Posted on October 5, 2021
One of the women who had spoken out about her drugging and assault by Cosby back in 2005 is Tamara Green. She testified behind closed doors on behalf of Andrea Constand in her case against Cosby. Green also gave a few media interviews at the time.
One of Green’s interviews was on the Today Show by host Matt Lauer. It made the social media rounds in more recent times after Lauer had his own sexual harassment/abuse of power “scandal.”
For much more detail on the 2005 Constand case, see the book Chasing Cosby by Nicole Weisensee Egan.
The accusations against Cosby in 2005 that received some media attention were quickly forgotten and did not harm his reputation in the slightest.
The fall of 2014, the Hannibal Buress video went viral and in the subsequent fall out, dozens of Cosby’s victims spoke out publicly for the first (or second ) time and many of these women were receiving media interview requests.
Tamara was interviewed by Daily Mail reporter Ryan Parry in Oct./Nov. 2014 She told him about an encounter with Paige Young and Bill Cosby that happened in El Paso in 1970.
Tamara says she was acquainted with Paige from modeling auditions around LA in the late 60s/early 70s.
From the online Daily Mail article Dec. 2014:
“I was there (El Paso) seeing my boyfriend and Paige called me and said Bill was on tour and she was travelling with him.
They picked me up at my friend’s house and I remember sitting in the back of a stretched limo with them both and Bill wanted to score some drugs. I called around and found a bag of pot some place on the edge of El Paso. Paige was into her drugs and Bill wanted to get her some, she was along on the trip like his pet dog, she was a very subdued person, more like moon on the water in terms of her personality. They were clearly acquainted with each other; it didn’t seem like a new thing. As far as I know they dated for a while.”
I located a friend of Paige’s from the Malibu days and we spoke twice on the phone. He said he was “just good friends” with Paige and remembers many hikes with her in Topanga Canyon.
Henry told me about a time they were together where Paige lived and she broke down crying. (Again, around 1970) When he asked her why, she told him Bill Cosby had raped her.
Henry worked in the TV business and “always thought Bill was a nice guy.” “No,” said Paige, “he’s not,” And “he is scum.” Also a “piece of shit” and a “bastard” and “don’t even get me started,” were said to Henry by Paige about Bill Cosby.
I asked Henry “did Paige say Cosby drugged her prior to the rape?” Henry said she “implied it” by saying she “came to” and “realized she’d been raped.”
Henry also said Paige motioned towards her dresser while telling Henry that Bill had made out a check to her, Henry glanced over and saw a check on the dresser. He said it had “several zeroes.”
I don’t know if it was during the El Paso trip witnessed by Tamara Green that Cosby drugged and raped Paige.
However I do think it’s possible if what Tamara said in Parry’s report is true, that Paige acted drugged, “very subdued” and “along like a pet” during the encounter.
I’ve talked with 2 people who told me they never saw Paige use drugs. Melanie to me and on the documentary Secrets of Playboy.
“Occasional grass” and alcohol at most, said Richard Sample. He was quite adamant on this point as I had pressed it; in the 1960s many people did not consider LSD a “drug” but a mind and spiritual exploration
1970/71 cont.. In the first and only social media message exchange I had with Henry, he said Paige stayed with him in his house, “right before she left Malibu.” And that he thought she was a good person who was traumatized by Bill Cosby.
On the phone Henry told me that Paige moved into his large house with others renters in the Trancas area of Malibu. The house was on Broad Beach. He said he let Paige live there rent free.
Henry said during her stay, he noticed that Paige started to act “antsy.” She expressed her feeling to him that this “isolated” location in Malibu was “blocking her ability to paint.”
Paige moved out after about 3 months Henry said.
This is very likely the time Paige moved to the Westwood apartment where she lived the 2-3 remaining years of her life and committed suicide. Melanie, witness and neighbor, told me her stay was longer than a few months and more like a few years.
I told Henry about Richard’s saying when he first met Paige, “she lived on the edge of Malibu in a converted chicken coop.” Henry responded “probably Topanga.”
Henry doesn’t remember Paige ever living in a converted chicken coop but remembers visiting her in a cabin in Topanga.
Henry saw Paige infrequently the last 2 or so years of her life because she became reclusive, he said.
A frequent visitor and performer at many Playboy Clubs was Hugh Hefner’s good friend Bill Cosby, in the 60s and 70s. This is recorded in numerous newspapers articles and Playboy’s own VIP magazine for Playboy Club key holders.
Richard Sample said he would occasionally pick up Paige after her shift at the Sunset Strip Playboy Club. She worked at the club “for about 3 months.” He says he never saw her in a Bunny uniform.
“Bill Cosby was always trying to put the make on Paige. She didn’t want anything to do with him, she ignored him.”Richard Sample.
One of these times when Richard was at the club to pick up Paige, he witnessed Bill Cosby get “very angry” at Paige after she rebuffed another one of his advances.
(This account is also included in Richard Sample interview chapter.)
I need more information from another potential witness of Paige and Bill before I write and publish.
