PART 2: Richard Sample Interview

Close up of a small copy: Richard Sample as painted by Paige Young.

Photo of a photo of Richard painting. Paige’s painting of him hanging prominently, along with some kind of a Paige Playboy plaque. 69/70.

To open our interview, I promised Richard I would end after one hour. It ended up two.

I asked Richard if Paige ever used LSD, the drug from the moniker “the “psychedelic era.” Richard said no, not that he ever witnessed or heard.

I brought up the sex tape mentioned in the Daily Mail article, and I brought up David Shane, who was not mentioned but alluded to in the article.

Richard said, ” I think that that is something Dennis told me about Jonathan Winters. And that tape. I think Dennis knows something about that tape.”

Richard said this is all he can remember.

He has not heard of David Shane.

Richard again mentioned how he and Paige were regulars at Barney’s Beanery and added that they sometime socialized there with the Smothers Brothers.

Malibu Friends:

“In Malibu we hung out a lot with Don Dwiggens. He wrote the book ‘The Life and Loves of Frank Sinatra’. Another one was ‘The Bachelor.’ “Dwiggins took a lot of pictures of Paige.”

Richard does not know if these photos were were ever published. “His wife still lives in Malibu.”

“He was killed in a car accident.” (1988)

I had never heard of Don Dwiggins; it turns out he was a longtime LA reporter, prolific author, pilot, stunt pilot and aviation historian. And a man of numerous hobbies.

Dwiggins lived in Malibu for decades, well-known and admired in the community, and Los Angeles in general. There is an in depth tribute for Don Dwiggins that appeared in the LAT, at the bottom of this page. It is written by Jack Smith, one of Don’s good friends. Smith is a legendary Los Angeles columnist and writer.

More Malibu friends:

“I had my paintings in Jack Bailey’s (Queen for a Day host) gallery and many of my paintings sold when his gallery was shown on a TV show.”

Jack Bailey resided in Malibu during the mid-60s where he ran the Jack Bailey Gallery for about 2 years. There are articles in the Malibu newspapers to support this.

“He owned about 65 of my paintings.”

Vincent Price was another patron of Richard’s. Price is well-known as an avid art collector.

About the ending of his relationship with Paige: “I had moved out of the studio in Venice and moved to Solvang, and Paige stayed there. (Venice) She was supposed to pay me rent, but she never did. I went and asked her to leave.”

Paige had moved out and and at some point moved onto a houseboat in Marina Del Rey. (See chapter: Paige’s Most Public Year 1969)

“I only talked to her on her houseboat for about 10 minutes. I don’t know who owned it.” I got the feeling it was an uncomfortable conversation.

We again discussed Rex Ramsey, who tried to steal Richard’s Corvette and Paige’s Mustang.

The Corvette that Rex Ramsey tried to steal: His wife got a flat tire in the Corvette and was on the side of the freeway, when a semi-truck flattened it.

I have spoken to Rex Ramsey briefly on the phone. He said he does not remember Paige., but does remember her husband of one year, Mark F. Segal, his long time friend.

A SFV newspaper 1968. The address is the home of Mark F. Segal and Paige Young when she and Mark were married.

He hasn’t answered or returned any of my phone calls since that first one.

Richard brought up Hugh Hefner.

“Paige told me she overheard a conversation, with Hefner, about selling women to business men from a foreign country. They were talking about the money.”

Richard Sample

I responded “For what, like, sex or types of sexual favors, or….?”

Yes, he nodded (for sex or sexual favors) without elaborating.

I prompted with “When Paige told you this, did she seem shocked, upset or…?”

“She said ‘I hope that doesn’t happen to me.'”

He added, “If I could I would shoot Hugh Hefner and probably get away with it.”

I pressed but he didn’t answer.

Sample just said “Hefner ruined a lot of good women.”

Anything else you can recall that Paige said about Hugh Hefner or anyone connected to him? “Not that I can remember.”

Richard said he never met Hefner nor hung out with any of his crowd.

My thoughts: soon.

Paige personality:

Did Paige have an opinion about the Vietnam war?

“She said ‘ They should just bomb it and get it over with.'”

Did she attend any anti-war demonstrations?

Richard shook his head no and kept shaking his head no as I asked, “So that wouldn’t have been something she would have ever done?

Because I have not found any voter registration records for Paige, but I have found many records for her family members, I asked if he ever knew Paige to have voted for President.

Several minutes long pause.

“Who is the president that had a brother who let that girl drown in Chappaquiddick?”

“Teddy, brother of President John Kennedy.

“Well, we had a picture of Teddy Kennedy hanging up that we would throw darts at, Paige was there (visiting) and she said ‘I hope he gets what he deserves.'”

I looked around at Richard Sample’s art work. He showed me some of his paintings that are “copies” of famous artists like Picasso, Miro, Kandinsky. He said he paints these because it pays well.

I apologized to Richard if I told him any information about Paige that was upsetting. He said it didn’t.

