There’s been sordid news in the past 48 hours about the actor Johnny Lewis who played a biker on the FX show Sons Of Anarchy committing murder and then dying himself. But what has been lost is the true identity of his victim, described by media merely as his 81-year-old Los Feliz landlady Catherine Davis. Now she’s being called a “Hollywood legend” and “near saint” to struggling actors, a caring benefactor who throughout her life generously opened rooms in her home to the showbiz wannabes drawn to Tinseltown. Actor/comic Taylor Negron has penned an affecting tribute to his one-time landlady turned lifelong friend. Negron at age 24 moved into Davis’ so-called “Writers Villa” as did Val Kilmer, Parker Posey, Thomas Jane, Paula Poundstone, Chris Parnell, “and so many others”, Negron writes. (George Clooney partied there.) Here’s more:
Over time, I stayed in every room in the house and became a part of that household, made up of equally eccentric types that came to Lowey Road to stay while in artistic transit or retreat. Cathy was always catering meals for us from local restaurants and long after I moved out, I would attend these long dinners on her flagstone terrace where you would meet Dutch movie stars or violin soloists from Japan. Actors and writers put their best face forward as Cathy demonstrated to them that their dreams were not far from reach.
According to Negron, Davis worked tirelessly to make her tenants lives’ better and felt their jobs were simply to be artists. Surely no one could disagree with one of Negron’s commenters who’s “disturbed by the way the media is characterizing Cathy and her wonderful home. She was much more important to Los Angeles culture than her killer. We must all keep telling our stories of her generous spirit and her magical Villa.”