Lederer Avenue

Named for debonair actor Francis Lederer (1899-2000), who found success on stage and screen in both Europe and America. Born Frantisek Lederer into a poor Jewish family in Prague, Lederer fought in World War I then pursued a theatrical career throughout the German-speaking world. He landed his first film roles in Germany itself – ironically, given his dozens of subsequent credits, his best-known work remains his third outing: the 1929 Louise Brooks silent Pandora’s Box. After becoming a name in Europe and Broadway, Lederer came to Hollywood in 1933 and spent his studio paychecks on real estate: he bought a ranch in the West Hills area just one year after his arrival, although it’s unclear if he started out with 300 acres or if his ranch slowly grew to that size. (Lederer Avenue, named by 1956, is near this old ranch.) Lederer was a popular local figure and was dubbed Honorary Mayor of Canoga Park in 1960. Like many older actors, his career migrated to television in the 1950s; he retired after a 1971 episode of Night Gallery. He was married three times and had no children.