Saturday, October 31, 2009

Death's Viper Bit River Phoenix on a Sunset Boulevard Sidewalk

Viper Room Sunset Sidewalk


August 23, 1970 — October 31, 1993

Viper Room Sunset Sidewalk

River Jude Phoenix was an American film actor. He was listed on John Willis's Screen World, Vol. 38 as one of twelve "promising new actors of 1986," and was hailed as highly talented by such critics as Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. He was also well known for his animal rights activism. His career was cut short when he died of a drug overdose on Halloween morning 1993 at age 23. He was the older brother of actors and actresses Rain Phoenix, Joaquin Phoenix, Liberty Phoenix and Summer Phoenix.

On October 31, 1993, Phoenix collapsed from a drug overdose of heroin and cocaine (known as a speedball) outside the Viper Room, a Hollywood night club partially owned by actor Johnny Depp until 2004. Phoenix had returned to Los Angeles the previous day from Utah to complete the three weeks of interior shots left on his last (and, uncompleted) project Dark Blood. His younger sister Rain and brother Joaquin had flown out from Florida to join him at his hotel, Phoenix's girlfriend Samantha Mathis had also come to meet him and all would be present at the scene of River's death. On the evening of October 30, River was to perform onstage with his close friend Michael "Flea" Balzary from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. At some point in the evening Phoenix went to the bathroom to take drugs with various friends and dealers. It is reported that an acquaintance offered him some Persian Brown (a powerful form of methamphetamine mixed with opiates, which is then snorted) and soon after consuming the drug he became ill. Upon leaving The Viper Room, he collapsed onto the sidewalk and began convulsing for eight minutes. Joaquin dialed 911; during the call Joaquin was unable to determine whether River was breathing. River had, in fact, already stopped breathing.[citation needed] Rain proceeded to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. During the episode Johnny Depp and his band P (featuring Flea and Phoenix's friend Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers) had taken to the stage. According to Haynes the band were in the middle of their song, "Michael Stipe" (which includes the line "but we didnt have a part, not a piece of our heart, not Michael, River Phoenix or Flea or me."), while Phoenix was outside the venue having seizures on the sidewalk. When the news filtered through the club, Flea left the stage and rushed outside. Paramedics had arrived on the scene and found Phoenix in asystole (flatline), when they administered drugs in an attempt to restart his heart. He was rushed to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, accompanied by Flea, via an ambulance. Further attempts to resuscitate Phoenix (including the insertion of a pacemaker) were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 1:51 a.m. PST on the morning of October 31, 1993. The following day the club became a make-shift shrine with fans and mourners leaving flowers, pictures and candles on the sidewalk and graffiti messages on the walls of the venue. A sign was placed in the window that read, "With much respect and love to River and his family, The Viper Room is temporarily closed. Our heartfelt condolences to all his family, friends and loved ones. He will be missed". The club remained closed for a week. Johnny Depp continued to close the club every year on October 31 until selling his share in 2004.

Viper Room Sunset Sidewalk

Despite a local paparazzo choosing not to photograph Phoenix dying on the street, the day before his cremation in Florida, a reporter broke into the funeral home and took a picture of Phoenix resting in his casket; this picture was later to be sold to the tabloids for $1,000,000. It has now been published by the National Enquirer three times since the initial publishing in 1993.

-- wiki

Viper Room Sunset Sidewalk

Friday, October 30, 2009

History, Los Angeles County: Minstrel Shows in Los Angeles

History, Los Angeles County: Minstrel Shows in Los Angeles

LA Kompany History, Los Angeles County:

I want to tell you how much I enjoy this blog and recommend it to you. I've subscribed and I find myself going there every time she posts. The author has that wonderful combination of intelligence and quirkiness that produces original content. No wonder she's a professional writer. Check her blog out and her two others. She's no slouch!

Here's one of her articles about an ignorant and shameful part of LA's history.

History, Los Angeles County: Minstrel Shows in Los Angeles

Michael Jackson's Carolwood Death Mansion

Michael Jackson

August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

On June 25, 2009, Jackson collapsed at his rented mansion at 100 North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles. Attempts at resuscitating him by his personal physician were unsuccessful. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics received a 911 call at 12:22 p.m. (PDT), arriving three minutes later at Jackson's location. He was reportedly not breathing and CPR was performed. Resuscitation efforts continued en route to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and for an hour after arriving there at 1:13 p.m. He was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. local time.

