Los Angeles history
Los Angeles Times file photo
Update: As many people guessed, this is Lois Wilson. Above, a publicity still from "The Covered Wagon," July 16, 1924.
Lois Wilson; Star of Early Silent MoviesMarch 9, 1988
By PAUL FELDMAN, Times Staff Writer
Early screen star Lois Wilson, who acted in many important silent Paramount productions, including the 1923 Western epic, "The Covered Wagon," has died at age 93, it was reported Tuesday.
Miss Wilson, who succumbed to pneumonia in Reno, came to Hollywood in 1915 after winning a statewide beauty contest in Alabama.
She soon wangled a small part in "The Dumb Girl of Portici," which starred legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova, and went on to act in more than 100 silent and sound films over the next 33 years.
Her best known roles included Molly Wingate in "The Covered Wagon" and Daisy Buchanan in the 1926 version of "The Great Gatsby," for which she won the Photoplay magazine best performance award.
In other features, Miss Wilson acted opposite such stars as Rudolph Valentino and John Gilbert.
After retiring in 1941--except for a bit part in the forgettable 1949 comedy "The Girl from Jones Beach," starring Ronald Reagan--Miss Wilson turned to the Broadway stage, road company productions, including "The Women" for 57 weeks, and, eventually, television.
Among the network soap operas in which she played featured character roles were "The Guiding Light" and "The Edge of Night."
Although she never wed, Miss Wilson, a 5-foot-5 brunette, was once described as cultivating a screen image of the "soft, marrying kind of woman."
Selected in 1924 by Paramount to represent the motion-picture industry at the British Empire Exposition, studio officials termed her "a typical example of the American girl in character, culture and beauty."
She was also typical, for that era anyway, in fudging on her age. While various studio publicity accounts have listed her year of birth as anywhere from 1896 to 1902, her actual birthday was June 26, 1894, according to officials at the Riverside Hospital for Skilled Care in Reno, where Miss Wilson died March 3.
Born in Pittsburgh to an English father and a Bostonian mother, Miss Wilson attended grammar and high school in Birmingham, Ala., where her family moved when she was a toddler.
Earning a teaching certificate at Alabama Normal College, Miss Wilson briefly taught in rural schools before winning the beauty contest and coming west to enter a contest to publicize the newly founded Universal City.
Miss Wilson parlayed her role in "The Dumb Girl of Portici" into a contract with Paramount and the role of leading lady in a series of J. Warren Kerrigan films, including "The Covered Wagon." Her other film credits included roles in Valentino's "Monsieur Beaucaire," "Ruggles of Red Gap," "The Vanishing American," and her personal favorite, the 1921 "Miss Lulu Bett."
Miss Wilson made her stage debut in Los Angeles in 1928 and moved to New York a decade later, appearing on the Broadway stage in such plays as "Farewell Summer," "Chicken Every Sunday," and, in the late 1960s, "I Never Sang for My Father."
After retiring, Miss Wilson returned to North Hollywood, where she shared a home with a sister. She later moved near her niece, Sheila Fitzmaurice Shay, in Reno, according to nephew George C. Lewis.
Miss Wilson was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Glendale, on Monday after a memorial service at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.
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: Toni Gerry!
Los Angeles Times file photoUpdate: Lois Wilson and Holmes Herbert in "Another Scandal," Sept. 18, 1924.
Here's another photo of our mystery guest ... with a mystery companion. Please congratulate Donna Hill, Dewey Webb, Anne Papineau, Eve Golden, Mike Hawks, Carmen, Mary Mallory, Cinnamon Carter, Dru Duniway and Sandy Reed for identifying her!
Los Angeles Times file photo
Update: Lois Wilson and Leo Carrillo in "Obey the Law," Feb. 10, 1933.
Here's our mystery woman with another mystery companion. Please congratulate Anne Frye for identifying her!
Los Angeles Times file photo
Update: Lois Wilson and Jimmy Dunn at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in an undated photo.
Here's our mystery woman with another mystery companion. Please congratulate Alekszandr, Eric Yockey, Juliet, Barbara, "L.A. Confidential" fan Rolo Tomasi, Margaret, Claire Lockhart, Mary Mallory, William and Sue for identifying her.
