Bizarre Los Angeles: The Movie Page

A spin-off of the popular Facebook Page.

"I didn’t want to trade on the Hutton name. I’ve always wanted to make it on my own, and, quite frankly, I don’t know whether my background’s been a help or a hindrance — probably some of both. It is true, however, that many people in the business resent the accident of heritage. Usually they’re standoffish and reserved, waiting to see if I’m going to bark or bite. Once I prove myself a regular fellow, they couldn’t be nicer. But I’ve always got to prove myself." — Dina Merrill (born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton) in 1959. Her father was E.F. Hutton and her cousin was Barbara Hutton. In Hollywood, she was promoted as the new Grace Kelly, which also helped and hurt her acting career.

One of Elizabeth Taylor’s wigs used in Cleopatra (1963).

In 1962, the U.S. Army briefly had the idea that they should use a cheesecake spokesmodel to recruit young men into service. That same year, future cult film & TV actress Francine York became Miss All-American Girl U.S. Army Recruiter. Her mission: to provide autographed pin-up photos to a “Valley group of Army inductees called the Buddy Group,” be their pen pal, give them a Hollywood studio tour and to visit them at Ft. Ord while they were in training. The Buddy Group in the picture is identified (left to right) by the Los Angeles Public Library as Jerry Williams, Reseda;Jim Szeredy, Pacoima; Sgt. Leslie F. Zickefoose Jr., North Hollywood recruiter; John Kruse, North Hollywood, and Richard Eckols, San Fernando. (LAPL)

As for Francine York’s Hollywood career—well, if you watched TV in the 1960s, you definitely saw her. She was in Batman; Lost in Space; Burke’s Law; General Hospital; Wild, Wild West; Bewitched, etc.

To see what she looks like now, click here:

"Helen has always been accepted as the ideal — the epitome of beauty. From our earliest school days we have read and studied Helen and her matchless beauty. Consequently, it is impossible for any woman to play the role of Helen in an entirely satisfactory manner. The greatest real beauty of all times would fall short of the role, for there never was a woman who could arise to the legend as it exists in our minds. Therefore, in this picture of ‘Helen of Troy’ we can only accept the physical Helen which we see on the screen as a symbol, just as a painted backdrop on the stage represents a forest, a mountain or the skyline of a city.” — Maria Corda, a Hungarian born actress (and wife of director Alexander Korda) who starred in The Private Life of Helen of Troy in 1927.

Notice the difference in the spelling of Maria and Alexander’s last name? Maria wanted to distance herself from her husband’s fame.

Corda’s Hollywood career was fairly brief. American audiences never really warmed to her and her command of the English language prevented her from transitioning into American talkies.

"My mother was a really fine painter. She used oils, and her portraits and landscapes were far from amateur. I have always regretted that she gave it up. She had something more than talent. Whatever little knack I have for sketching comes from her, but in a very modified form." — Dorothy Sebastian 

"Modern life is so complex that I think we need all the intellectual tools at our command to understand it. I am particularly interested in the mental and spiritual phases of life. In this modern world, the two seem to have got out of balance." — Jean Arthur 

Source: Jim O’Connor in 1950.

"There’s no reason in the world that a fat man shouldn’t have evil ideas." — Sydney Greenstreet in 1942

Screen Snapshots (1920), a filmed short subject.


Anita Stewart by Alfred Cheney Johnston

"You know, there are so many men who want to die for me, or about me, but when I give them the chance — they never do!" — Anita Stewart 

In the mid to late 1910s, Anita Stewart was a regular at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles. She was even present when Chaplin had his brief fist fight with Louis B. Mayer in the hotel lobby.