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

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

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). He said he did not get the 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 he became acquainted with Paige Young is a mystery. Possibly been through John and CiCi Huston in Ireland. But Desmond 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?

1950s #1 Updated 11/02/22: 1950 Census. Gardena. Move to San Fernando Valley. Ned LaRocca & Virginia & Family. Recording Industry LA. Leith Stevens.

San Fernando Valley abbreviated SFV.

The newly released 1950 census gives us

more information about the LaRocca/Cotterell family unit: they are listed at a residence in Gardena at 1830 W. 147th.

Joseph’s occupation, Radio Orchestra Manager, Virginia, Christian Science Practitioner, Donna has an empty box for occupation, granddaughters Constance S. is listed as 7 years and Diana L. as 5 years.

Aerial view of Sherman Oaks in 1950 around the time Diana Cotterell and her family moved to this area.

An online Gardena phone directory from Gardena 1951, is shown below. It has a listing for Virginia LaRocca, CSP, at this same address but no Joseph is listed. Why no Joseph and Virginia listed together as every other year in directories and voter registrations.?

With this new information I now must ask:

When did Diana and family leave Los Feliz? late 1940s?

Yes probably

How long did they live in Gardena?

About two years.

When did Diana and her family move to 13055 Moorpark St in Studio City/Sherman Oaks?

To elaborate on this answer:

I first connected the family to 13055 Moorpark St. address by an online city building permit dated in Dec. of 1952.

The LaRoccas are requesting a house alteration to make more rooms and a seperate entrance for a “rental unit.” Was the family living in Gardena and waiting for this construction work to be completed in Studio City?

This house was located on the west side of Studio City close to the eastern border with Sherman Oaks. Specifically, off of the intersection of Coldwater Canyon and Ventura Blvd.

The Los Angeles River is nearby as is Sportsman’s Lodge; a classic Hollywood and SFV venue landmark.

The family knew about the area for some time because Joseph’s only sister Kathryn Marinello, and her husband Anthony opened a food store at 13251 Moorpark in 1947.

Entitled “New Business Filings in the Valley” Van Nuys News Oct. 10, 1947

There is a 1947 City document I have been unable to download; indicating a “food store” at 13251 Moorpark St. The building was not owned by the Marinellos.

1950 census. Mildred Marinello (seen as Marinell) has married a man named Clifton Barnett. Mildred’s parents Anthony and Kathryn (retail grocery) live at the same address: 13011 Moorpark Street. It’s on the same street as their grocery business and only a few hundred feet from 13055 Moorpark where the Ned LaRocca/Cotterell family moved in approx. 1952.

The Marinellos and Bartletts lived a stone’s throw away from the LaRoccas and Donna, Connie and Diana Cotterell. Will be posting other documents showing the family living on Moorpark.

This 1950s image below the Hughes Market that stood on the intersection of Ventura Blvd. and Coldwater Canyon Blvd. I believe it is the southeast corner.

From the facebook page “SFV in the 50, 60s, 70s. Very close to where Paige/Diana lived with her family for at least a few years in the mid-1950s.

Meanwhile..Diana’s father Robert Morgan Cotterell also moved to the SFV around this time, but further west of his daughters and ex-wife. His current wife Patricia/Pat and their two children, born in 1950 and 1951, (while his first 2 daughters were in Gardena according to the 1950 census) start out in the Canoga Park/Winnetka area on Lurline Ave.  

It’s the first of many moves for them around Los Angeles due to Bob Cotterell Sr.’s career at Douglas Aircraft.

It is unknown exactly why the The LaRocca/Cotterell family moved to the SFV, but we do know that they were part of a massive migration to the area after World War 2, from both inside and outside of Los Angeles.

“The end of WW2 transformed the Valley and vastly accelerated its growth: vast tracts of suburban housing, shopping centers and industrial parks where chicken ranches, orchards and cattle ranches and wheat fields once existed. The 1940s and 50s, when I was growing up, the Valley was full of movie cowboys, beautiful ranches and fine horses.”  

Jerry England at cowboyup.com

“In the five years after the war, the population (of SFV) more than doubled to 402,538 residents-the pastoral San Fernando Valley was suddenly the ninth-busiest urban area in the nation. Valley society was a mix of young suburbanites, older families who had come west to try their luck as engineers, animators, or pioneers in the new field of television, and ranchers trying to hang on in the face of the new hordes.”

