Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Friday, May 30, 2008

Harvey Korman has died age 81

If you are old enough to remember The Carol Burnett Show, you will remember Harvey Korman. He was one of Carol's regulars, along with Tim Conway, Lyle Waggoner and Vicki Lawrence. Korman has appeared in movies and other television programs as well, but I will remember him best with Tim Conway from Carol's show.

For some of you who may not know, The Carol Burnett Show was a top rated variety show, that was one hour each week and had special guest from the music, movie and television world, along with a few surprises. And it had nearly all the top name stars from the golden era of movies.

The weekly skits were the highlights, and Carol's opening 'chat for questions from the audience' was a mainstay. The cast breaking up on their own jokes while doing a skit, was not really planned, but just part of the fun of the show.

You can learn more from this link at the LA Times.
(note: sometimes these links do 'disappear' as pages are removed from the news site.)

Interesting sidebar: Carol Burnett and Lita Hill were born the same year and month. Carol, April 26, 1933 and Lita, April 3, 1933.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hotel Del Monte Monterey

In The Sea Gull 'A Woman of the Sea' I have a section about Monterey and the Hotel Del Monte. This hotel was originally created by Charles Crocker (Transcontinental Railroad builder and president of Southern Pacific). This was the same railroad Edna Purviance used as a child during her Lovelock years.

Hotel Del Monte was a favorite for Hollywood stars in the 1920s, and Chaplin was known to stay there during his visits to the Monterey Bay area. But during Chaplin's late 1925 visit and Edna's trip to Monterey in March 1926, the Hotel Del Monte was being rebuilt after a fire nearly destroyed the hotel. (This was the second major fire the hotel suffered.)

A couple of months after Edna and Sternberg's film company finished filming in Monterey, the hotel had a grand re-opening.

What remains of that 1926 hotel building currently exists as the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. The original hotel was taken over by the US Navy during World War II.

While the hotel has been stripped of its former glamour, a special exhibit is bringing it back! Called Relive the Magic: Hotel Del Monte, the exhibit will share photos as well as live talks with former hotel employees, reliving their experience working at the Del Monte.

The exhibit is scheduled to run through August 31st, 2008. You can learn more at this link.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Robert Nudelman Memorial - The Music Box Theater, Hollywood

Thursday, June 12, 2008 - A special memorial will be held for Robert W. Nudelman at The Music Box Theater in Hollywood. Called "Celebration of Life" the memorial will be held between 6-8 p.m. June 12th. See this link at Hollywood Hertiage for more details.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

PBS Make 'Em Laugh 2008-2009 season

In 2006, I posted an item about the future PBS series called Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America. Current updates reveal the series appears to be ready for the upcoming 2008-2009 PBS season. This is a November 2007 article about the series.

Also, Current.org has the program listed for showing in the winter/spring PBS season of 2009. The six hour, six-part series is to cover comedy from the early stage to current films, but not in that order. It appears to be a look at America comedy rather than comedy, in general.

"Make ’Em Laugh doesn’t move chronologically from vaudeville to Jon Stewart but divides its subject by genre, with episodes on physical comedy, satire and parody and sitcoms, among other topics. “I was afraid if we broke it down by decade, it would get predictable,” Kantor says. “With comedy, we wanted to have more surprise.” - Producer, Michael Kantor, Pipeline (current.org)

Update: August 6, 2008 - From the TV SQUAD website, Billy Crystal is listed as the new host for Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America. The six-hour documentary is said to air in January 2009.

October 2008 - Update on the Make 'Em Laugh series and new book.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sydney Pollack has died at age 73

Sydney Pollack, US film director, known for such films as Tootie, Out of Africa, and The Way We Were, has died at the age of 73, at his Los Angeles home. more>

Charlie Chaplin - London Statue in Leicester Square

Charlie Chaplin's statue
Leicester Square
London, England

A video visit to Chaplin's statue in London - (link)
Created exclusively for ednapurviance.org

To learn more about Chaplin's statues around the world,
check out this article at Bioscopic. more>

Grand View Cemetery, Sunday May 25 Opening

Grand View Cemetery - Glendale, California - On Sunday, May 25th, 2008, Grand View Cemetery was open for four hours over the Memorial Day weekend. Visitors brought flowers and rakes, as they cleaned grave sites and laid flowers during the holiday weekend.

