The Hairpins and Dead Ends Address Book

Old Hollywood still exists, but you have to look for it. While researching Hairpins and Dead Ends, I spent a lot of time in the rat race that is Los Angeles 2017 trying to understand what it was like in, say, 1912 or 1926.

As a biographer, it is important for me to visit the homes and graves of those actresses I write about. It helps me to better understand my subjects.

What follows are some of the addresses where the actresses lived, loved and died.  I have been to most of these places and I want to share them with you.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, visit these for yourself. Arm yourself with a trusty map or GPS and a copy of Hairpins and Dead Ends. If not, the addresses and photographs take you on a personal tour through old Hollywood, where Hairpins and Dead Ends takes place.

We’re on the Hollywood Freeway heading south. Take the next exit, Highland Avenue. That puts you in the heart of Hollywood. Have fun!

 

Note: The addresses are in the Los Angeles area, unless otherwise noted.

Belle Bennett

2132 N. Highland (1924)

6180 Temple Hill Drive (late 1920s)

Belle Bennett’s Temple Hill Drive home

 

Valhalla Cemetery (final resting place)

Belle Bennett’s marker at Valhalla

 

 

Edwina Booth

 

1133 Fremont Avenue (1927)

Edwin Booth lived in this S. Pasadena house in 1927 (1133 Freemont Avenue)

 

5047 W. 21st Street (April 1930)

1948 Fletcher Avenue

Edwina Booth’s 1948 Fletcher Avenue home in the 1930s

140 Linden Avenue (last home)

1847 14th Street (Santa Monica) Woodlawn Cemetery (final resting place)

 

Lila Chester

306 West 20th Street, New York City (1935)

118-32 202nd, New York City (last home)

Lila Chester’s last home

 

61-40 Mount Olivet Crescent, Middle Village, New York (Fresh Pond Crematory, final resting place)

Virginia Lee Corbin

5154 Franklin Avenue (1917 – 1918)

1755 Ivar Avenue

Virginia Lee Corbin lived at 1755 Ivar Avenue in Hollywood

2028 Beachwood Drive (1920s)

Virginia Lee Corbin’s Hollywood home in the 1920s (2028 Beachwood Drive)

 

Marjorie Daw

7733 Maie Avenue (1917)

Marjorie Daw lived at 7753 Maie Avenue in 1917

 

8091 ½ Sunset Blvd. (1924) with Eddie Sutherland

9550 Wilshire Blvd. (Beverly Wilshire Hotel) (1930)

910 Benedict Canyon Drive (1930s) with Myron Selznick (site)

964 Palisades Beach Road, Santa Monica (1930s)

Marjorie Daw’s beach house at 964 Palisades Beach Road, Santa Monica

 

7151 Little Harbor Drive, Huntington Beach, CA (last house)

17772 Beach Blvd. (Huntington InterCommunity Hospital) (death place)

 

Florence Deshon

6220 Delongpre Avenue (1920)

Florence Deshon lived here at 6224 De Longpre Avenue

Margaret Gibson

1337 5th Avenue (Santa Monica, 1915)

432 ½ Commercial Street (location of Margaret’s arrest, 1917)

432 1/2 Commercial Street, site of Margaret Gibson’s 1917 arrest

 

120 South Grand Avenue (1920)

2324 N. Beachwood Drive (1923)

525 North Gramercy Place (1930)

Margaret lived at 525 Gramercy Place in 1930

 

1434 Morningside Court (1937)

5161 Templeton (1942)

6135 Glen Oak (last residence, location of confession)

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6135 Glen Oak where Margaret Gibson confessed to the murder of William Desmond Taylor

 

Holy Cross Cemetery (final resting place)

Jetta Goudal

Ambassador Hotel (1920s) (site)

8320 Fountain Avenue (1930s)

875 Comstock Avenue (1972)

401 S. Burnside Avenue (1975)

1712 S. Glendale Avenue (Forest Lawn Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of the Angels, Glendale) (final resting place)

Alice Lake

6624 ½ Hollywood Blvd. (1920) (site)

1622 Wilcox Avenue (1930)

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Alice Lake’s 1930 residence (Mark Twain hotel)

6767 Yucca Street (1935)

Alice Lake lived here in 1935 (6767 Yucca Street, Hollywood)

 

6015 Monterey Road (last residence)

Alice Lake’s final residence, 6015 Monterey Road

 

2415 South Western Avenue (place of death)

Valhalla Cemetery (North Hollywood)

 

Barbara La Marr

1329 ½ Figueroa Street (1913)

1507 W. Pico (Faust Apartments) (1914) with Lawrence Converse

1507 W. Pico Blvd.

 

2408 S. Grand Avenue (Rockwood Apartments) (1914)

2408 S. Grand Avenue

 

