Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood Forever’

Edwin Carewe Marked at Hollywood Forever

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Edwin Carewe (with megaphone) directing a scene as Mabel Normand looks on

Recently at Hollywood Forever, I discovered that the grave of director Edwin Carewe had a grave stone installed after more than 69 years of being unmarked. I don’t know who marked him but it is always great news when someone that has been forgotten finally gets identified with a marker. The director, who discovered Dolores Del Rio and many other famous stars, died in Hollywood on January 22, 1940 from an apparent heart attack.

Edwin Carewe was born Jay Fox in Gainesville, Texas on March 5, 1883. He attended the University of Texas and the University of Missouri majoring in dramatics. Early in his career when his flair for acting was expressed, a fellow New York actor suggested that he change his name, thinking that Fox was not good professionally. So he took the name Edwin from his favorite actor, Edwin Booth, and for his last name chose to use that of a character that he was playing in stock.

Carewe’s first stage experience was with the Dearborn Stock Company and he made his debut on Broadway with Chauncey Olcott. He appeared in plays with such stage actors as Otis Skinner, Rose Coghlan and Laurette Taylor in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles. Later, he entered motion pictures in 1912 with the Lubin Company.

As a director, he produced such films as Resurrection (1927), Ramona (1928), Revenge (1928), Evangeline (1929), and The Spoilers (1930), winning fame for its realistic fight scenes. Besides Del Rio, he encouraged the talents of Warner Baxter, Wallace Beery, Francis X. Bushman and Gary Cooper. His brother, Finis Fox (1884-1949), wrote many of his scenarios.

Over his career, Carewe directed films for Metro, Paramount, First National, Fox and others and at one time had his own lot, Tec-Art, on Melrose Avenue, opposite Paramount, where he made his biggest successes.

In 1925, he and actress Mary Aikin (whom he also discovered), eloped to Mexico. There he met Jaime Del Rio and his wife Dolores. He suggested that she return with him to Hollywood for a screen career. Carewe helped Dolores Del Rio become one of the biggest stars in silent films.

At one time Carewe was considered a millionaire. His percentage on Ramona and Resurrection, both with Del Rio, was close to $400,000. However he lost most of his fortune in a Texas garbage disposal deal.

Carewe’s health began to fail in July 1939 when he had a heart attack while driving his car and was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital. Not wishing to remain in the hospital, his doctor’s would only allow him to leave if someone was constantly with him. He agreed to move to 5603 Lexington Avenue in Hollywood into an apartment across the hall from his nephew, Winston Platt.

On January 22, 1940, a doctor was summoned to Carewe’s apartment and administered a sedative to him around 4 a.m. Carewe fell asleep and Platt stretched out on a couch in the next room. At 8 a.m. Platt was awakened and found his uncle dead.

Edwin Carewe died in his apartment here at 5603 Lexington Avenue, Hollywood.

Funeral services were conducted at the Pierce Brothers Mortuary (across from Hollywood Cemetery) by Rev. Willsie Martin of the Wilshire Blvd. Methodist Episcopal Church. More than 200 of Carewe’s friends gathered to pay their final farewell.

Among those who attended were Dolores Del Rio, garbed in black, who sat in front with her husband, Cedric Gibbons, the art director at MGM. She sobbed throughout the rites.

Edwin Carewe’s death certificate (click on image to enlarge).

On the whole, the chapel was filled with property men, electricians, cameramen, carpenters, grips, painters, other technicians and friends who made up the director’s crews when he was filming. Others who were present included Charles Murray, Guido Orlando, Rex Lease, Eddie Silton, William Farnum, Ivy Wilson, Wilford Lucas, James Gordon, Hank Mann, Roland Drew, George Renault, John Le Roy Johnston, John Boles and John Hintz.

In the ceremony and eulogy, Dr. Martin touched briefly on his pioneer endeavors in films and his making of Are We Civilized? (1934), his final film.

“He never failed a friend, he never carried bitterness in his heart and he was generous to a fault – a great attribute,” Martin said. “He was a man who never quit, a test of a thorough bred.”

Besides his widow, Mary Aiken, Carewe left five children, Sally Ann, William Edwin, Carol Lee, Rita and Mary Jane and two brothers, Finis and Wallace Fox.

After his interment at Hollywood Cemetery in 1940, Carewe’s grave went unmarked – until recently when an unknown benefactor placed a stone there.

