Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"The Searchers" Actor Jeffrey Hunter 1969 Glen Haven Cemetery


Jeffrey "Jeff" Hunter (November 25, 1926 – May 27, 1969) was an American film and television actor and producer. Hunter is known for his roles as the sidekick to John Wayne's character in The Searchers, as Jesus Christ in the biblical film King of Kings, and as Capt. Christopher Pike in the original pilot episode of Star Trek and the series' only two-part episode, The Menagerie.





Personal life

Hunter's first marriage from 1950 to 1955 to actress Barbara Rush produced a son, Christopher (born 1952). From 1957 to 1967, Hunter was married to model Dusty Bartlett. He adopted her son, Steele, and the couple had two other children, Todd and Scott. In February 1969, he married actress Emily McLaughlin to whom he remained married until his death only three months later.




Death

While in Spain in 1969 to film ¡Viva América!, a story of the Chicago Mafia, Hunter was injured in an on-set explosion when a car window near him, which had been rigged to explode outward, accidentally exploded inward. Hunter sustained a serious concussion. According to Hunter's wife Emily, he "...went into shock" on the plane ride back to the United States after filming and "..couldn't speak. He could hardly move." After landing, Hunter was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles but doctors could not find any serious injuries save for a displaced vertebra and a concussion.

On the night of May 26, 1969, Hunter suffered an intracranial hemorrhage while on a three-stair set of steps at his home in Van Nuys, California. He fell, knocked over a planter, and struck his head on a banister, fracturing his skull. He was found unconscious by his wife and taken to Valley Presbyterian Hospital where he underwent brain surgery to repair his injuries. He died at about 9:30 a.m. the following morning at the age of 42.



Hunter's funeral was held at St Mark's Episcopal Church in Van Nuys on May 31 after which he was interred at Glen Haven Memorial Park, in Sylmar, California.





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.








Friday, May 22, 2015

"Tony the Tiger" Thurl Ravenscroft 2005 Crystal Cathedral Cemetery


Thurl Arthur Ravenscroft (February 6, 1914 – May 22, 2005) was an American voice actor and basso profundo best known as the deep voice behind Tony the Tiger's "They're grrreat!" in Kellogg's Frosted Flakes television commercials for more than five decades. Ravenscroft was also known, albeit uncredited, as the vocalist for the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from the classic Christmas television special, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.



Ravenscroft did some voice-over work and singing for Disney in both the films and the attractions at Disneyland (which were later featured at Disney World). The most well known of these attractions are The Haunted Mansion, The Country Bear Jamboree, The Mark Twain Riverboat, The Pirates of the Caribbean and Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. His voice acting career began in 1940 and lasted until his death in 2005 at age 91.



Ravenscroft was married to June Ravenscroft in 1946, they had two children. June died in 1999 from unknown causes. Ravenscroft semi-retired and didn't job at any other studio anymore but continued to voice Tony The Tiger through 2004 with limo transportation by Kellogg's and sometimes from his apartment home, and also submitted to an interview that year by the Disney "Extinct Attractions Club" website. He died in his home on May 22, 2005 from prostate cancer. He was survived by his two children, Ron Ravenscroft and Nancy Ravenscroft. He was buried at the Memorial Gardens at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, 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.