Sunday, March 29, 2020

California Governor Buron Rogers Fitts SUICIDE 1973 Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery


Buron Rogers Fitts (March 22, 1895 – March 29, 1973) was the 29th lieutenant governor of California, from 1927 to 1928, and Los Angeles County district attorney thereafter until 1940.


Early life

Born in Belcherville, Texas, Fitts received his law degree in 1916 from the University of Southern California, and while a student there worked as a clerk for the prominent attorney Earl Rogers.

Fitts was a severely injured veteran of World War I whose base of political support lay in the American Legion organization of war veterans. He had been shot in the knee in the Battle of Argonne and limped for the rest of his life.[1]


Career

He was appointed deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County in 1920 during the term of Thomas Lee Woolwine and chief deputy in 1924 under Asa Keyes. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1926 and served in the administration of Governor C.C. Young. Fitts's term as lieutenant governor was from January 4, 1927, to November 30, 1928. Governor Young appointed H. L. Carnahan as lieutenant governor on December 4, 1928, to succeed Fitts.

In 1928, Keyes was indicted for bribery (in connection with the Julian Petroleum Company scandal), and Fitts resigned effective November 30 of that year to become a special prosecutor in that case. He was elected district attorney (the county's chief law officer) as well.


Fitts was elected for a second term in 1932, and he investigated the death of Hollywood producer-director-screenwriter Paul Bern, the husband of actress Jean Harlow. Samuel Marx, in his book Deadly Illusions (1990) accuses Fitts of having been bribed by MGM studio officials to accept a fabricated version of Bern's suicide to avoid scandal in Hollywood. 

Fitts was also indicted for bribery and perjury in 1934 for allegedly taking a bribe to drop a statutory rape charge against a millionaire real-estate promoter. He was acquitted two years later. 


He was also accused of using his position to block action against the rapist of Patricia Douglas at the MGM Sales Convention in 1937, a case that was the subject of David Stenn's 2007 documentary film Girl 27.


Fitts was elected to a third term as district attorney in 1936 and remained until 1940, when he was defeated by a reform candidate, John F. Dockweiler. Fitts, J.D. Fredricks (1903–1915), and Steve Cooley (2000-2012) are only Los Angeles County District Attorneys to serve three complete terms.


On March 7, 1937, Fitts was wounded by a volley of shots fired through the windshield of his car.[2] Nobody was ever arrested in that case.




He joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 with the rank of major. He was chief, intelligence, Pacific Overseas Air Technical Services.


Death

Fitts' last residence was in Three Rivers, in Tulare County, California, where he committed suicide by a pistol shot to the head on March 29, 1973, one week after his 78th birthday.

Buron Rogers Fitts is buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery





References

 Parrish, Michael (2001). For the People: Inside the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office 1850-2000. Angel City Press. ISBN 978-1883318154.

 "Dist.-Atty. Fitts Shot by Gang of Gunmen." Los Angeles Times. March 8, 1937. 

 For the People — Inside the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office 1850-2000 (2001) by Michael Parrish. ISBN 1-883318-15-7

 He Usually Lived With a Female: The Life of a California Newspaperman (2006) by George Garrigues. Quail Creek Press. ISBN 0-9634830-1-3

 Deadly Illusions by Samuel Marx and Joyce Vanderveen (Random House, New York, 1990), re-published as Murder Hollywood Style - Who Killed Jean Harlow's Husband? (Arrow, 1994, ISBN 0-09-961060-4)


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Actress & William S. Hart Wife Winifred Westover 1978 Westwood Village Cemetery


Winifred Westover (November 9, 1899 – March 19, 1978) was a Hollywood actress of the 1910s and 1920s.



Early years

The daughter of Swedish parents, Westover was born in San Francisco, California. Her schooling came at the Dominican Convent of San Rafael.[1]


Career

On screen, Westover was the typical blushing ingenue and was almost always cast opposite robust leading men. Her career in film started with a small part in D. W. Griffith's Intolerance[1] in 1916.


In 1919 she starred in John Petticoats with William S. Hart, who proposed to her.[2] They married on December 7, 1921 and had a son, William S. Hart Jr., in September 1922.[3] 


They separated in 1922 after three months of marriage[4] and divorced in 1927.[5] Hart was known in the industry to be "prone to domestic violence." His behavior was parodied in the 1922 short The Frozen North by Buster Keaton.[6]


Westover retired to raise her son in 1923 but made a comeback in 1930 with the help of her ex-husband. The film, a melodrama called Lummox, was her last;[7] it was unsuccessful and she left her career in film.[2]


Death

On March 19, 1978, Westover died in Los Angeles. She was 78.[7] She was survived by her son.[8]


Winifred Westover is interred nearby her mother, Sophie Westover, and son, William S. Hart Jr. at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California. 




