Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

Rudolph Valentino: an alternate ending

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

UPDATE: If you can’t attend tomorrow’s Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service at 12:10 pm (PST) at Hollywood Forever’s Cathedral Mausoleum, the committee has authorized for the first time, a live streaming broadcast via Facebook on the Group, We Never Forget Rudolph Valentino. Join in and enjoy!

 

What if Natacha Rambova had still been married to Rudolph Valentino at the time of his death? Where might he be interred today?

When silent film star, Rudolph Valentino died prematurely at the age of 31 in 1926, chaos ensued. From the moment his death was announced at New York’s Polyclinic Hospital, until he was laid to rest in Hollywood, riots, rumors and unrest followed the actors body.

And not unlike the circumstances regarding the death and burial of pop super-star, Michael Jackson, there were questions and disagreements over where the body of Rudolph Valentino would rest.

As Valentino lay dying at Polyclinic hospital, his brother Alberto was anxiously making his way from Italy and found out about his brother’s death when he arrived at the Paris train station. Later that day, Alberto released a statement affirming that Valentino would be buried in America.

“This is what he would have desired,” Alberto said. “He so loved America that I am sure he wanted to be buried there – rather, even, than beside our father and mother in Italy. He loved Italy, but he loved the country of his adoption and his success more.”

However, two days later, Alberto altered his decision, stating that he needed to discuss the matter with his sister Maria and Rudy’s American friends. Until then, no decision would be made.

Surprised by this turn of events, many wondered where Valentino would be interred. Rudy’s sister, Maria, told reporters by telephone from her home in Turin that she wished for her brother to be buried in Castellaneta (Valentino’s birthplace). “It is my desire that Rudolph be buried in Italy,” she said, “and I hope that my brother Alberto, now en route to New York, will agree to this.” Citizens of Valentino’s home town agreed and started making plans to welcome the body of their fellow townsman. A committee was organized to collect funds to erect a stately tomb in the town’s cemetery.

Valentino’s manager, George Ullman, still hoped to take his friend’s body back to Hollywood. “I think he belongs there and hope to so persuade his brother,” he said. Pola Negri (Valentino’s alleged fiancé) agreed, telling reporters that she too hoped Alberto would bring Rudy’s body back to the city where the actor had his greatest success. “Because he spent so many happy hours – his happiest hours – here, and because I am here,” she said. “I want him buried in Hollywood. But if his brother should wish him buried in Italy, to lie beside his father and mother – that is different. I can understand that.”

Valentino’s first wife, Jean Acker, sided with the Italian delegation. “I think he would prefer to lie by the side of his mother and father in Italy,” she said. “But I have no say in it. Who am I to say anything?”

Meanwhile, a contingent of Hollywood producers, directors, and actors cabled Alberto, urging that Valentino be buried in Los Angeles. “We, of the Hollywood motion picture colony, who knew, worked with and loved Rudolph Valentino, urge you to order that his mortal remains be allowed to rest forever here, where his friendships were formed and where he made his home,” they wrote. It was signed by thirty-eight Hollywood personalities, including Charlie Chaplin, Marion Davies, Antonio Moreno, Ramon Novarro, Norman Kerry and Louis B. Mayer.

Alberto was very appreciative of the honor and interest that Rudy’s friends bestowed upon his brother, but hoped they would not insist on an immediate decision. “I have communicated with my sister in Turin,” he responded by cable. “There are many factors that must be taken into consideration. I cannot reach a decision until I reach New York.”

Being Valentino’s next of kin, the decision was left to Alberto, and as everyone now knows, that decision was for Hollywood Cemetery where Valentino still rests to this day. However, what if Valentino had still been married to Natacha Rambova at the time of his death? The decision would have been hers. If so, where would his remains be now?

Rudy, Winifred Hudnut, Natacha, Richard Hudnut

At the time of his death, Natacha was in France with her family. The only hint of what her plans would have been if history had been different was a brief cable she sent to Ullman during the fight over where Rudy’s body would lie.

