Monday, February 29, 2016
Paul Pink (March 23, 1908 - February 20, 1996) founded and operated Pink's Hot Dogs, the landmark hot dog restaurant in the Hollywood district of the city of Los Angeles. He and his wife Betty are buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Pink's was founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939 as a pushcart near the corner of La Brea and Melrose. The Great Depression was still having an impact on the country, and money was scarce. People could purchase a chili dog made with Betty's own chili recipe accompanied by mustard and onions on a steamed bun for 10 cents each. As business grew, thanks to Betty's chili and the custom-made Hoffy-brand hot dogs with their natural casings, so did Pink's. The family built the current building in 1946 at 709 North La Brea.
Pink's has named several newer menu items after Hollywood celebrities, some of whom can be seen at the restaurant. There are many signed celebrity photographs hanging on the walls inside; some celebrities have signed more than one photo. The celebrity-named hot dogs are often versions actually ordered by the person in question, such as the "Martha Stewart Dog" with mustard, relish, onions, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut, bacon, and sour cream. Another is the "Rosie O'Donnell Long Island Dog," which is a 10" dog topped with mustard, onions, chili and sauerkraut.
The "Huell Howser Dog" is a standard chili dog with two of the regular hot dogs on a single bun while the "Ozzy Spicy Dog" named for Ozzy Osbourne features a Polish sausage, nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole and chopped tomatoes.
A smaller selection of hamburgers are available, and desserts are a choice of coconut or marble cake.
There is usually a long line of customers in front despite the lack of parking in the area. The often slow-moving line is viewed by some as part of the attraction at Pink's, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the stand becomes packed with club and concert goers.
Pink's has its own parking-lot attendant, even though parking is free. According to the menu, Pink's original signature chili dog in stretched, 10"/25 cm form remains the stand's top seller.
In September 2009, a location opened on the Las Vegas Strip at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino.
In April 2010, another location opened in Universal CityWalk [on the second level, across from the movie theaters] and introduced "The Betty White Naked Dog" (no condiments or toppings). In November 2010, a location opened at Harrah's Rincon in Valley Center.
Pink's hot dogs are also sold at amusement parks starting in 2011, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, the first Pink's location east of Las Vegas, and starting in 2014, Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Zara Frances Cully (January 26, 1892 – February 28, 1978) was an American actress, known for her role as Olivia "Mother Jefferson" Jefferson on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons (1975-78).
Early life and career
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on January 26, 1892, Cully was one of ten siblings. She graduated from the Worcester School of Speech and Music, and was one of the oldest performers active in television at the time of her death. In 1940, after an appearance in New York City she became known as "one of the world's greatest elocutionists." After moving to Jacksonville, Florida, she began producing, writing, directing, and acting in numerous plays. For 15 years she was a drama teacher at her own studio as well as at Edward Waters College, and had become known as Florida's "Dean of Drama" before her inability or unwillingness to adapt to the then-prevailing social customs in the South directed her decision to leave for Hollywood, where she became a regular performer at the Ebony Showcase Theatre.
By the time she acquired the role of 'Mother' Jefferson, she had accumulated a long list of acting credentials spanning a half-century, including such movies as The Learning Tree, the Blaxploitation cult film Sugar Hill, The Liberation of L.B. Jones, The Great White Hope, and a starring role in Brother John. Her TV career went back to what critics call 'the golden age of television' including appearances on the highly acclaimed Playhouse 90 series. Aside from The Jeffersons, her television credits included The People Next Door (CBS Playhouse), Run for Your Life (NBC Matinee Theater), Cowboy in Africa, Name of the Game, Mod Squad, Night Gallery, and All in the Family. Although highly respected by many influential people in the film industry as a dedicated craftsman, she garnered little fame until the role of 'Mother' Jefferson quickly endeared her to television audiences throughout the United States and Canada.
Cully's first appearance as 'Mother' Olivia Jefferson was in a guest appearance on an episode of All in the Family entitled "Lionel's Engagement" which aired February 9, 1974. She was 82 years old at the time. All three actors who portrayed Tom, Helen, and Jenny Willis on that episode were replaced with different actors by the time The Jeffersons became a spin-off on January 18, 1975, but Cully was kept on as Mother Jefferson.
During the first 17 episodes of the third season of The Jeffersons, she was absent due to a severe case of pneumonia caused by a collapsed lung. Upon her recovery she returned to the show. Her last credited performance was an appearance in the ninth episode of the fourth season entitled "The Last Leaf," which aired November 12, 1977, three months before her death. No special episode was created to center on her death, but it was addressed in the second episode of the fifth season entitled "Homecoming (pt 1)," which aired September 27, 1978, seven months after her actual death.