Selected filmography

Intolerance (1916)


Microscope Mystery (1916)

The Matrimaniac (1916)
The Halfbreed (1916)
Jim Bludso (1917) - Kate Taggart
An Old-Fashioned Young Man (1917) - Mame Morton
Cheerful Givers (1917) - Estella
All the World to Nothing (1918)
Hobbs in a Hurry (1918)
All the World to Nothing (1918)


Love (1919)

John Petticoats (1919)
This Hero Stuff (1919)


Marked Men (1919)

The Village Sleuth (1920)
Old Lady 31 (1920) - Mary


The Fighter (1921)

Is Life Worth Living? (1921)


Anne of Little Smoky (1921) - Anne


Love's Masquerade (1922)


Lummox (1930)


References

1. "Given Chance After 8 Years." Detroit Free Press. Michigan, Detroit. January 5, 1930. p. Part Four - Page 1. 
2. "mtv.com"
3. Ogden, Tom (2015). Haunted Hollywood: Tinseltown Terrors, Filmdom Phantoms, and Movieland Mayhem. Rowman and Littlefield. p. 24. ISBN 9781493015788. 
4. "silentera.com"
5. Neibaur, James L.; Niemi, Terri (2013). Buster Keaton's Silent Shorts: 1920-1923. Scarecrow Press. p. 184. ISBN 9780810887411. 
6. "Progressive Silent Film List: The Frozen North." Silent Era. Retrieved March 26, 2008.
7. Katchmer, George A. (2002). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. p. 394. ISBN 9780786446933. 
8. "Winifred Westover Hart." The New York Times. New York, New York City. United Press International. March 22, 1978. 


Monday, March 9, 2020

"Giant" Actor Felipe Turich 1992 San Fernando Mission Cemetery


Felipe Turich (December 5, 1898 - March 9, 1992) was a Mexican American film and television actor. He appeared in numerous films and TV series throughout the 1930s to the 1980s.[1]


Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, and Felipe Turich on the set of GIANT (1956)

Biography

Turich was born in Hidalgo, Mexico, in 1898. He started his acting career in the 1920s, making his first appearance as an actor in the film, Mademoiselle Midnight in 1924. During the 1950s and 1960s he acted in films like The Capture, Branded, Three Hours to Kill, Giant, The Magnificent Seven and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter.[2]

He also appeared in several TV series like Stories of the Century, The Star and the Story, Cavalcade of America, The Restless Gun, and Playhouse 90.[3]

Turich also worked as a comedian in Los Angeles Theaters during the 1920s.[1]


Personal life

Turich was married to Rosa Turich and had three children with her.[1]


Death

Turich died on March 9, 1992 in Los Angeles of pneumonia aged 93. He was buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery and was survived by his wife and three children.[1]




Selected filmography

Film

Kid Courageous (1935) - Cantina Announcer (uncredited)
The Kid Ranger (1936) - Cantina Owner (uncredited)
Danger Patrol (1937) - Mexican officer (uncredited)
La Inmaculada (1939)
Outlaws of the Rio Grande (1941) - Pancho
The Lone Rider Crosses the Rio (1941) - Lieutenant Mendoza
Masquerade in Mexico (1945) - Desk Clerk (uncredited)
South of Monterey (1946) - Land Owner (uncredited)
Don Ricardo Returns (1946) - Peon (uncredited)
Beauty and the Bandit (1946) - Sick Farmer
Bells of San Fernando (1947) - Pablo, the traitor
Honeymoon (1947) - Waiter (uncredited)
Robin Hood of Monterey (1947) - Jose - Sentry / Servant (uncredited)
To the Victor (1948) - Victor (uncredited)
Mexican Hayride (1948) - Taxco Silver Dealer (uncredited)
The Bribe (1949) - First Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Son of Billy the Kid (1949) - José Gonzáles
We Were Strangers (1949) - Spy (uncredited)
The Big Steal (1949) - Guitar Vendor (uncredited)
Dakota Lil (1950) - Mexican escort (uncredited)
The Capture (1950) - Valdez
The Lawless (1950) - Mr. Rodriguez
Bright Leaf (1950) - Accountant at Tobacco auction (uncredited)
Crisis (1950) - Man with Valise / Voice on Loudspeaker (uncredited)
A Lady Without Passport (1950) - Slinky Man (uncredited)


