The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: Stage

Movieland Mystery Photo

     May 31, 2010, Mystery Photo

Los Angeles Times file photo 
Update: As most people realized, our mystery guest is Hollywood nightclub owner Earl Carroll, who died in 1948 plane crash. In the above photo, he’s the young fellow with Elbert Hubbard (sorry, folks, he’s not Will Geer) in a photo dated May 27, 1915. Carroll’s famous nightclub on Sunset Boulevard is now the Nickelodeon building.
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 reward is bragging rights. 

The answer to last week's mystery star is Marian Carr!

There’s a new photograph on the jump!
Continue reading »

Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, June 2, 1960

June 2, 1960, Mirror Cover

June 2, 1960: Paul Coates catches up with former Floradora Girl Evelyn Nesbit, whose millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, killed architect Stanford White in a jealous rage during a rooftop performance at Madison Square Garden in June 1906.

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Stubborn Handcuffs Keep Prisoners Out of Jail

May 30, 1910, Vaudeville

Look! It’s Julian Eltinge!

May 30, 1910: “Babe” McCain, the bouncer at Turner Hall, brings two prisoners to the police station, but they can’t be booked until McCain removes the handcuffs – which proves to be a problem. And four men on a streetcar got into a fight with a passenger who told them to stop spitting on the floor. Now they’re in jail on charges of injuring a woman when one of them threw a rock at the streetcar because they ordered to get off.

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She's Not Afraid of a Mere Man

May 27, 1910, Elizabeth La Rue

May 27, 1910: Elizabeth La Rue, a costumer at the Majestic Theater Building, is in the news for grabbing a man who rented one of her costumes and was trying to sell it at a secondhand shop. La Rue took the fellow by the neck, dragged him back to her office and held him until police arrived.

She explained: “Why should any able-bodied woman be afraid of a mere man?”

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Husband, Best Man Fight Over Wife

May 23, 1910, The Rose of the Rancho

“The Rose of the Rancho” Gringo invasion!

May 23, 1910: On the jump, a fight with an ax and brass knuckles ensues after Hugh Wilson of San Diego comes home at 3 a.m. to find his wife in the same room with D.J. Carroll, the best man from his recent wedding. All three of them were living together in a rented bungalow, but the landlord had ordered them to move out. Mrs. Wilson says she is going home to mother.

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‘Let Us Commune With the Yogi’

May 14, 1910, Vaudeville

Nellie Nichols and the Four Dancing Bugs at the Orpheum!

May 14, 1910: On the jump, the curious case of  Sakharam G. Pandit, a Hindu in Chicago with a “hypnotic eye” who allegedly went too far with women when he massaged them and said, “Let us commune with the Yogi.” The Times' stories are a little vague, but he evidently came to Los Angeles and, as S.G. Pandit, became an attorney once the the courts resolved the thorny question of whether a Hindu was white and could therefore become a U.S. citizen.

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Kitty Doner’s Mystery Admirer

Kitty Doner Mystery Guy 
Los Angeles Times file photo

July 19, 1925, Lady Be Good

July 19, 1925: “Lady Be Good” at the Mason.

Several people asked whether this fellow with Kitty Doner in “Lady Be Good” might be Bing Crosby. I had the same question, so I thought I’d dig into it a bit.

“Lady Be Good,” which opened in Los Angeles on July 7, 1925, at the Mason Theater (formerly the Mason Opera House/Operahouse) was an instant sensation, a smash hit on a par with “No, No, Nanette,” The Times said.

The show continued at the Mason until Oct. 24, when it was replaced by a brief run of “All for You,” Charles Grapewin's adaptation of a George V. Hobart script, which The Times cites as "Up the Line John Henry" but appears to be “It’s Up to You, John Henry.” 

However, based on Gary Giddins’ “Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams,” Crosby was in Spokane, Wash., during the entire run of “Lady Be Good.” Unfortunately for theater historians, The Times didn’t publish an entire cast list, just the names of the leads. A program would probably be the only way to confirm the chorus members’ names. Maybe one will turn up on EBay!

Found on EBay – Williams and Walker


May 1, 1898: Bert Williams and George Walker share the stage with McIntyre and Heath at the Orpheum.

This postcard of George Walker of the Williams and Walker vaudeville team has been listed on EBay. Bidding starts at $8.

Found on EBay – Julian Eltinge


Oct. 28, 1913, Julian Eltinge
Oct. 28, 1913, Julian Eltinge

This postcard of female impersonator Julian Eltinge advertising his appearance at Los Angeles’ Mason Opera House in October 1913 has been listed on EBay. The photo shows him in “The Fascinating Widow,” one of his most famous roles. Bidding on the item, which is in the UK,  starts at 4.99 GBP.

Voices – June Havoc, 1912 - 2010

Jan. 5, 1981, June Havoc

Jan. 5, 1981: “This is what I wanted since I was 3,” June Havoc says of her home in Connecticut.

Found on EBay – Williams and Walker

George Walker
I’ve been searching for items of Bert Williams and George Walker on EBay since I wrote about the vaudeville team in 2008. Sheet music turns up somewhat often but this is the first time I’ve seen souvenir postcards for sale. According to the vendor, the six Williams and Walker postcards being sold individually are part of an album collected by an African American serviceman – evidently a Buffalo soldier – about the time of the Mexican Revolution.  Bidding on this postcard starts at $8.

Meet Pat Nixon

March 22, 1960, Pat Nixon

March 22, 1960: Pat Nixon supported herself after her parents died, including work as a movie extra. Look for her in “Becky Sharp.”

On the jump, “The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond” … and Roy Campanella is taken to New York for treatment after suffering a dizzy spell at the Dodgers’ training camp in Vero Beach, Fla.
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