Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Otto Jensen, 101 Years Old, Died Yesterday

Sad to report, Mr Jensen was hit by a car while walking across the street.

The Burbank Centennial Parade on April 9, 2011 had two grand marshals, Burbank residents Genevieve Cowden Sultenfuss and Otto W. Jensen, both of whom were 100.

Otto Jensen, Legendary 101-Year-Old Burbank Photographer, Killed While Crossing Street

By Simone Wilson
Wed., May 23 2012 at 10:00 AM

A living piece of Burbank history was killed while crossing Olive Avenue around 8:15 p.m. last night.

Otto Jensen, who was still running his nearby photography studio at the ripe age of 101 years old, has shot everything from family portraits to boxing and Hollywood greats during his long and storied career. Jensen's studio, a staple on Olive, has been open since 1952.

In a video interview with ESNEWS last year, he said he smoked two cigars a day and had learned over his long life "to take it easy." Being himself a former boxer from Denmark (and, as listed elsewhere on the Internet, a "professional actor"), Jensen described himself as Manny Pacquiao's biggest fan.

Jensen is "very big in the Danish community," says Peter Musurlian, a PIO for the city of Burbank. "I think he was from Denmark originally."

otto studio.jpg
Jensen's famous studio.

The beloved photographer was featured in the City of Burbank's "Voices" series a few years back. "He's led a very interesting life and his story should be a good one," said the city's PIO at the time. (We're trying to obtain a video or transcript of the talk.)

Burbank police say Jensen was crossing Olive at Griffith Park when he was hit. Although there is no crosswalk at the intersection, Sergeant Darin Ryburn tells LA Weekly that it is legal to cross there.

The driver of the sedan that downed Jensen has been identified as Mary Beaumont, another elder with a strong history in Burbank. She's a 91-year-old resident on the public library's board of trustees.

However, Beaumont is not being charged for the pedestrian death. "She was interviewed and released," says Ryburn.

According to Pacquiao's official YouTube account, "Otto Was born Marth 6th, 1911 in Denmark and came all the way to Meet Manny Pacquiao to get a picture."

Here are some photos that Jensen took during his amazing half-century-long career as a Los Angeles photographer.

otto jensen photo 1.jpg

art aragon by otto.jpg
otto jensen art boxer.jpg
[@simone_electra / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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In this short video from 2010 of the Burbank on Parade, between 3:30-5 min, you will see Otto in front of his shop on Olive with Dona Foy Bruckner (BHS '67) talking to him.

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