My Interview with Artist/Paige Young Friend Richard Sample. 1964-1969. Malibu. Venice. Celebrity Connections. Cult Characters. PART 1. Updated 1/20/2023

UPDATE: Richard L. Sample passed away on August 10, 2021.

Recently, I interviewed Richard Sample, Paige’s ex-boyfriend and friend, painter, sculptor, collage, furniture maker.

He now lives in the Coachella Valley area of California.

Richard Sample was still living in Sun Valley, Idaho when he was interviewed by Daily Mail reporter Ryan Parry in 2014. He says he doesn’t know who gave his name to Parry in association with Paige Young.

I am thankful to Richard Sample for inviting me to interview him in person and taking the time and effort to talk about Paige Young. It was not always easy for him (or me).

Thanks also to his niece Ellen Sample who has been very helpful.

At the appointed time, I pulled up in my rental car and parked next to Richard’s house. There was a chainlink fence and gate that had a big padlock on it and the house was about 10 yards beyond it; I called out his name several times and did not get a response.

Luckily, Richard’s niece Ellie pulled up in her car, got out and told me Richard’s neighbor had called and told her that “there is woman in a red car was in front of her Uncle Richard’s house.”

Ellie unlocked the gate and as we walked toward the house, she told me that Richard doesn’t hear very well now.

Ellie said that she was aware of the interview, but “didn’t ask him any questions so that he feels he has his own life.” Ellie lives one street over and has been very involved with caring for Richard after he moved to the area.

Richard warmly greeted me with a hug as did his dog Tolly. Ellie left us to the interview.

Richard Sample gave me permission to publish what he said during our interview.

After we sat down to talk, Sample said to me:

“In 2001 I got throat cancer. I got radiation that burned the lining of my throat and my whole body. I also had a surgery and they cut my throat, it left me hard to talk, hard to drink, hard to eat… I am dying.”

Richard Sample is now 84 years old and obviously does not hear well or speak easily. I strained to hear his whisper of a raspy voice to understand what he was saying, and I didn’t always understand right away. I got better at understanding pretty quickly as our conversation got going.

I will say Richard and I didn’t have a have a normal flowing conversation, but more of a question and answer session, and mostly the answers Richard gave took him a long time to say. I also got to know him as a person and shared my journey with researching Paige’s story.

This chapter and the next will be a mixture of exact quotes from my tape recorder as well as transcribed hand notes.

Background: Richard and Paige got together after the end of his relationship with Sylvia Nicolosi, daughter of famed LA based sculptor Joseph Nicolosi. She was one of three sisters.

LAT Feb. 20, 1965

Richard said he was in the military but “never made it to Vietnam, just Ft. Bragg North, Carolina.” He showed me his military ID,

He had several memories of Paige he wanted to tell me right away.

Richard and Paige met in the Art World of Malibu in about 1965.

“Paige lived in a converted chicken coop on the edge of Malibu.

Richard doesn’t remember which edge.

For a dinner party, Paige had a different chair for each guest to use, not a matching (dining) set.

She would only eat salad if it was a day old.

“I never saw Paige with shoes on.” (see chapter 1970 Warhol, Paige appears with her date at the Warhol opening in Pasadena. She is photographed wearing a ankle length Rudi Gernreich dress and is barefoot as described by the reporter.)

“She is the only person I’ve ever known who ate ice cream with a fork,”

I asked about Hamish, the horse she had owned since junior high and still had in late 1964 according to her divorce filing. Richard says she did not keep a horse in Malibu that he knew of. Malibu is a town where people have kept horses and been involved with horses for many decades.

Paige would often strip down to her underwear and “run around topless or even nude.” Confirmed. Westwood neighbor Melanie told me that Paige often walked around nude in the shared backyard and it got on her nerves.

How Richard met Paige

Paige was “going with a man named Harry Gesner. He was an architect who designed the Cooper house in Malibu. The house was on the cover of Life magazine. Harry Gesner was a client of my landlord. My landlord was Edward Ravick; he was involved with the Malibu Colony and maybe lived there at times.”

LAT July 19, 1964. This house has been famously known at the “Wave House” for decades. Sample called it “the Cooper House” which was the name used in earlier decades.

“Ravick sent Gesner and Paige to my studio in Malibu, to see my art.”

(I have found two mentions of an Edward Ravick in a Malibu paper connected to real estate in the 1960s.)

Detail of photo with artists Richard Sample, left, Paige Young, Harry Gesner. Thank you to Ellen Sample for use of this photo.

Richard and Paige “immediately hit it off” and began dating.

Harry Gesner passed away in June of 2022 at the age of 97.

Jonathan Winters

I had contacted Richard months earlier by writing a letter. I asked him what he knew about Jonathan Winters.

Richard asked me why I asked about Jonathan Winters.

I told him of Paige’s newspaper interviews from 1969 when she promoted Playboy around the country. In some of them, it says that Paige “has appeared in many skits,” on The Jonathan Winters Show. (1967-1969 CBS) (See my chapter on Paige’s Most Public Year 1969).

I then asked Richard why he called Jonathan Winters an “asshole” in his letter back to me.

