Category Archives: Hollywood

Jan. 22, 1959: ‘Our Gang’ Star Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer Dies in Fight Over $50

Jan. 22, 1959: Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer is shot to death in a fight with Moses Samuel Stiltz. According to police, Switzer borrowed a dog belonging to Stiltz, then lost the dog. Switzer paid $50 for the return of Stiltz’s dog. … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Baseball, Crime and Courts, Dodgers, Film, Hollywood, Keith Thursby, LAPD, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: Stephen Kay Says No LAPD Coverup in Black Dahlia Case

Retired LAPD Capt. Ed Jokisch , who was in the Homicide Division in the 1940s, fought back against the claims in Steve Hodel’s “Black Dahlia Avenger” franchise until his death in 2011. This letter from former Deputy Dist. Atty. Stephen … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2003, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Dear Brain Trust: I received word this week of the loss to cancer of one of our prolific, knowledgeable and veteran contributors, Lee Ann of the trio of solvers Lee Ann, Megan and Thom, who moved with us from latimes.com … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Bessie Lasky, Painter

  Bessie Lasky in her studio, courtesy of Jesse L. Lasky.com. Though overshadowed by her husband, Jesse, Bessie Lasky was as much an artist as he, a multitalented artist in many fields with some renown from the 1920s through the … Continue reading

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Jan. 21, 1959: Cecil B. De Mille Dies at 77

  Jan. 21, 1959: The Mirror brings out an extra when Cecil B. De Mille died of a heart attack at the age of 77.. The post originally appeared on latimes.com in 2009 and is available via Archive.org.

Posted in 1959, Film, Hollywood, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: No Sign of George Hodel or the Black Dahlia in the Fauna Hodel Story 1990

If you’re curious about whether “I Am the Night” is indeed “inspired by a true story,” I did a bit more digging into the tale of Fauna Hodel and her unfinished film “Pretty Hattie’s Baby” (spoiler alert – there’s nothing … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1990, 1996, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: New ‘Evidence’ in George ‘Evil Genius’ Hodel Franchise

Black Dahlia breakthrough! Note: This is an encore post from 2013. Let us suppose that there was a mathematician. A retired mathematician who once taught at a major university, who published and received tenure, and retired as a well-regarded member … Continue reading

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January 1939: Vivien Leigh Cast in ‘Gone With the Wind’ (Hedda Hopper Does Not Approve)

January 1939: Vivien Leigh is cast as Scarlett O’Hara. Hedda Hopper does not approve. Boy does she not approve. Frankly, was there anybody who was ever worse at casting than Hedda Hopper? She would shamelessly use her column to campaign … Continue reading

Posted in 1939, Columnists, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie was the 1933 film “A Study in Scarlet,” with Reginald Owen, Anna May Wong, June Clyde, Allan Dinehart, John Warburton, Alan Mowbray, Warburton Gamble, J.M. Kerrigan, Doris Lloyd, Billy Bevan, Leila Bennett, Wyndham Standing and Halliwell … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Jan. 14, 1939: Thousands at St. Vibiana’s Hold Vigil for World Peace

Jan. 13, 1939: About 4,000 worshipers attend a Perpetual Novena for Our Sorrowful Mother at St. Vibiana’s Cathedral. People knelt in the aisles, in the doorways and outside praying for peace and for relief of the poor, The Times says.. … Continue reading

Posted in 1939, Books and Authors, Downtown, Film, Hollywood, Religion, Sports, World War II | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Dahlia: A Warning About Hollywood and the Black Dahlia

Lucie Arnaz in “Who Is the Black Dahlia?” “Inspired by a true story?” A painful lesson about Hollywood and the Black Dahlia. In 1975, the murder of Elizabeth Short was the basis for the TV movie “Who Is the Black … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 1975, Black Dahlia, Film, Hollywood, LAPD, Television | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jan. 12, 1959: Paul Coates Confidential File — East L.A. War Hero Plotted to Kill Batista

Jan. 12, 1959: Paul Coates has the story of Guy Louis Gabaldon, a war hero raised in East L.A. who claimed to have plotted to assassinate Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista. Gabaldon was raised by the parents of a Japanese American … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Columnists, Film, Hollywood, Paul Coates, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: Are There Any Good Books on the Black Dahlia Case? Oh Dear!

“Severed”  by pathological liar John Gilmore (d. 2016) was once the go-to book on the Black Dahlia case, but it’s 25% mistakes and 50% fiction. Are there any good books on the Black Dahlia case? No. But there are a … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Hollywood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Jan. 9, 1945: The Making of ‘The Blue Dahlia’; Paramount Signs Raymond Chandler for Original Film

Jan. 9, 1945: The New York Times reports that Paramount signed Raymond Chandler to write a script. Contrast this with John Houseman’s account of making the film in “Lost Fortnight,” originally published in Harper’s magazine, August 1965, and reprinted with … Continue reading

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Jan. 8, 1939: ‘Little Buttercup’ — Baby Abandoned at Hospital

Jan. 8, 1939: The Times’ Edwin Schallert makes his Oscar predictions, seconding a “Warner landslide” published in The Times two weeks earlier with James Cagney (“Angel With Dirty Faces”) as best actor, Bette Davis (“Jezebel”) as best actress, Michael Curtiz … Continue reading

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Olvera Street, Salute to Los Angeles’ Spanish Past

A postcard of the Avila Adobe, listed on EBay for $1.89. “A people that has lost touch with its historical past, forgotten its traditions and wasted its heritage is as unfortunate as a man who has lost his memory. Without … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Downtown, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

This week’s mystery movie was the 1954 Columbia film “Pushover,” with Fred MacMurray, Phil Carey, Kim Novak (her film debut), Dorothy Malone, E.G. Marshall and Allen Nourse. Screenplay by Roy Huggings, based on stories by Thomas Walsh and William S. … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Jan. 6, 1959: Paul Coates Confidential File – My Responsibilities as Your Reporter

Jan. 6, 1959: Paul Coates writes about protecting his sources, citing the case of New York Herald Tribune writer Marie Torre, who was sentenced to 10 days in jail for refusing to reveal her source for a story about Judy … Continue reading

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Jan. 6, 1959: Errol Flynn Wounded in Cuba!

Jan. 6, 1959: Here’s a busy news day in 1959. Errol Flynn is wounded in the leg while “campaigning” with Fidel Castro. On the jump, Keith Thursby takes a look at The Times’ interview by Jeane Hoffman with Eleanor Gehrig. The … Continue reading

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January 1959: Studio Exec Says They Would Have to Kill Him to Get Wallet – So They Did

Kenneth Savoy told holdup men “If you want my wallet, you’re going to have to kill me to get it.” So they did. The story of George Albert Scott and Curtis C. Lichtenwalter, who were robbing bars across Los Angeles. … Continue reading

Posted in 1959, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Homicide | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments