Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Home of THEDA BARA, et al.

649 West Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
This faux Tudor mansion near USC remains one of the most renowned in filmdom. It was built for Tuleta Wilcox, daughter of the actual founders of Hollywood itself, Horace and Doneida Wilcox. The younger Wilcox sold the property to film entrepreneur William Fox who, much to the staid neighborhood's horror, installed his infamous Vamp, Theda Bara (nèe Goodman) in the place, reportedly now decorated with tiger skins and incense. Miss Bara, who in real life was rather dowdy, left the company in 1919 and Fox, again to the neighbors' grave concern, sold the home to slapstick comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, who remained here during his infamous manslaughter trials in 1921 and '22. In disgrace, Arbuckle leased the property to director Raoul Walsh and his wife, early screen star Miriam Cooper, but their occupancy would be short lived and the mansion instead went to another Hollywood power couple, producer Joseph Schenk and Norma Talmadge. It later became a home for Catholic priests (Theda's tiger rugs presumably long gone) but just barely survived the 1992 Rodney King riots.

649 West Adams when Theda Bara was in residence.


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