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Beloved ‘Hollywood Superman’ Chris Dennis is Laid to Rest

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Fellow cosplayers and comic enthusiasts bid a final farewell to ‘Hollywood Superman’, aka Christopher Dennis, who was laid to rest in his iconic costume Saturday, after a service crowdfunded by friends, family and anonymous donors.

He was known locally simply as Superman and had starred in the documentary “Confessions of a Superhero” with long time friends Joe McQueen and Jenny Van Dien, formally Jenny Wenger. He had also been featured on Jimmy Kimmel over 100 times. “We lost count after a certain point” his widow, Bonnie, said of the appearances.

Several of Dennis’ closest friends posed for a farewell photo

He is survived by his father, sister and his widow Bonnie Dennis – who married him while he was in his costume. Mrs. Dennis read his eulogy, remembering him as “so kind and sweet…he needed a woman in his life who was as into Superman as he was.” She remarked on his childlike wonder, saying “whenever he was going to show you something he would light up and say ‘oh you’re going to love this!”

Mrs. Dennis continued to tell how he was a real life hero, having stopped a purse snatching near the Chinese Theater and protecting his friend Jennifer Van Dien when she was attacked by a transient on Hollywood Blvd., snagging “Superman saves Wonder Woman” headlines around the globe.

In the last few years, his wellness was in decline, succumbing to addiction, but, according to many accounts, always trying to be of service to others. He met his unfortunate end in a donation bin, trying to fish out something warm for others who live on the streets. “He died trying to help people” Mrs. Dennis said. “He saved a lot of people, but he could not save himself.”

Jennifer Van Dien spoke at the service about the miracle of his friendship when she was new in town, citing his kindness and compassion for all of the Hollywood street performers. “I wouldn’t have the life I have now if I hadn’t met Chris.”

Now married to actor Casper Van Dien, there was a time not so long ago Jenny often dressed as Wonder Woman to work for tips with Chris, taking photos with tourists. “If I was hungry and hadn’t made enough money in tips that day, he would buy me lunch. If it was too hot outside he would let me come over to his and Bonnie’s home and shower off in my Wonder Woman outfit- if you saw ‘Confessions of a Superhero you saw that. I owe everything to him.” 

Comedian and actor Paul Rodriguez spoke at his funeral about Chris and his struggles with faith and drugs.

Wolverine/Elvis performer Danny Zale (also known for the most detailed map of the stars on the walk of fame) spoke during the service and performed pallbearer’s duties as well. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ Actress Sabrina Lu sang at the service.

Christopher Lloyd Dennis lived 6/16/1967-11/02/19. He is buried at Forrest Lawn Cemetery.

Photos by Genevieve Marie

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Obituaries

Memorial Services Held for WeHo Detective Amber Leist

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In September, 2007, Amber Leist took a solemn oath of office to faithfully discharge her duties as a freshly-graduated peace officer.  She came from a family that is dedicated to serving others.

In the late morning of Sunday, June 12, 2020, Amber was sitting in her vehicle, stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Whitsett Avenue. She saw an elderly pedestrian fall in the crosswalk in front of her vehicle, and immediately got out to assist her. Amber assisted the pedestrian safely across the crosswalk to the other side of the street. As she made her way back to her car, Amber was struck by a vehicle.

The driver stayed on the scene to get help, but the 12 year veteran of the department, Leist, 41, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Although she was transported to a local hospital where staff worked vigorously to keep her with us, she unfortunately succumbed to her injuries later on that evening.  

FULL MEMORIAL SERVICE VIDEO

On Saturday January 25th 2020, her friends, coworkers and family came together to honor the memories they shared of Amber inside Mosaic Church in Hollywood. Services were closed to the public, but were live streamed on the LASD Facebook page.

During the service, people shared their personal encounters, and friendships with Amber that will live on. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, “Amber’s commitment to service is a reflection of what the men and women of the Sheriff’s department do every day.”

Her partner Deputy Yensenia Olvera said, “Amber’s energy was so magnetic.”

“Our hearts are broken,” Amber’s father, Daniel Leist, told LA Times’ reporters at a vigil earlier this month. `”This is the most heart-rending thing you could ever experience. You never think you’re going to lose your baby. But Amber came into this department and she knew what she had to do.”

Ebony Jackson, another friend and long time colleague at the West Hollywood Station said, “I hit the jackpot with her.”

Amber is survived by her two sons and parents. “She was just a hero,” her 17-year-old son, Daniel Laney, in an interview with KTLA. “She was always caring. She would always come home and talk about the victims, and how she felt so sorry for them. I’d listen.”

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Obituaries

Video Shows LASD Detective Leist Before She Was Fatally Struck

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LOS ANGELES (FOX 5) – LA County Sheriff’s Detective Amber Leist was killed after helping an elderly woman cross the street. FOX 11 reporter Gina Silva reports from Valley Village where people are remembering a deputy committed to helping others.

New surveillance video was released Monday that captured the moment an off-duty detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helped an elderly woman cross the street just seconds before she was struck and killed in Valley Village over the weekend.

Det. Amber Joy Leist, 41, was a mother of two and a 12-year veteran with […]

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Obituaries

Law Enforcement Agencies Pay Respect to Fallen LA Detective

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LOS ANGELES (Fox LA) – The body of sheriff’s Detective Amber Leist, who was struck by a vehicle after helping a woman cross a Valley Village Street, was carried in a solemn procession Wednesday from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office to a mortuary in Covina, escorted by dozens of law enforcement vehicles.

The procession began near downtown Los Angeles shortly after 11 a.m. and arrived about an hour later at Malinow and Silverman Mortuary at 578 E. San Bernardino Road. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

The hearse carrying Leist’s body passed under an American flag hanging from a […]

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