Halloween at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vincent Price Died in His Beverly Hills Home

Vincent Price Died in His Beverly Hills Home

Vincent Price

May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993

Vincent Price Died in His Beverly Hills Home

Price was a lifelong smoker. He had long suffered from emphysema and Parkinson's disease, which had forced his role in Edward Scissorhands to be much smaller than intended.

His illness also contributed to his retirement from Mystery, as his condition was becoming noticeable on-screen. He died of lung cancer on October 25, 1993. He was cremated and his ashes scattered off Point Dume in Malibu, California.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

William "FRED MERTZ" Frawley Collapses at the Knickerbocker

William Frawley
February 26, 1887 – March 3, 1966
Frawley's final performance on-screen was in October 1965, making a cameo appearance in Lucille Ball's second television sitcom The Lucy Show with Lucy saying "He reminds me of someone I used to know."

On March 3, 1966, Frawley collapsed of a heart attack while walking down Hollywood Boulevard after seeing a movie. He was dragged to the nearby Knickerbocker Hotel, where he had previously lived for many years, by his male nurse — a constant companion since his prostate cancer operation more than a year before. He was then rushed to the nearby Hollywood Receiving Hospital (now the Hollywood LAPD Precinct) on Wilcox Ave, where he was pronounced dead.

Shortly following his death, Desi Arnaz paid for a full-page ad in the Hollywood Reporter. It had a picture of Frawley, surrounded in black, the dates of his birth and death, and the caption, "Buenas Noches, Amigo!" ("Good Night, Friend!").

Lucille Ball issued the statement: "I've lost one of my dearest friends and show business has lost one of the greatest character actors of all time. Those of us who knew him and loved him will miss him."

Vivian Vance's reaction was reported as shouting out "Champagne for everyone!"

He is buried in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California.
For his achievements in the field of motion pictures, Frawley was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6322 Hollywood Blvd.

Frawley is memorialized in the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York, which also contains his "Froggie" costume from an episode of I Love Lucy.


Halloween at Gilbert's

Halloween at Gilbert

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rock Hudson's AIDS Death at "The Castle"

Entrance to Rock Hudson's CASTLE

Rock Hudson

November 17, 1925 - October 2, 1985

Entrance to Rock Hudson's CASTLE

Hudson had been diagnosed with HIV on June 5, 1984, but when the signs of illness became apparent, his publicity staff and doctors told the public he had inoperable liver cancer. It was not until July 25, 1985, while in Paris for treatment, that Hudson issued a press release announcing that he was dying of AIDS. In a later press release, Hudson speculated he might have contracted HIV through transfused blood from an infected donor during the multiple blood transfusions he received as part of his heart bypass procedure. Hudson flew back to Los Angeles on July 31, where he was so physically weak he was taken off by stretcher from an Air France Boeing 747, which he chartered and was the sole passenger along with his medical attendants. He was flown by helicopter to Cedars Sinai Hospital, where he spent nearly a month undergoing further treatment. When the doctors told him there was no hope of saving his life, since the disease had progressed into the advanced stages, Hudson returned to his house, "The Castle" in Beverly Hills, where he remained in seclusion until his death on October 2 at 08:37 PST.

Halloween Lawn Displays

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Quiet Bel Air Death of Alfred Hitchcock

Entrance to Alfred Hitchcock's Bel Air Home

Alfred Hitchcock

August 13, 1899 - April 29, 1980

Entrance to Alfred Hitchcock's Bel Air Home

Hitchcock died from kidney failure in his Bel Air, Los Angeles, California home at the age of 80. His wife Alma Reville, and their daughter, Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell, both survived him. His funeral service was held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills. Hitchcock's body was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific. -- wiki

Entrance to Alfred Hitchcock's Bel Air Home

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Freddie Prinze Pulled the Trigger on Himself

Freddie Prinze Suicide Hotel


June 22, 1954 – January 29, 1977

Freddie Prinze was an American actor and stand-up comedian. He was best known as the star of Chico and the Man. He is the father of actor Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Freddie Prinze Suicide Hotel

During the early morning hours of January 28, 1977, after receiving a restraining order from his ex-wife the previous evening, Prinze, who occasionally told friends that "life isn't worth living", made a series of farewell phone calls to family, friends and management from his hotel room at the Beverly Comstock Hotel. His business manager, Marvin "Dusty" Snyder, was alarmed after receiving one of the calls and rushed over to Prinze's room. When Snyder arrived, Prinze continued his rueful phone calls, telling his mother "Mom, I love you very much, but I can't go on. I need to find peace." Snyder called Prinze's psychologist from the next room about what was happening, but the psychologist insisted that Prinze was in no actual danger. Snyder returned to Prinze, who supposedly called his ex-wife and said "I love you, Kathy. I love the baby, but I need to find peace. I can't go on."