Cully died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on February 28, 1978 from lung cancer, aged 86. Services were held on March 2, 1978 at the Church of Christian Fellowship, in Los Angeles. She was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) in the Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Victory.
In attendance were the cast and crew of The Jeffersons, including show producer Norman Lear. She was survived by a brother, Wendell Cully; two surviving children: Mrs. Mary Gale "Polly" Buggs (wife of John A. Buggs, then-Deputy Director of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, 1917-2005) and Emerson T. Brown, (1925-1980), as well as four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, James M. Brown, Jr., (1888-1968), and two children, James M. Brown, III, (1915-1972), and a baby daughter (who died in 1919). She was posthumously awarded an NAACP special Image Award on June 9, 1978, at the 11th Annual NAACP Award ceremony.
1. St. Petersburg Times, March 1, 1978, pg. 11B
2. Jet Magazine, March 16, 1978, pg. 54
3. Los Angeles Times, June 22, 1956, pg. 23
4. Ebony Magazine, January, 1976, pg. 115
5. Sarasota Herald-Tribune, March 1, 1978, pg. 12-A
6. The Milwaukee Journal, February 6, 1977, pg. 6
7. Ocala Star-Banner, February 24, 1977, pg. 6A
8. Zara Cully (1892-1978) Find A Grave Memorial
9. Sepia, Volume 27, Issues 7–12, 1978, pg. 12
10. The Afro American, March 11, 1978, pg. 11
11. The Schenectady Gazette, March 1, 1978, pg. 26
12. Jet Magazine, June 8, 1978, pg. 60
Nora Kaye (January 17, 1920 - February 28, 1987) was an American prima-ballerina. Called the Duse of Dance after the acclaimed actress Eleonora Duse. She also worked in films as a choreographer and producer and performed on Broadway.
Kaye was born Nora Koreff in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrant parents Louise (1895-1973) and Gregory Joseph Koreff (1893-1976). She later Americanized her surname to Kaye.
In 1936, she joined the American Ballet, directed by George Balanchine. She later became a member of the Radio City Music Hall corps de ballet and danced in several Broadway productions, including Giselle (1941), Antony Tudor's Pillar of Fire (1946), and Two's Company (1952), a revue starring Bette Davis. She worked as an assistant on the musicals I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962), Tovarich (1963), and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965).
Kaye's marriage to Isaac Stern in November 1948 ended in divorce the following year. She married the film director, producer, choreographer and actor Herbert Ross in August 1959. The couple collaborated on several screen projects, including Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Last of Sheila (1973), Funny Lady and The Sunshine Boys (both 1975), and The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976). Playwright and screenwriter Arthur Laurents claimed in his autobiography Original Story By (2000) that he and Kaye had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship after he was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1946.
Kaye's producing credits include The Turning Point (1977), Nijinsky (1980), Pennies from Heaven (1981) and The Secret of My Succe$s (1987).
Kaye died from cancer in Los Angeles at age 67, and is buried with her husband Herbert Ross in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. Their gravestone is inscribed "They Loved Each Other."
1. Profile, familysearch.org
2. Arthur Laurents, Original Story By Arthur Laurents: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood (Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), pp. 41–49; ISBN 978-0-375-40055-1
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Leonard Simon Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015) was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, singer, and songwriter. He was known for his role as Mr. Spock of the Star Trek franchise, a character he portrayed in television and film from a pilot episode shot in late 1964 to his final film performance released in 2013.
Nimoy began his career in his early twenties, teaching acting classes in Hollywood and making minor film and television appearances through the 1950s, as well as playing the title role in Kid Monk Baroni. Foreshadowing his fame as a semi-alien, he played Narab, one of three Martian invaders in the 1952 movie serial Zombies of the Stratosphere.
In December 1964, he made his first appearance in the rejected Star Trek pilot "The Cage," and went on to play the character of Spock until the end of the production run in early 1969, followed by eight feature films and guest slots in the various spin-off series. The character has had a significant cultural impact and garnered Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations; TV Guide named Spock one of the 50 greatest TV characters.
After the original Star Trek series, Nimoy starred in Mission: Impossible for two seasons, hosted the documentary series In Search of..., narrated Civilization IV, and made several well-received stage appearances. He also had a recurring role in the science fiction series Fringe.
Nimoy's profile as Spock was such that both of his autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995), were written from the viewpoint of sharing his existence with the character. On June 2, 2015, an asteroid, discovered in 1988, was named 4864 Nimoy in his honor.