His answer below.

“Dennis, (does not remember his last name) was the owner of the Golden O Gallery, in Los Alamos, he told me that Jonathan Winters used to come and sit on the sidewalk at Dennis’ gallery and talk about Paige, and he had nothing good to say, it was always nasty or negative. I never met the man, but Dennis could tell you all about it. Richard added that Dennis never met Paige, but he “did know about her.”

Presumably because of Jonathan Winters.

Richard said that Paige did not say anything about Jonathan Winters when they were together.

He said he wasn’t aware of her appearing on the show during its run from 1967-1969.

He said it is a possibility that she did and he didn’t know about it.

Taken at my visit to the now closed Paley Media Center in Beverly Hills.

I have since learned 2 thing about Jonathan Winters: He painted seriously as a hobby, and even published a book of his paintings entitled “Hang-Ups.

And Winters had a residence in Santa Barbara which is quite close to the art infused town of Los Alamos.

Bill Cosby

Richard said he would occasionally pick up Paige at the Sunset Strip Playboy Club, after her shift. She worked at the club “for about 3 months,” he said.

Vintage Postcard. Playboy building on the right. It had the club, offices and a suite on the top floor Hugh Hefner while he was in LA.

Bill Cosby was a frequent visitor and performer at many Playboy Clubs. He was a close friend to Hugh Hefner.

“Bill Cosby was always trying to put the make on Paige. She didn’t want anything to do with him, she ignored him,” said Richard.

Back of postcard. This Playboy Club was opened on New Year’s Eve 1964

Richard then told me of one time when he was picking Paige up from the club after her shift. He saw Bill Cosby get angry at Paige after she rebuffed another one of his advances.

Richard then asked me if I was “sure that Paige committed suicide and was “not murdered.” I told him that I owned a copy of her death certificate with suicide by gun typed into the cause of death box. I brought it out and showed it to him.

“I wouldn’t ever think she would do that,”he said shaking his head at the document.

I decided not to tell Richard that there is more proof of a suicide besides the death certificate: witnesses like neighbor Melanie, the man D. DeWitt listed as a “2nd witness” on the police report, the police at Paige’s house on that day. (See chapter on LAPD report) And the coroner’s report.

Celeste Huston to me in a facebook exchange.

Melanie is the only one of these people to have spoken out publicly about the day of Paige’s suicide.

“She was a good person. I really miss her.” Richard said about Paige a few times that afternoon.

Richard Sample moved to Venice Beach, around 1967 motivated by the thriving art scene and to join his father, artist Charlie Sample, who was already there and had a storefront.

Richard’s father was Charles “Charlie” Sample, a well known artist, an eccentric Los Angeles and California character. He moved around a bit within California.

He was at least locally famous as a talented goldsmith/jeweler to the Hollywood stars, in particular the western ones. There are many newspaper articles about him.

“My father (Charlie Sample) was a famous gold and silver smith. He made silver spurs for $8000 and made belt buckles and horse saddles for Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Mae West, Tim Holt.

One of many newspaper articles on legendary Charlie/Charles Sample. Santa Maria Times Oct. 4, 1993.

Richard shows me a recent catalog for a company producing high-end western gear, Bohlin, using Charlie Sample designs: horse saddles, bridles, spurs, belt buckles, bolo ties, rings, bracelets etc. Charlie was a lead designer for Bohlin for many years.

“Paige liked my father, he made some jewelry for her.”

Paige joined Richard not too long after he moved to Venice Beach. He said he invited her and was thrilled that she moved in. (more on this later) Records show that Richard was married in 1968 and not to Paige.

Like many artists, his house doubled as his art studio.

I asked Richard if he encountered any of the many artists who became famous out of the Venice Beach art scene (that started in the 1950s with “The Cool School” and the slightly later “Light and Space” or “Finish Fetish” movement.)

He said “De Wain Valentine had a studio next door to Paige and me.” (See chapter on Museum appearance with Warhol 1970)

“He was a friend of mine.”

“Another friend, Larry Bell, lived across the street from us, on Market.

(Turns out Larry Bell had a building next door to Valentine, it was Robert Irwin who lived across the street. I did mention Irwin and Ruscha and Richard did not recognize those names.)

“We (Paige and I) all used to hang out a lot, with all these (Venice artists) at Barney’s Beanery.”

After I returned from my trip, I did some research and I found quotes from Bell and Valentine in Art magazines.

There were a lot of actors and writers. We all used to hang out at a place called Barney’s Beanery, which was in West Hollywood. It was a local bar, a funky little place right at the end of La Cienega Boulevard where all the galleries were. So after the Tuesday or Thursday night openings, everyone would go up to Barney’s and hang around—there was The Raincheck Room on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood as well.

Larry Bell in Whitewall: Beyond the Walls, Dec. 2019
The Brooklyn Rail May 2019 Interview with DeWain Valentine

See chapter on Pasadena Art Museum for much more on DeWain Valentine.

Cars

Paige owned a yellow Mustang, a recent model and Richard owned a Corvette.

“A guy named Rex Ramsey stole our cars, but Paige got them back.”

