25 April, 2017

Larry Comeaux


 Larry E. Comeaux II, known as "The Pipe Doctor", was an American artisan who took up the activity of pipe making on the encouragement of two artisan friends from Knoxville, M.O. Vickers and Robert Blackwell. He made pipes professionally for 35 years, having produced many freehands, exotic and sculpted pipes, as well as being a highly respected repairer. In 1986, he won the best freehand contest at the PCI Members Convention and was recognized by the Confrérie de Saint-Claude. He worked with Greek briar and vulcanite and lucite stems, producing between 100 and 250 pipes a year.

Elliot Abel


Elliot D. Abel, founder and owner of Tobacco Corner Ltd.

Elliot was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Jan. 7, 1930, and was the only son of Ivy and Maurice Abel. He served a year in the United States Army prior to beginning his employment as a traveling salesman in the women’s apparel industry. In 1969 Elliot listened to his wife, Sandra, followed his passion, and settled into a new career when he opened the original Tobacco Corner Ltd. on Highland Avenue, thus turning his pipe-smoking hobby into a Memphis institution. Tobacco Corner offered the first walk-in cigar humidor in Memphis and quickly became a popular hangout for pipe and cigar smokers.

He was a proud supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, the Special Olympics and University of Memphis Tiger Athletics.

Dr. Herbert John Webber


Herbert John Webber was an American plant physiologist, professor emeritus of sub-tropical horticulture, first director of the University of California Citrus Experiment Station, and the third curator of the University of California Citrus Variety Collection. Webber was the author of several publications on horticulture, member of numerous professional horticultural and agricultural associations.

James Mason


James Neville Mason was an English actor.

After achieving much success in the United Kingdom, where he was the top box office attraction in 1944 and 1945, he made the transition to the United States and became one of Hollywood's biggest stars. His iconic films included Odd Man Out, The Desert Fox, A Star Is Born, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Lolita, North by Northwest, Prisoner of Zenda, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, A Touch of Larceny, Bigger Than Life, Julius Caesar, Georgy Girl, The Deadly Affair, Age of Consent, Heaven Can Wait, The Boys from Brazil, The Verdict, Mandingo, Murder by Decree and Salem's Lot.

He was nominated for three Academy Awards and three Golden Globes, winning the Golden Globe in 1955 for A Star is Born.

Tyrone Power


Tyrone Edmund Power III was an American film, stage and radio actor. From the 1930s to the 1950s Power appeared in dozens of films, often in swashbuckler roles or romantic leads. His better-known films include The Mark of Zorro, Blood and Sand, The Black Swan, Prince of Foxes, Witness For The Prosecution, The Black Rose, and Captain from Castile. Power's own favorite film among those that he starred in was Nightmare Alley.

Though largely a matinee idol in the 1930s and early 1940s and known for his striking looks, Power starred in films in a number of genres, from drama to light comedy. In the 1950s he began placing limits on the number of films he would make in order to devote more time for theater productions. He received his biggest accolades as a stage actor in John Brown's Body and Mister Roberts. Power died from a heart attack at the age of 44.

House Peters Sr.


Robert House Peters Sr. was a British-born American silent film actor, known to filmgoers of the era as "The Star of a Thousand Emotions."

Born in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, Peters began his career on a high note, playing the handsome leading man in In the Bishop's Carriage (1913), co-starring Mary Pickford. While The Bishop's Carriage was filmed in an East Coast studio, Peters was in Los Angeles by 1914, becoming one of the first screen stars to permanently settle there. Although he stated publicly that he preferred playing villains, Peters, curly haired and pleasantly dimpled, was from the outset typecast as the romantic hero.

