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Lou Yaconelli as "Earle Douglas" - 1926 trade publication photo.
Luigi 'Lou' Yaconelli

(1903 - 1964)

Screen names of:
Lou Yaconelli
Earl Douglas
Earle Douglas



1936 theater ad.


(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is actress Ruth Findlay in a still from HEROES OF THE ALAMO (Sunset, 1937). Ruth Elise Fraser was the daughter of silent and sound film director Harry L. Fraser and she married Lou Yaconelli in 1947. More about Ruth is further down this webpage.
Luigi Yaconelli was born April 16, 1903 in Boston, Massachusetts to Carlo and Anna Yaconelli and passed away on December 9, 1964 at an Albuquerque, New Mexico hospital.

In addition to silent films with brother Frank, Lou appeared in about three dozen serials and B westerns, sometimes credited as "Lou Yaconelli" and sometimes as "Earl / Earle Douglas".

In sound films, his biggest role was portraying 'Jules Lazarre' in the twelve chapter cliffhanger TIM TYLER'S LUCK (Universal, 1937) which starred teenager Frankie Thomas. Lazarre is a henchman in Spider Webb's gang. But Tim Tyler saves his life ... and Lazarre becomes a good guy.

He starred in the feature THE BROKEN COIN (Pizor/Imperial, 1936) which is unavailable for viewing. A search on newspapers.com had a few theater play dates for that film, and the ad on the right is from 1936.

Lou's B grade westerns were primarily henchman roles vs. Jack Randall, Tom Keene, Tex Ritter, Kermit Maynard, Bob Steele, James Newill/Renfrew Mountie yarns, a few others. In a change of pace, he played hero Rex Lease's sidekick 'Pedro' in FIGHTING CABALLERO (Superior, 1935).

In checking Lou's film appearances, he shows up in some 1941 releases and then disappears from Hollywood. In a 2002 e-mail, Frank Yaconelli's brother Ernie solved that mystery:

"My brother Lou entered the Naval Reserve in '39 or '40 as a cameraman. And he was given the rank of Chief Petty Officer before the war began. He was called into active duty and served in the Alaska theatre. One of his pictures appeared in Life magazine with a group of pictures labelled "The Navy picks its best battle photos". He later served in Guadalcanal. When the war ended, he was assigned to making training films. He would go to a carrier or battleship and shoot the material wanted, fly back to Hollywood, edit and narrate the film, and send it on to headquarters for distribution. He retired from the Navy with the rank of Commander."

Lou remained in the Navy and government service. He was a combat photographer during World War II and Korea, and rose through the ranks from Chief Petty Officer to Commander. He passed away on December 9, 1964 at an Albuquerque hospital. The death notice mentioned that "Yaconelli was a retired commander in the Navy and was in charge of the Motion Picture Production at Sandia Base" (Sandia was a nuclear weapons facility in Albuquerque and is now part of Kirtland Air Force Base.) Survivors included wife Ruth, daughter Luana Jean Yaconelli and son Stephen Yaconelli.

As to Lou's personal life, there were two marriages:

On April 15, 1933. Lou tied the knot with a Nadine Perry (nee Nadine Park) in Los Angeles and that was his first marriage and her second. On the marriage license, Lou listed his occupation as "Life Insurance Agent". A year or two later, he returned to movies. The pairing with Nadine didn't last long, and she married husband number three in September, 1936.

Lou's second marriage was successful - he married Ruth O'Donnell on April 17, 1947 in Saline County, Arkansas and they were together through his death in 1964. Ruth was previously married to a Grant O'Donnell. She was Ruth Elise Fraser, the daughter of prolific silent and sound film director, producer, writer Harry L. Fraser. And in the 1930s, she acted in a few films using the screen name of "Ruth Findlay".

More on Ruth and children is further down this webpage.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has info on Lou Yaconelli / Earl Douglas / Earle Douglas: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0235035/

Lou's last leading man role was in THE BROKEN COIN (Pizor/Imperial, 1936). Unavailable for viewing, UCLA Film Archives has two reels of nitrate prints from that movie: https://search.library.ucla.edu/permalink/01UCS_LAL/17p22dp/alma99107123506533

October 1, 1941 issue of Variety listed 54 people leaving for officer and non-commissioned officer duty with the Naval Reserve Photographic Unit: "To the San Diego Naval Air Station went Chief Photographers ... Lou Yaconelli"

Ancestry.com had Navy records indicating that Lou began his service on April 9, 1941 and his promotion to Commander occurred June 1, 1957.

