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Mickey Rooney’s Grave

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Apr 26th, 2014
2014
Apr 26

CELEBRITY GRAVES

Mickey Rooney’s grave at Hollywood Forever

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R.I.P Mickey

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Mickey Rooney’s Funeral

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Apr 20th, 2014
2014
Apr 20

FUNERALS/MEMORIALS

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Mickey Rooney’s funeral held at Hollywood Forever

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Mickey Rooney’s casket at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

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

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Page Peters at Hollywood Forever

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jan 29th, 2014
2014
Jan 29

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

Page Peters, Hollywood Cemetery’s first celebrity resident

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By Allan R. Ellenberger

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Page Peters was born in Louisville, Kentucky and educated at the Western Military Academy. Peters was one of Hollywood’s sexiest and most well liked actors at the time of his popularity around 1914 to 1916. He is not related to actor, House Peters. Among his more important roles in films were in Pasquale (1916) with George Beban; Davy Crockett (1916), The Gentleman from Indiana (1915), and Ben Blair (1916), with Dustin Farnum, An International Marriage (1916), with Rita Jolivet; He Fell in Love With His Wife (1916), with Florence Rockwell, and Madame La Presidente (1916) with Anna Held.

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On June 26, 1916, Peters and a party of friends drove down to Hermosa Beach from Los Angeles for a day’s outing at the home of a mutual friend, Harry Graves, at Fourth Street and Strand. Early in the morning, Peters and several of the house guests decided to take a dip in the Pacific ocean. Peters and a female friend ventured out beyond the others where,  apparently he was seized with a cramp. The young woman, a Miss Graves, tried to assist him to keep afloat and screamed for help, but it came too late. His body was found about one-hundred feet from the shore by some of the searchers in a motor boat. A pulmotor was brought down from Redondo Beach and men worked on the stricken actor for two hours in a vain effort to restore his life.

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The verdict of the medical examiner was that Page Peters, who was 27 years old, and very strong, died of heart failure rather than drowning.

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Peters funeral was held at Hollywood Cemetery a few days later on a day, which coincidentally was three years to the day that he first started working in films. The pallbearers were all members of show business and among the six were Al Christie, Horace Davey, Ray Meyers, and Raymond Russell, who worked with him in his first picture. At the request of his parents, the funeral was filmed under the direction of Al Christie, Peter’s first director and Anton Nadge, who photographed his first, filmed the funeral, using the same camera.

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Page Peters is possibly the first actor to be buried at Hollywood Cemetery. His grave, near the eastern wall across from the Cathedral Mausoleum, is unmarked.

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The unmarked grave of actor Page Peters is in the

general vicinity noted above, Section 9, Lot 428.

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The 86th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Aug 18th, 2013
2013
Aug 18

HOLLYWOOD EVENTS

 The Eighty-Sixth Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

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 Friday, August 23, 2013

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, California

Cathedral Mausoleum

12:10PM

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This year’s Valentino Memorial Service will include new videos acknowledging the 100th anniversary of Rudolph Valentino’s arrival in America will be shown. There will also be a tribute video saluting his cinematic career.

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In addition, a video saluting Valentino’s friend and costar, Mae Murray with be presented and the guest speaker will be Michael G. Ankerich, the author of the new biography “Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips.” Also speaking will be Christopher Riordan who will update the audience about Falcon Lair. Riordan lived in the guest home on the estate, as the property overseer.

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This year the Memorial is themed to salute the 90th anniversary of the Mineralava Tour. There will be a special display of Mineralava artifacts including two of the trophies that Rudolph Valentino presented (one to a dancing couple, the other for the beauty contest). The trophies will be made available at the conclusion of the service for people to get their photo holding them. Live singing of Valentino music will be presented by the Evans & Rogers musical team.

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Acknowledgements: Valentino Memorial Committee: Tracy Ryan Terhune, Stella Grace, Chanell O Farrill, Marvin Paige. Research on the Mineralava Tour—Rebecca Eash; Mineralava Tour video—Donna Hill; remaining videos—Frank Labrador.

