Monday, 24 October 2011

They Made Tunes Looney

Obscure lists are really geeky, but they’re also good if someone needs them for reference. So that’s why this has been put together.

The Los Angeles City Directory for 1942 is on-line. It has names, addresses and occasionally, tells where people worked. This is the first directory I’ve found where it specifically mentions cartoon studios (see footnote). With delight, I see that one is Leon Schlesinger Productions. There are 134 names I could find with the job listing “artist, LSP”. That generic title is given to everyone, including Ray Katz, who was no artist. Because it includes people who didn’t live in Los Angeles, I suspect the studio supplied the list to the compilers of the directory.

It may not be complete. Some names may have been missed because the search engine for the on-line version doesn’t always recognise the ‘LSP’ characters; I had to find Rod Scribner and Warren Foster by typing in their names. Not all employees may have been reported; I’ll mention some after the list.

There are assistant animators and in-betweeners listed here (Hudson, Farren, Zingler, etc.), but there are a number of men’s names I’ve never seen before. The impression I’m left with is the ink and paint departments was the exclusive province of women so I have no idea what some of these men did.

Ann Almond r2042 N Highland avPaul H Julian (Consuela C) h4957 Melrose Hill
Jane Anderson r1918 Taft avRaymond Katz r Beverly Hills
Mabel Andes rBrentwood HtsJohn Kennedy r2062 Argyle av
Louise Appet r925 IroloLeonard Kester r9009 Wonderland av
Marion Bagby r1610 N Nmdie avFlorence Kinkelhor r Beverly Hills
Mrs Vannie F Baker r5643½ Fernwood avAnatole Kirsanoff r1777 N Vmont av
Harry Barton r1553 N Hudson avMary T Lane r1726 Nichols Canyon rd
Warren Batchelder r Sta MonicaJacqueline Langdon r2314½ Beachwood dr
Raynelle Bell r1835 Wilcox aveRudolph Larriva h5746½ Fountain av
Richard Bickenbach r GlendaleLeslie H Larson (Blanche A) h808½ El Centro
Henry Binder r5424 FranklinRoy Laufenberger r1364 N Van Ness av
Raymond Bloss r6112 Winans drConstantine Lebedeff r4674½ La Mirada av
Betty Brenon r2042 N Highland avLee LeBlanc r725½ N Alfred
Geraldine Brimhall r5806 Carleton wayMonroe Leung r1619 1619 W Pico ave
David W Brown r1505 N McCadden plAbraham Levitow r5447 Monroe
Tregoweth E Brown (Mary) h5805 La MiradaHarold Lorimer r982 Stone Canyon rd
John W Burton r No HwoodJohn MacLachlan r3630 Effie
Robert Cannon r BurbankMichael Maltese r1401 N Hobart blvd
John Carey r2722 GlenedenJohn Marks (Sadie) h5436 Ascot av
Nellie Cary r1009 N Sierra Bonita avPaul Marron r Burbank
Kenneth Champin r GlendaleRobert H Matz r7512 Norton av
Revelle Chaney G h5179 Fountain avGodfrey Mayerhofer r4743 Bev blvd