“Unless otherwise directed by Rudolph, we prefer cremation; ashes to be placed in temporary security,” she wrote. “Later could go to my plot in Woodlawn.”

Woodlawn Cemetery is in the Bronx section of New York where many of the city’s historical figures are buried. Silent film actress Olive Thomas was interred there by her husband Jack Pickford just six years earlier.

The huge family plot of Richard Hudnut at Woodlawn Cemetery where only he and his two wives are interred. Who else could he have been expecting? Natacha had her ashes scattered.

Natacha’s step-father, Richard Hudnut, the famed perfume manufacturer, had a huge family plot at Woodlawn, where his first wife Evelyn was buried in 1919 and where he and his second wife Winifred (Natacha’s mother) were later buried.

Ullman, of course, did not take Natacha’s offer seriously. First, he insisted that cremation was impossible since the Catholic Church did not allow it, and Rudy, who had drifted away from his childhood faith, had returned to it on his deathbed. Ullman recalled that several years earlier they had discussed cremation, and Rudy had said, “Well, when I die I’d like to be cremated and have my ashes scattered to the winds.” Ullman insisted that Rudy was joking.

However, to continue with our speculation, had the couple still been married, the chances are that Valentino would have been buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Hudnut family plot. Now the only question would be if the yearly memorial services that have taken place since the actor’s death would become a ritual at Woodlawn, or would his memory have faded as so many silent film stars of the day have?

 

 

 

In any event, the 90th Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, August 23, 2017, at 12:10 pm, in the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where the actors body still resides. The public is welcome.

 

 

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Michael Jackson death anniversary

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

CELEBRITY GRAVES

Recent outpouring of affection at Michael Jackson’s grave

 

 

 

Offerings from Michael Jackson fans left at the entrance of the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California on the first anniversary of his death. (Photos courtesy of Gary L. Hill)

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Clark Gable’s crypt kissed

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

CELEBRITY GRAVES

Clark Gable’s Tomb Vandalized By A Kiss

 

TMZ.com

 

(NewsCore) – The tomb of silver screen star Clark Gable was vandalized by an adoring bandit who left her mark with lipstick — causing a repair team to be called to clean it, TMZ reported Sunday.

 

Gable, who is entombed in a mausoleum at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif. — also the final resting place of Walt Disney, Michael Jackson and a host of other celebrities — is regularly sought after by female fans, and traces of lipstick are occasionally spotted by the actor’s son John Clark Gable.

 

Although most previous marks were easily wiped away, the latest one stubbornly stuck, forcing a “total overhaul” of the white marble monument by a repair team.

 

John Clark Gable also warned against letting Jackson fans into the mausoleum — claiming that if they came inside, their tributes could damage surrounding memorials, including his father’s.

 

He said he asked security to “keep an eye out” for the lipstick bandit’s return.

 

Click here to view the article

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Hollywood Underground Banquet

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

HOLLYWOOD EVENTS

12th Annual  

hu

 Dinner

 

 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”

 

HU-mchale

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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Michael Jackson’s Funeral

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

FUNERALS/MEMORIALS

Sleeping in Beauty ~ Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson

 

Michael Jackson's casket

Michael Jackson’s casket prior to entombment (© Reuters 9/3/2009)

 

Check out Lisa Burks’ blog for an eyewitness report of Michael Jackson’s funeral:

 

“Ten weeks after his untimely death, Michael Jackson was finally laid to rest last night at Forest Lawn Glendale in the Great Mausoleum, Holly Terrace, during a much publicized private funeral.”

 

Click here to continue reading the article from Lisa Burks blog, “Adventures in Graving”

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The Thriller of the Hunt

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

BLOGS

The Thriller of the Hunt

 

 Michael Jackson

 MJ’s landmark album”Thriller” ~ 25th Anniversary promotional photo

 

Adventures in Graving
By Lisa Burks

 

Before Michael Jackson’s death, grave hunting was a (pardon the pun) niche interest.