March 9, 1961 Van Nuys, California News and Valley Green Sheet newspaper had an article with photo on Lou Yaconelli receiving an Outstanding Performance rating and Sustained Superior Performance award for his work as a motion picture producer for the Atomic Support Agency, Sandia Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/85166946/the-van-nuys-news-and-valley-green-sheet/

December 11, 1964 Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal newspaper had a funeral notice for 61 year old Lou Yaconelli. He passed away on December 9, 1964 at an Albuquerque hospital. The death notice mentioned that "Yaconelli was a retired commander in the Navy and was in charge of the Motion Picture Production at Sandia Base". (Sandia Base was a nuclear weapons facility in Albuquerque.): https://www.newspapers.com/clip/84793318/albuquerque-journal/

Ancestry.com had Yaconelli family trees as well as the Boston, Massachusetts Birth Index for Luigi Iaconelli [sic]. He was born April 16, 1903 in Boston, Massachusetts to Carlo and Anna Iaconelli [sic].

Find A Grave has a photo of the marker for Commander Lou Yaconelli (1903 - 1964) who is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, Los Angeles County, California: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/171265271/lou-yaconelli




Above bio of Earle Douglas (real name: Lou Yaconelli) from the 1937-38
International Motion Picture Almanac available at the Internet Archive.



Lou starred in some silents with brother Frank producing ... and there's more photos on the prior webpages.

Ad from the February 20, 1926 Motion Picture News available at the Internet Archive. Sierra's "Speedy Series" had Frank Yaconelli supervising production and starred his brother Lou (as "Earle Douglas").



(Courtesy of the Yaconelli Family)

Photo above from an unidentified Yaconelli silent - Frank is kneeling with the megaphone and brother Lou is wearing the boxing outfit. There's several more photos from Frank and Lou's silents on prior webpages.


Lou in westerns and serials.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - pretty Frances Robinson and Lou Yaconelli (as 'Jules Lazarre') in a screen capture from Chapter 10 of TIM TYLER'S LUCK (Universal, 1937). Lou is billed as "Earl Douglas" in this cliffhanger.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

L-to-R are Charlie King, Tex Ritter, Bob Terry, and Lou Yaconelli (as "Earl Douglas") in Ritter's DOWN THE WYOMING TRAIL (Monogram, 1939).



(From Old Corral collection)

Left to right are Lloyd 'Arkansas Slim' Andrews, Lou Yaconelli, and Kenne Duncan in a screen capture from Tom Keene's RIDING THE SUNSET TRAIL (Monogram, 1941). Lou is billed as "Earle Douglas" in the opening titles and credits.



(From Old Corral collection)

Above - an interesting lobby card from RIDING THE SUNSET TRAIL (Monogram, 1941), and from L-to-R are: Betty Miles, Tom Keene, Kenne Duncan, Sherry Tansey (James Sheridan Tansey), Lou Yaconelli (as "Earle Douglas"), and Tom London. If you look close, you might make out the mustached Arkansas Slim Andrews behind Keene's face. Can you spot the error in this lobby card - look at all the gunbelts and the holsters as they are on the left side. Apparently, the photo used in preparation of this card was reversed.



(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Tom Keene vs. Lou Yaconelli in THE DRIFTIN' KID (Monogram, 1941). In this, he's billed as "Lou Yaconelli" in the opening titles and credits. Pressbook ad below.


Ruth Elise Fraser was Lou's second wife. She was the daughter of prolific director and jack-of-all-trades Harry L. Fraser. And in the mid 1930s, she did a few films using the screen name of "Ruth Findlay".

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Harry Carey and Ruth Findlay in Carey's GHOST TOWN (Commodore, 1936).


Ruth Elise Fraser (1917 - 1976) was the daughter of prolific silent and sound film director, producer and writer Harry L. Fraser and Harry's second wife Janet Findlay.

Ruth was born April 15, 1917 in New York. She gave acting a try in the mid 1930s, worked in about ten films, and most were westerns directed by her father. For her screen name, she chose her mother's maiden name, and became "Ruth Findlay".

In the 1920 census, Harry Fraser, wife Janet and 2+ year old daughter Ruth were living in Manhattan, New York City with Janet's mother, Margaret Findlay. The Frasers were in Beverly Hills, California for the 1930 and 1940 census.

In 1940, Ruth married a Grant O'Donnell, and in 1941, son Malcolm O'Donnell was born. It appears that he became Stephen Malcolm Yaconelli, cinematographer.

