PASSINGS: Frank Javorsek, Warren Stevens


Frank Javorsek

Bluegrass player co-owned music store

Frank Javorsek, 70, a bluegrass musician who co-owned the now-closed Blue Ridge Pickin’ Parlor music shop in the San Fernando Valley and hosted a bluegrass radio show on KCSN-FM, died March 22 of a heart attack while giving a mandolin lesson in Encino, said his wife, Tammy.

Javorsek, a Palmdale resident who played banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar, was a well-known bluegrass instructor in the Los Angeles area and had been teaching for some time at the California Traditional Music Society’s Center for Folk Music in Encino.

In its heyday the Blue Ridge Pickin’ Parlor sold and repaired musical instruments, offered lessons to students of all ages and skill levels and served as a performance venue for concerts, workshops and jam sessions.

Ken Tennesen, an LAPD officer and bluegrass guitarist, opened the store with his wife, Margo, in Tarzana in 1976. The Tennesens hired Javorsek, who was playing mandolin in the bluegrass band Hot Off the Press, as a teacher. Three years later Javorsek married the Tennesens’ daughter, Tammy, and in 1980 the couple bought the store and moved it to Canoga Park.

After 20 years running the business and turning it into a mecca for bluegrass, the Javorseks sold the shop to Tammy’s sister Alicia and her husband, Ric Griffith, and they moved it to Granada Hills. The Blue Ridge Pickin’ Parlor closed in 2010.

Besides playing and teaching the acoustic style of country music known as bluegrass, Javorsek was host of a Saturday morning show on KCSN-FM (88.5) called “Bluegrass Express.”

Javorsek was born Aug. 23, 1941, in Cripple Creek, Colo., and grew up in Bellingham, Wash., where his father was a drummer in a big band. Javorsek began playing the banjo after his father gave him one as a gift when he was 21, then moved on to other stringed instruments.

Warren Stevens

Actor played ‘Doc’ Ostrow in ‘Forbidden Planet’

Warren Stevens, 92, a veteran stage, film and television actor whose most memorable role was his portrayal of “Doc” Ostrow in the 1956 science-fiction movie “Forbidden Planet,” died Tuesday at his Sherman Oaks home of respiratory failure. He had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to publicist Dale Olson.

Stevens also had a supporting role in 1954’s “The Barefoot Contessa” with Humphrey Bogart.

The actor, whose career spanned 60 years, was a familiar face on TV, with regular parts on “Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers,” “The Richard Boone Show” and “Bracken’s World,” as well as numerous guest appearances on such shows as “Bonanza,” “Star Trek” and “Combat.”

Born Nov. 2, 1919, in Clark’s Summit, Pa., Stevens served in the military during World War II and acted in radio and summer stock in the 1940s.

On Broadway, he appeared in “Detective Story” for more than a year in 1949-50 before signing on with 20th Century Fox.

-- Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports