Sunday, April 30, 2017

Character Actor David Opatoshu 1996 Hillside Cemetery

David Opatoshu (January 30, 1918 – April 30, 1996) was an American film, stage and television actor. He was born as David Opatovsky in New York City, where he was reared and educated.[1] His father was the Yiddish writer Joseph Opatoshu.


His career in television began in 1949 and lasted through the 1980s. In the fall of 1953, he played a theatrical agent representing Ezio Pinza's title character in the NBC situation comedy Bonino. Other costars were Mary Wickes, Chet Allen, and Van Dyke Parks. The series focused upon an Italian American opera singer trying to rear his six children after having been widowed.[2]

He played Anan 7 in the original Star Trek series episode "A Taste of Armageddon," and also co-starred with James Doohan in an episode of The Twilight Zone, entitled "Valley of the Shadow." 

He guest-starred in the 1964 The Outer Limits episode "A Feasibility Study," in the 1965 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode "The Price of Doom,' in the 1965 two-part episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. called "The Alexander the Greater Affair," in the 1969 season 3 Ironside episode "L'Chayim," and in Mannix, in the episode "A Pittance of Faith," as Mr. Lardelli, in the same year.

In the next year, 1970, he played in Daniel Boone, season six, as Tamenund. In the "No Way to Treat a Relative" episode of the 1973 situation comedy Needles and Pins (never broadcast because of the show's cancellation), the Kojak episode "Both Sides of the Law," the 1977 The Bionic Woman episode "Doomsday is Tomorrow," the 1981 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Time of the Hawk," and the 1981 miniseries Masada. In 1986 he played an Iranian ambassador in the TV thriller Under Siege, about Islamic terrorist attacks in the United States. On October 30, 1989, Opatashu guest-starred as the Tenctonese ex-slave "Paul Revere," in the episode "Night of the Screams," of the television series Alien Nation. In 1991 he won an Emmy for his guest appearance in the episode "A Prayer for the Goldsteins" of the ABC series Gabriel's Fire.[3]


His first film, The Light Ahead (1939), directed by Henry Felt and Edgar G. Ulmer, is notable for being entirely in Yiddish. Opatoshu appeared as the homicide detective, Sgt. Ben Miller, in the film noir, The Naked City (1948) produced by Mark Hellinger. In 1958, he played a supporting character in The Brothers Karamazov with soon-to-be Star Trek co-star William Shatner. He also portrayed Herr Jacobi, one of the people who help Paul Newman and Julie Andrews escape from East Germany in Alfred Hitchcock's 1966 film Torn Curtain. He also played the father of Benny Rampell in 1963's "The Cardinal" un credited.

He played the Irgun leader (and Ari Ben Canaan's estranged uncle) in Otto Preminger's 1960 film Exodus. In 1967, Opatoshu played Morris Kolowitz, the father of the main character David (Reni Santoni), in Carl Reiner's directorial debut Enter Laughing. In the 1977 film, Raid on Entebbe, he played the part of Menachem Begin, a film based on the actual Operation Entebbe and the freeing of hostages at Entebbe Airport in Entebbe, Uganda on July 4, 1976. Ironically, he'd played Begin's fictional counterpart in Exodus.


He appeared on Broadway in '"Silk Stockings " in 1956,"'The Wall in 1960, and Bravo Giovanni in 1962, and others.


David Opatoshu also wrote the screenplay for the film Romance of a Horsethief (1971), based on a novel by his father, Joseph Opatoshu.


David Opatoshu died on April 30, 1996. He was survived by his wife, Lillian Weinberg, a psychiatric social worker, whom he married on June 10, 1941. They had one child together, a son, Danny. Lillian died on May 13, 2000.[4]

David Opatoshu is buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City, California. 

Selected filmography

The Light Ahead (1939) - Fishke (the lame)
The Naked City (1948) - Sgt. Dave Miller (uncredited)
Illegal Entry (1949) - Al (uncredited)
Any Number Can Play (1949) - Bartender (uncredited)
Thieves' Highway (1949) - Frenchy - Thug in Cap (uncredited)
The Goldbergs (1950) - Mr. Dutton
The Most Wanted Man (1953) - Slim le Tueur
Crowded Paradise (1956)
The Walter Winchell File (1958) - Triple 'A' - "The Silent City"
The Brothers Karamazov (1958) - Capt. Snegiryov
Party Girl (1958) - Lou Forbes
Cimarron (1960) - Sol Levy
Exodus (1960) - Akiva Ben Canaan
Black City (1961) - Il commissario Natalucci
The Best of Enemies (1961) - Italian Physician Bernasconi
Guns of Darkness (1962) - President Rivera
The Cardinal (1963) - Mr. Rampell (uncredited)
Sands of Beersheba (1963) - Daoud
One Spy Too Many (1966) - Mr. Kavon
Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966) - Augustus Vinero
Torn Curtain (1966) - Mr. Jacobi
The Defector (1966) - Orlovsky
Enter Laughing (1967) - Mr. Morris Kolowitz
Ha-Dybbuk (1968) - Zadik
The Fixer (1968) - Latke
Death of a Gunfighter (1969) - Edward Rosenbloom
Romance of a Horsethief (1971) - Schloime Kradnik
Raid on Entebbe (1976) - Menachem Begin
Who'll Stop the Rain (1978) - Bender
Americathon (1979) - Abdul Muhammad
Beyond Evil (1980) - Dr. Solomon
Masada (1981) - Shimon
Forced Vengeance (1982) - Sam Paschal
Forty Days of Musa Dagh (1982) - Henry Morgenthau, Sr.