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Valentino’s Lady in Black legend grows

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Aug 10th, 2013
2013
Aug 10

RUDOLPH VALENTINO

Valentino’s Lady in Black legend grows

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By Allan R. Ellenberger

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One of the legends that have developed after the death of silent screen idol, Rudolph Valentino, was about the mysterious Lady in Black. Many have claimed to be her and others have donned the black veil and dress in their memory over the past eighty-seven years. Just a few that have either laid claim or have been credited to the legend are Pola Negri, Marion Benda, Jean Acker, Estrellita del Regil and her mother Anna, and the one who is most accepted to be the original Lady in Black, Ditra Flame.

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Another woman who also has a claim on the legend is one that most Valentino fans probably have never heard of. Her name is Florence Harrison. Florence’s story is as mysterious as the woman she was alleged to be.

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Harrison’s claim to the title was not known until several years after her death and was made by a man who was her son. This is what is known. Several years ago a copy of the book, Valentino As I Knew Him, written by the actor’s friend and manager, S. George Ullman, surfaced with the following inscription:

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“In loving memory of Rodolpho Valentino and my beautiful mother, Florence Marie Rittenhouse (Marie Valentino) who died in Los Angeles of cancer on March 7, 1947. May my beautiful mother and the beautiful memory of her that I will cherish to my grave and Valentino, may they both rest in peace in each other’s arms! My mother was the original ‘Woman in Black’ and quit when others tried to copy her and make a cheap publicity stunt out of it. T. G. (Tony Guglielmi).”

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There was a Florence Marie Rittenhouse who was born in Pennsylvania in 1900 to Charles and Lillian Rittenhouse. A professional pianist, Florence married Samuel Harrison and moved to Washington D.C. There the Harrison’s had three children: Warren, Thelma and David. One day in 1934, according to family lore, Florence and her eleven year-old son David, left Washington and moved to California, never seeing her family again. Nothing more is known about Florence until her death from breast cancer on March 7, 1947 at the County General Hospital in Los Angeles.

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As for David, he enlisted in the Army in 1942. The family also claims that he had mental health problems and was apparently not able to live on his own. Were those problems a result of his stint in the Army, since they never would have inducted him if they were present before?

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The Tony Guglielmi (Guglielmi was Valentino’s real name) that signed the book was most likely Florence’s son, David Harrison, but why would he sign it that way? He implies that his mother was married to the actor by calling her “Marie Valentino,” so did David, who was born in 1923, believe that he was Valentino’s son? Was Florence one of the many anonymous Lady’s in Black that appeared at Valentino’s memorial over the years? Or were these the wild delusions of a mentally disturbed young man? All we have is a brief inscription on the title page of biography on Rudolph Valentino, so unfortunately we may never know. Florence Harrison is just one more name added to the already crowded legend.

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The 86th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial is coming up on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 12:10 p.m. in the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Be there. To learn more about the history of the Valentino Memorial, read the book, Valentino Forever: The History of the Valentino Memorial Service by Tracy Ryan Terhune.

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L.A. Story at Hollywood Forever

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on May 28th, 2013
2013
May 28

HOLLYWOOD EVENTS

PEN Center USA and Hollywood Forever proudly present: L.A. Story: Reading Event

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Reading line-up announced for the event, which will take place at Hollywood Forever and celebrate writing in and about Los Angeles

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Continuing its collaborative reading series, PEN Center USA will present. L.A. Story at Hollywood Forever on June 21, 2013. Doors for the event will open at 8pm. The reading will begin at 9pm and will feature Janet Fitch (Paint it Black, White Oleander), Rachel Kushner (The Flamethrowers, Telex From Cuba), Jim Krusoe (Parsifal, Iceland), Doug Kearney (Fear Some), and Jim Gavin (Middle Men). A book signing will follow the reading.

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PEN Center USA, a literary nonprofit based in Beverly Hills, has a membership of more than 600 professional writers. PEN Center USA strives to protect the rights of writers around the world, to stimulate interest in the written word, and to foster a vital literary community among the diverse writers living in the western United States. PEN Center USA has a long successful, history planning literary events in and around Los Angeles.

