Archive for the ‘Hollywood Forever Cemetery’ Category

“The Scarlet Hour,” featuring Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

To fill the demand by film exhibitors for new movie faces, Paramount produced The Scarlett Hour which opened on April 19, 1956 at the downtown RKO Pantages Theater. This routine thriller presented in leading roles three newcomers: Carol Ohmart, Tom Tryon and Jody Lawrance, who strove under Michael Curtiz’s direction with mixed reviews.

The Scarlet Hour was a test case as to whether untried players should be placed in a production that get top spot on theater programs.

The Scarlet Hour offers a familiar story. Ohmart plots to hijack some jewelry, using Tryon’s infatuation for her as a springboard. James Gregory, playing her husband, is killed accidentally in the fracas. It is at his funeral where this story finds its interest. It was filmed at Paramount’s next door neighbor, Hollywood Cemetery, where we will take a look, then-and-now.

This is the opening scene for the funeral filmed at what was then called Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery.
In this close-up scene Tom Tryon and Carol Ohmart are exchanging guilty looks. Behind them, the white arrow is pointing to the obelisk for the Los Angeles Times founder, Harrison Gray Otis.
A close up of the service, in the upper left and between the trees, you can see the cemetery office building.
The road where the cars are parked was filled in years ago and there is now a meandering walkway with a fountain midway where cremations are interred. The white arrow is once again the Otis obelisk.
This is a longshot of the service, with the now-filled-in roadway on the left. The cross in the lower left corner is a movie prop. The palm tree pointed out by the white arrow is still standing today, and can be seen in the next photo.
The white arrow points to the same tree, though much taller, sixty-four years later.
This is a scene of one of the detectives standing in the roadway watching for suspicious behavior at the funeral. Please note the white arrow pointing to the concrete bench.
Note the same bench today with the same foliage covered wall, trees and grave markers.
At the funeral service. Note the cemetery office building pointed out by the black arrow.
Photo taken from the same spot present day. The thin tall palm trees on the right are still standing.
Tryon and Ohmart leaving the service and entering a car on the now filled-in road. Please note the row of grave markers on the right that were on the edge of the road.
The spot today with the same grave markers, but no longer on the edge of the road. Our friend the palm tree is still standing to the right.
People leaving the service. Please note the white arrow pointing to the standing grave marker with an opening in the center, standing between the actors.
This photo taken from the same spot showing the same distinguishable grave marker and once again our friendly palm tree on the left.
The white arrow points out the location in the cemetery where the scene was filmed.

The film received mixed reviews from critics. The Times wrote, “It is a very drab hour and a half, in the company of actors who have not yet established their reputations and are unlikely to achieve them as a result of this movie. The story combines a rather unsavory triangle with a jewel robbery and the director Mr. Curtiz has achieved a certain amount of suspense but little else.”

David Bongard of the Herald Express wrote that “Carol Ohmart is the sultry boss’s wife. She has an amazing physical resemblance, in some angles, to Barbara Stanwyck. Obviously, she’s Curtiz’s Galatea in the acting field. If the material were not so childish and over-dramatic, she might have made a bull’s-eye with this. She soon might be capable of the stuff of a Stanwyck or a Bette Davis.”

If you are interested in watching the film, please CLICK HERE

Pepi Lederer: ‘Marion Davies’ Niece’

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

As Gay Pride Month winds down, here is a look at Hollywood Forever Cemetery resident, Pepi Lederer, the niece of actress Marion Davies. What little that is known about Pepi comes from Louise Brooks’ autobiography, Lulu in Hollywood. In it, she devotes an entire chapter to Pepi, Marion and William Randolph Hearst.

Pepi was born Josephine Rose Lederer in Chicago, Illinois on March 18, 1910. Her mother, Reine was the older sister of Marion Davies, and an actress and writer in her own right; she was the first to use the Davies name professionally. Married twice, first to Broadway producer and director, George Lederer, they had two children – Pepi and Charles, who later became a successful screenwriter. Reine divorced George when Pepi was two years-old and later married actor George Regas.

Pepi was given the nickname “Peppy” as a child because of her high spirited personality. When she turned 18, she changed the spelling to Pepi and made it her legal name. She seldom saw or spoke about her father, and was embarrassed because he was Jewish.

Pepi and her brother Charlie were favorites of Marion and Hearst. They in turn, preferred Marion to their own mother. When she turned twelve, Pepi was spending most of her time with Marion at San Simeon and the Lexington Avenue mansion in Beverly Hills, rarely seeing her mother. Years later, when Pepi was living in a New York apartment building owned by Hearst, Reine unexpectedly stormed in drunk, calling Marion a scheming bitch for having robbed her of her children. The episode left Pepi sobbing and racked with guilt.

At San Simeon, Pepi had free run of the ranch. Visitors usually had to obey Hearst’s rules about liquor rationing (because of Marion’s excesses) and the insisted-upon early rising to have breakfast. Pepi, however, had no problems obtaining liquor since she had her own private boot-legger – Hearst’s executive secretary who had keys to the wine vaults and could not resist Pepi’s charm and flashing blue eyes. Louise Brooks said that Pepi “and her group of pansies and dykes could drink and carry on all night…” As long as Marion’s drinking was under control and no one was breaking up Hearst’s art collection, he didn’t care about their drinking or sexual activities.

In the great dining hall at San Simeon, Pepi and her friends would sit at one end of the long wooden table while Marion and Hearst would face each other surrounded by their guests in the middle. Pepi’s friends usually included her brother Charlie, Louise Brooks, Sally O’Neil, William Haines, and Lloyd Pantages, son of the theatre mogul. The guests called them the Younger Degenerates.

Pepi‘s sense of humor gave her every chance to expose a guests vanities while humoring the rest. Claire Windsor’s falsies and writer Elinor Glyn’s red wig would mysteriously disappear from their bedrooms while they slept. An “exclusive” item would appear in Louella Parsons’ syndicated Hearst column, which would later have to be retracted. Once, when a group of Hearst editors, dressed in business suits and seated at a liquor-loaded table visited the ranch, Pepi organized a chain dance. Ten beautiful girls in wet bathing suits danced round their table, grabbed a bottle here and there, and then exited, leaving a room full of astonished men, who inquired, “Does Mr. Hearst know these people are here?”

Pepi was charismatic, but undisciplined with a gluttonous appetite for rich food, alcohol and eventually drugs – specifically cocaine. Once, in an attempt to lose weight and quit liquor, she convinced Louise Brooks, who she first met at San Simeon in 1928, to join her at a friend’s duck blind in Virginia, where she hoped the seclusion away from her temptations would help kick her habits. Upon their arrival, she had the liquor cabinet locked and spent her time listening to Bing Crosby recordings. After only a few days, she raided the kitchen, eating cold chicken and half an apple pie, then went for the liquor and was shocked that it was locked up. “You told him to lock it,” Louise told her.

“I’ll fix that,” she mumbled, and went to the kitchen and returned with a hatchet, and with three robust whacks, opened the door.  For the remainder of the week, she satisfied herself with good whiskey, mouth-watering Southern cooking and Bing Crosby songs.

Pepi was a lesbian. Though Louise Brooks never publicly admitted to an affair with Pepi, she once told a friend that Pepi said, “Let me just fool around a bit,” and Louise said, “Okay, if it’s anything you’re going to get some great enjoyment out of, go ahead.” And so they fooled around, but said she got nothing out of it.

A scene from The Cardboard Lover. Pepi is the girl in white next to her aunt Marion.

Pepi secretly yearned to be an actress and was thrilled when she was given a small comedy part in Marion’s picture The Fair Co-ed (1927) directed by Sam Wood. During filming, she was told how good she was, but when the film premiered, her part had been cut. Marion consoled her with the promise of a better part in her “next” picture which was The Cardboard Lover (1928) where she had a small bit as a flapper. That was the extent of her film career. Pepi realized that no one had been serious about her career and that it was a joke.

In 1929, Pepi visited MGM during the last day of filming of King Vidor’s Hallelujah. Conveniently, Marion, Charlie, and Rose were absent; so on an impulse, Pepi invited several of the cast members, including Nina May McKinney, to the house on Lexington Avenue. After three days, a neighbor, shocked by the sight of black people running in and out of the mansion, telephoned Marion, who sent Ethel to end the party. Pepi told friends she would never forget the look on her aunt’s face when she opened the door and found Pepi in bed with Nina May. Pepi was immediately banished to New York as a punishment.

At the end of March 1930, Pepi was in New York and was concerned that she had not menstruated in three months. Finally, desperate for a reason, she called Marion about her condition. Marion told her to stop wasting time and to make an appointment to see an abortionist at once. He found that Pepi was pregnant, and aborted the fetus the next day.

A few days later, Louise Brooks visited her and found her in bed, sick, feverish, and frightened. She was hemorrhaging badly and told Louise about the abortion. “This was the most astonishing piece of news since the Virgin birth,” Louise said, “because, as far as I knew, she had never gone to bed with any man.”

Pepi Lederer

When Pepi explained, Louise asked if she knew who the man was. “No I don’t,” Pepi said violently. “And I don’t want to know the name of a man who would rape a dead-drunk woman.” Pepi continued, explaining that it had to happen on New Year’s Eve, when she got drunk at a party given by Lawrence Tibbett and someone had to take her home. “But I don’t remember who it was,” she said, “and I don’t want to remember who it was and that’s the end of it.” (After Pepi’s death, a mousy, deranged friend of hers told Louise with a smirk that it was he who had taken her home on that 1929 New Year’s Eve and raped her. He also admitted to escorting other drunken women home and performing in the same manner).

The following June, a recovered Pepi accompanied Marion and Hearst to Europe on the Olympic. While in England, she convinced Hearst to give her a job on one of his English magazines, The Connoisseur and ended up staying for five years. In London, she wrote to Louise that she was now a person in her own right, not a way station for would-be friends of Marion and Hearst. And she said that she found a lovely companion, Monica Morris, who now shared her flat, her generous allowance, and Marion’s charge accounts.

Louise was apprehensive of Pepi’s taste in girlfriends and asked around about Monica Morris. When asked, one friend exclaimed: “My God, the Stage-Door Ferret! Don’t tell me Monica has latched onto Pepi!” It seemed that Monica had earned her nick-name because she was the most predatory among the group of girls who had fought over Tallulah Bankhead when she became a star of the London theatre in 1923.

