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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Ordinary People: 1951

Ordinary People: 1951

1951. Santa Barbara, Calif. "Actress Lana Turner, daughter Cheryl Crane and husband Henry J. 'Bob' Topping grilling hamburgers at beach." Carefree cookouts -- a family ritual! Photo by Earl Theisen for Look magazine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


One of Topping's sons, Dan, was a part-owner of the NY Yankees. He, and his partners, bought the team from the Rupert estate in 1946. They were the ones who then sold the team to CBS in 1964.

Love And Marriage

Bob Topping was a millionaire socialite. He made more than a few bad investments that caused his wealth to dissipate severely. Lana Turner got tired of supporting him in the manner he was accustomed to and dumped him.

Re: Smile

Cheryl finished well enough.

Can you say "photo op"?

Who the heck BBQ's on the beach in all-white gear or fancy shoes, for that matter? (or lets his WIFE do all the cooking? Only in show biz!)

Swing your partner ...

They look as uncomfortable as yuppies at a barndance!


Poor Cheryl had little to smile about. From all accounts, her life as the daughter of Lane Turner was wretched. Numerous step fathers and boyfriends, including second rate mobster Johnny Stompanato, whom she stabbed to death and Lex Barker who molested her multiple times.

Lana Looks Stressed!

'A Barbecue at the Beach' wonderfully romantic!
Until you get there and realize how difficult it really is. Wind blowing sand into your food, no convenient water to rinse your hands and lack of proper tools. In the end you think, wow, this would have been a whole lot easier in our own backyard!

Reality check

This day at the beach looks just about as casual & spontaneous as the launch of a NASA moon rocket.

Not Shown

The coterie of minions who schlepped that stuff down to the beach.

Laurel and Dix?

This reminds of a scene from In A Lonely Place, a picnic on the beach goes bad.

Cuffs at the beach

Henry J. "Bob" Topping is going home with sand in his pants.


Does that poor kid ever smile?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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