In 1947, Ruth married Lou Yaconelli and they would be together through Lou's death in 1964.

Daughter Luana Jean Yaconelli was born circa 1949 at the U. S. Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland. She attended high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Ruth F. Yaconelli passed away April 29, 1976 in Los Angeles.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has info on Ruth Findlay. There is a major error as the IMDb has Ruth married to Frank Yaconelli. No so. She was married to Frank's brother Lou: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0277546/

May 9, 1940 California marriage license for 33 year old Grant O'Donnell and 23 year old Ruth Elise Fraser in Beverly Hills. First marriage for both. Her occupation was "Actress - Motion Pictures"; was born in New York; and her mother was Janet Findlay. Their home address was 1676 Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills, California (the address of her parents, director Harry L. Fraser and wife Janet in the 1930 and 1940 census). Her parents were witnesses to the wedding: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8VX-Q4Z

Arkansas Marriage License of 44 year old Lou Yaconelli and 30 year old Ruth F. O'Donnell and they married on April 17, 1947 in Saline County, Arkansas. Both were residents of Los Angeles County, California: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NMY3-L6B

A further confirmation on Ruth's ties to the Yaconelli and Fraser families was found in the listing of survivors in the April, 1974 death notice on her father, movie director Harry Fraser:

"Mr. Fraser is survived by ... a daughter, Mrs. Ruth Yaconelli, and a granddaughter, Jean Warwick, both of Albuquerque, N. M.; a grandson, Steven [sic] Yaconelli of Woodland Hills (California) ..."

Harry Fraser's April 9, 1974 death notice at the Pomona, California Progress Bulletin newspaper: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/85288546/death-notice-on-movie-director-harry/

California Death Index and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for 59 year old Ruth F. Yaconelli. She was born April 15, 1917 in New York and passed away April 29, 1976 in the Los Angeles area:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPHY-BNL
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JT4R-G2V


Son Steve Yaconelli and daughter Luana Jean Yaconelli
Son Malcolm O'Donnell was born March 18, 1941 to Ruth and her first husband, Grant O'Donnell. It appears that Malcolm O'Donnell became Stephen M. Yaconelli, cinematographer. (Have not found a confirmation on a legal name change to Yaconelli from O'Donnell, or whether he was adopted by Lou.)

California Birth Index for Malcolm Odonnell, born March 18, 1941 in the Los Angeles area, and his mother's maiden name was Fraser: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2QY-TNG

Ancestry.com had the Social Security applications and claims index - "Stephen Malcolm Yaconelli" applied for his Social Security number in 1956. He was born March 18, 1941 in Los Angeles, and parents were Lou Yaconelli and Ruth E. Fraser.

Ancestry.com had the 1961, 1963 and 1964 San Diego, California City Directories - Steph M. Yaconelli is an employee of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has info on Steve Yaconelli (1941 - 2003): https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005933/

Variety has a death notice on 62 year old Steve Yaconelli who died in an October 29, 2003 accident while scuba diving in Panama: https://variety.com/2003/scene/people-news/steve-yaconelli-1117895986/


Luana Jean Yaconelli was born circa 1949 at the U. S. Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland:

Ancestry.com had 1965, 1966, and 1967 yearbooks from Sandia High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico with photos of "Luana" / "Jeannie".

November 3, 1968 Albuquerque Journal newspaper has a large article and several photos about Jean acting in local theater. She was now "Jean Warwick" (married to a James Richard Warwick). Couple quotes from the article: "Both my mother and father were in motion pictures ..." and Jean was "Born in the U. S. Naval Hospital at Bethesda, MD. ...": https://www.newspapers.com/clip/85519576/albuquerque-journal/

Dual California Marriage Index records - 26 year old Luana J. Yaconelli / Luana J. Warwick married 48 year old James E. Remmer in Monterey, California on March 21, 1975:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V6LY-KS8
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V66X-LCH


As noted earlier, both children are mentioned in the April, 1974 death notice on Ruth's father, movie director Harry Fraser:

"Mr. Fraser is survived by ... a daughter, Mrs. Ruth Yaconelli, and a granddaughter, Jean Warwick, both of Albuquerque, N. M.; a grandson, Steven [sic] Yaconelli of Woodland Hills (California) ..."

Harry Fraser's April 9, 1974 death notice at the Pomona, California Progress Bulletin newspaper: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/85288546/death-notice-on-movie-director-harry/


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