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Paulette Goddard’s 100th Birthday

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 3rd, 2010
2010
Jun 3

100th BIRTHDAY

Paulette Goddard

 

 

 

AMERICAN ACTRESS

 

 

 

 Click below to watch Paulette Goddard, along with Charlie Chaplin in the ending of Modern Times (1936)

 

 

 

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Where is Claire Windsor – Update!

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on May 20th, 2010
2010
May 20

HOLLYWOOD STORIES

The disappearance of Claire Windsor – UPDATE

 

 

 

UPDATE: A reader from Claire Windsor’s birthplace has provided some additional information behind the story of Windsor’s disappearance:

 

“Greetings from Cawker City, Kansas; home town of Claire Windsor and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine!  In later years, Claire confessed that Lois Weber had hatched the plan for Claire’s disappearance to get a little publicity for her upcoming film.  Poor Chaplin was not let in on the secret and it spoiled Claire and Charlie’s personal relationship.  Little Billy Windsor, Claire’s only son, learned well from the experience and later, in an effort to get his mother’s attenetion, fabricated a story that men had come to the front door of thier house and tried to kidnap him!

 

“Claire’s 30 hour dissapearance could have turned into career ending negative publicity if the police chief’s explanation of events had been believed.  He had surmized that Claire had probably attended a ‘snow party’ and had lost her memory ! ! !  I guess even back then, drugs were a big problem in Hollywood. “

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Claire Windsor, a Kansas-born music student who came to Hollywood to seek her fortune, was pulled out of the ranks of extras by director Lois Weber, who was casting To Please One Woman (1920) and offered her a role. An immediate success, the blonde actress became one of the busiest and best-known performers in Hollywood.

 

In the summer of 1921, with only four films in release in the previous six months, Windsor was enjoying her new found success as a leading lady. On Tuesday, July 12, during filming of The Blot, also directed by Weber, Windsor took a deserved day off to go horseback riding in the Hollywood hills. Early that morning she rented a horse and headed alone through the Cahuenga Pass.

 

When Windsor did not turn up at home (1042 Third Avenue) that evening, family members called the Hollywood police, who employed an airplane to search the hills the following morning. A group of Boy Scouts who were camping in the hills also aided in the search as did many of her friends. Charlie Chaplin offered a reward leading to her location.

 

By eight o’clock on Wednesday evening, Windsor had been missing for 36 hours when Stella Dodge, who lived at the intersection of Highland and Cahuenga (now part of the Hollywood Freeway), heard moans outside her home. She investigated and found Windsor lying on the lawn underneath her window. Dodge helped Windsor into her house and called Dr. C.W. Cook and the Hollywood police. An ambulance arrived and took her to Angelus Hospital at 1925 S. Trinity Street (demolished). When found, she was wearing her riding habit, which was badly torn by thorns, and she still had on her riding gloves.

 

A thorough examination at the hospital revealed the only external injury was an abrasion on the back of her left ear and exposure and hunger due to her long isolation in the hills. Her nose was bleeding which suggested possible internal injuries. Her pulse was low and she was unable to speak until the following morning.

 

It was Dr. Cook’s opinion that Windsor was thrown from her horse, suffering an injury to the back of her head, and had wandered about in the Hollywood hills until she was found semiconscious. Chaplin and other film friends rushed to the hospital once it was learned she was found.

 

Of course, Windsor recuperated and continued a long career that spanned three decades, 50 silent films and seven talkies. Claire Windsor died at age 80 from a heart attack on October 23, 1972 at Good Samaritan Hospital. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.

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Kermit Gets De-bugged?

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Oct 16th, 2009
2009
Oct 16

TODAY IN HOLLYWOOD

Does Kermie have fleas?

 

Henson Studios fumigated

 (Photos: Allan R. Ellenberger)

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Oh no, does Kermit the Frog have fleas? Possibly, but just to be safe they’re fumigating his entire lily pad. As seen today in Hollywood, the old Charlie Chaplin Studios on La Brea – now home of the Jim Henson Company – was being tented for fumigation. What must Miss Piggy think?