I already knew about Rex Ramsey; he’s connected to Mark F. Segal, through renting Segal’s (where Paige lived as his wife) house at 4144 Crisp Canyon in Sherman Oaks. Both men spent a career heavily involved with cars: sales, importing. racing. Ramsey designed a successful race car once. He did some stunt driving in Hollywood.

(Rex Ramsey told me Mark’s family had a series of car dealerships and a towing service business. “They were quite well off,” Ramsey said. Otherwise he said he did not remember Paige Young but maybe he would later. I haven’t been able to reach him since the second phone call when he was unable to talk with me.)

Richard shows me a picture of himself decked out head to toe in animal fur, looking like mountain man Jedidiah Smith.

Richard and his father were both quite handsome.

1973

He says that “unfortunately” he has no photos of Paige or paintings by her; he has lost a lot of his possessions and paintings over the years but he is hoping to retrieve some of Paige’s paintings in Santa Maria.

“I never knew Paige to be involved with drugs, except an occasional use of grass.” Richard said that she did sometimes drink alcohol and occasionally went to clubs “in the Marina.”

And possibly the Raincheck Room per Larry Bell’s quote.

After I asked about something else and not hearing my question, Richard said “Paige was basically a very good person, until she got mixed up with Hefner. She went downhill then.”

Lewis Beach Marvin 3rd

was born into the family, “who owned Green Stamps. He was a friend of Paige’s and mine. He introduced me to Robert Carl Cohen who put a lot of my sculptures in his movie Mondo Hollywood.

Lewis Beach Marvin and the amazing dwelling he put together in the hills of Malibu, is featured in Mondo Hollywood. The movie is a cult film known as an important document of counterculture LA/1960s history.

I did some research and one story says that Lewis Beach Marvin is the young man who gives Jim Morrison a lamb on stage in Miami on May 1st 1969. This can be seen on a video. It’s the concert that resulted in Morrison’s arrest due to alledgedly exposing his penis on stage.

Lewis Beach Marvin was an vegan activist WAY before it was a “thing.”

He does appear in a Miami article with a lamb around the time of the Doors concert. I have also read a local Miami man gave Morrison the lamb.

The Miami arrest hanging over his head is supposedly one reason Jim Morrison left for Paris where he fatally overdosed on heroin. He was already in bad health due to alcohol abuse.

Shortly after I returned from California, I rented Mondo Hollywood on Amazon. I was unable to specifically identify Richard’s sculptures in the film–a sculptor named Valerie Porter is one of the “main characters” and the movie is heavy on a variety of her sculptures and many other sculptures and structures.

I did an ending credit:

Moonshadow sculpture: Richard Lauren Sample..

Famous pinup and 1950s, 60s Playboy photographer Peter Gowland

Peter Gowland called Richard (in 1974) looking for Paige because she hadn’t been seen for a while. He called Richard back some time later to tell him that Paige had committed suicide. Peter did not tell Richard the method that Paige used to kill herself.

According to Richard: Peter Gowland is the one who suggested and encouraged Paige to try out for Playboy. The two had met a few years previous, Paige had already modeled for Gowland several times.

Without mentioning this to Richard, I knew that Paige had said in a few 1969 interviews “my photographer friend suggested” the idea and submitted her photos to Playboy.

Richard opened Eros Gallery in Westwood in the late 60s. He can’t remember the location beyond that.

The next several photos are all from Playboy magazine November 1968, taken by Peter Gowland. I went through them with Richard.

Richard said this photo below shows him helping Paige carry one of her paintings into his Eros Gallery.

Richard says the seated woman on the left is “Mrs. Burke, my partner in Eros Gallery.” Mrs. Burke was a local patroness of the Arts. He said that Peter Gowland is the man in between Mrs. Burke and Paige.

Playboy magazine November 1968

If it is Gowland, I don’t know who took the shot; Richard said Peter’s wife and co-owner of their photography business, Alice Gowland, was not there that day and he never met her.

According to Richard, this photo of Paige running with her dog Joshua was taken at the Malibu Colony.

Richard said he has no idea who any of these people are at the cookout or in the room with Paige painting. He doesn’t recognize the location.

The painting at right looks like the start of a self portrait

Richard said that when he was living with Paige he “never questioned where she was going, what she was doing” or with whom she was doing it. “And she never questioned me. That is just the way the relationship was.”

Malibu fire

“Me and Harry Gesner went to Paige’s house during the Malibu fire (he’s not sure which year in the 1960s.) and hosed everything down. Paige’s house didn’t burn but everything around it did.”

I then asked a couple of my questions about Paige’s family.

Was there ever an indication that Paige had grown up with a grandmother (Virginia Young LaRocca) who was a Christian Science practitioner/ 1st Reader in the Church for decades? Richard answered, “Nope, nope, not at all.”

Richard said that Paige never talked about her childhood in the SFV, her family, that her birth name was Diana Cotterell, or her marriage to Mark F. Segal. She never said she used Marvin Mitchelson as her lawyer, Richard had never heard of Marvin Mitchelson anyway.

