HOMES OF THE WESTERN STARS

DEAN MARTIN

by

SPECIAL GUEST BLOGGER 

BOB SILER

PART TWO

THE HOLLYWOOD YEARS – 1948 – 1995

In 1948 Dean and Jerry Lewis packed up their broods and left New York City for the film capitol of the world, Hollywood, California. The team of Lewis and Martin may not have lasted, but Dean became one of the busiest and most beloved film stars of all time, which is something one could never say about Jerry.

1948 – 1949

850 STONE CANYON ROAD – LOS ANGELES

He and Betty rented this house for $600 a month. It was their first Hollywood home.
850 Stone Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077850 Stone Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077850 Stone Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077850 Stone Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077

1949

8800 SUNSET BOULEVARD – WEST HOLLYWOOD

When Dean and Betty split up he moved out of their home and rented a small, funrished house here. They soon divorced.

CIRO’S

8433 SUNSET BOULEVARD – HOLLYWOOD

606 NORTH BEDFORD DRIVE – BEVERLY HILLS

HERMAN HOVER

Hover was the proprieter of ‘Ciro’s’, (now The Comedy Store) and was living here in the 1940s. In September 1949 Dean married his second wife, Jeanne, here.

(Dean and Jeanne)

1949 – 1955

9261 WARBLER WAY – BEVERLY HILLS

The newleyweds moved here, their first home.

1955

1317 LONDONDERRY PLACE

The Martin’s next moved here for a short stay before moving into a bigger house near the Los Angeles Country Club.

THE LOS ANGELES COUNTRY CLUB

654 WOODRUFF AVENUE – WESTWOOD

Dean could always be found on the green playing golf.

1950s

1123 MONTE VISTA, PALM SPRINGS

1955 – 1972

601 MOUNTAIN DRIVE – BEVERLY HILLS

Dean, Jeanne and the kids found their dream mansion and settled into family life.  Their ‘wood and firestone’ house had three servents, six cars, swimming pool and tennis court. He paid $225,000 for the joint. He moved out in 1972 and he and Jeanne divorced.

JANUARY 1973 – JUNE 25, 1976

363 COPA DE ORO ROAD – BEL AIR

 Dean married his third and final wife, Catherine Hawn, and they moved into this joint, which he shelled out $500,000 for. They moved out on June 25, 1976 and he sold the place to Tom Jones. In recent years Nicholes Cage has lived here.

With Catherine Hawn

JUNE 25, 1976 – AUGUST 1976

23544 MALIBU COLONY DRIVE – MALIBU

Dean and Catherine moved to this beach house. By August the marriage was over and he moved out.

AUGUST 1976

270 PALISADES WALK – SANTA MONICA

From Malibu Dean moved here to his new bachelor diggs.

1984

418 ROBERT LANE

418 ROBERT Ln, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

1988

2002 LOMA VISTA DRIVE – BEVERLY HILLS

1995

511 NORTH MAPLE DRIVE – BEVERLY HILLS

LAST HOME. DIED HERE.

WESTWOOD

Bob Siler grew up in Burbank, not far from Universal Studios and Warner Brothers where they made his favorite monster movies.  A long-time fan of Westerns, he still has a hard time believing that the great John Wayne could die.  Bob has created many lists detailing where the famous and infamous lived, are buried, and the cars they drove.  He has recently completed this list of Western Stars homes after many years.  Burbank Bob now resides in Portland, Oregon.

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File this one under “CODA.”  It’s Sunset Carson’s last ‘big’ screen appearance and one of Lash La Rue’s final films as well.

This is one of those cheapy horror sci-fi films that popped up with great frequency during the Eighties.  A local production featuring mainly non-actors and laughable special effects.

It’s 1985 and Sunset Carson hadn’t worked since 1950.  That year marked his final film with the equally cheapo Yucca Pictures.

