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News vendor remembered

News vendor remembered

Aug. 13, 1963: A procession carrying Peter J. Hermano’s body pauses at his Hollywood and Vine newsstand. Friend, actor “Wild Bill” Tucker holds hat over heart. From left, Hermano’s co-workers John Craig, Morris Blacker, Tedd Hainer bow heads. Man in car was not identified.

Hermano, whose real name was Peter Joseph Buonari, died from “mysterious injuries” on Aug. 8, 1963. He was a fixture in Hollywood for 20 years, selling newspapers to many stars and worked as an extra in movies.

This photo by staff photographer Richard Oliver accompanied a story in the Aug. 14, 1963, Los Angeles Times reporting:

Tuesday’s funeral for Peter J. Hermano, 57, deaf-mute news vendor at Hollywood and Vine St. for 20 years, was in the Hollywood tradition.

En route from the Utter-McKinley Mortuary to service at St. Ambrose Church, the motorcade paused briefly at the famed intersection.

A black wreath hung from Hermano’s stand on the southeast corner.

His fellow news vendors, John Craig, Tedd Hainer and Morris Blacker, stood with heads bowed in silent prayer. Character actor “Wild Bill” Tucker, like Hermano, a fixture on the corner, held his 10-gallon hat over his heart.

Pallbearers at Requiem Mass included other character actors, old-time boxers, the manger of the drug store on the corner and Times dealer John Miner.

Among them were old-time boxers Jimmy O’Gatty and Frank Moran, who has turned to acting in recent years, and actor Pat Moran.

Utter-McKinley provided the casket and services without cost.

“He was our friend too,” a spokesman for the Hollywood mortuary said.

Police detained three men during their investigation of Herman’s death, but the Aug. 21, 1963, Times reported that a coroner’s jury ruled Hermano’s death an accident.

Before publication, a Times artist retouched the black wreath. Also, the headline on the newspaper to the left of the wreath, a copy of the rival Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, was painted over.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

Follow Scott Harrison on Twitter and Google+

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