After the call, Prinze pulled out a gun from the sofa. Snyder tried to intervene, but Prinze shot himself in the head, and was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center to be placed on life support following emergency surgery. Prinze's family removed him from life support, and he died at 1:00 pm on January 29. He was 22 years of age.

-- wiki

Freddie Prinze Suicide Hotel

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Marilyn Monroe Murdered?


June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, but baptized Norma Jeane Baker, was an American actress, singer and model.

On August 5, 1962, LAPD police sergeant Jack Clemmons received a call at 4:25 a.m. from Dr. Ralph Greenson, Monroe's psychiatrist, proclaiming that Monroe was dead at her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. At the subsequent autopsy, eight milligram percent of Chloral Hydrate and 4.5 milligram percent of Nembutal were found in her system, and Dr. Thomas Noguchi of the Los Angeles County Coroners office recorded cause of death as "acute barbiturate poisoning," resulting from a "probable suicide". Many theories, including murder, circulated about the circumstances of her death and the timeline after the body was found. Some conspiracy theories involved John and Robert Kennedy, while other theories suggested CIA or Mafia complicity.

On August 8, 1962, Monroe was interred in a crypt at Corridor of Memories #24, at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles. Lee Strasberg delivered the eulogy. The crypt space immediately to the left of Monroe's was bought and reserved by Hugh Hefner in 1992.

In August 2009, the crypt space directly above that of Monroe was placed for auction on eBay. Elsie Poncher plans to exhume her husband and move him to an adjacent plot. She advertised the crypt, hoping "to make enough money to pay off the $1.6m mortgage" on her Beverly Hills mansion. It sold for $4.6 million.

-- wiki

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hollywood Sign Suicide Jumper Peg Entwistle's Beachwood House

Hollywood Sign Suicide Jumper Peg Entwistle's House on Beachwood

"I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E."


February 5, 1908 – September 16, 1932

Peg Entwistle was a Welsh-born English actress of stage and screen, who gained notoriety after she killed herself by jumping from the Hollywood sign, shortly following her appearance in the RKO film Thirteen Women.

On Friday, September 16, 1932, Entwistle jumped from the "H" of the Hollywood sign (which then read "Hollywoodland"). Her body lay in the 100-foot ravine below until it was found two days later. Acting on an anonymous tip, a detective and two radio car officers found the body of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman who was moderately well-dressed. She remained unidentified until her uncle connected the description and the initials "P.E." on the suicide note in the newspapers with his niece's two-day absence.

After identifying her body, Harold Entwistle filled in some of the blanks for authorities and the press. Entwistle was upset at not being able to impress the studios, and told her uncle that she was going to walk to a nearby drugstore and then visit friends. Instead, she made her way up the southern slope of Mount Lee, near her uncle's home, to the foot of the Hollywoodland sign. After placing her coat, shoes and purse containing the suicide note at the base of the sign, she made her way up a workman's ladder to the top of the "H". The cause of death was listed by the coroner as "multiple fractures of the pelvis."

Peg Entwistle's suicide note read:

"I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E."

Her funeral was held in Hollywood and the body cremated. Her ashes were later sent to Glendale, Ohio for burial next to her father in Oak Hill Cemetery; her remains were interred on January 5, 1933.

-- wiki

Hollywood Sign Suicide Jumper Peg Entwistle's House on BeachwoodHollywood Sign Suicide Jumper Peg Entwistle's House on BeachwoodHollywood Sign Suicide Jumper Peg Entwistle's House on Beachwood

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Margaux Hemingway Suicide or Accident?

