The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: August 2009

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Movie Star Mystery Photo

Aug. 24, 2009, Mystery Photo  
 Los Angeles Times file photo

Sept. 20, 1983, LeRoy Prinz Above, Paramount dance director LeRoy Prinz with, from left, Esther Pressman, Beula McDonald, Bonita Barker, Kay Gordon, Dorothy Thompson and Dene Myles, April 15, 1935.

Update: Our mystery guest is LeRoy Pnriz.

Just a reminder on how this works: I post the mystery photo on Monday and reveal the answer on Friday ... or on Saturday if I have a hard time picking only five pictures; sometimes it's difficult to choose. To keep the mystery photo from getting lost in the other entries, I move it from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday, etc., adding a photo every day.

I have to approve all comments, so if your guess is posted immediately, that means you're wrong. (And if a wrong guess has already been submitted by someone else, there's no point in submitting it again.)

If you're right, you will have to wait until Friday. There's no need to submit your guess five times. Once is enough. The only prize is bragging rights. 

The answer to last week's mystery star: Laurie Mitchell!

Randy Skretvedt  writes: I still say I'm correct, with the exception of LeRoy Prinz. Go look at your entry for Grace Bradley (July 25, 2009) and see the picture of the Paramount Protégés there. They are the same girls as in the first mystery picture. The second girl is unquestionably Ann Sheridan, the fourth is Gail Patrick (the girl you love to hate in "My Man Godfrey" and other films, later a successful television producer), and the girl at the very back is Wendy Barrie.

Very well, then. See for yourself:

Aug. 29, 2009, IDs.

Aug. 25, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Six LeRoy Prinz dancers were recently given contracts as stock actresses at Paramount studio because of their all-around beauty and ability to act. They are shown with Prinz, dance director. Left to right, bottom, Esther Pressman, Dene Myles; middle, Kay Gordon, Prinz, Beula McDonald; top, Dorothy Thompson and Bonita Barker, March 5, 1935.

Here's another photo of our mystery guest with some mystery companions. Evidently there wasn't a photo in the world that couldn't be improved with a little tilting by The Times' art department.

Aug. 25, 2009, Mystery Photo Tilt

The cropped and tilted version.

Aug. 26, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Edward A. Prinz, right, with his son LeRoy. The dancers are, from left, Esther Pressman, Dene Myles, Bonita Barker, Dorothy Thompson, Kay Gordon and Beula McDonald, rehearsing for a sequence in "Rose of the Rancho" with Gladys Swarthout, Aug. 8, 1935.  

Here's another photo of our mystery guest with even more mystery companions. Please congratulate Dewey Webb for identifying him!

Aug. 27, 2009, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: LeRoy Prinz with 12 dancers leaving Hollywood for a tour of the British Isles. Front, from left, Jean Dillon, Joan Matthews and Claudia Fargo. Middle, from left, Dorothy White, Harriet D'Busman, LeRoy Prinz and Bonita Barker. Back, from left, Sentha Williams, Jean Carmen, Althea Henley, Elizabeth Cook and Margaret Carthew, Dec. 31, 1935.  

Here's another picture of our mystery guest with more mystery companions! Please congratulate Mike Hawks and Mary Mallory for identifying him!

Aug. 28, 2009, Mystery Photo
Photograph by Los Angeles Times

Dec. 19, 1945: LeRoy Prinz, studio director-producer, as he testified at trial of Herbert K. Sorrell, union leader, on contempt charge. Prinz said he was knocked down in film strike riot and when he got up saw Sorrell standing in mob with fists clenched.

Please congratulate Jeff Hanna, Meara and James Curtis for identifying him!

Judge Bars Bus Strike; Giants Beat Dodgers

Aug. 29, 1959, Cover

Aug. 29, 1959: A judge's temporary restraining order prevents a bus and streetcar strike.

Aug. 29, 1959, Baskin Robbins

Someone has a Cold War souvenir in the shed. Let's fire it up and see what happens.

Aug. 29, 1959, Siren

Aug. 29, 1959, Editorial Cartoon

The threat of communist aggression casts a shadow over world peace. And Times readers are talking about singing the National Anthem, what it means to get old in America, hating Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ... and looking for a lost dog.

