June 2019 - City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Mounted Rangers visit The Oakridge Estate Park

photo by Shel Mosk

May 2019 - Bill Wellman, Jr.  presents Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)

   William Wellman, Jr. delighted a packed room with memories of his father and a screening of his award winning documentary Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick, a film about the life and career of his father, the legendary director William Wellman. 

     Wild Bill, who earned his nickname as a decorated WWI fighter pilot, directed his favorite actress Barbara Stanwyck in five films and Jack Oakie in four, including some of their best lifetime work. 

     Wild Bill is connected to Oakridge history in other ways. He won the Academy Award for Best Writing  (1937) for the original screenplay of the first A Star is Born, which he also directed.  A Star is Born, based, in part, on the relationship between Barbara Stanwyck and her husband Frank Fay, earned Janet Gaynor the nomination for The Academy Best Actress Award. That same year, Stella Dallas earned Stanwyck the same nomination.   In 1942, Janet Gaynor and her husband Adrian, purchased the Zeppo Marx home at Marwyck, making it their residence for roughly a decade.  Adrian designed costumes for some 200 MGM films, including the Wizard of Oz.  Yup, he designed those ruby red slippers. 

William Wellman, Jr.

William Wellman, Jr. sharing memories with Kathlenn Carr, Barbara Stanwyck's great-niece

April 2019 - William Harper Carter presents Titanic (1953)

William Harper Carter and moderator Dana Amann

January 2019 - Richard Adkins presents Adrian
     For the past dozen years Richard Adkins has been researching the life and career of costumer and fashion designer (Gilbert) Adrian in preparation for his book, "Adrian - American Designer".  Friends of Oakridge was delighted when Richard offered to share his research in two sold out presentations at The Oakridge Estate.   For nearly forty years, Richard has volunteered for Hollywood Heritage and the Hollywood Heritage Museum.

     Adrian and his wife, actress Janet Gaynor purchased the Zeppo Marx home at Marwyck Ranch in 1942, living there for roughly a decade.  Adrian designed costumes for over 200 MGM films, including the Wizard of Oz.  Dorothy's ruby slippers are considered the most valuable fashion/popular culture item in existence.  Janet Gaynor is the winner of the first Academy Award for best actress (1927).

February 2014 - Victoria Wilson booksigning

After a decade researching and writing her comprehensive biography "A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940" , Victoria Wilson visited Oakridge for a booksigning and the launch of her book.  Over 200 guests attended.  Marwyck Ranch was Stanwyck's home for roughly half of Wilson's book.  Once part of a 130 acre Thoroughbred Ranch co-owned by Zeppo and Marion Marx, the house and remaining 9.5 acres are now part of Oakridge Estate Park.  Oakridge is owned by the City of Los Angeles and managed by the Recreation and Parks Department.   Photos by Bob Bladow