Edwin Carewe’s grave is located in Section One, Grave 471, in the northeast part of the cemetery, very near to the east wall, in the same area as Flora Finch.

Hollywood Forever Markings

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

Recent grave markings at Hollywood Forever

 

Maila Nurmi (Vampira)

 

Maila Nurmi aka Vampira

 

 

Bob Mitchell

 

Bob Mitchell

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Michael Kidd at Hollywood Forever

Friday, August 28th, 2009

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

Michael Kidd

 

 kidd-michael

  

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

How many are aware that famed dancer and choreographer, Michael Kidd is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery? I didn’t know until a few months after his death in 2007 and I just recently found his unmarked grave.

 

He was born Milton Greenwald on August 12, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York. He made his stage debut in The Eternal Road (1937), and in 1942 joined the American Ballet Theatre as a soloist. Over the years he danced for Mikhail Fokine, Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins and David Lichine.

 

Michael Kidd won five Tony Awards for his Broadway choreography: Finian’s Rainbow (1947), Guys and Dolls (1951), Can-Can (1953), Li’l Abner (1957), and Destry Rides Again (1959).

 

Films that he choreographed included: Where’s Charley (1949), The Band Wagon (1953), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), and Hello Dolly (1969). Kidd also acted and danced in movies. He appeared with Gene Kelly and Dan Daily in It’s Always Fair Weather, where they danced along a New York street with garbage-can lids attached to their shoes.

 

Kidd starred in the cult film, Smile (1975) and occasionally directed film and television (All in the Family, Laverne & Shirley). In 1993 he was nominated for a Tony award for directing Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl. In 1996, he was presented an honorary Oscar at the 69th Academy Award show .

 

Michael Kidd died in Los Angeles from cancer on December 23, 2007 at the age of 92. He was interred in the Pineland Section (13), Lot 847, Grave 1, next to a tree, about 20 feet southwest of Frank Keenan.

 

Michael Kidd grave

The grave of Michael Kidd (above) and his temporary marker (below)
(Photos by Allan R. Ellenberger)

 

Michael Kidd marker

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Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

VALENTINO

The 82nd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

 

Valentino's grave marker

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Today the fans of Rudolph Valentino arrived in the heat and humidity to Hollywood Forever Cemetery for the actors 82nd annual memorial service. The Memorial Committee once again surpassed their previous efforts in providing a dignified and entertaining celebration of the life of silent film actor, Rudolph Valentino.

 

Cathedral Mausoleum

 

Fans enter the Cathedral Mausoleum (above) to attend the the 82nd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service.

 

 

Cathedral Mausoleum foyer

 

The foyer of the Cathedral Mausoleum where fans gathered to begin today’s service.

 

 

Channell O Farrill

 

Chanell O Farrill welcomes everyone on behalf of Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

 

 

Tracy Ryan Terhune

 

Valentino author and emcee, Tracy Ryan Terhune gave the opening remarks and introduced each of today’s speakers. The first speaker for the day, Jeanine Villalobos, the great-granddaughter of Rudy’s brother, Alberto, was delayed by that-infamous Los Angeles traffic, but the show must go on so a Valentino video based on the upcoming photo book by Valentino authority, Donna Hill, was premiered.

 

 

Garrett Bryant

 

 Actor Garrett Brant gave a reading of three selected poems from Valentino’s book of poetry, Daydreams.

 

 

bob-mitchell

The late Bob Mitchell in a photo from last years service.

 

There was a moving tribute to organist Bob Mitchell as a recording of Mitchell’s organ music played. Mitchell, who played the organ at many former Valentino services, passed away on July 4th and is also interred at Hollywood Forever.

 

 

Tracy Terhune and Vince Morton

 

Tracy Terhune presents an award for the late Bob Mitchell to his partner and friend, Vince Morton (above), who also perfomed the music for today’s service.

 

 

Jeanine Villalobos

 

Jeanine Villalobos (above), the great-granddaughter of Alberto Guglielmi Valentino, spoke about her uncle’s funeral and read from archival letters of Alberto to his wife Ada. Ms Villalobos also commended the memorial committee for conducting the services, both past and present, with respect and decorum.

 

 

Craig MacPherson

 

Craig MacPherson (above) shared his thoughts on the influence of Natacha Rambova in the life of Valentino. The 2009 Valentino Memorial Video showing the relationship of Valentino and Rambova was premiered to the song, “If I Love Again.”

