I’ve been remiss in adding to the blog, which Tony reminds me of fairly consistently and for which I must apologize. He is pretty good about adding tidbits but I should do more and will try to do so…
In a week or so I’m heading to L.A. to do some research on the Paul Bern bio I’m writing and to visit with the L.A. friends. I’ll spend two or three days ensconced in the Herrick Library Special Collections Department at the Motion Picture Academy, which is always a great time. If you’re ever in L.A., visit the Academy. They have great stuff and one of the biggest collection of movie-related stuff anywhere. You have to have access to visit the Special Collections Department and have to make an appointment to have the materials you’re interested in ready for you. Plan a month ahead.
I also got the nod to go to a farewell party at 512 North Palm, a mansion in the flats of Beverly Hills that was Jean Harlow’s last home. It was there that she spent the final weeks of her life in bed suffering from an undiagnosed liver condition that eventually killed her. A few days before she died, Clark Gable and Frank Morgan forced their way in because Jean’s friends had been prevented from seeing her for over a week. She and Gable were filming Saratoga at the time. Unfortunately they were too late to prevent her death and she died a few days later in the hospital. Rent the movie some time; the last half of the movie a stand-in played Jean’s role, filmed from the back and using voice-overs for dailogue. Anyway, the folks who own the house just sold it and are having a Jean Harlow party to celebrate their move. Some movie friends of mine got me on the list, so I get to go. One of my buddies knows the people that own the 1932 Packard that Jean owned when she died and will have the car in the driveway for the party. Very exciting in a weird, writer kind of way. The next day we’re going to take pictures of the Packard in front of the Club View Drive house that Jean lived in when she married Paul Bern. Again, weird in a writer kind of way, but exciting for me.
I’m still trying to wangle a visit with the doctor who owns Paul’s Easton Drive house but so far no luck. That’s the Holy Grail and we’re still trying. We’ll post photos of whatever we get to see when I return mid-June.
Thanks for visiting the blog and the Directory site. Feel free to write with any questions or inquiries and we’ll see you soon.