Richard said he met Paige’s sister (Constance/Connie) one time only, when Paige drove him to a visit with her. He said he doesn’t “think that they had a close relationship.”

Richard looked quite exhausted so I ended the interview for the day. I felt bad about telling him too much of Paige’s background that he never knew.

He said it didn’t bother him.

He shared one last thing:

“I introduced Paige to Tony Dow, a good friend of mine. He drove a Porsche. He liked my Vette. He lived in the Valley. “

Tony Dow purchased some of Richard’s art .

Tony Dow died July 27, 2022, just a little over a month after Harry Gesner. He was 77 years old and had decades of pursuing his hobby of sculpture.

Part 2 of the interview is posted.

1960-1964. Paige Young “Miss Panorama City.” Robinson’s of the Valley. Stepfather and Half-Brother Holroyd. Childhood Home Razed. Updated: 08/30/2022

1960-1961  I have not been able to definitively locate where Diana/Paige was living and what she was doing these years. She would have been 16 and 17 years old.

I do find some clues in a SFV phone directory where there is a Virginia Young LaRocca, (widowed in 1959) listed at 13204 Riverside Drive. A 6-plex (at that time) on the corner with Atoll Ave.   Diana could have lived here with her grandmother, as she was only 16 years old in 1960. I have since confirmed this with a close relative of Diana’s; he remembers visiting the Riverside Drive home.

Josephine Young Harker, Virginia’s sister and Diana’s great aunt, is also listed with this address in a 1960 LA phone directory.

(It’s also the address on Ned LaRocca’s death cert. 1959. Unknown if he ever lived there or was at the sanitarium for two years.)

Donna marries Jack Holroyd in Las Vegas in 1958 and their son Wesley Scott Holroyd is born on August 20, 1960. This date is almost 9 months to the day that Donna’s father died.

Diana’s mother Donna and stepfather Jack Holroyd, are listed at 12835 1/2 Oxford Ave., very near Grant High School in 1960, 61 and 62. Diana could have lived here as well. Virginia is listed here at least once or twice in directories and voter registration. I think they would have run out of space pretty quickly.

UPDATE 7/25/2022: I had a phone conversation with a close relative of Paige Young’s. He informed of Donna and Jack Holroyd’s son Wesley.

12385 Oxford Ave. Van Nuys A short walk to Grant High School. Listed on Wesley Holroyd’s birth certificate as his mothers’ address. Wesley was Paige’s half brother.

Panorama City

From the Van Nuys News and Green Sheet., Feb. 6, 1962 There were big plans for the city of Panorama City at this time. It was to be a retail mecca.

Close up on page 2

Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet Feb. 6, 1962 Entire article bottom of page.
Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet. Feb. 6, 1962

Photo of store where article says Paige is employed.

July 1961 LAT Where Paige would have worked if she worked in sales. It’s very close to 8533 Van Nuys Blvd. but close to anywhere in the Southeast Valley area where Paige was probably living.

This was Robinson’s first store in the SFV and it opened June 27, 1961.

This is the earliest date I have found of Paige’s usage of the name Paige Young: 1962 when she was 18.

The latest date I have seen Paige associated with her birth name, Diana Cotterell, is her 9th grade picture listing in the Van Nuys Jr. High yearbook, 1957, age 15 or 16.

Quite a bit of evidence that Paige, Virginia, Donna and Jack moved to this booming city in the Valley around 1962, possibly in separate apartments.

1963 and 1964 Both Virginia LaRocca and Jack Holroyd are in the phone directory with an address of 8533 Ventura Canyon, Van Nuys.  This address is also listed as Panorama City.

Virginia LaRocca listed at 8533 Ventura Canyon “VN for Van Nuys” At this point living with Jack and Donna.

Donna Holroyd is not listed these years, only her husband.

Here you can see Donna’s Husband Jack Holroyd (H is cut off) listed at 8533 Ventura Canyon Sherman Oaks, but it’s really Panorama City

Donna may have started her studies at UCLA around this time majoring in Early Childhood Education.

Paige’s cousin told me he remembers visiting Donna and Jack Holroyd with baby Wesley in the early 1960s.

He remembers swimming at Donna’s apartment house during many of those visits and that both Panorama City and Oxford St. near Grant High, sound right for the location. He recalls Paige was not present at these visits with the Holroyds.

In 1969 interviews, Paige told reporters she graduated from Van Nuys High School. I have found no school photos of Paige at VNHS. (see 1969: Most Public Year)

Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet. Feb. 6, 1962

I’ve seen dozens of newspaper photos accompanied with brief write-ups of model/starlets, beauty contest winners and runners up, from the 50s and 60s. Almost always it includes where the young women attended high school. Many times, they were still in high school. Note that in this write-up of Paige, no high school is mentioned. She has a “background in modelling and drama.”

It is probably the only one I’ve read that doesn’t mention her devotion to oil painting.

I’m really thinking now that Paige dropped out of high school after the 9th or 10th grade.

Paige would be married in Las Vegas 1 1/2 years (Oct. 1, 1963) after this article appeared. The marriage lasted for 11 months (Aug 27, 1964).

