Friday, April 30, 2010

Deathday in L.A.: Inger Stevens, Actress & Suicide

Inger Stevens (born Inger Stensland, October 18, 1934 – April 30, 1970) was a Swedish-American movie and TV actress.

Early life

Inger Stevens was born in Stockholm, Sweden, as Inger Stensland. She was an insecure and often ill child. She was 9 years old when her parents divorced, and she moved with her father to New York City. At age 13, she and her father moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where she attended Manhattan High School. At 16 years old, she worked in the Kansas City burlesque shows. At age 18, she left Kansas for New York City to work as a chorus girl and in the Garment District. Simultaneously, she took classes at the Actors Studio.


She appeared on television programs and commercials and in plays, until she finally got her big chance in the movie Man on Fire, with Bing Crosby.
Several roles in major films followed, but she had the greatest success with her leading role in the ABC television series The Farmer's Daughter, with William Windom. Stevens also had roles in episodes of Bonanza, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Eleventh Hour, Sam Benedict and The Twilight Zone.

After The Farmer's Daughter was canceled in 1966, Stevens concentrated on movies. The best-known of her movie roles were, A Guide for the Married Man (1967), with Walter Matthau, Hang 'Em High, with Clint Eastwood, 5 Card Stud, with Dean Martin, and Madigan, with Henry Fonda and Richard Widmark, all in 1968. Stevens was attempting to make a comeback on TV, in 1970, with the detective drama series The Most Deadly Game when she died.

Personal life

Her first husband was her agent, Anthony Soglio, to whom she was married from 1955 to 1957. From 1961 to her death, she was secretly married to Ike Jones, a black American actor. She also was romantically involved with Crosby, Anthony Quinn, Dean Martin, Harry Belafonte, Mario Lanza, among numerous others, and Burt Reynolds, shortly before her suicide.

A houseguest found Ms. Stevens lying face down on her kitchen floor on the morning of April 30, 1970, having overdosed on Tedral (a combination drug of theophylline, ephedrine and phenobarbital, commonly prescribed in the treatment of breathing trouble associated with asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and other such illnesses), washed down with alcohol. Ms. Stevens had attempted suicide once before in 1959 when her reported romance with Bing Crosby ended. After an autopsy, her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.


Celebrity Grave: Gia Scala, Actress & Suicide

Gia Scala (March 3, 1934 – April 30, 1972) was an English actress of Italian-Irish descent.

Early life

She was born Giovanna Scoglio in Liverpool, England, to an aristocratic Sicilian father, Pietro Scoglio, and an Irish mother, Eileen Sullivan. She lived in Rome, Italy, and moved to the United States at age fourteen where she studied and worked in New York City. Gia graduated from Bayside High School (New York City) in Queens, New York. For a time she was undecided on what to do next. She worked in New York as a filing clerk for an insurance company and for a number of airlines.


She studied acting at night and made appearances on some radio shows and television quiz shows. At the end of 1954 an agent had her tested for the role of Mary Magdalene in a movie which was to be made called The Gallileans. She did not get the part but was signed to contracts by both Universal Studios and Columbia Pictures in Hollywood. Using the stage name "Gia Scala", she made her motion picture debut in 1955. This came in All That Heaven Allows with Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. However personal problems plagued her. In 1958 she attempted suicide. She landed roles in Tip On A Dead Jockey and The Garment Jungle in 1957 and The Tunnel of Love in 1958. The latter featured Richard Widmark and Doris Day. Critics acclaimed Gia's performance as a labor organizer in The Garment Jungle.

The tall, green-eyed brunette received wide recognition for her performance as the mute, mysterious Greek resistance fighter "Anna" in the 1961 film The Guns of Navarone, which starred Gregory Peck. Miss Scala's successful career began to deteriorate as a result of a growing alcohol dependency and she was eventually let go from her studio contract. Her marriage to stockbroker Donald Burnett ended in divorce.

Scala made frequent appearances on American television shows during the 1960s. Shows in which she appeared include Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960-1961), Convoy, The Rogues, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Twelve O'Clock High (1965), Tarzan (NBC series) (1967), and It Takes a Thief (1969).

Later years and death

Having British citizenship because of her birth, she moved to work in film in England but there her troubles only escalated. Suffering from severe emotional problems, aggravated by alcohol, she made another unsuccessful suicide attempt before returning to Hollywood.

On the night of April 30, 1972, some friends found her dead in her Hollywood Hills home from an overdose of drugs and alcohol at age 38. Police said she had been taking medication for a drinking problem. Scala is interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Deathday in L.A.: Alfred Hitchcock, Filmmaker

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English filmmaker and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in his native United Kingdom in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood. In 1956 he became an American citizen while retaining his British citizenship.

Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films in a career spanning six decades. Often regarded as the greatest British filmmaker, he came first in a 2007 poll of film critics in Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, which said: "Unquestionably the greatest filmmaker to emerge from these islands, Hitchcock did more than any director to shape modern cinema, which would be utterly different without him. His flair was for narrative, cruelly withholding crucial information (from his characters and from us) and engaging the emotions of the audience like no one else."

Last film work and death

Near the end of his life, Hitchcock had worked on the script for a projected spy thriller, The Short Night, collaborating with screenwriters James Costigan and Ernest Lehman. Despite some preliminary work, the story was never filmed. This was due, primarily, to Hitchcock's own failing health and his concerns over the health of his wife, Alma, who had suffered a stroke. The script was eventually published posthumously, in a book on Hitchcock's last years.

