Sunday, May 24, 2015

Entertainer George Jessel 1981 Hillside Cemetery


George Albert Jessel (April 3, 1898 – May 23, 1981), sometimes called "Georgie" Jessel, was an American illustrated song "model," actor, singer, songwriter, and Academy Award-winning movie producer. He was famous in his lifetime as a multi-talented comedic entertainer, achieving a level of recognition that transcended his limited roles in movies. He was widely known by his nickname, the "Toastmaster General of the United States," for his frequent role as the master of ceremonies at political and entertainment gatherings. Jessel originated the title role in the stage production of The Jazz Singer.








Jessel died of a heart attack in 1981 at the age of 83 at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center. He was interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.








Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dancer Sammy Davis Sr. 1988 Forest Lawn Glendale Cemetery


Samuel George Davis Sr. (December 12, 1900 – May 21, 1988) known as Sammy Davis Sr. was an American dancer and the father of entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.



Early life

Sammy Davis Sr. was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, to Elizabeth (Taylor) and Robert Davis. He and his former wife Elvera Sanchez were both dancers in a vaudeville troupe. The couple split up when their son Sammy Jr. was three. Davis Sr. took custody of his son, who then went into show business with his father. He and Will Mastin, the leader of the dance troupe, taught Sammy Jr. how to dance and they performed together as the Will Mastin Trio. Sammy Jr. once stated, "When I was nine I told my father, 'I can outdance you.' 'Oh yeah? What makes you think that?' he asked. 'Cause you taught me everything I know.' 'Yeah, but I didn't teach you everything I know."[1]



Career

Sammy Davis Sr. began dancing early in life, and as a young man joined Will Mastin to form a dancing troupe. Soon Sammy Jr. joined the act and they became known as the Will Mastin Trio. The three appeared in the 1956 Broadway musical Mr. Wonderful.



Sammy Davis Sr. also appeared in two movies, Sweet and Low and The Benny Goodman Story. In The Benny Goodman Story he played bandleader and arranger Fletcher Henderson.



Death

Sammy Davis Sr. died May 21, 1988, in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 87, of natural causes, less than two years before the death of his only child, Sammy Davis Jr. He is buried at Forest Lawn Glendale Cemetery. 






References

1. Quote from caption of photograph in unidentified publication, Modern Myth Museum, undated (but being born in 1925, it must have been c. 1935)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Night Court" Actress Selma Diamond 1985 Hillside Cemetery


Selma Diamond (August 6, 1920 – May 13, 1985) was a Canadian-born American comedic actress and radio and television writer, and is known for her high-range, raspy voice and her portrayal of Selma Hacker on the first two seasons of the NBC television comedy series Night Court.



Life and career

Diamond was born in London, Ontario in 1920 to a tailor and his wife, but moved at a young age to Brooklyn, New York. She was graduated from New York University and published cartoons and humour essays in The New Yorker before making the jump to radio and, eventually, television. Her earliest radio writing credits included You Bet Your Life, Duffy's Tavern, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1950, she became one of the staffers hired by legendary comedy writer Goodman Ace (who'd previously hired her for some work on Danny Kaye's short-lived 1940s' radio show) for The Big Show (1950–52), the ninety-minute weekly radio variety program hosted by Tallulah Bankhead and featuring some of the biggest entertainers of the era.





She moved on to television as one of the writers for Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca's groundbreaking Your Show of Shows. Diamond was reputed to have been the inspiration for the Sally Rogers character on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which centered on the head writer for a fictitious, mercurial television comedian. While writing for another Caesar vehicle, Caesar's Hour, Diamond earned an Emmy nomination. She also worked for Goodman Ace once again, writing for Perry Como's successful television series.




Diamond wasn't always taken seriously by her writing peers. Bob Schiller, who had also written for Duffy's Tavern and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, told author Jordan R. Young (for The Laugh Crafters), "The jury is still out on whether Selma was a comedy writer. She was really a very interesting character—salty, and she was—exactly what you saw on camera is what she was." By the 1960s and 1970s, Diamond was familiar as a frequent guest on The Jack Paar Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and she made numerous film appearances, including It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (as the unseen telephone voice of Spencer Tracy's wife, Ginger Culpepper), Bang the Drum Slowly (as hotel switchboard operator Tootsie), and All of Me (as Margo). In 1982, she appeared in My Favorite Year with a memorable small role as wardrobe mistress for King Kaiser's Comedy Calvalcade, a fictional show which clearly echoed the time and venue of her work for Sid Caesar. She was also a semi-regular for four seasons of the Ted Knight comedy series Too Close For Comfort. 



For many years, Diamond resided in a co-op apartment at 60 Sutton Place South in Manhattan until she moved out in the late 1970s. The diminutive Diamond, who was a chain smoker was stricken with lung cancer and died at age 64 in Los Angeles. Selma Diamond was interred at Hillside Cemetery





Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"The Asphalt Jungle" Actor Louis Calhern 1956 Hollywood Forever Cemetery


Louis Calhern, born Carl Henry Vogt, (February 19, 1895 – May 12, 1956) was an American stage and screen actor.



