Archive for March, 2019

Mel Blanc

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , , on March 25, 2019 by Cade

May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989

It’s no stretch to call Mel Blanc the most famous voice actor of all time. The immensely talented actor spent more than six decades providing the voices for some of the most popular cartoon characters ever. From his groundbreaking and legendary work with Warner Bros. (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester AND Tweety, Elmer Fudd, Speedy Gonzalez…etc. etc. etc.) to his work with Hanna-Barbera (Barney Rubble, Dino, Cosmo Spacely, Speed Buggy, Captain Caveman…you get the picture) his characters endeared and enamored generations and still carry on to this day. Born and raised in San Francisco, Blanc transferred his love for dialects and voices into successful radio appearances. His work with Warner Bros. radio in Los Angeles drew the attention of the company’s animation group and the rest is history.

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Paul Gleason

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on March 19, 2019 by Cade

May 4, 1939 – May 27, 2006

Paul Gleason was an aspiring baseball player who – with the help of Ozzie Nelson – stumbled into a career in acting. As he was known to do, Nelson offered the young ballplayer a guest spot on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Gleason was bitten by the acting bug. Gleason’s most notable roles included stints on the television shows All My Children and Boy Meets World. But, he’s perhaps most widely recognized for film roles in classic ’80s movies like Die Hard, Trading Places and The Breakfast Club. His memorable portrayal of assistant principal Richard Vernon in The Breakfast Club cemented his place in pop culture history. Gleason continued to work in TV and movies for years before he succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 67. Continue reading

Fay Wray

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , on March 15, 2019 by Cade

September 15, 1907 – August 8, 2004

One could do worse than to be associated with a giant ape for the last 70 years of one’s life. Throughout the 1920s, Vina Fay Wray was an up-and-coming starlet under contract with Paramount Pictures where she made more than a dozen films and successfully navigated the dreaded transition from “silents” to “talkies.” When her Paramount contract was up, Wray shopped around and eventually signed movie deals with a number of other studios, including RKO pictures. It was with RKO that she shot to stardom as the ultimate damsel in distress in 1933’s seminal horror film King Kong. She followed Kong up with a lifetime of credits. Continue reading

George Jessel

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags , , on March 11, 2019 by Cade

April 3, 1898 – May 23, 1981

Known as the “Toastmaster General,” vaudevillian funnyman, George Jessel, took his stage act to Hollywood in the 1920s. Over the course of his 60 year career, he appeared in radio, film and television in addition to recording songs and producing dozens of movies. His affable wit made him a popular emcee and he hosted a number of banquets and roasts for organizations like the Friars Club and the U.S.O. In 1925, he starred in the Broadway stage version of The Jazz Singer and caught the eye of Warner Bros. execs who decided to produce it as the first ever “talking” film. Jessel apparently demanded too much money to be in the movie and the role eventually and famously went to Al Jolson. Continue reading

Andrew Koenig

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , on March 5, 2019 by Cade

August 17, 1968 – February 16, 2010

Joshua Andrew Koenig was an actor, writer and activist. The son of Star Trek star, Walter Koenig, Andrew was most widely recognized for his portrayal of the lovable (and dim) Richard “Boner” Stabone for 4 seasons on the hit 1980s sitcom, Growing Pains. The remainder of his career saw him appearing on stage and working on independent films, voice over projects and behind the scenes as writer, director and editor on a number of projects. Koenig became heavily involved in the U.S. Campaign for Burma and often publicly protested China’s treatment of the Burmese people. Andrew battled severe depression for most of his life. Continue reading