Hitchcock died from kidney failure in his Bel Air, Los Angeles, California home at the age of 80. His wife Alma Reville, and their daughter, Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell, both survived him. His funeral service was held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills. Hitchcock's body was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific.

The 1992 Los Angeles Riots

The 1992 Los Angeles Riots, also known as the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest,[1][2][3] were sparked on April 29, 1992, when a jury (made up of 10 whites, one Latino and one Asian) acquitted four Los Angeles Police Department officers accused in the videotaped beating of African-American ex-convict motorist Rodney King following a high-speed pursuit. Thousands of people in the Los Angeles area rioted over the six days following the verdict. At that time, similar, smaller riots and anti-police actions took place in other locations in the United States and Canada.[4] Widespread looting, assault, arson and murder occurred, and property damages topped roughly US$1 billion. In all, 53 people died during the riots and thousands more were injured.[5]


On March 3 1991, Rodney King and two passengers were driving west on the Foothill Freeway through the Lake View Terrace neighborhood of Los Angeles. The California Highway Patrol attempted to initiate at traffic stop and a pursuit ensued. When King came to a stop four members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) attempted to arrest King, after he led them in a high-speed pursuit of speeds estimated at up to 110 to 115 mph through freeways, then residential neighborhoods. King was tackled, tasered, heavily beaten with Pr24 batons, and repeatedly pushed down by an officer's foot. King made repeated attempts to get up and continued to ignore officer demands that he place his hands behind his back and stop resisting. The incident was captured on camcorder by Argentine George Holliday from his apartment in the vicinity, although the first few minutes of the incident, during which police later claimed King was resisting arrest, were not recorded.[6]

King had led police on a high-speed car chase and, after driving through several red lights and boulevard stops, had pulled over in the Lake View Terrace district. In a later interview, King, who was on parole from prison on a robbery conviction and who had past convictions for assault, battery and robbery,[7][8] said that, being on parole, he feared apprehension and being returned to prison for parole violations. The police officers claimed that King appeared to be under the influence of PCP.[9]

The footage of King being given a beating by police while lying on the ground became a focus for media attention and a rallying point for activists in Los Angeles and around the United States. Coverage was extensive during the initial two weeks after the incident: the Los Angeles Times published fifty-five articles about the incident, the New York Times published twenty-one articles, and the Chicago Tribune published fifteen articles. Eight stories appeared on ABC News, including a sixty-minute special on Primetime Live.

The Los Angeles District Attorney subsequently charged all four police officers with assault and use of excessive force.[10] Due to the heavy media coverage of the arrest, the trial received a change of venue from Los Angeles County to a newly constructed courthouse in the more predominantly white and politically conservative city of Simi Valley in neighboring Ventura County. However, no Simi Valley residents served on the jury, which was drawn from the nearby San Fernando Valley, a predominantly white and Hispanic area, and composed of ten whites, one Hispanic, and one Asian.[11] The prosecutor, Terry White, was black.[12][13]

On April 29, 1992, the seventh day of jury deliberations, the jury acquitted all four officers of assault and acquitted three of the four of using excessive force. The jury could not agree on a verdict for the fourth officer charged with using excessive force.[11] The verdicts were based in part on the first two seconds of a blurry, 13-second segment of the video tape that was edited out by television news stations in their broadcast.[14] During the first two seconds of videotape,[15] Rodney King allegedly gets up off the ground and charges in the general direction of one of the police officers, Laurence Powell, but this allegation is disputed due to the blurriness of the video. During the next one minute and 19 seconds, however, King is beaten continuously by the officers. The officers testified that they tried to physically restrain King prior to the starting point of the videotape but, according to the officers, King was able to physically throw them off himself.[16] Based on this testimony and the previously unseen segment of the videotape, the officers were acquitted on almost all charges.

Another theory offered by the prosecution for the officers' acquittal is that the jurors may have become desensitized to the violence of the beating, as the defense played the videotape repeatedly in slow motion, breaking it down until its emotional impact was lost.[17]

The riots

The riots, beginning in the evening after the verdicts, peaked in intensity over the next two days, but ultimately continued for several days. A curfew and deployment of the National Guard began to control the situation; eventually U.S. Army soldiers and United States Marines were ordered to the city to quell disorder as well.

Fifty-three people died during the riots[18] with as many as 2,000 people injured. Estimates of the material losses vary between about $800 million and $1 billion. Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying 1,100 buildings, with fire calls coming once every minute at some points; widespread looting also occurred. Stores owned by Korean and other Asian immigrants were widely targeted[19], although stores owned by Caucasians and African Americans were targeted by rioters as well.

Many of the disturbances were concentrated in South Central Los Angeles, which was primarily composed of African American and Hispanic of any race residents. Half of all riot arrestees and more than a third of those killed during the violence were Hispanic of any race.[20][21]

First day (Wednesday, April 29)

The acquittals of the four accused Los Angeles Police Department officers came at 3:15 p.m. local time. By 3:45, a crowd of more than 300 people had appeared at the Los Angeles County Courthouse, most protesting the verdicts passed down a half an hour earlier and many miles away. Between 5 and 6 p.m., a group of two dozen officers, commanded by LAPD Lt. Michael Moulin, confronted a growing African-American crowd at the intersection of Florence and Normandie in South Central Los Angeles. Outnumbered, these officers retreated.[22] A new group of protesters appeared at Parker Center, the LAPD's headquarters, by about 6:30 p.m., and 15 minutes later, the crowd at Florence and Normandie had started looting, attacking vehicles and people, mainly whites.