He has maybe two minutes in this film but he still gets his (gross!) trademark “cluck cluck” in twice!  Sunset plays the role of Sunset, a scout for the Diamond theatrical agency.  He clucks when he checks out the female lead’s legs and clucks again as a sort of fond “good luck” farewell.

“cluck cluck”

He looks good for a man of his age (65.)  He’s still got that personable, like-able quality that typified his films with Republic in the late 40’s.  In a bonus feature on the DVD, he sits on apple crates with fellow actors and interviews them for his cable access TV show.

In the film, Jesse Jamison is an 80’s Annie Oakley who is poised to become star of “the greatest gun show of all time” as her new management tells her.  Unfortunately, an alien shows up.  An Alien Outlaw.

Lash La Rue is the lead. The lead!  He plays the uncle of Jesse’s missing assistant.  He helps Jesse take out the bad monsters and get her guns back for the big show.

Lash sports a Stephen J. Cannell look in the film.  He’s pretty fit but do we really need to see him with his shirt off?

No.  We don’t.

{no photo here cuz my mama brought me up right}

The big question is: does he use the whip?  No, but he does get his ass kicked pretty good.

There is one more final film appearance, and it one of the saddest cameos in the history of film.  Frederick Penniman was a part-Indian cowboy who made a sorta living in rodeos, Wild West touring companies and doing stunts in movies.  The stage name he chose is Wild Bill Cody, which is equal parts real-life cowboy and B-Western movie star — Bufallo Bill Cody and intermittent B-movie star Bill Cody; Wild Bill Hickok and Wild Bill Elliot.

In 1972, Sunset gave him a role as an Indian Chief in the doomed “Marshal of Windy Hollow”, a film which was never released.

In “Alien Outlaw”, his final role finds him as a withered and bent pervert sitting on a park bench.  He’s ogling girls.

He seems to be suffering from some form of throat cancer. When his dog bolts after the foxy Jesse, he croaks out a single line, “Hey, you can’t bring it back!”

He died three years later.

A final note: the film may exist now as mainly a curiosity showcasing a couple of aging cowboys, but it also turns out to have been a wonderful moment in a English kid’s life.  Check out this happy tale from the IMDB comment section:

I watched the filming, 19 April 2008
Author: barke_p from United Kingdom

I have happy memories of a teenage summer staying near Sparta, NC, on one of the locations that this film uses. Specifically, in the film it was the farm house of the character played by Lash La Rue. I was staying with the family that owns that farm. The “barn” you see in some scenes there was actually the family’s garage.

The film crew were there for several days and I joined in the shoot as a sort of unpaid runner, carrying things around. It was quite odd, not to say surreal, at times: a fifteen year old kid from the UK sitting on the porch chatting alternately with a grumpy B-western star, then the long legged heroine (they were FANTASTIC legs), then the “aliens”, without their helmets. At lunchtimes we had fried chicken, mashed potato , biscuits and gravy I seem to remember. Tasted very good! At one point I overheard the director say something particularly uncomplimentary about his own film. He struck me as someone who could have made much better films if he had had the resources.

I just got the DVD, having never watched the film and it really is difficult to say anything positive about it as a piece of cinema. As a memento of the best summer of my life though it is priceless.

This is the feature version of a serial, the 1933 “Three Musketeers”.  Released in 1947, presumably to cash in on Wayne’s star power, it boils hours of plot-twists, surprise character turns and cliffhangers into 70 minutes of muddle.

Pilot Lt. Wayne takes the heat for a gun-running operation in Africa and sets out to clear his name and save his gal from the clutches of the Devils’ Circle, a group of treacherous Arabs and traitorous Foreign Legionnaires.

Check out this cast of Juniors and soon-to-be B-western staples.

I count Noah Berry Jr. , Lon Chaney Jr. (as Creighton Chaney) and Francis X. Bushman Jr., son of the silent film star.  And Raymond Hatton as a Frenchie! He plays Renard, one of the 3 musketeers who are, in this telling, Foreign Legionnaires.

