of a real estate venture, which provided him with sufficient capital to enter the field to which he devoted himself—the motion picture industry.

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Clune began with a film exchange in 1907 which distributed the films of the pioneer producers including the old Essanay, Edison, Biograph and others. While operating the exchange, he opened his first theater, a penny arcade on Main Street, in Los Angeles. This was followed by the building of Clune’s Theater on Fifth at Main Streets where the Rossyln Hotel now stands. His next venture was leasing the property on Broadway between Fifth Avenue, and Sixth Street, where he built Clune’s Broadway Theater. Then he took over the Clune’s Auditorium at Fifth and Olive Streets, later renamed the Philharmonic Auditorium. He also built Clune’s Pasadena Theater and Clune’s Santa Ana Theater. At one time, his chain included theaters in Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Bernardino, Santa Ana and San Diego.

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Clune’s Broadway Theater as it appeared in 1910… (Cinema Treasures)

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Clune’s Broadway Theater (later called the Cameo), as it looked in 1999 (lapl)

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Clune’s Auditorium, originally located at Olive and Fifth Streets

across from Pershing Square, is now a parking lot.

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Clune’s Pasadena Theater is believed to be the city’s first movie house.

The building, no longer a theater, still shows the original name. (hometown-Pasadena)

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In 1913, Clune and his wife Agnes sold their Pasadena mansion at 1203 Fair Oaks Avenue at the corner Monterey Road. The site is now a Pavilions grocery market. At this time, Clune separated from his wife and moved into an apartment at the Los Angeles Athletic Club at 431 West 7th Street. Agnes and their son James took up residence in another mansion at 314 South New Hampshire Avenue.

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In 1915, Clune assumed control of Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players Studios on Melrose. On the property, Clune built rental studios for lease to independent production companies.

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Clune’s Studio on Melrose (now Raleigh Studios).

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At this studio, Clune produced and filmed Ramona (1916), the famous book dealing with early California life. Following that, Clune made other films including The Eyes of the World (1917) from the story of Harold Bell Wright.

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William Clune stood out in motion picture production. In his room on the twelfth floor of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, many of the largest movie deals made were negotiated. Clune had faith in D.W. Griffith, and backed the director financially and agreed to exhibit The Clansman, which was later retitled The Birth of a Nation (1915) at Clune’s Auditorium where the world premiere was held.

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As the executive head of a chain of screen houses, Clune was an active and shrewd showman. For a number of years, he fought an enforcement of old city ordinances prohibiting electric sign displays. City bureaus complained against Clune’s electrical advertisements, but Clune refused to budge from his determination to “light up Broadway.”

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Clune liked to use electricity to “light up Broadway” much to the dismay of the city council.

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In 1924, Clune retired from the theatrical business, having sold all his theaters and leased his studios on Melrose to the Tec-Art Company. Retirement from film production did not mean retirement from active business as he had acquired large holdings in downtown real estate, dating back to 1900, and had many other interests.

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Shortly after noon on October 18, 1927, William H. Clune died of a stroke in his apartment at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. His body was taken to the Sunset Mortuary at 8814 Sunset Boulevard and he was interred in the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Cemetery.

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William H. Clune’s crypt (no. 994) in the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

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In addition to his other activities, Clune was on the regional board of the Bank of Italy, a member of the Brentwood Country Club, Jonathan Club and Elks Club.

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Clune’s estate was bequeathed to his son James, the president of Clune’s holding company. Thought to be a millionaire several times over, yet few were able to estimate his actual fortune. His wife Agnes, according to his will, was not named but received her share of the estate by a property settlement years earlier. Publicly, the only estimate of the value of Clune’s estate at the time said that it “exceeds $10,000,” but most experts determined that it was close to $6 million which in today’s exchange would be around $81.5 million.

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At the studios Clune owned on Melrose (across the street from Paramount), Douglas Fairbanks made The Mark of Zorro (1920) and The Three Musketeers (1921), Walt Disney rented space in the 1930s and the Hopalong Cassidy television series was filmed here, as were Superman. Robert Aldrich filmed Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Ronald Reagan hosted Death Valley Days. In 1979, the heirs of William Clune sold the film plant and it became Raleigh Studios. The studio that William Clune created is believed to be the oldest continuously operating film studio in Hollywood.

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Raleigh Studios (the old Clune Studios) today…

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Mickey Rooney’s Grave

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

CELEBRITY GRAVES

Mickey Rooney’s grave at Hollywood Forever

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R.I.P Mickey

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Charlie Chaplin on the set of “City Lights”

Friday, April 25th, 2014

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Charlie Chaplin on the set of City Lights

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Charlie Chaplin in City Lights by the side of a park created on the studio lot for the film. The trees were synthetic or transplanted and required continual application of green paint spray.

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Mickey Rooney in the 1930 Census

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

1930 CENSUS

Mickey Rooney in the 1930 Census

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762 N. Hoover Street

Los Angeles, California

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MICKEY ROONEY

1920-1914

Film Actor

Homer Macauley in The Human Comedy (1943)

Rent, $40

No Radio

Census taken on April 3, 1930

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HOUSEHOLD RESIDENTS*

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  1. Nell Yule (head), 31 / divorced / Kansas / Manager / Movie actor
  2. Joseph Yule Jr. (son), 8 / New York / Actor / Screen

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NOTE: Mickey would have actually been 9 years old in April 1930.

This is a private residence. Please DO NOT disturb the occupants.

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* Information includes relationship to head of household, age / place of birth (year of arrival in this country, if applicable) / occupation / industry.

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The preceding text is taken from my book, Celebrities in the 1930 Census (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2008). This directory provides an extensive listing of household information collected for over 2,265 famous or notorious individuals who were alive during the 1930 United States Census. Please note: The above photographs do not appear in the book.

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Mickey Rooney’s Funeral

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

FUNERALS/MEMORIALS

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Mickey Rooney’s funeral held at Hollywood Forever

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Mickey Rooney’s casket at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

(Family photo / Los Angeles Times April 18, 2014)

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Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

HAPPY EASTER!

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Mickey Rooney Obituary

Monday, April 7th, 2014

OBITUARY

Mickey Rooney dies; show-business career spanned a lifetime

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In the ‘Andy Hardy’ films, he was the All-American boy. But Mickey Rooney’s roller-coaster show-business career was marked by an often-turbulent personal life.

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By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times
April 6, 2014

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Mickey Rooney, a celebrated child actor who embodied the All-American boy in the “Andy Hardy” films of the 1930s and ’40s and became one of the era’s top box-office draws, has died. He was 93.

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Rooney, whose roller-coaster show-business career was marked by an often-turbulent personal life, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith and the Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed his death.

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Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Mickey Rooney

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