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Editor Falls to His Death From Hollywood Landmark

February 12, 2011 |  3:03 am


  6331 Hollywood Blvd.  

6331 Hollywood Blvd., now the Scientology HQ, via Google maps’ street view.


  Jan. 25, 1961, Norman Siegel  

Photoplay May 1961 Nothing about Norman Siegel’s death made any sense. The former publicist, now working as the West Coast editor of Photoplay magazine, went to the rooftop snack bar at the Hollywood Guaranty Building on Jan. 24, 1961,  sat at a table near the edge and ordered a cup of coffee.  The next moment, he was gone.

Investigators initially suspected that Siegel, 54,  committed suicide, but he left no notes and further inquiry failed to reveal anything that was amiss in his life. Matt Weinstock wrote: "I saw him at a preview of "The Misfits" the night before his death. He was, as always, gracious and good-humored."

According to Weinstock, “The roof has barriers of varying heights along the edge. At some points the parapets are about 4 1/2 feet tall. At the point from which Siegel fell, the barrier is only 24 inches high.”

Los Angeles County Coroner Theodore J. Curphey (d. 1986) reopened the case in March after attorney Louis Licht, representing the Siegel family, revealed that at the time of his death, Siegel was working on a story for Photoplay titled "An Editor Visits Hollywood" that would feature unusual camera angles, including a view overlooking the city. Siegel was familiar with the roof garden because he once had an office in the building, according to Licht, who said Siegel might have been scouting locations for photos.  

Less than nine months after Siegel’s death, his son  Robert,  a UCLA student, was killed in an airplane crash in the Chicago suburbs. He was 22.

In 1965, the state Industrial Accident Commission ruled that Siegel's death was an accident, a decision that allowed Siegel's family to collect his insurance.


Photoplay Editor Plunges to Death

Editor's Death Stirs Mystery

May 1961 Photoplay listed on EBay

  6331 Hollywood Blvd. Sat  

6331 Hollywood Blvd. via Google Earth.

  Jan. 25, 1961, Norman Siegel  

  6331 Hollywood Blvd.  

The roof of 6331 Hollywood Blvd. via Google Earth.

  March 15, 1961, Norman Siegel  

  Sept. 2, 1961, Plane Crash  

  Sept. 2, 1961, Robert Siegel  

  May 13, 1965, Norman Siegel