The San Fernando Valley: America’s Suburb by Kevin Roderick

 I discovered that Ned LaRocca spent most of the 1950s working as an orchestra manager for composer/conductor Leith Stevens, through Ned’s death certificate.

Ned La Rocca death certificate. Indicates working for Leith Stevens; conductor composer for TV and Movies.

I can confirm two Leith Stevens projects that have a credit as “contractor” for Ned LaRocca: A Doris Day album recorded in 1951 at 1032 Sycamore Street; a studio known at that time as “The Annex.” Found on youtube.

The website careerexplorer.com defines an orchestra contractor is:  “He or she has the job of finding the appropriate musicians for Broadway shows, television episodes and commercials.”

Ned had experience adapting to a new mass medium, when his first industry Vaudeville, died in the early 1930s during the Great Depression.

One significant factor that changed the popularity of radio programming was the rise of TV in the 1950s. Drama and comedy and musical variety shows moved to TV.

In 1950, just under 20 percent of American homes contained a TV set. Ten years later, nearly 90 percent of homes contained a TV—and some even had color TVs. The number of TV stations, channels, and programs all grew to meet this surging demand.

encyclopedia.com

Ned LaRocca also has a credit on Leith Steven’s 1953 score to the Marlon Brando movie “The Wild One.”  

This record was a hit, released by Decca records, it remains Leith Stevens most well-known and well-regarded creation.  J. Ned LaRocca is credited as “Contractor” on the project. Per Discogs.com.

Besides composing and conducting “The Wild One” soundtrack, Leith Stevens composed numerous scores for radio shows, movies and  T.V. from the 1930s until his death in 1970.

 IMDB indicates that many of Stevens’ compositions go uncredited as “stock music.”

More on Virginia Young LaRocca,

Diana’s grandmother. She started out life as a Mormon in Utah, but somewhere along the way became a Christian Scientist. She is listed as “Chr. Sci.pr.” (Christian Science Practitioner) in Los Angeles telephone directories in the 40 and 50s, and listed with her own telephone line. Read about her early years as a vaudeville performer in the family history chapters 19 teens and 1920s

Christian Science practitioner is an individual who prays for others according to the teachings of Christian Science. Treatment is non-medical, rather it is based on the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875) by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), who said she discovered Christian Science in 1866 and founded the Christian Science church in 1879. According to the church, Christian Science practitioners address physical conditions, as well as relationship or financial difficulties and any other problem or crisis.

wikipedia

In 1955, an LA telephone directory lists a Ned J. LaRocca at 4414 N. Ethel and a Virginia Young LaRocca with the same address.

Donna Cotterell is listed with the 13055 Moorpark address. 13055 Moorpark is on a corner with Ethel St.

4114 Ethel St. doesn’t seem to be an “real” address;  I don’t find a record of it anywhere besides the phone directory. This could be a result of the house modification for Donna, Diana and Constance.

1957 Virginia Young LaRocca is listed in the phone directory at 4414 N. Ethel State 4-7052 North Hollywood. Cr. Sci. Pr.

At some point, the Christian Science Church won the right to accept insurance for their practitioners, but I have been unable to find exactly what year.

So, I can’t tell how much income Virginia might have earned from her vocation as a CSP.

Evidence of 2 seperate address for what was really one house.
1950s directory. Notice Donna’s middle name Virginia is used. She still uses the name of ex-husband (common practice then as now.) who is listed right above her name, at a Canoga Park address where he lived with Mrs. Patricia Cotterell and their two children.

It is probable that grandfather Ned LaRocca was the primary breadwinner of his household.

I’m sure Donna received child support and likely alimony as this would have been normal for the times.

1940s Los Angeles. PARENTS’ Marriage. Hollywood Wedding Chapel. Los Feliz. Family. WW2. P.O.W. Divorce. Updated 11/30/2022

Diana/Paige’s parents: 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. Marinell signature listed on next to last line. Mildred is the daughter of Joseph LaRocca’s only sister Kathryn LaRocca Marinelli. Yes Mildred dropped the i from her birth name. Mildred and Donna are first cousins.

Below is the Hollywood Wedding Chapel where Robert and Donna were married as stated on the marriage certificate.

The location is on the Sunset Strip, 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 this location is a Pink Taco restaurant. 

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.

