About Bill and Bea Halstead....
The following information will acquaint you with the fascinating Halsteads during their stay upon this earth. It also offers a glimpse into the lives of a few of their close-knit friends and associates that they held dear during the half-century that they resided in Southern California.
Wilfred and Beatrice Halstead were residents of Los Angeles, California for more than fifty years before moving to south-central New Mexico in the mid-nineteen seventies.
Wilfred (Bill) owned and operated the Magnolia Water Company in Burbank, and Beatrice (Bea) was employed by the actor Robert Montgomery from the early-nineteen thirties until the late nineteen forties. She worked as his personal financial manager and private secretary.
In the late nineteen forties, Bea decided to expand her operation, whereupon, she became self-employed as a freelance CPA/Money Manager, and for years managed the finances of many of Hollywood's finest. From those days, Bea acquired many gifts and souvenirs from her famous clients. Many of the gifts had been the personal possessions of her clients and were passed along to Bea whenever a client changed locations or simply remodeled their places of residence or cleaned out their work stations. Beatrice and Bill owned a rather large home, which was fortunate, because her collection of gifts over the years became vast and varied: paintings, jewelry, beaded leather and silk gloves, hand painted wooden boxes of assorted candies, ceramic figurines, books that were sent to Robert Montgomery that contained personal notes and data from the authors, etc. Bea kept many photographs, large and small, of her famous clients. Those photographs, although tarnished with age, still rest in an aged cedar chest, along with other personal treasures and cherished paraphernalia.
At some point during her earlier years as money manager for the stars, Bea developed a fondness for silk scarves. Apparently many of her clients learned about her penchant for the colorful silks, and they often remembered her with a new silk scarf during their frequent travel to other countries.
During the years Bea worked for Robert Montgomery, she became close friends with him and his family and kept photographs of them. One especially beautiful photograph Bea kept is of Elizabeth, as a young girl, with her father.
Bea also worked as financial manager for George Murphy, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Lana Turner, Don Nelson, the Warrens and many others too numerous to mention. She was friends with Ronald Reagan and other noted personalities of that era. On at least three separate occasions, Bea's story, along with photographs of her with her famous clients, appeared in movie magazines published during the nineteen-thirties, forties and fifties.
One of the lesser known, but talented actors among Bea and Bill's friend's was James Warren. The handsome actor was cast in many rolls during his short-lived career as an actor, but for some inexplicable reason, he never quite hit the big-time. However, his failure as a great actor was never a truly regrettable loss for James Warren because his first love had always been painting and sculpturing.
James worked in New York as a magazine illustrator before beginning his acting career, and he had dabbled in painting as time permitted during that era of his life. Warren began painting for serious in the late nineteen forties, and eventually moved to Maui, Hawaii where he spent the remainder of his life doing what he had always wanted to do, paint. At some point during his life in Southern California, he found time to put his talent as a sculpturer to constructive use; James created and marketed some of the finest character mugs and candy dishes to be found. The beautiful mugs and decorative dishes were marketed in limited quantities by Warren China. Consequently, very few of them have appeared in market places for sale because his close friends and associates bought them up and held onto them, as did Wilfred and Beatrice Halstead. Although, as of the past few months, I have noticed some of his beautiful paintings are appearing in auction houses now. Also, I found while searching the Internet, where one of the Warren character mugs was auctioned for well over three hundred dollars.
All of the James Warren creations that the Halsteads held among their prized possessions, paintings, character mugs and decorative candy dishes, contain James Warren's signature.
The goal for the "Memories Room" is to offer unique and rare items to those who search for such, and to point out that each item listed in the Memories room is a peerless, inanimate, entity that due to its age and endurance, has earned a worthy place in the heart a future home.
The Memories section contains signed, museum type paintings, and finely sculptured collectibles by noted artists, and several age-tinted photographs of famous and/or noted personalities of the previous century.
All items listed in the Memories section are from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, with the exception of a few pieces of silverware that dates back to the eighteenth-century.
The following information taken from Screenland movie magazines published in 1935-1937, and Modern Screen in 1954, covers details of Beatrice Halstead's working relationship with two of her employers, Robert Montgomery and Lana Turner. It also offers insight as to the acquisition of many of the items on this website.
Pages in the following section, from Screenland movie magazine 1935, has photograph of Beatrice Halstead with employer Robert Montgomery (top left) and tells story of how she became his secretary/office manager.
|Top of photo on left is Bea with employer Robert Montgomery.
The story of Beatrice's association with Bob Montgomery
Begins just above the photograph of George Brent on the page (below).
|In this photograph (below), Robert Montgomery has penned a message to
Beatrice Halstead which states: To Mrs. H. who has made life bearable and
very pleasant for the past twelve years. It sounds silly to say that I am, and
always will be grateful. But then, I guess I am-at times-a silly sort of bloke
when she is not around to keep an eye on me.
|The article outlined on the page below
was extracted from an October, 1954 "Modern
Screen" movie magazine.
The article was written by Movie Star, Lana
Turner, in praise of Beatrice Halstead's good
judgment in handling the star's finances.