Hollywood Blvd, June 2023. It was a joy to meet old and new friends in person for the first time since 2018. Post-Covid, it was time to catch up and see the changes in the Jeanette/Nelson local landmarks. Fans came from as far away as Australia; several had never been to Los Angeles before. Over a long weekend, some of the landmarks and homes were visited including the following:
Lake Tahoe, an advance trip by 3 ladies who trekked to the location where “Indian Love Call” was filmed in 1935 for “Rose Marie”. The famous split tree has been cut down…
… and they only found 2 totem pole pieces remaining in town.
“Mists”: The converted cowboy bunkhouse on the property set apart from the main property was remodeled by Nelson and used as a hideaway house for himself and Jeanette from the 1940s onward. It burned down in the 1961 Bel Air fire but the main house still remained until Paul Allen bought the property and demolished everything. In the years since we last visited, a new house was completed, the driveway redone and the old mailbox removed. The new look:
The old entrance, pre-Covid:
Twin Gables as it looks today; the empty pad is where the house once stood.
Below, Ann Franklin’s home at 718 N. Maple when she married Nelson. He technically moved in there until the house he had planned to build for Jeanette and himself on Halvern was completed. Back in the day, this house was shrouded from public view with all bushes as it still is today.
Meanwhile, since his mother and Ann did not get along, Nelson moved his mother into the former Lawrence Tibbett beach house on the same street as Thelma Todd’s nightclub. There was an upstairs studio apartment with a private entrance (on the right side of the photo below) and a 360 degree view and walkway around it. Nelson camped out there to get some space, peace, quiet and reflection on his new life. It looks the same today except the house, formerly a soft peachy pink, has been painted white.
Nelson’s last home with Ann, in which they had two separate wings plus Nelson had a detached artist’s studio, has continued to deteriorate. When we visited and spoke with the owner in 2018, he wasn’t certain whether to renovate, sell or raze the property, as it was worth more as a vacant lot than with Nelson’s home on it. As of 2023, it appears he reached his decision, per the notice on the front door.
The house itself, perhaps a last look:
This is just a sampling of the places visited, plus our luncheon at the Smoke House in Burbank proved to be an ideal new location for us, although we totally filled their largest meeting room!
We welcomed old friends like director Woody Van Dyke’s grandson and wife, and new guest speakers sharing insight into the lives of Jeanette and Nelson.
More on the events and guest speaker interviews in the next issue of the Mac/Eddy Today magazine.