 

 

 Christopher Riordan

 

Christopher Riordan (above), manager of Falcon Lair, shared his memories and the current and future of Valentino’s former home. Singer Ian Whitcomb entertained the audience with the songs, “My Buddy” and the perennial, “The Sheik Of Araby.” Valentino Memorial Committee member, Stella Grace, then led the audience in repeating the 23rd Psalm.

 

 

Marvin Page, Stella Grace, Chanell O Farrill and Tracy Terhune

 

The Valentino Memorial Committee: Marvin Page, Stella Grace, Chanell O Farrill and Tracy Ryan Terhune (missing is Jay Boileau).

 

 

Mike Francis, Kari Bible, Allison Francis

 

Celebrating the life of Rudolph Valentino are Michael Francis, Kari Bible, the Lady in Black and Allison Francis.

 

 

Flowers at the crypt of Rudolph Valentino

 

 Flowers surround the crypt of Rudolph Valentino.

 

 

Valentino memorabilia

 

The mysterious Sue Guldin reads a newspaper account of Valentino’s death.

 

 

Valentino memorabilia

 

Valentino memorabilia on display provided by Marvin Page.

 

 

Stella Grace and Tracy Terhune

 

Valentino authorities and memorial committee members, Stella Grace and Tracy Ryan Terhune (above). Stella, Tracy and the rest of the committee worked hard to produce a service that was respectful and entertaining. They should be congratulated. We look forward to next year.

 

Photos by Allan R. Ellenberger

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Singin’ in the Rain @ Hollywood Forever

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

SCREENINGS

Singin’ in the Rain

 

 

 

 cinespia cemetery screenings season 09

 

saturday, august 22nd

singin’ in the rain

directed by Stanley Donen (1952 103 mins)

 

gates 7:00 pm movie 8:30 pm

hollywood forever cemetery
6000 santa monica boulevard at gower
no reservation necessary
$10 donation tickets available at gate
as a courtesy to other moviegoers: NO TALL CHAIRS!!

 

starring gene kelly and debbie reynolds

 

dj jun spins before and after the screening

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Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

Monday, August 17th, 2009

VALENTINO

 82nd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service

 

 Cathedral Mausoleum

 

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Bld. @ Gower
Cathedral Mausoleum
Sunday, August 23, 2009
12:10 p.m.

  

The life & legacy of Rudolph Valentino will be remembered at the annual Valentino Memorial Service which will be held on August 23rd, just as it has every year, steadfastly without fail for the past 82 years.

  

The program for the Valentino Memorial Service will include:

 

  • For the 1st time in over 75 years a member of the Valentino family will speak at the Valentino Memorial. Alberto Valentino’s great granddaughter, Jeanine Villalobos will be our featured speaker, drawing from family archived letters from Alberto Guglielmi Valentino (to his wife Ada who remained back home in Italy for the first year) of his thoughts and observations about the public’s outpouring of emotion, traveling across country on the Valentino funeral train and the West Coast funeral and burial of his brother, Rudolph Valentino. The letters have never been made accessible to researchers and are being translated from Italian to English for this presentation.

 

  • A tribute to honor Bob Mitchell, who for almost 30 years was involved with the Memorial first with his Bob Mitchell’s Boys Choir, and later on as a speaker/singer and musical accompaniment.

 

  • Donna Hill will also be making her first speaking appearance at the Valentino Memorial.

 

  • A new Memorial tribute video short spotlighting the relationship of Rudy & Natacha Rambova.

 

Stolen Moments

 

Also – the Valentino outdoor screening the evening of the 23rd returns after a two year absence. “A Society Sensation” and “Stolen Moments” will be shown. Bob Mitchell recorded his only in-studio recording for a silent movie when he did the score for “A Society Sensation” and that will be presented with his score, and Vince Morton will play live for “Stolen Moments.”

 — Tracy Terhune

More to be announced.

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Estelle Getty is Getting Her Marker

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

Estelle Getty’s marker is being installed

 

getty-marker

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger
August 1, 2009

 

It’s been a little over a year since comedian Estelle Getty died and it appears that she is finally getting a marker on her grave at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Getty, who died on July 22, 2008 is best known as the cranky but lovable, Sophia Petrillo on the classic NBC sit0com, The Golden Girls

 

Estelle Getty marker

 

The cement base for the marker was being poured today. According to cemetery employees, the marker may be completed within two weeks or perhaps sooner. Rest in Peace Estelle!

