1960-1964. Paige Young “Miss Panorama City.” Robinson’s of the Valley. Childhood Home Razed.

1960-1961  I have not been able to locate where Diana/Paige was living at these years.

However, in a SFV phone directory, I find 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. Josephine Young Harker, Diana’s great aunt, is also listed with this address in a 1960 LA phone directory.

Paige probably? lived here with her grandmother for a couple years. It’s also the address on Ned LaRocca’s death cert. 1959.

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.

12385 Oxford Ave. Van Nuys

Panorama City

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.

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

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

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

Virginia LaRocca listed at 8533 Ventura Canyon “VN for Van Nuys”

P
From the Van Nuys News and Green Sheet., Feb. 6, 1962 There were big plans for the city of Panorama City at this time.
Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet. Feb. 6, 1962

Close up on page 2

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

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.

It is probable that Grandmother Virginia Young LaRocca, mother Donna Holroyd and stepfather Jack Holroyd, were living at 8533 Ventura Canyon Ave at this time-1962. If Paige was living with them, it would have been a very short drive to her job (as stated in above article) at the Panorama City location of J.W. Robinson’s, a legendary LA department store.

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

July 1961 LAT Where Paige would have worked if she worked in sales.

The article states Paige is an “accomplished equestrienne,” and a model.

Unusually, it doesn’t mention her devotion to oil painting.

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.”

In some 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)

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).

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

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.

If that is true and it was for Robinson’s of the Valley, there was a payroll/personnel department separate from the department store, located at 8501 Van Nuys Blvd. right by the store.

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

 Meanwhile, 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.

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.

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.

 

Context: 1964,1965. More On Paige’s Lawyer Marvin Mitchelson. Who Is Photographer Peter Gowland?

1964 At this stage, after winning 1 million for Pamela Mason, Marvin Michelson has a steadily increasing clientele, consisting primarily of Beverly Hills and Hollywood women against rich and powerful men; most often their husbands. Paige Young is one of his divorcing clients who has no money to pay him up front.

NEW YORK, NY – CIRCA 1979: Marvin Mitchelson, Celebrity divorce lawyer circa 1979 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images)

Later this year, Michelson represents legendary lyricist Alan Lerner’s estranged wife, Micheline.

LAT Dec. 22, 1964

Mark F. Segal came from a fairly well off Sherman Oaks family. Father Harold Segal owned a thriving car business according to friend and potential car thief Rex Ramsey. Still he wasn’t in a league with rich and famous My Fair Lady composer Alan Lerner.

Both men did have a couple things in common: estranged wives represented by rising lawyer Marvin M. Michelson. The other is being found in contempt of court by failing to pay alimony to these estranged wives.

1965-Marvin Michelson goes hard on Mark Segal this year. For every month Mark fails to make his monthly alimony payment to Paige and the lawyer’s fees, Michelson files a contempt suit in court.

And it turned out to be all 12 months. (documents in collection of author.)

Mark is held in contempt in April of 1965 for making only one payment on his 6 months of alimony obligation. Many documents were filed over this divorce from 64-69. The record dept. gave me a duplicate copy of the pile of documents.

Peter Gowland

San Francisco Examiner Aug. 18. 1957

1963-1965 It was around this time I think, Paige meets and models for famous “glamour” or pin-up photographer Peter Gowland. She may have met Alice Gowland later, 67/68.

Richard Sample confirmed to me that Paige had known and modeled for Gowland already several years before her Playboy centerfold issue was released in November of 1968. See chapter on Richard Sample interview.

The Gowlands would produce Paige’s Playboy magazine centerfold published in November of 1968. 

By the 1960s, LA native Peter Gowland and his wife Alice, had already enjoyed a thriving photography business for over a decade.

In the 1950s:

They were one of a small number husband and wife pin-up photography teams in the Los Angeles area. The Gowlands were part of a larger group of male glamour photographers; many based in the LA area.

The “pin-up model” was transforming along with photography styles and equipment, lighting, and appeal as a hobby.

.Peter and Alice Gowland were at the forefront of the genre and the business.

Their specialty was selling these photos for use in different types of men’s magazines,  girlie calendars, mainstream commercial work and many photography instructional books.

Petaluma newspaper July 25, 1957

Peter himself was often featured in magazines for amateur photographers, he not only built his own outdoor sets by hand at his Rustic Canyon home, he invented a large format 4×5 camera he named the Gowlandflex. Throughout the 50s and 60s, Peter and Alice Gowland photographed many well-known glamour models such as the legendary model and nudist Diane Webber. Webber appears on the latest paperback edition of Gay Talese’s book: Thy Neighbor’s Wife, one of the first books I read about the hidden side of Hugh Hefner and Playboy. And the first place I learned about Diane Webber.

Warner Brother TV starlet Saundra Edwards is mentioned in the above article as a Gowland favorite model. Saundra was a Playmate for March 1957 and the photographed by the Gowlands. Saundra would go one to kill her husband, actor Tom Gilson, in self-defense when he drunkenly approached Saundra during a separation, demanding to see his son. This happened in Oct. of 1962 in Van Nuys. Below is one of many articles on the incident. Saundra was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Ogden Standard-Examiner Oct. 11, 1962

Popular cover girl and early Playboy Playmate Saundra Edwards.

Saundra Edwards already had two children by a previous marriage.

Other notable models who worked for the Gowlands were model and swimsuit designer Barbara Osterman, mid-century pop culture phenomenon  Vicki “The Back” Dougan, Julie Newmar (pre-Cat Woman) Tina Louise (pre-Gilligan’s Island) cult movie actress Edy Williams, starlets Yvette Mimeux and Venetia Stevenson. And many more.

Credit Michael for this information and history glamourphotographers.yolasite.comsite.com Please checkout his website for an in-depth discussion of the Gowlands and other photographers from the classic era of postwar glamour/pin-up photography and mass media.

The Gowlands produced dozens of photography instruction manuals from the 50s through the 80s at least. Some were magazine format and others were hardback books. 3 examples of magazine format below

1961 Meiling Gordon cover model

Interest in Figure or Artistic nude photography, grew in the 1950s culture as did photography as a hobby. This edition is from 1961. Cover model is Colleen Whitman.

Many of these instruction manuals pushed boundaries for nudity (topless) standards or simulation of nudity, (naked back turned toward the camera, almost see-through garments etc.) for the times.

1969 No credit for cover model

The Gowlands did publish photos with obvious frontal nudity in a small number of instructional books

Mainly though, it was swimsuit attire.

Peter Gowland is well-known (Alice less so) for contributing to the Playboy magazine Playmate feature in the 50s and 60s.

Most fans know Paige Young was the last of the Gowland’s Playmates with her feature in November of 1968.

Peter Gowland has has a type of fame, both then and now, but not one that is mass fame. He has more of a cult status now.

However, Gowland was more mainstream in the 50s and 60s when non-nude pin up models were used in a myriad of ways in mass media culture and had been throughout the 1950s.

Beauty contests and media coverage of them flourished in the 1950s and 60s.

Southern California was a hub for all kinds of beauty contests and displays of physicality; for example the Venice Beach “muscle” scene.