Wyoming Mail (1950) - Pete

Branded (1950) - (uncredited)
The Bandit Queen (1950) - Ortiz (uncredited)
Short Grass (1950) - Manuel
Sirocco (1951) - Soldier (uncredited)
The Mark of the Renegade (1951) - Servant (uncredited)
Havana Rose (1951) - General Cucarotsky (uncredited)
My Favorite Spy (1951) - Porter (uncredited)
The Fighter (1952) - Pedro Dimas (uncredited)
Rancho Notorious (1952) - Sanchez (uncredited)


The Hitch-Hiker (1953) - Bit Part (uncredited)

Jeopardy (1953) - Mexican Border Official (uncredited)
Wings of the Hawk (1953) - Guard (uncredited)
Tumbleweed (1953) - Mexican (uncredited)
Border River (1954) - Pablo
Jubilee Trail (1954) - Pedro (uncredited)
Dawn at Socorro (1954) - Casino Waiter (uncredited)
Three Hours to Kill (1954) - Esteban
Strange Lady in Town (1955) - Esteban (uncredited)
The Broken Star (1956) - Carlos Alvarado (uncredited)
Back from Eternity (1956) - Shrunken Head Peddler
Giant (1956) - Gómez (uncredited)
The Iron Sheriff (1957) - Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
The Persuader (1957) - Pete
Tip on a Dead Jockey (1957) - Doctor (uncredited)
Teenage Doll (1957) - Squirrel's Father (uncredited)
Gun Battle at Monterey (1957) - Martinez (uncredited)
Holiday for Lovers (1959) - Cafe Patron (uncredited)
The Miracle (1959) - Proprietor (uncredited)
One-Eyed Jacks (1961) - Cardsharp (uncredited)
The Second Time Around (1961) - The Cantina Bartender (uncredited)
The Chase (1966) - Worker (uncredited)
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966) - Manuel López
Firecreek (1968) - Carlos (uncredited)
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968) - Rodríguez Family Member (uncredited)
Hook, Line and Sinker (1969) - Foreign Mortician
Fuzz (1972) - Puerto Rican Prisoner
The All-American Boy (1973) - Elderly Trainer (uncredited)
Walk Proud (1979) - Prayer Maker

Television

Rebound (1952) - Sebastian
Boston Blackie (1953)
Stories of the Century (1955) - Méndez
The Star and the Story (1955) - Gypsy
Cavalcade of America (1956)
Broken Arrow (1956)
Cheyenne (1957) - Ortiz
The Lineup (1957) - Gonzales
Death Valley Days (1957) - Leiva
26 Men (1958) - Greco
The Restless Gun (1958) - Tío Paco
Playhouse 90 (1957-1959)
Black Saddle (1959) - El Mudo
General Electric Theater (1959)
Wagon Train (1959) - Mr. Canellis


Peter Gunn (1959) - Inspector Guevera

Tales of Wells Fargo (1957-1959) - Barkeep
The Man and the Challenge (1960) - Grantina
Checkmate (1960) - Policeman
Bonanza (1961) - Jail Guard
Target: The Corruptors! (1962)
Temple Houston (1965)
Convoy (1965) - Waiter
Rawhide (1965) - Barber
I Spy (1966) - Jorge
The Immortal (1970) - Juan
The High Chaparral (1970) - Stableman
Search (1972) - Krishna Singh
Adam-12 (1973) - Antonio
Kung Fu (1973) - Tadeo
The Cowboys (1974) - Adolfo
Cannon (1975) - Dr. Xomiti
Police Story (1975) - Mr. Segura
The Quest (1976) - Peasant


Barney Miller (1978) - Jorge Rodríguez

How the West Was Won (1978) - Manuel's Grandfather
Lou Grant (1977-1979) - Old Man / Grandfather
Matt Houston (1983) - Santos


References

1. L.A. Times - Felipe F. Turich, Retired Actor
2. Hollywood.com - Felipe Turich
3. Rotten Tomatoes - FELIPE TURICH


Thursday, March 5, 2020

"Gold Diggers of Broadway" Actress Winnie Lightner 1971 San Fernando Mission Cemetery


Winnie Lightner (September 17, 1899 – March 5, 1971) was an American stage and motion picture actress.[2] Perhaps best known as the gold-digging Mabel in Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929), Lightner was often typecast as a wise-cracking gold-digger and was known for her talents as a comedian and singer. She is also noted for introducing the song "Singin' in the Bathtub" in the 1929 motion picture The Show of Shows.



