Monday, November 09, 2020

Marmont Monday, 1957

In this interesting article from TV Guide, you get a peak into the lobby of the Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood and an idea of the type of people were drawn to its unique atmosphere. Left to right in the photo above: Theodore Bikel, Mildred Dunnock, Brandon de Wilde, Tony Charmoli, Rebecca Welles, and Judith Braun. From the article:

When a New York actor gets the summons to work in Hollywood, either in television or films, chances are nine out of 10 that he will check into the Chateau Marmont, a sedate, 25-year-old apartment-hotel which looks down on Los Angeles from a hill above the Sunset Strip.

To Manhattanites (Susan Strasberg, Mildred Dunnock, Boris Karloff, Jonathan Winters, Nancy Kelly and Carol Channing are some who’ve headquartered there recently), the 52-suite Marmont is a place where New York thespians, like lonely voyagers meeting on foreign soil, feel free to gather and decry the bitter fate which has brought them to the barren wastes of Hollywood.

Not long ago, one of these informal meetings occurred in the Oriental-rugged lobby. Character-actor Theodore Bikel (he played the title role in the “Climax!” production of “The Mad Bomber”) told TV GUIDE’s reporters: “Hollywood is not a town to wait around in. When you’re out of work you become a fourth-rate citizen. In New York, you only become a second-rate citizen. In New York, people smile at you less. Here they cease to smile.”

Judith Braun, whose credits read like a TV log, said: “I’ve met many nice people here—mostly New Yorkers, of course.”

Paul Ford (Col. Hall on “The Phil Silver Show”) confided, “In New York the weather is filthy, the heat is oppressive, everything is overcrowded. I can hardly wait to get back.”

Young Brandon de Wilde scratched his head before going on record: “The thing I don’t like about Hollywood is that people are too lazy. The weather is monotonous and the kids dress too sloppily.”

Rebecca Welles (who’s appeared on “Studio One,” “Lux,” and dozens of other shows) admitted that she’s becoming a Southern Californian because it’s a wonderful place to raise children. “Besides, Hollywood producers are so appreciative of actors trained in New York.”

Tony Charmoli, dance director for “The Dinah Shore Show” said: “It’s a pity that Hollywood didn’t have the sense to get started in San Francisco.”

Just why did they consent to come to Hollywood if their feelings are so antipathetic to the western end of the entertainment axis? Bikel spoke for the group: “We are actors! We go where the demands of the profession call us.”

All were agreed on one thing — that when in Hollywood their home is the Chateau Marmont. “Living here,” said Bikel, “gives you the impression—even if you’re not”that you’re leaving for New York tomorrow.”

A photo of the lobby as it looks today:

See more Chateau Marmont photos at my main website.


Fifthrider said...

I get the impression they don't care for Hollywood that much.

Daveland said...

It's very subtle, but I think you might be right! ;)