 

Today it’s become a national obsession as the mainstream media Keystone Cop their way around our stomping grounds, trying to do what seasoned Hollywood area grave hunters have been accomplishing for years: find out where a body is buried.

 

Now I can appreciate what Meryl Streep must feel like whenever a flavor-of-the-month model tries to act. Just kidding. Kindasorta. 😉

 

Click here to continue reading Lisa Burk’s article, The Thriller of the Night

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Rudolph Valentino and Michael Jackson Comparison

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

BLOGS

The Circus of death

 

Line waiting to view Valentino's body

Line of fans and mourners waiting to view
the body of actor Rudolph Valentino in 1926

 

Fellow blogger and Rudolph Valentino expert, Donna Hill, has posted an interesting comparison between the lives and the deaths of silent film idol Rudolph Valentino and the recently deceased “King of Pop” Michael Jackson. Check out her blog, Strictly Vintage Hollywood.

 

“The recent and very sudden death of the pop icon Michael Jackson gave me pause to reflect on interesting parallels between two events 80 years apart: the uncanny similarity to the “Circus of Death” that accompanied the untimely passing of silent screen idol Rudolph Valentino.”

 

Click here to continue reading Donna’s article

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Michael Jackson’s Will

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

CELEBRITY NEWS

Michael Jackson’s will

 

Michael Jackson

 

Click here to read Michael Jackson’s Will

 

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Michael Jackson Tribute on Walk of Fame

Friday, June 26th, 2009

TRIBUTES

Fans honor singer Michael Jackson on the Walk of Fame

 

Michael Jackson in London

Michael Jackson

(1958 – 2009)

 

By Allan R. Ellenberger
June 26,2009

 

The helicoptors buzzing over my roof reminded me that the world was watching fans congregate at the Walk of Fame star for singer Michael Jackson, located in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. So I decided to check it out walking the five blocks from my home and finally working my way into the crowds as Michael Jackson songs blared from souvenir stores and hawkers sold Michael Jackson T-shirts on Hollywood Boulevard.

 

I never got close enough to see the “King of Pop’s” actual star since the wait in line was a half-block long and about 6 deep on the star-studded sidewalk. But here are a few of the sights I was able to record:

 

Michael Jackson fans at Grauman's Chinese

Fans wait in line for a chance for a 15 second glimpse of Jackson’s star

 

Jackson neon sign at Grauman's

Grauman’s Chinese gives tribute to the pop singer on its neon sign

 

Michael Jackson fans

Michael Jackson fans wait in line to see his flower-strewn star

 

Michael Jackson fans

Media trucks cover fans as they view Michael Jackson’s star on the Walk of Fame. The Cinegrill at the Roosevelt displays Jackson’s name and birth/death years.

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Michael Jackson Obituary

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

OBITUARY

Pop star Michael Jackson dead at 50

 

Michael Jackson

  

Paramedics arrived at his Bel-Air home today and found the singer in full cardiac arrest. A doctor was in the home performing CPR on him. LAPD has opened an inquiry.

 

By Andrew Blankstein, Phil Willon and Harriet Ryan
Los Angeles Times
June 25, 2009

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Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead today after paramedics found him in a coma at his Bel-Air mansion, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.

 

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Steve Ruda told The Times that paramedics responded to a 911 call from the home. When they arrived, Jackson was not breathing. The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda said.

 

Hundreds of reporters gathered at the hospital awaiting word on his condition. The sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named, said family members rushed to Jackson’s bedside, where he was in a deep coma.

 

The circumstances of Jackson’s death remain unclear. Law enforcement sources said that Los Angeles Police Department robbery-homicide detectives have opened an investigation into the death, though they stressed there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The detectives plan to interview relatives, friends and Jackson’s doctors to try to figure out what happened. The L.A. County coroner’s office will determine a cause of death.

 

Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Michael Jackson

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