Aug. 29, 1959, Film Boycott

Aug. 29, 1959, Beatniks

Above, more trouble with Beatniks: Mrs. Swan kept a record of "goings-on" in and around the Gas House.

It contained such notations as, "Music not so loud tonight ... closed at 2 a.m."

But it also told how one beatnik was "kissing and messing around" on the beach in front of the Gas House on July 12. On the same date, the bongo drums began at 10 am. until police stopped the bearded beats at 10 p.m., she testified.

At left, leaders of the National Council of Churches, encouraged by Paramount President Y. Frank Freeman, study whether to begin calling for a boycott of films that emphasize sex and violence.

George A. Heimrich, who initiated the idea, says: "We have no interest in harming the movie industry, but apparently producers feel it's difficult to get good box office and that they need sex and violence. We are well aware of the importance of the motion picture industry and we are as much for good box office as the producers. But we don't feel sex and violence are the best answer."

Aug. 29, 1959, Li'l Abner

One nice thing about ProQuest is that it's possible to enlarge the comics and see the details that aren't visible in the newspaper, especially strips like "Li'l Abner."

Aug. 29, 1959, Synanon

Aug. 29, 1959, Steaks

Above, an expert calls for fluoridation of water to prevent dental cavities. In time, the fluoridation of water came to be viewed -- at least by some -- as a shadowy communist conspiracy ... calling Dr. Strangelove!  

At left, trouble for Synanon. In the 1950s, The Times wrote stories praising the program's success. But by the late 1960s, leader Charles E. Dederich turned the drug treatment program into a cult.


Aug. 29, 1959, Sports

After losing to the Pirates and the Phillies, the Giants beat the Dodgers in a 5-0 shutout.

Wife Shoots Cheating Husband in the Head

Aug. 29, 1899, Cupidene  

Aug. 29, 1899: Cupidene restores lost manhood.

Aug. 29, 1899, Killing  

Katie Cook kills her husband, Tom, the terror of Orange County's peat country, as he sleeps because he refused to stop his affair with their new servant girl. The jury acquitted Cook in less than 15 minutes.

Man Nearly Suffocates While Hiding From Police

Aug. 29, 1889, Fall Fashions

Aug. 29, 1889: J.T. Sheward has the latest in mourning fashions, including wool warp Henriettas.

Aug. 29, 1889, Opium

Detectives looking for stolen merchandise at a bordello find an opium setup and a naked man hiding in closet. One of the officers makes himself comfortable during the search by closing a trunk and sitting on the lid. As they are about to leave, they decide to open the trunk and find a nearly suffocated man hidden inside.

Artist's Notebook -- Pasadena City Hall


Pasadena City Hall by Marion Eisenmann, Sept. 6, 2008

Marion sends her impressions of this Pasadena landmark, which was closed for a major restoration and renovation after being badly damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and the 1991 Sierra Madre quake. As part of the work, the building's substructure was replaced with a system of base isolators to insulate it from further seismic damage.

Now that the retrofitting is done, the 1927 building sparkles like new, especially when it's lit up against the night sky.

Marion says: It is probably not the most accessible view of the Pasadena City Hall, yet the sky-high cypresses emphasize the monumental value of the architecture behind them.

There is no palm tree in the drawing, because there was none standing there, which is uncommon for a site in Pasadena. Just a few weeks ago I was commissioned to do a painting of the San Gabriel Mountains viewed from Pasadena. The person paid the full amount up-front and asked me to leave out the palm trees, she didn't like them. This just came to my mind, while I thought about the production of this pencil sketch. That's funny, no?


"Union Station"

"Olvera Street"

By the way, Daily Mirror readers have asked about buying copies of Marion's artwork. Naturally, the interest is gratifying because I think Marion's work is terrific and one of my great pleasures is sharing it with readers every week.

When we began this project, it was without any thought of sales so Marion and I hadn't discussed the matter until now. We decided that the project is still new and evolving, and that it's a journey about discovering Los Angeles rather than creating things to sell. Working as an independent artist, Marion is busy with other projects and says she isn't set up to mass-produce prints but she would entertain inquiries about specific pieces.

For further information, readers should contact Marion directly.

