The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Art and Artists

Movieland Mystery Photo





  June 11, 2011, Mystery Photo  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  


You may recognize this photo because I ran it a few years ago. But it’s one of my favorites. This fellow was branded with a very certain stereotype that he played in countless films, so I like to see him out of character.

As some of you know, the Daily Mirror is being killed by The Times in a pruning of blogs with low traffic. I’ll post a longer farewell next week, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for participating in the mystery photos. They were my most popular feature.

Through the mystery photos, I got to know “the brain trust,” a corps of readers with a humbling knowledge of film. My first criteria in selecting mystery guests was that I didn’t know who they were, so in almost every case (aside from my two-week binge on Lucille Ball and a few other exceptions) I couldn’t identify any of them. And they proved to be a wonderful history lesson for me: Trixie Friganza … Jack Mulhall … Julian Eltinge … Pier Angeli. 

I had an agenda with these pictures, though I don’t think anyone ever realized what I was up to. Most people saw the pictures as a daily movie quiz that was (at least ideally) fairly challenging. And that was fine.

But the mystery pictures were actually a years-long photo essay on fame and forgetfulness. Nearly every image I posted was of someone who was once a prominent performer – and yet look at  how dimly most of them are remembered. 

In some ways,  the indignant responses were the most perversely rewarding:  “Am I supposed to know who that is?” No, you’re not. That’s the point: The stars of today are the obscure nobodies of tomorrow. Alas, that’s a lesson that some of Hollywood’s current problem children haven’t learned.

Thanks for reading.... Keep checking next week for a final farewell post that ties up all the loose ends from the last four years.

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Army Clears Strikers at North American Aviation





  image  

  June 10, 1941, Comics  


  June 10, 1941, North American Strike  

June 10, 1941: Bill Henry files a color story on soldiers using rifles with bayonets to herd strikers away from the North American Aviation plant. Unfortunately, my new optical character recognition software can’t handle these old clips, so I have to post the images of the stories. Henry’s story is worth reading.

Also on the jump, Ethel Waters stars in “Cabin in the Sky.”
 
Jimmie Fidler says: On the newsstands this month is a magazine which features an astrological analysis of Cary Grant's present status and future prospects... The birthday used in preparing Grant's chart was 1909, a date given out in a studio publicity department biography. Cary's real birth year was 1904!

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Jim Murray, June 9, 1961





  June 9, 1961, Day In Sports  

  June 9, 1961, Jim Murray  


June 9, 1961: Wrestling isn't even a sport at all. It's a drama in three acts in which a lot of nice old ladies get rid of all their hostilities and aggressions occasioned usually by the fact their daughters-in-law don't make pies the way they used to or won't let them give fudge to the grandchildren.

Wrestling today still has the simple basic plot of a medieval morality play. There's a good guy and a bad guy. The good guy loses all the way up to the end when the bad guy goes too far. Thereupon, the good guy tears him apart like a cat looking for a mouse in a sofa.

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Mayor Accuses LAPD of Spying on Political Supporters





  June 9, 1961, Comics  

  image  

June 9, 1961: Mayor-elect Sam Yorty comes out swinging, with charges that the LAPD was spying on his supporters, and he takes a little shot against The Times. Police Chief William H. Parker quickly disputed Yorty's allegations, saying they were "patently false." 

The relationship between the mayor of Los Angeles and the police chief is one of the most essential – and conflicted – in local  government (think of Chief Daryl F. Gates and Mayor Tom Bradley, who didn’t even speak to each other).  And I cannot recall a honeymoon that was shorter than the one between Yorty and Parker.

ps. That ticking time bomb you hear is the Watts riots, set to explode in August  1965.

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Random Shot – Downtown





  Banksy Vanished  
  Photograph by Larry Harnisch / Los Angeles Times  

Don’t go looking for this. It’s gone. I found it the other day while walking from The Times to the library, but when I went back Tuesday to show it to someone, it had been painted out. 




Jim Murray, June 8, 1961




 
  June 8, 1961, Tommy Davis  

 
  June 8, 1961, Jim Murray  


June 8, 1961: Danny Murtaugh is like the Pirates. Tough, blue-bearded, underslung jaw, he looks like a sulfurous-tempered truck driver. Actually, he is shy and modest and the kind of worrier whose biggest fear when he took the manager's job was that other managers around the league might not want to take him on as a coach if he failed.