For example, Richard did not know that Paige was born Diana Cotterell or anything at all about her childhood.

Richard misses Idaho and wishes he were still living there.

He mentions John Chapman, President of the NEA.? “I worked for him. And he bought many of my paintings, He owned a mansion in Sun Valley.”

Info: Don Dwiggins. Paige and Richard’s Malibu friend. Richard says Paige modeled for him several times. It was hard to choose which article about Dwiggins to include, there were so many of them. Lots of reviews of his Hollywood aviation stunt pilot books.

Lower article by legendary LA writer Jack Smith.

Eagle Rock Sentinel OCT.31, 1968

LAT March 29. 1989.

Chilling the timing of his accident….

1966: July, Paige Transfers From Marvin M. Mitchelson To New Law Firm. Donna and Virginia New SFV Location. Simi Valley.

July 1966

Paige gets transferred from the Marvin Mitchelson law firm of Beverly Hills, to the law firm of Silverton, Ruderman and Graf of Studio City. Her new law firm is located at 12345 Ventura Blvd.; a 5 minute drive from her childhood home at 13055 Moorpark St..

This may have happened because Marvin Michelson was busy climbing the ladder of success in 1966.

He continued to represent Hollywood and Beverly Hills “soon-to-be-divorced-wives.”

LA Herald-Examiner gossip columnist Harrison Carroll 1966.

(66 also brought Marvin international work in London from a rock band.)

Aldo Ray spoke bitterly about his ex-wives. I have several more articles about him not included.

Marvin Michelson may have grown tired of Paige’s divorce case by 1966; she is not recorded as doing so in the stack I divorce papers I purchased. Nor was her “interlocutory” ex-husband, Mark F. Segal, he hadn’t paid more than the one payment in 64.

Any publicity for “weird headlines” (see chapter on Segal-Young Divorce Makes Headlines) had long since been of any benefit to MMM.

1966 Paige’s Mother, Donna Holroyd, and her grandmother, Virginia Young LaRocca, are listed in the phone directory at 5760 Hazeltine. It’s an apartment building on the corner of Hazeltine and Hatteras in Van Nuys. Jack Holroyd is not listed at this location.

All 3 of them would soon move together to the Simi Valley area where Donna Holroyd would open a state funded daycare for young mothers trying to work and go to school. The school was in an area of Oxford. (1970-71)

By 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 address here is on Paige’s death certificate in 1974, Donna as Next of Kin.

This address is on Virginia LaRocca’s death cert. in 1976.

Also appears on Donna Virginia Holroyd’s death certificate in 1980.

See Chapters Whatever Happened To and Paige’s Death Cert.

1964 & 65: Segal-Young Divorce Makes Headlines. Divorce Details. M.M.M. James and Pamela Mason: Divorce Beverly Hills Style.

The divorce filing is a bit out-of-the-ordinary and was picked up by a wire service and appears in a few newspapers across the country.

Some examples below:

August 28, 1964 The Desert Sun-Palm Springs
Los Angeles Evening-Citizen News Aug. 28, 1964 Only article I have found that mentions lawyer Marvin M. Mitchelson and the couple’s home address.
Dayton Daily News. Here Paige is an “Artist’s Model” This may have added interest for local newspapers, when reading their wire service stories.

We might call these headlines “click-bait” today.

There is a high probability that Marvin Mitchelson was behind the above stories.

Apparently, early in his career, he looked for ways to garner publicity for himself:

“..In the early days, when his client list was still thin, he could gin up publicity by filing an oddball lawsuit himself…this was 1964 and he had to work with what material was sent him.” From the book “Ladies Man, The Life and Trials of Marvin Mitchelson” by John A. Jenkins.

 This is likely the reason Mitchelson took Paige’s case despite, her lack of ability to pay him any money upfront.  The case was unusual or “oddball” enough.

 Hollywood History/Celebrity Connections: Only a few days after Paige files for divorce,  news breaks that Beverly Hills society matron and LA talk show host, Pamela Mason, has won the unprecedented amount of 1 million dollars, for her divorce settlement from husband of 20 years: actor James Mason.

Her lawyer is Marvin Mitchelson.

dated Sept.1, 1964 Pasadena Independent, Pasadena, California.

Jenkins details the Mason case:

“Afterward in the courthouse corridor, “James (Mason) called the settlement ‘a flea bite.’ After all, he was getting off the hook without giving her any alimony at all. But Pamela was ecstatic. Her settlement was one of the first to break the magic million-dollar mark, and Mitchelson had gotten her, and himself, a ton of publicity about it.” “Pamela was so grateful she did everything she could to make Marvin Mitchelson a household name. Pamela introduced Mitchelson to her divorcing friends…she became his entrée to those rarefied upper brackets of Beverly Hills and Hollywood.”

The Mason case was a first as far as Hollywood divorces go, and a breakthrough for Marvin Mitchelson’s career.