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Tickets for L.A. Story are $10 online and $15 at the door. Tickets are ON SALE NOW at http://hollywoodforever.ticketfly.com/

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Location Address:

THE MASONIC LODGE AT HOLLYWOOD FOREVER

6000 Santa Monica Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90038

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For more information on Hollywood Forever, please visit www.hollywoodforever.com or email events@hollywoodforever.com.

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Laura Marling at the Masonic Lodge

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on May 6th, 2013
2013
May 6

HOLLYWOOD EVENTS

Laura Marling at The Masonic Lodge
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in The Masonic Lodge

at HOLLYWOOD FOREVER
 
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Doors 8pm – Show 9pm
Tickets are $25 – PARKING IS FREE ONSITE

 
Tickets are on sale now at :
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Sparks “Two Hands, One Mouth” at The Masonic Lodge

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Mar 2nd, 2013
2013
Mar 2

HOLLYWOOD EVENTS

Sparks “Two Hands, One Mouth”


http://t.ymlp344.net/ujhyaaawyseagauyuafawsjb/click.php

in The Masonic Lodge at

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Doors 8pm – Show 9pm
Tickets are $35 in advance

PARKING IS FREE ONSITE

Tickets go ON SALE Friday, March 1st at NOON PST at:
For more information on Sparks please visit www.allsparks.com
For more information on Hollywood Forever please visit www.hollywoodforever.com
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Keaton Henson at The Masonic Lodge

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Mar 2nd, 2013
2013
Mar 2

HOLLYWOOD EVENTS

Keaton Henson in his first ever US West Coast performance


http://t.ymlp271.net/ujqwafawyebazawjadawsjb/click.php

in The Masonic Lodge at

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Doors 8pm – Show 9pm
Tickets are $20

PARKING IS FREE ONSITE

Tickets go ON SALE Friday, March 1st at NOON PST at:
For more information on Keaton Henson please visit www.keatonhenson.com
For more information on Hollywood Forever please visit www.hollywoodforever.com
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Peggy Shannon at Hollywood Forever

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jan 16th, 2013
2013
Jan 16

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

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By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

On Broadway, she was a Ziegfeld Follies girl and successful ingénue, enough so to have Hollywood take notice.  Once considered the successor to Clara Bow, the titian-haired Peggy Shannon, a pretty actress whose appearances in major roles gave her the potential for stardom, ended her life in heartbreaking loneliness.

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Peggy Shannon was born Winona Sammon on January 10, 1910 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. As a child, her interest in music led her to study the piano and violin. She hoped to be a teacher until Madge Evans came to Pine Bluff on a tour promoting her line of hats. “I was only about 10 and knew then I wanted to be in show business,” Peggy recalled.

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In 1924, her mother Nancy took her and her sister Carole to visit their aunt in New York, who happened to live in the same building as Goldie Glough, the secretary of Florenz Ziegfeld, who was preparing a new Follies show. Goldie told Will Page, a press agent for Ziegfeld, about Peggy’s beauty and he had her pose for publicity pictures with Ziegfeld.

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“It was just a stunt, but I didn’t know it then,” Peggy later recalled. “They took me to Ziegfeld’s New Amsterdam offices and photographed me, curls, silk gingham dress and all, with Mr. Wayburn and Mr. Ziegfeld. The next day newspapers carried the story form Ziegfeld’s office that he had signed an Arkansas newcomer. They said I could be in the chorus for a while, more to justify their story than became they wanted me.”

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She appeared in The Ziegfeld Follies of 1924, along with Will Rogers, Lupino Lane and Mary Nolan (also buried at Hollywood Forever). After one season, Earl Carroll hired her for his Vanities of 1925. She kept busy during this time, modeling during the day, then after appearing in the Vanities she joined the floor shows at Texas Guinan’s.

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In 1926 Peggy married actor Alan Davis. The following year Earl Carroll put her in the ingénue lead in What Anne Brought Home opposite William Hanly and Mayo Methot. For the next three years she appeared in comedic roles for William Brady, a noted producer who planned to make her a star.

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That would all change when B.P. Schulberg, the head of production at Paramount saw her in Napi on Broadway and signed her to a contract. It was during this time that Paramount was recruiting many Broadway actors for film, including Sylvia Sidney, Claudette Colbert and Miriam Hopkins.