 

Henson/Chaplin Studios

The old Charlie Chaplin Studios under a tent

 

 

Kermit the Frog

 Kermit, dressed as his predecessor Charlie Chaplin, gets ready to have his pedestal cloaked

 

 

Chaplin-Henson Studios

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Hollywood Cottage for Rent

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 26th, 2009
2009
Sep 26

 REAL ESTATE

Alledged Chaplin cottage for rent in Hollywood

 

French Village Cottages

 

Following is an update to a recent popular posting on the French village apartments that were reportedly built by Charlie Chaplin as a set for one of his films. Based on the research of a reader (see comments from the posting), most of the legends about this grouping of cottages are more legend than fact.

 

It appears that one of the cottages is for rent and the owners are once again exploiting the “legend” to find an occupant. The buildings are so quaint, I’m sure they would be a popular residence based on their own architecture and merit. The following is from the web site, Curbed Los Angeles.  I doubt that any of the new claims made in this listing are true. If it were, this would be one of the most historic buildings in Hollywood.

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“Someone once warned us to never believe any listing or broker that cites  Charlie Chaplin as a former resident. He’s the Wilt Chamberlain of LA real estate. The man got around. But in this case, it might actually be true. It seems the quaint cottages at 1330 N. Formosa Avenue, just two blocks from the former Chaplin Studios, may have been built by the little tramp. The listing claims the compound of four cottages was built in 1922 for Chaplin, “Valentino, Fairbanks, Barrymore, etc. to live in while filming at his studios on La Brea.” It also mentions that “Drew Barrymore was born here and Patrick Dempsy was a multiple year tenant.” While the listing isn’t exactly clear, it seems the unit available is one of the one-bedrooms, and it tells us “the available unit was lived in by Douglas Fairbanks Sr. & Judy Garland at least.” So it has the gay icons covered with Judy and Drew (to a lesser extent). The unit also features leaded glass, hardwood floors, a gas stove, a small gated backyard, and a false turret. We’ll take it!  Monthly rent: $1,895.” (LA Curbed)
· $1895 Charlie Chaplin Whimsical Hansel & Gretel Cottage for lease NOW[Craigslist]

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Charlie Chaplin’s Stalker

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jul 22nd, 2009
2009
Jul 22

HOLLYWOOD STORIES

Chaplin and ‘Mad Josefina’

 

Charles Chaplin

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Today, reports of obsessed fans stalking well-known actors is almost commonplace. One of the first incidents of star-stalking occurred in 1923 to comedian Charlie Chaplin whose home was invaded by an infatuated admirer.

 

The incident concerned a young Mexican girl named Marina Vega, dubbed “Mad Josefina” by the Mexican press. Marina, a beautiful but reportedly well-built girl, was educated in Mexico City and had married Jose Rivero, a prosperous rancher, when she was very young. Marina soon became bored with the ranchers life and escaped to Mexico City in early March 1923, where she went on an extravagant nine-day visit, literally throwing her money away.

 

Her husband followed, and on March 10, 1923 — after leading detectives on a merry chase — had her arrested for desertion. A brief reconciliation followed initiated by the city’s inspector general, named Almada. However, rumors spread throughout Mexico City that Almada and a General Serrano, had lavishly “entertained” her. Almada admitted knowing the girl and said he gave her money, but only so she could leave the city.

 

The Mexican press reported the eccentricities of “Mad Josefina” and her desire to become a great motion picture actress. After reportedly buying a thousand pesos worth of dresses and hats, and billing them to Almada, Marina left for Hollywood and her idol — Charlie Chaplin. 

 

Charlie Chaplin's Temple Hill home

Charlie Chaplin’s former home at 6147 Temple Hill Drive in the Hollywood Hills

 

Arriving in Los Angeles a few days later, Marina checked into the downtown Alexandria Hotel. On Thursday, March 29, 1923, the buxom admirer found her way to Chaplin’s residence at 6147 Temple Hill Drive in the Hollywood Hills. There she gained entrance to the house through the ruse of dropping a diamond ring in the shirt-pocket of his cook who answered the doorbell, dashing by him as he fished for it.

