Where the Stars Died - from the 1920's to the 1950's



Seeing Stars in Hollywood

A list Hollywood locations of famous celebrity deaths,
crimes, murders, & suicides.

The 1950's

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    1579 Benedict Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills: the house where actor George Reeves, TV's "Superman," was found dead of a gunshot wound on June 16, 1959. His relatives believed he was murdered, and disputed the official ruling of suicide. At his funeral, he was laid to rest in the same suit that he wore on the TV show as "Clark Kent."

    730 N. Bedford Drive, Beverly Hills: the home where, on Good Friday of 1958, actress Lana Turner's 14-year-old daughter (Cheryl Crane) stabbed to death her mother's lover, mobster Johnny Stompanato.

    According to Cheryl's testimony, the couple had been quarreling when Stompanato (an ex-bodyguard for Mickey Cohen) allegedly threatened to kill Turner. Cheryl got a 10-inch kitchen knife and plunged it into Stompanato's stomach. She was later acquitted, based on a defense of justifiable homicide.  

The 1940's

The 1990's - The 1980's - The 1970's - The 1960's - The 1950's - The 1930's - The 1920's

    3925 S. Norton Avenue (just south of 39th Street), in South Central L.A.: the vacant lot where the horribly mutilated body of "The Black Dahlia" (aspiring 22-year old actress Elizabeth Short) was found cut in half on Jan. 15, 1947.

    The most infamous murder case in the history of Hollywood, the body was found two blocks east of where the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza mall is today. The grisly murder has inspired several movies, most notably 1981's "True Confessions" and the 2006 film, "The Black Dahlia".  *

    Other locations associated with the Black Dahlia include The Pig 'N' Whistle restaurant on Hollywood Blvd (where Elizabeth Short hung out) and the Formosa Cafe (another hang-out). For a while she lived in the Alto Nido apartments, the same place where they filmed part of the movie "Sunset Blvd." And just a few blocks away, at 5123 Franklin Ave. lived George Hodel, the latest (and best) suspect in the Black Dahlia murder. The last place she was seen alive was the Biltmore Hotel, at 506 S. Grand Ave, in downtown Los Angeles.

    1465 Capri Drive, Pacific Palisades: the home where actress Carole Landis ("One Million BC" & "Topper Returns") killed herself with an overdose of pills, in 1948.

    810 Linden Drive, Beverly Hills: the home where mob hit-men blew away mobster Bugsy Siegel in 1947. (They drove up and shot him through the front windows while he was sitting in the living room). Segal had just built the first major hotel in Las Vegas, the Flamingo. His life story was told in the 1991 movie "Bugsy," starring Warren Beatty.

    808 Whittier Drive; 803 & 805 N. Linden Drive, Beverly Hills: If you have seen 2004's "The Aviator", with Leonardo DiCaprio playing billionaire Howard Hughes, you'll remember the scene where Hughes crashes his plane into a residential neighborhood in Beverly Hills. This is the site of that crash.

    On July 7, 1946, when engine trouble developed, Hughes attempted to land his experimental XF-11 plane on the golf greens at the Los Angeles Country Club (10101 Wilshire Blvd.), but he didn't made it. Instead, he first bounced off the roofs of stars' homes at 803 and 805 N. Linden Drive in Beverly Hills, then smashed into the home at 808 Whittier Drive, destroying the plane and burning down the house.

    Hughes somehow survived the crash, but was badly injured. He became addicted to opiates during his hospital recovery, and grew his trademark mustache to cover a scar on his lip that he received from the crash.

    1443 N. Hayworth Ave., West Hollywood: the apartment house where author F. Scott Fitzgerald died in 1940. He actually lived nearby at 1403 North Laurel Ave., but when he began suffering heart problems (shortly before his death), he was unable to climb the stairs to his second-floor apartment, so he moved into this first-floor apartment of his lover, Sheila Graham. He was working on "The Last Tycoon" when he died here.

    The story of his latter life was made into a film titled "Beloved Infidel", starring Gregory Peck as Fitzgerald and Deborah Kerr as Sheila Graham. The movie ends with his death in this apartment. Quite a few of Fitzgerald's great novels were adapted for the big screen, including "The Great Gatsby," (twice, once with Robert Redford and earlier with Warner Baxter), "Tender Is The Night" (with Jennifer JonesJason Robards) and his unfinished "The Last Tycoon" (with Robert DeNiro).

The 1930's

The 1990's - The 1980's - The 1970's - The 1960's - The 1950's - The 1940's - The 1920's

    17531 Posetano Road, Pacific Palisades: the death site of Thelma Todd, on Dec. 16, 1935. Miss Todd was a popular young actress who, during the early 1930's, had co-starred in a number of classic comedies with the Marx Brothers ("Horse Feathers," "Monkey Business"), Laurel & Hardy, and Buster Keaton.

    She also ran a popular beachside restaurant, "Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe," located nearby at 17575 Pacific Coast Highway, just west of Sunset Blvd.

    Thelma died at age 30 in 1935 under very mysterious circumstances. She was found dead in her car, still parked in the garage above her café. It was ruled an accidental suicide, yet the bloody scene suggested a murder, and many people suspected a cover-up of a gangland slaying. Her life story was told in the 1991 TV movie "White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd,." with Loni Anderson playing the title role. Also see "Haunted Hollywood")

    The Hollywood Sign (atop Mount Lee): where, on September 18, 1932, aspiring actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping to her death from the Sign's giant letter "H."

    The 1920's

    649 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles: The home of Roscoe "FattyArbuckle, where he lived at the time of the infamous sex party where Arbuckle allegedly caused the death of actress Virginia Rappe in 1921.

    Second only to Charlie Chaplin in popularity as a film comic at time of the scandal, Arbuckle was subsequently acquitted of all charges and the jury issued a formal apology to him. But his career was destroyed. The house (near USC) is now a home for Catholic priests. (The actual party took place in Suite 1221 of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.) *

    404-B South Alvarado (the northeast corner of Alvarado & Maryland), Los Angeles: the former site of the Alvarado Court Apartments, near MacArthur Park, where on February 1, 1922 Paramount film director William Desmond Taylor, was shot to death in his bungalow.

    It was one of the biggest crimes to hit Hollywood; the murder mystery dominated the headlines of the period, and still inspires authors today. The list of suspects included many showbiz figures, including silent film actress Mabel Normand (Mack Sennett's leading lady), but the case remains unsolved to this day. (The site is a parking lot now, and the once wealthy neighborhood is now shabby.)  *

(*The locations marked by an asterisk are located in what may be high-crime areas
and may not be safe to visit - exercise reasonable caution.)

The 2020's - The 2010's - The 2000's - The 1990's - The 1980's - The 1970's The 1960's - The 1950's - The 1940's - The 1930's - The 1920's

A list Hollywood locations of famous celebrity crimes,
sex scandals, arrests, misbehavior... and occasional celebrity heroics.

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