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O.C. BOOKS & AUTHORS

So Who Did Buy the Crypt Next to Marilyn?

July 06, 1997|DENNIS McLELLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ever wonder where the exterior of Jerry's New York apartment in "Seinfeld" is filmed? Or the apartment used in "Melrose Place"? And just who did buy the crypt next to Marilyn Monroe's?

William Gordon of Laguna Hills has the answers.

They're included in the second edition of "The Ultimate Hollywood Tour Book," Gordon's guide to "movie stars' homes, movie and TV locations, scandals, murders, suicides and all the famous tourist sites" of the film capital.

Although the new edition features updated listings, a new cover and new page layouts, Gordon has been making minor updates to the book every year since it first came out in 1992.

"You have to," he says. "There's always new restaurants and museums. Or a celebrity dies. And there is always a new movie being filmed--I update all the movie locations."

Gordon, a former freelance writer, began his own small publishing company, North Ridge Books, in 1986. He says 17,000 copies of the illustrated "The Ultimate Hollywood Tour Book" have sold over the past five years.

The $15.95 tour guide, which includes street maps of celebrity homes, is sold in independent and chain bookstores throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties. It's also available on the Warner Bros. studio tour, the NBC and CBS gift shops and the gift shops at Mann's Chinese Theater and the new Hollywood Entertainment Museum.

The new edition of the 272-page book offers ample evidence that movie buff Gordon hasn't neglected his homework.

Take the the former Lana Turner home at 730 N. Bedford Drive--the Beverly Hills house where Turner's gangster boyfriend Johnny Stompanato was stabbed to death in 1958. Gibson has added new information obtained from a recent Turner biography written by the star's former hairdresser, who claims the actress confessed to him that she killed Stompanato.

"I'm a little skeptical, but I thought it was noteworthy that he would make such a claim," Gordon says. "It's long been suspected that the daughter was taking the blame for Lana Turner. The daughter said she stabbed Stompanato. But she was 14 and he was a 175-pound ex-Marine, and people were always wondering, 'Could she have killed this guy?' "

Gordon also has updated a more recent celebrity murder case.

O.J. Simpson's Brentwood mansion and the nearby townhouse on Bundy Drive where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were slain have been listed since 1994. Now Gordon has added the sites of Simpson's criminal and civil trials.

Gordon, 46, says he goes to Hollywood about twice a month to visit shops carrying his book and to do research. He finds new movie location sites by reviewing the city's film permit records and scouring movie press kits on file at the Motion Picture Academy library.

He's always on the lookout for new celebrity sites to add to his book. Such as:

Jerry Seinfeld's New York apartment, which is actually in Los Angeles, at 757 New Hampshire Ave. Says Gordon: "It's in a crummy part of town, near MacArthur Park."

The "Melrose Place" apartment is in Los Feliz, at 4616 Greenwood Place: "Raymond Chandler lived in that apartment, I discovered, back in the 1930s. It's a dump, I've got to tell you. It's one of the most disappointing things to see."

Then there's Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary, where the crypts adjacent to Marilyn Monroe recently were selling for a cool $20,000 to $25,000.

Hugh Hefner purchased a crypt next to Monroe, which is only fitting: Monroe adorned the first issue of Playboy magazine.

"There are a lot of people who want to be buried next to Marilyn Monroe," Gordon says. "It's kind of silly. But to him, it was kind of sentimental, I guess."

This Week

* Poet Curt Last will read at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Alta Coffee House & Roasting Co., 506 31st St., Newport Beach.

* A poetry writers discussion group will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at Borders Books and Music, 429 S. Associated Road, Brea.

* Tom Blake, author of "Middle Aged and Dating Again," will read and sign at 7 p.m. Friday at Borders Books and Music, 25222 El Paseo, Mission Viejo.

* Thomas Perry, author of "Shadow Woman," will sign at 11 a.m. Saturday, and Marcia Muller, author of "Both Ends of the Night," will sign at 3 p.m. Saturday at Book Carnival, 348 S. Tustin Ave., Orange. Muller also will sign at 5 p.m. Saturday at Coffee, Tea & Mystery, 13232 Springdale St., Westminster.

* A used-book sale will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Anaheim Public Library, 500 W. Broadway. Included are paperbacks, magazines, sheet music, records, audiotapes, videotapes, hardcover fiction and mysteries and military history books.

* Dr. Gerald Lundahl, author of "The Final Word on Phen/Fen," will speak and sign at 7 p.m. Saturday at Borders Books and Music, 429 Associated Road, Brea.

Send information about book-related events at least 10 days before event to: Dennis McLellan, O.C. Books & Authors, Life & Style, The Times, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

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