Archive for September, 2018

Don Adams

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , on September 25, 2018 by Cade

April 13, 1923 – September 25, 2005

“Missed it by THAT much.”

Don Adams (Donald Yarmy) gave life to one of the most memorable and imitated television characters of all time. In 1965, Adams was under contract with NBC, who decided he should play the role of Maxwell Smart on their new show, the Mel Brooks-created spy spoof, Get Smart. Adams took bits and catchphrases from his early stand-up days and wrapped them in a distinct speaking style to bring Agent 86 to the small screen for 5 seasons. Continue reading

Bill Paxton

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , on September 24, 2018 by Cade

May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017

In the year and a half or so since his abrupt and untimely death at the age of 61, it’s still hard to imagine a world without Bill Paxton. The actor turned up so often for so long that one can be forgiven for still expecting to see him show up in some new movie or TV show today. Working often with director James Cameron, Paxton graced the screen in dozens of the most popular movies in the world for the better part of 3 decades. Small but memorable roles in the 1980s (Alien, Weird Science) led to blockbuster roles in the ’90s (Titanic, Tombstone, Twister) and lucrative TV roles in the 2000s (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Big Love – the latter of which earned him a number of Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.) He was literally everywhere. He even started a new wave band in 1982 because why not? Continue reading

Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , , , on September 20, 2018 by Cade

August 7, 1927 – January 21, 1959

The same day that renowned director Cecil B. DeMille died, a fight broke out in a Mission Hills, California home. The fight was over $50 and left a 31 year-old former child star dead of a gunshot wound. The newspapers the next day were all about DeMille, but if one looked hard enough, they would see that Carl Switzer – “Alfalfa” from the Our Gang (Little Rascals) shorts of the 1940s – had been killed.

Alfalfa was arguably the most famous character of the film series which saw dozens of children come and go over its 22 year run.Along with other members like “Spanky,” “Darla” and “Buckwheat,” Switzer’s cowlick’d, off-key prankster helped define what many consider the “classic” line up.

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Ub Iwerks

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , , , on September 17, 2018 by Cade

March 24, 1901 – July 7, 1971

Here’s a simple question: Would there be a Walt Disney without Ub Iwerks?

Here’s a complicated answer: Yes…but probably not the Disney we know today.

Ubbe Eert “Ub” Iwerks was close friends with Walt dating back to their days in Kansas City as struggling artists. Iwerks was at Disney’s side through ALL of the early milestones: Laugh-O-Gram, the financial struggles, the move to Los Angeles, the creation of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit…the LOSS of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Universal, and the creation of a mouse by the name of “Mickey.” Iwerks served as the chief animator for Disney. His ability to draw and animate quickly coupled with his quirky sense of humor made him an invaluable asset to the fledgling entertainment empire. Ub’s style can be prominently displayed in the legendary Mickey short, Steamboat Willie, which he animated in its entirety. Continue reading

Jack Klugman

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , on September 14, 2018 by Cade

April 27, 1922 – December 24, 2012

Whether you remember him as Dr. Quincy (Quincy, M.E.), Oscar (The Odd Couple) or as Juror #5 (12 Angry Men), Jack Klugman is one of those actors that’s instantly recognizable. From stage to screen, The Twilight Zone to Gypsy, he was seemingly everywhere for more than 50 years. He is probably most widely regarded for bringing the role of Oscar Madison from the stage – where he replaced Walter Matthau – to the small screen – opposite Tony Randall – in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. 

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Johnny Ramone

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , , , on September 12, 2018 by Cade

October 8, 1948 – September 15, 2004

Guitarist for the pioneer punk group the Ramones, Johnny Ramone (John William Cummings) was the downstroke/bar chord king. Formed in 1974 in Forest Hills, Queens, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone (all adopted pseudonyms) exploded onto the New York City club scene with their “wall of sound” and lightning fast songs. Their performances at storied venues GBGB and Max’s Kansas City drew massive attention and helped usher in a new genre of rock-and-roll: Punk. Johnny’s no-nonsense playing style was the rhythmic driving force behind the band’s massive hits like “Rockaway Beach”, “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Continue reading

Dee Dee Ramone

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , , on September 11, 2018 by Cade

September 18, 1951 – June 5, 2002


Douglas Colvin, aka Dee Dee Ramone, was the bass player and most prominent songwriter for the legendary punk rock band, the Ramones. Colvin was the first to adopt a “Ramone” pseudonym after urging the rest of the band to do the same and call themselves the Ramones. Early on, Dee Dee was the main singer, but eventually opted to just play, leading to former-drummer Joey taking over lead vocals. After recording 11 albums with the Ramones, Dee Dee left the band in 1989 to pursue other solo projects – including, but certainly not limited to, a critically-panned hip hop album. Continue reading

Jane Greer

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on September 9, 2018 by Cade

September 9, 1924 – August 24, 2001

“Mine is a sissy name. It’s too bo-peepish, ingenueish, for the type of role I’ve been playing.”

When Bettejane Greer legally changed her first name to just “Jane,” she was not wrong in her observation. RKO Picture’s ‘woman with the Mona Lisa smile’ was well-known for her femme fatale roles – most notably, opposite Robert Mitchum in the film noir classic Out of the Past – and enigmatic, hard shell characters. A Bettejane, she was most certainly not. Greer was a model, a singer and an actress whose career spanned more than half a century. Continue reading

Friz Freleng

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags , , on September 7, 2018 by Cade

August 21, 1906 – May 26, 1995

Legendary, Academy Award winning animator, Isadore Freleng – known to his friends as “Friz” – was responsible for the creation and/or development of some of the most recognizable American cartoon characters of all time: Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety, Yosemite Sam among others. Freleng grew up in Kansas City where he worked with other soon-to-be pioneers and legends like Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks before eventually and inevitably making the move to Hollywood. After a brief move to New York, Freleng was enticed back to California by friends Rudolph Ising and Hugh Harmon to begin working for Warner Bros. and their Looney Tunes shorts. Friz went on to direct more than 250 cartoons for Warner Bros. Continue reading

Victor Fleming

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , , , on September 4, 2018 by Cade

February 23, 1889 – January 6, 1949

Legendary Hollywood producer, director and cinematographer, Victor Fleming’s entire career could have only lasted one year…and he still would be considered one of the greatest of all time. The year in question was 1939 when Fleming directed TWO classic films ranked among the best or most beloved ever: The Wizard of Oz (released in August) and Gone with the Wind (December). He literally could have just quit there. Fortunately for all of us, there were 38 other years where Fleming worked in the movie business. His movies earned several Academy Award nominations including a Best Director nod for Gone with the Wind, which he won. Continue reading