After enjoying his greatest success as the good-bad hero of The Girl of the Golden West (1915), Peters found his career at the peak of the early 1920s. He signed with Universal Studios for six films in 1924, hoping for a comeback. The results, however, were mostly mediocre and he was soon demoted to supporting roles. Retired after 1928's Rose Marie, Peters returned for a guest appearance in The Old West, a 1952 Gene Autry film that also featured his son, House Peters Jr., who subsequently enjoyed a lengthy film career portraying villains as well as Procter and Gamble's Mr. Clean character in cleaning product commercials from the late 1950s into the '60s.

Peters was married to actress Mae King in 1914 with whom he had three children, Gregg, Patricia and Robert Jr. (1916–2008). Peters died at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.

Roland Young


Roland Young was an English actor.

Born in London, England, Young was the son of an architect, and early indications were that the son would pursue the father's career. He was educated at Sherborne School, Sherborne, Dorset and the University of London before being accepted into Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Young made his first stage appearance in London's West End in Find the Woman in 1908, and in 1912 he made his Broadway debut in Hindle Wakes. He appeared in two comedies written for him by Clare Kummer, Good Gracious Annabelle! (1916) and A Successful Calamity (1917) before he served with the United States Army during World War I. He returned to New York when the war ended, and married Kummer's daughter, Frances. For the next few years he alternated between New York and London. He made his film debut in the 1922 silent film Sherlock Holmes, in which he played Watson opposite John Barrymore as Holmes.

He signed a contract with MGM and made his talkie debut in The Unholy Night (1929), directed by Lionel Barrymore. He was loaned to Warner Bros. to appear in Her Private Life, with Billie Dove and 20th Century Fox, winning critical approval for his comedic performance as Jeanette MacDonald's husband in Don't Bet on a Woman. He was again paired with MacDonald in the film version of Good Gracious Annabelle!, titled Annabelle's Affairs. He appeared in Cecil B. de Mille's The Squaw Man, and played opposite Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in The Guardsman (both 1931). He appeared with Evelyn Brent in Columbia's The Pagan Lady (1932) and Pola Negri in RKO's A Woman Commands (1932). His final film under his MGM contract was Lovers Courageous (1932), opposite Robert Montgomery.

Young began to work as a freelance performer and found himself in constant demand. He appeared with Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin and Maurice Chevalier in One Hour With You (1932) and with Kay Francis in Street of Women (1932). Alexander Korda invited him to return to Britain to make his British film debut in Wedding Rehearsal (1932). He returned to Hollywood and appeared in a diverse group of films that included comedies, murder mysteries, and dramas, and also worked on Broadway. Among his films of this period were Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), David Copperfield (1935) (playing Uriah Heep), and the H.G. Wells fantasy The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936).

In 1937, he achieved one of the most important successes of his career, as bank president Cosmo Topper, haunted by the ghosts of his clients, played by Cary Grant and Constance Bennett. The film was one of the most successful films of the year, and Young was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Topper's wife was played by Billie Burke, who wrote in her memoir that Young "was dry and always fun to work with". They also appeared together in The Young in Heart (1938), and the first of the Topper sequels, Topper Takes a Trip (1939). He continued to play supporting roles in comedies such as Yes, My Darling Daughter, with Fay Bainter and Priscilla Lane, but over the next few years the importance of his roles again decreased. He achieved another success as Uncle Willie in The Philadelphia Story (1940) with Katharine Hepburn. His last starring role was in the final installment of the Topper series, Topper Returns in 1941, with Billie Burke and Joan Blondell.

He continued working steadily through the 1940s, playing small roles opposite some of Hollywood's leading actresses, such as Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Paulette Goddard and Greta Garbo in her final film, Two-Faced Woman (1942). In 1945, he began his own radio show and appeared in the film adaption of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. By the end of the decade his film career had declined, and his final films, including The Great Lover (1949), in which he played a murderer opposite Bob Hope, and Fred Astaire's Let's Dance (1950), were not successful.


In the 1950s, Young appeared on several episodic television series, including Lux Video Theatre, Studio One, Pulitzer Prize Playhouse and The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre.

Joel Mccrea


Joel Albert McCrea was an American actor whose career spanned 50 years and appearances in over 90 films.