Note: In case you just tuned in, Marion and I are visiting local landmarks in a project inspired by what Charles Owens and Joe Seewerker did in Nuestro Pueblo. Check back next week for another page from Marion's notebook.

Found on EBay -- Mullen and Bluett

Mullen & Bluett Suit EBay

Mullen & Bluett Suit EBay
This Palm Beach suit from Mullen & Bluett has been listed on EBay. Of the fashion items I follow on EBay, Mullen & Bluett shows up  about as often as Oviatt's, which isn't much. The suit is listed at $89 under Buy It Now.
June 23, 1952, Mullen & Bluett Palm Beach

Above, an ad for Palm Beach suits at Mullen & Bluett, June 23, 1952. Adjusted for inflation, the $29.99 suit cost $240.70 USD 2008.

Matt Weinstock, Aug. 28, 1959

Aug. 17, 1959, Weinstock Is on Vacation
Matt Weinstock is on vacation.

Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, Aug. 28, 1959

Aug. 28, 1959, Tallent

Above, L.D. Tallent

Aug. 28, 1959, Paul Coates

A Kinder, Simpler Time Dept.: Your Comics

Aug. 28, 1976, Comics

Aug. 28, 1976: A time capsule of the '70s: Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and President Gerald Ford with the logo of the 1980 Olympics in Jim Berry's "Berry's World." The U.S. led the boycott of the 1980 summer Olympics, held in Moscow, to protest the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.

Chinese Troops Cross India Border!

Aug. 28, 1959, Cover

Aug. 28, 1959: The Times brings out an extra as Chinese troops cross into India.

Aug. 28, 1959, Beatniks

Aug. 28, 1959, Beatniks
Aug. 28, 1959, Chubby
Are these girls really supposed to be chubby?

At left, strange occurrences at the Gas House (d. 1962), 1501 Ocean Front Walk in Venice.

"Mrs. Mabel Hardy, living in an apartment building across from the Gas House, complained of jukebox and bongo noises and the parking of a 1933 hearse in front of the building."

"A lot of us are old and don't feel very good and that hearse didn't make us feel any better," she said.

Eric "Big Daddy" Nord says: "Think of the good that could be brought with bongo drums pounding out a message of peace. But, people are afraid of bongos. The sound of bongos would be better than the beep-beep-beep of interstellar hardware."

Aug. 28, 1959, Comics

"In the silent room, Tony's whispered words hang like wisps of smoke..."

Aug. 28, 1959, Wide Head

Above, if the headline doesn't fit, just run it out into the gutters. Nobody will notice. 
Aug. 29, 1959, Wide Head

And what the headline would be if it squared off with the type, as it's supposed to. Nice work, guys.

Aug. 28, 1959, Hedda Hopper, Strategic Air Command

The Air Force does a "meet and greet" with Hedda Hopper and Joan Crawford.

Hopper summarizes the Cold War mentality perfectly: "The Soviet Union controls one-third of the people of the world and one-fourth of its geography, and their sworn goal is the conquest of America. Never before in history has a peaceful nation been prepared to go to war within 15 minutes."

Aug. 28, 1959, Hearst
By 1962, Hearst will fold the morning Examiner into the Herald-Express to create the Herald Examiner.
Aug. 28, 1959, Ben Hecht
Ben Hecht's play "Winkleberg" "is a monotonous series of uninteresting incidents which serve as an opportunity to recite his wares and expound his dreary philosophy."

Directed by Patrick MacNee!

Aug. 28, 1959, Sports

The last-place Phillies take a double-header from the first-place Giants!

Nuestro Pueblo -- Ft. Moore Hill

Aug. 28, 1939, Nuetro Pueblo

Aug. 28, 1939: Joe Seewerker and Charles Owens visit Ft. Moore Hill for Nuestro Pueblo and The Times writes about Lt. E.O.C. Ord's 1849 survey of the city, giving a history of early street names.

Detective Captures Elusive Chicken Thief

Aug. 28, 1899, Mullen and Bluett

Aug. 28, 1899: Mullen and Bluett, 1st and Spring.

Aug. 28, 1899, Fugitive

Karl Schillinger is an elusive chicken thief, but Detective Auble tracked him down.


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