Posts Tagged ‘Allison Francis’

The 85th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Saturday, August 25th, 2012


Candids from the 85th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service



The annual service was held in the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM




The Cathedral Mausoleum was standing-room-only as fans of the silent film idol attend this years service.




Tyler Cassity, owner of Hollywood Forever Cemetery, opened the ceremonies




Tracy Ryan Terhune, author of Valentino Forever, was again this years emcee




Sylvia Valentino Huber, the great niece of Rudolph Valentino, delivered remarks from the Valentino family





Psychic-medium, Michael J. Kouri provided musical entertainment




Allison Francis read selected poems from “Daydreams” by Rudolph Valentino




Members of the audience enjoy two videos; one a tribute to past participants of the Valentino Memorial and another celebrating the centennial of Universal Studios where Valentino made four films early in his career. A scene from “A Society Sensation (1918) was shown. (Video editing by Frank Labrador Productions)




Mary Mallory, author of “Hollywoodland,” discussed Rudolph Valentino’s Hollywood home





Comedian Will Ryan also entertained musically





Author Michael Oldham talks about his book, “The Valentino Formula”




Stella Grace, of the Valentino Memorial Committee, closed the service by leading the audience in the 23rd Psalm




 Fans gather in the corridor to pay their respects at Valentino’s crypt








Hollywood Forever Cemetery owner, Tyler Cassity and Valentino memorial organizer, Stella Grace discuss next year’s service




Stella Grace and Tracy Ryan Terhune of the Valentino Memorial Committee. Other members include Chanell O Farrill and Marvin Paige.



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83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial

Monday, August 23rd, 2010


Today’s 83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial



 By Allan R. Ellenberger


Once again, this year’s highly attended, 83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service was a complete success. Held at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, in the foyer of the Cathedral Mausoleum, today’s service had something for everyone. The life and career of Rudolph Valentino was lovingly remembered in word and song.


It was a warm August day, not at all like most of this summer which has been unseasonably cool. Summer is back! Hollywood Forever Cemetery owner, Tyler Cassity welcomed the audience this year before turning the service over to Tracy Ryan Terhune, the emcee for the day.


Yours truly provided a history of the “Aspiration” statue that stands in De Longpre Park that this year is celebrating its  80th anniversary. Following that, a short video that documented the early history of “Aspiration” was shown. Next the audience was treated to a recitation of three poems from Valentino’s book, Daydreams by Allison Francis, the mother of the 2030 Lady in Black.


The crowd was serenaded to two songs by Frank Labrador: “Candlelight” and “The Angels Above Needed Someone To Love” – the lyrics were reportedly written by Valentino for future Lady in Black, Ditra Flame, who wrote the music. Frank was accompanied on the piano by Garrett Bryant.


The current Lady in Black, Kari Bible, treated everyone to a history of Ditra Flame, the original Lady in Black. Following was a short clip from Art Linkletter’s House Party from the 1950s of Ditra being interviewed about her devotion to Valentino. It was the first public showing of this clip in more than 50 years.


Tracy then read excerpts from an unpublished manuscript by Paul Ivano who was a close friend of Valentino. Special guest, Donna Hill, the author of the just published Rudolph Valentino: The Silent Idol spoke about her book and showed a video of rare Valentino photos from her book.


Perennial favorites, Ian and Regina Whitcomb once again entertained the crowd with the songs, “There’s a New Star in Heaven Tonight” and “Sheik of Araby.” Valentino Memorial Committee icon, Stella Grace led the audience in a reading of the 23rd Psalm to end the service.


Once again, many thanks to this year’s committee members: Channell O’Farrill, Tracy Ryan Terhune, Stella Grace and Marvin Paige. And thank you to everyone behind the scenes — you all did a great job as usual.


Following are some photos from todays events:


Rudolph Valentino’s crypt




Donna Hill (left), Kari Bible and Garrett Bryant



Frank Labrador sings “The Angels Above Needed Someone to Love”



 Donna Hill, Tracy Ryan Terhune and Ian Whitcomb



 Allison Francis reads poems from Valentino’s Daydreams



Visitors explore the Cathedral Mausoleum 



Visitors peruse Valentino memorabilia 



 Allan Ellenberger holds the  future Lady in Black-2030, Olivia Francis



 Tracy Ryan Terhune and Stella Grace



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Hollywood Underground Banquet

Sunday, October 4th, 2009


12th Annual  




 By Allan R. Ellenberger


Last night, October 3, was the 12th annual banquet for Hollywood Underground, a group dedicated to documenting, sharing and preserving the burial sites of Hollywood’s “most famous stars, moguls and eccentrics.”