Regardless, they remained an item until Pepi’s return to the United States on April 15, 1935. They spent two weeks in a suite at Hearst’s Ritz Tower Hotel on Park Avenue before going to Hollywood. It was Monica’s first time in New York but the first thing she asked Louise after they met was “Will you take me to Harlem to get some cocaine?” She evidently lost her stash while on board the ship and was most urgent to replace it. Louise referred her to Tallulah Bankhead at the Gotham Hotel, and Monica hurried out, leaving Pepi and Louise to have their last serious talk before Pepi’s death.

Though they laughed together, Louise could see the cocaine addiction in her eyes and the reason why she wanted to avoid Marion and Hearst. She had also lost weight, which Louise attributed to the cocaine.

When Pepi and Monica arrived in California, they stayed at the Lexington Avenue house. Marion and Hearst were at San Simeon but no directive came for Pepi and Monica to join them there. Weeks passed and there were no fancy parties, and Monica grew ever more bored among the Davies relatives. Then, without warning,  Marion and Hearst decided to have Pepi committed to the psychiatric section of Good Samaritan Hospital for a drug cure. Pepi only had time to slip her diamond ring (a present from Marion on her 18th birthday) from her finger to give it to Monica before she was taken away.

A few days later, on June 11, 1935, Pepi was propped up in bed reading a movie magazine in her sixth floor room at Good Samaritan when she asked her nurse for something to eat. The nurse stepped to the doorway to call a floor nurse and order something, when suddenly, she heard a noise and turned to see Pepi plunge through the window, carrying the screen with her.

Six floors below, in a thicket of shrubbery, Pepi’s body was picked up. Hospital attendants said she only lived a few minutes. She was dead before they could carry her to an operating room, her neck broken.

Marion, Hearst and Reine were at San Simeon when they received the news. Reine took the news more calmly than Marion, who lost control, as she always did when confronted by death. Louise Brooks was in her dressing room at the Persian Room of the Plaza, getting ready to open her new act when she was informed of Pepi’s death. “Looking in a mirror as I checked my hair, makeup, and costume for the dinner show” Louise said, “I thought, her dreaded visit to Hollywood had lasted exactly six weeks.”

Pepi Lederer’s death certificate (click to enlarge)

As for Monica, her trunk was searched by Hearst’s people and a bundle of Pepi’s letters was taken from it – she felt it was because they feared blackmail. The ring that Pepi had given her was snatched from her finger. She was given a steamship ticket to Southampton and a thousand dollars in cash and was told she was being deported immediately after the funeral.

 

St. Mary’s of the Angels Church, 4510 Finley Avenue, Hollywood where Pepi Lederer’s funeral was held

Newspaper reports said that Pepi was suffering from acute melancholia, the usual public reason for drug abuse. Pepi’s funeral was held at St. Mary’s of the Angels Church in Hollywood. Her bronze casket was placed in a crypt in Marion’s private mausoleum at Hollywood Cemetery.

 

 Marion Davies’ private mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Pepi’s is the first column, middle crypt to the left of the door.

Information for this article was taken from “Marion Davies’ Niece” by Louise Brooks and from “Louise Brooks” by Barry Paris (1989).

Harry Addison Love; hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

Friday, May 8th, 2020

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Santa Monica’s Del Mar Club, the site of jealous rage and murder (LAPL)

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A bitter, unyielding battle between two women—one the mother and the other the wife—was to blame for the death of Harry Addison Love, a 46 year-old businessman.

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Harry Love, who was born on October 7, 1890, was the son of Charles (d. 1923) and Cora Adkins Love, and the brother of Esther Love Spencer (d. Dec. 7 1929). Esther’s widowed husband Howard and their two daughters, Virginia and Janice, now lived with Cora and Harry at the family home at 457 South Harvard Boulevard (demolished).

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Reportedly, Love married 31-year-old Helen Wills in a small Mexican town on May 3, 1936. On their return to Los Angeles, Helen expected Love to reveal their marriage to his mother. He refused, threatening Helen. Instead, he rented her a house at 3613 West Fourth Street, but did not live there all the time, alternating between time with Helen, and his mother’s home.

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Helen pleaded with him to acknowledge her as his wife, but he was adamant. She knew that her new husband had plenty of money, but he was secretive about his affairs. Helen did not care. “All I wanted was to be acknowledged as his wife,” she said.

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In September 1936, Helen became ill (she said it was from worry) so Love sent her to New York for two months. When she returned, she discovered their framed marriage certificate had disappeared. Love told her he placed it in a safety deposit box for safe keeping.

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When the holidays came, she wanted to spend them alone with Love but he insisted that they have Christmas dinner with his mother. Love took his wife home for Christmas but did not introduce Helen as his wife. After dinner, Love and his mother politely sent Helen home alone while they went to church to listen to Christmas carols.

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The next day, Helen was pleased when Love promised that they would spend New Year’s Eve together at a Glendale club. “I was almost delirious with happiness,” Helen said. “I bought a new gown. I showed it to his mother.” Wrong move.

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Helen’s happiness was short-lived. Without warning, Love told his wife that he had included his mother in their New Year’s plans. The three of them would go to the Del Mar Club (Casa Del Mar) in Santa Monica. Helen was disappointed. “Since when do we need a chaperone?” she asked.

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“You don’t understand my mother,” he said.

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“I do understand her,” she told her husband. “She is intensely jealous.”

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When an argument ensued, he told her that because of “financial matters,” he would be going to dinner at the club with his mother, and she would have to make other plans. Then he left.

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On New Year’s Eve, Helen met with Love at a building his mother owned at 3020 Main Street. Once again, he refused to take her to the party that night and drove her to a garage where he left her, instructing the attendants that no one was to use the car but him.

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Helen sat in the car for hours. Finally, an attendant told her it would be better if she went to the office, which she did, but not before taking a pistol that Love kept in the car’s glove box. She went home, and then took a taxi to the Del Mar Club. She had the gun with her. When she arrived, the clerk told her that Love and his mother had not yet arrived. She would wait.

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Shortly, Love came from the dining room. “Hello darling,” she said to her husband.

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“What are you doing here?” Love asked her.

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“I told you I was going to spend New Year’s with you and I meant it.”

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They quarreled, and he returned to the dining room where his mother was waiting. Mrs. Love turned white when she saw Helen and said, “This is no place for you. You are not invited! See me tomorrow.”

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“Tomorrow will be too late,” she told her, and left. Harry followed her to the cab. He asked her if she had a gun. At first she told him that she did not, and then said, “You’re a big man. Why should you be afraid of a gun?”

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Then, when Helen reached into her purse, Love screamed and turned to run. With the gun in hand, Helen ran after him. Love reached the steps of the club when Helen fired. Love fell back down the steps, jumped up and ran. Helen followed him as he circled around the block, firing two shots at him as he fled. Love dashed towards the Del Mar Club’s entrance. A third bullet felled him on the sidewalk just in front of the doors.

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del mar club

Street side of the Del Mar Club as it looks today. Red arrow shows general area where Harry Love collapsed after being shot by his wife, Helen Wills Love.

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Employees of the club carried him into the lobby and placed him on a couch. Helen followed them into the lobby and stared dazedly at her dying husband. She later told police, “I loved him so that I was not going to give him up.” Harry Love died in the ambulance on the ride to Santa Monica Hospital.

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Later, when Helen was taken to the women’s quarters of the Santa Monica City Jail, she knotted a silken scarf around her neck and lashed the other end to a bar of the prisoner’s room in an attempt to take her life. Once revived, she was taken to County Jail.

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Helen Wills Love being booked after shooting her husband (LAPL)

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Harry Love’s viewing was at Garret Brothers Mortuary on Venice Blvd. There, Helen was permitted to say her good-byes to her slain husband. Sobbing and stroking his hair as he lay in a gray broadcloth coffin, she kissed him and cried, “You’re happier than I am, darling.”

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Helen Wills Love kisses her dead husband, Harry A. Love, goodbye in his coffin.

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Death Certificate for Harry Addison Love

(click to enlarge)

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Funeral services for Harry Addison Love were conducted at St. James Episcopal Church (Wilshire and St. Andrew’s). His body was cremated and his cremains were placed in the family niche, along with his father’s, in the foyer of Hollywood Cemetery’s Cathedral Mausoleum.

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love-niche area

Red arrow shows location of Harry A. Love’s niche at the Cathedral Mausoleum

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Over the next several months, Helen was arraigned and put on trial during which the prosecution contended that the shooting was a planned murder, motivated by the fact she was a “woman scorned.” But the defense attempted to show it was a hysterical and accidental episode arising from the jealousy of Cora Love, mother of the slain man, who would not acknowledge her daughter-in-law and fostered the estrangement.

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Helen testified that she had been intimate with Love for many months and became pregnant with his child which resulted in their secret marriage in Ensenada, Mexico. Evidently, she lost the baby shortly after. From then on, Cora Love estranged her son’s affections (which Helen called a “mother complex”) in a series of acts which reached a climax on New Year’s Eve. She testified that the shooting was accidental because the gun went off as Love attempted to take it from her. The prosecution, however, produced eye witnesses who claimed that Helen pursued her husband outside the club and deliberately shot at him.

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Helen Willis Love on trial (LAPL)

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Cora Love testifying in the murder trial of her son, Harry. (LAPL)

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Helen Wills Love was convicted of Second-degree murder by a jury of eight women and four men. Helen, who wore the same black outfit throughout the trial, appealed to the judge to pronounce sentence at once so she could change her plea to murder because of insanity.

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Helen believed she would receive a new trial because one juror was declared to be intoxicated during the trial by the County Jail physician. The juror was dismissed (sentenced to five days in jail and fined $100) and an alternate took her place. She was also told that some jurors read newspapers during the proceedings and was told by a stranger he was told of the verdict prior to the end of the trial.

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But sentencing would have to wait. That morning, Helen was found to be in “self-imposed state of coma.” Evidently, she had told cellmates that she could end her own life by merely willing herself to die. Physicians tried everything to awaken her and were mystified at her condition. Finally, after more than a week she was revived and pronounced sane. The next day, Helen was brought into court on a wheelchair and sentenced to Tehachapi prison for from seven years to life.

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Oddly enough, the following year, Cora Love obtained a permanent injunction against Helen using the name Love. She was restrained from representing herself to have been the lawfully wedded wife of Harry A. Love, or his widow and from representing herself to be the daughter-in-law or related to, Cora Love. Since Love had allegedly put their marriage license in a safety deposit box for “safe-keeping,” Helen had no proof to defend herself.

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Full niche of the Love family. Notice that Cora’s maker (top) is blank.

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Cora Love died on November 11, 1950, while vacationing in Palm Springs. For some reason, her niche at Hollywood (Forever) Cemetery was never marked, even though she had two granddaughters that survived her.

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Over the next few years, Helen applied for parole a couple of times, once in 1938, but was denied. She was told she would be eligible to apply again but it is unknown when she was actually paroled. Helen, if counting her “marriage” to Harry Love, had four spouses throughout her life. She died at 95 years of age as Helen S. McCullough on November 2, 2000 in Northern California. She is buried at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Colma, California.

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Marguerite Favar, that dainty dancy soubrette

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

 She’s now a forgotten name but in the early 1900’s, Marguerite Favar was widely known as a dancer, and for several years toured vaudeville circuits in the South and West. She was born Adelaide Farvarth in 1887 and came to the United States from Australia with her mother Alice around the turn of the last century.

Marguerite first began appearing in music halls until 1905 when she created a sensation in Portland at the Lewis and Clark Exposition as the “Peacock Girl” at the Turkish village. She then toured the United States on several vaudeville circuits, making a name by her charm and daintiness.

In 1908, Marguerite and her mother moved to Los Angeles from St. Augustine, Florida. That same year she appeared at the old Empire Theatre and also had an act on the Pantages circuit called “Marguerite Favar and her Dolls.” In August she costarred in the comedy, Paris Upside Down, as a “soubrettish young person.” The following month she was in Little Robinson Crusoe at Mishcer’s Theatre in Los Angeles. One reviewer said, “Miss Favar is a lively dancer and creates a demand for more of her work…”

Although beautiful in every feature, Marguerite’s attractiveness lay in her large brown eyes, which sparkled across the footlights and won the hearts of her admirers.

“All Miss Favar would have to do was to look at a man,” said one of the chorus girls in her company. “Men seemed to be hypnotized by a glance of her eyes. Of course, on the stage she made good use of her crowning beauty – her wonderful brown eyes. After a performance the stage door used to be crowded with men just waiting for a chance to see Miss Favar off stage.”

Marguerite Favar ad

It’s believed that Marguerite may have been married twice. Her first marriage was reportedly to a man known as Creatore, a famous bandleader of the day. However, after her death Creatore’s manager declared that Favar was never the bandleader’s wife but that she may have been the wife of a musician who had recently been enjoined from giving performances under that same name.

In any event, Marguerite was married in August 1909 at the Episcopal church in Santa Ana to Captain Frank D. Tompkins, a retired army officer. Tompkins had enlisted in the Hospital Corps as a volunteer in the Philippines and was given an officer’s commission for distinguished bravery in action. He retired in 1908 and came to California. He stopped for a while in Oakland with his uncle, formerly a warden of San Quentin, and then came south to Los Angeles where he found a job as chief of the property division for the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Soon after their marriage, Marguerite had a try at the new industry in town – motion pictures. It must have a been a brief career because there are no records of her film appearances. However, she probably worked at one of the studios in Edendale because in early May 1910, she was thrown from a buggy while filming near Elysian Park which is nearby. She was severely injured and had to stay at home for two weeks.

On May 19, Marguerite kissed Frank good-bye and returned to her first day of filming since her accident. She noticed that Frank appeared sick but left the house with no foreboding. He seemed to be suffering from nothing more serious than an attack of the stomach flu. Several hours later, Marguerite’s mother arrived at the house and found Frank in convulsions and called for help. Marguerite was notified at the studio and raced home, but it was too late; Frank was dead at the age of 36. It was later determined that Frank committed suicide by taking poison,  however the reason for the act was never known.

Marguerite confided to a friend that she loved Tompkins sincerely and his death caused her great sorrow. “His death resulted practically in Miss Favar forming a barrier against marriage,” her friend stated. “She said she would never marry again. And I know she kept this vow.”

After Frank’s death, Marguerite returned to the stage; at first as a solo act, she was billed as ”Marguerite Favar, That Dainty Dancy Soubrette.” Soon she put together a dance company and called herself, “Miss Marguerite Favar and Her Dainty Dancing Dolls,” and began touring the country. During one performance, a moving picture of the breaking sea at Atlantic City played in the background as the “dainty dolls” pretended to plunge into the surf.

Alice Favar

Marguerite’s mother died in November 1913 and was laid to rest at Hollywood Cemetery. The following March she brought her act back to Los Angeles to the Republic Theater as “Marguerite Favar and her Dancing Darlings.” The Los Angeles Times reviewed her act and reported the following:

“Girls are the principal attraction at the Republic Theater this week, for Margaret (sic) Favar and her seven dainty dancing girls are presenting a veritable feminine vaudeville turn de luxe. Magnificent stage settings, elaborate costuming, comely maidens, new songs, novel dancing and catchy music make it one of the biggest and best girl acts seen here for a long time. Miss Favar is clever and pretty, and quick with her feet, and her support is none the less agile.” – (Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1914).

Marguerite was a success and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. Her alluring beauty caused men in every city she visited to become infatuated with her. In letters to a close friend she continually referred to her many suitors that she encountered. Many wealthy men promised her happiness if she would become their bride. In her letters she made light of these proposals. Her friend warned her that this would mean that she would get in trouble one day and that it would be better if she married and settled down. She laughed at his warning.

In early 1915, Marguerite and her act was touring the south when they arrived in Greenwood, Mississippi. While there, disagreements arose between the young women and the act was disbanded. During her stay, Marguerite met James C. Crowell, millionaire manager of the Buckeye Cotton Oil Company, and the two began an affair.

Marguerite went to Memphis in August to direct a musical performance for a fraternal organization, and stayed on in that city to conduct private dancing lessons. Crowell soon joined her in Memphis where on September 21, 1915 she gave a dancing exhibition at the Women’s Club Building. After the performance, Crowell met Marguerite backstage and dismissed her chauffeur, Thomas Porter, saying he would drive the car himself. They returned to the Benham Flats apartment house where Marguerite was staying and they presumably retired for the night.

Shortly after sunrise the next morning, firemen were summoned by a janitor who discovered the apartment occupied by Favar was on fire. After putting out the blaze, they found Marguerite’s body lying on a bed, her skull crushed by the blow of a blunt instrument and her feet charred by the fire which had enveloped the bed. Crowell’s body was found in a hallway just outside her room. His head was badly battered and his throat was cut.

The room was in disorder, and the drawers to a dresser was ransacked, which the police at first believed confirmed a theory that burglars committed the crime. This, however, was partially discredited when jewelry valued at several thousand dollars was found.

Other residents of the apartment building reported that they heard a slight disturbance shortly before daylight, but the commotion ceased within a few minutes, and they knew nothing of the murders until they were aroused by the janitor when he discovered the fire.

The next day Guy Palmer, the janitor who discovered the fire and Thomas Porter, Marguerite’s chauffeur, were arrested for the murders. According to police, it was Palmer’s duty to go into the building about 5 am each morning and light a hot water heater, but on the morning of the murder, he claimed to have overslept. With very little else to go on, no formal charges were lodged against them and they were eventually released. Over the next two months four other men were questioned about the murders but were released for lack of evidence.

Marguerite Favar

 Marguerite Favar

When news of Marguerite’s murder reached Los Angeles, friends here were quick to set detectives on the track of the slayer, but the evidence they provided was not considered sufficient to warrant the arrest of a suspect. They were convinced they knew who the guilty man was but could not supply enough evidence to place before a jury with a reasonable hope of obtaining a conviction. It was their belief that Marguerite, who aroused many storms of jealousy during her stage career, was, with Crowell, the victim of a slighted lover who followed them from Greenwood to Memphis.

Memphis police were baffled by the murders. They finally began working on what they termed the “love trail,” which they hoped would lead them to the jealous mad lover of the actress who committed the murders. Members of Marguerites former dance troupe were questioned and all agreed that the actress played with love.

“She would encourage one man just long enough to make him a jealous suitor,” said Lovis Heyman, one of Marguerite’s Dainty Dancers. “Then she would turn to the next. She seemed to be proud of her ability to lure men to her. She cared no more for one than the other. It was certainly love of a man for her that resulted in the tragedy.”

Crowell’s body was released and returned to Greenwood the day following the murder. Marguerite’s body had to remain in Memphis until all legal matters were settled. As the actress apparently left no will and had no living relatives, friends arranged to have the body buried at the side of her mother in Hollywood Cemetery. It took some time to arrange for this, as legal matters connected to her estate had to be settled. Finally, after lying in the Memphis morgue for six months, the body of Marguerite Favar was returned to Los Angeles for burial.

The service was held at 2 pm on March 23, 1916 at the cemetery where friends gathered in the open air beside the Favar plot. Rev. Dr. James A. Francis of the First Baptist Church officiated. Earle C. Houck, who sang at Marguerite’s mother’s funeral, sang a similar tribute at her funeral.

Marguerite Favar’s killer was never found.

_________

 

  Favar directions

How to find Marguerite Favar’s grave

Marguerite Favar’s grave is located in the southern section of the Chandler Gardens (section 12). Drive down the road that parallels Paramount until you see the granite marker HELM (left) about 10 feet from the road. Stand at the right side of this marker and take about 18 steps and look down on your right and you will see Marguerite and her mother’s tombstones.

_________________________________

Judy Garland: her death and afterlife

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019


This is an encore post in memory of Judy Garland on the 50th anniversary of her death.

On the morning of June 23, 1969, the Los Angeles Times and New York Times both declared the same event with the same headline: “Judy Garland, 47, Found Dead.”

The actress died in her London apartment early on Sunday morning, June 22, 1969. Mickey Deans, her husband of three months, found her behind a locked bathroom door. When the police arrived, they viewed Garland’s body slumped on the toilet, with her head resting in her hands.

Judy Garland’s British death certificate (click on image to enlarge)

An autopsy revealed that the cause of her death was due to barbiturate poisoning, “an incautious self-overdosage of sleeping pills,” said Coroner Gavin Thurston. “This is quite clearly an accidental circumstance to a person who was accustomed to taking barbiturates over a very long time. She took more barbiturates than she could tolerate.”

Back in the States, Garland’s daughter, actress and singer Liza Minnelli, by her second husband Vincent Minnelli, was staying with friends in the Hamptons along with her husband, singer and songwriter, Peter Allen. Early that morning, Allen took a phone call from Liza’s secretary. When Allen woke Liza, she suspected bad news but thought there was something wrong with her father. Instead, he told her that her mother was dead.

Late Wednesday night, Garland’s body was returned to New York, with her husband, Mickey Deans, and the Rev. Peter Delany, who married the couple earlier that year, accompanying the body. In New York, when the plane arrived, Liza waited in a car in the parking lot of Kennedy Airport.