In 1964, Paige filled out a divorce questionnaire ( below) stating that she had moved out of the marital home and was “living with family”. Family would have been living at 8533 Ventura Canyon Ave. according to phone listings. Her answer to employment record says clerical-secretary.

See chapter on Marriage and Divorce to Mark F. Segal 1963-1964.

Paige says clerical-secretary here–Was this at Robinson’s in the Valley or was she a salesgirl there? Unclear.

Some of Paige’s quotes from Playboy are about disliking the “9-5 doldrums” and her distaste “working for impersonal corporations.”

By 1963, Diana’s childhood home on Moorpark had been razed.  Records show a city permit (below) requesting a 6-unit apartment to be built. Notice it says NONE (highlighted) for “existing buildings on lot.” I’m not sure when the house was actually torn down.

Did a developer make the LaRoccas an offer for the Moorpark house back in the late 50s when Ned was sick with lung cancer? Many older houses were now being razed for multi-unit housing to meet demand for higher density populations. If you can call a 6-plex multi-housing.

Nearby Ventura Blvd. continued to thrive with many businesses of all kinds.

 SFV continued to experience massive population growth and housing development throughout the 1960s.

 

What happened to Paige’s family, ex Husband Mark F. Segal, Desmond Guinness and Marvin M. Mitchelson And More. Updated 1/28/2023

From the LAT Aug. 29, 1976

Paige’s grandmother Virginia Young LaRocca died in August of 1976 in the Studio City Convalescent Hospital located at 11429 Ventura Blvd.  

 She was a 1st Reader for the Church of Christ Science for 35 years according to her death certificate.

Virginia was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the ocean near the Santa Monica shoreline, just like granddaughter Paige’s ashes two years previous.

Her sister and former vaudeville partner, Josephine Young Harker, Paige Young’s great aunt, died in June of 1979 in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

Josephine’s daughter, former Warner Brothers starlet Mary Jane Harker Lanier died in 1986 in Jacksonville, Florida. Her husband Samuel Lefkovitz Lanier remarried and lived with his second wife for over 10 years until his death in 2007 at age 88, also in Florida. The oldest child of Jane and Samuel Lanier, Samuel Harker Lanier, passed away in 2018; he was only in his 60s. A lawyer, he had been disbarred in St. Augustine on a cocaine related arrest only a few years before.

Donna Virginia LaRocca Holroyd, moved sometime in the late 60s, with mother Virginia and husband Jack, to the Simi Valley.

By 1970, Donna was the head supervisor for the Ocean View Children’s Center  (5201 Squires Dr.) in Port Hueneme  “for low income and welfare families…. so that the mothers (of the Valley Village neighborhood) could work or go to school.” Oxford News 1970.

Article below mentions that Donna received a degree from UCLA in Early Childhood Education.

Oxford Press Courier March 21, 1971. Her daughter Paige was probably living in Westwood or Trancas Beach at this time.

More on Donna Holroyd.

By the time of Paige’s suicide in April of 1974, Donna and Jack Holroyd were divorced and Donna was living with her mother Virginia back in Sherman Oaks, at the lovely Chase Knolls Apartment Community on Huston St.

Donna’s Chase Knolls address is on Paige’s death certificate as her next of kin.

This address is also on Virginia LaRocca‘s death cert. in 1976. Donna is listed as her mother’s next of kin.

In 1980 this address appears on Donna’s own death certificate.

Donna Holroyd is divorced and living at the Chase Knolls Apartment Community in Sherman Oaks according to this document.

She dies of a “hypertensive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” in her Chase Knolls apartment at age 59 years. 

Donna outlives her mother by 4 years, and her daughter by 6.

Chase Knolls Apartments Sherman Oaks. Not Donna’s apartment which is located behind the locked gate.

Oldest daughter and Paige’s sister Constance Smashey is listed on the death certificate as next of kin with a Simi Valley address.

Constance and Smashey divorced and Connie would move to the Palm Desert area in the 1980s. She now lives in Banning, California. She turned down my request to ask her a few questions about her sister Paige and their family.

Paige’s father Robert Morgan Cotterell and his wife Pat, moved to Oregon in the 1970s after he retired from Douglas Air. They lived there until their deaths around 2010.

Bob Cotterell’s obituary is no longer online. When it was, there was no mention of his daughters by Donna LaRocca: Diana/Paige and Constance.

It appears that Connie has reunited with her half siblings.

Richard Sample told me that Paige drove him to meet her sister one time only. and that He he “did not get any impression” they were close.

Paige did not disclose her personal history or childhood, to anyone I’ve talked with who knew her.

Paige’s ex-husband Mark Frederick Segal married a woman named Denise in 1974 and a few years later they had a son: Ivan Mark Segal

1985/86 Mark F. Segal stayed in the car business:

Segal sold his home on Crisp Canyon Ave. to Rex Ramsey and later bought it back from him. He sold it again and moved to Portland in the late 80s? He died there on October 16, 2012.

4133 Crisp Canyon Ave. was razed and replaced with a really horrible McMansion.

His son Ivan Segal lives in Portland and Scottsdale.

