Category Archives: Obituaries

Black L.A. 1947: Bert McDonald Dies; First Black Deputy City Atty.

The latest records by Jimmy Rushing, Duke Henderson and King Perry are at 1065 N. Fairfax Ave. 1065 N. Fairfax Ave., where you got the latest hip 78s in 1947, via Google Street View. March 13, 1947: The Sentinel publishes … Continue reading

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Feb. 24, 1907: Samuel Tilden Norton Designs Eagle Rock Bank Building

Eagle Rock bank building designed by Samuel Tilden Norton, via Google Street View. Note: This is an encore post from 2007. Feb. 24, 1907 Eagle Rock Architect Samuel Tilden Norton has designed a bank building for Townsend Avenue and Colorado … Continue reading

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Billy Graham Brings ‘Canvas Cathedral’ to Los Angeles, 1949

Billy Graham brings his “canvas cathedral” to Los Angeles in 1949. Via YouTube. .

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Black L.A., 1947: ‘Why Do 14-Year-Old Girls Get Drunk and Fall Into Bed With Men?’ Judge Asks

The Sentinel runs a publicity photo of Flora Washington, who released “Broken Hearted” and “If I Ever Cry, You’ll Never Know” on the United Artist label in 1946. Flora Washington sings “Broken Hearted” via Archive.org.   Feb. 13, 1947: Municipal … Continue reading

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Jan. 28, 1907: Meet Gen. Homer Lea, L.A.’s Gift to China

Note: This is an encore post from 2007. Jan 28, 1907 Los Angeles “If my career seems strange to you, it seems stranger and more incredible to me,” Gen. Homer Lea once said. And indeed it was, for Lea’s life … Continue reading

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Jan. 7, 1947: Man Uses Same Coffee Cup for 27 Years

Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947project. Same Coffee Cup Used 27 Years WHITTIER, Jan. 6—Truman B. Carl, a city employee, today rounded out 27 consecutive years of coffee drinking from the same oversized china … Continue reading

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Jan. 6, 1947: Artist Dies While Hanging From Ceiling to Ease Spinal Pain

Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947project. Jan. 6, 1947: Charles Clyde Atchison, 66, a sculptor and stone mason, had back problems—at least that’s what he told his sister Leona of 1110 W. 30th St. … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: 10 Black Doctors Admitted to Leading Surgical Society, Raising Number to 14

Leon H. Washington Jr., left, publisher of the Sentinel, marches in a picket line with a sign that says “Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work” in a photo published Jan. 2, 1947. Jan. 2, 1947: At its convention in Cleveland, … Continue reading

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Jan. 3, 1863: L.A. Paper Calls Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation an Outrage

Read all of the Jan. 3, 1863, Los Angeles Star at USC’s digital library. Note: This is an encore post from 2013. Jan. 3, 1863: Of all that you may know about the Emancipation Proclamation, I doubt you have read … Continue reading

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In Memoriam — Johnny Fox | Sword Swallower (1953 — 2017)

We were saddened to read an obituary in the New York Times this week about sword swallower Johnny Fox, who died of cancer in Maryland at the age of 64. We snapped this picture of Fox, about to swallow a … Continue reading

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Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – A Perfect Villain

Photo: “Rasputin and the Empress,” with Gustav von Seyffertitz, center, with Ethel Barrymore, Edward Arnold, John Barrymore, Tad Alexander and Lionel Barrymore. Photo listed on EBay. Bidding starts at $9.99. Note: This is an encore post from 2011 One of … Continue reading

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RIP: Dave Pell, Jazz Musician 1925 – 2017

Veteran jazz musician and record producer Dave Pell has died at the age of 92, according to his Facebook page. Here are excerpts of an interview I did in 2007. (The full interview is at latimes.com.) Dave Pell on Lenny … Continue reading

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RIP Robert Osborne (1932 – 2017)

  Robert Osborne, the always affable TCM host, has died at 84 after years of declining health. TCM Remembers Robert Osborne (video). Los Angeles Times. Variety. Washington Post. New York Times profile.

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Black Dahlia: Remembering ‘Severed’ Con Man John Gilmore

I promised I would tell a few tales about the late John Gilmore, author of “Severed.” It’s on L.A. Review of Books. (Though prone to exaggeration, Gilmore actually had a few small roles as an actor, including this 1960 appearance … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2016, Another Good Story Ruined, Black Dahlia, Hollywood, Obituaries, Television | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Dahlia: ‘Severed’ Author John Gilmore Dead at 81 (Updated)

John Gilmore is dead? Really? Hidden in yet another rehash of the Black Dahlia case for the 70th anniversary of Elizabeth Short’s killing is word from Tony Mostrom in L.A. Weekly that “Severed” author John Gilmore died in October. This … Continue reading

Posted in 1947, 2016, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, LAPD, Obituaries | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Voices: Curtis Hanson

In honor of Curtis Hanson, who died yesterday at the age of 71, here is a recording I made of him on May 23, 2007, with Eva Marie Saint and Patricia Hitchcock before a showing of “North by Northwest” by … Continue reading

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Black Dahlia: Matthew Mezger, My No. 1 Troll, Is Dead

I hadn’t gotten any brickbats from Mr. Mezger in a couple of years and wondered whether I successfully blocked him everywhere or whether something had happened to him. I decided to Google him and found that he died of cancer … Continue reading

Posted in 2012, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, LAPD, Obituaries | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How I Almost Killed Garry Shandling

This would be a much funnier story if Garry Shandling were still alive, but if he were, I wouldn’t be telling it. I was partially responsible — in a roundabout way — for nearly killing Garry back in the 1970s. … Continue reading

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Gary Shandling: A Tour of L.A. Comedy Clubs in 1981

I rarely dig into my old clips, but here is my feature on Garry Shandling, who died today at the age of 66, from the Arizona Daily Star, Nov. 24, 1981. The ending isn’t exactly mine; it was altered  by … Continue reading

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The Brain Trust Mourns a Loss

We were saddened to learn from B.J. Merholz that his wife, Julie, has died. B.J. writes: “Julie was a long-time fan of the Mystery Photo and determined contributor who followed it as long as her health permitted. After a recent … Continue reading

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