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Tip Poff, July 17, 1932





  July 17, 1932, Comics  

  July 17, 1932, Tip Poff  

March 19, 1939, Tip-Off!
July 17, 1932: I’ve been meaning to post some of the Tip Poff  gossip columns that The Times used to run in the movie/drama pages of the 1930s. The Times experimented with the column and by 1939 was calling it Tip-Off! Isn’t this March 19, 1939, logo great? Of course it was too bold for The Times, which dumped it immediately.

I’ll try putting Tip Poff in the afternoon slot as a substitute for Paul Coates and Matt Weinstock. They will return for January 1962, when The Times absorbed their columns after Otis Chandler killed the Mirror-News.
 
Notice the fine quality of Hal Foster’s version of “Tarzan.” He doesn’t seem to have any problems with perspective, unlike Rex Maxon, who was drawing the strip in the 1940s. 

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, June 2, 1941




 
 
  June 2, 1941, Dolly Sister,  

  June 2, 1941, Comics  

June 2, 1941: The pajama-clad body of Hungarian-born danseuse Jenny Dolly, who with her sister Rosie was the toast of two continents two decades ago, was found dangling from a wrought-iron curtain rod in her luxurious Hollywood apartment, 1735 N. Wilcox Ave., The Times says. 

TWENTIETH CENTURY-FOX AT A GLANCE: Granite-eyed gatemen relaxing into big grins as Jane Withers drives past, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, June 1, 1941




 
 
  June 1, 1941, Iraq Conquered by British Troops  

  image June 1, 1941, Streetcar  
  June 1, 1941, Streetcar
June 1, 1941, Streetcar
 


  image  


June 1, 1941: LONDON, May 31. (AP)-- German airmen who went belatedly to Iraq to bolster the Axis-inspired war against Britain were reported fleeing the country tonight as Iraqi resistance collapsed. British imperial advance forces entered the disorderly capital of Bagdad.

Lee Shippey says the  argument in the Seymour house always begins in May: Should we turn off the furnace? 

Probably you've seen some of the new jukebox "soundies" and formed your own opinion of them. I've just previewed 24 at one sitting, all produced by composer Sam Coslow, and I'm convinced that big movie moguls, instead of regarding them with contempt, should give them special attention, Jimmie Fidler says.
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Yorty Elected Mayor!



 

 
 
  June 1, 1961, Times Cover  

  June 1, 1961, Comics  


June 1, 1961: Sam Yorty defeats Norris Poulson in the mayor’s race. Poulson says one reason for his loss was the Memorial Day riot in Griffith Park in which a mob of African Americans attacked a small group of LAPD officers. The riot broke out when the operator of the merry-go-round tried to eject a teenager who had gotten on without paying, The Times said. Two men were eventually convicted in the incident.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 28, 1941





  May 28, 1941, President Declares Emergency  

  May 28, 1941, Comics  

May 28, 1941: LONDON, May 27 (AP) -- The 35,000-ton German battleship Bismarck, one of the newest and most powerful in the world, was smashed and sunk today by British warships and aerial bombers on the fifth morning of as coldly implacable a chase as sea warfare has ever known.

Jimmie Fidler says: Tucked away in a corner of the Los Angeles Times the other day was an item that left me cold with rage.... The item to which I refer digested down to this: "The Hollywood Guild may have to close its doors and cease aiding unfortunate members of the film industry because the drain of foreign charities has cut so deeply into the guild's income as to threaten its existence.”

FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! How can American-born actors and executives of the movie industry be so blind? How can they continue to pour thousands of dollars into foreign relief funds, meanwhile ignoring the pitiful cry of indigents right here at home?

Also on the jump: A map of the Bismarck’s demise by Times artist Charles Owens.

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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, May 27, 1941




 
 
  May 27, 1941, Battle Raging in Atlantic  

  May 27, 1941, Comics  


image  LONDON, May 27 (Tuesday.) (AP) -- British warships apparently were engaged in a mighty duel with a German battle squadron, including the 35,000-ton Bismarck, in the North Atlantic early today after a British naval plane rammed an aerial torpedo into the Bismarck.

Lee Shippey has an item on Homer Lea (d. 1912), the author of the 1909 book "The Valor of Ignorance." (The book is also listed on world.cat.) Despite considerable physical handicaps, Lea became a military advisor to Sun Yat-sen and his observations on Japan were widely studied during World War II. (I wrote a long post about Lea for the 1947project. Stay tuned for another one on the Daily Mirror.)

The home for destitute actors, to be built near Hollywood with Motion Picture Relief Fund money, will be named "Roosevelt Home," Jimmie Fidler says.  

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