The theme of the dinner, held at the Mission Room of the  Beverly Garland Hotel, was “Down and Out in North Hollywood: The Economy is Dead and So are the Stars.”


Steve Goldstein


Master of Ceremonies, Steve Goldstein, who is the author of LA’s Graveside Companion: Where the VIPs RIP, welcomed the 70-plus members that included veterans and new comers alike.



Roger Sinclair

Roger Sinclair, “The Godfather of Graving”



Hollywood Underground founder, Karen McHale


Besides Steve, welcoming remarks were made by Roger Sinclair (“The Godfather of Graving”) and Hollywood Underground founder, the late Karen McHale. A surprisingly tasty buffet included something for everyone – beef, chicken and fish and was topped off with a scrumptious Klondike Bar-type ice cream dish.



Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein – Publicity Whore


 The festivities began appropriately with a roast of emcee Steve Goldstein by dinner chairman and original Hollywood Underground member, Harry Martin. Steve has been in the public eye recently due to the death of pop-star Michael Jackson (no he had nothing to do with his passing), appearing on CNN, Good Morning America, Inside Edition and having his information appropriated by the New York Post. Comedian Jon Stewart picked up on Steve’s infamy and dubbed him the most famous “Celebrity Grave Expert” in America on The Daily Show. Congratulations Steve for also being Hollywood Undergrounds, Grave Hunter of the Year 2009!



Kim Eazell

Kim Eazell the “Queen of the OC”


Kim Eazell, also-known-as “The Queen of the OC,” gave a pictorial tour of “Graving in Orange County.” Yes, there are famous people buried in Orange County besides those Real Housewives (their television career – not them). Besides showing prominent graves from several Orange County cemeteries, Kim also shared rare information from an upcoming book on cemeteries in the OC by author Mike Barry. She left us with a teaser about the relative of an obese silent film comedian — but we’ll have to wait for the book.



Harry Martin

Harry Martin, Dinner Chairman and honoree


Kim then honored dinner chairman, Harry Martin for all the hard work he does in planning the Hollywood Underground event by dubbing him “Martha (Stewart) Junior.” Harry was awarded a sceptre, tiara and sash to signify the honor. Harry’s partner, Art Carapia was also honored as “Harry’s Beloved.” Congratulations Harry!



Mark Masek

Mark Masek


After a brief intermission, Mark Masek, the author of Hollywood Remains to be Seen, gave what was promised as a “quirky tour” of celebrity graves. Did he deliver? Well…. by George he did.  Mark gave a witty account of Hollywood graves which included revealing the tombstones of several California dead who happen to have the same name as someone famous — including seven (or so) U.S. presidential imposter’s.



HU-raffle table


Tickets were sold for a raffle which ended the festivities. Prizes were donated by Hollywood Underground members and included signed books by several of the authors present, a variety of other entertainment books, DVD’s, autographed documents and tombstone rubbings.



Hollywood Underground



Hollywood Underground


Thanks go to everyone involved that helped make the Hollywood Underground dinner such a success. Besides those already mentioned, thank you to Art Carapia (Computer Tech/Accounting); Colleen Tebo (PowerPoint Projector) and those adorable “Raffle Girls,” Karen Fogerty and Jayne Osborne. I would also like to thank Allison Francis (we forgot our photo) for being my “date” for the evening and thanks to her husband Mike for allowing it.



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Robert Cushman Obituary

Friday, July 17th, 2009


Robert Cushman dies at 62; photograph curator for film industry’s library


Robert Cushman and Allison Francis

Robert Cushman and Allison Francis at her recent wedding in January
(Courtesy Michael and Allison Francis)


The director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Margaret Herrick Library says he had ‘an encyclopedic knowledge of movies that could not be matched.’


By Susan King
Los Angeles Times
July 17, 2009


Robert Cushman, photograph curator for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills, has died. He was 62.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Robert Cushman



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