McCrea was born in South Pasadena, California, the son of Thomas McCrea, who was an executive with the L.A. Gas & Electric Company. As a boy, he had a paper route, and delivered the Los Angeles Times to Cecil B. DeMille and other people in the film industry. He also had the opportunity to watch D. W. Griffith filming Intolerance, and was an extra in a serial starring Ruth Roland.

McCrea graduated from Hollywood High School and then Pomona College, class of 1928, where he had acted on stage and took courses in drama and public speaking, while appearing regularly at the Pasadena Playhouse, Even as a high school student, he was working as a stunt double and held horses for cowboy stars William S. Hart and Tom Mix. He worked as an extra, stunt man and bit player from 1927 to 1928, when he signed a contract with MGM, where he was cast in a major role in The Jazz Age (1929), and got his first leading role that same year in The Silver Horde. He moved to RKO in 1930, where he established himself as a handsome leading man who was considered versatile enough to star in both dramas and comedies.

In the 1930s, McCrea starred in Bird of Paradise (1932), directed by King Vidor, causing controversy for his nude scenes with Dolores del Río. In RKO's The Sport Parade (1932), McCrea and William Gargan are friends on the Dartmouth football team, who are shown snapping towels at each other in the locker room, while other players are taking a shower. In 1932 he starred with Fay Wray in The Most Dangerous Game - which used some of the same jungle sets built for King Kong as well as cast members Wray and Robert Armstrong.

In 1934, he made his first appearances with two leading ladies he would be paired with often: with Miriam Hopkins he made The Richest Girl in the World, the first of their five films together, and with Barbara Stanwyck he appeared in Gambling Lady, the first of their six films. Later in the decade, he was the first actor to play "Dr. Kildare", in the film Internes Can't Take Money (1937), and he starred in two large-scale Westerns, Wells Fargo (1937) with his wife Frances Dee, and Cecil B. DeMille's Union Pacific (1939).

McCrea reached the peak of his early career in the early 1940s, in Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940), The More the Merrier (1943) directed by George Stevens, and two by Preston Sturges: Sullivan's Travels (1941) and The Palm Beach Story (1942).

McCrea also starred in two William A. Wellman westerns, The Great Man's Lady (1942), again with Stanwyck, and Buffalo Bill (1944), with character actor Edgar Buchanan and a young Maureen O'Hara. After the success of The Virginian in 1946, McCrea made Westerns exclusively for the rest of his career, with the exception of the British-made Rough Shoot (1953).

In 1959, Joel McCrea and his son Jody McCrea starred in the NBC-TV series Wichita Town, which lasted only one season. A few years later, McCrea united with fellow veteran of westerns Randolph Scott in Ride the High Country (1962), directed by Sam Peckinpah, after which he did not make another feature film until The Young Rounders (1966). Four more years were to pass before his next film, but 1970 saw the release of two films: Cry Blood, Apache, again with his son Jody, and Sioux Nation. McCrea made his final film appearance in 1976, in Mustang Country.

In 1968, McCrea received a career achievement award from the L.A. Film Critics Association, and the following year he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Joel McCrea has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Blvd. and another star at 6241 Hollywood Blvd. for his contribution to radio.

Joel McCrea made his final public appearance on October 3, 1990, at a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Wilson in Beverly Hills. He died less than three weeks later, on October 20, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California from pneumonia, at the age of 84.

William Powell



William Horatio Powell was an American actor.

A major star at MGM, he was paired with Myrna Loy in 14 films, including the popular Thin Man series based on the novels of Dashiell Hammett in which Powell and Loy played Nick and Nora Charles. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times: for The Thin Man (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936), and Life with Father (1947).

