Saturday, February 15, 2020

Figure Skater Dona Lee Carrier DIES IN PLANE ACCIDENT 1961 Forest Lawn Glendale Cemetery

Dona Lee Carrier (October 23, 1940 – February 15, 1961) was an American figure skater who competed in ice dancing with Roger Campbell.

Personal details

Carrier was born in National City, CA to Rev Floyd and Eleanor Carrier; their only child. She started skating at 11 years old after she moved to Seattle with her parents. They then moved to Troy, NY, and thereafter Southern California.[1]


In Hollywood (at the Polar Palace), Carrier joined the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club. However, she had difficulty finding a permanent ice dancing partner. In club and regional competitions, she competed in pairs and ice dancing, with partners including Campbell, Howie Harrold and Dr. Robert Wilkins. When U.S. World Team members Campbell and Yvonne Littlefield dissolved their ice dancing partnership, reportedly over a disagreement between their parents, Campbell and Carrier began skating together in September 1960, winning the 1961 Southwest Pacific Regional and 1961 Pacific Coast Sectional ice dancing titles -– Carrier's first competition victories.


Carrier and Campbell won the silver medal at the 1961 United States Figure Skating Championships, earning them the right to compete a month later at the World Championships in Prague. They also finished second at the North American Figure Skating Championships that year. She became known as a Cup of the Gold on the Ice as she won a gold medal.[2]

Plane crash

Carrier and Campbell died along with their teammates on February 15, 1961 when Sabena Flight 548 crashed en route to the World Championships. 

A $10 million USFS Memorial Fund was set up to honor the crash victims to support the training of promising young skaters.[3] She was 20 years old. She is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.[4]


(with Roger Campbell)

Event 1961

North American Championships 2nd
U.S. Championships 2nd


1. "U.S. Figure Skating Team". Cemetery Guide. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
2. "Tag Archives: dona lee carrier". Deadwrite. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
3. "Tag Archives: dona lee carrier". Deadwrite. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
4. Resting Places

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Musician Jesse Belvin DIES IN A CAR CRASH 1960 Evergreen Cemetery

Jesse Lorenzo Belvin (December 15, 1932 – February 6, 1960) was an American rock and roll singer, pianist and songwriter popular in the 1950s, whose success was cut short by his death in a car crash aged 27.[1]


Belvin was born in San Antonio, Texas, United States,[2][3] and moved with his family to Los Angeles at the age of five.[1]

In 1950, he joined saxophonist Big Jay McNeely's backing vocal quartet, Three Dots and a Dash, and featured prominently on their record releases. In 1952, he joined Specialty Records. Although his early solo records were unsuccessful, his fourth record, "Dream Girl," credited to Jesse and Marvin and featuring Marvin Phillips on saxophone,[1] reached No. 2 on the US Billboard R and B chart in 1953.[4][5][6]

Along with Charles Wright, Belvin was involved with Kent-Modern A and R man Tony Hilder in the late 1950s.[7]


Having been drafted into the army around 1953, Belvin continued to write songs. His composition "Earth Angel," eventually co-credited to Belvin and Hollywood Flames singers Curtis Williams and Gaynel Hodge after a legal dispute, was recorded by The Penguins, and became one of the first R and B singles to cross over onto the pop charts, selling a million copies in 1954/55.[5]

In 1956, he signed a contract with Modern Records, but also continued to sing for other labels under different names. His biggest hit was "Goodnight My Love"[1] which reached No. 7 on the R and B chart. The piano on the session was reportedly played by 11-year-old Barry White. The song became the closing theme to Alan Freed's rock and roll radio shows.[5]

Belvin's other recordings for Modern were less successful, and in 1958 he recorded on Dot Records with a group, the Shields, who included lead singer Frankie Ervin and guitarist Johnny "Guitar" Watson.[1] Their record, "You Cheated," reached No. 15 on the US pop chart and No. 11 on the R and B chart.[6] He also recorded with Eugene Church as the Cliques on a less successful single, "The Girl in My Dreams," which was covered by the Four Lovers (two of whose members, including Frankie Valli, would later become The Four Seasons).[5]