Reginald Denny beating

At approximately 6:45 p.m., Reginald Oliver Denny, a white truck driver who stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Florence and South Normandie Avenues, was dragged from his vehicle and severely beaten by a mob of local black residents as news helicopters hovered above, recording every blow, including a concrete fragment connecting with Denny's temple and a cinder block thrown at his head as he lay unconscious in the street. The police never appeared, having been ordered to withdraw for their own safety, although several assailants (the so-called L.A. Four) were later arrested and one, Damian Williams, was sent to prison. Instead, Denny was rescued by an unarmed, African American civilian named Bobby Green Jr. who, seeing the assault live on television, rushed to the scene and drove Denny to the hospital using the victim's own truck, which carried twenty-seven tons of sand. Denny had to undergo years of rehabilitative therapy, and his speech and ability to walk were permanently damaged. Although several other motorists were brutally beaten by the same mob, Denny remains the best-known victim of the riots because of the live television coverage.

Fidel Lopez beating

At the same intersection, just minutes after Denny was rescued, another beating was captured on video tape. Fidel Lopez, a self-employed construction worker and Guatemalan immigrant, was ripped from his truck and robbed of nearly $2,000. Damian Williams smashed his forehead open with a car stereo[23] as another rioter attempted to slice his ear off. After Lopez lost consciousness, the crowd spray painted his chest, torso and genitals black.[24] Rev. Bennie Newton, an African-American minister who ran an inner-city ministry for troubled youth, prevented others from beating Lopez by placing himself between Lopez and his attackers and shouting "Kill him and you have to kill me, too". He was also instrumental in helping Lopez get medical aid by taking him to the hospital. Lopez survived the attack, undergoing extensive surgery to reattach his partially severed ear, and months of recovery.

Second day (Thursday, April 30)

Although the day began relatively quietly, by mid-morning on the second day violence appeared widespread and unchecked as heavy looting and fires had started being witnessed across Los Angeles County. The Korean American community, seeing the police force's abandonment of Koreatown, organized armed security teams composed of store workers, who defended their livelihoods from assault by the mob. Open gun battles were televised as Korean shopkeepers were forced to shoot at the mob to protect their businesses, and most likely their lives, from crowds of violent looters.[25] Organized law-enforcement response began to come together by mid-day. Fire crews began to respond backed by police escort; California Highway Patrol reinforcements were airlifted to the city; and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew at 12:15 AM. President George H. W. Bush spoke out against the rioting, stating that "anarchy" would not be tolerated. The California National Guard, which had been advised not to expect civil disturbance, responded quickly by calling up some 2,000 soldiers, but could not get them to the city until nearly 24 hours had passed because of a lack of proper equipment, training, and available ammunition which had to be picked up from Camp Roberts, California (near Paso Robles).

In an attempt to end hostilities, Bill Cosby spoke on the NBC affiliate television station KNBC and asked people to stop what they were doing and instead watch the final episode of The Cosby Show.[26][27]

The same members of LAPD Metropolitan Division C-platoon that were involved in the firefight at 114th Street and Central Avenue on the first night drove into a robbery in progress at the gas station at Vernon and Western. One robber was killed, a second was wounded.

Third day (Friday, May 1)

The third day was punctuated by live footage of Rodney King asking, "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"[28][29] That morning, at 1:00 a.m., California Governor Pete Wilson had requested federal assistance, but it was not ready until Saturday. National Guard units (doubled to 4,000 troops) continued to move into the city in Humvees. Additionally, a varied contingent of 1,700 federal law-enforcement officers from different agencies from across the state began to arrive, to protect federal facilities and assist local police. As darkness fell, the main riot area was further hit by a power cut.

Friday evening, President George H.W. Bush spoke to the nation, denouncing "random terror and lawlessness", summarizing his discussions with Mayor Bradley and Governor Wilson, and outlining the federal assistance he was making available to local authorities. Citing the "urgent need to restore order", he warned that the "brutality of a mob" would not be tolerated, and he would "use whatever force is necessary". He then turned to the Rodney King case and a more moderate tone, describing talking to his own grandchildren and pointing to the reaction of "good and decent policemen" as well as civil rights leaders. He said he had already directed the Justice Department to begin its own investigation, saying that "grand jury action is underway today" and that justice would prevail.[30]

By this point, many entertainment and sports events were postponed or canceled. The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Portland Trail Blazers in a basketball playoff game on the night the rioting started, but the following game was postponed until Sunday and moved to Las Vegas. The Los Angeles Clippers moved a playoff game against the Utah Jazz to nearby Anaheim. In baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers postponed games for four straight days from Thursday to Sunday, including a whole 3-game series against the Montreal Expos; all were made up as part of doubleheaders in July. The horse racing venues Hollywood Park Racetrack and Los Alamitos Race Course were also shut down. L.A. Fiesta Broadway, a major event in the Latino community, was not held in the first weekend in May as scheduled. In Music, Van Halen canceled two concert shows in Inglewood on Saturday and Sunday. Michael Bolton was scheduled to perform at the Hollywood Bowl for Sunday, the concert was canceled. The World Wrestling Federation also canceled events on Friday and Saturday in the respective cities of Long Beach and Fresno.[31].

