Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ballerina & Actress Tamara Toumanova 1996 Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Tamara Toumanova (born Tamara Vladimirovna Khassidovitch; March 2, 1919 – May 29, 1996) was a Russian-born American prima ballerina and actress. A child of exiles in Paris after the Russian Revolution of 1917, she made her debut at the age of 10 at the children's ballet of the Paris Opera.

She became known internationally as one of the Baby Ballerinas of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, after being discovered by her fellow émigré, balletmaster and choreographer George Balanchine. She was featured in numerous ballets in Europe. Balanchine also featured her in his productions at Ballet Theatre, New York, making her the star of his performances in the United States. While most of Toumanova's career was dedicated to ballet, she appeared as a ballet dancer in several films, beginning in 1944. She became a naturalized United States citizen in 1943 in Los Angeles, California.


Toumanova died in Santa Monica, California, on May 29, 1996, aged 77, from undisclosed causes. Before her death, she gave her Preobrajenska costumes to the Vaganova Choreographic Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. She was buried next to her mother Eugenie in Hollywood, Hollywood Forever Cemetery. British choreographer John Gregory described Toumanova as a "remarkable artist – a great personality who never stopped acting. It is impossible to think of Russian ballet without her.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Animator & Cartoonist Isadore "Friz" Freleng 1995 Hillside Cemetery

Isadore "Friz" Freleng (August 21, 1906[2] – May 26, 1995), often credited as I. Freleng, was an American animator, cartoonist, director, producer, and composer known for his work on the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.

He introduced and/or developed several of the studio's biggest stars, including Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam (to whom he was said to bear more than a passing resemblance), and Speedy Gonzales. The senior director at Warners' Termite Terrace studio, Freleng directed more cartoons than any other director in the studio (a total of 266), and is also the most honored of the Warner directors, having won five Academy Awards and three Emmy Awards[disputed – discuss]. After Warners shut down the animation studio in 1963, Freleng and business partner David H. DePatie founded DePatie–Freleng Enterprises, which produced cartoons (notably those for The Pink Panther Show), feature film title sequences, and Saturday-morning cartoons through the early 1980s.

The nickname "Friz" came from his friend, Hugh Harman, who initially nicknamed him "Congressman Frizby" after a fictional senator who appeared in satirical pieces in the Los Angeles Examiner. Over time, this shortened to "Friz."

Early career

Freleng was born to a Jewish family[3] in Kansas City, Missouri, where he began his career in animation at United Film Ad Service. There, he made the acquaintance of fellow animators Hugh Harman and Ub Iwerks. In 1923, Iwerks' friend, Walt Disney, moved to Hollywood and put out a call for his Kansas City colleagues to join him. Freleng, however, held out until 1927, when he finally moved to California and joined the Walt Disney studio. He worked alongside other former Kansas City animators, including Iwerks, Harman, Carmen Maxwell, and Rudolph Ising. While at Disney, Freleng worked on the Alice Comedies and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons for producers Margaret Winkler and Charles Mintz.

Freleng soon teamed up with Harman and Ising to try to create their own studio. The trio produced a pilot film starring a new Mickey Mouse-like character named Bosko. Looking at unemployment if the cartoon failed to generate interest, Freleng moved to New York City to work on Mintz' Krazy Kat cartoons, all the while still trying to sell the Harman-Ising Bosko picture. Freleng was very unhappy living in New York and made the best of it until another opportunity opened for him. Bosko was finally sold to Leon Schlesinger, who would produce the series for Warner Bros. At first Freleng was reluctant to return to California when Harman-Ising asked him to work on the series. At the insistence of his sister Jean, Freleng soon moved back to California to work on Looney Tunes.

Freleng as director

Early Schlesinger cartoons

Harman and Ising left Schlesinger's studio over disputes about budgets in 1933. Schlesinger was left with no experienced directors, and therefore lured Freleng away from Harman-Ising to successfully fix cartoons directed by Tom Palmer which Warner rejected. The young animator became Schlesinger's top director, and he introduced the studio's first true post-Bosko star, Porky Pig, in the film, I Haven't Got a Hat (1935). Porky was a distinctive character, unlike Bosko or his replacement, Buddy.

As a director, Freleng gained the reputation of a tough taskmaster. His unit, however, consistently produced high-quality animated shorts under his direction.[4]


In 1937, Freleng left Schlesinger's after accepting an increase in salary to direct for the new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio headed by Fred Quimby. To Freleng's chagrin, he found he would be working on The Captain and the Kids, adapted from the popular comic strip, The Katzenjammer Kids. The series failed to achieve much success, much as Freleng had predicted. Though skillfully animated, the characters could not compete with the "funny animals" that prevailed at the time.