Scroll WAY down for more.

Desmond Guinness married Penelope Cuthbertson in 1984.

She is his cousin according to “International Set” gossip writer Suzy Knickerbocker back in 1973. They were not couple at that time.

Desmond continued fundraising for his Irish Georgian Society well into old age. He died on August 20, 2020. I have read Desmond had some degree of dementia.

Ex-wife Mariga and co-founder of the IGS had died decades earlier.

There are numerous obituaries online for Hon. Desmond Guinness.

Desmond’s niece is fashion icon and socialite Daphne Guinness. His granddaughter is popular fashion model Jasmine Guinness.

How and where Desmond became acquainted with Paige Young is a mystery. Possibly been through John and CiCi Huston in Ireland and Celeste basically denied knowing the two were acquainted. Desmond on his own was well connected in Los Angeles and Southern California. He had a receptive audience in the area.

Paige’s divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson went from “Beverly Hills and LA famous” with some degree of national fame, to internationally famous, when he represented Michelle Triola Marvin in her lawsuit against live-in lover of 6 years, actor Lee Marvin. This in the late 1970s.

 Mitchelson introduced the term and concept of “palimony” into the courts.

Commonly known as Marvin vs. Marvin, the case received major publicity in the mass-media of the time. It’s something I personally remember as a young teenager. I call it “People magazine” famous.

I didn’t learn the back story in detail until I researched this project. I am condescing the details for this website.

Michelle Triola Marvin was a singer in Hollywood. She felt she was owed part of Lee Marvin’s $3.2 million fortune, as she had given up her own career, per his demand, to become his live-in lover, helpmate, career advisor, and even helped to raise his 4 children from first wife Betty.

Triola said Lee Marvin had promised her life-long financial support. Triola-Marvin was abruptly dumped when Lee Marvin suddenly married his high school sweetheart Pamela Feeney in 1970. Marvin kicked Triola-Marvin out of their Malibu home and cut her off financially.

 Because Michelle Triola Marvin was not legally married to Lee Marvin, she had no legal standing to demand any financial compensation.

Mitchelson saw an opportunity in California’s newly enacted “no-fault” divorce laws.

 Mitchelson filed a breach-of-contract suit against Lee Marvin in February of 1972 asking for 50% of his estate.

After being rejected by two lower courts, Mitchelson pushed the case to the California Supreme Court, where he won.

The Marvin vs. Marvin case finally reached trial in January of 1979 and it quickly became a mass-media event.

The judge in the case,  Judge Marshall, awarded about $100,000 to Triola-Marvin, for the salary she potentially lost giving up her career as a singer.

Lee Marvin’s attorneys appealed, and the decision was reversed, leaving Triola with nothing and Mitchelson with nothing.

 Mitchelson didn’t care though, because the fame the case brought him was worth millions of dollars in representing “wronged spouses,” mainly women.

The fact that in the end, Triola got nothing was not well publicized in the many media reports. It happened after the initial hoopala had died down.

Some of the women Marvin represented were celebrities like Bianca Jagger,  Zsa Zsa Gabor and Joan Collins ( a reverse of his norm as Collins was the one being sued by husband Peter Holm.) Mostly he took cases of non-celebrity live-in girlfriends or mistresses of rich celebrities: Sara Dylan (Bob), Anna Kashfi (Marlon Brando) Nancy Lee Andrews (Ringo Starr), Veronica Buss and Puppi Buss (girlfriends of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss) Soraya Khashoggi, Kayatana Harrison (Flip Wilson.)

Marvin represented a few men: Mark Christian, ex-lover of Rock Hudson, in his widely publicized case against Hudson’s estate for failing to disclose his AIDS status to Christian. Mel Torme, Carl Sagan and Sonny Bono were other clients.

Mitchelson was disbarred in 1988 for grossly overcharging clients and went to prison in 1993 for tax evasion.

Marvin Mitchelson was released from prison in 1998 and died in 2004.

Lee Marvin died in 1987 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Michelle Triola went on to have a long live-in relationship with actor- comedian Dick Van Dyke. She died of lung cancer in 2009.

Information from: Ladies’ Man: The Life & Trials of Marvin Mitchelson, by John A. Jenks. The only published biography of Marvin Mitchelson. It’ a fascinating look at an LA character of his time.

Which is all you can ever be right?

1974 #1. Death Cert. Witness. “Sex Tapes.” Cremation. Ocean burial. Secrets of Playboy. Questions remain. Updated 1/24/23

March 16, 1974 is Paige Young’s 30th birthday.

April 7th 1974 is a Palm Sunday and on that day, Paige commits suicide with a gunshot to her head, the location was her residence, pictured below.

Paige's garage apartment in WESTWOOD.
From a real estate listing several years ago. An apartment built over a garage in 1941.

Below is the account neighbor Melanie gave to reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail.

“She was terrified of it coming out, in that day you knew your career was going to be over once it got ‘round.”

“For weeks all she could think about was getting hold of that tape, she thought it was going to ruin her.”

Melanie, Paige’s neighbor.