Minnelli released a statement: “I know my mother was a great star and a great talent, but I am not thinking about those things today. What I am thinking about is the woman, my mother, and what a lovely, vital, extraordinary woman she was. It is because of my memory of that woman that all my life I will be proud to say, ‘I am Judy Garland’s daughter.’”

The casket containing the body of Judy Garland is placed into a hearse at the airport after arriving from London.

A hearse took Garland’s body to Frank E. Campbell’s Funeral Church on East Eighty-First Street and Madison Avenue. The following day, she would repose for public viewing in a glass-covered coffin; a private funeral service would be held that Friday.

On Thursday, June 26, lines of Garland’s fans began forming by the thousand’s at one o’clock in the morning, ten hours before the doors opened to the public. Many were openly weeping, waiting to say their last good-bye to their idol. At the appointed time, each one passed by her bier at the rate of 1,200 an hour. Outside, recordings of Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and other of her songs were played by an admirer on a battery-powered record play. “She’s found the rainbow now,” sobbed one twenty-year-old fan. “I hope she has got some peace.” By noon, police estimated that there were 5,000 mourners waiting on the block between Madison and Fifth Avenues, that were closed to traffic.

In the flower-filled chapel—decorated with yellow and white daisies and chrysanthemums—fans moved past the glass-topped, baby-blue casket containing Garland’s body. The front of the casket, which was low to the floor, was wisely covered with flower arrangements so that those paying their respects could not get close to her. Her dark hair was short, and she wore red-orange lipstick and black fake eye lashes were placed on her closed eyes. She reportedly was wearing her wedding dress; an ankle length beige or light taupe gown with long sleeves, high neck, and a belt of gold and pearls. On her feet were silver satin shoes with silver bows. An Episcopal missal was in her gloved hands; she wore her wedding ring.

Huge floral sprays from such show business celebrities as Irving Berlin, Dirk Bogarde, several of the Hollywood studios, and from the Palace Theater, surrounded the bier. A huge, colorful “Over the Rainbow” flower tribute from Frank Sinatra was arched behind Garland’s casket.

Mickey Deans and Judy Garland.

Garland’s burial was left up to Mickey Deans (her children “had no say in the matter”) who announced earlier that morning that his wife’s body would be interred at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, a small town approximately twenty-five miles north of New York City. “I didn’t want to bury her in Hollywood, to have people walking over her grave and pointing,” he told reporters. “She has given enough. Anyway, they didn’t care in Hollywood. She was just a property and they used her as such.”

However, Sid Luft, Garland’s third husband would rather that his ex-wife be buried in Los Angeles, feeling it was where she became a star. But Deans felt that she would have preferred a cemetery on the East Coast since she reportedly was never fond of California.

Fans of Judy Garland stand in line to view the singer’s body.

The following day, the hot and humid weather did not deter the estimated 1,300 to 1,500 fans from maintaining a fervent vigil. Over the course of the previous day, an estimated 20,000 people had paused to peer into the glass-covered casket of their idol. It was the largest funeral that Campbell’s had seen since the death of silent film idol Rudolph Valentino in 1926.

In the crowd, pop icon Andy Warhol tape recorded many of the fans conversations, and photographer Diane Arbus took pictures.

Joey Luft, Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft enter Frank E. Campbell’s to attend their mother’s funeral.

Among Garland’s show business friends and colleagues attending were: Ray Bolger, Lauren Bacall, Alan King, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Johnny Mercer, Paulo Wayne, Fred Ebb, Freddie Bartholomew, Otto Preminger and Spyros Skouras, Harold Arlen, Mickey Rooney, Mayor and Mrs. Lindsay, and Patricia Kennedy Lawford.

The Rev. Peter Delaney of Marylebone Church, London, who officiated at Garland’s marriage to Deans, conducted the twenty-minute Episcopal service, portions of which were heard through a loudspeaker provided by Campbell’s in an upstairs room. Jack French, Garland’s musical accompanist, began the funeral with an organ rendition of one of Garland’s favorite songs, “Here’s to Us,” from the Broadway production Little Me.

The service included one of Garland’s favorite Bible passages, I Corinthians 13, which begins: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

James Mason, Garland’s costar from A Star is Born, gave the eulogy. “Judy’s great gift,” Mason began, “was that she could wring tears out of hearts of rock. She gave so richly and so generously, that there was no currency in which to repay her.”

French ended the service playing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which the congregation sang. Then, Garland’s coffin, under a blanket of yellow roses, was placed in a waiting hearse that headed a cortege of three limousines and a flower car. On Madison Avenue, where the crowd had surged through the barricades, a few Garland fans still gathered. Said one: “I have nothing else to do right now.”

Later, at Ferncliff Cemetery, several hundred-people waited as Garland’s casket was placed in a temporary crypt where it would remain until the elaborate tomb that Deans planned to build was completed. The crowd lingered about the crypt until finally, a policeman told them: “The funeral of Judy Garland is over. We would appreciate your leaving.”

That evening, many of the still emotional mourners who attended that day’s funeral, were reportedly drowning their sorrows across town at the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village gay bar. Since the Stonewall had no liquor license, it was basically a bottle club (a meeting place where customers are served drinks from their own liquor bottles) so customers had to sign-in, however, many used pseudonyms and “Judy Garland” was one of the most popular that evening.

According to legend, because of Garlands death and the funeral that day, many were still expressive about the diva’s passing. Even more so, when the New York police raided the bar at 1:20 a.m. the following morning; the patrons were ready for a fight. According to Sylvia Rivera, a seventeen-year-old drag queen who would become a well-known gay rights activist, there was a feeling in the air that something would happen that night: “I guess Judy Garland’s death just really helped us really hit the fan.”

The Stonewall Riots

What followed was a riot that became the flashpoint of the modern day gay liberation movement. Time magazine wrote: “The uprising was inspirited by a potent cocktail of pent-up rage (raids of gay bars were brutal and routine), overwrought emotions (hours earlier, thousands had wept at the funeral of Judy Garland) and drugs.”

However, years later some historians have contradicted that Garland’s death influenced the burgeoning gay rights movement, stating it was untrue. Some contend that most of those involved in the riots “were not the type to moon over Judy Garland records or attend her concerts at Carnegie Hall. They were more preoccupied with where they were going to sleep and where their next meal would come from.”

Nevertheless, Judy Garland’s connection to the Stonewall riots has persevered throughout gay history. It even inspired a play, Judy at the Stonewall Inn, where the ghost of Garland appears at the fabled Christopher Street bar as a sort of spiritual cheerleader. Even Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft, is proud of the connection, saying that her mother was a “huge, huge advocate of human rights” and that she would have found the rioting appropriate.

In the meantime, at Ferncliff, Garland’s body was not yet at rest. The cemetery is the final resting place of many celebrities, including Jerome Kern, Basil Rathbone and Moss Hart. The wing that would contain Garland’s planned memorial was still being built, so until then, her body was placed in a temporary vault. Ferncliff’s manager had assured Mickey Deans that “Judy would be its greatest star.” However, to pay for the memorial, Deans needed to raise $37,500, hoping to get it from Garland’s family and friends. But by November 1970, he still had not raised the funds and Garland remained in a drawer with the nameplate: “Judy Garland DeVinko” (Mickey Deans real name).

Deans was desperate. The fact that Garland was still in a temporary crypt evidently bothered him. “It’s wrong. It’s very wrong,” he would say. He hoped to raise the money by writing a book about his time with Garland (the book’s advance would cover Garland’s burial and more), but unfortunately Deans was not a writer, so he approached author Anne Edwards, who was working on her first non-fiction book, a biography of Garland. Deans suggested that they collaborate; he was sure it would be a best-seller. Naturally, Edwards refused his request, believing that Deans had created these “appalling” circumstances that he was in, himself. “I did not hesitate in telling him that I would in no way consider collaborating with him on a book,” Edwards stated.

Meanwhile, Garland’s interment bill at Ferncliff was still outstanding—plus steep interest charges. At the time, Edwards was corresponding with crooner Frank Sinatra about his memories of Garland. In one letter, she mentioned the “state of affairs at Ferncliff” with Garland still reposing in storage.

Then, several weeks later, Ferncliff’s manager informed Edwards that Sinatra had paid Garland’s outstanding bill, and that “Mrs. DeVinko” would be given a proper burial. Within weeks, Garland was placed in a simple wall crypt on the second floor of the new wing of the mausoleum with the simple inscription: “Judy Garland 1922 – 1969.” At Sinatra’s request, Edwards did not disclose that information in her biography.

Judy Garland’s grave at Ferncliff Cemetery.

Over the years, more celebrities joined Garland at Ferncliff including television host, Ed Sullivan; diva, Joan Crawford (downstairs in the old wing of the same building as Garland), and composer Harold Arlen (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”), among others.

Fans visited, and floral tributes were left in front of her floor level, beige marble slab. Members of Garland’s three fan clubs made sure there were always flowers. One fan had mums and roses delivered to her crypt every month for more than two decades. In the mid-1990s, a Ferncliff employee said, “Judy is the most popular interment we have here. We used to keep track of how many people came to see Judy, but now that everyone knows were she is they head right to her by themselves. If they forget, they simply look for the crypt with all the flowers in front of it.”

Fast forward nearly forty-eight years to January 2017, when Garland’s family announced that the singer’s remains would be exhumed from Ferncliff and moved cross-country to a new crypt at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. The family, who were now living in Southern California, had deliberated for several years about moving her and “wished to have their mother resting near them.” In addition, when Mickey Deans died in 2003, it became the family’s “opportunity to do what they feel their mother would have wanted in the first place—to be united with her family in Hollywood.”

Entrance to the Judy Garland Pavilion.

Hollywood Forever set aside a recently built, special wing of the Abbey of the Psalms mausoleum and renamed it the “Judy Garland Pavilion.” There is room for Garland’s family, including her children Liza, Lorna and her son Joey. Additionally, there are crypts and niches available for sale to any Judy Garland fan that might wish to be interred near their idol.

Ironically, she is not far from many friends and costars that she knew in life. There’s her close friend, Mickey Rooney, and from The Wizard of Oz: director Victor Fleming, cinematographer Harold Rosson, and costume designer Adrian.

At Ferncliff Cemetery, the management wasn’t certain what would be done with Garland’s empty crypt: “We haven’t decided what to do yet, but we think because she’s been here so long, we will just leave it here and memorialize her.”

In Hollywood, a private memorial service was held by Garland’s family and friends at her new crypt on June 10, 2017, which would have been the actresses 95th birthday. In a statement released to The Associated Press, the family offered gratitude to their mother’s “millions of fans around the world for their constant love and support.”

