Archive for the ‘Celebrity Deaths and Funerals’ Category

Tony Curtis’ funeral

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

CELEBRITY DEATHS AND FUNERALS

Fans, Friends, Family Remember Tony Curtis

 

(Photo by Rex / Rex USA)

 

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

 

NBCLOSANGELES

 

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.

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Lewis Stone’s Death and Funeral…

Monday, June 15th, 2009

CELEBRITY DEATHS AND FUNERALS

Lewis Stone

 Lewis Stone

 
By Allan R. Ellenberger

  

A former Broadway matinee idol and cavalry officer, Lewis Stone was, for the last 35 years of his life, one of the leading film actors in Hollywood. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Stone made the stage his career after completing his college education. He had made considerable headway in the theater when he was called into the Spanish American War.

 

After the war, Stone returned to Broadway with a role in Sidetracked, which made him a star and a matinee idol within a matter of months. Subsequent plays such as The Girl of the Golden West and The Bird of Paradise – popular plays of the time – gave him the chance to master his craft.

 

One of the first actors from the legitimate stage to see the possibilities in movies, Stone made his first major screen appearance in 1915 in Honor’s Altar, which was directed by Thomas Ince. Stone’s popularity soared in the new medium and he soon won roles in other silent films. Among his better known credits were The Prisoner of Zenda (1922), Scaramouche (1923) and The Girl from Montmartre (1926). He received a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for the 1928 film, The Patriot.

 

Lewis Stone and Alice Hollister

Lewis Stone and Alice Hollister in Milestone (1920)

 

It was after the advent of sound that he reached his greatest popularity as Judge Hardy in the Andy Hardy series with Mickey Rooney. He spent most of his years as a screen actor with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer where his credits included Mata Hari (1931), China Seas (1935) and Three Wise Fools (1946).

 

Lewis Stone - Andy Hardy

Lewis Stone (left, front row) and his Andy Hardy family

 

In September 1953 Stone was preparing to accept a role in a forthcoming Paramount production of Sabrina (1954) starring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart and was awaiting the arrival of the script. At the time, the Stones were being annoyed by a group of boys who would take midnight swims in their pool and toss furniture in afterward.

 

Lewis Stone residence

The former residence of Lewis Stone

 

On the evening of Saturday, September 12, 1953, Stone and his third wife Hazel, were watching television at their home at 455 S. Lorraine Boulevard when they heard a racket in the back yard. When he investigated, Stone found lawn furniture once again floating in the pool and glimpsed three or perhaps four teenage boys running towards the street. Stone gave chase despite his wife’s warning not to exert himself.

 

Upon reaching the sidewalk, Stone suddenly collapsed. A gardener, Juan Vergara witnessed the chase and summoned aid. Sadly the actor died of a heart attack on the sidewalk without regaining consciousness. Lewis Stone was 73.

 

Lewis Stone sidewalk

 The sidewalk where Lewis Stone died

 

Within the hour, police took three boys, one of them 13 and the other two 15, into custody and booked them on suspicion of malicious mischief. They told officers that they previously had taken a swim in the pool and “thought it would be funny if they threw the furniture into it” because Stone had chased them before. After being booked at the Wilshire Station, they were lectured by police before being released to the custody of their parents pending possible Juvenile Court action.

 

Lewis Stone was survived by his third wife, Hazel (Wolf) and two daughters Virginia and Barbara.

 

Stone’s funeral was held at his home on Wednesday, September 16. Last rites were conducted by Dr. Ernest Holmes, founder of the Institute of Religious Science, in the ballroom of the Stone home. More than 100 invited friends including film executives, producers, directors and actors occupied the ballroom and the adjoining paneled library beneath a replica of a Raphael Madonna.

 

Lewis Stones funeral

Pallbearers carry the casket of Lewis Stone into his home for the funeral. Compare with the photo below and notice the same doorway, window and columns.

 

Lewis Stone residence

 

“A great friend, a great citizen, a great artist has left us,” said Dr. Holmes. “To know this man was to admire and to love him.” He said that Stone was a religious man whose philosophy was that “not some people but all people are immortal.”

 

Among those present were executives of MGM including Louis B. Mayer, Dore Schary, Edward J. Mannix, producer Jack Cummings, and many others.

 

Mayer, actors Robert Young and Charles Ruggles and agent Fred Fralick were among the pallbearers. Also present were Mickey Rooney, Fay Holden and Celia Parker who played Stone’s family in the Andy Hardy series. 

 

Dozens of other actors who worked with Stone were there – Louis Calhern, Ralph Morgan, Russell Simpson, Donald Crisp, Otto Krueger, Marjorie Rambeau and many more. Directors who guided him in his film productions such as Mervyn LeRoy, Frank Lloyd and Robert Z. Leonard were present.

 

Dr. Holmes in his brief service quoted poems that were favorites of Stone, including the “Good-Night, Sweet Prince” passage from Hamlet that is the requiem for actors. Singer John Gary sang “Abide With Me” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”

 

Stone’s body was taken to Rosedale Cemetery where it was cremated. His ashes are listed as being sent to Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York where he purchased a lot in 1914. His first wife Margaret and two daughters are buried there unmarked, but his ashes, according to his daughter, were scattered over his ranch in Malibu.

 

Stone’s estate which was valued at $150,000 was left entirely to his widow, Hazel. The will, dated February 18, 1935, explained that everything was left to Hazel, and nothing to his two daughters because they had been well provided for under insurance policies. Stone’s friend and attorney, Lloyd Wright, was named executor. Wright’s probate petition estimated the estate’s income as $3,500 a year.

 

Walter Hampden took over the role of Oliver Larrabee in Sabrina that was originally intended for Stone.

 

NOTE: The address above is a private residence. Please DO NOT disturb the occupants.

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