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Movie Star Homes
The Famous to
the Forgotten

By Judy Artunian and
Mike Oldham

 

BOOK REVIEW

Movie Star Homes: The Famous to the Forgotten
By Judy Artunian and Mike Oldham

Santa Monica Press : Santa Monica, California : 2004
ISBN 1-8916-6138-8 : 309 pages : trade paperback : $16.95

Reviewed by Carl Bennett
In the old days, Hollywood tourists eager to catch a glimpse of the ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ bought the proverbial photocopied lists of addresses (supposedly accurate) from hawkers sitting in lawnchairs sporting Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses — just waiting for their ensnared, like spiders. Or so the apocryphal story goes.

Today, the agog tourist can purchase this book from Santa Monica Press with some degree of confidence that they have found the resource to lead them to celebrity-real-estate heaven. The book’s listings feature the name of the celebrity, current photos of the homes, addresses, biographical notes on the one-time or current homeowner, and brief histories of the properties. With more than 350 listings, the book is likely to keep discretion-challenged celebrity stalkers busy for days.

Of interest to the silent era afficionado are listings for the former homes of Roscoe Arbuckle, Mary Astor, Theda Bara, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Richard Barthelmess, Warner Baxter, Joan Bennett, Eric Blore, Monte Blue, Olive Borden, Clara Bow, William Boyd, Louise Brooks, John Mack Brown, Mae Busch, Lon Chaney, Charles Chaplin, Charley Chase, Ruth Chatterton, Virginia Cherrill, Ruth Clifford, Lew Cody, Betty Compson, Gary Cooper, Jackie Cooper, Miriam Cooper, Joan Crawford, Karl Dane, Bebe Daniels, Marion Davies, Dolores Del Rio, William Demarest, Richard Dix, Billie Dove, Marie Dressler, Sally Eilers, Douglas Fairbanks, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., W.C. Fields, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Janet Gaynor, John Gilbert, Lillian Gish, Virginia Grey, Corinne Griffith, William Haines, Alan Hale, Oliver Hardy, Jean Harlow, William S. Hart, Boris Karloff, Buster Keaton, J. Warren Kerrigan, Barbara la Marr, Stan Laurel, Beatrice Lillie, Harold Lloyd, Carole Lombard, Myrna Loy, Bela Lugosi, Jeanette MacDonald, Herbert Marshall, The Marx Brothers, Adolphe Menjou, Mary Miles Minter, Tom Mix, Robert Montgomery, Colleen Moore, Frank Morgan, Carmel Myers, Anna Q. Nilsson, Mabel Normand, Ramon Novarro, Jack Pickford, Mary Pickford, ZaSu Pitts, William Powell, Edna Purviance, Joe Roberts, Edward G. Robinson, Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers, Gilbert Roland, Ruth Roland, Mickey Rooney, Joseph Schildkraut, Norma Shearer, Grady Sutton, Gloria Swanson, Blanche Sweet, Norma Talmadge, Thelma Todd, Ben Turpin, Helen Twelvetrees, Rudolph Valentino, Conrad Veidt, Lupe Velez, John Wayne, Fay Wray and Loretta Young. The publisher has mistakenly run a photo of actor Frank Faylen for William Demarest, but whaddya gonna do?

The book also features a few indexes to help organize personal tours by region, by movie, and by genre themes. So, before making plans for your vacation to southern California, you may want to peruse this book. Casual readers can also have some fun correlating the ownership histories of certain high-profile properties.

 
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