Archive for October, 2018

Maila Nurmi

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags on October 31, 2018 by Cade

December 11, 1922 – January 10, 2008

At a masquerade party in Los Angeles in 1953, fledgling actress Maila Nurmi showed up decked in all black – an homage to Morticia Addams from the classic comic strip, The Addams Family. She was immediately noticed by a local television producer who asked her if she wanted to host late night horror movies on TV. She said yes and the original and quintessential horror host, Vampira, was born. Nurmi – as Vampira – went on to local stardom and some national acclaim. She hosted The Vampira Show on two different L.A. channels, appeared on national programs like The Red Skelton Show and in LIFE magazine. She notably appeared in Ed Wood’s infamous camp classic Plan 9 from Outer Space. Continue reading

Fanny Brice

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags on October 29, 2018 by Cade

October 29, 1891 – May 29, 1951

Legendary singer, actor and comedienne – or “funny girl” as it were – Fanny Brice was a stage and radio staple throughout the first half of the 20th century. Born Fania Borach in Manhattan, Brice worked her way up through the burlesque ranks and eventually began working with Flo Ziegfeld on his eponymous Follies shows. She broke through in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1921 with the hit song “My Man.” She would go on to appear in future installments of the Follies on stage, film and radio. It was during said radio work where she created and debuted her most famous character, the mischievous Baby Snooks. Continue reading

Scatman Crothers

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , , on October 26, 2018 by Cade

May 23, 1910 – November 22, 1986

Benjamin Sherman “Scatman” Crothers was a multi-instrumentalist jazz musician whose extensive filmography would be the envy of any aspiring actor. Crothers began his performance career as a teenager when he played drums in a speakeasy in his home state of Indiana. He eventually moved west with his own band before landing in Los Angeles and falling into the whole Hollywood thing. He went on to appear in more than 50 films and nearly as many television shows. His distinctive voice and cadence made him a popular pick for guest spots and voice over roles. Continue reading

Patty Andrews

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , , on October 24, 2018 by Cade

February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013

Along with big sisters LaVerne and Maxene, Patty Andrews was one of the most recognizable and famous swing and boogie-woogie performers of all time. The Andrews Sisters were enormously popular during World War II when they performed for the U.S. Troops at home and abroad. They racked up hits like “Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and appeared in more than a dozen films at the height of their career. Their classic harmonies inspired countless performers that followed. They worked with all the classic Big Band outfits from Tommy Dorsey to Benny Goodman and everyone in between. Continue reading

Peter Lorre

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , on October 22, 2018 by Cade

June 26, 1904 – March 23, 1964

Born in Vienna, Peter Lorre (László Löwenstein) was already on his way to stardom in Europe appearing on the German stage as well as in films including – most notably – Fritz Lang’s 1931 chiller, M. Then in 1933, the Nazis took control of Germany and Lorre fled to England where he was able to continue his career. He appeared in Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much before sailing to the United States. In Hollywood, Lorre found success in bit roles and B-movies usually playing sinister foreign characters. In 1941, he went to work for Warner Bros. in the John Huston classic The Maltese Falcon. The film changed the trajectory of Lorre’s career and he went on to appear in numerous films with co-stars Humphrey Bogart, Claude Raines and Syd Greenstreet including the all-time opus, Casablanca. Continue reading

Anton Yelchin

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , , , on October 19, 2018 by Cade

March 11, 1989 – June 19, 2016

The infamous and hypothetical Forever 27 club doesn’t discriminate. While the most well-known members are musicians who battled substance abuse or other demons, the club also contains artists and actors who just got unlucky. Rising star, Anton Yelchin, joined the club in 2016 after breakthrough roles in Terminator Salvation and 2009’s Star Trek reboot (as well as two of its sequels). Yelchin portrayed Chekov, the young navigator for the U.S.S. Enterprise – the role made famous in the original TV series by Walter Koenig. Continue reading

Paul Walker

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , on October 16, 2018 by Cade

September 12, 1973 – November 30, 2013

Look. I’m not above “low-hanging-fruit” jokes. It would be EASY to make a The Fast and the Furious joke at the expense of Paul Walker. The fact that he was most widely-known for his starring role in the drift-happy street racing film franchise AND happened to die in a souped-up Porsche on a curve well known for high-speed drifting is RIFE with irony. It wouldn’t be right, mind you. But, it WOULD be obvious and lazy. Continue reading

Robert B. Sherman

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags , on October 15, 2018 by Cade

December 19, 1925 – March 6, 2012

Even if you don’t know the name Robert Sherman, you CERTAINLY know his and his brother’s contribution to American popular culture. Any devoted Disney fan could rattle off a laundry list of songs that Robert and Richard Sherman wrote:
“Chim Chim Cher-ee”
“I Wan’na Be like You”
“The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers”
“The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room”
“It’s a Small World (After All)”
…and that’s just a sample. Continue reading

Clifton Webb

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

November 19, 1889 – October 13, 1966

Clifton Webb was already a 20+ year veteran of the Broadway stage – where he starred in memorable classics like As Thousands Cheer, Blithe Spirit and the Gershwins‘ Treasure Girl – when he landed his first major film role in 1944’s noir classic, Laura, opposite Gene Tierney. Webb’s portrayal of the charismatic newspaperman in the film earned him his first of three Academy Award nominations. Continue reading

Estelle Getty

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , , on October 10, 2018 by Cade

July 25, 1923 – July 22, 2008

All you need is one role.

For 10 years, Estelle Getty portrayed the wise-cracking octogenarian Sophia Petrillo over the course of four television shows: The Golden Palace, Empty Nest, Nurses and The Golden Girls.  It was, of course, on The Golden Girls where audiences met and fell in love with the irascible Sicilian mother of Bea Arthur’s Dorothy. Getty won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance and was nominated many other times. Continue reading