Back with Schlesinger and Warner Bros.

Freleng happily returned to Warner Bros. when his MGM contract ended in late 1939. One of the first Looney Tunes cartoon shorts directed by Freleng during his second tenure at the studio was You Ought to Be in Pictures, a cartoon short which blended animation with live-action footage of the Warner Bros. studio (and of Schlesinger veterans such as story man Michael Maltese and even "Leon" himself). The plot, which centers around Porky Pig being tricked by Daffy Duck into terminating his contract with Schlesinger to attempt a career in features, echoes Freleng's experience in moving to MGM.

Directorial achievements

Schlesinger's hands-off attitude toward his animators allowed Freleng and his fellow directors almost complete creative control and room to experiment with cartoon comedy styles, which allowed the studio to keep pace with the Disney studio's technical superiority. Freleng's style quickly matured, and he became a master of comic timing. Often working alongside layout artist Hawley Pratt, he also introduced or redesigned a number of famous Warner characters, including Yosemite Sam in 1945, the cat-and-bird duo, Sylvester and Tweety in 1947, and Speedy Gonzales in 1955.

Freleng and Chuck Jones would dominate the Warner Bros. studio in the years after World War II, Freleng largely concentrating on the above-mentioned characters and Bugs Bunny. Freleng continued also to produce modernized versions of the musical comedies he animated in his early career, such as The Three Little Bops (1957) and Pizzicato Pussycat (1955). Freleng won four Oscars during his time at Warner Bros., for the films Tweetie Pie (1947), Speedy Gonzales (1955), Birds Anonymous (1957) and Knighty Knight Bugs (1958). And other Freleng cartoons such as Sandy Claws (1955), Mexicali Shmoes (1959), Mouse and Garden (1960) and The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (1961) were Oscar nominees.

Freleng's cartoon, Show Biz Bugs (1957), with Daffy Duck vying with Bugs Bunny for theatre audience appreciation, was arguably a template for the enormously successful format to The Bugs Bunny Show that premiered on television in the autumn of 1960. Further, Freleng directed the cartoons with the erudite and ever so polite Goofy Gophers encountering the relentless wheels of human industry, them being I Gopher You (1954) and Lumber Jerks (1955), and he also directed three cartoons (sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation) extolling the virtues of free-market capitalism, said cartoons being By Word of Mouse (1954), Heir-Conditioned (1955) and Yankee Dood It (1956), all three of which involved Sylvester. Freleng directed all three of the vintage Warner Brothers cartoons in which a drinking of Dr. Jekyll's potion (of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) induces a series of monstrous transformations, Dr. Jerkyl's Hide (1954), Hyde and Hare (1955) and Hyde and Go Tweet (1960) being those three cartoons. Other Freleng fancies were man at war with the insect world (as in Of Thee I Sting (1946) and Ant Pasted (1953)), an inebriated stork delivering the wrong baby (in A Mouse Divided (1952), Stork Naked (1955) and Apes of Wrath (1959)), and characters marrying for money and finding themselves with a shrewish wife and a troublesome step-son (His Bitter Half (1949) and Honey's Money (1962)).

Freleng was occasionally the subject of in-jokes in Warner cartoons, with billboards in the background of scenes advertising various products called "Friz" in Canary Row (1950), the "Hotel Friz " in Racketeer Rabbit (1946) and "Frizby the Magician" in High Diving Hare (1949) as one of the acts Bugs Bunny is pitching.

Musical knowledge and technique

Freleng was somewhat of a musical composer and a classically trained violinist who timed his cartoons on musical bar sheets. Freleng would time gags that best utilized Carl Stalling's, Milt Franklyn's or William Lava's music. He was one of a very few directors at Warner Bros. to have musical knowledge for making cartoons. Every cartoon Freleng directed from the late 1930s to 1963 was made with his creative musical technique.[1] Freleng's directorial style differed from Chuck Jones and Robert McKimson.

DePatie–Freleng Enterprises

Freleng once again left Warner Bros. Cartoons in November 1962, seven months before the studio closed, to take a job at Hanna-Barbera as story supervisor on their first feature Hey There, It's Yogi Bear![5] After the Warner studio closed in May 1963, Freleng rented the same space from Warners to create cartoons with his now-former boss, producer David H. DePatie (the final producer hired by Warner Bros. to oversee the cartoon division), forming DePatie–Freleng Enterprises. When Warner decided to reopen their cartoon studio in 1964, they did so in name only; DePatie–Freleng produced the cartoons into 1966.