Los Angeles Times file photo
Update: Lois Wilson and a mystery companion Sept. 11, 1979
Nov. 8, 1931: For its 50th anniversary, The Times re-creates Los Angeles as it was in 1881. Above, Robert H. Sexton Jr. displays an elaborate model of the city in 1881, measuring about 8 feet by 5 feet. The model was put on exhibit at the Los Angeles Public Library and was to be available to schools and colleges for educational purposes. I wonder what became of it.
Dec. 15, 1887: Effie Smith, a prostitute on Los Angeles Street, burns to death. She took a dose of morphine and lapsed into unconsciousness after lighting a cigarette. I found this item while trying to determine the location of the Colored Republican Club in the story below.
June 26, 1899: Police raid the Colored Republican Club on Los Angeles Street. At the trial, police officers described the sordid nature of the club but were unable to say precisely when the incidents occurred.
||This size 11 pair of wingtips from Oviatt's has been listed on EBay. Bidding starts at $10.
"Never Touched Me."
Happy EndingRoy Huerta got up at 2 a.m. yesterday, drove to Tijuana and brought his wife Manuela and their six children back to L.A. to stay, thereby ending a frustrating, 10-year, across-the-border separation.
Roy and Manuela were married here in 1947. One day in 1949 they took a trip to Tijuana. At the border on the way back they were asked the usual questions.
Roy had no trouble. He was born in Johnstown, Pa., and served three years in the Army. Manuela, born in Zacatecas, Mex., panicked and gave conflicting answers. She was detained and accused of entering this country illegally.
Later, she compounded her apparent guilt by ignoring, out of fear, a summons to a hearing. She was convicted of perjury and deported under the McCarran Act.
FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS Roy, 39, a cook at the DuZeff's restaurant on Sunset Blvd., has made a pilgrimage each weekend to Tijuana to be with his family. He took along groceries, clothes, and gifts for the children, the sixth of which was born there.
The case was first reported here in 1957. Ridley Billick, manager of the Spring St. restaurant in which Roy then worked, was trying to correct the injustice.
About two months later a reader, Fay C. Rosenblatt, inquired about the case, which disturbed her. A phone call to Roy disclosed that the situation was unchanged, which was reported here.
But Francis H. Ohswaldt, deputy district director of immigration, saw the column and phoned. It appeared to him that Roy and Manuela could be reunited under Public Law 85-316, in effect since 1957, if they could meet the conditions, which apparently they could. The sad thing, he said, was that they didn't know they were eligible for this relief for more than a year.
Ohswaldt was put in touch with Roy, and the wheels began to turn. There was the interminable chore of filing applications with the American consul in Tijuana and assembling of birth and other records. Meanwhile, immigration officials at SanYsidro were alerted to expedite the case.
For several weeks all the necessary papers were on file except one from Zacatecas police department, giving proof that Manuela had no police record. Last week the letter came through.
Then came the processing of the records by the immigration people to satisfy the requirements of the law. It was just another case among scores of similar cases, but by this time they were taking a benevolent interest. Today the happy, grateful Huerta family is staying with friends, meanwhile house hunting.
THE PUZZLING suicide of George Reeves has friends recalling tales about him.
An actor who worked with him in several installments of the "Superman" series remembered that Reeves was always complaining that his feet were killing him because of an inevitable scene in each show.
He didn't mind the shot in which he, as Clark Kent, changed into his Superman suit and dove out of a window to fly to someone's rescue. It was the one where he landed that bothered him. He'd have to stand on a ladder out of camera range and jump from 4 of 5 ft. If he landed sideways or with his costume out of place, there would be retakes. By the end of the day he was an unhappy man.
AL CAPP'S comment in Newsweek about Hollywood: "A welcome here starts hotter and gets colder faster than anything anywhere in the world." Come, come, Al, we always say nice things about Dogpatch.
PEOPLE ARE always ribbing colleague Paul Coates because of his steely, unsmiling appearance on TV. Bob Crane of KNX told of a gal, a regular Coates watcher, who put a Venetian blind on her set and closes it when his program comes on. She gets ready for bed about that time and has the feeling he's watching her.
AROUND TOWN -- A girl of about 7 came up to a guard at Pacific Ocean Park and said, "I'd like to report a lost mother and father. They shouldn't be too hard to find -- they're together."
July 9, 1984: Michael Jackson's Victory Tour:
"Michael Jackson is passively aggressive, childishly macho, asexually passionate, dreamily realistic ... The 25-year-old pop sensation is the living, dancing embodiment of an oxymoron ... a figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory ideas are combined."