It happened 45 years ago but it is a party that has gone down in Hollywood history and one that celebrity survivors of the 1960s still talk about.
The bash was thrown by Jane Fonda, no stranger herself to wild parties, on the Fourth of July at her Malibu beach house during the so-called “summer of love.”
The details are still fresh in her mind and the 74-year-old actress recalled them vividly when we talked in a West Hollywood office recently.
She had a huge tent put up on the beach and asked her brother Peter, who would go on to star in Easy Rider, which band she should hire.
“He said The Byrds,” she recalled. “I’d never heard of them but I hired them and invited all my friends: George Cukor, Danny Kaye, William Wyler, Roddy McDowell, Warren Beatty, Sharon Tate….all of Hollywood came. What I didn’t expect was that because the Byrds were there all these hippies came too. I’d never seen anything like it.
“I’ll never forget the woman on the buffet line in a tie-dyed dress and one enormous breast feeding her baby while she has helping herself to food. Danny Kaye was behind her with his tongue hanging out and George Cukor was gagging in disgust,” she laughed.
“It was my first experience with hard-core hippiedom and it was really the only time old Hollywood and hippies came together. People have never forgotten it. They still talk about this party. It ended at five in the morning and there was not one drug left in my house. They’d gone through all the medicine cabinets….everything.”