Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

He Likes Dead LA People

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Apparently, no one told Scott Michaels not to play with dead things. Especially celebrities. For the past decade Scott has made a most unusual career out of the stories, death locations, and objects of celebrities who have sauntered off to that great Swifty Lazar after party in the sky.

He started with a small business selling celebrity curious (he owns a brick from the Manson Murders a piece of the Hindenburg and a John Wayne Gacy Disney painting), revitalized the infamous Grave Line Tours, then struck out on his own with his popular and controversial website A few years ago he rolled out "Dearly Departed: The Tragical History Tour", a two-and-a-half-hour guided journey into the heart of Hollywood darkness.

Micheals' latest venture is an upcoming DVD of "Dearly Departed" and in development is a TV series, which promises half-hour journeys to many of the highlights of the actual tour. The series also claims to have some of the last footage of the Ambassador Hotel, and shows the current location of the Brown Derby and its slightly misplaced famous hat.

In this clip from the series, Scott visits the sites of celebrity deaths like Jack Cassidy and Jennifer Syme, the former David Lynch assistant whose death inspired him to dedicate "Mulholland Drive" to her. The real treat however is Michaels' present-day visit to the home of little-remembered veteran character actor Albert Dekker whose horrifically kinky and possibly auto-erotic demise in his lieu featured needles, horse bits, scarves, handcuffs, and obscenities written in red lipstick on the body. Michaels describes it all in unflinching, vaguely gleeful detail to the apartment's current owner, who shouts "You lie!" and then covers her mouth in disbelief.

Support for LAist comes from

It's true about old Hollywood, you know. They just tried harder back then.