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A MYSTERY NO MORE! Some Solutions to Some of Our Solutions

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Regular readers of this blog and the Library of Congress main blog know about our long quest to identify some aggressively obscure film and TV and other images that we found in a collection of show-biz photographs that the NAVCC acquired about seven years ago. For a recap, see this link.

We started with 800 that were unidentified and now we have only 25 that are still unknown! Maybe someday we’ll get that number down to zero but, for now, we are happy with the progress we made. It took a lot of work, luck, and help from readers. But we are very happy to finally be able to put a name with some of the faces. Below are the some of the photos—and people—we rediscovered along the way.

Kimberly Brent

This is actress Kimberly Brent; she appeared in the films “Hard Vice” and “DaVinci’s War” in the early 1990s. Ms. Brent is still in show business and lives and works in Las Vegas.

Jason Laikam

These shots, c. 1998, are of male model Jason Laikam, who once graced the cover of a 2001 German-language issue of “Men’s Health” and also appeared in ads for Versace and other high-fashion brands.


No, this isn’t a New Wave group or a set of acrobats. This is a 1998 production of “Cabaret” produced by the West Coast Ensemble. The man in the middle is Dean Regan who had the role of the MC. And that is Brian Sturzenacker on the left and Ty Donaldson on the right.

Kanza Omar

Born in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 1912, Omar moved to the US when she was 11 and became a dancer and actress. She mainly toured the US doing her “exotic” performances though she did have a few very small film roles including an appearance in “To Have and Have Not.” She passed away in 1958.

J. Lee Thompson

The man in the middle is the late film director J. Lee Thompson. Among his films are the original “Cape Fear” and “The Guns of Navarone.” Thompson passed away in 2002. We have yet to discover the identities of the two women in this photo or where this shot might have been taken.

Man Ray

That man on the far right is legendary photographer Man Ray. His wife, Juliet, is in the Asian-inspired ensemble on the far left of the photo. This was a get-together welcoming the couple to Los Angeles to launch the photographer’s association with California-based artists’ workshop Gemini GEL. The man seated in the middle is the late Dr. Martin H. Prince, onetime member of the Hollywood Board of Education. His son is actor/producer Jonathan Prince. Dr. Prince’s wife was the sister of Elyse Grinstein, co-founder of Gemini, hence explaining this photo taken at the Grinstein’s home. As of this writing, we do not know the identities of the two other ladies in the picture.

The Cantrell Family

This is the Cantrell Family of Pleasant Hill, Oregon, the parents and 11 of their 12 kids, two boys and 10 girls! That is dad on the top right and mom standing next to him. They were a farming family; one brother happened to be out in the fields when this photo was taken. Most of the family are seen here in a 1985 issue of “Woman’s World” magazine when daughter Shawn, the sassy one in the center, became the 12th of the Cantrell kids to graduate from the same local high school. The title of the article was “Smarter by the Dozen.”

Charles Brabin

This is silent film director and screenwriter Charles Brabin. He was married to the great silent screen vamp Theda Bara from 1921 to 1955.

Richard E. Lewis

The late Mr. Lewis resided in Los Angeles and was a successful businessman and the founder of Accountants Overload. Later, he became a well-known philanthropist and was also a published writer and poet.

Pamela Barish

We always knew that that was actresses Karyn Parsons and Lori Petty and rocker Terence Trent D’Arby sitting on the sofa but finding out the lady on the right took a little longer. She’s Los Angeles-based fashion designer Pamela Barish.

Morris Taft, Jr.

That is music producer Rick Rubin in the car, but the guy outside of it wasn’t known to us until a blog reader figured out that the Wild West sign in the back meant Wild West Records and that the man standing was Wild West’s founder, Morris Taft.


Nope, that is not Richard Chamberlin (as many believed) on the far right. Actually, this is Rodney Kinsman (right) and Bryan Morrison (left), the co-founders of the OMK Design group of London. Morrison would also serve as manager for Pink Floyd and, through his publishing company he would later represent Marc Bolan of T. Rex, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, Paul Weller of the Jam, and George Michael, among others.

Marta Brennan

This is actress Marta Brennan around the time she was touring the country in a stage production of “You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running.” In 1978, she appeared in an episode of the NBC miniseries “Centennial.” She now runs an industry newsletter.

Tony Costa

This is Scranton, PA, native and recording artist Tony Costa. In the 1950s, he was a member of the group The Town Pipers and appeared on the “Tonight with Steve Allen” program. He sang all his life and released his last CD not long before his passing in 2014.


Comments (4)

  1. I love a happy ending! Thanks for the solutions. Still hoping a few others (that have been driving me nuts) get solved. Thanks again!

  2. This is terrific, thanks so much for posting!

  3. What a joy it has been to help solve or attempt to solve so many of these photographs. This is so awesome!

  4. Thanks again for posting these.

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