Digest>Archives> July 2010

The actress who built a lighthouse home

By Timothy Harrison


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This 1931 advertisement for Lux Toilet Soap ...

A number of Lighthouse Digest subscribers recently sent us this image that appeared in Westways Magazine from a photograph in the archives of the Auto Club of Southern California, so we did a little investigating to find out more.

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The large lighthouse was built by early screen actress Pauline Frederick and was located on Broad Beach, which was labeled as the original Billionaires Beach. In 1930, when this photo was taken, people could see the lighthouse from Roosevelt Highway, which later became the Pacific Coast Highway. The home that looks like a boat and stood near the lighthouse was built by businessman Freeman Ford.

Pauline Frederick (1883-1938) was an established stage actress when she made her first film in 1915. By the time she made her last film in 1937, she made a successful transition from the silent movies to the talkies. However, many of the movies she starred in have been lost in time and others are in fragile condition and stored in vaults deep below the earth’s surface, waiting, perhaps to be restored someday. However, a few of her films, such as, Smoldering Fires, The Phantom of Crestwood and Ramona have survived and are still available. She died at the age of 55 from complications from asthma. Today, you can view her star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to find out why she built a home shaped like a lighthouse or when the structure came down. Maybe one of our readers can help solve the mysteries and locate more photographs of her lighthouse home.

This story appeared in the July 2010 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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