There are many women from this particular era, late 60s/early 70s, who have publicly said they were drugged and assaulted by Bill Cosby including: Tamara Green, Sunni Welles (mid-60s), Joan Tarshis, Victoria Valentino, Linda Joy Traitz, Linda Brown, Louisa Moritz, Autumn Burns, Carla Ferrigno and Cindra Ladd.
This era seems to be the start of Cosby’s serial rapes which continued to at least 2008.
Category: 1970s, LA Locations, Playboy, PMOM, Popular Culture Tagged: 1960s, 1970, 1970sLA, Autumn Burns, Bill Cosby, Bill Cosby rape accusations, Carla Ferrigno, Chasing Cosby, Cindra Ladd, Cosby accusers, Daily Mail, DeWain Valentine, Early 1960s, Early 1970s, El Paso, Henry, Hugh Hefner, Joan Tarshis, LA History, Late 1960s, Linda Brown, Linda Joy Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Malibu, Malibu History, mid-1960s, Nicole Weisensee Egan, Paige Young, Playboy Club, Playboy magazine, Playboy Playmate, Richard Sample, Serial rape, Sunni Welles, Sunset Strip, Tamara Green, Trancas, Victoria Valentino, VIP magazine
Posted on June 8, 2021
UPDATE: Richard L. Sample passed away on August 10, 2021
Recently, I interviewed Richard Sample, Paige’s ex-boyfriend and friend, painter, sculptor and assemblage artist.
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 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.
Ellie unlocked the gate and as we walked toward the house, she told me that Richard doesn’t hear very well now.
Richard Sample gave me permission to publish what he said during our interview.
Richard warmly greeted me with a hug as did his dog Tolly. Ellie left us to the interview.
After we sat down to talk, Sample told 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. (confirmed independently)
Richard was in the military but he “Never made it to Vietnam, just Ft. Bragg North Carolina.” I saw his military ID.
Richard’s father was Charlie/Charles Sample, a well known artist, an eccentric Los Angeles and California character. Known as a talented goldsmith/jeweler to the “Stars.” Especially the Western ones. Charlie in more detail later. Many newspaper articles about him.
He had several memories of Paige he wanted to tell me right away.
“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 long Rudi Gernreich dress and is barefoot)
“She is the only person I’ve ever known who ate ice cream with a fork,”
I asked about Hamish the horse and Richard says she did not keep a horse in Malibu.
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.”
He sent Gesner and Paige to my studio in Malibu, “to see my art.”
(I found one mention of an Edward Ravick in a Malibu paper connected to real estate in the 1960s.)
Richard and Paige “immediately hit it off” and began dating.
Richard asked me why I asked him about Jonathan Winters, in one of my letters to him.
I told him about the newspaper interviews with Paige from 1969, for promoting Playboy around the country. Some of the articles mention 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:
“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 (Winters) but Dennis could tell you all about it. Dennis never met Paige, but he did know about her.”
Presumably because of Jonathan Winters.
Paige did not tell Richard 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.
I have since learned 2 thing about Jonathan Winters: He painted as a hobby and even published a book of his paintings entitled “Hang-Ups.”
And he had a residence in Santa Barbara which is quite close to the “artsy” 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.
A frequent visitor and performer at many Playboy Clubs was Bill Cosby. As well as 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.
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,” (suicide) 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) Plus 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 moved to Venice Beach, around 1966-67 motivated by the thriving art scene. His father artist Charlie Sample was already there. Paige joined Richard not too long after he moved.
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.
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.”
“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 DeWain Valentine in art magazines.
Dec. 2019 by Desiree Milton in Whitewall: Beyond the Walls.
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
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.
“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.”
Richard shows me a recent catalog for a company producing high-end western gear using Charlie Sample designs: horse saddles and bridles, spurs, belt buckles, bolo ties, rings, bracelets etc.
“Paige liked my father, he made some jewelry for her.”
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.
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 presumably the Raincheck Room, to be determined, 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 the 3rd parents’ 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. I haven’t checked lately. 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 also read it was a local Miami man who gave Morrison the lamb.
The arrest is supposedly one reason Morrison left for Paris.
Shortly after I returned from California, I rented Mondo Hollywood on Amazon. I was unable to spot Richard’s sculptures in the film–a sculptress 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 see his ending credit as:
Moonshadow sculpture: Richard Lauren Sample..
Famous pinup and 50s, 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 his name, Paige 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.
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.
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 remembered and 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 .
Part 2 of the interview is posted.
