Since the 1920s, Palm Springs has been Hollywood's desert playground for celebrities to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of showbiz. The legendary "Two-Hour Rule" of Hollywood studios put Palm Springs on the map as a perfect getaway. Actors under contract had to be available within two-hours from the studio just in case last minute film/photo shoots had to occur.
Several celebrities stayed and purchased hideaway homes in Palm Springs, such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., George Hamilton, Bob Hope, Albert Einstein Bing Crosby, Kirk Douglas, Cary Grant, and Jack Benny. Several ladies were frequent visitors including Marilyn Monroe, Dinah Shore, Kitty Carlisle, Lily Tomlin, Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Sommers.
Famous couples did rendezvous in Palm Springs including Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, Steve Lawrence and Edye Gorme, Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, Lucy and Desi, Elvis and Priscilla, David O. Selznick and Jennifer Jones, President Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, President Ronald and Nancy Reagan, and Walter and Lee Annenberg and several others.
A new generation of Hollywood A-listers has succumbed to the lure of the desert and the relaxing privacy it offers. Palm Springs is being rediscovered by today's Hollywood stars, especially during the Palm Springs International Film Festival held annually in January. Founded by then-mayor Sonny Bono, the star-studded events attracts celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, John Travolta, Ron Howard, Halle Barry, Leonard DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Dakota Fanning and many more.
Did You Know?
- Palm Springs has its own Walk of Stars in downtown where 'stars' are embedded in the sidewalk including Sophia Loren, Kathy Griffin, President Gerald Ford, Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope and more.
- Driving through Palm Springs and other desert cities, one will find several of the streets are named after stars, such as Frank Sinatra Drive, Dinah Shore Drive and Bob Hope Drive.
- Elvis and Priscilla honeymooned in Palm Springs. You can take a tour of the famous Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway.
- Take a celebrity tour of Palm Springs and see where the stars lived and played in Palm Springs.
- Copley's Restaurant is Cary Grant’s former estate.
- There are several celebrity golf tournaments named after Hope, Sinatra and singer Dinah Shore.
- You can see comedian Bob Hope’s oyster-shaped dome house where he lived with his wife, Dolores.
- The Rat Pack and several other stars often partied and dined at Melvyn’s Restaurant located in the Ingleside Inn.
- The city's longtime mayor was Sonny Bono, the '60s pop star once married to Oscar-winning actress Cher.
- Several stars stayed at the El Mirador Hotel (now Desert Regional Medical Center), played tennis at the Racquet Club and enjoyed the pools and glamour of The Riviera Resort.
- The historic Plaza Theatre is the scene of many Jack Benny radio broadcasts in the '40s as well as a Hollywood premiere or two. Today it is the home of The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies.
- The filming of part of "Oceans Eleven" in Palm Springs brought both modern stars and old memories to Palm Springs' film colony.
- Casa Cody was Charlie Chaplin's hangout, while the Ingleside Inn has hosted Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn has had Albert Einstein and many celebrities stay overnight.
- Catch Spring Break fever…watch the 1963 movie, Palm Springs Weekend.
- Cheeta the Chimp… Tarzan’s co-star still lives in Palm Springs.
- Lady Gaga performed at the 2009 Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party.
- HGTV has filmed several of its episodes such as House Hunters and The Outdoor Room.
- Hidden Palms, a television series, was filmed in Palm Springs.
- Martha Stewart visited Palm Springs and dedicated a special Palm Springs Show about Desert Modernism in Fall 2009.