October 23, 2019 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Death Becomes Hollywood

By GENNA RIVIECCIO| Ask Karina Longworth or Ryan Murphy: Hollywood loves nothing more than a dead legend. Well, maybe the only thing Hollywood loves more is the In-N-Out on Sunset Boulevard. But even then, a deceased celebrity’s regalia probably isn’t going to hurt you as much as a double-double. The choice is clear: Jayne Mansfield’s smashed car – the one that scalped and killed her back in 1967 – always wins over the faux-modernity of a drive-thru.

This is why Dearly Departed Tours & Museum has found a new, larger home across the street from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (often more alluring for the films they show than the gravesites themselves.) To inaugurate the change, Scott Michaels, the founder of the museum, has planned an event emphasizing the fact that people only appreciate stars many decades after their death. Hence, an exhibit on Jayne Mansfield, who was generally viewed as the poor man’s Marilyn Monroe in her time (she even acted in a theater production of “Bus Stop” after Monroe had already made a movie out of it, if that gives you some indication.)

Most important and iconic of all, however, is the infamous look she evoked from Sophia Loren at a dinner thrown in Loren’s honor in 1957 at Romanoff’s in Beverly Hills. Forget Mansfield’s film career, this incitement of the best embodiment of side-eye alone was worth her trip to Hollywood from Bryn Mawr. But back to the car that killed her and its rightful place in the Dearly Departed Museum: Michaels’ procurement of the vehicle was obviously an unexpected come up, and the grand catalyst for the museum’s move as, clearly, car wreckage of this magnitude takes up a lot of real estate.

But remnants of Mansfield’s life and death aren’t all you’ll find at the new location. Let us not forget about all the other artifacts Michaels has collected over the years, from Mae West’s false teeth to Karen Carpenter’s bathroom sink. Call it macabre, call it capitalism, but by God, where else are you ever going to get this good of a death fix on a weekday?

Related Posts

GAY LA: Christine Jorgensen in Los Angeles

September 29, 2019

September 29, 2019

Meet the woman who changed everything. The Chateau Marmont is nothing short of an L.A. institution. Home (at one point...

DEAR AIDAN: Feeling Disappointed, Discouraged

September 27, 2019

September 27, 2019

Dear Aidan, I was wondering if you can help me… I am so disappointed in my dating life! Everytime I...

GAY LA – When Drag Was All the Rage (But Queerness Wasn’t)

August 6, 2019

August 6, 2019

Today, it’s not hard to find drag culture wherever you are. From VH1, to Netflix, to Twitter, the language of...

DEAR AIDAN: Disclosing HIV Positive Status?

July 25, 2019

July 25, 2019

Dear Aidan: I am HIV Positive and am jumping into the dating world. I know that there is a stigma...

THEATRE PREVIEW: Passions of Lesbian Lovers in the Military in “100 Planes”

July 16, 2019

July 16, 2019

The year is 1997 and hotshot young pilot Lieutenant Kay McClure dreams of being the first to fly a new...

DEAR AIDAN: Why Doesn’t He Like Me?

July 15, 2019

July 15, 2019

Dear Aidan, I have a person that I see often in the community who is always out to get me....

“Shooting Star” Attempts to De-stigmatize Porn Industry

May 25, 2019

May 25, 2019

The porn industry is a $97 billion business, making it bigger than the music industry. Yet, it remains an industry that...

DEAR AIDAN: Growing to Love Myself?

May 6, 2019

May 6, 2019

Dear Aidan! I feel so ugly so often! Is there anything you can do to help me with my confidence...

CALENDAR: The best goings-on around and about L.A., 5/3/19 – 5/16/19

May 2, 2019

May 2, 2019

When: Friday, May 3 at 9 p.m. Gay Asstrology Dance Party – One Year Anniversary Party Where: The Satellite, Silverlake...

Yas, KINGQUEEN: An Unconventional Hollywood Fairytale

May 2, 2019

May 2, 2019

By Melanie Camp In a conventional sense, INA lived a beautiful Hollywood Dream. Signed to Universal Music and working as...

DEAR AIDAN: Am I Too Materialistic?

April 27, 2019

April 27, 2019

Dear Aidan, I’ve always been a truly girly girl! Ever since I was three years old, I have always been...

Creating Unity Through Vulnerability with gAYGUTs

April 20, 2019

April 20, 2019

By Melanie Camp As a child growing up in Manhattan, Los Angeles based performer, Enrique Jesus Hernandez, called 911 more...

DEAR AIDAN: Somehow, I’m Always Wrong??

April 12, 2019

April 12, 2019

Dear Aidan, I have been with a boyfriend for six months now and I have come to learn he runs...

Hollywood’s First Out Gay Star Was So Much More

March 31, 2019

March 31, 2019

 In the 1920s and 30s, William Haines refused to play by society’s rules.  In the studio system of the silent...

DEAR AIDAN: Will Infidelity Be My Downfall?

March 30, 2019

March 30, 2019

Dear Aidan,  I have been in two long term relationships in my lifetime and I have cheated on my partner...