Germain A Chiniquy (Olive) h611 N BronsonNorman McCabe r Burbank
Robert Clampett r GlendaleThomas J McDonald (Aliceruth) h5760 Fernwood av
Helen Cope t1719 Taft avJohn McGrew (Elfreda) h2440 Gower
Jos M Corral r6112 Winona drRobert P McKimson (Viola) h439 N Kilkea dr
Robert Cota r3737 Woodland avMelvin Millar r Burbank
Helen Currie r6141 Afton PlArthur Milman r4631 Kingswell av
Fern Crawford h4854 Lemon Grove avDavid Mitchell r5712 Fountain av
Roger Daley r1324½ N Alexandria avPhilip Monroe r5744 Fountain av
Calvin Dalton r PasadenaKenneth Moore r Burbank
Keith Darling r1750 N Wilton plSamuel Nicholson r1216 Tamarind av
Philip DeLara r6195 Oak Crest wayRobert North r4038 Marathon
Mary Dement r BurbankAlbert Pabian h1417 N Bronson av
Robert Doerfer r5712 Fountain avJoan Pabian r1417 N Bronson av
Edith Edgar r5612 Fountain avManuel Perez r9012 Graham av
Isadore Ellis (Frieda) h1423 S Odgen drLela V Perry r1366 N Beachwood av
Sidney Farren r AlhambraDorothy E Pettit r935 N Stanley
Evelyn Feilen r BellJack Phillips r5712 La Mirada av
Eugene Fleury r1022 Laguna avRuth V Pierce r6722 Sunset blvd
Warren Foster r1410 Murray drFrank Powers r5740½ Fountain av
Isadore Freleng (Lilly) h1058 S AlfredHazel Preston r1306 N Beachwood av
Lucille Fuller h5643½ Fernwood avElizabeth E Rehbeck r Burbank
Peter Gaenger h1519½ S ArdmoreVive W Risto r Studio City
Arthur C Gamer r2438 N Creston wayMyrta Robinson r6027 Barton
Frances Garcia r1241 N JuneJoseph Rose r507 N Kings rd
Leslie Garcia r1526 N MariposaVirgil Ross r3337 Bennett dr
Henry Garner r5849 Sunset blvdAda B Ruinello r606 Westbourne dr
Mrs Sue G Gee h2401 S Highland avMichael Sasanoff r851¼ Formosa av
Martha Goldman r5617 Fernwood avEdwin Schmidt r6134 Cahuenga blvd
Gladys Hallberg r BurbankRoderick Scribner r2925 Hill dr
Florence Hammontre T r1149 N VmontBenjamin Shenkman, r539 N Manhattan
Donald Harris Helen I Silbert r8248 Mannix dr
Lucille Hazell r4411½ Avodaco Seymour Slosberg r1219 Point View
Mildred Helfman r1933 N Bronson avDawn I Smith r815 N June
Fred Hofacker r Costa MesaEvelyn Smith r1423 N Wilton pl
Richard Hogan r3700 Arbolada rdEmily B Stafford h5718 Fernwood av
Esther Honig r4353 San Rafael avSidney Sutherland r N Hwood
LeRoy C Hooper r4615 Ambrose avEvans Taliaferro r1157 Tamarind av
W Murray Hudson (Louise) h6011 Lexington avMary Tebb r3374 Bennett dr
Alex Ignatiev r1123½ N Ardmore avAuril Thompson r1021 N Mariposa
John D Johnsen (Turena) h5139½ De Longpre avRichard Thompson h1021 N Mariposa
Charles E Jones r609 E 52dGilbert H Turner (Angelyn) h1536 Marmont av
Charles M Jones r6764 Milner rdLloyd L Vaughan r Venice
John R Jones r Manhattan BeachAlex Walker r351 N Westn av
Richard K Jones r1026¼ Laguna avBenjamin Washam r Glendale
Virginia Jones r BurbankRudolph A Zingler r Burbank



