June Capp, who will turn 107 on May 17, is most likely the oldest person in Pacific Palisades.
She recently made a trip to CVS with hair stylist George Hutchinson (who has a salon, George and Company, on Via de la Paz) to get her Covid-19 shot.
According to her daughter, Dixie, June hadn’t left her home in more than a year, but George offered to take her, and an appointment was made.
Dixie said, “She so appreciated George’s thoughtfulness and kindness in helping her get vaccinated.”
CTN learned that June has survived two pandemics. When she was four years old, the Spanish flu killed her mom, who was only 29. Her father had died several years earlier, so June and sister Peggy went to live with one aunt in Salt Lake City and older sister Jenny joined an aunt in Los Angeles.
June moved to Los Angeles in 1933 to work at an uncle’s bingo club. A beautiful ingenue, she also found work in the movies, working as an extra and as a chorus girl. If you rent “Flying Down to Rio,” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, you can see her dancing on the wing of a plane.
Bingo clubs were considered a game of chance—and June and Jack Capp both got lucky. They met at the club, got married in 1935 and were together until he passed away in 1995.
“Father made sure she had a glass of champagne every night,” Dixie said, remembering how he brought the drink in a silver chalice for his wife.
The couple had three children — Donald, Duane and Dixie — and they all moved to a single-story ranch home on Toyopa in Pacific Palisades in 1953. (Now, Donald and wife Elda live in Nevada and Duane and wife Kathryn live in Arizona.)
Dixie has come back to her family home, to help care for her mother.
In 2016, June told CTN advisor Bill Bruns that numerous celebrities lived on or near Toyopa. “We had Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Ted Knight, Mel Brooks, Jane Powell, Robert Rockwell and Nat Ross (first violinist in the L.A. Phil) living near our house.”
Capp said that Mario Lanza’s parents lived on Toyopa and “Mario was often there and could be heard singing from a block away! Mario’s father, Tony, used to come to all of our parties.”
Capp’s older first cousin was John Gilbert, a silent screen actor who was considered “the world’s most popular movie star for four years.” He was married four times. “His last marriage was to Virginia Bruce, the first honorary mayor of the Palisades,” Capp recalled.
She also remembered the original Bay Theatre on Sunset. “One time we went there to see ‘It’s a Mad, Mad World. As we were getting seated, suddenly there was Ethel Merman [a co-star in the movie] strolling down the aisle, singing at full volume!”
Dixie told CTN that her mom used to walk the family’s poodle on Toyopa and would often run into Walter Matthau, who walked his English sheep dog into town many days.
At the end of the block, where Toyopa turns into Corona Del Mar, Mel Blanc had a home, and “Burt Convoy lived across the street from us,” Dixie said, noting that today there are more corporate VIP’s on the street than Hollywood stars or people in the television business.
CTN asked about a typical day for June. Dixie said that, although her mom loves to say, “I wake up at the crack of noon,” a typical day usually starts around 8 a.m. with scramble eggs and tea. June exercises, favoring “marching” exercises, such as standing, sitting and walking with her walker. She has incorporated exercises from several physical therapists over the years.
After lunch, June enjoys listening to music from the ’30s and ’40s on Pandora. Her television schedule includes Kelly and Ryan in the morning, Ellen in the afternoon and “Jeopardy” in the evening.
“Her favorite show is ‘Jeopardy,’” Dixie said. “She was terribly sad when Alex died.” The past few weeks, Cooper Anderson has been hosting the show and “he is one of her favorite people, so it’s been a little perk for her.”
June also likes to watch “American Idol.”
Asked about favorite movies, Dixie said, “Every time I put in a movie from the ’30s and ’40s, my mother says, ‘That’s old and dated.”
On June’s 100th birthday, there was a food truck, a DJ, an outdoor bar and about 100 people who celebrated at her home.
June has five grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild, who is seven, and almost a hundred years younger than June.
June’s older sister Jenny lived to be 102 and Peggy reached 94. CTN asked about her secret to longevity and she said, “Just keep moving forward.”
Her daughter Dixie emphasized an equally important attribute: “She is a happy person.”
Anderson Cooper, not Cooper Anderson!
…but I loved the story about June Capp. She is an inspiration!