1. New York Times
2. IMDb
3. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1441. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
4. The New York Times

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Aviator Walter Brookins 1953 Valhalla Cemetery

Walter Richard Brookins (July 11, 1889 – April 29, 1953) was the first pilot trained by the Wright brothers for their exhibition team.[1]


Brookins was born in July 1889 in Dayton, Ohio to Clara Belle Spitler (1873–1947) and Noah Holsapple Brookins (1858–1936). He had three siblings: Alpharetta Brookins (1891-1971) who married Walter P. Hoffman; Noah Orville Brookins (1893–1954); Earl Brookins (1898–1992). Walter married Mary Lamke.

Walter was taught at school by Katharine Wright, sister of the Wright brothers and that led to his interest in flying. His first solo flight was after just two and one-half hours of demonstration. He became the Wrights' first instructor for the Wright Exhibition Team.

He came into prominence at an Indianapolis meet, on June 14, 1910, where he made a new world's record for altitude of 1,335 m (4,380 ft).

He later set world records for altitude, transcontinental flight and endurance.

On July 10, 1910 at Atlantic City in New Jersey, he flew to an altitude of 1,882 m (6,175 ft) in his Wright biplane, becoming the first person to fly at an altitude of one mile. He pioneered corkscrews and other stunt flying.[2]

On October 29, 1910, Brookins flew the new Wright Baby Grand, a clipped wing V-8 powered flyer to compete in the Gordon Bennett Trophy competition at Belmont, New York. In front of the grandstand during the official timing, the aircraft lost half its cylinders and crashed, tossing Brookins out and leaving him with bruised ribs.

He died in 1953 in Los Angeles and his ashes were buried at the Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California.[1]


1. "Walter Brookins, 63, Early Record Flyer". New York Times. April 30, 1953. 
Walter Brookins, pioneer aviator and leading aviation figure, died today at his home after an illness of four months. His age was ... 
2. "Aviator Brookins in Surprising Feats. Airmen, Viewing His Exhibition at Asbury Park, Say It Opens a New Era. 'Corkscrew Twists' and 'Nose-On Dives'. New Evolutions Never Attempted Before from Any Field". New York Times. August 22, 1910. 
Walter Brookins got out of the new Wright biplane this afternoon more twists and turns and high and low dives than any one here except the masters themselves, had thought possible. In one flight his machine came down for 1,000 feet as if it were twisting about a corkscrew, and then Brookins sent it on a ...

Further reading

1910 US Census in Dayton, Ohio 
Orville Brookins in the 1918 draft 
New York Times; February 18, 1912. Walter Brookins Will Test Device Similar to That Used on Automobiles. Palm Beach, Florida; February 17. Experimental work with the aeroplane will be undertaken for the first time in Florida this week, when Walter Brookins, the American aviator, tries out on his flying machine a self-starting device similar to that used on automobiles. Aviators the world over have long been anxious to see this improvement made on flying machines so as to be able to ... 
New York Times; June 18, 1910. Brookins in Airship Soars 4,503 Feet; He Breaks World's Record for Altitude at Indianapolis in Flight of 1½ Hours. Indianapolis, Indiana; June 17, 1910. Walter Brookins, in a Wright biplane, broke the world's aeroplane record for altitude today, when he soared to a height of 4,503 feet, according to the measurement of the altimeter. His motor stopped as he was descending, and he made a cross-country glide of two miles, landing easily in a wheat field. 
New York Times; September 30, 1910. Springfield, Illinois. Longest American Flight by Brookins; With Two Stops He Goes in Wright Biplane from Chicago to Springfield, 187 Miles. Loses Wheel, But Goes On. Declares It Was a Trying Experience. Believes Chicago to New York Race Is Practicable. 
New York Times; December 11, 1911. Aviator Predicts 100-mile Airships; Walter Brookins Thinks We Shall Soon Have Aeroplanes Crossing the Seven Seas. Aeroplanes for next season, according to Walter Brookins, will be able to make from 90 to 100 miles an hour, where they now make from 50 to 60 miles. He predicts that they will be able to make long voyages over seas, to alight in the ocean, start again from the water, and "trim sail" afloat in the air.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"The Doors" Jim Morrison Wife Pam Courson's Fairhaven Cemetery Niche

Pamela Susan Courson (December 22, 1946 – April 25, 1974) died of a heroin overdose on the living room couch at the Los Angeles apartment she shared with two male friends. A neighbor said she had talked about looking forward to seeing Jim again soon. 