822 W. 12th Street, Medford, Oregon (parent’s home) (1916)

Medford, Oregon, home of Barbara La Marr’s parents

307 W. 98th Street (1916) with Robert Carville (New York City)

1234 Boston Avenue (death house)

404 Riverside Drive, NYC (1925)

6672 Whitley Terrace (1920s)

Hollywood Forever Cemetery (final resting place)

 

Fontaine La Rue

709 Ceres Avenue (1912)

1802 N. Van Ness Avenue (1920s)

Fontaine La Rue’s 1920s home at 1802 N. Van Ness Avenue in Hollywood

 

12722 Washington Blvd. (1930)

3803 W. 8th (1930s) with Wayne Hancock

318 W. 17th Street (1938) (site)

5439 Hollywood Blvd. (1940s – 60s)

1174 North Hobart (last home)

4201 Whittier Blvd. (Calvary Cemetery, final resting place)

M Rogers Hancock (Fontaine La Rue)

 

Lolita Lee

1382 N. Ridgewood Place (1927)

2100 N. 49th Street, Philadelphia (last residence)

Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro, New Jersey (final resting place)

 

Mona Lisa

647 S. Grand Avenue (1907) (site)

145 South Beaudry (1909) (site)

1356 S. Bonnie Brae (1926)

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Mona Lisa lived in an apartment at

5101 Melrose Avenue (1932)

801 South Kingsley Drive (1940) (site)

5717 Camerford Avenue (1950)

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Mona Lisa lived at 5717 Camerford Avenue in 1950

10948 Morrison (North Hollywood) (death house)

Inglewood Park Cemetery (final resting place)

Katherine MacDonald

127 North Manhattan Place (1917) (site)

Corner of Pico and Georgia (her studio in 1921)

121 S. Rossmore (home of Katherine and mother Lillian)

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Katherine MacDonald built this house at 121 S. Rossmore in 1923

235 Hot Springs Road, Santa Barbara (1920s – 1956)

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Katherine MacDonald lived at 235 Hot Springs Road in Santa Barbara from the late 1920s to 1956

 

Mary MacLaren

6541 Hollywood Blvd. (1916)

6830 Whitley Terrace (1917)

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Mary McLaren lived at 6830 Whitley Terrace in 1917

127 North Manhattan Place (1917-1982) (site)

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Mary MacLaren (R) sits with a neighbor on the front porch of her dilapidated home at 127 N. Manhattan Place (about 1981)

975 North Virgil (last residence)

Forest Lawn (Glendale) (final resting place)

IMG_1777

Estrellita del Regil (the Lady in Black) weeps at the casket of Mary MacLaren at Forest Lawn in Glendale (1985)

 

Marion McDonald

2294 Alcyona Drive (1928-1930)

Marion McDonald lived in at 2294 Alcyona Drive high in the Hollywood Hills in the late 1920s

 

6561 Franklin Avenue (1940)

1443 W. 21st Street, Sunset Island, Miami Beach (last residence)

Woodlawn Cemetery, Miami, Florida (final resting place)

Evelyn Nelson

6231 Delongpre Avenue (death house – site only)

The house where Evelyn Nelson committed suicide is now a parking lot for Southern California Hospital

 

1831 West Washington Blvd. (Rosedale Cemetery, final resting place, unmarked)

Based on cemetery records, Evelyn Nelson rests in this unmarked grave at Rosedale Cemetery (Hollywood)

 

 

Lottie Pickford

56 Fremont Place (1920)

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Lottie lived in this mansion at 56 Fremont Place with sister Mary and mother Charlotte

1001 Elden Avenue

6622 Iris Drive (1928) (scene of party)

Lottie’s Christmas Eve party house (1928)

 

6524 ½ Franklin Avenue (1928)

1428 North Crescent Heights (1933)

577 Burlington Avenue (death house)

 

Alma Rubens

1834 El Cerrito Place (1926)

1475 Havenhurst (Andalusia Apartments) 1928 (location for Alma’s wild parties)

Alma Rubens lived here, 1475 Havenhurst Drive in 1928

 

Intersection of N. Wilton Place to Hollywood Blvd. and in direction of Van Ness (path of Alma’s escape when she learned she was returning to the sanitarium)

Alma Rubens escaped from her home on N. Wilton when she was being committed to a sanitarium. She fled down N. Wilton and up Hollywood Blvd toward Van Ness.