“The Three Musketeers” was one of three Mascot serials which Wayne was reduced to appearing in after the disappointment of his A-picture debut in “The Big Trail”, 1930.  This is early JW and he’s missing many of the trademarks of his later career — no signature walk, no signature gestures.   Which is weird to watch!

But he does have that voice and that cadence.  A lot of the early criticism of Wayne, and a lot of why (as I understand it) his performance in “The Big Trail” was considered a failure, was that his voice was considered high and reedy.  It’s true, the early sound recording really does do a whammy on his baritone.  He just doesn’t sound as tough as he looks.

HOMES OF THE WESTERN STARS

DEAN MARTIN

by

SPECIAL GUEST BLOGGER 

BOB SILER

INTRODUCTION

Howdy Fellow Film Lovers

This is your tour guide, Bob, with another trip to the homes of one one of yesterdays western film favorites. This time we’ll be visiting places where Dean Martin once lived.

Now, some of you might think of Dean as nothing more than a singer, actor, comic and straight man to Jerry Lewis. But he was much more than that. He was a lover of western movies and a great western film actor. Dean wasn’t into the movie star social life of nightclubs and partys and when his wife, Jeanne would throw a big gathering at their home on Mountain Drive, Dean could always be found in the den watching a western instead of hob nobbing with the elite of the film world. He didn’t care if anyone was insulted either, producers, actors, actresses, if didn’t matter. He would not play the star game for anyone, not even his wife or best friend, Frank Sinatra. I’ve read several books on Dean and the one thing that comes across about him was that he was a decent guy.

No one seemed to have a bad thing to say about him. After twenty odd years of marriage, he and Jeanne divorced and he married a much younger babe. That marriage was short lived. In the end, it was Jeanne who took care of him until the day he died. And he made sure that she and their children never had to ask for anything. He was a good man.

So, put on your favorite Dean Martin album and lets stroll through the places he had called home.

Enjoy.

Bob

(By the way, my original tour also listed the homes of Jerry Lewis, which I did not include here. If you would like to have a list of Jerry’s homes just drop me an e – mail and I’ll get it to you.)

 THE DEAN MARTIN TOUR

 (RIO BRAVO)

PART 0NE

FROM STUBENVILLE TO MANHATTAN

1917 – 1940s

STUBENVILLE, OHIO

1917 – 1930

319 SOUTH 6th STREET

He was born here at the family home on June 7, 1917.

1930

118 BRADY AVENUE

The family moved to this house located on the northern end of town.

1931

630 GRAND VIEW AVENUE

PLEASANT HEIGHTS

They next moved into this small brick house.

1933

1210 RIVERVIEW AVENUE

They moved into this small two – story gabled house with a backyard.

It overlooked the Ohio and West Virginia hills.

1936

NORTH SEVENTH STREET

Lived here for awhile.

1941

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OHIO

2820 MAYFIELD ROAD

Dean and his first wife, Betty, moved here, their first home, after getting married.

(With Betty)

STUBENVILLE, OHIO

2130 SUNSET BOULEVARD

Dean’s parents were now living here.

1943 – 1948

NEW YORK CITY

1943 – 1944

LONDON TERRACE APARTMENTS – MANHATTAN (Chelsea area)

Dean and Betty’s first New York apartment.

1945

STUBENVILLE, OHIO

1101 CARDINAL AVENUE

Dean’s parents were living here. When Dean was on the road Betty and the children lived here with them. When he was in town, he stayed here as well.

1940s

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

1137 GARDENIA AVENUE

In the mid – late ’40s his parents left Ohio and moved here.