While no date is set for the next opening, lawyers are working toward a goal to get future openings of at least twice a month.

The Glendale News press reports:
"The cemetery has trimmed trees and vegetation at the cemetery in response to that complaint, said David Baum, the attorney representing Goldsman.

“We’ve resolved all of the issues brought in the complaint,” Baum said.

Paul Ayers, one of the attorneys representing families in the class-action lawsuit, said he plans to propose to Baum that a regular, twice-a-month visitation schedule be reestablished at the cemetery.

Earlier this month, attorneys representing the families agreed on a mediator to work on reaching a settlement between the families and the cemetery. Mediation could begin by the summer, said Mary Der-Parseghian, one of the attorneys for the families." Glendale News

Link to full article from the Glendale Press.
GP article may only be available for 15 days online, starting day of this post.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Charlie Chaplin Days - Niles, California

June 7 & 8, 2008
Charlie Chaplin Days
Niles, California - Old Town Niles - 11AM-4PM

Charlie Chaplin film shorts, lookalike contest and MORE!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Smile by guitarist Manfred Junker

German guitarist Manfred Junker and bass player German Klaiber, have released their collection that includes Charlie Chaplin's Eternally (from Limelight - 1952) and Smile (from Modern Times - 1936). More information is available at this link. There are no samples of these two mentioned, but there are samples of his music at this link. (image from site)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

DVD Silent Lives: Classic Screen Moments arrived

Monday, I received the DVD
Silent Lives: Classic Screen Moments
with Lon Davis.

You can only get this DVD, if you order
Silent Lives by Lon Davis, from BearManor Media.


I wanted you to know about it, because you are missing out, if you don't get these together. It comes as you see it here. Not in a 'designer box package', but a film filled disc, (loaded with enthusiasm for silent film era).

With 23 film clips, it is the perfect collection to introduce new people to silents films, but I found it an enjoyable addition to my collection, with nearly two hours of rare film footage and old silent favorites.

The DVD has two options: with comments or without.

With comments, Lon Davis gives us a pleasant and informative background on the stars and 23 films shown, covering over 25 years (from the early beginnings with The Great Train Robbery, and finishes with Fairbank's The Iron Man.)

Without comments, the films and music speak for themselves, giving you an enjoyable ride through many silent comedies and dramas.

Together, they are the perfect companions for each other, that I would highly recommend.

I have more on this, along with the book, Silent Lives, at this link. OR watch Lon Davis interview, which features this film, at this link.

The other guys may have 'free shipping' but they don't have this 'perfect pairing' of DVD and book for your knowledge and enjoyment, from this era in film making.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Grand View one day May 25, 2008 opening

Grand View Cemetery in Glendale will be open for four hours (12 noon to 4PM) on Sunday, May 25, 2008. The opening will be very much like the March 30th opening earlier this year. Attorneys are looking for volunteers to help with the event. Because of the very dry conditions, no smoking is allowed on the grounds. More from Glendale News. more>

"The visitation period between noon and 4 p.m. will be similar to the opening on March 30, which saw hundreds of visitors descend on the long-closed cemetery to clear off headstones and mourn loved ones. The cemetery had been closed for seven months before that opening.

“We’re trying to do whatever we can for the local community,” said David Baum, an attorney representing Grand View operator and co-owner Moshe Goldsman." - Glendale News

May's Bits and Pieces...

May 26, 2008 is Spring Bank Holiday in the UK and Memorial Day in the USA. Since I don't travel like I use to on that day, I plan to have a little 'internet' travel, instead, with a new video short coming next Monday (May 26th). (I don't want to leave Canada out, since they have Victoria Day today, in many regions!)

Other news... I like to thank everyone for the latest Sea Gull book orders! Very good to have your support. While shipping prices have gone up, I decided to NOT increase shipping at this time. I have worked on getting my shipping material cost down and that is helping overall.

