The Herald Examiner and Valley Times were local papers, covering local news, but when the locale is Los Angeles, it's likely the town's topics will involve celebrities. Prompted by publicists and producers, the famous cheerfully welcomed staff reporters into their homes to capture their everyday, off-duty lives. While the “candid” shots appeared posed, readers loved these intimate glimpses into the private world of their favorite movie and TV stars. They cooked, read and played with their children; they wore slacks, shorts, even Hawaiian shirts. Of course, upcoming premieres and episode appearances would be mentioned in the accompanying text along with some favorite recipes or beauty tips. Ironically, these features often appeared alongside the jarring contrasts of celebrity scandals, but perhaps that is what made the Valley Times and Herald Examiner so extraordinary: the sharp contrasts that make up life in L.A.
Elizabeth Montgomery and husband Gig Young on the steps of their Laurel Canyon house, consider the perfect place to mount their new Lois Black painting; 1960. (Valley Times Collection, order #00109774)