An only child, Powell was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Nettie Manila (née Brady) and Horatio Warren Powell, on July 29, 1892. His father was born in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania (where William H. Powell spent his boyhood summers), to William S. and Harriet Powell. Powell showed an early aptitude for performing. In 1907, he moved with his family to Kansas City, Missouri, where he graduated from Central High School in 1910. The Powells lived a few blocks away from the Carpenters, whose daughter Harlean evolved into Hollywood's Jean Harlow, although Powell would not meet her until both were established actors.

After high school, he left home for New York and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts at the age of 18. In 1912, Powell graduated from the AADA, and worked in some vaudeville and stock companies. After several successful experiences on the Broadway stage, he began his Hollywood career in 1922, playing a small role as an evil henchman of Professor Moriarty in a production of Sherlock Holmes with John Barrymore. His most memorable role in silent movies was as a bitter film director opposite Emil Jannings' Academy Award-winning performance as a fallen general in The Last Command (1928), which led to Powell's first starring role as amateur detective Philo Vance in The Canary Murder Case (1929).


Powell's most famous role was that of Nick Charles in six Thin Man films, beginning with The Thin Man in 1934, based upon Dashiell Hammett's novel. The role provided a perfect opportunity for Powell, with his resonant speaking voice, to showcase his sophisticated charm and witty sense of humor, and he received his first Academy Award nomination for The Thin Man. Myrna Loy played his wife, Nora, in each of the Thin Man films. Their on-screen partnership, beginning alongside Clark Gable in 1934 with Manhattan Melodrama, was one of Hollywood's most prolific, with the couple appearing in 14 films together.

He and Loy also starred in the Best Picture of 1936, The Great Ziegfeld, with Powell in the title role and Loy as Ziegfeld's wife Billie Burke. That same year, he also received his second Academy Award nomination, for the comedy My Man Godfrey.

In 1935, he starred with Jean Harlow in Reckless. Soon a serious romance developed between them, but Harlow died at the age of 26 in June 1937 before they could marry. His distress over her death, as well as his own health (he reportedly suffered from a rectal condition) caused him to accept fewer acting roles.
Powell's career slowed considerably in the 1940s, although he received his third Academy Award nomination in 1947 for his work in Life with Father. His last film was 1955's Mister Roberts with Henry Fonda, James Cagney, and Jack Lemmon. Despite numerous entreaties to return to the screen, Powell refused all offers, happy in his retirement.

Powell died of heart failure in Palm Springs, California, on March 5, 1984, at the age of 91, some 30 years after his retirement. He is buried at the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.

Boris Karloff


William Henry Pratt, better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor who was primarily known for his typecast roles in horror films that depicted the characters Frankenstein and The Mummy.

He portrayed Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939), which resulted in his immense popularity. His best-known non-horror role is as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). Karloff guest starred in a 1966 TV episode of The Wild Wild West, "The Night of the Golden Cobra". He also had a memorable role in the original Scarface (1932). For his contribution to film and television, Boris Karloff was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Warren William


Warren William was a Broadway and Hollywood actor, immensely popular during the early 1930s; he was later nicknamed the "King of Pre-Code".

Warren William Krech's family originated in Tennstedt, Saxony, Germany. His grandfather, Ernst Wilhelm Krech (born 1819), fled Germany in 1848 during the Revolution, going first to France and later immigrating to the United States. He wed Mathilde Grow in 1851, and had six children. Freeman E. Krech, Warren's father, was born in 1856.

Around the age of 25, Freeman moved to Aitkin, a small town in Minnesota, where he bought a newspaper, The Aitkin Age, in 1885. He married Frances Potter, daughter of a merchant, September 18, 1890. Their son Warren was born December 2, 1894.

Warren William's interest in acting began in 1903, when an opera house was built in Aitkin. He was also an avid and lifelong amateur inventor, a pursuit that may have contributed to his death.[1] After high school, William auditioned for, and was enrolled in, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York City in October 1915.