On Grand View: I had an email from a fan saying that GV is planning an opening for a few hours on May 25th. I have not seen an official article on this from the press (at the time of this posting), but they said it would be familiar to the March opening.

To our fans who can speak Portuguese: I have been in contact with some of our Edna fans in Brazil for a few years now. If you know Portuguese, I would recommend Carla Marinho blog in Brazil for Chaplin fans.

Film Events: There are some coming silent film events this summer. You can check out this link for events, hopefully, near you. Bologna, Italy will certainly be a great stop for Josef von Sternberg fans at IL Cinema Ritrovato. And if you had not heard it yet, check out Donna Hill's Podcast featuring Slapsticon, coming in July. This weekend, the annual Cinevent will be held (with silent and classic films). Also, Paramount Ranch will hold their annual event of Silents Under the Stars on July 20th, 2008. Check this link for more details.

For the fans who have been following the news of Robert W. Nudelman passing, here is another link with current information.

I have some posts coming, and news bubbling under the surface, so thanks for visiting now, and see you on the next go around of Bits and Pieces... L

P.S. - I will have a new Edna question coming very soon...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

UK readers: A No Ad Comic for your Kids, DFC

This is a non-Edna topic, but since I do get a large percentage of UK and European visitors, I am kicking myself a bit for not mentioning this earlier, even though I did have an earlier mention and had some side links about it.

If you live in the UK, you may have heard about this already, but this weekend you maybe reading more about the DFC. Hopefully, your kids may have told you about it, after they heard about it from school. The comic will be starting to arrive at fans doors May 30, 2008.

It is subscription only. You can order at the DFC website. (And it is available to anyone, worldwide.)

It maybe a bit higher in price than you normally pay for a comic, but this comic will have NO ADS! A rarity in this media filled world. Just 36-pages chuck full of continuing stories from talented artist and writers. A weekly adventure for your kids, and adults, who still love comics.

So check it out, if you like your kids to be exposed to original stories and not just the current tv characters.

Update November 25, 2008 - The DFC Gift Subscription from Amazon UK - A one month subscription for £12.00 with Free shipping in the UK with Super Saver Delivery.

Update: June 4, 2008 - Today I ordered the first edition of the DFC. I would love to have a full subscription, but maybe later. For now, they are offering single issues for purchase (roughly $7.00 each). I will report back once I receive it. The reviews so far, have been very good, so decided to at least get the issue edition, while available.

Update: June 15, 2008 - Just a follow-up to let you know I have not forgotten to update this. I have not received The DFC yet. I did order on June 4th, so still looking forward to seeing the comic arrive. It did say on the order, it could take up to 28 days. It has been 11 days, so far. I don't know exactly what class they are mailing it. I do know, when I mail to the UK, First Class, it takes about 6-10 days, usually. Once and a while, maybe longer, but on the whole, quite good. Planning to post, when The DFC does come, so if watching, stay tune...

Update: June 24, 2004 - Today my copy of the DFC arrived! I ordered issue One on June 4th, and it arrived safely today. I have not opened it yet, as I am saving the moment until tomorrow. A bit like Christmas, and after 20 days, what is one more day... (Besides, tomorrow is the 25th.)

Update: June 28, 2008 - Well, I did open my copy of the DFC on the 25th and I did enjoy it. The only downside was the printing of my copy.

The printing of my issue was off, as some of the comic strips were quite darkly printed (especially The Boss and John Blake, where the action are hard to see). The overall printing was a bit washed out and on the grayish side, as well. BUT I have read the UK copies have been very well printed, so I might have gotten a bad print run.

It is very refreshing to find a comic with no ads or TV characters. I don't know how the kids are liking it, but I found the comic has a good mixture of stories to please different ages.

For me, I enjoyed the humor strips of Good Dog, Bad Dog, Super Animal Adventure Squid and the gentle honor of Vern and Lettuce. Each of these should please the younger readers.

I did like the dream like beauty of Spider Moon, but not enough story to really grab me in (could be best in the longer version).

And I was intrigued by Mo-Bot High. I certainly wanted to learn more of what was going on (even though I am not a huge robot fan, these days). (Mo-Bot High was best printed in my issue.)