The Southern California Rapid Transit District suspended all bus service throughout the Los Angeles area, Some major freeways were shut down. The Federal Aviation Administration closed Los Angeles International Airport for 6 days, disrupting air travel nationwide. Metrolink also suspended train service into and out of Los Angeles.

Fourth day (Saturday, May 2)

On the fourth day, 4,000 Soldiers and Marines arrived from Fort Ord and Camp Pendleton to suppress the crowds and restore order. Order began to appear as the Army and Marines arrived. With most of the violence under control, 30,000 people attended a peace rally. By the end of the day a sense of normalcy began to return.

Also on May 2, the Justice Department announced it would begin a federal investigation of the Rodney King beating.

Fifth day (Sunday, May 3)

Overall quiet set in and Mayor Bradley assured the public that the crisis was, more or less, under control.[32] In one incident, National Guardsmen shot and killed a motorist that they said tried to run them over.[33]

Sixth day (Monday, May 4)

Although Mayor Bradley lifted the curfew, signaling the official end of the riots, sporadic violence and crime continued for a few days afterward. Schools, banks, and businesses reopened. Federal troops did not stand down until May 9; the state guard remained until May 14; and some soldiers remained as late as May 27.

Underlying causes

In addition to the immediate trigger of the Rodney King verdicts, a range of other factors were cited as reasons for the unrest. Specific anger over the sentence given to a Korean American shop-owner for the shooting and killing of Latasha Harlins, an African American girl, was pointed to as a potential reason for the riots, particularly for the African-American/Korean-American tensions witnessed during the disturbances. Publications such as Newsweek and Time suggested that the source of these racial antagonisms was derived from cultural differences, and from perceptions amongst blacks that Korean-American merchants were taking money out of their community and refusing to hire blacks to work in their shops. According to this view, these tensions were intensified when the Korean-American shop owner, Soon Ja Du, was sentenced to five years probation for the killing of Harlins.[34][35]

Another explanation which was offered for the riots was the extremely high unemployment among the residents of South Central Los Angeles, which had been hit very hard by the nation-wide recession,[36] and the high levels of poverty there.[37] Articles in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times linked the economic deterioration of South Central to the declining living conditions of the residents, and suggested that local resentments about these conditions helped to fuel the riots.[38][39][40][41][42] Social commentator Mike Davis pointed to the growing economic disparity in Los Angeles in the years leading up to the riots caused by corporate restructuring and government deregulation, with inner-city residents bearing the brunt of these changes. Such conditions engendered a widespread feeling of frustration and powerlessness in the urban populace, with the King verdicts eventually setting off their resentments in a violent expression of collective public protest.[43][44] To Davis and other writers, the tensions witnessed between African-Americans and Korean-Americans during the unrest was as much to do with the economic competition forced on the two groups by wider market forces, as with either cultural misunderstandings or black anger about the killing of Harlins.[21]

One of the more detailed analyses of the unrest was a study produced shortly after the riots by a Special Committee of the California Legislature, entitled To Rebuild is Not Enough.[45] After extensive research, the Committee concluded that the inner-city conditions of poverty, segregation, lack of educational and employment opportunities, widespread perceptions of police abuse and unequal consumer services created the underlying causes of the riots. It also pointed to changes in the American economy and the growing ethnic diversity of Los Angeles as important sources of urban discontent, which eventually exploded on the streets following the King verdicts. Another official report, The City in Crisis, was initiated by the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and made many of the same observations as the Assembly Special Committee about the growth of popular urban dissatisfaction leading up to the unrest.[46]

In his public statements during the riots, civil rights activist and Baptist minister Jesse Jackson sympathized with the anger experienced by African-Americans regarding the verdicts in the King trial, and pointed to certain root causes of the disturbances. Although he suggested that the violence was not justified, he repeatedly emphasized that the riots were an inevitable result of the continuing patterns of racism, police brutality and economic despair suffered by inner-city residents - a tinderbox of seething frustrations which was eventually set off by the verdicts.[47][48]

Democratic presidential candidate, Bill Clinton, argued likewise that the violence resulted from the breakdown of economic opportunities and social institutions in the inner city. He also berated both major political parties for failing to address urban issues, especially the Republican Administration for its presiding over "more than a decade of urban decay" generated by their spending cuts.[49] However, he maintained that the King verdicts could not be avenged by the "savage behavior" of "lawless vandals". He also stated that people "are looting because ... [t]hey do not share our values, and their children are growing up in a culture alien from ours, without family, without neighborhood, without church, without support."[49]

African-American Congressional representative of South Central Los Angeles, Democrat Maxine Waters, said that the events in L.A. constituted a "rebellion" or "insurrection" caused by the underlying reality of poverty and despair existing in the inner city. This state of affairs, she asserted, were brought about by a government which had all but abandoned the poor through the loss of local jobs and by the institutional discrimination encountered by people of racial minorities, especially at the hands of the police and financial institutions.[50][51]

Conversely, President Bush argued that the unrest was "purely criminal". Though he acknowledged that the King verdicts were plainly unjust, he maintained that "we simply cannot condone violence as a way of changing the system ... Mob brutality, the total loss of respect for human life was sickeningly sad ... What we saw last night and the night before in Los Angeles is not about civil rights. It's not about the great cause of equality that all Americans must uphold. It's not a message of protest. It's been the brutality of a mob, pure and simple."[52]

