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)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 1.43.39 PM

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)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 2.13.30 PM

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)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 4.32.50 PM.png

Mona Lisa lived in an apartment at

5101 Melrose Avenue (1932)

801 South Kingsley Drive (1940) (site)

5717 Camerford Avenue (1950)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 4.27.22 PM

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)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 4.16.45 PM.png

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

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

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 4.21.24 PM

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)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 3.28.08 PM

Mary McLaren lived at 6830 Whitley Terrace in 1917

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

IMG_1776.jpg

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)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 3.06.26 PM

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)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 3.15.51 PM

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)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 3.10.02 PM

Marie Walcamp died here at 6116 Scenic Avenue

Helen Lee Worthing

Ambassador Hotel (1926)

3439 W. 60th Street (1927)

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 2.45.53 PM

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

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

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 2.30.58 PM

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)

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The truth about Marjorie Ray and her final desperate act

Her tragic death made front page news in the city she had adopted as her own. San Diego Actress: in Grip of Fatal Tetanus, Delights Audience, the headlines read. One prick and her life was essentially finished.

Marjorie Ray

Marjorie Ray

The San Diego Union had all the details. In mid-July 1924, Marjorie Ray was dressing for her part in The Suffragettes at the Colonial Theatre when she pricked herself in the leg with a safety pin. It was minor pain, nothing serious. She forgot about the mishap. There was a show to do and the show went on.

That Saturday night, Marjorie was not feeling like herself. She complained of a sore throat and stiff neck. She brushed off suggestions that she hand her part to an understudy for the day. The trooper made it through the performance and gave the last bow of her career — and her life. Marjorie took to her bed at the Ford Hotel  hopeful that the strange sensation would pass.  It didn’t. In fact, the grip overtook her, locked her jaws.

Her Sunday performance was impossible. Dr. Mott H. Arnold was summoned. He examined the actress and found the infected spot where the pin had pierced her skin. She was taken to  the McCullough sanitarium for treatment. Her condition had advanced to the point where treatment was useless.  She suffered through the night. Around 10:45 the next morning, death brought relief to Marjorie Ray.

Marjorie's death made headlines in San Diego

Marjorie’s death made headlines in San Diego

Those who worked with her described her as an artist devoted to her work.

“She wasn’t like many others,” Will Politzer, manager of the theatre company, told The San Diego Union. “She went ‘on’ no matter how she felt and wasn’t always looking for some excuse to lay off.  The first week she came here she worked four shows one day and when she made her last bow she called an ambulance, went to a hospital and was operated on for appendicitis. That shows what kind of a girl she was.”

Fritz Fields, a comedian who worked with Marjorie at the Colonial for 15 months, was distraught. “She was a real comedienne,” Fields said.  “Words can hardly express the grief the company and myself feel over her tragic end.”

Fritz Fields spoke the truth. Marjorie Ray’s untimely death was tragic, more tragic, in fact, than the public was led to believe. Perhaps Fields or those in her troupe knew or suspected the truth about the actress. Who knew that Marjorie was in the grip of another struggle against a demon that, in those days,  was often left unnamed? Who knew that an act of desperation would seal the fate of a young woman who had struggled make a name for herself on the stage and screen?

Few knew, until now!

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 6.32.38 AM

Marjorie was born in July of 1890 in Kansas City, Missouri.  She was one of eight children born to George and Marie Ray. They called her Maggie.

Little is known about Maggie’s early life. Professionally, Maggie’s career began when comedian Dan Russell brought his show, The Matinee Girl, a musical comedy, to Kansas City.  In no time, Dan, 15 years her senior, found a place in his show for the teenager.

Dan Russell

Dan Russell

The actor, whose real name was Herbert Charles Dunn,  also made room for the teenager in his bed.  Somewhere along the way, while making her a featured act in his show, Dan made Maggie a mother to be.

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 5.34.22 PM

In Corsicana, Texas, in December 1909, Maggie gave birth to James E. Dunn.  In time, the troupe moved on. Dan and Maggie got laughter and applause wherever they went.  Life on the road, however, was no place for a toddler. Maggie turned her baby over to her mother in Kansas City. In May 1910, little Jimmy lost his life,  victim of (according his death certificate) acute bronchitis, gastroenteritis, and malnutrition. He was buried in an unmarked grave.

For the next decade, Maggie and Dan crisscrossed the country with their show.  In 1915, Dan broke into the films, two-reel comedies produced by the L-KO Kompany and released by Universal. Two years later, Maggie illuminated the silver sheets.

Marjorie Ray

Marjorie Ray

As Marjorie Ray, she was featured in such comedies as Spike’s Bizzy Bike, The Battle of ‘Let’s Go’, and Nellie’s Nifty Necklace, all released in 1917. Billed as Mrs. Dan Russell, she appeared in Lonesome Hearts, Loose Lions, and Sirens of the Suds.

Maggie’s film career was brief. She preferred footlights to Kliegs.  Bill and Maggie continued their road show into the early 1920s.

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.59.54 PM

The duo eventually parted ways. Maggie, according to reports, ended up performing in theaters in Mexico City. She landed in San Diego in early 1923 and found work at the Colonial Theatre. She delighted audiences and soon became a featured performer.

“Thousands of San Diegans have laughed at the girl who sacrificed the desire to appear beautiful on the stage to don the grotesque costumes her parts demanded,” the Union reported. The actress who had appeared on stage since her teenage years often wore herself into a frazzle.

Everything changed for Maggie the day she became infected with tetanus.  In truth, Maggie had not needed to fix her costume the night she pricked herself with a rusty safety pin. What she needed was a fix!

Marjorie Ray, a morphine and opium addict, needed a syringe. With none available, a desperate Marjorie gouged the pin deep into her skin. Then, using an eye dropper, she attempted to inject the narcotics into her bloodstream.  Her fate was sealed in that one frantic moment.

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 3.33.05 PM

Marjorie’s Variety obit

Between 350 and 400 mourners crowded into Merkley’s Funeral Home to pay respects to the actress who had just performed onstage the previous Saturday evening. More than 50 floral arrangements banked the room and covered the coffin where Maggie lay, clad in her favorite stage gown.

Her untimely death touched many. One woman, bent over by years and wearing a faded dress, brought a handful of asters. A girl not more than six years old placed a tiny bouquet of pansies on the coffin.

Those who knew her best knew very little about Maggie’s personal life.  They were able to locate a sister, Florence, in Texas. The wife and mother of actor Fritz Fields accompanied Maggie on the long journey to San Antonio, where the actress was laid to rest.  Her final tour, her last curtain call.

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 6.11.37 PM

 

 

 

Marjorie's death certificate

Marjorie’s death certificate