What happened to Paige’s family, ex Husband Mark F. Segal, Desmond Guinness, Lawyer Marvin Mitchelson.

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.  

It’s difficult to read, but I think Virginia died from complications of a stroke.

 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, as were her granddaughter’s ashes.

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

Mary Jane Harker Lanier died in 1986 in Florida.

Donna Virginia LaRocca Holroyd, had moved with mother Virginia and husband Jack, to the Simi Valley around the mid to late 1960s.

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.” (from the Oxford News)

According to an Oxford newspaper article, Donna received a degree from UCLA in Early Childhood Education.

Donna and John “Jack” Holroyd divorced in the early 1970s, she and Virginia were back in Sherman Oaks and living at the historic Chase Knolls Apartment Community by 1974. (Per Paige Young’s death certificate listed as  next-of-kin.) 

1980- Donna 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.

Oldest daughter Constance Smashey is listed on the death certificate as next of kin. She has an address in Simi Valley. Constance would move to the Palm Desert area in the late 1980s and now lives in Banning, California. She turned me down when I called her and asked if I could ask a few questions about Paige and Donna.

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

Paige’s father Robert Morgan Cotterell and his wife Pat, moved to Oregon in the 1970s after he retired. 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.

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 a friend and later bought it back. He sold it again and moved to Portland in the late 80? He died there on October 16, 2012.

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

His son Ivan Segal lives in Portland and Scottsdale.

Scroll WAY down for more.

Desmond Guinness married Penelope Cuthbertson in 1984. According to “international set”gossip writer Suzy Knickerbocker in 1973, Penny and Desmond are cousins.

He continued his work on Irish architecture preservation and fundraising for several decades and died on August 20, 2020. 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 still a mystery, could have possibly been through John and CiCi Huston in Ireland. Desmond was well connected in Los Angeles too.

Paige’s divorce lawyer Marvin Mitchelson went from “Beverly Hills and LA famous” (due to the Mason case and others) to internationally famous, when he represented Michelle Triola Marvin in her lawsuit against live-in lover of 6 years, actor Lee Marvin.

 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.

Michelle Triola Marvin felt she was owed part of Lee Marvin’s $3.2 million fortune, as she had given up her own career (per his demand she says) as a lounge singer, to become his live-in lover, helpmate, career advisor, and even part-time mother to 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 celebrity 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 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. 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.)

He also represented a few men: Mark Christian, ex-lover of Rock Hudson, in his widely publicized case against Hudson’s estate after the actor died of AIDS, Mel Torme, Carl Sagan and Sonny Bono.

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.

For the only biography of Marvin Mitchelson, please read: Ladies’ Man: The Life & Trials of Marvin Mitchelson, by John A. Jenks. It’ a fascinating look at an LA character at one time in history. This book provided me with a great deal of context of the era.

1950s #2 SFV. Virginia Young LaRocca CSP. Family Life At 13055 Moorpark st. aka 4414 N. Ethel St.

Virginia Young LaRocca is 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.

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.

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A 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.

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

I can’t tell how much income Virginia made 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 the household.

I’m sure Donna received child support and likely alimony as this was the norm of the era.

1950s #1 Move to San Fernando Valley. Recording Industry LA. Celebrity Connections. Leith Stevens.

Hereafter known as SFV.

1950

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

Around this year Diana and her family move to 13055 Moorpark St., 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.

This image shows the Hughes Market that stood on that intersection. I believe it is the southeast corner.

From the facebook page “SFV in the 50, 60s, 70s.

The Los Angeles River is nearby as is Sportsman’s Lodge; a classic Hollywood stars and SFV landmark. Apparently you could fish there.

I first connected the family to 13055 Moorpark St. address by an online city building permit:

The LaRoccas are requesting a house alteration to make more rooms and a seperate entrance for a “rental unit.”

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 Pat and their two children, 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 SFV 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

Patriarch Joseph Ned LaRocca to adapted to the waning popularity of radio programs by working for Leith Stevens as an orchestra manager in the growing LA recording industry.

Ned already had experience with “adapting”to a new mass medium, when his first industry, vaudeville, died out in the early 30s during the Great Depression.

One significant factor that changed radio was the rise of TV in the 1950s. Drama and comedy serials 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

And

The importance of television for the film industry during the 1950s cannot be overstated. It has been argued that television was the primary factor affecting the dramatic plunge in ticket sales, box-office receipts, and company profits in Hollywood between 1947 and 1957.

encyclopedia.com

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

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.”

Secondly, the 1953 score to the Marlon Brando movie “The Wild One.”  This became a successful album released by Decca records and remains Leith Stevens most well-known and well-regarded creation.  J. Ned LaRocca is credited as “Contractor” on the project. Per Discogs.com.

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.”

Besides composing the popular “The Wild One” soundtrack and album, Leith Stevens composed numerous scores used for stock music in radio shows, movies and  TV.

 IMDB says many of his compositions go uncredited. Stevens had a  diverse career; in the 1950s, he composed music used in films and TV series such as the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Ma and Pa Kettle, Earth vs. Flying Saucers, Crusader Rabbit (a T.V. series), the Ann Sothern Show, and the Twilight Zone.

More on Leith Stevens soon.

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.