Vice President Dan Quayle blamed the violence on a "Poverty of Values" – "I believe the lawless social anarchy which we saw is directly related to the breakdown of family structure, personal responsibility and social order in too many areas of our society"[53] Similarly, the White House Press Secretary, Marlin Fitzwater, alleged that "many of the root problems that have resulted in inner city difficulties were started in the '60s and '70s and ... they have failed ... [N]ow we are paying the price."[54]

Several prominent writers expressed a similar "culture of poverty" argument. Writers in Newsweek, for example, drew a distinction between the actions of the rioters in 1992 with those of the urban upheavals in the 1960s, arguing that "[w]here the looting at Watts had been desperate, angry, mean, the mood this time was more closer to a manic fiesta, a TV game show with every looter a winner."[34] Meanwhile, in an article published in Commentary entitled "How the Rioters Won", conservative columnist Midge Decter referred to African-American city youths and asked "[h]ow is it possible to go on declaring that what will save the young men of South-Central L.A., and the young girls they impregnate, and the illegitimate babies they sire, is jobs? How is it possible to look at these boys of the underclass ... and imagine that they either want or could hold on to jobs?"[55]

Media coverage

Almost as soon as the disturbances broke out in South Central, local TV cameras were on the scene to record the events as they happened.[56] Television coverage of the riots was near-continuous, including much footage from helicopter news crews. By virtue of their extensive coverage, mainstream television stations provided a vivid, comprehensive and valuable record of the violence occurring on the streets of L.A.[57] In part because of extensive media coverage of the Los Angeles riots, smaller but similar riots and other anti-police actions took place in other cities in the United States.[4][58]


In the aftermath of the riots, pressure mounted for a retrial of the officers, and federal charges of civil rights violations were brought against them. As the first anniversary of the acquittal neared, the city tensely awaited the decision of the federal jury; seven days of deliberations raised fears of further violence in the event of another "not guilty" verdict. The LAPD Captain in charge of the division hired a press agent, thus avoiding direct contact with news media after the riots.

The decision was read in an atypical 7:00 a.m. Saturday court session on April 17, 1993. Two officers – Officer Laurence Powell and Sergeant Stacey Koon – were found guilty, while officers Theodore Briseno and Timothy Wind were acquitted. Mindful of accusations of sensationalist reporting in the wake of the first trial and the resulting chaos, media outlets opted for more sober coverage, which included calmer on-the-street interviews.[59] Police were fully mobilized with officers on 12-hour shifts, convoy patrols, scout helicopters, street barricades, tactical command centers, and support from the National Guard and Marines.[60][61] These precautionary measures proved an effective deterrent[citation needed] and no further force was needed.

All four of the officers involved have since quit or have been fired from the LAPD. Officer Theodore Briseno left the LAPD after being acquitted on federal charges. Officer Timothy Wind, who was also acquitted a second time, was fired after the appointment of Willie L. Williams as Chief of Police. Chief Williams' tenure was also short-lived. The Los Angeles Police Commission declined to renew his contract, citing Williams' failure to fulfill his mandate to create meaningful change in the department in the wake of the Rodney King disaster.[62] Susan Clemmer, an officer who gave crucial testimony for the defense at the initial trial, committed suicide in July 2009 in the lobby of a Los Angeles Sheriff's Station. She rode in the ambulance with King and testified that he was laughing and spat blood on her uniform. She had remained in law enforcement and was a Sheriff's Detective at the time of her death.[63]

Rodney King was awarded $3.8 million in damages from the City of Los Angeles for the attack. He invested most of this money in founding a record label, “Straight Alta-Pazz Records”. The venture was unable to garner any success and soon folded. Since the arrest which culminated in his severe beating by the four police officers, King has been arrested eleven times on a variety of misdemeanor charges, including domestic abuse and hit-and-run.[64][65] King and his family moved from Los Angeles to Rialto, California, a suburb in San Bernardino County in an attempt to escape the fame and notoriety and to begin a new life. King and his family later returned to Los Angeles, where they run a family-owned construction company. King rarely discusses the incident or its aftermath, preferring to remain out of the spotlight. Renee Campbell, his most recent attorney, has described King as “...simply a very nice man caught in a very unfortunate situation.”

The Korean-American community in Los Angeles refers to the event as "Sa-I-Gu" (literally 4-29, the first day the riots broke out). The riots prompted various responses from the Korean-American community, including the formation of activist organizations such as the Association of Korean American Victims, and increased efforts to build collaborative links with other ethnic groups.[66]

Published sources

Assembly Special Committee To Rebuild is Not Enough: Final Report and Recommendations of the Assembly Special Committee on the Los Angeles Crisis, Sacramento: Assembly Publications Office, 1992.
Baldassare, Mark (ed.), The Los Angeles Riots: Lessons for the Urban Future, Boulder and Oxford: Westview Press, 1994.
Cannon, Lou, Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD, Basic Books, 1999.
Gibbs, Jewelle Taylor, Race and justice: Rodney King and O.J. Simpson in a house divided, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, c1996.
Gooding-Williams, Robert (ed.), Reading Rodney King, Reading Urban Uprising, New York and London: Routledge, 1993.
Hazen, Don (ed.), Inside the L.A. Riots: What really happened - and why it will happen again, Institute for Alternative Journalism, 1992.
Jacobs, Ronald F., Race, Media, and the Crisis of Civil Society: From the Watts Riots to Rodney King, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Los Angeles Times, Understanding the Riots: Los Angeles Before and After the Rodney King Case, Los Angeles: Los Angeles Times, 1992.
Song Hyoung, Min, Strange future: pessimism and the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
Wall, Brenda, The Rodney King rebellion: a psychopolitical analysis of racial despair and hope, Chicago: African American Images, c1992.
Webster Commission, The City in Crisis' A Report by the Special Advisor to the Board of Police Commissioners on the Civil Disorder in Los Angeles, Los Angeles: Institute for Government and Public Affairs, UCLA, 1992.


