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Mystery photo

March 8, 2008 |  9:47 pm

Photograph by Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times

OK, this photo is from the funeral of Columbia executive Harry Cohn, which was held on a massive sound stage that had been turned into a chapel. Who are these pallbearers, who were at one time some of the most powerful men in Hollywood? Note to people with ProQuest (you know who you are): I've got my eye on you.

  • Director George Sidney? (Alexa Foreman). Yes. George Sidney is one of 16 pallbearers listed in The Times' story. The men aren't identified on the back of the original photo, so all I have to go by is what we reported.
  • Irving Ludwig? (Sorry, he's not listed in The Times' story).
  • Walter Wanger? (He's not listed in The Times' story).
  • Jack Warner? (Sorry, no).
  • Frank Capra? (Sorry, no).
  • Jerry Wald? (Sorry, no).
  • John Ford in the upper left corner. (Richard Heft) Exactly right! Terrific work.
  • Mendel Silberberg. (Richard Heft) Terrific work.

Hint: There is another famous director among the pallbearers.

Update 2: Arthur Friedman, an office boy at Columbia's New York offices in 1957, says: Top left-in order--Abe Schneider-Paul Lazarus-John Ford----Bottom rt 1/2 blocked Leo Jaffe---believe 3rd up with glasses is Abe Montague. He also recommends reading "King Cohn."

Update: The always engaging and ever-enchanting Nathan Marsak did exactly what I would have done, which is go to ProQuest and dig up the list. Let the hills resound with his glory as a diligent researcher. Here they are:

Irving_briskin_thumb Irving_briskin_funeral

Irving Briskin--left, Los Angeles Times file photo, right, at Harry Cohn's funeral. See below*

Jack_entratter  2008_0302_jack_entratter_2

Jack Entratter, left in 1954, and a mystery pallbearer. (Richard Heft).


John Ford (Richard Heft, Alexa Foreman)
Jack Fier
Alfred Hart
Dr. Stanley Imerman
Leo Jaffe
B.B. Kahane
Max Kettner
Paul N. Lazarus Jr.

Abe Montague

Abe Schneider


George Sidney (Alexa Foreman)
Mendel B. Silberberg
Morris Stoloff
Jonie Taps

But as you have undoubtedly noticed, these are in alphabetical order. So the challenge becomes: Put the names with the faces.

Photograph by George M. Lacks / Los Angeles Times

* OK, who are the folks with mystery pallbearer Irving Briskin? Note: This isn't a movie still, in case you are using IMDB to crack the enigma. This photo is from an event.

  • Bogie and his wife, Mayo (Joe) Yes/No.
  • Bogart and a Columbia starlet, of course (Alexa Foreman). Yes/Yes. Well, what's her name?
  • Florence Marly? Sorry, no.
  • Susan Perry? Sorry, no.
  • Janet Blair (Richard Heft). Absolutely right. Congratulations!

By the way, notice Bogart's understated, classy look. Yes, it's a double-breasted suit, but he's got a classic pinstripe, subdued tie (check out that cravat on Briskin) and handkerchief.

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