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Monday, September 10, 2007 – Hollywood Death

Monday it was another

    Jane Wyman won an Oscar for her role as a deaf rape victim in the film "Johnny Belinda" and she'll probably be best remembered for her portrayal of a power-mad winery owner in TV's "Falcon Crest." But her greatest distinction may have been refusing to kiss and tell about her love life, most especially her marriage to future president Ronald Reagan. Wyman died early Monday at her Palm Springs home, son Michael Reagan said.

    … Her marriage in 1940 to fellow Warner Bros. contract player Ronald Reagan was celebrated in the fan magazines as one of Hollywood's ideal unions. While he was in uniform during World War II, her career ascended, signaled by her 1946 Oscar nomination for "The Yearling."  She and Reagan divorced in 1948, the year she won an Oscar for "Johnny Belinda." Reagan reportedly cracked to a friend: "Maybe I should name Johnny Belinda as co-respondent."

    After Reagan became governor of California and then president of the United States, Wyman kept a decorous silence about her ex-husband, who had married actress Nancy Davis. In a 1968 newspaper interview, Wyman explained the reason: "It's not because I'm bitter or because I don't agree with him politically. I've always been a registered Republican. But it's bad taste to talk about ex-husbands and ex-wives, that's all. Also, I don't know a damn thing about politics."

There's much more at the link. This is the wreath at her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in front of the souvenir shop with the cheap t-shirts.

There's something about Hollywood and death that just seems right. You can review the death of River Phoenix down at the Viper Room on Sunset, or how John Belushi died at the Chateau Marmont a few years earlier and a few blocks east, or just consult Where the Stars Died if that sort of thing appeals to you. But Hollywood has always been about death and evil and bad things. That's what sells movies.

To the right, black wrought iron work on the west wall of the Warner Pacific Theater, just around the corner, and below, Roddy McDowell's eyes across the street are starting at the wreath.

Wreath at the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Jane Wyman on the day of her death
Black wrought iron work on the west wall of the Warner Pacific Theater, Hollywood Boulevard

In the same block…

"Satan's Tools" movie promo, Hollywood Boulevard
Showtime promo for killer show, Hollywood Boulevard
Odd Wagnerian horror-film dolls in window, Hollywood Boulevard
Spider at Hollywood Toys and Costume, Hollywood Boulevard
Chain, post, lock, stickers - Hollywood
Ladder in alley with shadows - Hollywood

Just below the ladder –

Graffiti window in alley, Hollywood

Scientology offers an answer.

Reflections in glass across from the Scientology Test Center, Hollywood Boulevard
Chalk welcome sign at Kung Pao Kitty, Hollywood Boulevard

If you wish to use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me. And should you choose to download any of these images and use them invoking the "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, please provide credit, and, on the web, a link back this site.

Technical Note:

Most of these photographs were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0.  Earlier photography was done with a Sony Mavica digital still camera (MVC-FD-88) with built-in digital zoom.

[Hollywood Death]

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 - Alan M. Pavlik