By early 1959, Tender Records had a 45 out credited to Belvin and The Capris. The single "Beware" which was composed by J. Dolphin. It was backed with "Endless Love," a K. C. Reeth and Robert Hafner composition.[8][9]

Inspired by his wife and manager Jo Ann to develop his style, Belvin signed to RCA Records in 1959, and immediately had a Top 40 hit with "Guess Who," written by his wife.[1] This song originally started as a love letter from her to him, and Belvin turned it into the hit song it became.[10] He also recorded an album, Just Jesse Belvin, developing a more mature and sophisticated sound on ballads. His style was influenced by Nat "King" Cole and Billy Eckstine,[1] and became a model for Sam Cooke and others. He acquired the nickname "Mr. Easy," and the record company began moulding him as a potential crossover star for white audiences, as well as a professional rival to Capitol Records' recording star Nat "King" Cole.[5]

Belvin recorded a further series of tracks later in the year, with arranger Marty Paich and an orchestra including saxophonist Art Pepper. The songs included soulful covers of standards such as "Blues in the Night," "In the Still of the Night," and "Makin' Whoopee," and were issued on the album Mr. Easy.[11]

However, before the album was issued, and shortly after finishing a performance in Little Rock on a bill with Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and Marv Johnson, on February 6, 1960, Belvin and his wife were killed in a head-on collision at Hope, Arkansas.[12] The concert was the first concert played before an integrated audience in the history of Little Rock, and was stopped twice by interruptions from whites in the audience, shouting racial epithets and urging the white teenagers in attendance to leave at once. There had also been several death threats on Belvin prior to the concert, which led to speculation that his car had been tampered with prior to the accident. The 2019 Netflix documentary Remastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke included statements attributing the cause of Belvin's car accident to a slashed tire(s).[13]

Belvin was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.[2]

In 1962, a single "Tonight My Love" bw "Looking For Love" was released posthumously on Tony Hilder's Impact label.[14] 

Crown released The Unforgettable Jesse Belvin in 1961.


1. Colin Larkin, ed. (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 38. ISBN 1-85227-937-0.
2. Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 373. ISBN 978-0313344237.
3. "FamilySearch". Retrieved October 21, 2019.
4. Jesse Belvin, Jr. interview on YouTube
5. "Jesse Belvin | Biography and History". AllMusic. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
6. "Jesse Belvin Page". Retrieved October 21, 2019.
7. Who Put the Bomp No.14, Fall 1975 - Page 12 "The Tony Hilder Story" by John Blair and Bill Smart
8. Catalog of Copyright Entries: Third series - Page 1192 MUSIC
9. The Billboard, 23 Feb 1959 - Page 51 * Reviews of New Pop Records
10. Arnold Shaw, Honkers and Shouters: The Golden Years of Rhythm and Blues. Crowell-Collier Press, New York, 1978, p. 210.
11. "Mr. Easy - Jesse Belvin | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
12. "Rock-N-Roll Singer Jessie Belvin, Wife Die in Crash", Jet Magazine, February 25, 1960, p. 59.
13. "ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke | Netflix Official Site". Retrieved October 21, 2019.
14. "Bomp 14 (Fall 1975)". October 21, 1975. Retrieved October 21, 2019.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Silent Screen Actress Jane Novak 1990 San Fernando Mission Cemetery

Jane Novak (January 12, 1896 – February 3, 1990) was an American actress of the silent film era. She was the sister of actress Eva Novak, and niece of actress Anne Schaefer.[1]


Jane Novak was born Johana B. Novak in St. Louis, Missouri to Bohemian immigrant Joseph Novak and wife Barbara.[2] Her father died when she was a child and her mother was left to raise 5 children.[3] Novak attended School Sisters of Notre Dame convent school in St. Louis,[1] but ran away with a friend with whom she created a vaudeville act.[3] Although she returned home her aunt, actress Anne Schaefer, invited her to California where she began acting in motion pictures in 1913 at the age of 17.[3] The actress began in a stage stock company with her uncle in St. Louis.[3] Novak's career extended into the sound film medium, appeared in a total of 115 movies in her career.