 Mark’s attorney is Bernard Echt from Sherman Oaks. Echt, A few years down the road, Echt would represent the milkman who was being sued by Vincent Bugliosi for suspected impregnation of his wife. Strange yet true.

Bernard Echt is Mark Segal’s attorney

 An initial agreement is reached pretty quickly: Sept. 18,1964 . Mark is required to pay Paige alimony, but only for six months.

This would be about $1000 in 2017, so the equivalent of $6000 total in today’s money.

1964 November 24:  Paige and her grandmother Virginia LaRocca are sworn-in for testimony in a Los Angeles courthouse, probably 111 Hill Street, for the divorce trial; Mark is a no-show. Virginia LaRocca testifies for the plaintiff, her granddaughter Paige. An interlocutory decree of divorce is granted to Paige on grounds of extreme cruelty.

 Paige waives her right to any further alimony payments beyond the six months.  Mark is also ordered to pay Marvin Mitchelson $300 (about $2072 in 2017 dollars) and $15.00 in court costs around $100 today.   Paige is awarded a 1953 MG Roadster; Mark is ordered to sign the title over to her.  Paige gets to keep certain antiques and wedding gifts.  Mark gets to keep his home at 4133 Crisp Canyon in Sherman Oaks.

Both parties are ordered to not annoy, molest or harass the other.

1965

This year shows Mark has not been making his required alimony and lawyer’s fees since 1964.

Defendant Mark F. Segal is delinquent in alimony payments 64-65
Order to show cause that Mark is in contempt; alimony unpaid up to middle of 1965

1940s PARENTS Marriage Hollywood Wedding Chapel. Honeymoon. WW2. P.O.W. Divorce. Arbolada Rd.

Robert M. Cotterell was 23 and Donna LaRocca 19 when they were married in 1940.

Certificate of marriage for Robert M. Cotterell and Donna Virginia LaRocca. Mildred K. Marinelli signature listed on next to last line. Mildred is the daughter of Joseph LaRocca’s only sister Kathryn LaRocca Marinelli. Mildred and Donna are first cousins.

Diana’s father Robert Morgan Cotterell was born around 1917 in Algon, Iowa. He moved to Los Angeles around 1938 to follow his interest in aviation.

Diana’s mother Donna Virginia LaRocca was born in 1921, in Peoria, Illinois. 

Donna’s parents were Ned and Virginia LaRocca, vaudevillians who travelled the Pantages, Orpheum and other vaudeville circuits for about the first 10 years of her life.

Donna LaRocca moved with her parents to Los Angeles around 1934.

Below is the Hollywood Wedding Chapel where Robert and Donna were married as stated on the marriage certificate. The location is about one block from the infamous and historic Chateau Marmont hotel.  The famed Garden of Allah apartment building was across the street.

Located a stone’s throw to Chateau Marmont. Found on the internet.
Hollywood Citizen Nov. 15, 1940 Miss Penny Pepper????????

This Hollywood Wedding Chapel building was purchased by famous director/writer Preston Sturges in 1940; he transformed it into “Players” restaurant, a movie business watering hole. Players has its’ own interesting Hollywood and LA history.

Donna and Robert must have been one of the last couples to marry at the chapel before Sturges took over.

Currently, 8225 Sunset Blvd is a Pink Taco restaurant. 

 1944 Second Lieutenant Army Air Corps Heavy Bomber Robert M. Cotterell was captured on May 27th and imprisoned in a German POW camp. His address is listed as 3712 Arbolada as seen in the cutout below.

 (Robert Cotterell is listed with the Evans address on his daughter Diana Lee’s birth certificate.)

LAT Aug. 19, 1944

Robert Cotterell’s daughter Constance is 2 years old, and Diana only 5 months, on the date the POW announcement was published.  

1945 Robert Cotterell is liberated from the German Camp.

Public military record found online.

1944 Mother Donna Cotterell is listed as living at 3710/12 Arbolada address on her voter registration this year. Seen on ancestry.com

1947

Donna LaRocca Cotterell files for divorce against Robert Morgan Cotterell.

Los Angeles Times September 16, 1947

1947 The Cotterell’s divorce is finalized.

Los Angeles Times Novemeber 6, 1947

Historic Context: Robert and Donna Cotterell were one couple out of thousands who made up a nation-wide spike in divorce rates after WW2.

Statistics show that in 1946 one in four US marriages ended in divorce.

A 1946 article written on the subject in the New York Times:

“More than half of America’s 1,500,000 war-wed G.I.s have returned. Already one out of every four of these 800,000 men is entangled in divorce proceedings. Experts are predicting that by 1950, 1,000,000 of these wartime marriages-or two out of three-will end in divorce.”

 Robert Cotterell remarried in approximately 1949 to Patricia Frick and the couple had two children in 1950 and 51.

 He had a job after the war working for Douglas Aircraft. The job took his family all over the San Fernando Valley and Laguna Beach.

I would imagine Robert paid alimony to Donna as was common at the time, as well as child support for Constance and Diana.