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Bob Mitchell Memorial

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

FUNERALS/MEMORIALS

Bob Mitchell 

 

Bob Mitchell-program

The funeral for organist Bob Mitchell, who died on July 4, 2009, was held yesterday at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church. Interment was at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The following is from his funeral program:

 

Bob Mitchell was born in Los Angeles on October 12, 1912. He began piano study at four and pipe organ at the age of ten. He accompanied silent movies beginning in 1924 (age twelve) until 1928 when sound replaced live music. At eighteen, he was the youngest candidate to receive the degree of Fellow of the American Guild of Organists (F.A.G.O). He was a scholarship winner at Eastman School of Music and the New York College of Music and still found time to sing and play on his own radio show in New York City.

 

Returning to Los Angeles, he founded the Mitchell Choirboys in 1934 – which continued for nearly 70 years. They performed in some one hundred motion pictures, most notably Going My Way, The Bishop’s Wife, and White Christmas. They toured extensively – five times abroad and once around the world, and made thousands of radio and TV appearances.

 

Bob served overseas in the Navy during World War II, and was pianist/organist for Meredith Willson’s Armed Forces Radio Service Orchestra.

 

He served as staff pianist/organist at several Los Angeles radio stations – KFI, KHJ, KECA, among others, and on TV with Art Linkletter’s House Party, The Jack LaLanne Show, and even The Mitchell Choirboys Show. Bob and the choir were featured in the Academy-monimated short film Forty Boys and a Song, and he was  honored on Ralph Edwards’ This is Your Life

 

Bob was organist for four years for the Dodgers and Angels at the then new stadium, the only person to ‘play’ for both the National and American leagues at the same time. He was musical director for many religious institutions over his 87 years as a professional musician, and most recently regularly exciting his many fans at the Silent Movie Theatre, Hollywood. Bob passed away peacefully on Saturday afternoon, July 4, 2009.

 

Bob Mitchell's crypt

 

Bob Mitchell’s crypt at Hollywood Forever Cemetery  at the Sanctuary of Memories, Elevation 8, Crypt C-49 (this is the new section in front of the Abbey of the Psalms, the second corrider to your right as you face the Abbey). Bob’s crypt is the one at the top (third row) center. The flowers are from his service.

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Maria Bennett at Hollywood Forever

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

FUNERALS/MEMORIALS

Mary “Maria” Bennett:

The Cat Lady of Hollywood Forever

 

Maria Bennett

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger

 

Many old-timers who work and visit at Hollywood Forever Cemetery may remember Maria Bennett, the so-called Cat-Lady, who cared for many of the stray cats that made the cemetery their home. This was especially true many years ago before the cemetery was bought and restored by the Cassity family. At the time, the cemetery was going into bankruptcy, and with little or no staff to tend to the graves, the entire property was soon in shambles.

 

That, of course is another story. However, during this time many volunteers came forward to water the graves, pull weeds and make sure that many of the famous and not-so-famous still had some respect.

 

Maria Bennett's memorial

The inscription on Maria’s monument

 

Maria chose to take care of the stray cats that made the cemetery their home. She would come by on a regular basis to make sure the animals had food, water and shelter. She did this for many years. There are still cats living at the cemetery, many of them descendants of those that Maria cared for.

 

Maria died in 2007 at the age of 72 and was cremated at Hollywood Forever. While her ashes are not interred there, her son recently had a memorial placed there for her. Maria’s monument can be found in Section 2, across the road from Cecil B. De Mille.

 

Maria Bennett's monument

Maria’s monument is across the road from Cecil B. DeMille

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Bob Mitchell’s Funeral

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

FUNERALS/MEMORIALS

Services for theater organist Bob Mitchell

 

 Bob Mitchel (Cinecon)

(Cinecon)

 

Larry Harnisch
The Daily Mirror
Los Angeles Times

 

Daily Mirror fan Karie Bible of Film Radar reports the death of theater organist Bob Mitchell. Mitchell was a regular feature of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats series. He was quite frail at this year’s event but it was good to see him.

 

Mitchell’s services are scheduled on Friday at 9:30 a.m. at  Christ the King Catholic Church, 624 N. Rossmore Ave. He will be buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd.

 

Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Assn. or Boys Town.

 

Here’s a field recording I made at Last Remaining Seats a few years ago of Mitchell playing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”

 

Thanks to our friend Jon Weisman of the fabulous Dodger Thoughts blog for reminding us that Mitchell was the first organist at Dodger Stadium.

 

 Interview with Bob Mitchell (YouTube)

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