Born 26 September 1906 in Chicago, IL Died 3 March 1937, Hollywood, CA
Police blamed a mechanical defect in an automobile for the death of 28-year-old actress Marcella Arnold and the injury of two others during filming of a thrill chase scene for a motion picture last night.
Miss Arnold’s neck was broken and her skull fractured when a light roadster overturned as veteran stunt man Gordon Craveth, 32, headed it toward the cameras and swerved sharply to one side at the last instant.
Craveth and Loretta Rush, 30, who was doubling for a star, were injured.
The accident occurred during the filming for Warner Brothers The Hobo and the Heiress in OakGrovePark near Pasadena. Ironically, the actual filming for the scene had already been accomplished successfully, as the car made two or three previous rushes toward the camera. The usual last “protection” shot was being made when the car overturned.
Craveth had made the sharp turn previously with a heavy sedan, but switched to the light roadster for the final shot. Miss Arnold was pinned beneath the overturned machine. The other two were thrown out and later treated at a Hollywood hospital.
Two hundred persons were drawn by the filmmaking and witnessed the tragedy.
Miss Arnold, a brunette, was given a part in the film only yesterday. She was “Miss Los Angeles” in the 1926 beauty contest held at Atlantic City.
(I think the film was later retitled The Footloose Heiress starring Ann Sheridan and one of my faves, the ill-fated Craig Reynolds.)
Last edited by TheMasterKey; 08-10-2009 at 02:49 PM.
Marcella was my great-aunt. She came to L. A. From Chicago to become an actress. She started off in modeling and became Miss Los Angeles. As an actress, she only had two starring roles in a couple of films that would have been considered very racey at the time. The bulk of her acting work was as a stand-in/stunt woman. Her most famous stunt work was as Faye Ray's stand-in for the original King Kong. You can spot her name in the credits. (Fun tidbit: she was very allergic to the fur they used for the King Kong props!) I have been looking for where Marcella is buried in L. A. If you have any info, tweet me @wayouttheatre.
Marcella was my great-aunt. She was lead in a few films but mostly did stand-in/stunt work. She was Faye Ray's stunt woman for a few films, including King Kong. You can see her name in the credits. (Fun fact: she was allergic to the fur of the King Kong props and kept sneezing during filming!) I 've been looking to locate where she is buried in L. A. If anyone knows, tweet me @wayouttheatre