Thursday, May 8, 2014

Excerpts from Maybelline Family Diaries during 1940's and 60's

My great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, (founder and owner of the Maybelline Company, from 1915 - 1967,) moved from Chicago to California in the early 1930's...

bought Rudolph Valentino's, Villa Valentino,

with his partner, Emery Shaver and coined it Maybelline West.

The Maybelline Company, continued to run with his brother Noel J. Williams at the helm in Chicago,

but, all of Maybelline's Advertising was done in at the Villa Valentino, in the Hollywood Hills, where Tom Lyle contracted the biggest Stars to endorse his Maybelline products.

My grandparents, Preston and Evelyn Williams,

with my 11 year old father, Bill, followed Tom Lyle and Emery to California in 1935... and the rest is history.  Read all about it in my book...The Maybelline Story.

Here is an another excerpt from Jane Allen's diary, while she and her cousin Annette Williams, visited their uncle Tom Lyle, Emery Shaver and Arnold Anderson, at the Villa Valentino in 1940.  (Annette was Noel J. and Frances Williams daughter and Jane was a close cousin on from her mother's side.)

Monday June 10, 1940

We slept until noon, had a big breakfast and went down to the pool to sun.

 Heard President Roosevelt at 3:15 and then went shopping. Not much luck shopping. Got a late start today, 4:00 PM, but will try tomorrow. Had our usual cocktail before dinner and a delicious dinner.

Saw Joan Crawford in “Susan and God” at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Good picture and also saw hand prints of many stars in the concrete foyer.

As we were walking up the street to the theatre, we saw James Cagney,

and Frank McHugh standing talking.

Tuesday June 11, 1940
Slept until noon again which is wonderful. 

After breakfast we spent an hour or so at the pool. Had a shopping tour on for the afternoon, so couldn't sun very long.

Bought a formal and bathing suit at Bullocks. Rushed home in time for dinner at 6:30.

Saw a good show at Hollywood Troupers Theatre, “The Sixth Floor.” Judith Allen was one of the leading characters.

After the show stopped in at the “Jade,” a Night Club all Chinese and very unusual.

Read another excerpt from Jane Allen's diary click here.

Side note:  Hollywood Troupers Theatre, was renamed, the Las Palmas Theatre in the 1940's.

Las Palmas Theatre

1642 Las Palmas 

 Los Angeles, CA 90028

This building was erected in 1927, according to assessor’s information.
An item in Daily Variety for June 18, 1941, indicates that at that time this was a playhouse operating under the name Hollywood Troupers Theatre.The Las Palmas Theatre is located around the corner from the Egyptian Theatre, Vogue Theatre and Newview Theatre..   Joe Vogel

I was born and raised in Culver City California and kept a diary of my 1964 High School diary, as well.

Excerpt from my diary

My great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, founder of the Maybelline Company, invites us up to swim, (pictures of his estate in 1964)

August 9, 1964, Sunday. We went up to Unk Ile’s today. I went in his pool.
Woke up this morning with no feeling at all for Howard. He lied to me again.  He said he’d call me as soon as he get’s back from Santa Cruz next week. I can’t go out with him, I don’t want people to talk about me. Today Pearl and I drove to Toes and got a coke, but when I saw his car we left. The whole family went to Unk Ile’s  tonight, to try out the new Whirl Jet Jacuzzi, in his pool. We all got in the pool and it was so much fun being all together as a family for once. When we left Unk Ile insisted he pay for us to go out to dinner and gave Dad a bunch of money, They all went to the Golden Bull, but my sister Donna and I just kept our money and went home to wash the chlorine out of our hair.
Bel Air Estate 6
My great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, founder of the Maybelline Co. lived in Bel Air, not that far from our house in Blair Hills, on the outskirts of Culver City.  Here are some pictures of the exterior of his home.
Bel Air Estate 2
It was always a thrill to drive through the electric gates and pull into our regular spot by the entrance to his steel and glass ultra Modern home.
Bel Air Estate 11
The open garage allowed his cars to be on display, adding to the romance of a Tropical Paradise.
Bel Air Estate1
The statue “Aspiration,” created in memory of Rudolph Valentino, once overlooked the pool at Unk Ile’s Villa Valentino, in the Hollywood Hills, now welcomed us at the entry.
Bel Air Estate 4
Here is the pool, which was actually very large and deep.  We had a lot of fun memories swimming here since 1950, when he built the home, after losing the Villa Valentino to the Hollywood Freeway.
Bel Air Estate 9
The lush landscaping created a virtual Garden of Eden and created privacy, which was his main objective, not wanting to be scrutinized by the public for his lifestyle.
Bel Air Estate 7
The property overlooked Los Angeles, from Beverly Hills to the ocean at Santa Monica and at night the twinkling city lights created a spectacular romantic ambiance .  I remember my dad asking Unk Ile, how much he thought the property was worth… and he humbly admitted $500,000.  Today the property is worth over 15 million. 

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