I have not seen the actual bill yet (exchange rates change so much) but the estimate cost for one issue was about ($7). (Update June 29th: I saw the actual bill and it was $7.87 for this issue.) The billing said 'up to 28 days' so it did come under days stated.

I don't know how long the regular weekly subscription would take, but my single copy took 20 days to receive it.

Would I subscription? If I had the money to spare, and lived in the UK, yes. Not living in the UK, and buying at the current exchange rates, it is difficult, with the prices of everything skyrocketing these days and the dollar sinking like a rock in a river (never knowing where it will land today).

But if you like to try it, and especially if you are in the UK, at least they offer single issues to get a feel for it. There are some reports on the web and reviews, if you do some research, if you like to know more before buying. (Below are just a few reviews.)

I only saw this one issue, but I, for one, would love to see The DFC succeed and grow.

Here are some links to learn more about this totally ad free weekly British Comic.
Interviews from Alex Fitch with
John Aggs, Patrice Aggs & Jim Medway>

Interviews from Alex Fitch
with Philip Pullman, Nick Abadzis & David Fickling >


List of REVIEWS of DFC First Edition from
Garen Ewing's Rainbow Orchid blog>


BBC Channel 5 TV News report on the DFC>
(don't know for sure how long this link will be active)

Update March 2009: Sad news about The DFC. The comic publication has been put up for sale by Random House. If not sold by March 27, 2009, the comic will stop publication at issue #43.

Update August 4, 2009 - Garen Ewing, who was one of the artist slated to appear in the former DFC, is reported to be on Alex Fitch's 'Strip' program on August 6, 2009. Garen just launched his comic book, The Rainbow Orchid with Egmont UK.
more here>


Friday, May 16, 2008

Chaplin Keystone Films Planned for Spring 2009 release

We have just been informed from one of our fans in Europe, that the restored Charlie Chaplin Keystone Films maybe released in spring 2009. Of course, we know things can change, as BFI is still working hard in finishing up this collection. It is certainly something to watch for this coming year.

UPDATE July 2010 - The Chaplin at Keystone collection is scheduled to be released in the USA by Flicker Alley in October 2010. LINK

UPDATE January 29, 2010 - CNN REPORT ABOUT THE CHAPLIN KEYSTONES

UPDATE: December 2009 - Keystone DVD collection apparently is now on delay until 2011?

______________________
Past information...

More information: Here is the link to BFI about the Chaplin Keystone Restoration Project and the list of films.

About the films: Interview with Glenn Mitchell, author of The Chaplin Encyclopaedia, about the restored Keystone films from BFI.

UPDATE: February 10, 2009 - The latest we are hearing that the films looked to be set for release in the Fall of 2009. More details, as they come.

UPDATE: April 7, 2009 - One would think there be more about this now, but unless only known in the private circles, haven't seen any real movement on this yet. So just keep checking.
Unlike the Hollywood Series (with copyright issues that stopped that DVD release), this shouldn't have the same issues, but taking time (and money) getting it to together, one would have to guess.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Grand View news

I am still watching for the latest on Grand View, but this week, a court hearing is planned. The last update mentioned late May as a possible one day opening for Grand View again. This is from the Glendale press:

"The tentative plan to open the park on May 25 could be confirmed at a status conference hearing on May 16 in Los Angeles Superior Court."

(One of our Edna fans has written in saying that on May 25th, Grand View will be open for a few hours. I am watching for a news article on this, or check your local news if you live in the LA area.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just some thought, as I start work on book two...

It has been four months since we launched The Sea Gull. So time is turning toward re-starting the biography I was working on, before the Sea Gull book.

The Sea Gull was actually my second book planned for Edna, but with Lita's health, I decided to do it first. The reason being, quicker to produce. And I just made it under the wire, by a week, as Lita (Edna Purviance's grand niece) died eight days after the launch.

I have to say, her death did put me out of the mood for the second book (as well as all the business things I had to do for SG). I can't say I feel like I launched a book yet, because there was nothing traditional about it. Just me in the office, like now, looking at a computer screen, emailing people and signing books on a little night table by my computer. And I didn't even have to 'dress' for it. I could wear anything at my 'launching and signings' and no one would know better.