Where’s Leon? His listing is: “Schlesinger Leon pres Leon Schlesinger Productions and film labty 1123 N Bronson av r Beverly Hills.” And one of the greatest composers in cartoon history doesn’t have a studio listed. It simply says “Stalling Carl W artist r2644 Hollyridge dr”.

Now comes a pile of trivia, thanks in part to Martha Sigall’s wonderful reminiscence of her time in the animation industry, including almost ten years with Leon and Co.

• Ann Almond was a painter. She was Betty Brenon’s sister.
• “Louise” Appet should be “Louis.” Karl Cohen’s book ‘Forbidden Animation’ reveals he was an in-betweener at Fleischer’s who couldn’t find work, likely for union activity. Chuck Jones got him a job at Warner’s in 1941 and Appet later became a cartoonists union head in Los Angeles. It appears he was living with relatives.
• Raynelle Bell was hired as an inker in August 1936. She went to work at Fleischer’s in Florida, came back and was later Bob Clampett’s ink and paint supervisor at Snowball.
• Betty Brenon was the assistant head of ink and paint department.
• Dave Brown was an assistant animator in the Freleng unit. He shot down and killed overseas in World War Two.
• Corral is Manny Corral, a cameraman who later went to MGM.
• Cal Dalton and Sue Gee were married but are listed as living at different addresses. Hmm.
• Phil DeLara was living at home with his widowed mother Susan L.
• Peter Gaenger was a fairly prominent interior designer and worked in Leon’s background department.
• Yes, that’s Martha Sigall listed under her maiden name, Martha Goldman.
• Gladys Hallberg was hired the same day as Martha, July 13, 1936.
• “Donald” Harris has me puzzled. There’s no address for him. Ken Harris’ real first name was Karyl and there’s a “Karol Harris r980 Passmore Dr” with no occupation. It could be Ken; he was listed as “Karol” in earlier directories when he was an auto mechanic. His wife Alta is listed at living at a different address.
• Murray Hudson, according to Martha, used to raffle his pay cheque and thus collect more than he was being paid. His wife Lee worked at the studio.
• Try to keep up with the Jones’s here. Charles M. Jones is Chuck Jones. Charles E. Jones is not. They’re not related. Richard Kent Jones is Chuck’s brother. Virginia Jones was married to Fred Jones, who also worked at the studio but isn’t listed in the directory. I don’t know who John R. Jones is.
• Florence Finkelhor (her name is misspelled) was an inker who was sent with Chuck Jones and Bob Clampett to make cartoons at the Ub Iwerks studio in Beverly Hills before Leon basically took it over.
• Alex Ignatiev was possibly named for Alex D. Ignatiev, a painter who lived down the street. He lived with parents Tihon and Pauline Ignatiev, who came to the U.S from Russia.
• Mary Lane was hired the same day as Martha, July 13, 1936.
• Conny Lebedeff was living at home with his parents Charles and Ella.
• Monroe Leung’s dad Howard was a waiter. His mom was named Rose. Even more interesting is his life story is outlined in the book ‘Sweet Bamboo’ by Louise Leung Larson. Examples of his cartoon work can be found searching on-line.
• Abe Levitow lived at home with his parents (William and Sarah) and older sister Frances. Levitow’s father is listed as “studio worker” and you can learn more about the family on the finely-researched Mr. Magoo’s Christmas blog.
• It seems Mike Maltese and his family were moving about this time. There’s a separate listing for Mike and Florrie Maltese, 5832¾ La Mirada Avenue, with no occupation.
• Bob Matz lived with his widowed mother Mary H. He had a brother, John M., who was an accountant.
• Godfrey Mayerhofer lived with a Morris Mayerhofer, who is listed as “studiowkr.”
• My guess is Tom McDonald is the same Tom McDonald who later worked at UPA.
• You see Bob McKimson, but what about the rest of the family? Were they at Warners at this time? Tom McKimson is listed as “Thos J (Ernestine) artist h108 S Harper av”. There’s no listing for Chuck McKimson. I don’t know when the two spent their time at the studio.
• Art Millman turned 60 in 1942.
• Ken Moore was a cameraman.
• Al and Joan Pabian were married and are not to be confused with James Anthony Pabian, who seems to have gone by both Jim and Tony.
• Frank Powers ran the ink and paint department and had replaced Art Goble, who toddled off to MGM.
• Ada Ruinello’s parents were Henry A and Arabella Ruinello. Her father was an engineer.
• Mike Sasanoff’s brother Robert, at the same address, is listed as “artist.”
• There’s also an address for Rodney and Jane Scribner “cartoonist h5211 Argus dr”. That’s our Rod, though how the directory got “Rodney”, I’ll never know.
• Ben Shenkman lived with his mother Annie, as did sister Florence and brothers Harry (salesman) and John (clothing cutter). He was an assistant animator known for caricatures.
• Seymour Slosburg lived with Max and Hattye in a beautiful Spanish-style home. Another set of Slosburgs was in the same block.
• Dick and Auril Thompson were married. She was a painter formerly known as Auril Blunt who later worked under Ace Gamer in effects.
• I suspect Alex Walker is “Sandy Walker”, who had worked at the studio into 1935.

Names which don’t appear: Don Christensen, Herman Cohen, Bob Givens, Owen Fitzgerald, Milt Franklyn, Hawley Pratt (unless he was a salesman and married to a woman named Cora), Dave Monahan, Tedd Pierce or Dick Thomas (there’s a Richard H. Thomas listed as a “patternmaker”). Some names who had been, or were later, connected with the studio might be of interest.

• Vance D Colvig (Margt) writer h2177 Moreno dr. Pinto did a bit of freelance voice work for Leon about this time after his career at Fleischer fizzled. His son Vance D Jr. lived at home and later became a TV kids host, then the voice of Chopper on the ‘Yakky Doodle’ cartoons.
• Pernell D[ewey] Eller (Lula) gifts 4426 S Hoover. Unless something creepy was going on, Eller’s mother is listed as his wife.
• Ernest G Gee formn LAEH&E r1122½ Menlo av. Bob Clampett’s ex-writer worked at the Los Angeles Evening Herald and Examiner.
• Robert C Gribbroek artist h1335½ N Edgemont. His mother, Ada C, was living with him.
• Roland C Hamilton (Rmeda) cartoonist r1006½ N Hobart blvd. Yes, I know, his name is “Rollin”.
• Robert L Holdeman (Patricia C) artist h1606 N Alvarado.
• George F Manuell (Olga J) cartoonist h3051 Lanfranco av. George was born in Washington State (his father John was from Canada) but settled in San Joaquin County in 1910 before his first birthday. George was only 49 when he died on Oct. 19, 1958.
• Donald H Williams (Avis J) artist h1935 Carmona av.
• Albert L Tarter (Sylvia) artist h2412½ N Beachwood dr. Tarter had been in the Freleng unit in 1940.