The DePatie–Freleng studio's signature achievement was The Pink Panther. DePatie–Freleng was commissioned to create the opening titles for the feature film The Pink Panther (1963), for which layout artist and director Hawley Pratt and Freleng created a suave, cool cat character. The Pink Panther cartoon character became so popular that United Artists, distributors of The Pink Panther, had Freleng produce a short cartoon starring the character, The Pink Phink (1964).

After The Pink Phink won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons), Freleng and DePatie responded by producing a whole series of Pink Panther cartoons. Other original cartoon series, among them The Inspector, The Ant and the Aardvark, The Dogfather, Roland and Rattfink and Crazylegs Crane, soon followed. In 1969, The Pink Panther Show, a Saturday morning anthology program featuring DePatie–Freleng cartoons, debuted on NBC. The Pink Panther and the other original DePatie–Freleng series would remain in production through 1980, with new cartoons produced for simultaneous Saturday morning broadcast and United Artists theatrical release.

Layout artist Hawley Pratt, who worked at DePatie–Freleng during the time, is credited with the creation of Frito-Lay's Chester Cheetah, on the Food Network show "Deep Fried Treats Unwrapped," though some sources say it was DDB Worldwide, while others credit Brad Morgan. The studio is also known for creating the colored opening title sequence to I Dream of Jeannie. DePatie–Freleng also contributed special effects to the original version of Star Wars (1977), particularly the animation of the lightsaber blades.

By 1967, DePatie and Freleng had moved their operations to the San Fernando Valley. Their studio was located on Hayvenhurst Avenue in Van Nuys. One of their projects featured Bing Crosby and his family called, Goldilocks, and had songs by the Sherman Brothers. At their new facilities they continued to produce new cartoons until 1980, when they sold DePatie–Freleng to Marvel Comics, which renamed it Marvel Productions.

Later career and death

Freleng later served as an executive producer on three 1980s Looney Tunes compilation features, which linked together several of the classic shorts with new animated sequences. The Freleng-produced compilation features were The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (1981), Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales (1982), and Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island (1983).

In 1986, Freleng stepped down and gave his position at Warner Bros. to his secretary at the time, Kathleen Helppie-Shipley, who ended up being the second-longest producer of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies franchise, only behind Leon Schlesinger.

In 1994 the International Family Film Festival presented its first Lifetime Achievement of Excellence in Animation award to Freleng, and the award has since been referred to as the "Friz Award" in his honor.[6]

On May 26, 1995, Friz Freleng died of natural causes in Los Angeles, aged 88. The WB animated TV series, The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, and the Looney Tunes cartoon, From Hare to Eternity (which was the last one directed by Chuck Jones), were both dedicated to his memory. After his death, Cartoon Network aired a variation of one of their station idents with the words "Friz Freleng: 1906–1995" appearing and an announcer paying tribute to him and his works. Freleng is interred in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.

Freleng is portrayed by Taylor Gray in the film Walt Before Mickey (2015).


1. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xk0sxw_irreverent-imagination-the-golden-age-of-looney-tunes_shortfilms
2. "Friz Freleng". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
3. Silbiger, Steve (May 25, 2000). The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 166.
4. Sigall (2005), p. 64
5. Barrier, Michael (2003). Hollywood Cartoons American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford University Press. pp. 562–563. ISBN 978-0-19-516729-0.
6. http://www.iffilmfest.org/index.php/about-us/history


Sigall, Martha (2005). "The Boys of Termite Terrace". Living Life Inside the Lines Tales from the Golden Age of Animation. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781578067497.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Murderer John Arthur Spenkelink ELECTROCUTED 1979 Rose Hills Cemetery

John Arthur Spenkelink (March 29, 1949 – May 25, 1979) was a convicted American murderer. He was executed under controversial circumstances in 1979, the first convicted criminal to be executed in Florida after capital punishment was reinstated in 1976, and the second (after Gary Gilmore) in the United States.