It was great, but nothing traditional, except for some very nice flowers and very nice comments emailed back. I did have about four phone calls about the book, which was greatly appreciated, since I rarely see people or talk to them in person.

We like to thank, again, everyone who has, and currently, ordered The Sea Gull. It certainly turned out better than I thought.

But with Lita gone, I have been trying to get use to that.

What Lita's death sort of did, was place me back to where I was before I met her, because I had a book in the making already, and that was the biography. It wasn't a complete biography, but it was a start, with the early years pretty well covered.

I have been getting all my drafts together of the biography the last couple of weeks. Tonight, I started to open them for the first time in two years.

The early years and most of the career years of Edna, I had written, before I met Lita. The later years Lita was going to help with, which she did, until her health made it impossible to do more. I have articles to work with and loads of new material from the Hill collection and added research since, but also more research to do on material Lita didn't have.

Since the biography is going to be centered about Edna and her family (mainly her mother and two sisters) I have thoughts on how to do that, and keep the project going. That I will cover as I go along...

It is not easy to just pick up and start rolling on something again after two years, after working on it for over 10 years. But I am very glad I did get all the research I did, because starting from scratch now, with the increase cost and turn down in the economy, would have made it nearly impossible to do. And being 10 years older and with my eyesight, not the best, anymore, I am so grateful to have so much done.

So it is just getting the mood back into doing a second book. I have the material here sitting to work with. Writing here does help me start thinking about it.

Releasing the first book does take much of the excitement away. You only get one shot at launching your first book. But, since I really don't feel like I launched a book yet, it does leave some excitement left.

Now it time to start 'hitting the keyboard and research material' for the second book... Hopefully soon.

I have a very good friend launching a book in 2009. Sounds like a good year to do it, but might be closer to 2010, seeing how long The Sea Gull took. But the sooner I start, the sooner I will get it done. And I have fans 'who ate up the first book' and now waiting for the second course...

The working title for this book is 'Purviance' and that is what I will use throughout the writing and production work.

(The nice thing about my new computer? It talks to me! So I can hear how this article sounds. A voice in my little attic world.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pop Artist, Robert Rauschenberg has died

May 13, 2008 - US Pop Artist, Robert Rauschenberg has died at the age of 82. I remember seeing his work in San Francisco, during our college art trips in the 1980s.

On one of those trips, while roaming the old record shops, we picked up the album 'Speaking in Tongues' by Talking Heads, which the cover was designed by Robert Rauschenberg.

In 1984, he won the Grammy Award for best album cover for that same cover (see image). It is still sealed and in the same bag it was purchased.

Cost $15. That was a large amount of money for an album in those days.


Okay, I do have an Edna Purviance tie in to this. Edna use to stay at one of her relatives homes not far from where we bought this LP. It was the same home her stepfather, Robert Nurnberger died in 1911. From records I have at the moment, the property was taken over by University of California. This property could have been purchased about the time Sidney Buckingham Hill (Bessie Purviance Hill husband and Edna's brother-in-law) attended the University.

Monday, May 12, 2008

May 2008 - Chaplin Library Latest Books

Dominique Dugros has sent us his Latest book additions for the Chaplin Library. It includes books from Japan, Germany, Mexico and Sweden. I also have the Library Database 'in the wings' to come.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

TCM's Premiere - Anna May Wong

June 5, 2008
TCM Television Premiere
Anna May Wong


Frosted Yellow Willows:
Her Life, Times and Legend

4 PM Eastern and encore at 3:30 AM Eastern
Produced by Elaine Mae Woo

Narrated by Nancy Kwan

Part of TCM's month long look at Asian films.
Every Tuesday and Thursday night in June.

"Anna May Wong made over sixty films in her career. She is best known for her role in Joseph Von Sternberg's Shanghai Express (1932) in which she starred alongside Marlene Dietrich." - NPG
Link to a past article on Wong from the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Cinecon's Robert W. Nudelman has died

Los Angeles, California - Hollywood preservationist, Robert W. Nudelman, has died at the age of 52. Robert was visiting his father in Arizona, who was recently ill, when Robert died suddenly at his family home. He was best known for his work saving landmarks like El Capitan Theatre and Cinerama Dome. He was also involved with Cinecon, where we met him in 2006.