On a personal note, throughout my childhood, there were three yearly events that I excitedly looked forward to: Christmas morning; the last day of school, and the annual broadcast of The Wizard of Oz.

Judy Garland has always been a favorite of mine. The first television showing of The Wizard of Oz on CBS was broadcast less than two months after I was born. Of course, I don’t remember it, but I do know that Oz was the first film that left an impression on me, and Judy Garland was the first “movie star” I recognized. And I never missed a yearly broadcast–much to the chagrin of my poor mother. She couldn’t understand why I had to watch it every year. “But you’ve seen it already, why do you want to see it again?” she would cry in frustration. She didn’t get it.

Yet, each year I could watch it–some years by myself, or some years with my parents. Especially when we got our first color television and Technicolor brought the Land of Oz to life. Even so, one of my favorite scenes was the twister. The special effects fascinated me then, and they still hold up today.

I was also very defensive of Dorothy/Judy and her Yellow Brick Road companions. One year, on the day following an Oz broadcast, I was riding the school bus home and a kid sitting across the aisle began talking shit about Dorothy/Judy–he called her fat, and laughed about it. I was so angry, I wanted to punch him in the nose, but I withheld my ire.

Dressing up as The Wizard of Oz characters. I am the Tin Man on the far right.

Judy followed me yearly into young adulthood when I moved to Pittsburgh to attend art school. There, I was drawn to a group who was of like mind about Oz and Judy Garland. For Halloween one year, we dressed up as Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch–I was the Tin Man, and since we were art students, we made our own costumes (except for the Lion who had to rent his). Also, if memory serves me, I believe that was the last year of the annual Oz showing. But fear not, it wasn’t long before videos and VCR’s entered the market so you could own a piece of Oz and watch it whenever you wanted.

Let me just state–even though it may sound like it–I’m not a rabid Judy Garland fan. I don’t collect Garland memorabilia, nor do I attend the many conventions that are held yearly. But she was my first exposure to entertainment, and to Hollywood; a love that has remained with me my entire life.

It was almost fifteen years ago that the first rumors circulated that Judy Garland might be moving to Hollywood Forever. I was thrilled. But evidently there was a breakdown in communication within the family, or there was some other reason that it didn’t happen. I don’t know. Then, last January, when it was announced that it was finally happening–Judy Garland was being reinterred at Hollywood Forever in a beautiful art deco-ish mausoleum that sort of reminded me of Oz; it made me think.

I already had a niche at Hollywood Forever, in the Cathedral Mausoleum not far from Rudolph Valentino that I had bought several years ago. So, after deep thought, and with many niche’s (and some crypts) available for purchase, I decided to move. My new final resting place is directly across from Judy Garland’s crypt. To me, it made sense since Judy was a part of my early life–now she will be a part of my eternity (hopefully not for a few decades, though).

Joseph Hazelton” “This Man Saw Lincoln Shot”

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

On April 14, 1865, a schoolboy, with his school books strapped across his shoulder, romped down Tenth Street in Washington DC. As he approached Ford’s Theatre, there standing in front was a tall man with raven black hair and a drooping mustache.

John Wilkes Booth

That man was the actor, John Wilkes Booth; that night, he would change the nation’s destiny. The boy was Joseph Hazelton, a “program boy” and usher at Ford’s Theatre. Shortly before his death in 1936, Hazelton believed he was the only man still living who witnessed the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (actually, another man who claimed to also witness the assassination, Samuel James Seymore, lived until 1956 (age 96) and appeared on I’ve Got a Secret).

Hazelton was born at Wilmington, New York, on March 26, 1853 but his family later moved to Washington D.C. In the nation’s capital, he served as a Page in the U.S. Senate, and worked as a railroad clerk. He eventually became an actor on the stage, and later in films for over sixty-eight years, appearing in such silent films as Unrest (1914), Please Get Married (1919), and, most notably, in the role of Mr. Grimwig in Oliver Twist (1922) with Lon Chaney.

Joseph Hazelton (far left) as Mr. Grimwig, and Jackie Coogan in Oliver Twist (1922) (click on image to enlarge)

Hazelton would spend his life recalling the memories of Lincoln’s assassination, appearing on radio and lecturing at numerous venues across the country. The following account by Hazelton is an excerpt taken from an article published in Good Housekeeping (February 1927) magazine. The multi-page article, written by Campbell MacCulloch, was entitled, “This Man Saw Lincoln Shot:”

“[In front of Ford’s Theatre, Booth] beckoned me over to him, lifted my cap from my head, ran his fingers through my hair and said: ‘Well, little man, are you going to be an actor some day?’ I replied: ‘I don’t know, Mr. Booth, perhaps.’ 

“Little did I dream at the time that I would spend fifty years of my life in the theatrical profession. Booth took from his pocket a little folder, which contained the coin of the day commonly known as ‘shin plasters’ of the denominations of five, ten, twenty-five and fifty cents. Handing me a ten cent plaster, he pulled my hat playfully over my eyes, patted me on the shoulders and bade me run buy myself something… 

“Well, I went around the Theatre that night, as was my custom…It was a gala night, the play was ‘Our American Cousin’ and Laura Keene was the star. Almost everyone knew that the President would be there… The house was packed, the gold lace of the Army and Navy predominating. The President and his party came late, the second act was on, and as Mr. Lincoln entered the audience rose en masse and cheered, Mr. Lincoln came down to the front of the box…bowed his acknowledgments and took his seat and the play went on. The third act was on and I was standing directly opposite the President’s box, looking up at him…to see how he was enjoying the play. 

“I happened to turn my head toward the main entrance and saw Wilkes-Booth enter. He stopped a moment to say a word to Mr. Buckingham, the door-keeper, then started upstairs to the Dress Circle. As he passed along the side aisle toward the President’s box, I noticed the change in his dress. When he spoke to me in the afternoon he was dressed in the height of fashion…now he was wearing heavy riding boots, spurs, a blue flannel shirt and an army slouch hat. I wondered…what he was doing there on such a gala night dressed in such a garb. 

“I did not have long to wait, there was a flash, a report and President Lincoln has been assassinated. There are not words in the English language to describe the awful hush which fell over the house…no one seemed to take the initiative, until Laura Keene, rushing down to the footlights, cried, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, the President has been shot!’ then all was pandemonium. 

“When Booth fired the shot he dropped the weapon, a single barrelled (sic) affair, called a derringer, and drawing a Bowie knife ran to the edge of the box. Major Rathbone tried to stop him, and received an ugly wound on his arm. Booth leaped over the rail of the box to the stage, but his spur caught in the American flag which draped the box and he fell to the stage…to my dying day I shall never forget the look of anguish and despair on that man’s face, as he half dragged himself to the center. 

“Then brandishing the knife above his head and with a maniac stare, cried out, ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’. He managed to get to the stage door where his horse was being held, mounted and rode rapidly away… They carefully lifted the President and carried him across the street to the home of Mr. Peterson, one of our merchants. The building is now being used as the Olroyd Lincoln Museum….” 

At the end of the manuscript, Hazelton describes being under the window of the home where Lincoln’s body was taken, and hearing first-hand that the President had died. On the day that Hazelton told his story to MacCullough, Robert Todd Lincoln, the last surviving son of the martyred President, was laid to rest in a quiet New England community.

In addition, Hazelton would go on the radio every year on the anniversary of Lincoln’s death to tell his story. Click here to listen to Hazelton’s story in his own voice. 

Fascinatingly, Hazelton had some controversial opinions about John Wilkes Booth. He believed that Booth escaped from authorities the evening of the assassination, and fled to South America for a few years, returning to Enid, Oklahoma in 1903. Upon his deathbed, Booth called for a priest and asked for absolution, telling the priest that he was John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln’s assassin. He submitted credentials to the sheriff which indicated that he was Booth.

To corroborate his story, the sheriff was referred to Hazelton, who was living in Hollywood. The sheriff wired Hazelton and asked him if he could come to Enid to identify Booth. As Hazelton was unable to make the trip, he asked the sheriff to wire a description of the man’s right thumb, which was reportedly mangled. Upon receipt of this information, Hazelton wired the sheriff that the man in questions was, indeed, John Wilkes Booth.

Death certificate of Joseph Hazelton (click on image to enlarge)

On Saturday, October 3, 1936, Hazelton was working at Warner Bros. Studio when he suddenly became ill and was rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital. The following Friday, October 9, he died from pneumonia at age 83. Hazelton had no survivors and his funeral was handled by the Motion Picture Relief Fund through Pierce Brothers mortuary; Hazelton was interred at Hollywood Cemetery (now Hollywood Forever) in an unmarked grave.

The unmarked grave of Joseph Hazelton located in the Garden of Beginnings (Section 2), grave 441.

A Hollywood murder most foul…

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

Ann McKnight was a 23-year-old dancer and film extra, and one of the hundreds of hopefuls that arrived in Hollywood each year, eager to break into show business.

Ann was born in New Britain, Connecticut on November 19, 1906. Her father, John McKnight was a traveling optician and her mother Annie, was a housewife. Ann’s siblings included Mabel, Ada, Edward and Milton.

After Ann’s father died when she was young, her family moved to Denver, Colorado to live with her older married sister Mabel. In July 1924, Annie remarried to Harry Steck. Ann, along with her sister Ada got the acting bug and moved to Hollywood in October 1927 to try to make it in the movies.

Changing her name to Joy McKnight, Ada found a bit part in the film, Bitter Sweets (1928) starring Barbara Belford and Ralph Graves. However, that appeared to be the extent to her film career other than some possible uncredited extra and bit roles. Yet, in the 1930 Census, she labeled herself as an “actress.” Ann, too, only found extra work and possibly some dance gigs at the local clubs. Finally, she found work as a drug store clerk.

[Note: IMDB.com wrongly confuses this Ann McKnight with another who was a film editor. Their biography and death date is for the McKnight who was murdered in 1930, yet the films listed and birth date are for McKnight, the film editor (it’s not known when she died).]

Instead, both sisters found husbands and were married. Joy wed Jack Hoskins and had twins, Joy and Jack. Ann fell for the charms of William Henry Burkhart and married him on March 27, 1928. From the beginning, Ann’s marriage was filled with physical abuse. In addition, Burkhart was reportedly an alcoholic and took drugs.

Burkhart’s abuses were continuous until finally in July 1929, Ann left Burkhart and lived with her sisters’ family at 933 ½ La Jolla Avenue in West Hollywood. Ann filed for divorce, but Burkhart made threats, telling friends that if he couldn’t have her, “nobody else shall because l will kill her first.”

