Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Curse?

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Bruce Long
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Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Curse?

Unread post by Bruce Long » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:22 am

I came across the curious item below, in the society column of the Los Angeles Herald for Monday, April 22, 1918, listing people from Los Angeles who had visited Lake Arrowhead during the past weekend ("the past few days"). The only movie people on the list were:
Olive Thomas ("Mrs. Jack Pickford")
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
William Desmond Taylor (accompanied by his girlfriend Neva Gerber)
Theda Bara

Within a few years, Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle and William Desmond Taylor would become Hollywood's first 3 major scandals, all involving death.

This could be an entertaining theme for a movie or novel: What did those three people do to trigger the deadly curse? Did they defile a sacred Native American relic? Was Theda Bara the catalyst, bringing an item of ancient jewelry which somehow cursed the others?

Or perhaps the answer is in an episode of The Travel Channel program "Ghost Adventures" described thusly: "Ghost Adventures heads to Lake Arrowhead, CA, to investigate two buildings plagued with demonic activity." So did the three scandal-subjects do something to bring forth the demon's wrath upon themselves? :twisted:

Pure BS, of course, but entertaining ideas.

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boblipton
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by boblipton » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:38 am

Clearly, they succumbed to Miss Goodman’s “Arab Death”.

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

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Frederica
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by Frederica » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:05 am

boblipton wrote:Clearly, they succumbed to Miss Goodman’s “Arab Death”.

Bob
Or maybe an overdose of Mrs. Eli Lilly's pills.
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
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Red Bartlett
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by Red Bartlett » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:00 pm

Interesting stuff! Was this factoid previously known to Hollywood scandal junkies? If not, that a pretty great find!!

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silentfilm
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by silentfilm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:46 pm

Neva Gerber was also a Hollywood actress.

JFK
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Fay and Jennings and Melville also part of curse?

Unread post by JFK » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:32 pm

Click tiny images for larger versions

Cinematographer for Keaton and Valentino, "
J. D. Jennings." (seen top right at work and play)
ImageImageImage Image

A Very Long Piece on Wilbert Melville
Last edited by JFK on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jim Roots
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by Jim Roots » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:44 am

How come they don't have "modistes" anymore? Too hard to pronounce?

Jim

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Red Bartlett
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by Red Bartlett » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:43 am

I had to Google what a modiste was. It's a dressmaker. I never knew a dressmaker myself.

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Frederica
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by Frederica » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:38 am

Jim Roots wrote:How come they don't have "modistes" anymore? Too hard to pronounce?

Jim
There are still such people as modistes, but women dress more casually these days and don't usually have clothing custom made. My aunties never would have DREAMED of stepping outside in an ensemble that was not tailored to a T, but then they also wore pearls to vacuum.
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
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oldposterho
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by oldposterho » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:20 pm

Perhaps a disgruntled Lake Arrowhead modiste is responsible for the downfalls of these 3 hapless clothes horses? It always pays to be nice to the help...

(I had to google it too.)

JFK
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Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Curse?

Unread post by JFK » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:21 pm

Corinne in an outfit later popularized by Von Stroheim (and veterinarians)

ImageImage
Babe Hardy made a film called The Modiste in his Vim era, but I couldn't find an image
Image
Last edited by JFK on Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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boblipton
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by boblipton » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:26 pm

My mother preferred the honest term "Seamtress".

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

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Frederica
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by Frederica » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:17 pm

boblipton wrote:My mother preferred the honest term "Seamtress".

Bob
They are historically different although the skill is in the same wheelhouse.
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
http://www.nitanaldi.com" target="_blank"
http://www.facebook.com/NitaNaldiSilentVamp" target="_blank"

topchap
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by topchap » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:14 pm

silentfilm wrote:Neva Gerber was also a Hollywood actress.
W. C. Foster may well be Universal, and short term Mutual Chaplin, cinematographer and later American Society of Cinematographers president William C. Foster

SilentEchoes57
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by SilentEchoes57 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:07 pm

[quote="Bruce Long"]I came across the curious item below, in the society column of the Los Angeles Herald for Monday, April 22, 1918, listing people from Los Angeles who had visited Lake Arrowhead during the past weekend ("the past few days"). The only movie people on the list were:
Olive Thomas ("Mrs. Jack Pickford")
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle
William Desmond Taylor (accompanied by his girlfriend Neva Gerber)
Theda Bara

Within a few years, Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle and William Desmond Taylor would become Hollywood's first 3 major scandals, all involving death.

////

Arbuckle, Al St. John, and Buster Keaton returned to Arrowhead that year to film Good Night Nurse. That's Al to the left all covered in bandages.

https://silentlocations.wordpress.com/2 ... t-springs/

Image

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Red Bartlett
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Re: Olive Thomas, Roscoe Arbuckle, William Desmond Taylor Cu

Unread post by Red Bartlett » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:45 pm

Al St. John was awesome.

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