Spenkelink was a drifter who was convicted in California for armed robbery and had been sentenced to five years-to-life.[1] He had just escaped from the Slack Canyon Conservation Camp when he shot and killed a small-time criminal named Joseph Szymankiewicz in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1973.[1] He claimed that he acted in self-defense—that Szymankiewicz had stolen his money, forced him to play Russian roulette, and sexually assaulted him. However, evidence and witness testimony from a co-defendant indicated that Spenkelink left their shared motel room, returned with a gun, and shot Szymankiewicz in the back.[2] He turned down a plea bargain to second-degree murder that would have resulted in a life sentence. In 1976 he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. His co-defendant was acquitted.[2]

Death Penalty

In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court had banned the death penalty, ruling that it had been applied unfairly. Florida and other states rushed to rewrite less-arbitrary laws. Spenkelink would be the first man executed in Florida since the 1972 ruling.[3]

Spenkelink appealed his sentence, but in 1977, Governor Reubin Askew of Florida signed Spenkelink's first death warrant.[4] In 1979 Askew's successor, Governor Bob Graham, signed a second death warrant. Spenkelink continued to appeal, earning stays from both the U.S Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, but both stays were overturned,[5] meaning that Spenkelink would be the first man to suffer the death penalty involuntarily (Gilmore had insisted he wanted to die)[6] since executions were resumed in the U.S. in 1976.

Spenkelink's case became a national cause célèbre, encompassing both the broader debate over the morality of the death penalty and the narrower question of whether the punishment fitted Spenkelink's crime. His cause was taken up by former Florida Governor LeRoy Collins, actor Alan Alda, and singer Joan Baez, among many others.[1] Also at issue was the assertion that capital punishment discriminated against the poor and underprivileged—Spenkelink often signed his prison correspondence with the epigram, “capital punishment means those without capital get the punishment.”[7]

The execution was finally carried out on May 25, 1979, in "Old Sparky," the Florida State Prison electric chair.[8] That morning, Doug Tracht, a popular Jacksonville disc jockey, aired a recording of sizzling bacon on his radio program and dedicated it to Spenkelink.[9][10]

John Arthur Spenkelink is buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California. 


Abuse allegations

Shortly after Spenkelink's execution and burial, another Florida death row inmate alleged that prison officials had manhandled and assaulted Spenkelink during preparation for his execution.[11] Several decisions lent credence to these allegations: corrections officials had obscured the death chamber's viewing window while Spenkelink was strapped to the electric chair, citing anonymity concerns;[11] the county did not perform an autopsy on Spenkelink (in violation of state law) because the county coroner considered it a redundant and prohibitively expensive policy;[11] and the prison superintendent had limited visits from family and clergy on Spenkelink's execution day, citing fear of a suicide attempt.[11]

Governor Graham commissioned an investigation, which in September 1979 concluded that Spenkelink had been "taunted" and had loud exchanges with prison guards and staff immediately before his execution, but had not been physically abused.[12] Florida corrections officials responded by allowing witnesses to see the complete execution process going forward.[1] Florida's counties now perform autopsies on all executed inmates.[13][14]

Murder allegations

In spite of the state's investigation, a rumor began that Spenkelink had been murdered prior to his being brought into the death chamber.[15] The rumor reached Spenkelink's mother Lois, who, after encouragement from a spiritual advisor, paid to have her son's body exhumed for a post-mortem examination.[16] On March 6, 1981, Los Angeles County Coroner Thomas Noguchi announced his finding that the cause of Spenkelink's death was the result of electrocution.[17]


1. Von Drehle, David. Among the Lowest of the Dead: Inside Death Row. New York: Fawcett Crest (imprint of Ballantine Books), 1996. ISBN 0449225232 pp. 49-51
2. Nash, Jay Robert (1992-07-10). World Encyclopedia of 20th Century Murder. Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 9781590775325.
3. "Happy Anniversary, Sparky". NBC 6 South Florida. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
4. "John A. SPENKELINK, Applicant, v. Louie L. WAINWRIGHT et al. No. A-1016". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
5. Times, Special To the New York (1979-05-25). "2 Courts Lift Stays, Clearing Way For Execution of Florida Murderer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
6. BEECHAM, BILL (1987-01-11). "'Let's Do It'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
7. John Spenkelink: ExecutedToday.com archive Retrieved April 28, 2011.
8. Curry, Bill (1979-05-26). "Convicted Murderer Executed by Florida". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
9. Michaud S, Aynesworth H (1999): The Only Living Witness. Penguin Putnam, ISBN 0-451-16372-9, p. 10.
10. "Florida Wields Death Law". The Daily Oklahoman. 26 August 1979. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
III, George L. Thurston; Post, Special to The Washington (1979-09-09). "Florida Governor Is Awaiting Report on Spenkelink Abuse". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
11. "Panel Says Killer Was Taunted Before Execution". The New York Times. 1979-09-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
12. "Timeline: 1979 - A History of Corrections in Florida". www.dc.state.fl.us. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
13. Quigley, Christine (2013-09-13). The Corpse: A History. McFarland. ISBN 9781476613772.
14. AP. "AROUND THE NATION; Body of Executed Murderer Is Exhumed in California". Retrieved 2018-03-25.
15. "The results of an autopsy on the exhumed body..." UPI. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
16. "Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on March 6, 1981 · Page 18". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2018-03-25.