Burkhart intimidated and stalked Ann over the next few months. Finally, in March 1930, he set a plan in motion to get her back.

On several occasions, Burkhart met with Ann, eager to mend their marriage. Reportedly, Ann told her husband that if he rented an apartment and bought a car, she would give him another chance. He convinced Ann to meet with her on the evening of March 24, 1930, promising to surprise her. She agreed.

That afternoon, Burkhart resigned his position as a bookkeeper with the Los Angeles Gas Electric Company. Then, using a fake name (Charles G. Thompson), and counterfeit checks, he purchased a Ford coupe, and, under the name C. L. Burns, he rented a bungalow apartment at 6742 Franklin Place, one block north of the Hollywood Hotel. He told the landlady that he would return that evening with his wife.

Site of bungalow apartments at 6740 Franklin Place where murder of Ann McKnight was discovered. (click on image to enlarge)

At around 6:30 pm, the couple arrived at Franklin Place where Burkhart introduced Ann to the landlady who was sprinkling the lawn. A few minutes after they entered their apartment, the landlady saw the front door “jerked open” and Ann standing there between the door and screen door. Burkhart came up behind her, placed his arm around her and pulled her back into the apartment as she let out a “moaning cry.” Within the hour, they left in the Ford coupe and went driving while imbibing freely on wine tonic.

Three hours later, Burkhart had returned and knocked on the apartment door of his Franklin Place neighbor, James Thompson and his wife, who were playing cards with another couple. Burkhart introduced himself as their new neighbor and asked for a match. He admitted that he had been drinking, but added, “you might think that I am stiff, but my wife is stiffer.”

After Burkhart left, the Thompson’s and their guests heard a noise, like the falling of a body. Burkhart returned only a few minutes later. “May I speak to you as a friend?” Burkhart asked Thompson and his guest. The three men walked through Burkhart’s apartment and out the rear door to the alley where Ann was laying on the ground. Burkhart explained that his wife “had passed out drunk” and he needed their help to get her into his car.

Murder site photo of Ann McNight’s body: Warning: graphic. (Pinterest) (click on photo to enlarge)

Thompson knelt and checked for a pulse. Noticing blood on her blouse he remarked that she “didn’t look drunk.”

“Well,” Burkhart explained, “she always acts that way when she gets drunk.”

When Burkhart left to move his car closer, Thompson and his friend went inside and called the police. When they returned, they saw Burkhart dragging Ann’s body to the coupe, leaving a trail of blood on the cement behind her.

Aerial view of McKnight murder site at Franklin Place and Highland Avenue. (click on image to enlarge)

 

When the police arrived, they called an ambulance. Burkhart lit a cigarette and told them it was no use, adding, “She is dead.” Burkhart once again claimed that he was drunk but insisted that his wife was “dead drunk.” Officers observed that he did not appear drunk and one even accused him of being “spasmodically” intoxicated, or simulating drunkenness. Later, a stomach pump produced little alcohol.

When he was searched, officers found a fully loaded .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver with blood on the handle in Burkhart’s pocket. “You can’t prove I shot my wife,” Burkhart blurted out. Until then, Ann’s cause of death had not been concluded. “Is your wife shot?” an officer asked. Realizing he had made a slip, Burkhart claimed he heard the other officers discussing it.

Ann McKnight Burkhart’s death certificate (click on image to enlarge)

An examination of the Ford coupe found blood and two bullet holes; it was apparent that Ann was killed in the auto at least two hours earlier.

The autopsy determined she had been shot five times; in the arm and chest, and three times in the back. Based on the crime scene evidence, police determined that Burkhart had sexual intercourse with Ann after she was dead. When confronted by police with this observation, Burkhart said nothing but only hung his head.

At Burkhart’s arraignment, he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but later dropped the insanity clause and pleaded not guilty.

Several days later, Ann’s body was interred in a plot at Hollywood Cemetery, just several feet from the wall that still separates the cemetery from Paramount Studios. A wooden cross showing Ann’s name, and birth and death dates, was placed on her grave.

At Burkhart’s trial, Ann’s sister Joy Haskins testified that he allegedly said that no one else would have her sister even if “I have to spend the rest of my life in the penitentiary.”

Burkhart chose not to take the stand in his defense but based on witness testimony and police and ballistic reports, the jury found him guilty of premeditated murder. “I hope Joy is satisfied now,” Burkhart said, knowing that his sister-in-law had campaigned heavily to have him jailed. He later said that Ann’s family was responsible for turning her against him and convincing her to get an abortion shortly after they were married.

William Burkhart’s mug shot at Folsom Prison. (click on image to enlarge)

After the verdict, Burkart’s attorneys filed an appeal with California Governor James Rolph who was sent several petitions to pardon the convicted man. In his letters to Rolph, Burkart claimed he did not recollect killing his wife. He said that drinking and taking morphine tablets that day had dulled his memory. “I was riding around, and I didn’t know who I was with, where I went, or what I did. My mind is blank as to what happened that evening. The next I remember I was in jail; terribly sick and dizzy,” he wrote to the governor.

Burkhart’s mother, Sarah, knowing that her son was facing a death sentence, wrote to California Supreme Court Chief Justice, William Waste, begging him to “save his life”:

“…as I told you his wife is gone, and it will not bring her back, but it will make so many sad hearts so happy just to know he lives,” she pleaded with Waste. Likewise, Joy Haskins asked the governor to consider life imprisonment instead of death, but only because Mrs. Burkhart pleaded with her daily. “…for the sake of his aged mother,” Haskins wrote, “I will be willing to signe [sic] some [thing] for life sentence, but not to help him get out in a few years.”

After nearly a year and five reprieve requests from Governor Rolph, the California Supreme Court upheld the jury’s original decision that “the killing was the product of an abandoned and malignant heart [and] was premeditated finds ample support in the record and warranted the infliction of the death penalty.”

Attorneys made one more attempt to prove that Burkhart was insane, but the physician at Folsom Prison reported that the prisoner’s “emotional reactions are good” and he “does not show any delusions, hallucinations, or abnormal mental processes.”

Remarkably, Governor Rolph made a sixth attempt to save the condemned man from the gallows but Chief Justice Waste informed him that he would not recommend any further reprieves.

Burkhart finally accepted his fate and was scheduled to be executed at Folsom Prison on January 30, 1932, nearly two years after he planned and implemented the murder of his wife Ann McKnight Burkhart. The evening before his execution, he wrote letters to his mother and a sister, both living in Los Angeles.

On the morning of his hanging, Burkhart was nervous as he faced the prospect of the long walk down the corridor to the death chamber. He asked for a glass of water before being taken from his cell, not saying anything during the walk or while on the gallows. Rev. B. H. Householder, Methodist minister from Sacramento, gave him his final spiritual solace.

Burkhart’s execution marked the end of one of the longest and most varied series of appeals in the history of capital punishment in California at that time. Five attorneys, at various times prosecuted appeals for Burkhart, the State Supreme Court refusing three times to recommend commutation of his sentence to life imprisonment.

Location of graves at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (click on image to enlarge)

Though William Henry Burkhart had finally paid the ultimate price for the murder of his wife, there would be another affront committed against the murdered woman. In the area where Ann’s body rests, there used to be a road just a few steps away.

When William Burkhart was executed, he was also interred at Hollywood Cemetery (now Hollywood Forever) and remarkably his body was buried in a plot directly across that road from Ann, lying just a few feet away from his murdered wife. Most likely a last request from the convicted felon performed by his family. However, the road that once separated them, was filled in several years ago and new graves now rest between them.

Ground view of grave locations at Hollywood Forever (click on image to enlarge)

One last travesty; Ann’s grave is now unmarked because the wooden marker that was placed on it at her death in 1930, has since rotted and disappeared decades ago, yet Burkart has a permanent flat granite tablet to mark his grave.

Approximate location of Ann McKnight’s unmarked grave.

Grave marker of convicted and executed murderer William Henry Burkhart.


Serge Oukrainsky, choreographer and protégé of Anna Pavlova

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Serge Oukrainsky was born Leonide Orlay de Carva on December 2, 1885, in Odessa, Russia. Oukrainsky was educated in Paris and began his stage career in 1911 as a mime at the Theatre de Chatelet’s French Musical Festival. He arrived in the United States two years later with Anna Pavlova’s company, and remained with that troupe as a soloist and Pavlova’s partner until 1915, subsequent to her historic break with Michael Mordkin. In 1940, Oukrainsky authored “My Two Years with Anna Pavlova,” a memoir of the dancer’s latter career.

Pavley-Oukrainsky Ballet trunk (1920s) Serge Oukrainsky Collection, Museum of Performance (click image to enlarge)

Andreas Pavley, Anna Ludmila, and Serge Oukrainsky, c. 1920. Source: Newberry Library (Barzel Collection)

He moved to Chicago, where he was the leading dancer, and director of the Chicago Opera Ballet until 1927. At the same time, with Andreas Pavley, he established the Pavley-Oukrainsky School of Ballet, which affiliated with the opera during Mary Garden’s reign as prima diva.

The Pavley-Oukrainsky Ballet toured extensively in the United States, Mexico, Cuba and South America. In July 1931, Pavley died mysteriously when he plunged from the sixteenth floor of Chicago’s McCormick Hotel. Reportedly he had financial reverses and was unable to meet a blackmailer’s extortion demand for $100. Police claimed it was a suicide, but Oukrainsky and other friends insisted it was an accident. After Pavley’s death, he formed the Serge Oukrainsky Ballet.

In 1927, Oukrainsky moved to California where, until 1931, he served as the ballet master of the San Francisco and Los Angeles operas. He was the choreographer for the Hollywood Bowl and several films; in 1934, he taught ballet in Hollywood. He had been in semiretirement for several years when Oukrainsky died after a long illness on November 1, 1972 at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. He was interred in the mid-southern part of Chandler Gardens (Section 12) at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Oscar nominees and winners at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2017 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California at 5:00 p.m. PST on March 4, 2018.

To celebrate, let’s take a look at all (I hope none are hiding anywhere) Oscar nominees/winners that are interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Pierre Collings (1902-1937) was the first Academy Award nominee and winner to be interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. He received two Best Writing/Story nominations/wins for The Story of Louis Pasteur, a 1938 bio-pic starring fellow Hollywood Forever resident and Oscar winner, Paul Muni (1895-1967) as the famous French biologist. Technician Nathan Levinson (1888-1952) had the most nominations at 24 for Best Recording, of which he received one statue, but also was bestowed with two technical awards and one Honorary. Composer Victor Young (1900-1956) came in second at 22 nominations and one win, which sadly, was given posthumously. Cinematographer Arthur C. Miller (1895-1970) won the most at three statues. The last Oscar nominee to be interred here was screenwriter Fay Kanin (1917-2013). Ironically, the last Oscar winner to be laid to rest was Kanin’s husband–and often writing partner–screenwriter Michael Kanin (1910-1993). They shared a writing nomination for 1958’s Teacher’s Pet starring Clark Gable and Doris Day.

