Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Josephine Moore dies: El Dorado Rose lived to 98

JOSEPHINE MOORE. Democrat file photo

From page A1 | October 04, 2013 | 2 Comments

The storybook life of local resident Josephine Carroll Moore ended on Sept. 29 when she died at the age of 98.

An actress, model, mother, socialite and El Dorado Rose, Moore had a wonderfully full life that spanned almost a century.

Born Josephine Carroll French on Oct. 16, 1914 in Senatobia, Miss., Moore had family roots in the area that went back several generations. Her grandfather lived there before the Civil War with 400 slaves. A doctor, he fought with the Confederacy. After the war, he turned his plantation house into the French Hotel.

Moore had an older sister, Lora, who she said had a romance with the author Thomas Wolfe and who later based the character Laura James, in Wolfe’s book “Look Homeward Angel,” on Lora.

She also had an uncle who was the sheriff of Tate County.

In 1920, Moore’s family moved to Los Angeles and at 16 she began modeling. Two years later she was under contract to Universal Studios as a member of the Junior Stock Company where she acquired the stage name of Verna Clair. She appeared in a half-dozen films, including ones that introduced Robert Young and Margaret Sullivan to audiences.

However, after nine months, Moore had enough of the movie business and left the studio. But she continued to model and at 23 appeared as the “Running Girl” on the 1937 Coca-Cola tray. Posing for that picture requiring her to spend eight hours a day for two weeks in the studio of artist Rolf Armstrong. Later she did many speaking engagements before Coca Cola memorabilia clubs.

Around the same time, Moore met a handsome young man at a party, Prentiss Moore, whom she would go on to marry. Her requirements for a husband being that he be a southerner, a Democrat and a Baptist. Seven months after meeting, they eloped and married.

Moore continued modeling after marriage, posing for billboards advertising Chevrolet, Hudson and Nash automobiles, Eastside Beer and Rubbermaid swimsuits. For 10 years she was also the Van de Kamp Girl.

Moore had to stop modeling when she and her husband joined the Los Angeles Country Club because the club didn’t allow movie people as members. Meanwhile her husband became involved in politics with a social circle of entertainers and politicians, including Gov. Pat Brown, who later appointed her husband to the state Superior Court.

During this time, the Moores had two sons, Christopher and Prentiss. Christopher went on to become an attorney while Prentiss had multiple careers as a musician, actor and school teacher.

In 1975 Moore and her now-retired husband moved to Placerville to live on property they had bought years earlier as a weekend getaway. The 360-acre ranch had formerly been the site of 18 gold mines, but the Moores planned to raise French Charolais cattle on it. When that didn’t work out, they turned to raising quarter horses instead, having 35 horses on the property at one time. Later they also had a thriving business growing Christmas trees.

Moore and her husband enjoyed living in Placerville, between traveling, ranching and engaging in community activities.

She was a member of the Shakespeare Club, a longtime member of the Federated Church, and in 1999 was named an El Dorado Rose. ”It was a real treasure for her to be named El Dorado Rose,” said Christopher Moore.

Moore continued living on their ranch after her husband died in 1989. In 2006 she moved to Gold Country Retirement Community where she was an active member of the community and much sought after by single gentlemen. In late June she was moved to an assisted care facility in Rancho Palos Verdes where she died four months later.

“My mother was a very outgoing person with a little bit of an actress in her,” recalled Christopher. “I’d call her and she’d say, ‘I feel like a million dollars.’ She was always optimistic and upbeat and very devoted to her friends up here. She was definitely tied to Placerville.”

Prentiss agreed, saying she was the perfect example of the power of positive thinking, calling his mother “artistic, sensitive, optimistic, and elegant. She was always dressed to the T’s anytime she went anywhere.”

Moore leaves behind her two sons, Prentiss and Christopher as well as three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her sister and four brothers preceded her in death.

Services are planned for 2 p.m. Nov. 17, around 2 p.m. at the Federated Church in Placerville.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.


Discussion | 2 comments

  • PatriceOctober 03, 2013 - 8:27 pm

    Ms. Josephine, I heard that you left us. I am so blessed to have spent quality time with you, getting to know you, and you graciously getting to know me. I will forever be grateful to you, for your encouragement given me to continue my artistic endeavors, and your wise guidance. I will never forget you. Rest easy Ms. Josephine.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Janna WatsonOctober 04, 2013 - 9:16 am

    To my sweet Josephine, I too will never want to forget you. You truly became a part of me, and we spent quite some time together both while my working at Gold Country and while attending church every Sunday for three years. I may not have known you as long as some, but I hope to one day see you in Heaven. Just know that I loved you lots.

    Reply | Report abusive comment


Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 102 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3



My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 66 Comments

Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4



National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 44 Comments

Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments


By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 11 Comments

Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments



Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery



4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5



Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2, 1 Comment



Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8