 

1745 N. Wilton Place (1929) (site)

112 N. Manhattan (death house)

Alma Rubens died at 112 North Manhattan Place, Hollywood

 

 

Jean Sothern

Upper Octorara Cemetery, Parkesburg, PA (final resting place)

 

Valeska Suratt

 

Albany Apartments, 51st Street and Broadway, New York City (1916)

 

Marie Walcamp

6051 Sunset Blvd. (1914)

6113 Salem Place (1916)

1042 Sanborn Avenue (1917-1918)

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Marie Walcamp lived at 1042 Sanborn Avenue in 1917 – 1918

1014 North Vermont, Los Angeles (1919-1920)

4320 Melbourne Avenue (1930)

Marie Walcamp lived here in 1930 (4320 Melbourne Avenue)

 

6116 Scenic Avenue (death house)

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Marie Walcamp died here at 6116 Scenic Avenue

Helen Lee Worthing

Ambassador Hotel (1926)

3439 W. 60th Street (1927)

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Helen Lee Worthing’s residence in 1927 (3439 W. 60th Street)

2171 Vista Del Mar (1929) with Dr. Eugene Nelson

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Helen Lee Worthing lived at 2171 Vista Del Mar in 1929

Intersection of Sunset and Portia Street (Helen found here passed out, 1946)

Helen Lee Worthing was found passed out at this intersection (Sunset and Portia) in 1946

1062 North Serrano Avenue (death house)

Inglewood Park Cemetery (final resting place)

 

 

 

 

 

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Hairpins and Dead Ends is Waiting! Are You Ready for the Journey?

You survived Dangerous Curves ‘atop Hollywood Heels, my 2011 book about ill-fated actresses of the silent screen . . .

. . . but are you ready for the companion book, Hairpins and Dead Ends: The Perilous Journeys of 25 Actresses Through Early Hollywood? Get ready!  It’s here.

 

My new book takes you on a hair-raising rollercoaster ride through a time when Hollywood was surrounded by orange groves, not concrete jungles, and into the intimate lives of 25 beauties, ambitious nobodies who wanted to be somebodies.

Several became twinkling stars, while others settled as serial queens, slapstick vamps, bathing beauties, western heroines, and everything in between. While many young hopefuls abandoned their quest for fame and returned home disappointed, here are the stories of women who stayed, often to a bitter and tragic end brought on by drugs, booze, and suicide.

Through my intensive research, which includes interviews with relatives of the actresses, I’ll take you into the dark side of Tinseltown, a world of dope rings, whorehouses, gin joints, and other gritty hellholes some called home.

Lavishly illustrated with over 160 photographs, many from family scrapbooks, Hairpins and Dead Ends uncovers a world that offered passion and imagination, but functioned on illicit love, domineering mothers, desperation, greed, abuse, and discrimination.

The screen images of these 25 dazzling beauties were fleeting shadows. Their personal passions and struggles in real life held more drama than any role they clamored to play. These ladies make up the ghosts of Hollywood’s past.

Ready?  Let’s go!

 

 

 

Marion McDonald: The Screen Vamp Who Held the Skulls of Men

John Scott, writing for the Los Angeles Times in 1936, took his readers back 10 years to 1926.  How could so many popular film players have simply vanished into thin air. How could their stars have eclipsed so quickly?

“You’ll live longer and have a steadier job if you stay out of the movies,” he wrote. “The life of a film player is approximately five years on the average.”  Seventy-five percent of the stars, children, and character actors were no longer active.  Where had they gone?

Valentino was dead, as was Barbara La Marr, Gladys Brockwell, Belle Bennett,  and Alma Rubens. Jobyna Ralston was now a devoted wife to Richard Arlen.  Bebe Daniels was Mrs. Ben Lyon. What had happened to Anna Q. Nilsson, Viola Dana, Shirley Mason, Lloyd Hughes, and Sydney Chaplin?

Gone were those who had the “world by the ear,”  he wrote. Virginia Lee Corbin, Edna Murphy, Carmelita Geraghty, Betty Boyd, Marion McDonald, “a vamp.”

Marion McDonald possesses her man.

Marion McDonald possesses her man.

Marion McDonald was the screen vamp, a siren who not only toyed with her men, but sometimes held their skulls in her hand. Her star rose for a period in the mid-1920s, but fell into a dark horizon around 1927.  A Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty, a screen glamour girl, a lovely, young woman whose future in films seemed set. Vanished?

Before I even knew who Marion McDonald was, I knew the face. I came across a photo of her and Eddie Quillan in an old movie magazine I bought in a antique mall a number of years ago.  She is vamp personified.

Marion McDonald and Eddie Quillan

Marion McDonald and Eddie Quillan

I set out to answer the question: Who was Marion McDonald and whatever became of her? My research took me back as far as 110 years to Missouri, Massachusetts, California, and Florida.  Here’s what I discovered.

Marion McDonald (R) with other Sennett Bathing Beauties.

Marion McDonald (R) with other Sennett Bathing Beauties.

The screen vamp was born Marion Elizabeth McDonald on May 14, 1904, to Robert E. and Lucy Berger McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father’s parents were Scottish and Irish. Her mother’s parents were from Holland and Pennsylvania. Marion was one of seven children.

Birth

Marion McDonald in the Missouri birth records.

Detail

Detail

By 1920, the McDonalds were living in Winchester, Massachusetts, where Marion’s father had a successful shoe and boot business. In the early  1920s, the family moved west and settled in the Los Angeles area. The scene was set for Marion to break into films.

Several references list The Turning Point (1920) and Cameron of the Royal Mounted (1921) as her first films.  I suspect, however, that it was the “other” Marion McDonald, the wife of actor William Colvin, who appeared in those films.

Marion’s entry into films came through Mack Sennett as one of his bathing beauties. Her first recorded film was East of the Water Plug, a Ralph Graves and Alice Day two-reeler.

What little publicity she had came in 1925, when Hollywood thought her to be a major comedic find.

Publicity from 1925.

Publicity from 1925.

While she found steady work with Sennett is his two-reel comedies, her roles were supporting or worse.  She played girlfriends, office workers, bridesmaids, sisters, maids, and part of the scenery. She excelled at playing vamps and flappers. Marion’s name typically fell to the bottom of the cast. The feminine leads went to Alice Day, Madeline Hurlock, and Ruth Hiatt.

Marion had little to do but sit around and look seductive.

A seductive Marion McDonald

A seductive Marion McDonald

After appearing in a small role in The Prince of Head Waiters, Marion gave up vamping for the camera and married Stephen A. Quinerly, a businessman who owned theaters in Miami, Florida. Marion was 22; the groom was 47.

Marion McDonald becomes Marion Quinerly

Marion McDonald becomes Marion Quinerly

Stephen Quinerly's passport photo.

Stephen Quinerly’s passport photo.

The Quinerlys had homes in Miami and Los Angeles, high in the Hollywood hills.

The Quinerly's Hollywood hills mansion, 2294 Alcyona Drive.

The Quinerly’s Hollywood hills mansion, 2294 Alcyona Drive.

In 1928, a daughter, Sally, was born. Stephen Robert (Bobby) followed in 1929.

While Marion became a real estate agent in Miami, at least two of her siblings continued to work in the studios. Sister Peggy was Jean Harlow’s favorite hairdresser and worked for her at MGM.  Brother Charles McDonald worked as a studio grip and electrician.

Peggy McDonald, Marion's sister, and Jean Harlow.

Peggy McDonald, Marion’s sister, and Jean Harlow.

In August 1938, Charles McDonald shot and seriously wounded Emita Krueger, wife of the noted symphony conductor, Karl Krueger, as she exited her car on Hollywood Boulevard. She was picking up her daughter from a dance studio. Newspapers printed the lurid details of McDonald’s jealousy of Mrs. Krueger’s attentions to his wife. He finally snapped.

“Mrs. Krueger broke up my home,” he said. “Things all began about three years ago when she (Mrs. Krueger) began trying to take my wife away from me. Apparently Mrs. Krueger  had great influence over her and told her she wanted her to amount to something. Everything in our life was Mrs. Krueger. I begged her not to interfere.”

While Emita Krueger hovered between life and death, McDonald sat behind bars. Marion rushed to California to support her family. While newspapers ran photos of her, none mentioned that she was once a Sennett Bathing Beauty and actress.

Marion consoles her brother.

Marion consoles her brother.

During the November 1938 trial, defense witnesses told of the domestic trouble that sent Charles McDonald over the edge. Trouble that turned him into “a ghost,” “a wild man,” “a caged lion.”

At Hearing

When McDonald was found guilty of attempted murder, Marion fainted and had to be carried from the courtroom.

Verdict

Charles McDonald was sentenced to San Quentin to serve from one to ten years. The shooting left Emita Krueger paralyzed from the waist down. She was sentenced to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She died at age 59 in March 1953.

Marion spent more time in Miami, where she worked as a real estate broker for Alan White Associates. The Quinerlys lived and entertained in their home on Miami’s exclusive Sunset Island. While she knew how to put together a lavish party for her friends, her granddaughter says that perhaps Marion lacked the skills needed to be a nurturing mother.

“I believe Marion must have been a strong-willed lady in her day and very confident,” her granddaughter related. “I was told that she was very dramatic and loved being the center of attention.   Interestingly, she was a redhead with blue eyes and there are three redheads in the family. I am one of them.”

A glamorous Marion McDonald

A glamorous Marion McDonald

Stephen Quinerly died in 1945 at age 66.

Marion remained active until 1954, when she developed hypernephroma (a type of cancer) in her right kidney. The cancer eventually spread to her brain. She died on October 20, 1956. She was only 52.

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Marion McDonald's death certificate

Marion McDonald’s death certificate

 

Thanks to Marion’s son-in-law and grandchildren for their help in documenting Marion’s life.