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Journal of No. 118


April 18th, 2011

Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy by William Cahn @ 02:14 pm

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Picked this up at the book sale at the Masonic Lodge in Culver City. It's a quick read, with a lot of stills from silent comedies and such. Not so much a biography as it is an edited series of interviews, primarily with Harold Lloyd himself, but also some input from contemporaries. Looks like the book was made to capitalize on the Lloyd's issuing of the film of the same name in 1962, which was sort of a greatest hits compilation of his gags.
Nothing too insightful, but a good look at the very early years of Hollywood. Also interesting to see Lloyd's opinion of those up-and-coming kids of comedy like Dick van Dyke and Carol Burnett. At one time, Lloyd had perhaps the most extravagant movie star estate in town, a 20 acre property with a 44 room house, complete with a 9 hole golf course and the largest swimming pool in Southern California. Retired from films, he kept up numerous pursuits, ranging from swimming and tennis, to microscopy, to becoming the Imperial Potentate of North America, to taking pictures of Bettie Page and Marilyn Monroe.
The estate was chopped up and sold as individual lots, but the mansion survives, and was ultimately bought by Ted Field, who "lived there with his wife Susie and their three children." Which is a little odd, since I tutored one or two of the daughters for a while, though sadly it was not at Greenacres, which the Fields sold some years before the tutoring gig.
 
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Journal of No. 118