(See prior post: "The Doors" Jim Morrison Wife Pam Courson Overdoses on L.A. Couch 1974)

Her parents intended that she be buried next to Morrison at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, and they listed this location as the place of burial on her death certificate, but due to legal complications with transporting the body to France, her remains were buried at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, California, under the name "Pamela Susan Morrison."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Character Actor Frank Overton 1967 Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Frank Emmons Overton (March 12, 1918 – April 24, 1967)[1] was an American actor.

Early life

Overton was born in Babylon, New York on March 12, 1918. He attended Columbia University, earning a master's degree in mathematics.[2]


Overton's acting career began on the stage in New York City.[2] His Broadway credits include The Desperate Hours (1954), The Trip to Bountiful (1953), Truckline Cafe (1945) and Jacobowsky and the Colonel (1943).[3]

Overton appeared in numerous television programs during the early 1950s and through the late 1960s. In 1959, he appeared in a classic episode of The Twilight Zone with Gig Young, called "Walking Distance." Other TV work included The Fugitive in 1963. In 1964, he played General Bogan in the film Fail-Safe. He played Sheriff Heck Tate in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird.[1]

Overton appeared in an episode of the 1961 ABC series The Asphalt Jungle. He made two guest appearances on the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason in diverse roles. In 1961 he played a priest, Father Paul, in "The Case of the Renegade Refugee," and in 1963 he played Deputy D.A. Nelson Taylor in "The Case of the Bluffing Blast."

Overton played Major Harvey Stovall in the TV series Twelve O'Clock High, and also played a significant role in the movie Wild River, where he appeared as the jilted fiance of Lee Remick. 

His last TV role was that of Elias Sandoval in Star Trek's "This Side of Paradise," which originally aired in March 1967, just one month before his death at age 49.


Overton died after a heart attack in 1967 in Pacific Palisades, California. He was survived by his wife, Phyllis Hill, and a daughter.[4] He is interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, in the Garden of Memory (formerly Section 6), L-44, with his wife, who died in 1993.


The Trip to Bountiful (1953) (TV)

"Walking Distance" (1959) and "Mute" (1963), episodes of The Twilight Zone

"The Fugitive" (TV series) (1963) Season 1, Episode 11 "Nightmare at Northoak"
Twelve O'Clock High (1964–1967) (TV series)
Bonanza (TV series)
"This Side of Paradise" (1967), episode of Star Trek
A Young Lady of Property...with Kim Stanley


Boomerang (1947) - Man in Mob Behind Jail (uncredited)
Mystery Street (1950) - Guard (uncredited)
No Way Out (1950) - Intern (uncredited)
The True Story of Jesse James (1957) - Maj. Rufus Cobb
Lonelyhearts (1958) - Mr. Sargeant
Desire Under the Elms (1958) - Simeon Cabot
The Last Mile (1959) - Father O'Connors

Wild River (1960) - Walter Clark

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960) - Morris Lacey
Posse from Hell (1961) - Burt Hogan
Claudelle Inglish (1961) - Harley Peasley
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) - Sheriff Heck Tate

Fail-Safe (1964) - General Bogan


1. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 143. ISBN 9780786450190. 
2. "Death Takes Two Actors". The Deseret News. Associated Press. April 25, 1967. p. A7. 
3. "("Frank Overton" search results)". Playbill Vault. 
4. "Actor Frank Overton, 49, Dies Suddenly". Lebanon Daily News. Pennsylvania, Lebanon. United Press International. April 25, 1967. p. 2.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"The Barker" Actress Betty Compson 1974 San Fernando Mission Cemetery

Betty Compson (March 19, 1897 – April 18, 1974) was an American actress and film producer. Most famous in silent films and early talkies, she is best known in her performances in The Docks of New York and The Barker, the latter earning a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Early life and career

Eleanor Luicime Compson was born on March 19, 1897 in Beaver, Utah. Her father died when she was young and she had to obtain employment as a violinist when 16 years old at a theater in Salt Lake City, Utah.[1] Playing in vaudeville sketches with touring circuits, she got noticed by Hollywood producers.[2] While touring, she was discovered by comedic producer Al Christie. Her first silent film was in November 1915. She made 41 films in 1916 alone, although all of them were shorts for Christie with the exception of one feature Almost a Widow. She continued this pace of making numerous short films well into the middle of 1918 when after a long apprenticeship with Christie she started making features exclusively. Compson's star began to rise with the release of the 1919 feature The Miracle Man (1919) for George Loane Tucker. Paramount signed Compson to a five-year contract with help of director Tucker.