Life and career

Born Winifred Josephine Reeves[3] was born in Greenport, Suffolk County, New York (on Long Island) but was raised in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen by her aunt and uncle, Margaret and Andrew Hansen, and known as Winifred Hanson.[4][5]



She had a successful career in vaudeville and finally made it to Broadway, where she performed in George White's Scandals of 1922, 1923, and 1924, in the musical revue Gay Paree in 1925 and '26, and in Harry Delmar's Revels of 1927.[6]



She was the first movie performer in history ever to be censored for what she said or sang on screen rather than for anything she did visually. In 1928, she made a Vitaphone short in which she sang "We Love It," "God Help a Sailor on a Night Like This," "That Brand New Model of Mine," and "We've Got a Lot to Learn." A censorship board in Pennsylvania held the release of the film because of the content of Lightner's songs. According to film historian Alexander Walker, "Warners asked the censors to merely pass judgment on the visuals – the censors refused."



The musical Gold Diggers of Broadway was a 1929 triumph, and made her a star. Warner Bros. quickly signed her up for a number of musical comedies. The first of these was Hold Everything, a lavish all-Technicolor feature based on a Broadway hit. This was followed by She Couldn't Say No (1930), in which Lightner was cast in a maudlin dramatic role which did not suit her talents. The picture, consequently, was not very successful. 



This was followed by another successful picture,The Life of the Party, which was also shot entirely in Technicolor and was an even bigger hit than Hold Everything.



By the end of 1930 audiences had grown tired of musicals, while Lightner was in the process of shooting three musicals: Sit Tight (1931), Gold Dust Gertie (1931), and Manhattan Parade (1932). They were all released with most of the music cut. This was especially noticeable on Sit Tight and Manhattan Parade, on which even the background music was completely removed. 



In response to the change in public taste, Warner Bros. decided to try another dramatic role for Lightner; the result was a picture called Side Show (1931) which proved to be unsuccessful.



She appeared in two more comedies, in which she co-starred with Loretta Young – without songs – before she left Warner Bros. In the first of these, Play-Girl (1932), she was billed with her name above the title, but in the second, She Had to Say Yes (1933), Young received star billing.



After this, Lightner left Warner Bros. to go freelance. She played as a supporting actor in two more features, for MGM and Columbia Pictures respectively, before retiring in 1934.


Family

Lightner was the mother of multiple-Emmy-award-winning cinematographer Thomas Del Ruth and was married to film director Roy Del Ruth until his death in 1961[7]. She died in 1971, aged 71, and was interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery.[1]



Filmography

Year Title Role Notes

1929 Gold Diggers of Broadway Mabel
1929 The Show of Shows Performer in 'Pingo Pongo' and 'Singing in the Bathtub' Numbers




1930 She Couldn't Say No Winnie Harper

1930 Hold Everything Toots Breen




1930 The Life of the Party Flo

1931 Sit Tight Winnie
1931 The Stolen Jools Winnie Short




1931 Gold Dust Gertie Gertrude 'Gertie' Dale

1931 Side Show Pat




1931 Manhattan Parade Doris Roberts

1932 Play Girl Georgine Hicks
1933 She Had to Say Yes Maizee




1933 Dancing Lady Rosette LaRue

1934 I'll Fix It Elizabeth (final film role)



References

1. Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries
2. Winnie Lightner bio allmovie.com 
3. "Film Celebrities Begin Honeymoon." Spokane Daily Chronicle. August 16, 1948. p. 12. 
4. Arnold Shaw (30 November 1989). The Jazz Age: Popular Music in the 1920s. Oxford University Press. pp. 236–. ISBN 978-0-19-536298-5.
5. Joseph F. Clarke (1977). Pseudonyms. BCA. p. 103.
6. Winnie Lightner at the Internet Broadway Database
7. "WINNIE LIGHTNER, 71, OF STAGE AND FILMS." The New York Times. March 6, 1971. 



Further reading

Lightner, David L. (2016) Winnie Lightner: Tomboy of the Talkies. University of Mississippi Press. ISBN 978-1496809834.