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Within four days of her arrival in Hollywood, Clara Bow had her second nervous breakdown. Peggy was summoned into Schulberg’s office and was told she would replace Bow in her next picture, The Secret Call (1931) opposite Richard Arlen. “The interview was very brief,” Peggy said of her meeting with Schulberg. “He sent me away telling me I had many things to do as production started the next morning.”

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She read the script and was impressed by it and somewhat staggered by the realization that the role was the most important in the film, and the longest. That meant learning hundreds of speeches. But she discovered that films were different from the stage. “I didn’t have to learn the entire role at one time,” she said. “I could study it every night and keep ahead of production.”

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Peggy admitted that the assignment frightened her. “Frankly, I was scared,” she said. “I expected to be taken out of the cast any minute. I couldn’t believe that such a wonderful break had come to me. I kept thinking, ‘That’s some other girl with the same name. It really can’t be me. And if it is me, I’d better keep my enthusiasm under control.’”

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Paramount’s advertisement for The Secret Call called Peggy “The new Clara Bow,” “The successor of the ‘It’ girl,” “Greatest find of the year” and “Clara Bow’s redheaded rival.” The film did well at the box-office however the reviews were lukewarm. The New York Times reported that Peggy would “be remembered as the young lady who succeeded Clara Bow, when that actress became indisposed. Miss Shannon is attractive, but The Secret Call does not present many situations calling for much more than a gentle stroll through its various scenes.”

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Peggy made four more films for Paramount and a few independent films, including False Faces (1932) in which she had some good scenes with Lowell Sherman. Leaving Paramount, she signed a contract with Fox in February 1932 and appeared as a nightclub singer in The Painted Woman (1932), opposite Spencer Tracy. She was billed as Tracy’s first romantic lead. The New York Sun reported that Peggy was “improving” but Fox executives disagreed and dropped her option.

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She worked as an independent in such films as Girl Missing (1933), directed by Robert Florey and Turn Back the Clock (1933) with Lee Tracy. Peggy’s career was beginning to lag and second rate films followed such as Fury of the Jungle (1933), The Back Page (1934) and The Fighting Lady (1935).

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In late 1934, Peggy decided to return to Broadway in Page Miss Glory with newcomer, James Stewart. “James Stewart and Peggy Shannon are amusing as one of the bums and his fiancée,” wrote the New York Evening Post.

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Then it was back to Hollywood and Universal where Lowell Sherman directed her in the lavish production of Night Life of the Gods (1935). Next it was off to Warner Brothers in the Perry Mason who-done-it, The Case of the Lucky Legs (1935). Still not happy, Peggy returned once again to the stage to do The Light Behind the Shadow. Unfortunately Peggy was replaced early in production, reportedly due to a tooth infection but rumors were that it was due to her drinking, a habit she was quickly developing.

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After another failure on Broadway, Peggy reported to Republic for a film with Marian Marsh. Then it was Girls on Probation (1938) for Warner Brothers. The film co-starred Ronald Reagan and was notable as Susan Hayward’s first film.

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In mid-1938, Peggy and a female companion were involved in a car accident with another driver receiving lacerations on her nose and cuts on her legs. It was rumored that alcohol was involved. Friends in the business tried to help giving her small roles but in some cases her drinking would get in the way. One of her last films was Café Hostess (1940) for Columbia.

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In 1940, Peggy decided to end her fourteen year marriage to Alan Davis. She declared that he struck her on one occasion at the home of actress Wynne Gibson, who testified for her friend that he struck her “over something very inconsequential.” She added that because of her husband’s disinclination to work she had to support him as well as herself during their marriage. “He was just lazy—he played all the time,” she told the judge.

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Several months later, in October 1940, Peggy married cameraman, Albert “Al” Roberts in Mexico. They set up housekeeping at 4318 Irvine Street in North Hollywood, along with their German Sheppard, Spec. By now, Peggy was forgotten by the studios and seldom received offers, causing her to drink even more.