Her popularity allowed her to have creative control over her films as she was also able to produce. Her first movie as producer was Prisoners of Love (1921). She played the role of Blanche Davis, a girl born to wealth and cursed by her inheritance of physical beauty. Compson selected Art Rosson to direct the feature. The story was chosen from a work by Catherine Henry. After completing The Woman With Four Faces (1923), Paramount refused to offer her a raise (her salary was $2,500 a week) and she refused to sign without one. Instead, she signed with a motion picture company in London, England. There she starred in a series of four films directed by Graham Cutts, a well-known English filmmaker. The first of these was a movie version of an English play called Woman to Woman (1923), the screenplay for which was co-written by Cutts and Alfred Hitchcock.

Woman to Woman was released in the United States and proved to be popular enough for Jesse Lasky to ask her to return to Paramount. After returning, she starred in The Enemy Sex, directed by James Cruze. The two were soon married. 

Her contract with Paramount was not renewed in 1925 and she decided to freelance, working with lower budget studios such as Columbia Pictures in The Belle of Broadway (1926) and Chadwick in The Ladybird (1926). During this time, she was suggested as a replacement for difficult Greta Garbo in the MGM feature Flesh and the Devil opposite John Gilbert. She was eventually able to work for the studio with former The Miracle Man co-star Lon Chaney in The Big City.

In 1928, she appeared in a First National Pictures part-talkie, The Barker. Her performance as manipulative carnival girl Carrie garnered her a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actress, although she lost to Mary Pickford in Coquette. 

In the same year, she appeared in the highly acclaimed Josef von Sternberg film The Docks of New York as a suicidal prostitute rescued by George Bancroft. 

These films caused Compson's popularity to reemerge and she became one of the busiest actors in the new talking cinema. In fact, Chaney offered her the female lead in his first talkie The Unholy Three, but she was too busy and instead suggested friend Lila Lee. Unlike a number of other female stars of silent film, it was felt that her voice recorded exceptionally well. Although she was not a singer, she appeared in a number of early musicals, in which her singing voice was dubbed.

Later career

Now divorced from Cruze, Compson's career continued to flourish, starring in nine films in 1930 alone. However, her last hit proved to be in The Spoilers, alongside Gary Cooper. She was unable to score a success and was only able to secure roles in "poverty row" studios.

One major film in which she did not appear was Gone With the Wind; although she shot a Technicolor screen test for the role of Belle Watling, she was not cast in the role. In 1941, Compson appeared in a small role in an Alfred Hitchcock film Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Most of her later films were low-budget, even exploitation, efforts. Compson's last film was Here Comes Trouble (1948).

Personal life

During the filming of Ladies Must Live, Compson began a relationship with married director George Loane Tucker. However, he was dying and as a favor to her, negotiated a contract with Paramount for her.

In 1924, Compson married film director James Cruze, who directed her in films such as The Enemy Sex and The Great Gabbo. They divorced in 1930. The reason for the divorce was that Cruze had an addiction to alcohol and work, which put a strain on their marriage and his health. Soon after their divorce, Cruze filed for bankcrupcy and Compson was forced to sell her possessions to pay for the income taxes her husband didn't pay for.

Compson later married and divorced agent-producer Irving Weinberg and Silvius Jack Gall, who died in 1962. All unions were childless.

After retiring from the screen in 1948, she began a cosmetic line and helped her husband run a business called "Ashtrays Unlimited."


Compson died April 18, 1974, of a heart attack, at her home in Glendale, California, aged 77. She was interred in San Fernando Mission Cemetery in San Fernando, California. She left no surviving relatives.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

For her contributions to the motion picture industry, Compson was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1751 Vine Street.[3]


1. "Betty Compson".
2. "© Betty Compson, Silent and Sound Movie Star -". 
3. Hollywood Walk of Fame

Los Angeles Times, Betty Compson Has Film Unit, February 15, 1920, Page III1.
Los Angeles Times, Betty Compson Star, January 2, 1921, Page III20.
Los Angeles Times, Flashes; Star To Travel Betty Compson Signs For London Films, April 5, 1923, Page II7.
Los Angeles Times, Ex-Film Star Betty Compson, April 23, 1974, Page A4.
Ogden, Utah Standard-Examiner, Closeup and Comedy, Monday Evening, May 25, 1934, Page 7.