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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Mystery photo IV

Here's the fourth picture of our mystery guest from The Times photo archives. The second photo of him is here. The third one is here.

(Hint: He's not Arnold Stang. He's also not Telly Savalas (2 votes!), Mickey Cohen, Sammy Cahn, Billy Wilder, Mel Blanc, Neil Simon, Jack Dragna, E.H. Land, Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg, Johnny Roselli or Frank DeSimone).

And, in case you're wondering, he's not Phil Silvers or the Dalai Lama.

It must be the glasses. You can see in this picture he was a dapper dresser. What do you think about our mystery gentleman? Does he seem like a pleasant fellow? Intellectual? Would you want to have a cup of coffee with him? Think he has a family? What sorts of stories do you tell yourself about him? Clearly, if The Times took this many pictures of him he must be someone. Is he a blacklisted playwright? Some sharp producer? Does he own a restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard or an appliance store in the Valley?

And not Matt Weinstock, who looks like this:

Mystery_photo_no5

 
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Comments (3)

I wonder if this is Bugsy Siegel (sp).

--Nice guess.

But no.

Keep trying.

--Larry

seriously, this man's identity has been been bugging me since the first photo was posted. Looking at all four pictures together, this is what I gather about him:

intellectual? Yes--it's the glasses. He appears thoughtful in every photo. He has a soft look and soft hands, not in any way the hands of a blue-collar worker. He's a thinker but probably not a radical--radicals always look like they're seething and usually don't dress well. He's not a college professor, either. Our friend seems serene and self-assured, but not arrogant.

family man? I believe so, he wears a wedding ring.

Dapper? yes, and he probably has some money.

He has an East Coast look about him, American, but in the third photo, the profile, he looks distinctly more Eastern European. Did he flee Europe during the war, or was he born here?

I've tried figuring it out based on the photo backgrounds, but that gets me nowhere. In the second photo, where's he indicating something with upraised arms, there's a old-fashioned clock, an old desk and chicken wire. Is it a movie set? Is he a director, indicating something to an actor? Is he in a police station? I doubt he's a criminal, and he's certainly not a cop. Is it the old Times newsroom?

In the fourth photo, he's wearing a suit and a different shirt than photo 1 & 2. Was the picture at a different time, in a different place? A sign behind him in #4 probably says No Smoking. Where would you be prohibited from smoking in the 50s? A hospital? A courthouse?

Why could his nickname be "Ammo"? Is he a gangster? A killer? Was he part of some major crime and trial that's forgotten now?

Was he famous or newsworthy only for his 15 minutes, or he is someone who gained fame behind the scenes, like a writer?

--Interesting questions. Which will be answered.

Soon.

It looks like Anthony Brancato from the main "oldies" page.

--Thanks. You're a bit late, but you're right....

Cheers,

Larry


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