Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Anatomy of a Murder" Film Editor Louis Loeffler 1972 Westwood Village Cemetery

Louis R. Loeffler (February 24, 1897 – April 22, 1972) was an American film editor. Through his five-decade career, he worked on over one hundred films, including In Old Arizona (1928), In the Meantime, Darling (1944), Laura (1944), The Iron Curtain (1948), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), River of No Return (1954), and Anatomy of a Murder (1959). He was nominated for two Academy Awards for film editing in 1960 and 1960 for the films Anatomy of a Murder and The Cardinal respectively.

Louis Loeffler is entombed in the Sanctuary of Devotion at Westwood Memorial Park alongside his wife Florence.

Actor & Social Activist "Grandpa Walton" Will Geer 1978 Theatricum Botanicum

Will Geer (March 9, 1902 – April 22, 1978) was an American actor and social activist. His original name was William Aughe Ghere. He is remembered for his portrayal of Grandpa Zebulon Tyler Walton in the 1970s TV series, The Waltons.

Personal life

Geer was born in Frankfort, Indiana, where he was deeply influenced by his grandfather, who taught him the botanical names of the plants in his native state. Geer started out to become a botanist, studying the subject and obtaining a master's degree at the University of Chicago. While at Chicago he also became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

He began his acting career touring in tent shows and on river boats. He worked on several left-oriented documentaries, including narrating Sheldon Dick's Men and Dust, about silicosis among miners.

Geer was also the lover of gay activist Harry Hay In 1934, Hay met Geer at the Tony Pastor Theatre, where Geer worked as an actor. They became lovers, and Hay credited as his political mentor. Hay and Geer participated in a milk strike in Los Angeles, where Hay was first exposed to radical gay activism in the person of "Clarabelle," a drag queen who held court in the Bunker Hill neighborhood, who hid Hay from police. Later that year, Hay and Geer performed in support of the San Francisco General Strike.

Early career

Geer made his Broadway debut as Pistol in a 1928 production of Much Ado About Nothing, created the role of Mr. Mister in Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock, played Candy in John Steinbeck's theatrical adaptation of his novella Of Mice and Men, and appeared in numerous plays and revues throughout the 1940s. From 1948 to 1951, he appeared in more than a dozen movies, including Winchester '73, Broken Arrow, and Bright Victory.

Geer became a member of the Communist Party of the United States in 1934. Geer was also influential in introducing Harry Hay to organizing in the Communist Party. In 1934, Geer and Hay gave support to a labor strike of the port of San Francisco; the 1934 West Coast waterfront strike lasted 83 days. Though marred by violence, it was an organizing triumph, one that became a model for future union strikes. Geer became a reader of the West Coast Communist newspaper, the People's World.

Geer became a dedicated activist, touring government work camps in the 1930s with folk singers like Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie (whom he introduced to the People's World and the Daily Worker; Guthrie would go on to write a column for the latter paper). In 1956, the duo released an album together on Folkways Records, titled Bound for Glory: Songs and Stories of Woody Guthrie. In his autobiography, fellow organizer and gay rights pioneer Harry Hay described Geer's activism and outlined their relationship while organizing for the strike. Geer is credited with introducing Guthrie to Pete Seeger at the 'Grapes of Wrath' benefit Geer organized in 1940 for migrant farm workers.

Geer did summer stock at the Pine Brook Country Club located in the countryside of Nichols, Connecticut with the Group Theatre (New York) studying under Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford and Lee Strasberg. The artists took up residency at the lake in summer from 1931 until the early 1940s.


Geer was blacklisted in the early 1950s for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. During that period, he built the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga, California, which he and his companion, Herta Ware, helped to found. He combined his acting and botanical careers at the Theatricum, by making sure that every plant mentioned in Shakespeare was grown there.

Later years

In the late 1950s and early 1960s he played several seasons at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut, where he created a second "Shakespeare Garden" on the theater's grounds. By this time he was also working sporadically on Broadway. In 1964 he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for 110 in the Shade. In 1972, he played the part of "Bear Claw" in Jeremiah Johnson along with Robert Redford.

Geer maintained a garden at his vacation home, called Geer-Gore Gardens, in Nichols, Connecticut. He visited often and attended the local Fourth of July fireworks celebrations, sometimes wearing a black top hat or straw hat and always his trademark denim overalls with only one suspender hooked.

When Geer died, shortly after completing the sixth season of The Waltons, the death of his character was written into the show's script as well.

His ex-wife, actress Herta Ware, was best known for her performance as the wife of Jack Gilford in the film Cocoon (1985). Although they eventually divorced, they remained close throughout the rest of their lives. Geer and Ware had three children, Kate Geer, Thad Geer and actress Ellen Geer. Ware also had a daughter, actress Melora Marshall, from a previous marriage.

