The movie stars of Omaha: the sequel - Omaha.com
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Marlon Brando, right.


The movie stars of Omaha: the sequel
By Bob Fischbach / World-Herald staff writer


The June 8 article about how you can take an Omaha tour of the former movie star homes drew lots of interest and response.

In some cases, readers had no idea big names from movie history — Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Fred Astaire, Harold Lloyd, Dorothy McGuire, Henry Fonda and Nick Nolte — once called Omaha home.

A few also provided facts or clarifications in addition to what we were able to find about the stars.

Monica Zendejas, who lives in Marlon Brando's childhood home at 1026 S. 32nd St., said he didn't live in the big yellow house in his teen years, as our online slideshow stated.

“His family moved into his nana's house on 32nd Street when he was 2 years old (1926) and lived there until he was 6,” Zendejas said. Marlon's family moved to Illinois in 1930.

The slideshow included what we think was a previous Brando home nearby, 3135 Mason St. Yes, Zendejas said, Brando lived at that address as an infant, but she was told the house burned down when he was 2 (hence the move to 32nd Street) and was rebuilt. We tried but failed to reach the present residents to see if they could shed light on 3135 Mason St.

Zendejas pointed out that the block in front of the 32nd Street house was renamed Marlon Brando Street in November 2004, shortly after the actor died. The commemorative brown street signs have long since been stolen.

Ryan Miller, who bought a duplex at 4907/4905 Farnam St. a few years back, said the woman he bought it from showed him a lease indicating Peter Fonda had once lived at 4905. We went by an earlier World-Herald article in stating Peter lived with his aunt, Harriet Fonda Peacock (later Warren), 5205 Izard St., while attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha. It's likely he lived in both places.

Chuck Martens asked for clarification on two things. Our article said Henry Fonda began his acting career with the Omaha Community Playhouse at 4016 Farnam St. Chuck wondered if the Playhouse moved its productions from that location, a former dance studio, to its first building, at 40th and Davenport Streets. Yes, in the fall of 1930, the Playhouse opened just west of Joslyn Castle, where the Cathedral Apartments now stand. The Playhouse moved to its present location in 1958.

Martens also said that when he lived at 5512 Florence Blvd. in the 1970s, neighbors talked about how Henry Fonda had lived in a house nearby. He wondered if that was true. Yes again, Chuck. He lived at 5616 Florence Blvd. in 1918, according to a list of addresses from the Douglas County Historical Society. We didn't list every address to save space. Other Fonda addresses include 4709 Cass St. (1908), 433 N. 39th St. (1920), 4911 Chicago St. (1923) and 1012 N. 49th St. (1931).

Similarly, we found more Omaha addresses for Harold Lloyd than the two we ran in the article. His official website, haroldlloyd.us, says he lived at 614 N. 21st St. (1907), 1722 Dodge St. (1908) and 2469 Harney St. (1910).

A caller said we missed listing Lloyd's restored birthplace and home in Burchard, Neb. We wrote about that house earlier. This article focused on Omaha addresses. He also lived in Pawnee City, Humboldt and Beatrice in his youth.

Readers were eager to point out all the Nebraska movie and television stars we did not list. We didn't forget them. But there are so many successful actors with Nebraska roots that we couldn't write about all their homes. We decided to limit the article to former Omahans or Nebraskans who won or were nominated for Oscars.

Among Nebraska stars readers pointed out are Damian O'Flynn of Plattsmouth, Neb. (“The Snake Pit”), Chris Klein of Papillion (“Election”), David Janssen of Naponee, Neb. (“The Fugitive”), Robert Taylor of Filley, Neb. (“Camille”), Marg Helgenberger of Fremont and North Bend, Neb. (“CSI”), Ward Bond of Benkelman, Neb. (“The Searchers”), Hoot Gibson of Tekamah, Neb. (silent westerns), and former Omahans Andrew Rannells (“The New Normal”), Gabrielle Union (“Bring It On”), Jorge Garcia (“Lost”), Bryan Greenberg (“One Tree Hill”), Jay Karnes (“The Shield”), Jaime King (“Sin City”), Swoosie Kurtz (“Mike & Molly”), Terry Kiser (“Weekend at Bernie's”), Nick D'Agosto (“Final Destination 5”) and Anne Ramsey (“Throw Momma From the Train”).

We overlooked Ramsey, an Oscar nominee born in Omaha in 1929. Subsequent searches have turned up no Omaha address for her parents, Nathan and Eleanor Mobley. They moved east when she was a tot. Ramsey is, however, buried in Omaha at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Finally, a recent column about Omaha director Alexander Payne's recent success at the Cannes Film Festival said he's Greek on his father's side. True, his father's father was Greek. But his Grandmother Payne was of German descent. Payne is even more Greek on the side of his mother, whose parents both shared Greek heritage.

Contact the writer: Bob Fischbach

bob.fischbach@owh.com    |   402-444-1269

Bob reviews movies and local theater productions and writes stories about those topics, as well.

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