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In early May 1941, Roberts and his friend Elmer Fryer left for a few days on a fishing trip. When they returned on Sunday, May 11, Roberts found Peggy slumped dead across the kitchen table with her head on her arms; she was barefoot and clad in a sun suit. A cigarette, burned to the tip of her fingers, was in her right hand. Three glasses and a soft-drink bottle found in the sink were turned over to the Coroner to check for traces of poison. Peggy Shannon was 31. She was laid to rest at Hollywood Cemetery a few days later without much fanfare.

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Roberts was devastated by Peggy’s death. He was afraid that someone might think he had something to do with her death. In a conversation with Detective William Burris, Roberts said, “Bill, you’ve got something on your mind. You don’t suspect me of Peggy’s death do you?” Burris assured him that was not the case and he was merely awaiting the report of the autopsy.

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“Well, Bill,” Roberts told him, “if you have anything on your mind, get it off, because you won’t see me again.” Burris asked what he meant and Roberts told him that he was going to commit suicide. “I told him not to be like that,” Burris said, “that he had had one too many.”

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Three weeks after Peggy’s death, in the early morning hours of Memorial Day, May 30, 1941, Roberts took Spec to visit Peggy’s grave at Hollywood Cemetery. Afterward he returned to his home on Irvine Street and wrote three notes: one to ‘those concerned’ and two to his sister Phoebe, who lived in Glendale.

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At about dawn he called his sister and said he was going to kill himself. “Al, don’t do it,” she screamed into the phone. Suddenly she heard a shot and then, the barking of the dog. When police reached the house, Roberts was dead. A rifle was found near the body. In one hand he still grasped the telephone receiver. His body rested on the same chair where he had found Peggy’s body; like her, his head had fallen forward on the table. Two empty liquor bottles and two soft drink bottles were on the table. Nearby Spec lay whimpering.

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This home, at 4318 Irvine Street in Valley Village (formerly North Hollywood), is where

actress Peggy Shannon died and her husband, Albert Roberts committed suicide.

(PLEASE NOTE: This is private property. Please DO NOT disturb the residents)

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In his note Roberts wrote:

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“It happens that I am very much in love with my wife, Peggy Shannon. In this spot she passed away. So in reverence to her you will find me in the same spot. No one will ever understand, as it should be. Why don’t you all try a little bit harder—it wouldn’t hurt, I can truthfully say for both of us. Adios amigos. Al Roberts.”

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In a note to his sister, he expressed bitterness against those who he said, had feigned fondness for his wife during her lifetime. Although he doesn’t name them, it sounds like he could be referring to family members:

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“To Phoebe. If you have to ship the stuff to China do it. They can never prove what I have done with it. Spec and I went out to the cemetery around 1 a.m. They talk so much about her flowers for Memorial Day. Well, they have never been near the grave. Mrs. Ross and I put on fresh flowers as much as we could, but them dirty leeches, they wouldn’t take her a pansy but they would take her clothes and say they love her more than life. But you stress that, honey. You know how Peg supported them. Any denials just ask them to prove how they lived all these years. Al.”

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In a second note to his sister, Roberts expressed concern for his dog, Spec.

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“You take Spec,” he wrote, “and ship him to Johnny. If you don’t I will never forgive you. I promised him that. All five have said they could not be bothered with him. I know Johnny and he will be great pals. Peggy has said so time and again. So, please, take him, ‘our child’ and send him on. He certainly is entitled to that. With love Al. P.S. Hey, bury me in my gray suit. Al.”

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The following day, the coroner released the results from Peggy’s autopsy. Her death was apparently caused by a combination of low vitality, run-down condition and a heart attack. “A chemical analysis has not yet been completed by the Coroner,” a police representative said, “but examination so far shows no traces of poison or any bruises or marks.”

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Ironically, Albert Roberts’s body was not laid next to Peggy’s, but was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale. Whether it was the decision of his family or Peggy’s to not have them be together, is not known.

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A few weeks after Peggy’s death, her mother hired  private detectives and attorneys to investigate deeper into her daughter’s death. Nothing apparently came of their search.

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Peggy Shannon’s grave at Hollywood Forever is near the southern border of Section 5 in plot 31, grave 4. Her pink tombstone is inscribed “That Red-Headed Girl, Peggy Shannon.” Her mother and sister are buried nearby.

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