As Will Geer was dying on April 22, 1978, of respiratory failure at the age of 76, his family sang Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" and recited poems by Robert Frost at his deathbed. Geer was cremated; his ashes are buried at the Theatricum Botanicum in the "Shakespeare Garden" in Topanga Canyon, near Santa Monica, California.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"That's Entertainment" Filmmaker Jack Haley Jr. 2001 Holy Cross Cemetery

Jack Haley, Jr. (October 25, 1933 - April 21, 2001) was an American film director, producer and writer, two time winner of the Emmy Award.

Haley was born in Los Angeles, the son of actor Jack Haley and his wife Florence. He was best known as the director of the 1974 compilation film That's Entertainment! and as the husband of Liza Minnelli, who was the daughter of Haley's father's co-star in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland.

Haley's other credits include producer and executive producer of Academy Awards presentation shows, and director of the 1971 film The Love Machine.

As a producer, Haley was responsible for some notable compilations and documentaries about film history, including That's Entertainment! (1974), That's Entertainment, Part II (1976), That's Dancing! (1985), and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic, narrated by Angela Lansbury.


Haley developed respiratory failure and died on April 21, 2001 in Santa Monica, California. He is buried in Culver City's Holy Cross Cemetery, next to his father Jack Haley, "The Tin Man" in The Wizard of Oz.

Actor & Agent "Gummo" Marx 1977 Forest Lawn Cemetery Glendale

Milton "Gummo" Marx (October 23, 1893 - April 21, 1977) was the fourth-born of the Marx Brothers. Born in New York City, he worked with his brothers on the vaudeville circuit, but left acting when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War I, years before his four brothers began their legendary film career. He was the only Marx Brother to have served in the military.


His military service began shortly before the Armistice and he was therefore never sent overseas.

After leaving the army, Gummo, who in an interview said he never liked being on stage, went into the dressmaking business. Later he joined with his brother Zeppo Marx and operated a theatrical agency. After that collaboration ended, Gummo represented his brother Groucho Marx and worked on the television show The Life of Riley, which he helped develop. He also represented other on-screen talent and a number of writers.

Gummo was well respected as a businessman. He rarely had contracts with those he represented, his philosophy being that, if they liked his work, they would continue to use him, and if not, they would seek representation elsewhere. Unlike his brothers, his social life involved primarily business people.

Gummo was given his nickname because he had a tendency to be sneaky backstage, and creep up on others without them knowing (like a gumshoe). Another explanation cited by biographers and family members is that Milton, being the sickliest of the brothers, often wore rubber overshoes, also called "gumshoes," to protect himself from taking sick in inclement weather.

Gummo died on April 21, 1977, in Palm Springs, California. His death was not reported to Groucho, who by that time had become so ill and weak that it was thought the news would be of further detriment to his health. Groucho died four months later.

Gummo is entombed in the Freedom Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale in Los Angeles, California.


In the Jasper Fforde novel The Fourth Bear, there is a brief reference to GummoWorld, an amusement park dedicated to Gummo Marx.

In the Woody Allen film Stardust Memories, a woman at a film festival is referred to as having written the definitive filmography of Gummo Marx. Another enthusiast then observes, "Interestingly, he's the one Marx brother that never made any movies."

The 1997 Harmony Korine film Gummo was named after Gummo Marx, and there is one reference to his comedic style in a scene of the film.

Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel Inherent Vice includes an L.A. street named "Gummo Marx Way" (pp 283, 284).

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter at Woodlawn Cemetery

"I Love Lucy" TV Writer Madelyn Pugh Davis 2011 Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Madelyn Pugh (March 15, 1921 – April 20, 2011), sometimes credited as Madelyn Pugh Davis, Madelyn Davis, or Madelyn Martin,[1] was a television writer who became known in the 1950s for her work on the "I Love Lucy" television series.


A native of Indiana, Pugh became interested in writing while serving as editor of the Shortridge High School newspaper in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated from the Indiana University School of Journalism in 1942. Her first professional writing job was writing short radio spots for WIRE, an Indianapolis radio station.

When her family moved to California, she got work as a radio writer, first for NBC and then CBS, where she met Bob Carroll. Pugh credits some of her breakthrough as "the girl writer" to the war effort, which limited the pool of qualified male writers. Early in her career, she was frequently the only female writer on staff.

