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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Movieland Mystery Photo

Sept. 6, 2010, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo 

Will Rogers
May 11, 1930: Caricature of Will Rogers by Jean Negulesco.

Update: Our mystery guest is film director and artist Jean Negulesco. The above photo was released in 1949 to publicize his nomination for an Academy Award for directing “Johnny Belinda.” Mary Mallory sends along an EBay listing for one of Negulesco's drawings, priced at $1,200.

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 or Saturday. There's no need to submit your guess five times. Once is enough. The only reward is bragging rights. 

Last week’s mystery guest was Lynne Baggett.

There’s more on the jump!

Sept. 7, 2010, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

For Tuesday, our mystery guest has a mystery camera!

Sept. 8, 2010, Mystery Photo

Photograph by R.L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times

Update: May 26, 1957: “Film director Jean Negulesco and Mrs. Negulesco (former Conover model) have outstanding collection of Bernard Buffet revealed at left. Canvas by Noel Emile Laurent is exception.”

For Wednesday, our mystery guest has a mystery companion. Please congratulate Alexa Foreman and Mary Mallory for identifying him. In fact, Alexa says she interviewed him!

Sept. 9, 2010, Mystery Photo

Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: Jean Negulesco with Ida Lupino, right, and her sister Rita Lupino in a photo stamped Dec. 19, 1946.

For Thursday, our mystery guest has two (not so much) mysterious companions. Please congratulate James Curtis for identifying yesterday’s mystery couple and Mary Mallory for identifying his mystery companion.

Sept. 10, 2010, Mystery Photo
Los Angeles Times file photo

Update: May 7, 1976: "Jean and Dusty Negulesco stand in front of his latest new lithograph “Femme,” which is the first offering of the newly formed graphics publishing firm here."

Here’s our mystery guest -- are those leather pants?-- with a mystery companion and some of his artwork.  Please congratulate Pamela Porter, Periwinkle, Rick, Mike Hawks, Mary Mallory and  Mark Heimback-Nielsen for identifying our fellow and one of his mysterious companions! And, finally, Sharon and Space Hanlon identified our mystery guests. 
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Comments (28)

James Basevi is my wild guess

Lee Sholem

Henry Mancini

Merian C. Cooper, perhaps?

I know it's not but I need to get something out there, Henry Koster/

Lothrop Worth

I am a goofus! Of course I know who it is. It's Jean Negulesco, and those are probably drawings he did. We have his collection here at the library, and drawings of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks are hanging in the Special Collection Reading Room right now!

Miklos Rozsa

Hey, that's from the same photo shoot as Monday's picture! You cheeky monkey!

OK, my wild guess is Sol Polito.

A shot in the dark... S. Sylvan Simon

Merien Cooper, the King Kong fellow?

Is this his wife Dusty?

Jean Negulesco and, I imagine, his wife Dusty Anderson.

S. Sylvan Simon starred in a great short at Cinecon called "Hollywood Screen Test" (Universal, 1937). It showed the entire process of creating, shooting, processing, and recording a screen test, and showed many shots of the Universal lot and shots of people like Jack Pierce, the makeup man on "Frankenstein."

Wednesday's photo featuring Doris Day is the giveaway: can this be Doris's husband/manager/producer Martin Melcher? His story would make an enjoyable (if lurid) book or movie.

I'm not convinced that's Doris Day, but if it is, I guess that's Marty Melcher? The hairline looks all wrong. But I stink at these things; it took me all week to recognize Lance Fuller a few months ago.

Jean Negulesco

The mystery companion on the right of the photo is Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino is on the right in the photo.

Director Jean Negulesco.

Looks like it might be director Jean Negulesco with Ida Lupino.

Well, he's got Vivian Vance on his left arm?????????

director Jean Negulesco and I think one of the mystery companions is Ida Lupino

Jean Negulesco. The leggy lady with the art must be a blonde incarnation of his leggy wife Dusty Anderson. Ida Lupino is hugging his arm tightly in Thursday's picture but the other lady sort of looks like Jean Arthur but not really enough. Celeste Holm?

The only one I recognized was Ida Lupino (I think!)



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