Tuesday, May 1, 2012

AFTER 100 YEARS FAMED HOTEL IS STILL IN THE PINK

  One of my first jobs after landing in Los Angeles was to go to the Beverly Hills Hotel to interview Captain and Tenille (remember them?) who at the time were number one on the Billboard Top 100 with Love Will Keep Us Together. Since then I have had countless drinks and interviews at the famed Pink Palace, most recently with Charlize Theron in the new Bar Nineteen12 which now rivals the hotel's Polo Lounge as the meeting place of choice for showbiz types.  
 This month the Beverly Hills Hotel turns 100 years old and no address on earth has welcomed more celebrities more consistently. Over the years the guests have includedJohn F. Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Aristotle Onassis and the Duke of Windsor.






   
  Eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes would reserve up to 25 rooms at a time, and lived in one group of bungalows for almost thirty years (even back in the 50's, Hughes paid $350,000 a year for the privilege). When Elizabeth Taylor was a child, her father ran an art gallery in the hotel lobby, and she honeymooned in bungalow #5.Clark Gable and Carole Lombard rendezvoused there in bungalow #4 before Gable's divorce. Rex Harrison liked to sunbath in the nude outside #1 and the Polo Lounge was so named because Spencer Tracy and Will Rogers liked to eat and drink there after polo matches. 
   The clientele has changed but the hotel's reputation as a place where stars can relax ---and misbehave if they're so inclined---in private, remains the same.  

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