“Paige had the whole thing planned down to the last detail…  It was Palm Sunday and she came to tell me she was going to kill herself. She stayed in the back of the house where we (B.J.) lived and I was at the bathroom window. She comes up to the window and calls out to me “I want to show you something.” I couldn’t be bothered by any more of her drama. But she was like, “No, you’ve gotta come and see it.” So I go to her apartment and she gave me a guided tour …of her suicide scene in her bedroom….It was chilling..there was a large American flag draped across her bed and there was a pentagram laid out on the wooden floor…I remember her showing me around it because it was somehow important, but I didn’t know what it meant.”

But it was the bedroom was that shocked Myers the most.

“It was covered floor to ceiling with photos of Hugh Hefner, there were news clippings, magazine articles, everything you could think of. Written across it was something like “Hugh Hefner is the devil.” The whole wall was a shrine saying, ‘I hate Hugh Hefner,’ the crux of her anger was against him. That was the message she wanted to get across to me. She was pointing up at things, showing me around it.  She’s put a lot of work into this, it must have taken her days.

Myers said that Young then calmly explained that she planned to kill herself.

She produced a gun and put it into her mouth…lay back on her bed and said, ‘this is how I’m going to do it.’

“It was chilling. We were friends but not the best of friends, I was always bitching about her and her dog, so I was scared.  I thought maybe she could shoot me, you know, take me with her, it was all so weird.  I thought, I’ve got to get out of here.”

“Myers quickly retreated to her apartment and called the police. LAPD officers arrived soon afterwards and cordoned of the whole of Eastbourne Ave.”

Myers said, “The cops didn’t want to go in her apartment first, so they asked me to go check on her, so I did.”

“I walked into her apartment and they were behind me. I walked into her bedroom and she was lying dead on the bed. She had shot herself in the head as she told me she would. There was a huge mass of blood, her whole bed was soaked red, it was shocking. But she looked happy and very peaceful, she didn’t look in distress.” 

“The cops had Paige’s suicide note and read some of it to me…the whole thing was about her anger towards the men who she believed had chewed her up and spat her out.  The two men who got the most attention were Hugh Hefner and the director John Huston. I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.”

Paige expressed anger to other Hollywood stars who had used her.

“I believe Paige was making a huge statement in a bid to get at the elite of Hollywood…She thought the story of her death would spark a big scandal, but it didn’t. Sadly no one cared.”

Why did Paige Young “blame” Hugh Hefner for her decision to commit suicide? Along with the others mentioned in her suicide note.

In the A&E channel documentary Secrets of Playboy, Melanie is interviewed

and says she was told by Paige Young that a member of Hefner’s entourage filmed and owned the tape of her in a sexual situation at the Playboy mansion. And she was very afraid of it “getting out.”

Below is a photo of the death certificate copy I obtained. A partial autopsy/police report copy is included in the Daily Mail story, but not the death certificate.

Reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail discovered that Paige did not die of a drug overdose as is stated in “The Playmate Book” and several websites, but actually committed suicide from a gunshot wound to the head, per an autopsy report and death certificate as one can see.

On April 9 Price-Daniel Mortuary handles Paige’s death services. Her cremation takes place at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Gardena. Burial of her ashes to take place at sea near Santa Monica shoreline.

Mother Donna Holroyd signs of with a shaky signature as “Donna Cotterell.”

It is unknown how the false story of Paige overdosing on drugs started to be written and repeated on the internet so much that it became her “official” means of suicide.

Is the Playmate Book the original source?

The Playmate Book is a compendium of all the Playmates who have appeared in the magazine since the first issue in 1953, up to the date of publication. An update on the lives accompanies each woman’s entry. I’m guessing that the Playmate Book is updated and released every 5-10 years.

Paige’s suicide appears to have never been reported in the Los Angeles media, in 1974 or since.

I haven’t found any death, obituary or memorial announcement.

 In the weeks and months after the Daily Mail article was published, no one spoke out publicly about knowing or having met Paige Young. No one came forward on social or entertainment media to shed any more light on what could have driven or influenced her to take her own life.

This is one reason I was motivated to research more about Paige Young.

Back to 1974……..

What about this alleged sex tape? Was Hugh Hefner or those close to him involved somehow?

A well known part of Hefner’s biography is that he was fascinated by audio and video technology.

He collected home video, film cameras and cutting edge stereo equipment before they were available to the mass consumer.

In the early decades of the magazine, Playboy magazine often featured a “bachelor pad” decked out with the finest stereo equipment and other electronic gadgets, sure to impress the ladies, and other men, like a Cadillac or Picasso painting might.

The docu-series Secrets of Playboy has revealed accounts of sex being filmed by Hugh Hefner at his mansion in Holmby Hills. (See accounts by Sondra Theodore and Stefan Tetenbaum in Episode 8.)

There are reports of video tapes of sexual encounters over the decades, with some involving celebrities.

Secrets of Playboy shows an interview with former head of Playmate Promotions Miki Garcia reading her personal notes about actor Tony Curtis. Curtis and his lawyers were quite upset about Tony’s appearance in sex tapes filmed at the mansion.