Margaux Hemingway's Ocean Park Suicide Studio


February 16, 1955 – July 1, 1996

Margaux Louise Hemingway was an American fashion model and actress. On July 1, 1996, one day before the anniversary of her grandfather's own suicide, Hemingway was found dead in her studio apartment in Santa Monica, California at age 41. She had taken an overdose of phenobarbital, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's findings one month later. Though her death was ruled a suicide, Mariel Hemingway long disputed this finding. Mariel's husband, Steve Crisman, said, "This was the best I'd seen her in years. She had gotten herself back together." On a December 22, 2005 edition of Larry King Live, however, Mariel said she now accepts the fact that Margaux committed suicide.

Her remains were cremated and Margaux was buried in the Hemingway family plot in the Ketchum Cemetery in Ketchum, Idaho.

-- wiki

Margaux Hemingway's Ocean Park Suicide Studio

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Brad Renfro's Accidental Overdose

Brad Renfro's Death Pad


July 25, 1982 – January 15, 2008

Brad Barron Renfro was an American actor. He made his film debut in 1994 in the lead role of The Client. He acted in 21 films, several short films, and one television episode during his career. Much of his later career was marred by a pattern of substance abuse. He died January 15, 2008 from an overdose of heroin.

In December 2005, he was arrested by LAPD officers during an undercover drug sweep of downtown's skid row and was charged with attempted possession of heroin. A photograph showing him in handcuffs made the front page of the Los Angeles Times. Renfro admitted to a detective that he was using heroin and methadone. In court, he pleaded guilty to the charges, and was sentenced to three years' probation. In 2006, he spent 10 days in jail for convictions of driving while under the influence and attempted heroin possession.

Renfro was found dead, at the age of 25, on January 15, 2008 in his Los Angeles apartment. On February 8, 2008, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office ruled that Renfro's death was accidental, attributing it to acute heroin/morphine intoxication. His body was returned to East Tennessee, where he was buried on January 22, 2008 north of Knoxville, at Red House Cemetery in the small community of Blaine.

Less than two weeks later, his grandmother Joanne – who had raised him and accompanied him regularly during his early acting career – died at her home at the age of 76. Local officials stated that she died of natural causes.

-- wikiBrad Renfro's Death Pad

Brad Renfro's performance in BULLY (2001) is superb. He plays a troubled youth who allows his best friend to bully him. He and his fellow victims consider murder. Not for the squeamish. Brad Renfro, another actor, another human in the long list of what could have been.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Belushi's Chateau Overdose

Belushi's Chateau


January 24, 1949 – March 5, 1982

John Adam Belushi was an Albanian-American comedian, actor and musician, notable for his work on Saturday Night Live, National Lampoon's Animal House and The Blues Brothers. He was the older brother of James Belushi.

Belushi's Chateau

On March 5, 1982, Belushi was found dead in his room at Bungalow #3 of the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The cause of death was a speedball, a combined injection of cocaine and heroin. On the night of his death, he was visited separately by friends Robin Williams (at the height of his own drug exploits) and Robert De Niro, each of whom left the premises, leaving Belushi in the company of assorted others, including Cathy Smith. His death was investigated by forensic pathologist Dr. Ryan Norris among others, and while the findings were disputed, it was officially ruled a drug-related accident.

Two months later, Smith, a former groupie for The Band, admitted in an interview with the National Enquirer that she had been with Belushi the night of his death and had given him the fatal speedball shot. After the appearance of the article "I Killed Belushi" in the Enquirer edition of June 29, 1982, the case was reopened. Smith was extradited from Toronto, arrested and charged with first-degree murder. A plea bargain arrangement reduced the charges to involuntary manslaughter, and she served 18 months in prison.

-- wiki

Belushi's Chateau

If you stop by the Chateau Marmont, don't expect to be able to visit the scene of Belushi's demise - unless you plan on staying the night. Belushi was riding a crest of popularity in 1982, and had more than enough money to hole up in one of the hotel's exclusive bungalows, which are accessible only to guests holding room keys.

But if you slip around behind the hotel and walk the sidewalk along Monteel Road, you can peer down into the area of the tree-shaded bungalows. Belushi's last binge occurred either in Bungalow 3 or Bungalow 2 - there seems to be an equal number of contentions for each locale.

-- The Dark Side of Hollywood - LA Daily News

Belushi's Chateau Belushi's ChateauBelushi's ChateauBelushi's Chateau