Archive for December, 2018

Harry Warren

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on December 21, 2018 by Cade

December 24, 1893 – September 22, 1981

Academy Award winning composer, Harry Warren, was one of the first songwriters to focus mainly on the newfangled medium called “movies.” He wrote more than 500 songs over the course of his career. He gave us massive hits like “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Jeepers Creepers” and many, many more. Along with lyricist Al Dubin, Warren scored the first hit film musical, 42nd Street. He worked for all the major film studios – oftentimes alongside legendary director/choreographer, Busby Berkeley – and partnered with many of the most famous lyricists of the day, including, but not limited to, Johnny Mercer, Mack Gordon and Ira Gershwin. Continue reading

Marion Davies

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

January 3, 1897 – September 22, 1961

Marion Cecilia Elizabeth Brooklyn Douras was born in…well…Brooklyn. From an early age, young Marion wanted to perform. She found herself on the Broadway stage in chorus roles and eventually landed a coveted spot as a Ziegfeld girl. A jump to the screen was inevitably next. Her looks and comedic talent led to a budding career in the silent comedies and other top films of the day. As talented and successful as she was, history most remembers Davies for her relationship to powerful newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst. Hearst was enamored – some would say obsessed – with Davies. He bankrolled many of her films and dictated much of what she was able to do. He specifically preferred her in elaborate historical dramas and kept her away from her more natural lighter, comedic roles. It wasn’t all bad for Davies, though. She got to play hostess to extravagant parties at Hearst’s mansions and enjoyed numerous box office hits. And, by most accounts, they truly loved each other. Continue reading

Garry Marshall

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , on December 19, 2018 by Cade

November 13, 1934 – July 19, 2016

Garry Marshall was an immensely successful producer, director and writer whose contributions to American television could hardly be missed for much of the 1970s and ’80s. After coming up as a joke writer on shows like The Joey Bishop Show, Make Room for Daddy and The Dick Van Dyke Show, Marshall created and produced a string of hits of his own, including Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple and Mork and Mindy. He wrote, acted, directed and just about everything in between. His career as a feature film director found notable success, as well, with box office smashes like Pretty Woman, Overboard, Beaches and The Princess Diaries. Continue reading

Allan Sherman

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags on December 17, 2018 by Cade

November 30, 1924 – November 20, 1973

As a child, I only recall my grandmother ever laughing one time: while listening to a cassette copy of Allan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” at her kitchen table. The peak of comedian/parodist, Allan Sherman’s career may have been short-lived, but he had one. When all was said and done, Sherman recorded 8 albums, created game shows, performed with the Boston Pops and was the original voice for Dr. SeussCat in the Hat. His 1964 surprise novelty hit, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah” made him a household name for a summer. Then, the world turn its eyes to some bands from Britain and moved on. But, Allan continued to work. Continue reading

Douglas Fairbanks

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags on December 13, 2018 by Cade

May 23, 1883 – December 12, 1939

Douglas Fairbanks was the original “King of Hollywood.” A silent-era deity on screen, he starred in more than 40 successful and popular silent films and was one of the founding fathers of what we know Hollywood to be today. Fairbanks made a career of playing adventuresome heroes like Zorro and Robin Hood. He did his own, increasingly-complicated and dangerous stunts and was one of the top-earning actors in the world at the time. Off-screen, he became half of the first “Hollywood Royalty” power couple when he married his second wife, actress Mary Pickford. Along with Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and director D.W. Griffith, Fairbanks started United Artists to help these massive stars control their own interests instead of relying on studios. He and Pickford also created the Motion Picture Fund to help struggling artists make ends meet. He served as the first president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and hosted the very first Oscars ceremony. Continue reading

Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

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

December 9, 1909 – May 7, 2000

Being the son of a Hollywood legend is a great way to get your start in the movie business. Being a decent actor is a great way to have a long and successful career making movies. Fortunately for Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., he was both. As a very young man, he struggled to make a name for himself for a while before breaking out opposite Edward G. Robinson in 1931’s Little Caesar and in 1939’s Gunga Din. He went on to work in films in both Hollywood and in England leading up to World War II. During the war, Fairbanks was commissioned as a reserve officer and became a decorated Captain in the Navy for creating the Beach Jumpers special deception unit. Continue reading

Al Jarreau

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , , on December 10, 2018 by Cade

March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017

Jazz singer Al Jarreau walked by night. And he flew by day. Nothing could change him. Set and sure of the way. Originally from Wisconsin, Jarreau got his professional start in night clubs in the San Francisco area. L.A. would soon call and with it came TV appearances, recording contracts, Grammys and acclaim. With hits like “We’re in This Love Together” and “After All”, Jarreau’s smooth vocals resonated with audiences. Later in his career he focused on live shows and even appeared on Broadway in the 1996 revival of Grease. His biggest hit (at least in my house) was the theme song to the late-80s television show, Moonlighting. Continue reading

Tony Scott

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags on December 6, 2018 by Cade

June 21, 1944 – August 19, 2012

Tony Scott was one of the biggest movie directors in Hollywood in the 1980s and ’90s. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Ridley, Scott was part of the British infusion (please note…NOT “invasion”) of directors at the time. Like many of his contemporaries, he began working in advertising making popular, well-liked commercials. Once in America, his first feature, The Hunger – and an ad he made for Saab – caught the eye of producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Bruckheimer tapped Scott to direct 1986’s Top Gun. It was a massive hit and a string of successful action movies and thrillers followed. He went on to direct blockbusters like True Romance, Crimson TideEnemy of the State and Man on Fire among many others. He produced films and TV shows with his brother and frequently collaborated with stars like Denzel Washington and Brad Pitt. Continue reading

Robert Loggia

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on December 4, 2018 by Cade

January 3, 1930 – December 4, 2015

For nearly 60 years, Salvatore “Robert” Loggia entertained film audiences with his gruff but lovable persona. The son of Italian immigrants appeared in dozens of movies including Prizzi’s Honor, An Officer and a Gentleman, Necessary Roughness, Big, Scarface, Independence Day and Jagged Edge, the latter of which led to an Oscar nomination for Supporting Actor. He appeared in commercials and television shows (like The Sopranos, naturally) and also directed episodes of hit shows like Hart to Hart and Magnum P.I. Away from the screen, Loggia was heavily involved in humanitarian work and was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2010. That same year, Loggia was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. He continued working regardless and died at home in 2015. Continue reading

Jan Murray

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags , on December 3, 2018 by Cade

October 4, 1916 – July 2, 2006

Stand-up comedian-turned-actor, Jan Murray, got his start on vaudeville stages and broke out playing the “Borscht Belt” resorts in upstate New York. He went on to headline in Las Vegas and eventually found his way to California and onto television where he guest hosted or hosted, respectively, a number of variety and game shows. He worked with legends like Milton Berle, Joey Bishop and Steve Allen. He loved golf. And he made appearances on dozens of TV shows over the span of more than 30 years. He retired from performing in 2000 – citing struggles with asthma – and died six years later in Beverly Hills. Continue reading