As his senior year at AADA was coming to an end, the First World War had begun, and William enlisted in the United States Army. He was assigned from base to base, in charge of training new men at various locations, and in 1918, was assigned to Fort Dix near New York City, in New Jersey. While in New York, he met his future wife, Helen Barbara Nelson, who was 17 years his senior. In October 1918 he left for France, to enter the war. William left the army in early 1919, after which he began working on his acting career. In 1923, he and Helen were married.

William appeared in his first Broadway play in 1920, and had soon made a name for himself in New York. William appeared in 22 plays on Broadway between 1920 and 1931. During this period he also appeared in two silent films, The Town That Forgot God (1922) and Plunder (1923).

William moved from New York City to Hollywood in 1931. He began as a contract player at Warner Bros. and quickly became a star during what is now known as the 'Pre-Code' period. He developed a reputation for portraying ruthless, amoral businessmen (Under 18, Skyscraper Souls, The Match King, Employees Entrance), crafty lawyers (The Mouthpiece, Perry Mason), and outright charlatans (The Mind Reader). These roles were considered controversial yet they were highly satisfying, as this was the harshest period of the Great Depression, characterised by massive business failures and oppressive unemployment; hence audiences tended to jeer the businessmen, who were portrayed as predators.

William did play some sympathetic roles, including "Dave The Dude" in Frank Capra's Lady for a Day, a loving father and husband cuckolded by Ann Dvorak's character in Three on a Match (1932), a young songwriter's comically pompous older brother in Golddiggers of 1933, Julius Caesar in Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra (1934; starring Claudette Colbert in the title role), and with Colbert again the same year as her character's love interest in Imitation of Life (1934). He played the swashbuckling musketeer d'Artagnan in The Man in the Iron Mask (1939), directed by James Whale. William was the first to portray Erle Stanley Gardner's fictional defense attorney Perry Mason on the big screen and starred in four Perry Mason mysteries. He played Raffles-like reformed jewel thief The Lone Wolf in nine films for beginning with The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939), and appeared as Detective Philo Vance in two of the series films, The Dragon Murder Case (1934) and the comedic The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939). He also starred as Sam Spade (renamed Ted Shane) in Satan Met a Lady (1936), the second screen version of The Maltese Falcon.

Other roles include Mae West's manager in Go West, Young Man (1936), a jealous District Attorney in another James Whale film, Wives Under Suspicion (1938), copper-magnate Jesse Lewisohn in 1940's Lillian Russell, the evil Jefferson Carteret in Arizona (also 1940), sympathetic Dr. Lloyd in The Wolf Man (1941), Brett Curtis in cult director Edgar G. Ulmer's modern-day version of Hamlet, 1945's Strange Illusion, and as Laroche-Mathieu in The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947), which would be William's last film.

On radio, William starred in the transcribed series Strange Wills, which featured "stories behind strange wills that run the gamut of human emotion."


Warren William died on September 24, 1948, from multiple myeloma, at age 53. He was recognized for his contribution to motion pictures with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 1960.

Dick Powell


Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell was an American singer, actor, film producer, film director and studio head. Though he came to stardom as a musical comedy performer, he showed versatility and successfully transformed into a hardboiled leading man starring in projects of a more dramatic nature.
He was the first actor to portray the private detective Philip Marlowe on screen.

Gene Kelly


Eugene Curran Kelly — known as Gene Kelly — was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director, producer and choreographer. He was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks, and the likeable characters that he played on screen.

Best known today for his performances in films such as An American in Paris (1951), Anchors Aweigh (1945), and Singin' in the Rain (1952), he starred in musical films until they fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. He starred in many musical films throughout the 1940s, including For Me and My Gal (1942), Du Barry Was a Lady (1943), Thousands Cheer (1943), The Three Musketeers (1948) and On the Town (1949). In his later career, he starred in two films outside the musical genre: Inherit the Wind (1960) and What a Way to Go! (1964). He also directed films most notably the 1969 film Hello, Dolly!, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.


Kelly received an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors (1982), and from the Screen Actors Guild and American Film Institute.