She appeared in a movie on her very first day in southern California, before there was a film studio in Hollywood. There she met Frank Newburg, who was, at the time, leading man to Ruth Roland at the Kalem and American Mutoscope and Biograph companies. Newburg took her to a studio in Santa Monica, California, where her aunt, Anne Schafer, was a popular star. Newburg and Novak later married in 1915[4] and had one daughter (with Jane below). However, the marriage was short lived and the couple divorced in 1918.[5]

Novak endured as a performer, in part, by sacrificing sensational roles for roles as leading women in more wholesome films. Some actresses who were Novak's contemporaries quickly found stardom, yet were forgotten soon afterward, while she was considered an "old-fashioned girl." As a result, Novak, refused to work in films with other leading ladies. She played opposite Wallace Beery, Tom Mix, Hobart Bosworth, Alan Hale, Thomas Moore, and Lewis Stone. At one time she was engaged to marry Western star William S. Hart, although their marriage never took place. She is celebrated for her westerns;[5] and made five films with Hart.

Publicity photo of Jane Novak from Stars of the Photoplay (1924)

Novak's movies were often based on outdoor stories. Some of these include Treat 'Em Rough (1919), Kazan (1921), Isobel (1920), The River's End (1920), and The Rosary (1922). 

By March 1922 she had her own company and was under contract for five outdoor movies, with a salary was $1,500 per week. Aside from Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Novak was the first film star to paid in four figures for a single movie. At this time performers were only paid while a motion picture was shooting. An entire film was completed in three or four weeks.

Novak's sister Eva Novak

Novak's last starring role was opposite Richard Dix in the Technicolor production Redskin (1929). The movie was also supposed to be with sound but there was a contract dispute involving this being Dix's final film with Paramount Pictures, so it was shot as a silent film. Novak's voice was good but she made only a handful of pictures following the advent of sound. One was a World War II era epic entitled The Yanks Are Coming featuring Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom. She also appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent in 1940, having met him previously in the 1920s when making The Prude's Fall (1925).[5]

In 1974 the former silent screen star published a cookbook entitled Treasury of Chicken Cooking. The volume is a collection of 300 recipes compiled by Novak over the years, all of them her own.

Novak's last appearance on camera was in 1988 for a documentary, Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius (1989) by David Gill and Kevin Brownlow, and first screened on ITV.[5]

She was the older sister of silent era film star Eva Novak and died in Woodland Hills, California of a stroke in 1990 at the age of 94 (her sister Eva lived to reach 90).

Jane Novak is buried with her sister at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California. 

Partial filmography

The Kiss (1914)
A Little Madonna (1914)
Willie Runs the Park (1915)
Graft (1915)
Just Nuts (1915)

From Italy's Shores (1915)

The Hungry Actors (1915)

The Innocent Sinner (1917)

Selfish Yates (1918)

The Temple of Dusk (1918)

Treat 'Em Rough (1919)

Wagon Tracks (1919)

Behind the Door (1919)

The Golden Trail (1920)
The River's End (1920)
The Barbarian (1920)

Isobel (1920)

Roads of Destiny (1921)

Three Word Brand (1921)

Kazan (1921)

Jealous Husbands (1923)

The Man Life Passed By (1923)

Two Shall Be Born (1924)

The Prude's Fall (1924)

The Blackguard (1925)

The Substitute Wife (1925)
Share and Share Alike (1925)
The Lure of the Wild (1925)
Whispering Canyon (1926)

Lost at Sea (1926)

Closed Gates (1927)
One Increasing Purpose (1927)
Free Lips (1928)
Redskin (1929)

Ghost Town (1936)

Hollywood Boulevard (1936)

Gallant Lady (1942)
The Yanks Are Coming (1942)
Here Comes Kelly (1943)
Man of Courage (1943)
Desert Fury (1947)
Scared Stiff (1953) as Nightclub Patron


Modesto, California News, Jane Novak-She's Filmland's Old-Fashioned Girl, March 8, 1922, Page 5.

Nevada State Journal, Silent Films Star Jane Novak Talks At Length About Her Past, Friday, November 22, 1974, Page 37.


1. Brown, John W. (2008). Missouri Legends: Famous people from the Show-Me State. St. Louis: Reedy Press. pp. 176, 177.
2. Information from
3. The Independent, London, February 1990
4. Biography of Jane Novak at the Internet Movie Database
5. The Independent,London, February 1990