Saturday, August 22, 2015

Circles in Los Angeles When the Movie Business was LA's Major Business

Don Factor (son of Max) and I -- with a couple of friends -- produced the first edition of Nomad magazine in 1959.

Don Factor produced the movie That Cold Day in the Park. Luana Anders acted in the movie.

Luana was a friend from high school; we graduated in the same class.

Luana, began her career as an actor immediately after high school, but like many young actors had to take non-acting jobs to make ends meet. She was a messenger. She also attended the acting classes given by Jeff Cory. She convinced a fellow messenger to attend with her. He was Jack Nicholson.

Luana and Jack acted together in Easy Rider. Also in Easy Rider was Dennis Hopper.

Dennis Hopper acted in Blue Velvet with Dean Stockwell. The two became best friends.

Dean was my next door neighbor for some six or seven years when we were kids. We were friends at the time.

Anthony Linick was also involved in the production of the first issue of Nomad with Don and me. He has been a friend of mine since childhood. He also knew Luana in high school and was in the same graduating class.

Anthony's father was head of the script department for MGM. Dean was on contract with MGM when I knew him.

Anthony's grandfather, who had been the owner of a string of movie theaters, was a friend of Louis B. Mayer. My uncle and aunt worked for Mayer's daughter and her husband, William Goetz, a movie producer and studio executive.

Anthony's stepfather, Ingolf Dahl, was a well known musician who occasionally worked as a studio musician (e.g. he ghosted Schroeder playing the Pathetique Sonata in the Peanuts cartoon). I knew Ingolf quite well; he took a group including Anthony, me and some of our friends mountain climbing and camping from 1949 to 1955.

Ingolf was a friend of Sol Babitz, who among other things was the first violinist for Fox Studios. I knew Sol slightly, introduced by Ingolf. I attended some of the funtions Sol organized.

Sol was the father of Eve Babitz. I met her a few times at functions arranged by her father, when she was a young girl. She later became a reporter for Rolling Stone.

Eve Babitz appeared on the film, The Cool School, about the Los Angeles art scene. Also appearing in the film were Don Factor, Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell.

I could go on and talk about the links through my Dad, who for a while was the office manager for the Screen Actors Guild (under George Murphy and Ronald Reagan) or those via my mother's employer, Shepard Mitchell, named partner is a law firm that was deeply involved in the movie industry, or my friend in the college days, Paul Glass, whose father was production manager at Fox studios. But you get the point. I lived in Los Angeles from 1945 to 1959, and at that time it was much smaller and making movies was a big part of what went on there. Not only did people you came into contact with work in the movie industry, but people you knew in one place came to meet people you know in another place due to their common links to the movies.

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