5.^ "The L.A. 53". By Jim Crogan. LA Weekly. April 24, 2002.
6.^ la-otra-paliza-con-rodney-king
7.^ The Arrest Record of Rodney King
8.^ Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD pages 41-42
9.^ "Sergeant Says King Appeared to Be on Drugs". The New York Times. March 20, 1992.
10.^ "Police Beating Trial Opens With Replay of Videotape". The New York Times. March 6, 1992.
11.^ "AFTER THE RIOTS; A Juror Describes the Ordeal of Deliberations". The New York Times. May 6, 1992.
12.^ JURIST – The Rodney King Beating Trials
15.^ videotape
16.^ The National Geographic Channel (US version) program "The Final Report: The L.A. Riots" aired originally on October 4, 2006 10pm EDT, approximately 27 minutes into the hour (including commercial breaks).
17.^ Cannon, L. (2002). Official Negligence : How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD. Basic Books. ISBN 0-81-333725-9
18.^ The most accurate documented count of the dead may be the April 24, 2002 LA Weekly article, "The L.A. 53", by Jim Crogan. Using coroner's reports, police records and interviews, he documented the deaths of 53 people, including details about how they died.
19.^ Daniel B. Wood (April 29, 2002). "L.A.'s darkest days". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
20.^ Manuel Pastor Jr, "Economic Inequality, Latino Poverty, and the Civil Unrest in Los Angeles", Economic Development Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 3, August 1995, p. 238.
21.^ Peter Kwong, "The First Multicultural Riots", in Don Hazen (ed.), Inside the L.A. Riots: What really happened - and why it will happen again, Institute for Alternative Journalism, 1992, p. 89.
22.^ The National Geographic Channel (US version) program "The Final Report: The L.A. Riots" aired originally on October 4, 2006 10pm EDT, approximately 38 minutes into the hour (including commercial breaks).
23.^ "Man Pleads Guilty to Trying To Rob Trucker During Riot". New York Times. March 17, 1993.
24.^ Alexander, Von Hoffman (2003). House by House, Block by Block: The Rebirth of America's Urban Neighborhoods. Oxford University Press. p. 227. ISBN 0195144376.
25.^ Peter Kivisto, Georganne Rundblad, ed (2000). Multiculturalism in the United States: Current Issues, Contemporary Voices. Pine Forge Press.
26.^ Bill Cosby asks for peace during 1992 Los Angeles Riot
27.^ Bay Weekly: This Weeks Feature Stories
28.^ Ralph Keyes. The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When ISBN 0-312-34004-4
29.^ Mydans, Seth (1993-12-09). "Jury Could Hear Rodney King Today". The New York Times.
30.^ Bush, George H.W. (1992-05-01). "Address to the Nation on the Civil Disturbances in Los Angeles, California". George Bush Presidential Library.
31.^ Cawthon, Graham. "1992 WWF results". The History of WWE.
32.^ Del Vecchio, Rick, Suzanne Espinosa, & Carle Nolte (1992-05-04). "Bradley Ready to Lift Curfew He Says L.A. is 'under control'". San Francisco Chronicle. p. A1.
33.^ Reinhold, Robert (May 5, 1992). "RIOTS IN LOS ANGELES: The Overview; As Rioting Mounted, Gates Remained at Political Event". The New York Times.
34.^ Tom Mathews, "The Siege of L.A.", Newsweek, May 1992.
35.^ David Ellis, "L.A. Lawless", Time, May 1992.
36.^ [ The Los Angeles Riot and the Economics of Urban Unrest]
37.^ 15 years after L.A. riots, tension still high
38.^ Jacqueline Jones, "Forgotten Americans", New York Times, May 5 1992.
39.^ Don Terry, "Decades of Rage Created Crucible of Violence", Time, May 3 1992.
40.^ "Tale of Two Cities: Rich and Poor, Separate and Unequal", Los Angeles Times, May 6 1992.
41.^ "Globilization of Los Angeles: The First Multiethnic Riots", Los Angeles Times, May 1992.
42.^ Los Angeles Times, Understanding the Riots: Los Angeles Before and After the Rodney King Case, Los Angeles: Los Angeles Times, 1992.
43.^ Mike Davis, "In L.A., Burning All Illusions" The Nation, June 1, 1992.
44.^ Mike Davis, "The L.A. Inferno" Socialist Review, January-March 1992.
45.^ Assembly Special Committee To Rebuild is Not Enough: Final Report and Recommendations of the Assembly Special Committee on the Los Angeles Crisis, Sacramento: Assembly Publications Office, 1992.
46.^ Webster Commission, The City in Crisis' A Report by the Special Advisor to the Board of Police Commissioners on the Civil Disorder in Los Angeles, Los Angeles: Institute for Government and Public Affairs, UCLA, 1992.
47.^ Jesse Jackson, "A 'Terrible Rainbow of Protest'", Los Angeles Times, May 4 1992.
48.^ Miles Colvin, "Man with a Mission", Los Angeles Times, May 6 1992.
49.^ Ronald Brownstein, "Clinton: Paries Fail to Attack Race Divisions", Los Angeles Times, Sunday Final Edition, May 3 1992.
50.^ Douglas P. Shuit, "Waters Focuses Her Rage at System", New York Times, Sunday Final Edition, May 10 1992.
51.^ Maxine Waters, "Testimony Before the Senate Banking Committee", in Don Hazen (ed.), Inside the L.A. Riots: What really happened - and why it will happen again, Institute for Alternative Journalism, 1992, pp. 26-27.
52.^ "Excerpts from Bush's speech on the Los Angeles Riots: 'Need to Restore Order', New York Times, May 2, 1992.
54.^ Michael Wines, "White House Links Riots to Welfare", New York Times, May 5 1992.
55.^ Midge Decter, "How the Rioters Won", Commentary, Vol. 94, July 1992.
56.^ Jacobs, R: Race, Media, and the Crisis of Civil Society: From the Watts Riots to Rodney King, pages 81-120. Cambridge University Press, 2000.
57.^ Erna Smith, Transmitting Race: the Los Angeles Riot in Television News, Research Paper, President of the Fellows of Harvard College, 1994.
59.^ Rosenberg, Howard (1993-04-19). "Los Angeles TV Shows Restraint". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 22.
60.^ Mydans, Seth (1993-04-19). "Verdict in Los Angeles; Fear Subsides With Verdict, But Residents Remain Wary". The New York Times. p. 11.
61.^ Tisdall, Simon, & Christopher Reed (1993-04-19). "All Quiet on the Western Front After King Verdicts". The Guardian. p. 20.
62.^ Ayres Jr., B. Drummond (1997-03-11). "Los Angeles Police Chief Will Be Let Go". The New York Times. .
63.^ "Rodney King Detective Kills Herself At Sheriff's Station". The Huffington Post. July 7, 2009.
64.^ Gray, M: “The L.A. Riots 15 Years After Rodney King” [1], TIME Magazine, 25 Apr. 2007.
65.^ LeDuff, Charlie (2004-09-19). "12 Years After the Riots, Rodney King Gets Along". The New York Times.
66.^ CGU Culture Critique – Los Angeles Riots: Sa-I-Gu – From a Korean Women’s Perspective

