Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947project.
With the city in the grips of the Black Dahlia murder, Los Angeles wonders, where is Virginia Mayo? Or at least some publicist worries enough to feed the item to Louella Parsons at the Examiner. Without knowing for certain, the second story looks like a Times rewrite of the gossip column, which provides juicy details about Mayo’s poisoned dog, her exact address and the implications that she’s a home-wrecker, but is very thin on any real news. Basically, Mayo and her mother went on a trip. End of story.
Bonus factoid: Mayo and O’Shea got married July 2, 1947. He lived at 14633 Magnolia in Van Nuys. O’Shea, who starred in “Mr. District Attorney” and “Underworld Story,” died of a heart attack in Dallas in 1973 while getting ready to join a touring company of “40 Carats,” starring Mayo.
Second bonus factoid: Mayo’s apartment was 1.3 miles from the home of Dr. George Hodel at 5121 Franklin Ave.
By Louella O. Parsons
Motion Picture Editor, International News Service
Actress Virginia Mayo’s three-day “disappearance,” which for a while seemed to be a deep mystery, was partially cleared up last night.
Yesterday, both the Samuel Goldwyn Studios and Michael O’Shea, the beautiful blonde actress’ fiance, revealed that Virginia had been missing since Friday night.
O’Shea told me he was frantic over her disappearance and was ready to ask police action in the case.
Last night, however, the manager of Virginia’s apartment building at 6200 Franklin Ave., revealed that she had left with her mother Thursday afternoon.
SEEN IN CAR—
Also, the manager of a nearby gas station said that on that day he serviced the actress’ car—“loaded with boxes”—and changed the oil. She drove off with her mother, he added.
O’Shea said yesterday that he hadn’t heard from Virginia since she failed to keep an engagement with him Friday night.
“Did you have a quarrel?” he was asked.
Denying any rift between them, the actor explained that Virginia had been “very blue” since her Boston bulldog, Dinky, died of poisoning a month ago.
“Virginia and Dinky started out together, you might say,” O’Shea added.
“She bought him on the street in Boston seven years ago, just before she got her first real break. Ever since his death, she’s been terribly depressed.”
Asked if the prolonged delay he had experienced in getting a divorce might have had something to do with Virginia’s disappearance, he emphatically denied this.
“Virginia understands that I have been doing everything possible to gain my freedom,” he explained. “But I was married for 20 years and you just can’t end a marriage like that overnight.”
Actress Virginia Mayo’s “disappearance,” as disclosed by Samuel Goldwyn studio and a perplexed friend, last night turned out to be a weekend trip with her mother, Mrs. Martha Jones.
The blond film star had not been seen or heard from since last Thursday night, when she and Michael O’Shea, actor, went out together, a studio spokesman said. Then, when the actress failed to appear for a scheduled dramatic lesson on Friday, studio executives began an unsuccessful telephonic search for her.
The whole furor was branded as “erroneous and ridiculous” by the night manager at the Franklin Avenue apartment house where Miss Mayo lives. He said that she and her mother left Friday morning for a weekend trip and had planned to return early today.
Quote of the day: “Never a dull moment at Bullock’s, downtown Los Angeles.”
Ad offering a free lecture on contract bridge, a free classical voice concert, the Nickanellie Marionettes and something that Decca calls a “high-fidelity record.”