Lucy, Bob Carroll, Madelyn Pugh Davis

Early in her career, as a staff writer for CBS Radio in Hollywood, Pugh forged a partnership with Bob Carroll, Jr. which lasted more than 50 years. Together they wrote some 400 television programs and roughly 500 radio shows. While the team was writing for The Steve Allen Show, they became interested in writing for Lucille Ball's new radio show, My Favorite Husband. They paid Allen to write his own show one week so they could focus on creating a script submission for My Favorite Husband. Under the supervision of head writer Jess Oppenheimer, the pair wrote Ball's radio program for its 2½ years.[2]

Bob Carroll and Madelyn Pugh Davis

Pugh and Carroll helped create a vaudeville act for Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz, which became the basis for the pilot episode of I Love Lucy. Together with Oppenheimer and/or Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf, who joined the show at the beginning of the fifth year, the team tackled 39 episodes per season for the run of the series. Although they never won, Pugh and Carroll were nominated for three Emmy Awards for their work on the series.[3]

Pugh and Carroll are credited with helping create the 'Lucy' character, which Ball played in one form or another for over 40 years. The pair also wrote episodes for The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (aka The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour) and Ball's final series, the unsuccessful Life With Lucy (1986).

The pair's other writing credits include work on the television series The Paul Lynde Show, Dorothy, Those Whiting Girls, Kocham Klane (an I Love Lucy series remake in Poland) and The Tom Ewell Show. They also worked on the films Forever, Darling and Yours, Mine and Ours, starring Ball. They created and wrote the Desi Arnaz Productions series The Mothers-in-Law (filmed at Desilu), which starred actresses Kaye Ballard and Eve Arden. The two served for seven years as Executive Producers of the long-running television series Alice and occasionally contributed scripts, one of which was awarded a Golden Globe Award.[4]

In September 2005, Madelyn Pugh Davis, who lived in California, released her memoirs titled Laughing with Lucy. She included Bob Carroll, Jr. as a contributor to the authorship of her memoirs.

Private life

Pugh was married twice, first to TV producer Quinn Martin, with whom she had a son, Michael Quinn Martin, and, secondly, to Richard Davis.[5]

Madelyn Pugh Davis died on April 20, 2011, aged 90, in Bel Air, California.

Her ashes are interred at the Chapel Columbarium at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.


Pugh Davis, Madelyn; Bob Carroll, Jr. (September 1, 2005).

Laughing with Lucy: My Life with America's Leading Lady of Comedy. Emmis Book. 

Madelyn Pugh Davis is located next to Ann Sheridan


Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr.

1955 Emmy nomination for comedy writing, "I Love Lucy"
1970 Emmy nomination for "Lucy Meets the Burtons" episode "Here's Lucy"
1979 Golden Globe as Producers for "Alice"
1990 Television Academy Hall of Fame award "I Love Lucy"
1992 Writers' Guild of America "Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award" for Television Achievement 1999 "Loving Lucy" award, Lucy Convention
2001 UCLA Lifetime Achievement award

Madelyn Pugh Davis

1957 Los Angeles Times "Times Woman of the Year" Award
1957 Women in Communications award
1960 Kappa Kappa Gamma Outstanding Alumni award
1972 Indiana University Distinguished Alumni award
1996 Women in Film Lucy Award[6]
1998 Indiana Broadcasters Award
2006 Paley Center for Media "She Made It!" honoree


1.^ IMDb profile
2.^ www.lucylibrary.com website
3.^ IMDb poll
4.^ IMDb profile, ibid.
5.^ Dennis Hevesi, "Madelyn Pugh Davis, Writer for ‘I Love Lucy,’ Dies at 90", New York Times, 21 April 2011
6.^ http://wif.org/past-recipients

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Judge Sentences Manson Family to Death 1971

On January 25, 1971, guilty verdicts were returned against the four defendants in the Charles Manson murder trial on each of the 27 separate counts against them. Not far into the trial's penalty phase, the jurors saw, at last, the defense that Manson—in the prosecution's view—had planned to present. Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten testified the murders had been conceived as "copycat" versions of the Hinman murder, for which Atkins now took credit. The killings, they said, were intended to draw suspicion away from Bobby Beausoleil, by resembling the crime for which he had been jailed. This plan had supposedly been the work of, and carried out under the guidance of, not Manson, but someone allegedly in love with Beausoleil—Linda Kasabian. Among the narrative's weak points was the inability of Atkins to explain why, as she was maintaining, she had written "political piggy" at the Hinman house in the first place.

Midway through the penalty phase, Manson shaved his head and trimmed his beard to a fork; he told the press, "I am the Devil, and the Devil always has a bald head." In what the prosecution regarded as belated recognition on their part that imitation of Manson only proved his domination, the female defendants refrained from shaving their heads until the jurors retired to weigh the state's request for the death penalty.

The effort to exonerate Manson via the "copycat" scenario failed. On March 29, 1971, the jury returned verdicts of death against all four defendants on all counts. On April 19, 1971, Judge Older sentenced the four to death.

On the day the verdicts recommending the death penalty were returned, news came that the badly decomposed body of Ronald Hughes had been found wedged between two boulders in Ventura County. It was rumored, although never proven, that Hughes was murdered by the Family, possibly because he had stood up to Manson and refused to allow Van Houten to take the stand and absolve Manson of the crimes. Though he might have perished in flooding, Family member Sandra Good stated that Hughes was "the first of the retaliation murders."