Donna’s parents Ned and Virginia LaRocca, were musical vaudevillians who travelled the Pantages, Orpheum and other vaudeville circuits for about the first 10 years of her life. (For more see Family History Chapters)

LA Voter’s Registration 1934. Joseph the only Republican amongst his wife, his neighbor and brother Frank and Frank’s wife Rose. Daughter Donna would have been 13 years old. Virginia would always be listed as a Republican beginning in the 1940s.

Diana’s mother Donna Virginia LaRocca was born in 1921, in Peoria, Illinois, hometown of her father. 

She moved with her parents to Los Angeles around 1934.

 1944 Second Lieutenant Army Air Diana and her sister’s father was Corps Heavy Bomber Robert M. Cotterell, he was captured on May 27th and imprisoned in a German POW camp.

Recently found article: Robert Cotterell goes from MIA to POW.

LAT Aug. 19, 1944 listed at Arbolada here.

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

City Document dated 1943. Owner of 3834 Evans St., J.N. LaRocca, is having an outside closet built, “in which a hot air heat will be installed.”

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.

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, common at the time, as well as child support for Constance and Diana.

 Virginia LaRocca is named owner of a “double” house at 3710/12 Arbolada Rd. on an LA building permit. This house is only one mile from the home on Evans St.

Donna has a voter registration record with this address in 1944 below.

Joseph LaRocca is listed in the LA telephone directory with this address in 1948.

Arbolada Rd. is a dead end street. It’s high on a hill with an incredible panoramic view of the area. It’s close to their Evans St. home and near Griffith Park.

Antonio LaBianca, father of Leno LaBianca, bought the Waverly house in 1940.  So the 2 Italian families (Joseph’s wife Virginia was not Italian but Mormon with English ancestry) were neighbors at one point, even if they never met.

Below shows the 1944 voter’s registration including the parents of Leno LaBianca: Antonio and Corina La Bianca on Waverly Dr. And right after them we see Joseph and Virgina La Rocca listed at the Arbolada address. Virginia’s listing leaves off “Christian Science” and just says her employment is “practitioner.”

 

The Marinellos and LaRoccas will live almost next door to each other in Sherman Oaks for several years in the 1950s.

Here we see the LaRocca’s in the same voter’s registration log in 1936. D and R seems to be reversed. Virginia became a Republican sometime the 1940s.
LAT May 25, 1938 Mildred “Marinell,” Kathryn’s daughter, did not marry Lewis E. Filman. We can see she is living with the LaRoccas at the Evans address
LAT May 25, 1938 Mildred “Marinell,” Kathryn’s daughter, did not marry Lewis E. Filman. We can see she is living with the LaRoccas at the Evans address

Virginia LaRocca had been a full time Christian Science Practitioner by the 1940s and a Christian Science Reader at some point.  Her income from this is unknown. She had her own phone per listing in LA phone books for many years for this purpose.

The city of Los Angeles experienced a housing shortage during the post-war years. More so than the usual housing shortage that seems to have always existed in LA.

This fact caused me to wonder as to how the LaRoccas could afford the 2 houses, or one right after the other, in the 1940s. 

I didn’t find an exact answer but the next several chapters may shed some light on the upwardly mobile direction of the LaRocca/Cotterell family.

Virginia LaRocca had been a full time Christian Science Practitioner by the 1940s and a Christian Science Reader at some point.  Her income from this is unknown. She had her own phone per listing in LA phone books for many years for this purpose.

The city of Los Angeles experienced a housing shortage during the post-war years. More so than the usual housing shortage that seems to have always existed in LA.

This fact caused me to wonder as to how the LaRoccas could afford the 2 houses, or one right after the other, in the 1940s. 

I didn’t find an exact answer but the next several chapters may shed some light on the upwardly mobile direction of the LaRocca/Cotterell family.

Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet Dec. 4, 1942 Mildred would name her daughter Donna Lee, Lee was Diana/Paige’s middle name, Bartlett, born in the early 1950s.

Virginia’s sister Josephine Harker, her sometimes singing/dancing partner back in the days of vaudeville, was listed in a directory at the Evans house around 1940.

And of course their daughter Donna, their son-in-law Robert, and granddaughters Constance and Diana Cotterell.

All these names (except for the young Cotterell girls)  were linked to the Evans address from 1938 through around 1944, per records I have shown or seen.

It’s easy to imagine that Evans house was too small to fit all those family members comfortably. I have seen city documents of the original house plan.

Donna and Robert’s divorce was final in 1947.

3710/12 Arbolada

View from Arbolada Drive is spectacular as is the original building itself.