 

Kono, Chaplin’s valet, and the rest of the servants were unable to remove her until director Eddie Sutherland was called in as a reinforcement from Chaplin’s studio, and was found in the comedians bedroom. After much cajoling, they tricked her into one of Chaplin’s cars and returned her to the Alexandria.

 

That evening, while Chaplin was entertaining his fiancé, Pola Negri, and Dr. Cecil Reynolds and his wife, Kono announced that Marina had returned and had somehow found her way back to Chaplin’s bedroom and was now wearing his silk pajamas!

 

Marina Vega

 

Reynolds and Kono persuaded Marina to get dressed and led her downstairs to be introduced to Chaplin. She told the comedian that she had come all the way from Mexico City to meet him. After further questioning, Chaplin told her to return to her hotel and that he would buy her a train ticket back to Mexico City. She promised that she would not bother him again.

 

The next day, Chaplin heard nothing of his crazed admirer. However, on the evening of Saturday, March 31, he was again entertaining Pola and the Reynolds, and as they were sitting down to dinner, Kono rushed in and reported that Marina had come to the door strewing red roses on the driveway and was again refused admittance, but was now lying outside on the driveway dying from a bullet to the brain.  

 

Reynolds and Kono carried Marina into the kitchen where she told the doctor that she had taken poison. (Kono thought she had shot herself because the moonlight made a oil-stain on the pavement near her head look like blood when he saw her from an upstairs window.) An ambulance was called and she was taken to the Hollywood Receiving Hospital.

 

Marina was treated and released although doctors questioned whether she had actually taken poison. A half-hour later reporters found her at the Alexandria eating ice cream. Marina declared that her love for Chaplin had chilled – but not for long.

 

chaplin-home-now

The former Chaplin home as it looks today. This is all that is visible from the street as the estate is now surrounded by twenty-foot hedges. (Please note, this is a private residence. Do not disturb the occupants!)

 

On Tuesday, April 3, Kono discovered a trail of muddied footprints on the sidewalk about Chaplin’s home. The police were called and Marina was found in a rented room at a nearby Beachwood Drive residence. A policewoman from the Hollywood division removed “Mad Josefina” to the Business Girl’s Home on Bonnie Brae Avenue.

 

Chaplin released a statement saying that “the girl’s case is very pathetic and I am willing to pay her way back to her home.” The ever-dramatic Pola Negri was reportedly ill from the excitement at her Hollywood Boulevard home.

 

“Mad Josefina” apparently was never heard from again and it’s assumed she returned to Mexico.

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Norman Lloyd on Charlie Chaplin

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 3rd, 2009
2009
Jun 3

FILM HISTORY

A pal doffs his hat to Charlie Chaplin

 

Classic Hollywood

  (Christina House / For The Times)

 

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Silent Film Celebration is preparing to present ‘The Gold Rush.’ Chaplin friend Norman Lloyd reminisces about the star’s later years.

 

By Susan King
Los Angeles Times
June 3, 2009

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Norman Lloyd says he can remember when he first became aware of Charlie Chaplin — even if he was only 1 year old and it was more than 90 years ago.

 

The year was 1916 and, as Lloyd recalls, “there were little Charlie Chaplins that you would wind up and they would walk. I remember vividly. I was sitting in the high chair with the little tray in front of me. My parents would wind it up and it would walk to me.”

 

The 94-year-old actor, producer and director, best known for playing the kindly Dr. Daniel Auschlander on “St. Elsewhere,” would become good friends with Chaplin 30 years later. Lloyd also had a role in Chaplin’s last American production, “Limelight,” in 1952.

 

Click here to continue reading

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‘Sunnyside': Book Review

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on May 18th, 2009
2009
May 18

BOOK REVIEW

‘Sunnyside: A Novel’ by Glen David Gold

 

Charlie Chaplin

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Charlie Chaplin is a central player in this big, engaging novel, which takes on early Hollywood and Los Angeles, movie storytelling and the arrival of modernity.