Illness and death
In February 2014, Nimoy revealed publicly that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition he attributed to a smoking addiction he had given up about 30 years earlier. On February 19, 2015, having been in and out of hospitals for the past several months, Nimoy was taken to UCLA Medical Center for chest pains.
Nimoy died of complications from COPD on February 27, 2015, at the age of 83, in his Bel Air home. He was survived by his wife; two children; six grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and his elder brother, Melvin. Adam Nimoy said as his father was approaching "the end of his life, he mellowed out. He made his family a priority and his career became secondary." A few days before his death, Nimoy shared some of his poetry on social media website Twitter: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP."
Nimoy's remains were buried at Hillside Cemetery during a funeral service in Los Angeles on March 1, 2015.
The service was attended by nearly 300 family members, friends and former colleagues, as well as Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, and J. J. Abrams. Though Shatner could not attend, he was represented by his daughters.
John Boles (October 28, 1895 – February 27, 1969) was an American actor.
Boles was born in Greenville, Texas to a middle-class family. He graduated with honors from the University of Texas in 1917. He returned to Greenville, where he was selected by an out-of-town producer to act in an opera at the King Opera House. This experience convinced John that he preferred music and the stage to the preference of his parents, who wanted him to pursue a medical degree.
He married Marcelite Dobbs in that same year. His parents wanted him to become a physician. He studied and got his B.A. but never went to medical school due to the allure of the stage. During World War I, he was a US spy in Germany, Bulgaria, and Turkey.
He started out in Hollywood in silent movies, but became a huge star with the advent of talkies. After the war, Boles moved to New York to study music. He quickly became well known for his talents and was selected to replace the leading man in the 1923 Broadway musical Little Jesse James. He became an established star on Broadway and attracted the attention of Hollywood producers and actors.
He was hired by MGM to appear in a silent film in 1924. He starred in two more films for that studio before returning to New York and the stage. In 1927, he returned to Hollywood to star in The Love of Sunya (1927) opposite Gloria Swanson, which was a huge success for him. Unfortunately, because the movies were still silent he was unable to show off his singing ability until late in the decade.
In 1929, Warner Brothers hired him to star in their lavish musical operetta The Desert Song (1929). This film featured sequences in Technicolor and was a box-office success. Soon after, Radio Pictures (later known as RKO) selected him to play the leading man in their extravagant production (the last portion of the film was photographed in Technicolor) of Rio Rita, opposite Bebe Daniels. Audiences were enthralled by his beautiful voice, and John Boles suddenly found himself in huge demand. RCA Victor even hired him to make phonograph records of songs that he had sung in his films.
As soon as Rio Rita was completed, Boles went back to Warner Brothers as the leading man in an even more extravagant musical entitled Song of the West (1930) that was filmed entirely in Technicolor. Shortly after this film, Universal Pictures offered John Boles a contract, which he accepted. He starred in a number of pictures for them, most notably the all-Technicolor musical revue entitled The King of Jazz (1930) and a historical operetta entitled Captain of the Guard (1930). In 1931, he starred in One Heavenly Night (1931), which would prove to be his last major musical.
In 1937, Boles starred alongside Barbara Stanwyck in the King Vidor classic Stella Dallas. In 1943, he co-starred with Mary Martin and Kenny Baker in One Touch of Venus.
Boles retired from the screen and stage in 1952. He died in 1969, aged 73. He was survived by his wife and two daughters. He is entombed at Westwood Village Cemetery.
The Sixth Commandment (1924)
Excuse Me (1925)
The Love of Sunya (1927)
The Shepherd of the Hills (1928)
The Water Hole (1928)
The Last Warning (1929)
The Desert Song (1929)
Rio Rita (1929)
Song of the West (1930)
King of Jazz (1930)
Back Street (1932)
Child of Manhattan (1933)
Only Yesterday (1933)
My Lips Betray (1933)
Bottoms Up (1934)
Stand Up and Cheer! (1934)
The Life of Virgie Winters (1934)
The Age of Innocence (1934)
The White Parade (1934)
Music in the Air (1934)
Curly Top (1935)
The Littlest Rebel (1935)
Rose of the Rancho (1936)
Orchids to You (1935)
A Message to Garcia (1936)
Craig's Wife (1936)
Stella Dallas (1937)
She Married an Artist (1937)
Romance in the Dark (1938)
Sinners in Paradise (1938)
Road to Happiness (1942)
Between Us Girls (1942)
Thousands Cheer (1943)
1. John Boles at the Internet Movie Database
2. John Boles profile, FindaGrave.com