Image result for hollywood forever cemetery

The following are the Hollywood Forever residents that were nominated or won an Academy Award or Honorary awards, and the films they were nominated/won for. The co-founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are also included.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Academy Award Nominees and Winners. An asterisk (*) signifies the film that they won for:

1. George S. Barnes (1892-1953) Best Cinematography. 8 noms; 1 win. The Magic Flame (1927); The Devil Dancer (1927); Sadie Thompson (1928); Our Dancing Daughters (1928); *Rebecca (1940); The Spanish Main (1945); Spellbound (1945); Samson and Delilah (1949). Plot: Abbey of the Psalms, Sanctuary of Refuge, Corr G-2, Crypt 2087.

2. Anne Bauchens (1882-1967) Best Film Editing. 4 noms; 1 win. Cleopatra (1934); *Northwest Mounted Police (1940); The Greatest Show on Earth (1952); The Ten Commandments (1956). Plot: Chapel Columbarium, Lower floor, northwest wall, T-2, N-3.

3. Jack Brooks (1912-1971) Best Music, Original Song. 3 noms; 0 wins. Canyon Passage (1946); Son of Paleface (1952); The Caddy (1953). Plot: Abbey of the Psalms, Haven of Faith, T-11, N-4.

4. R. Dale Butts (1910-1990) Best Music. 1 nom; 0 wins. Flame of the Barbary Coast (1945). Plot: Section 2, Lot 69.

5. Louis Calhern (1895-1956) Best Actor. 1 nom; 0 wins. The Magnificent Yankee (1950). Plot: Abbey of the Psalms, Abbey Foyer, T-3, N-308, South wall.

6. Charles H. Christie (1880-1955) One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Lot 178 – family marker – unmarked.

7. Pierre Collings (1902-1937) Best Writing/Story. 2 noms; 2 wins. *The Story of Louis Pasteur (1937) [2 wins]. Plot: Section 2W, Lot 696.

8. Irving Cummings (1888-1959) Best Director. 1 nom; 0 wins. In Old Arizona (1928). Plot: Section 13, Lot 305.

9. Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959) Best Director. 1 nom; 0 wins. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) / Best Picture. 2 noms; 1 win. *The Greatest Show on Earth (1952); The Ten Commandments (1957) / *Honorary Award (1950) / *Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award (1953). One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Lot 50.

10. Elmer Dyer (1892-1970) Best Cinematography. 1 nom; 0 wins. Air Force (1943). Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Lot 53.

11. Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) *Honorary Award (1940) [posthumous]. One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Plot: Large reflecting pool plot adjacent to the Cathedral Mausoleum.

12. Daniel L. Fapp (1904-1986) Best Cinematography. 7 noms; 1 win. Desire Under the Elms (1958); The Five Pennies (1959); One, Two, Three (1961); *West Side Story (1961); The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964); Ice Station Zebra (1968); Marooned (1969). Plot: Court of the Apostles, Unit 9 (south side).

13. Charles K. Feldman (1904-1968) Best Picture. 1 nom; 0 wins. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Plot: Abbey of the Psalms, Sanctuary of Faith, Corr D-3, Crypt 2305.

14. Peter Finch (1916-1977) Best Actor. 2 noms; 1 win. Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971); *Network (1976). Plot: Cathedral Mausoleum, Corr A, Crypt 1224.

15. Victor Fleming (1889-1949) Best Director. 1 nom; 1 win. *Gone with the Wind (1939). Plot: Abbey of the Psalms, Sanctuary of Refuge, Crypt 2081.

16. John Foreman (1925-1992) Best Picture. 2 noms; 0 wins. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); Prizzi’s Honor (1985). Plot: unknown.

17. Sidney Franklin (1893-1972) Best Director. 1 nom; 0 wins. The Good Earth (1937). *Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award (1943). Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Lot 1127.

18. George Froeschel (1891-1979) Best Writing, Screenplay. 2 noms; 1 win. Random Harvest (1942); *Mrs. Miniver (1942). Plot: Section 6, Lot 382.

19. Victor A. Gangelin (1899-1967) Best Art Direction. 2 noms; 1 win. Since You Went Away (1944); *West Side Story (1961). Plot: Section 9, Grave 910.

20. Judy Garland (1922-1969) Best Actress. 1 nom; 0 wins. A Star is Born (1954) / Best Supporting Actress. 1 nom; 0 wins. Judgement at Nuremburg (1961) / *Juvenile Award (1940). Plot: Abbey of the Psalms Mausoleum, Judy Garland Pavilion.

21. Tony Gaudio (1883-1951) Best Cinematography. 6 noms; 1 win. Hell’s Angels (1930); *Anthony Adverse (1936); Juarez (1939); The Letter (1940); Corvette K-225 (1943); A Song to Remember (1945). Plot: Section 5, Lot 471.

22. Janet Gaynor (1906-1984) Best Actress. 2 noms; 1 win. *[Sunrise (1927), 7th Heaven (1927), Street Angel (1928)]; A Star is Born (1937). Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Lot 193.

23. Joan Hackett (1934-1983) Best Supporting Actress. 1 nom; 0 wins. Only When I Laugh (1981). Plot: Abbey of the Psalms, Sanctuary of Faith, Corr D-3, Crypt 2314.

24. Karl Hajos (1889-1950) Best Music. 2 noms; 0 wins. Summer Storm (1944); The Man Who Walked Alone (1945). Plot: Section 14, Row B, Grave 54.

25. Lenny Hayton (1908-1971) Best Music. 6 noms; 2 wins. The Harvey Girls (1946); The Pirate (1948); *On the Town (1949); Singin’ in the Rain (1952); Star! (1968); *Hello, Dolly! (1969). Plot: Plains of Abraham, Lot 153, Grave 19.

26. Milton E. Hoffman (1879-1952) One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Plot: Abbey of the Palms, Sanctuary of Refuge, Corr G-1, Crypt 321.

27. John Huston (1906-1987) Best Director. 5 noms; 1 win. *The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); The Asphalt Jungle (1950); The African Queen (1951); Moulin Rouge (1952); Prizzi’s Honor (1985) / Best Writing. 8 noms; 1 win. Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet (1940); The Maltese Falcon (1941); Sergeant York (1941); *The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); The Asphalt Jungle (1950); The African Queen (1951); Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957); The Man Who Would Be King (1975) / Best Picture. 1 nom; 0 wins. Moulin Rouge (1952) / Best Supporting Actor. 1 nom; 0 wins. The Cardinal (1963). Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Lot 6.

28. Harry Jackson (1896-1953) Best Cinematography. 1 nom; 0 wins. Mother Wore Tights (1947). Plot: Chapel Columbarium, Column D, Niche 2, Tier 2.

29. Fay Kanin (1917-2013) Best Writing. 1 nom; 0 wins. Teacher’s Pet (1958). Plot: New Beth Olam Mausoleum, 3d floor, Corr T-J-1-3.

30. Michael Kanin (1910-1993) Best Writing. 2 noms; 1 win. *Woman of the Year (1942); Teacher’s Pet (1958). Plot: New Beth Olam Mausoleum, 3rd floor, Corr T-J-1-3, Crypt 4762.

31. Bronislaw Kaper (1902-1983) Best Music-Score. 3 noms; 1 win. The Chocolate Soldier (1941); *Lili (1953); Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) / Best Original Song. 1 nom; 0 wins. Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). Plot: New Beth Olam Mausoleum, Hall of David, Corridor T-1, Niche 1513, Tier 15.

32. Frank P. Keller (1913-1977) Best Film Editing. 4 noms; 1 win. Beach Red (1967); *Bullitt (1968); The Hot Rock (1972); Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1973). Plot: Garden of Eternal Love, Section 5, east side.

33. Michael Kidd (1915-2007) *Honorary Award (1997). Plot: Section 13, Lot 847, Space 1.

34. Frederick Kohner (1905-1986) Best Writing. 1 nom; 0 wins. Mad About Music (1938). Plot: Garden of Jerusalem, Section 18.

35. Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) Best Music. 3 noms; 1 win. *The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938); The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939); The Sea Hawk (1940). Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Lot 15.

36. Milton R. Krasner (1904-1988) Best Cinematography. 7 noms; 1 win. Arabian Nights (1942); All About Eve (1950); *Three Coins in the Fountain (1954); An Affair to Remember (1957); How the West Was Won (1962); Love with the Proper Stranger (1963); Fate is the Hunter (1964). Plot: New Beth Olam Mausoleum, Corr T-7-2, Gates of Heaven, Crypt 1498 (unmarked).

37. Harry Kurnitz (1908-1968) Best Writing. 1 nom; 0 wins. What Next, Corporal Hargrove? (1945). Plot: Garden of Shalom, Section 16, Row K, Grave 22.

38. Jesse L. Laskey (1880-1958) One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Plot: Abbey of the Psalms, Sanctuary of Light, Corr G-3, Crypt 2196.

39. Lester Lee (1904-1956) Best Music-Original Song. 1 nom; 0 wins. Miss Sadie Thompson (1953). Plot: Garden of Eternal Love, Section 5, Lot 838.

40. Sonya Levien (1888-1960) Best Writing. 2 noms; 1 win. State Fair (1933); *Interrupted Melody (1955). Plot: Garden of Jerusalem, Section 18, Lot 929, urn garden, far southeast corner of section.

41. Nathan Levinson (1888-1952) Best Sound-Recording/Special Effects. 24 noms; 1 win. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1933); Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933); 42nd Street (1933); Flirtation Walk (1934); Captain Blood (1935); The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936); The Life of Emile Zola (1937); Four Daughters (1938); The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)-2 noms; The Sea Hawk (1940)-2 noms; The Sea Wolf (1941); Sergeant York (1941); Desperate Journey (1942); *Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942); Air Force (1943); This is the Army (1943); The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944); Hollywood Canteen (1944); Rhapsody in Blue (1945); A Stolen Life (1946); Johnny Belinda (1948); A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) / *Technical Achievement Award (1936) / *Honorary Award (1941) / *Technical Achievement Award (1948). Plot: Beth Olam Mausoleum, Foyer O, T-8, N-7.

42. Jeanie MacPherson (1886-1946) One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Plot: Chapel Colonnade, west Corr, South Wall, T-2.