There’s no Mel Blanc or Billy Bletcher, but there is:

Kent Rogers actor h1552 N Martel av

And some poor woman who married record store owner Roger Benaderet was likely constantly mistaken for a Warners cartoon actress. Both were named Bea, though the voice artist was born with the last name; she didn’t marry into it.

It’s unfortunate only one other studio lists employees in the directory—Screen Gems (Columbia). No Disney, no Lantz (though La Verne Harding and Alex Lovy are in the directory as “cartoonist”) and no MGM (nary a listing for Bill, Joe or Tex).

A directory isn’t exactly exciting to read, but I hope this has provided a bit of insight into some of the names you don’t normally see connected with the Schlesinger studio.

Note: After posting this, I discovered at least 75 names in the 1938 L.A. Directory listed as “artist Harman-Ising Productions”. I’ll have to go through them as well.

11 comments:

  1. Chuck McKimson was in the military at the time. Hawley Pratt may not have been at Schlesinger's when this was done.

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  2. Thanks, Thad. I was under the impression Pratt went directly from Disney in '41 to work as Bick's assistant.
    At least up here, directories are compiled early in the year, and I remember one place I worked got asked for updated information (with a request for a purchase renewal) late in the previous year. I wasn't sure if the start of '42 was too early for animators to be on war service.

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  3. It's always a nice refresh to mention the peoples in shadow who made this cartoons shorts truly great. There is too much merits for the director and writer only at my humble opinion. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  4. City directories can lag on their information, since it's normally based on people/businesses responding to queries -- failure to respond can result in the directory reusing last year's information, if the phone company still shows that person/business with the same phone number and address. That could explain a few of the names that either were with Schlesinger by 1942 who aren't on the list, or some who were gone from Leon's studio by this time but are still listed.

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  5. Wasn't Howard Swift briefly at Schlesinger in 1942, and also Art Babbitt who worked with Clampett for a few months?

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  6. They might have been, but neither of them appear in the directory. Neither is James (Shamus) Culhane.

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  7. I was looking for Don Christensen, a wonderful man whom I got to know in his later life. He taught me a lot about the Dell and Gold Key comics.

    I wonder why (as Martha says) his name was not included. He said he did lots of his WB work in conjunction with Melvin Millar – and his name was there.

    Fascinating stuff.

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  8. Hi, Joe, Considering Hawley isn't here, the list of staffers could have been compiled during the period after they left Disney and before they began working for Leon. I don't know. If that's the case, D.R. may not have lived in the city itself and wouldn't be listed.
    There is a Don Christensen in the directory, but there's no occupation (and a couple who decidedly are not him). I checked alternate spellings as well.
    I did find a Don Christensen in the 1939 directory listed as "artist."

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  9. Alexander IGNATIEV
    1913 - 1995

    Alexander Tihon Ignatiev was born in Russia on April 16, 1913, the son of a czarist general. He left Russia with his family during the Revolution and decamped to China, leaving all possessions behind. After five years in that country, he came to San Francisco in 1923. He later moved to Hollywood but made many trips back to San Francisco to paint and study with Gleb Ilyin. He then studied for four years on scholarship at the Chouinard Art School under Sheets, Paradise, and Murphy. Upon graduation in 1937, he worked for fifty years as a film animator for several studios including Warner Brothers, Hanna-Barbera, and Walt Disney. Ignatiev was a resident of Laguna Beach, California until his demise on October 12, 1995. His oils and watercolors include landscapes, still lifes, figure studies, and urban social realism scenes often with street people and Victorian houses. Member: Valley Artists' Guild; Painters & Sculptors of LA. Exh: Drawings by American Artists, 1937; Friday Morning Club (Los Angeles), 1965 (first prize), 1970; Beverly Hills Women's Club, 1966 (second prize); Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, 1966, 1968 (prizes); Valley Artists Guild, 1969, 1970 (first prizes). Works held: Bakersfield (CA) High School (mural); Home Savings Art Collection https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?
    fbid=4407709668409&set=gm.320887264689141&type=1&theater

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  10. Any one know anything about Roy Laufenberger r1364 N Van Ness av
    Lived in Winona MN with his aunt in the 1930's. Corresponded with my Mother for about 5 years before she married my Dad. Found some letters from him

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  11. Not a lot, Anon. He was an assistant animator in Chuck Jones' unit into the war years. I don't know what he did after that. He died in 1962.
    He was originally an engineer who seems to have gotten into commercial art after WW1. He worked in New York City for a time in the later '20s.

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