These stories of “sex tapes” go back to the Chicago Playboy mansion days: an ex-girlfriend of Hefner’s, with help from one of his secretaries, snuck in the mansion and retrieved “her” tape. This incident was told to Russell Miller, author of the book Bunny.

There are also reports of Hefner ordering the tapes and films destroyed before his death, by sinking them in the ocean.

One of the clips from the Secrets of Playboy opening also shows a 1970s Hugh Hefner talking to reporters about all the “electronic equipment in the mansion,” including cameras and that “sometimes stuff happens in the bedroom.”

Allegedly, Hefner had become fearful after friend and frequent Playboy model Pamela Anderson had her (and husband Tommy Lee’s) sex tapes stolen and released to the public.

What happened to Hefner’s collection of sex tapes?

Article From Page Six Nov. 23, 2018

“Hugh Hefner dumped a casket full of his private sex tapes into the sea before he passed away, insiders have revealed.

The Playboy founder chucked his collection of sex tapes into the Pacific ocean because he feared that his most famous and secret conquests would be exposed, sources told The Sun.

It comes as the Playboy founder’s most personal belongings are being auctioned off later this month.

But while his signature pipe, dressing gowns and other items are currently on show to the public before they go under the hammer, paranoid Hefner made sure his dirtiest secrets would never be found.

The veteran Hollywood lothario, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 91, gathered up his entire hidden collection of tapes, X-rated photos and even intimate notes from superstars.

He then threw them all in a specially-made casket lined with cement and had his aides dump them in the sea.

Hefner’s trusted head of security at the Playboy Mansion Joe Piastro – who died in 2011 – is believed to have overseen the burial.

“Hugh was terrified of the world finding out everything about his past,” a source revealed. “He had kept a treasure chest of memories of his life with all these beautiful women dating back from the 1950s to the mid-1990s.”

“He only shared a few of the stories with his aides, but kept his personal items of his time with many famous beauties a secret.

“There was a batch of tapes, shot on 8 mm and cinefilm, which were filmed during some of the orgies he enjoyed in the 70s.

“Some famous male movie stars too were in those videos and had that come out it would have been a huge scandal.

“Hef also had thousands of photographs taken at photo shoots or given to him by the girls over the years.

“Marilyn [Monroe] was definitely in them as well as many superstars who graced the pages of his magazine.

“Some of the women were in relationships and others never even made the magazine, but simply were partying with him.

“He had hundreds of other photographs of women who were not famous, but he had enjoyed one nights stands with or even short relationships. There were also audio tapes too.

“In the 1990s, he had concerns about these personal items being stolen and sold around the world … it filled him with dread.

“What actually sparked his concern was when Pamela had her tape with Brett Michaels aired and then Tommy Lee.

“He got so upset and paranoid that he decided it was best to have them disappear. He didn’t trust people to burn them in case they got stolen, so he charged Joe with getting rid of them in the ocean.

“Joe had been his trusted head of security for years and had saved Hugh from many embarrassing situations in the past.

“So he decided that Joe should go out in the middle of the ocean with the cask and dump it all.

“Hugh explained that he didn’t want anyone’s lives, marriages or careers to be destroyed by what he had In his library. Joe did it and never told anyone.”

Hefner decided to take action in the late 90s as parties at the Playboy mansion were becoming wilder.

“The parties at the mansion were becoming grander affairs and it was difficult to control where guests were going,” the source added.

“He was terrified that some of this material would be stolen and the leaked out.

“After what [Anderson] had told him, he was certain that this material was best lost rather than locked away.

“He even worried that if anything happened to him it could get in the wrongs hands and hurt those who were still alive.”

Former Playboy employee Lisa Loving Barrett says in Secrets of Playboy, that she heard the the ocean burial story and has reason to believe it is true.

I am going to conclude that Paige Young’s case is an early example of what became known as “sex tape scandals,” although it was one that never went public. It seems to have remained firmly swept under the rug by people at Playboy, at the time that it happened and subsequent decades.

I was told by an individual working on the documentary that there was a “female fixer” working for Playboy/Hef in Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

And Paige’s suicide and notes left implicating Hefner and his friends, presented a problem that needed to be fixed.

April of 1974 was certainly not a good time for bad publicity to be attached to Hefner as Bobbie Arnstein, his loyal and troubled Chicago secretary, had been arrested for drugs in front of the Chicago Playboy Mansion, only two weeks previous to Paige’s suicide.

Hugh Hefner was spending time more often in Los Angele by 1974 and Bobbie felt a little left out. She was supposed relocate on the west coast and continue to be Hefner’s secretary, from all accounts he was dependent on her assistance.

After Bobbie’s suicide in 1975, is always cited as finalizing Hugh Hefner’s move to the mansion in Holmby Hills found by “constant companion” Barbi Benton.

Paige’s home in Westwood was 10 minutes by car to the Holmby Hills location of the Playboy Mansion. The local police were friendly with Hef and welcomed at the mansion as several former employees said in Secrets of Playboy.

Mother Mrs. Donna Holroyd signature.

Math figures show Paige’s age on mortuary paperwork.

Santa Monica Beach Fall 2022