1948

NEW YORK CITY

RIVERSIDE DRIVE AND WEST 106th STREET

Dean, Betty and the kids were living here in a ten-room apartment before moving to Los Angeles.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Bob Siler grew up in Burbank, not far from Universal Studios and Warner Brothers where they made his favorite monster movies.  A long-time fan of Westerns, he still has a hard time believing that the great John Wayne could die.  Bob has created many lists detailing where the famous and infamous lived, are buried, and the cars they drove.  He has recently completed this list of Western Stars homes after many years.  Burbank Bob now resides in Portland, Oregon.

 

I’m currently taking a pleasant drive through John Wayne’s earliest films.  I thought I’d take a detour and catch a flick by one of his greatest reported influences, Harry Carey.

1935 is pretty late in Carey’s career so there’s not a lot to learn here about what the Duke took away from his acting.

Maybe the Duke is visible in the authority that he projects.  Or certain mannerisms.

We’ll have to revisit this idea another time.  Until then, see ya round old timer…

Robert N. Bradbury directed 126 films featuring western actors like Buck Jones, Tim McCoy, Johnny Mack Brown, Bill Cody and Tom Tyler.  None would achieve anywhere near the superstar status of John Wayne, who Bradbury directed in 13 of his earliest screen appearances.  His son, Bob Steele, built a sturdy career as a cowboy star and later a character actor and noir heavy.

Behold “The Lucky Texan!”

Sadly, this film falls victim to the lame plot-devices of forged contracts, false receipts and passive frame-ups which are epidemic in Charles Starrett’s films.  The thing even ends up in a YAWN trial scene.

There is one super-cool sequence where Wayne/Canutt Inc. grabs a branch and jump into a sluice to pursue a hard-riding foe.

There’s a cool final chase and doesn’t the Duke look all Durango on his white steed?

A sad and lonely Duke.

Some top-rate talk-cute romantic comedies were made in 1935 — “Top Hat,” “Devil Is A Woman,” “Alice Adams” to name a few.  Flirty barbs were exchanged by Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and a bunch of other attractive people.  They were all brim-full of wit and bubbling with chatty charm.

Add one more to the list.  “The Desert Trail”.  The opening scene is five minutes of clever banter between Wayne and his sidekick, more talk than in the entirety of most Westerns of this ilk.

The rest of the film is, at heart, about the relationship between these two men and their pursuit of the hot-headed (and oddly un-attractive) Rosita.

Imagine a Charles Starrett film like this.  Imagine a love-triangle with Steve and Smiley and, say, Peggy Stewart.

Let’s get weirder and imagine a triangle with Steve, Iris Meredith and…Durango!  Whoa!  Did my mind just go there?  What crazy new world is this?  Wasn’t I just writing about John Wayne…

Weirder and weirder.

These Lone Star Productions starring John Wayne have a  lot in common.  The same cast, most of the same locations…but “Blue Steel” (1934) and “The Dawn Rider” (1935) share the same significant prop!

In BS, Wayne is on the trail of the “Polka Dot Bandit” and an important clue is a blue polka dot handkerchief.  When Wayne’s father is dying in “The Dawn Rider”, he reveals his assassin to his son, “the man who shot me wears a blue polka dot handkerchief.”

“Blue Steel”

“The Dawn Rider”.  Okay! Okay! It’s a different pattern, but it’s the same idea.

Another thing about “The Dawn Rider”: it features an awesome (and rare for the genre) tracking shot which may be the debut of (don’t quote me) Wayne trying out his soon-to-be trademark Yakima Canutt swagger.

I’m working my way through the early Wayne films.  I doubt I’ll have a whole lot to say that hasn’t been said all ready, but I’ll collect my thoughts here anyway.

“Blue Steel” (1934) starts with a scene of guests checking into a hotel AND a remarkably off-color joke.  You just don’t hear these kind of gags in B-Westerns…

This young and nervous couple of newlyweds take their key and head up to their room.  A few minutes later the groom comes downstairs and, mumbling and aw-shucking, announces to the proprietor “I can’t find it.”

In related news, John Wayne wears a mighty big hat in this one.