Posts Tagged ‘mike francis’

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.



Allie & Mike’s Wedding…

Sunday, January 18th, 2009


Allie & Mike’s Wedding


 Allison & Michael Francis

Mr. & Mrs. Michael J. Francis


By Allan R. Ellenberger

On Friday, January 16, 2009, I had the immense pleasure to attend the wedding of two of my dearest friends, Allison Berntsen and Michael Francis. The site of their nuptials was the legendary R.M.S. Queen Mary which is docked at Long Beach, California.


I first met Mike and Allie almost ten years ago (wow where did the years go) at the Paramount Ranch where I spoke and had a book signing for my biography on Ramon Novarro. The event was the “Silents Under the Stars” where they showed the 1922 silent classic, The Prisoner of Zenda starring Novarro and the tragic and  “too beautiful” Barbara La Marr. Allie is a huge La Marr fan and they were there to see the actress on the big screen. I was a bonus (at least I hope so).


Let’s see if I can remember who was there that night – our good friend Jimmy Bangley, the talented playwright, Kevin McCauley; the Irish legend, Deborah Fullam and another person I no longer remember. Jimmy was being quite boisterous about his love of La Marr (imagine that) and I believe Allie overheard him – from that point we were drawn to one another like a magnet and became very good friends. The rest is glorious and loving history.


The service was held in the Royal Wedding Chapel on the Promenade Deck, which at one time was the first-class smoking room for the Queen Mary. Afterward, the reception was held in an adjoining room. A good time was had by all.


Mike and Allie are a great couple and both have great families. I’ve had some good times with them over the last decade (almost) and I hope for a couple more. I wish them the best of luck and much happiness – if anyone deserves it, they do. Shalom guys!


Here are a few photos from the event…







Allie & Mike's engagement photo

 Wedding invitation photo


The RMS Queen Mary

R.M.S. Queen Mary


Queen Mary Royal Wedding Chapel

Royal Wedding Chapel


The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple


The Wedding Party

The Wedding Party: Eric Berntsen, Allie, Mike, Brandon Francis


The Berntsen and Francis families

The Berntsen and Francis families


Cutting the cake

Cutting the cake


Mike & Allie



Celebrity Recipes…Buster Keaton

Monday, September 8th, 2008


Buster Keaton


 Keaton (center with hat) serving his Chop Suey recipe to friends



Buster Keaton’s Chop Suey



Grease an iron pot with 3 tablespoons peanut oil and add 1 cup raw, lean pork, cut into cubes and allow to cook until brown.


Now put into pot mixed vegetables and allow to steam under tight-fitting lid. The mixture of vegetables consists of:


2 ½ cups water chestnuts cut in cubes,

2 ½ bamboo shoots,

2 cups Chinese greens cut in small pieces,

2 cups celery chopped into small pieces,

1 cup chopped onions,

3 cups canned mushrooms, chopped,

5 cups bean sprouts,

½ cup chopped salted almonds.


After steaming for 30 minutes, chicken stock is added to moisten. Thicken with 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Thin with chicken stock if too thick.


Dice whole roast chicken, being careful to use no skin or fat parts; place in pot and cook slowly for 15 minutes.


Add soy sauce as seasoning and to give it proper dark color.


This recipe should serve 8 persons.


— Buster Keaton










Sue, Allie & Mike

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Valentino Memorial

August 23, 2008

Hollywood Forever Cemetery


Here are a couple photos taken at the 81st Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service of some of my good friends. Enjoy.


What a crew: Sue, Allie & Mike


ahhhh: Allie & Mike


Allie & Sue at the grave of Barbara La Marr