43. Joe Mantell (1915-2010) Best Supporting Actor. 1 nom; 0 wins. Marty (1955). Plot: Section 21, Row 15, Grave 23.

44. Gertrude Ross Marks (1916-1994) Best Documentary. 1 nom; 0 wins. Walls of Fire (1971). Plot: New Beth Olam mausoleum, 3rd Floor, Corr T-J-1-3, Crypt 7763.

45. J. Peverell Marley (1901-1964) Best Cinematography. 2 noms; 0 wins. Suez (1938); Life with Father (1947). Plot: Cathedral Mausoleum, Crypt 223.

46. Hattie McDaniel (1895-1952) Best Supporting Actress. 1 nom; 1 win. *Gone with the Wind (1939). Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, south of lake: Cenotaph.

47. Adolphe Menjou (1890-1963) Best Actor. 1 nom; 0 wins. The Front Page (1931). Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Lot 11.

48. Michel Michelet (1894-1995) Best Music. 2 noms; 0 wins. Voice in the Wind (1944); The Hairy Ape (1944). Plot: Chapel Columbarium, Second Floor, west wall, T-3, N-11.

49. Arthur C. Miller (1895-1970) Best Cinematography. 7 noms; 3 wins. The Rains Come (1939); The Blue Bird (1940); *How Green Was My Valley (1941); This Above All (1942); *The Song of Bernadette (1943); The Keys of the Kingdom (1944); *Anna and the King of Siam (1946). Plot: Abbey of the Psalms, Haven of Remembrance, T-1, N-3.

50. Thomas Miranda (1886-1962) One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Plot: Cathedral Mausoleum, Alcove of Reverence, T-15, N-5.

51. Paul Muni (1895-1967) Best Actor. 6 noms; 1 win. The Valiant (1929); I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932); Black Fury (1935) [write-in]; *The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936); The Life of Emile Zola (1937); The Last Angry Man (1959). Plot: Plains of Abraham, Section 14, Grave 57.

52. Dudley Nichols (1895-1960) Best Writing. 4 noms; 1 win. *The Informer (1935); The Long Voyage Home (1940); Air Force (1943); The Tin Star (1957). Plot: Garden of Exodus, Section 13. Note: Nichols refused to accept his award for The Informer because of the antagonism between several industry guilds and the academy over union matters. This marked the first time an Academy Award had been declined. Academy records show that Dudley was in possession of an Oscar statuette by 1949.

53. Ingo Preminger (1911-2006) Best Picture. 1 nom; 0 wins. M*A*S*H (1970). Plot: Garden of Eternal Love, Section 5, Lot 11, Grave 1.

54. Nelson Riddle (1921-1985) Best Music. 5 noms; 1 win. Li’l Abner (1959); Can-Can (1960); Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964); Paint Your Wagon (1969); *The Great Gatsby (1974). Plot: New Beth Olam Mausoleum, Corr T-1, Columbarium, Niche 702, Tier 7.

55. Hugo Riesenfeld (1879-1939) Best Music. 1 nom, 0 wins. Make a Wish (1937). Plot: Section 17, Row R, Plot 15.

56. Mickey Rooney (1920-2014) Best Actor. 2 noms; 0 wins. Babes in Arms (1939); The Human Comedy (1943) / Best Supporting Actor. 2 noms; 0 wins. The Bold and the Brave (1956); The Black Stallion (1979) / *Juvenile Award (1939) / *Honorary Award (1983). Plot: Cathedral Lake View, Elevation 15, Couch B-1501.

57. Harold Rosson (1895-1988) Best Cinematography. 5 noms; 0 wins. The Wizard of Oz (1939); Boom Town (1940); Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944); The Asphalt Jungle (1950); The Bad Seed (1956) / *Honorary Award. The Garden of Allah (1936). Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Plot 43.

58. Hans J. Salter (1896-1994) Best Music. 6 noms; 0 wins. It Started with Eve (1941); The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943); The Merry Monahans (1944); Christmas Holiday (1944); Can’t Help Singing (1944); This Love of Ours (1945). Plot: Section 16, Lot 66B.

59. Joseph Schildkraut (1896-1964) Best Supporting Actor. 1 nom; 1 win. The Life of Emile Zola (1937). Plot: Beth Olam Mausoleum, Foyer R, West wall, Niche 212.

60. Leon Schlesinger (1884-1949) Best Short Subject-Cartoons. 6 noms; 0 wins. It’s Got Me Again (1932); A Wild Hare (1940); Rhapsody in Rivets (1941); Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt (1941); Pigs in a Polka (1943); Greetings Bait (1943). Plot: Beth Olam Mausoleum, Corr M-4, T-5-2, Crypt 1275.

61. Leonard Spigelgass (1908-1985) Best Writing. 1 nom; 0 wins. Mystery Street (1950). Plot: New Beth Olam Mausoleum, T-8-2, Crypt 7934.

62. George Stoll (1902-1985) Best Music. 9 noms; 1 win. Babes in Arms (1939); Strike Up the Band (1940) [2 noms]; For Me and My Gal (1942); Meet Me in St. Louis (1944); *Anchors Aweigh (1945); Love Me or Leave Me (1955); Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956); Billy Rose’s Jumbo (1962). Plot: Beth Olam, Section 18.

63. Gregg Toland (1904-1948) Best Cinematography. 6 noms; 1 win. Les Misérables (1935); Dead End (1937); Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939); *Wuthering Heights (1939); The Long Voyage Home (1940); Citizen Kane (1941). Plot: Chapel Columbarium, Lower Column H, Niche 2, Tier 4.

64. Franz Waxman (1906-1967) Best Music. 12 noms; 2 wins. The Young in Heart (1938) [2 noms]; Rebecca (1940); Suspicion (1941); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941); Objective, Burma! (1945); Humoresque (1946); *Sunset Blvd. (1950); *A Place in the Sun (1951); The Silver Chalice (1954); The Nun’s Story (1959); Taras Bulba (1962). Plot: Beth Olam Mausoleum, Hall of Solomon, Foyer O, T-5, N-1.

65. Clifton Webb (1889-1966) Best Supporting Actor. 2 noms; 0 wins. Laura (1944); The Razor’s Edge (1946) / Best Actor. 1 nom; 0 wins. Sitting Pretty (1948). Plot: Abbey of the Psalms, Corr G-6, Crypt 2350.

66. Jules White (1900-1985) Best Short Subject-Two Reel/Comedy. 4 noms; 0 wins. Men in Black (1934); Oh, My Nerves (1935); The Jury Goes Round ‘n’ Round (1945); Hiss and Yell (1946). Plot: Beth Olam Mausoleum, Corr M-7, Crypt 1377.

67. Carey Wilson (1889-1962) Best Writing. 1 nom; 0 wins. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Plot: Garden of Legends, Section 8, Lot 66.

68. Frank E. Woods (1860-1939) One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Plot: Columbarium, Lower floor, North wall, Tier 4, Niche 8.

69. Victor Young (1900-1956) Best Music. 22 noms; 1 win. Breaking the Ice (1938); Army Girl (1938); Man of Conquest (1939); Gulliver’s Travels (1939); Golden Boy (1939); Way Down South (1939); North West Mounted Police (1940); Dark Command (1940); Arizona (1940); Arise, My Love (1940); Hold Back the Dawn (1941); Take a Letter, Darling (1942); Silver Queen (1942); Flying Tigers (1942); For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943); Love Letters (1945) [2 noms]; The Emperor Waltz (1948); My Foolish Heart (1949); Samson and Delilah (1949); Written on the Wind (1956); *Around the World in Eighty Days (1956) [win was posthumous]. Plot: Beth Olam Mausoleum, Foyer M, Crypt 46.

The tragic death of Virginia Richdale Kerrigan

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

From left: W. W. Kerrigan, W. W. Kerrigan Jr., Nina Kerrigan, J. Warren Kerrigan and Virginia Richdale Kerrigan

Virginia Richdale Kerrigan was the daughter of Nina Richdale and William Wallace Kerrigan, the twin brother of silent film actor, J Warren Kerrigan. In 1915, Kerrigan was general manager of Universal Studios, and also managed his brother’s career.

Virginia was born on November 15, 1915 on the Universal Studios lot — the first of three children to be born there shortly after the studio opened. The others were: the son of Charles Oelze (assistant to Kerrigan), and Wallace Stith (named in honor of Kerrigan), the son of William Stith, who worked in Universal’s technical department. All three babies were used in several early Universal scenarios. In particular, baby Virginia appeared in Good and Evil (1916) and Her Soul’s Song (1916).

Over the years, Kerrigan directed the careers of such stars as William S. Hart, Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino. Valentino first met Kerrigan while working on the set of Delicious Little Devil (1919) with Mae Murray. At the time, Kerrigan was managing his brother’s career and soon did the same for Valentino. Over the coming months, Rudy became attached to little Virginia, spending many hours at her Ivar Avenue home (2050 Ivar Avenue). Later, even after his success, Valentino continued to visit Virginia, taking her for rides in his car through the streets of the Hollywood Hills.

The death certificate of Virginia Richdale Kerrigan (click on image to enlarge)

On the day after Christmas 1924, Virginia and her family were attending a party at a neighbors house at 2006 Ivar Avenue. There was a nip in the air that day, and an open gas heater was lit to take off the chill. Virginia had received a new dress as a present the previous day, and was modeling it for the party goers. Shortly before noon, as she laughed and twirled around the room, the hem of her dress brushed over the heater and ignited. The flames spread rapidly to the upper part of her clothing and to her hair. Before the others could extinguish the flames, Virginia was badly burned about the arms, body, and head.

The Hollywood police rushed the injured girl to the Stadfield Hospital on Sunset Boulevard where she was treated before being transferred to the Hollywood Community Hospital at 1300 Vermont Avenue. Virginia lingered for nearly thirty-six hours before succumbing to her injuries at 10:30 p.m., Saturday night, December 27, 1924.

The home of actor J. Warren Kerrigan where the funeral for his niece Virginia was held.

The funeral was held at 2307 Cahuenga Blvd, the home of Virginia’s uncle, actor J. Warren Kerrigan. Afterward, Virginia was interred at Hollywood Cemetery in crypt 1399 of the Cathedral Mausoleum, across from her grandmother, Sarah McLean Kerrigan, who passed away two years earlier.

According to Virginia’s brother, Patrick O. Kerrigan (who was born a few years after Virginia’s death), Rudolph Valentino, who had a profound love of children, was devastated by her death and would often leave flowers at her crypt. In less than two years, Valentino would be interred in the same building, only two corridors away from Virginia.