Lon Chaney’s Ghost Haunts Hollywood and Vine!

Oct. 26, 1942, Duncan Sisters

Oct. 26, 1942: Rosetta (D. 1958) and Vivian (D. 1986) Duncan appear in “Topsy and Eva,” a musical version of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” a musical comedy in which they first appeared in San Francisco in the 1920s. The Duncan sisters wrote the music and lyrics for the show, adapted by Catherine Chisholm Cushing.

Councilman Norris Nelson tells a story about the ghost of Lon Chaney sitting on a bench at Hollywood and Vine.

In discussing a proposed ordinance to ease restrictions on placement of benches, Nelson said that about 15 years earlier, he had placed an ornamental iron bench at the famous intersection.

“Lon Chaney used to sit on that bench and wait for a bus when he was an extra boy,” Nelson said. “When he became a star he used to drive by it and pick up poor devils who were still extras; after he died his ghost was reported seen sitting on the bench and finally a spot was reserved for the ghost and nobody ever sat in it.”

Of course, arithmetic refutes the story. Using Nelson’s figures, the bench was placed in 1927, when Chaney was already a star. Another good story ruined.

Gang members riot at the Los Angeles Theatre when police try to arrest three of them for making unnecessary noises in the balcony. About 20 officers responded to the disturbance and the gang members fled, with only Tony Sanchez, 17, 858 1/2 State St., arrested.

Oct. 26, 1942, Lon Chaney
Oct. 26, 1942, Gang Riot

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1942, African Americans, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, LAPD, World War II, Zoot Suit and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lon Chaney’s Ghost Haunts Hollywood and Vine!

  1. Eve says:

    LOVE the Duncan sisters. I think their 1929 “It’s a Great Life” is so much better than “Broadway Melody” of the same year.

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