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Celebrity Grave: Donald E. Stewart, Screenwriter

Donald E. Stewart (1930–1999), was a screenwriter and winner of 1983 Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay Winner for Missing. He is entombed in the Garden of Serenity/New Memorial Garden at Westwood Memorial Park.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Celebrity Grave: Gypsy Rose Lee, Queen of Burlesque

Queen of Burlesque Gypsy Rose Lee Buried in Inglewood
Gypsy Rose Lee (born January 8, 1911 – April 26, 1970) was an American burlesque entertainer, famous for her striptease act. She was also an actress and writer, whose 1957 memoir, written as a monument to her mother, was made into the stage musical and film Gypsy.

Natalie and Gypsy
Gypsy was born Rose Louise Hovick in Seattle, Washington in 1911, although her mother later shaved three years off both of her daughters' ages. She was initially known by her middle name, Louise. Her mother, Rose Thompson Hovick, married John Olaf Hovick, who was a newspaper advertising salesman. Her sister, Ellen June Hovick (better known as actress June Havoc), was born in 1913.

After their parents divorced, the girls earned the family's money by appearing in vaudeville where June's talent shone, while Louise remained in the background. At the age of 13, June married a boy in the act named Bobby Reed. June left the act and went on to a brief career in marathon dancing before giving birth to April Reed around 1930.

Louise's singing and dancing talents were insufficient to sustain the act without June. Eventually, it became apparent that Louise could make money in burlesque, which earned her legendary status. Her innovations were an almost casual strip style, compared to the herky-jerky styles of most burlesque strippers (she emphasized the "tease" in "striptease") and she brought a sharp sense of humor into her act as well. She became as famous for her onstage wit as for her strip style, and—changing her stage name to Gypsy Rose Lee—she became one of the biggest stars of Minsky's Burlesque, where she performed for four years. She was frequently arrested in raids on the Minsky brothers' shows.

She eventually traveled to Hollywood, where she was billed as Louise Hovick. Her acting was generally panned, so she returned to New York City and invested in film producer Michael Todd. She eventually appeared as an actress in many of his films.

Queen of Burlesque Gypsy Rose Lee Buried in Inglewood
Trying to describe what Gypsy was (a "high-class" stripper), H. L. Mencken coined the term ecdysiast. Her style of intellectual recitation while stripping was spoofed in the number "Zip!" from Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey, a play in which her sister June appeared. Gypsy can be seen performing an abbreviated version of her act (intellectual recitation and all) in the 1943 film Stage Door Canteen.

In 1941, Gypsy Rose Lee authored a mystery thriller called The G-String Murders which was made into the 1943 film Lady of Burlesque starring Barbara Stanwyck. While some assert this was in fact ghost-written by Craig Rice, there are also those who suggest that there is more than sufficient written evidence in the form of manuscripts and Lee's own correspondence to prove she wrote a large part of the novel herself under the guidance of Rice and others, including her friend and mentor, the editor George Davis. Lee's second murder mystery, Mother Finds a Body, was published in 1942.