The Los Angeles Times reports:
"In 1984, Nudelman and a group of investors launched the
Hollywood Museum, a small memorabilia showplace in an old bank building on Hollywood Boulevard. It attracted about 10,000 visitors before going broke a year later. He was the longtime director of preservation for Hollywood Heritage and had served as president of the group. He also was curator of the Hollywood Heritage Museum in the Lasky-DeMille Barn and had written several books about Hollywood. Friends invariably mentioned his wry humor, his humility and that he didn't own a car. At the time of his death, he was working with Debbie Reynolds and her son Todd on the Hollywood motion picture museum she is building in Tennessee."

While some battles were won, saving the past can be tough, when people show little interest. When Nudelman was working on saving the MGM lot in the 1970s, the movie industry showed little interest:

"We want to turn the lot into a theme park," said Robert Nudelman of the Hollywood Group. "We could rent it out to movie companies occasionally."

But the response was not enthusiastic from the film industry, Nudelman continued:

"I've talked to the people in the movie industry and their reaction seems to be 'Who cares?' - LA Times


Plans are in the works for a special memorial. Check this link for very good report from Cinema Treasures about Nudelman. more>

May 19th - Here is a link page of more information from Hollywood Hertiage.

May 28, 2008 - Robert W. Nudelman memorial will be held at The Music Box Theater. more>

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lon Davis, Secret of the Silent Movie Stars

Lon Davis, author of
Silent Lives
April 9, 2008 - Interview with Kelli Warner


News from Edna's Day - Voting Machines

News from Edna’s Day
Series 1#
I am beginning a new series of articles featuring news Edna’s parents and Edna Purviance herself read during their lifetime in Nevada and beyond. You may find it interesting, that the same concerns they had, are similar to ours today. With many elections happening this year, I will begin with an article about the early use of voting machines.

December 27, 1894
Silver State - Nevada
The Voting Machine
"The new constitution of New York permits the use of voting machines, several of which have been successfully tested in the western part of the state. These machines are built on the cash register principle. The names of the candidates are printed on the push buttons, and the buttons are arranged in rows of different colors, representing the various parties.

The voter pushes the button bearing the name of the candidate for whom he desires to vote, and his vote is recorded. An ignorant voter can vote straight by simply pushing the buttons of the color representing his party.

It is estimated that although New York City would require 1000 of these machines at $250 each, the city would save $100,000 annually on the cost of elections by using them. They would do away with poll clerks and with tickets, besides preventing fraud, and would guarantee accuracy in the count.

The voting machine is the ideal ballot box. It cannot be stuffed, and its computations are unfailing. If it should come into general use the returns of elections would be received early in the evening, instead of late at night."

Note: This article was released about one year before Edna Purviance was born.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Edna Purviance's Grand Niece, Lita Hill videos

Here are some video links featuring Lita Hill, Edna Purviance's grand niece. One is a new video just posted today.

These videos were taken during our first visit together in April 2005. None of the footage seen in this series of clips were used in the video interview shown at Cinecon 42 in 2006. I will be placing this series into a special page, as the project develops. Lita passed away on January 21, 2008, and this is part of our tribute to her.

August 2006 - Behind the Scenes
A small preview I created just before going to Cinecon in 2006. Features Lita and I with the Hill collection.

April 2008 - Good Friend
A video featuring a good friend of Lita's.

May 2008 - First Job
About Lita's first job in LA, while she was living with Edna Purviance. (Background: Lita lived in Reno for a few years, after her father Morgan left the film industry. After high school, Lita returned to Los Angeles and lived with Edna.)

Update: I have continued to notice the video/flash page section has been getting steady to heavy traffic since the Lita videos have been added. When playing a video, if it seems a bit slow in loading, just let it load and than press the re-start link. Once it loads, you should have few problems. Thanks for visiting.