Monday, May 21, 2018

"My Wild Irish Rose" Actor Pat O'Malley 1966 San Fernando Mission Cemetery

Patrick Henry O'Malley Jr. (September 3, 1890 – May 21, 1966) was an American vaudeville and stage performer prior to starting a prolific film career at the age of 16.


Of Irish descent, O'Malley was born in Forest City, Pennsylvania, and initially worked as a railroad switch operator. He also had experience in the circus business by the time he discovered an interest in motion pictures. His screen career dates from the days of Kalem and Edison. From 1915 to 1927, he appeared in scores of silents as both a leading man and a character actor, in such classics as: The Heart of Humanity, My Wild Irish Rose, The Virginian, and in the adaptation of bestseller, Brothers Under the Skin.

O'Malley aged rather suddenly, and with the advent of sound, his career declined quite rapidly. He was then relegated to supporting parts, and appeared in some 400 films in bit parts and supporting roles. He guest starred on the early musical series Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town on CBS. In the early 1960s, O'Malley appeared in such TV shows as The Twilight Zone and such films as Days of Wine and Roses.


O'Malley died of a heart attack in 1966 at age 75. He is buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery.


In 1915 O'Malley married actress Lillian Wilkes (died December 15, 1976); the couple had three children: Sheila, Eileen and Kathleen.

Partial filmography

All For Old Ireland (1915) as Myles Murphy
Bold Emmett, Ireland's Martyr (1915) as major Kirk
The Boston Tea Party (1915)
Nan O' the Backwoods (1915) as Lige Peters
The Taint (1915) as Ben Stewart
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1916)
The Love That Lives (1916)
Her Boy (1918)
Hit-The-Trail Holliday (1918)
The Prussian Cur (1918)
The Heart of Humanity (1918)
The Red Glove (1919)
The Prospector's Vengeance (1920)
The Breath of the Gods (1920)
Dinty (1920)
A Game Chicken (1922)
Brass (1923)
Slippy McGee (1923)
The Virginian (1923)

Fools Highway (1924)

Happiness (1924)
The Beauty Prize (1924)

The Mine with the Iron Door (1924)

Proud Flesh (1925)

The White Desert (1925)

The Teaser (1925)

Spangles (1926)
Pleasure Before Business (1927)

Alibi (1929)

The Man I Love (1929)
The Fall Guy (1930)
The Fighting Marshal (1931)

Anybody's Blonde (1931)

The Shadow of the Eagle (1932)

The Reckoning (1932)
High Speed (1932)
Those We Love (1932)
The Fighting Gentleman (1932)
Frisco Jenny (1932)
Sundown Rider (1932)
A Man of Sentiment (1933)

The Whirlwind (1933)

The Fighting Marines (1935)
Wanted! Jane Turner (1936)
The Roaring Twenties (1939) as the Jailer

Law of the Range (1941)

The Wild One (1953) as Sawyer

Friday, May 18, 2018

"Grunge" Musician Chris Cornell 2017 Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Chris Cornell (born Christopher John Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. He was best known as the lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave. Cornell was also known for his numerous solo works and soundtrack contributions since 1991, and as the founder and front man for Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to his late friend Andrew Wood.

Cornell is considered one of the chief architects of the 1990s grunge movement, and is well known for his extensive catalog as a songwriter, his nearly four-octave vocal range, and his powerful vocal belting technique. He released four solo studio albums, Euphoria Morning (1999), Carry On (2007), Scream (2009), Higher Truth (2015), and the live album Songbook (2011). 

Cornell received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his song "The Keeper," which appeared in the 2011 film Machine Gun Preacher, and co-wrote and performed the theme song to the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), "You Know My Name." His last solo release before his death was the charity single "The Promise," written for the ending credits for the film of the same name. He was voted "Rock's Greatest Singer" by readers of Guitar World, ranked 4th in the list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists" by Hit Parader, 9th in the list of "Best Lead Singers of All Time" by Rolling Stone, and 12th in MTV's "22 Greatest Voices in Music."

Across his entire catalog, Cornell has sold 14.8 million albums, 8.8 million digital songs, and 300 million on-demand audio streams in the U.S. alone, as well as over 30 million records worldwide. He was nominated for 15 Grammy Awards and won twice.

Cornell struggled with depression for much of his life. He was found dead in his Detroit hotel room early on the morning of May 18, 2017, after performing at a Soundgarden concert an hour earlier. His death was ruled suicide by hanging. 

Chris Cornell is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.