Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Sept. 1, 1948: Scene after police took four people into custody on charges of marijuana use. From left: policeman, actress Lila Leeds, real estate agent Robin Ford, actor Robert Mitchum and dancer Vickie Evans with her back to the camera. This photo was published in the Sept. 2, 1948, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Clay Willcockson / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 8, 1948: Robert Mitchum looking over fan mail while waiting for the judge to enter court in Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 9, 1949: Actress Lila Leeds and actor Robert Mitchum appear in court, where they were sentenced to 60 days in jail. Second from left is Leeds' attorney Grant Cooper and at right is Mitchum's attorney Jerry Giesler. This photo was published in the Feb. 10, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Feb. 9, 1949: Deputy Marjorie Kellogg, left, escorts actress Lila Leeds and Robert Mitchum to their jail cells after each received a 60-day sentence. This photo was published in the Feb. 10, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Feb. 10, 1949: Actor Robert Mitchum begins a 60-day sentence in county jail by mopping floors. Mitchum and actress Lila Leeds were convicted of smoking marijuana. This photo was published in the Feb. 11, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce H. Cox / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 10, 1949: Robert Mitchum in his jail cell. Mitchum was sentenced to 60 days on a marijuana charge. This photo was published in the Feb. 11, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce H. Cox / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 14, 1949: Actor Robert Mitchum, already serving a 60-day sentence for a marijuana conviction, was served with papers to appear as a defense witness in the trial of dancer Vicki Evans.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gordon Wallace / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 16, 1949: Robert Mitchum boards the bus for transfer from Los Angeles County Jail to the Sheriff's Wayside Honor Farm in Castaic.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: R. L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 16, 1949: Actor Robert Mitchum and other inmates head for the County Honor Farm. They had been at the L.A. County Jail. This photo was published in the Feb. 17, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: R. L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 16, 1949: Actor Robert Mitchum milks Daisy Mae, a daily assignment at the Wayside Honor Rancho near Castiac. Mitchum was sentenced to 60 days in jail on a marijuana charge. This photo was published in the Feb. 17, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: R. L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times

March 24, 1949: County jailer Charles Fitzgerald with actor Robert Mitchum. This photo was published in the March 25, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

March 24, 1949: Back in jail after a sojourn at the Wayside Honor Rancho, actor Robert Mitchum strokes a new mustache. This photo was published in the March 25, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times

March 29, 1949: Robert Mitchum, who served 50 days of a 60-day sentence for a marijuana conviction, talks with attorney Jerry Giesler about his release. This photo was published in the March 30, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

March 30, 1949: Robert Mitchum getting his personal effects after being released from jail in Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce H. Cox / Los Angeles Times

March 30, 1949: Actress Lila Leeds kicks up her heels after her release from L.A. County Jail. This photo was published in the March 31, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times

March 30, 1949: Robert Mitchum steps outside of the L.A. County Hall of Justice and lifts his eyes to the sky. This photo was published in the March 31, 1949, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bruce H. Cox / Los Angeles Times

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Robert Mitchum's 1948 arrest on marijuana charges

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Robert Mitchum’s 1948 arrest on marijuana charges

Actor Robert Mitchum’s 1948 arrest on charges of marijuana use unleashed six months of intense media coverage of the Hollywood bad boy. The above photo gallery is a sample of the coverage by Los Angeles Times photographers.

A Sep. 1, 2006, short article the Los Angeles Times reported:

Sept. 1, 1948: Actor Robert Mitchum and starlet Lila Leeds were reportedly caught smoking marijuana during a police raid at the actress’ Hollywood Hills home. Two others were also arrested.

Mitchum told police that he and another friend were in the neighborhood looking to buy a house when they stopped to visit Leeds and her roommate, dancer Vickie Evans.

The actor said he had trouble finding the home on Ridpath Drive, which one narcotics agent described as “ideally situated to be a ‘reefer resort.’ It is perched on a hillside, with no near neighbors, and well-screened by shrubbery,” The Times reported.

Mitchum said: “The girls let us in and five minutes later Vickie went to answer the door and the police entered.”

Following his arrest, the actor “was by turns as full of remorse as one would expect from a top-bracket star,” the newspaper said. “At other times he was full of philosophy as one might expect from an up-from-the-ranks player who once said he arrived in California by bus with his wife and only $26.”

Mitchum, 31, said at the time that the scandal was the “bitter end” of his film career. But the actor, who ended up serving a 60-day sentence, continued to make movies for years, up until his death in 1997.

This story was for the Los Angeles Times’ 125th anniversary series published in 2006.

Real estate agent Robin Ford was arrested with Mitchum, Leeds and Evans. He was convicted and served a 60-day sentence. Evans was cleared of all charges by a jury.

Actress Lila Leeds’ career was ruined by the arrest. She died in 1999.

Mitchum died July 1, 1997. His obituary is here: Robert Mitchum, Durable Movie Star for 40 Years, Dies.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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1 Comment

  1. July 4, 2015, 4:58 am

    Mitchum told police that he and another companion were in the area hoping to purchase a house when they ceased to visit Leeds and her flat mate, dance specialist Vickie Evans.

    The performing artist said he experienced difficulty discovering the home on Ridpath Drive, which one opiates specialists depicted as "preferably arranged to be a 'reefer resort.' It is roosted on a slope, with no close neighbors, and very much screened by growth," The Times reported. http://abud-e.com

    By: Mike

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