 

By Richard Rayner
Los Angeles Times
May 17, 2009

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Sunnyside

A Novel

Glen David Gold

Alfred A. Knopf: 576 pp., $26.95

.

Glen David Gold’s massive new novel begins with a trick, a coup, the literary equivalent of sleight of hand. For a writer whose first book, “Carter Beats the Devil” (2001), concerned the grand story of a 1920s magician, this should come as no surprise. Gold re-creates time periods as E.L. Doctorow did in “Ragtime,” mingling fact and fiction so that the one blends into the other seamlessly. He’s a spellbinder.

 

“Sunnyside” opens on Nov. 12, 1916. At the northernmost limit of the California coastline, in a lighthouse off Crescent City, the “unfairly handsome” young Leland Wheeler tells his mother, the lighthouse keeper, that there’s a problem. Somebody, and not just anybody, is in trouble at sea, close to the lighthouse, drifting toward rocks and disaster, with the ocean dumping water into his boat.

 

Click here to continue reading this Los Angeles Times book review

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Charlie Chaplin Film Set?

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Apr 21st, 2009
2009
Apr 21

HOLLYWOOD MYSTERY

Chaplin’s French Movie Set?

 

French Village Apartments

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger
April 21, 2009

 

Is it possible that this quaint apartment complex that resembles a French village could have been built by film comedian Charlie Chaplin as a set for one of his films? That is what Hollywood legend says.

 

The legend actually has some points in its favor. The apartments are located at 1330 N. Formosa Avenue in Hollywood, which is only two blocks from the former Chaplin Studios.  

 

Another fact in the lore’s favor is that Chaplin directed the film, A Woman of Paris starring Edna Purviance in 1923 – the same year the apartments were built. Could he have built it for that film or is it just a coincidence? I viewed the DVD of A Woman of Paris the other day, but unfortunately I could not find anything that resembled these buildings. If anyone has access to this film, please view it and compare the photos.

 

So the legend remains — but perhaps someone out there knows the real story of these buildings (if you have the facts, let me know). Were they built by Chaplin for A Woman of Paris – or for any of his films? Whatever the truth, the buildings are an outstanding example of the unique architecture in the heart of Hollywood that hopefully will remain as they are for many years to come.

 

PLEASE NOTE: This a a private residence so please do not disturb the occupants.

 

French Village apartments 3

 Did Chaplin build this French village street for one of his films? 

 

 

 

 

 

French Village apartments 4

French Village apartments 5

 

 

 

French Village apartments 6

  

French Village apartments 7

 

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Hollywood Wax Figures for Sale…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Apr 3rd, 2009
2009
Apr 3

HOLLYWOOD NEWS

Hollywood Wax Museum to auction 200 celebs

 

 

Bring Marilyn Monroe home, help preserve historic Walk of Fame

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The Associated Press
Thurs., April. 2, 2009
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LOS ANGELES – Want to permanently share your home with James Dean, Marilyn Monroe or all four Beatles?

 

The Hollywood Wax Museum is offering wax representations of these and nearly 200 other celebrities at the first auction in its 44-year history, set for May 1.

 

Fans can bid on political figures, such as George Washington and Bill Clinton, and athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. Musicians such as Cher, Stevie Wonder and the Fab Four will be available, along with TV and film stars including Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, Will Smith and Charlie Chaplin.

 

The auction will be administered by Profiles in History and a portion of the profits will support efforts to preserve Hollywood’s historic Walk of Fame.

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Obit: Sydney Chaplin

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Mar 6th, 2009
2009
Mar 6

OBITUARY

Sydney Chaplin dies at 82; stage actor and son of Charlie Chaplin

 

Sydney Chaplin

 

Associated Press
Sydney Chaplin stands beside the postage stamp honoring his father, Charlie Chaplin, in 1998. Sydney Chaplin won a Tony Award for starring in the late 1950s musical “Bells Are Ringing” on Broadway.
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By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times
March 6, 2009

 

Sydney Chaplin, an actor who experienced his greatest success on stage, earning a Tony Award for starring in the late 1950s musical “Bells Are Ringing,” died Tuesday. He was 82.    (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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