Queen of Burlesque Gypsy Rose Lee Buried in Inglewood

While she worked at Minsky's, Gypsy Rose Lee had relationships with an assortment of characters from comedian Rags Ragland to Eddy Bruns. In Hollywood, she married Arnold "Bob" Mizzy on August 25, 1937, at the insistence of the film studio. Gypsy was at one time in love with Michael Todd, and in 1942, in an attempt to make him jealous, she married William Alexander Kirkland. They divorced in 1944. While married to Kirkland, she gave birth to a son fathered by Otto Preminger; he was named Erik Lee and has been known successively as Erik Kirkland, Erik de Diego and Erik Preminger. Gypsy Lee was married for a third time in 1948 to Julio de Diego, but they also eventually divorced.

Gypsy and June, who also became successful in performance, continued to get demands for money from their mother, who had opened a lesbian boarding house in a ten-room apartment on West End Avenue in New York City. This property and a farm in Highland Mills, New York, had been rented for Mother Rose by Gypsy Lee. Mother Rose shot and killed one of her guests (according to Erik Preminger, she killed her own lover, who had made a pass at Gypsy) at the boardinghouse. This incident was explained as a suicide.

Mother Rose died in 1954 of colon cancer.

With their mother dead, the sisters now felt free to write about her without risking a lawsuit. Gypsy's memoirs, titled Gypsy, were published in 1957 and were taken as inspirational material for the Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents musical Gypsy: A Musical Fable. June Havoc didn't like the way she was portrayed in the piece, but she was eventually persuaded (and paid) not to oppose it for her sister's sake. The play and the subsequent movie deal assured Gypsy a steady income. The sisters became estranged. June, in turn, wrote Early Havoc and More Havoc, relating her version of the story.

Gypsy Rose Lee went on to host a morning San Francisco KGO-TV television talk show, Gypsy. She was diagnosed in 1969 with metastatic lung cancer, which prompted her to reconcile with June before her death. "This is my present, you know," she reportedly told June, "my present from Mother."

The walls of her Los Angeles home were adorned with pictures by Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning, all of which were reportedly gifts to her by the artists themselves. Like Picasso, she was a supporter of the Popular front movement in the Spanish Civil War and raised money for charity to alleviate the suffering of Spanish children during the conflict.

She also founded one of the first kennels dedicated to breeding Chinese Crested dogs in the U.S, 'Lee', which was sold after her death to Mrs. Ida Garrett and Deborah Woods.

Queen of Burlesque Gypsy Rose Lee Buried in Inglewood
Gypsy Rose Lee died of lung cancer in Los Angeles in 1970. She is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.

Queen of Burlesque Gypsy Rose Lee Buried in Inglewood

Former Celebrity Grave: Lucille Ball, Actress, Comedian, Legend

Lucille Désirée Ball (August 6, 1911 – April 26, 1989) was an American comedienne, film, television, stage and radio actress, model, film and television executive, and star of the sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy.

One of the most popular and influential stars in America during her lifetime, with one of Hollywood's longest careers, especially on television, Ball was acting in the 1930s, becoming a B-movie star in the 1940s and a television star in the 1950s. She was still making films in the 1960s and 1970s. She was a radio actress during the 1940s, as well.

Ball received thirteen Emmy Award nominations and four wins. She was the recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1979, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986 and the Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1989.

In 1929, Ball landed work as a model and later began her performing career on Broadway using the stage name Dianne Belmont. She appeared in many small movie roles in the 1930s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures. Ball was labeled as the "Queen of the Bs" (referring to her many roles in B-films).

In 1951, Ball was pivotal in the creation of the television series I Love Lucy. The show co-starred her then husband, Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo and Vivian Vance and William Frawley as Ethel and Fred Mertz, the Ricardos' landlords and friends.

After the show ended in 1957, Ball went on to star in two more successful television series: The Lucy Show, which ran on CBS from 1962 to 1968, and Here's Lucy from 1968 to 1974. Her last attempt at a television series was a 1986 show called Life with Lucy. The show proved to be a critical and commercial flop which was canceled less than two months into its run by ABC.

Ball met and eloped with Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz in 1940. On July 17, 1951, almost 40 years old, Ball gave birth to their first child, Lucie Désirée Arnaz. A year and a half later, Ball gave birth to their second child, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV, known as Desi Arnaz, Jr. Ball and Arnaz divorced on May 4, 1960.

On April 26, 1989, Ball died of a dissecting aortic aneurysm, aged 77. At the time of her death, she had been married to her second husband, standup comedian and business partner Gary Morton, for twenty-eight years.


On April 18, 1989, Ball complained of chest pains and was rushed to the emergency room of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She was diagnosed as having a dissecting aortic aneurysm and underwent heart surgery for nearly eight hours. The surgery was successful, and Ball began recovering, even walking around her room with little assistance. On April 26, shortly after dawn, Ball awoke with severe back pains. Her aorta had ruptured in a second location and Ball quickly lost consciousness. All attempts to revive her proved unsuccessful, and, at approximately 05:47 PST, she died. She was 77 years old.

Her cremated remains were initially interred in Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, but in 2002 her children moved her ashes to the family plot at Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown, New York, where Ball's mother, father, brother, and grandparents are buried.


Lucille Ball's former vault is in the Columbariam of Radiant Dawn on the same wall as Forrest Tucker ("F Troop") and Strother Martin ("What we have here is a failure to communicate.") Tucker is toward the top and Strother is below him at the middle. Lucy was in the left vault of the two vacancies (see photos above) down and to the right of Strother.