Early life

Calhern was born in Brooklyn. His family left New York while he was still a child and moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he grew up. While Calhern was playing high school football, a stage manager from a touring theatrical stock company spotted him, and hired him as a bit player. Just prior to World War I, Calhern decided to move back to New York to pursue an acting career. He began as a prop boy and bit player with touring companies and burlesque companies. His burgeoning career was interrupted by the war and he served overseas in the United States Army during World War I.



Career

He became a matinee idol by virtue of a play titled Cobra, and soon began to act in films. He started working in silent films for director Lois Weber in the early 1920s; the most notable being The Blot in 1921. In 1923 he left film, but would come back eight years later; a little while after movies started talking; primarily cast as a character actor in Hollywood (Ambassador Trentino in the Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup), while he continued to play leading roles on stage. He reached his peak in the 1950s as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player. Among his most memorable roles were three that he played in 1950: a singing one as Buffalo Bill in the film version of Annie Get Your Gun, the double-crossing lawyer and sugar-daddy to Marilyn Monroe in John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle, and his Oscar-nominated role as Oliver Wendell Holmes in The Magnificent Yankee (re-creating his stage role), as well as his portrayal of the title role in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's film Julius Caesar in 1953 (adapted from Shakespeare's play).





In addition to The Magnificent Yankee, Calhern had Broadway successes in the English-language production of Franz Werfel's Jacobowsky und der Oberst (1944) and in the title role of King Lear (also in 1950). In his film career, he played the grandfather in The Red Pony (1949), adapted from the novel by John Steinbeck and starring Robert Mitchum, and the spy boss of Cary Grant in the Alfred Hitchcock suspense classic Notorious (1946). A performance as "wicked Uncle Willie" in High Society (1956), a musical remake of The Philadelphia Story, turned out to be the actor's final film.







Marriages

Calhern was married four times. First, to Ilka Chase from 1926 to 1927, then to Julia Hoyt from 1927 to 1932, and then to Natalie Schafer from 1933 to 1942, and Marianne Stewart from 1946 to 1955. All four marriages ended in divorce.



Death

Calhern died of a sudden heart attack in Nara, Japan, while filming The Teahouse of the August Moon. He was replaced in the film by Paul Ford, who had played Calhern's role in the original stage version. By an odd coincidence, when playing Buffalo Bill in Annie Get Your Gun, Calhern had replaced Frank Morgan, who had died of a sudden heart attack during the making of that film. Calhern is interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.



Monday, May 11, 2015

"Paths of Glory" Actor Timothy Carey 1994 Rose Hills Cemetery


Timothy Agoglia Carey (March 11, 1929 – May 11, 1994) was an American film and television actor. He was born in Brooklyn, New York.



Carey wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the 1962 feature The World's Greatest Sinner (above), which was scored by Frank Zappa. Although it did not have wide commercial release, the film achieved cult status through repeated screenings at the "midnight movies" in Los Angeles in the 1960s. This movie established Carey as an important figure in independent film.



Carey usually portrayed psychotic, manic, arrogant, obsessed, and/or violent characters, who are driven to extremes.





As an actor, Carey appeared in the Stanley Kubrick films The Killing (above) and Paths of Glory (above), and in the John Cassavetes-directed films Minnie and Moskowitz (below)and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. During the filming of Paths Of Glory Carey was disruptive, trying to draw more attention to his character during the filming. A scene where Carey and the other actors were brought a duck dinner as their final meal before execution took 57 takes due to his behavior. The final straw occurred when he faked his own kidnapping for personal publicity, causing Kubrick and Producer James B. Harris to fire him. Because of this, they were unable to show the three condemned soldiers during the battle scene, and a double was used during the scene when a priest was hearing his character's confession. The scene was filmed with the double's back to the camera. The 1957 film Bayou featured one of Carey's few leading roles, as a Cajun shopkeeper named Ulysses.



He had roles in East of Eden (below), The Wild One, One-Eyed Jacks (below), The Boy and the Pirates, and Beach Blanket Bingo. He played a minor role as the Angel of Death in the comedy film D.C. Cab, and appeared in the Monkees vehicle Head. His final appearance was in the 1986 movie Echo Park. Carey also did a select amount of acting on TV from the 1950s through the 1980s.




Carey's face (from the movie The Killing) is positioned behind George Harrison on the cover of the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (below). Although Carey's image is not seen on the commercially released version of the cover, it can be seen on outtake photos from the Sgt. Pepper session.



According to director Quentin Tarantino, Carey auditioned for his film Reservoir Dogs, for the role of Joe Cabot. Although Carey did not get the role, the screenplay of the film was dedicated to him, among others.



He died of a stroke in 1994 at the age of 65 in Los Angeles, and was buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.