Category: 1960s, 1970s, LA Locations, Playboy, PMOM, Popular Culture Tagged: #Celebrity connections, #Paige Young, #Richard Sample, 1960cultfigures, 1960s, 1960s history, Barney's Beanery, Bill Cosby, Charlie Sample, Corvette, cultmovie, DeWain Valentine, Donna Holroyd, Early 1960s, Eros Gallery Art Gallery, Family, Green Stamps, Harry Gesner architect, Hollywood connection, Hugh Hefner, Jim Morrison, Jonathan Winters, Jonathan Winters Show, Joseph Nicolosi, LA, LA History, Larry Bell, Lewis Beach Marvin, Lewis Beach Marvin III, Los Angeles History, Malibu, Malibu Fire, Marina Del Rey, Mark F. Segal, Mark Frederick Segal, Marvin M. Mitchelson, mid-1960s, Mondo Hollywood, Mustang, Peter Gowland, Playboy magazine, Rex A. Ramsey, Rex Ramsey, Robert Carl Coehn, SFV, Sunset Strip, Sylvia Nicolosi, Tony Dow, Venice, Venice Beach, Venice California, Vietnam, Virginia LaRocca, Westwood
Posted on August 12, 2020
Melanie from the Daily Mail article told me that the “brother of Cici Huston” had Paige’s “sex tape” in his possession and would not hand it over to Paige, despite her repeated requests.
She told me that Paige frequently expressed the serious mental anguish this was causing her.
The Daily Mail didn’t publish Shane’s name as he “wasn’t a big enough name” or close enough to a major celebrity.
…..fearful of a “sex tape” that “a relative of a major celebrity had made of her,” is how the Daily Mail phrased it.
CiCi Huston had three brothers.
One of the Shane brothers, David, is a major candidate as the one holding on to Paige’s sex tape; he was very active on the Sunset Strip social scene at the time: 1950s-1960-1970s, Shane owned businesses on the Strip. He was very attractive to women.
I asked Melanie and she does think the name David “sounds right.”.
He started a popular car rental agency, Hav -A -Kar, in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Hav-A-Kar was later sold to Thrifty, and David, as the property owner, saw the space become a Kenneth Cole store for many years before its current iteration, the Eveleigh restaurant. In the early 1960s David, who loved to cook, opened a burger joint called Alfie’s. It was a colorful fixture on the Strip and a veritable celebrity magnet. David decided to eventually lease the space in 1971 to the new owners who created Mirabelle, which remained steadfast on the Strip for over 40 years…… David was a jet setter and an avid outdoorsman. He attended USC for two years before transferring to the University of Mexico, in Mexico City, where he befriended painter Diego Rivera.
Bob Shane is the oldest brother, originally Myron Shane Jr. I know nothing about him but that he changed his first name.
The youngest Shane brother Stephan, not mentioned in the obituary above, moved out of Beverly Hills and lived further north in California. He married, divorced and died young, in the 1970s.
David and Celeste’s father was Myron Shane, already a wealthy business owner from Kansas City who moved his young family to Beverly Hills in the 1940s.
Myron Shane owned a yacht named the “Celeste.” He rented it out to wealthy celebrities including Frank Sinatra.
Myron Shane also used his yacht for charitable purposes.
Myron started Hav-A-Kar per newspaper articles and apparently signed it over to his son David L. Shane.
Melanie told the Daily Mail, and me personally, that Paige went out with several men. Paige told Melanie that some of boyfriends paid her living expenses including kitchen appliances and a dog run for her Akita.
( Don’t know what happened to Joshua the Weimaraner or Hamish the horse)
However much Paige expressed her distress over the Shane brother and his refusal to hand over the sex tape, ultimately she built a physical shrine of hatred and blame, towards Hugh Hefner.
From the Daily Mail:
“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.”
According to Melanie, Hefner and John Huston were mentioned in the suicide note as well.
“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 also vented against other Hollywood stars who had used her, says Myers.”
To be continued.
Category: 1970s, 1970s, LA Locations, Playboy, Popular Culture Tagged: 1970sLA, 1974, Alfie's, Alfie's Hamburgers, Beverly Hills, Burger Joint, Car rental LA, Celeste Shane Huston, Cici Huston, Daily Mail December 2014, David L. Shane, David Shane, Ed Ruscha, Hav-A-Kar, Hugh Hefner, John Huston, Mirabelle, Myron Shane, Paige Young, Restaurants, Ruscha, sex tape, suicide, Sunset Strip, The Strip, Westwood
Posted on April 29, 2020
Robert M. Cotterell was 23 and Donna LaRocca 19 when they were married in 1940.
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.
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.
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.
Diana’s mother Donna Virginia LaRocca was born in 1921, in Peoria, Illinois, hometown of her father.
Donna LaRocca moved with her parents to Los Angeles around 1934.
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.)
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.
1944 Mother Donna Cotterell is listed as living at 3710/12 Arbolada address on her voter registration this year. Seen on ancestry.com
Donna LaRocca Cotterell files for divorce against Robert Morgan Cotterell.
1947 The Cotterell’s divorce is finalized.
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.
Category: 1940s, LA Locations, Robert Morgan Cotterell Tagged: #3710 Arbolada, #Family, Chateau Marmont, Donna Cotterell, Douglas Aircraft, Garden of Allah, German POW Camp, Hollywood History, Hollywood Wedding Chapel, Los Angeles History, Los Feliz, Paige Young, Players, post WW2 divorce rate, POW, Preston Sturges, Robert Morgan Cotterell, SFV, Sunset Blvd., Sunset Strip, WW2