Hollywood booking it back to their homes

Thatched cottage

Now, this house would be fun to live in…although it might be a bit small! (Look carefully at the upper right-hand side of the photo.) Image courtesy of John Webber, Wikimedia Commons.

Every once in a while, I venture away from fiction and delve into non-fiction books involving some of my other interests, such as art, music, movies, history and architecture. This week’s choice was a great book from Architectural Digest, called Hollywood At Home. It’s the perfect marriage of movies, history and architecture and has great photos.

The book spotlights the homes of various stars from various eras, such as Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Orson Welles, Dennis Quaid, Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, Danny Kaye, Stephen Spielberg, John Travolta and Candice Bergen. It’s a funny thing, however. You’d think that all of these homes would be lavish to reflect their owners’ fame, wealth and personal taste — and some of them are — but some homes were more spartan in design, like one of Marilyn Monroe’s homes.

Some of the homes were far too ornate for my taste, but I envied some of the others. Dennis Quaid’s home in Montana is rural and rambling in style and blessed with a lot of windows, though which you see some wonderful scenery. Lucky guy. I also liked Katherine Hepburn’s Connecticut home and the California home of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, as well as Danny Kaye’s home in California. They were definitely my kind of places. (Now, where’s that winning lottery ticket when I need it, so that I can build a home like this?)

There were some surprises, too, because I learned new information about some of my favorite stars. Frank Sinatra was into trains (he had a refurbished caboose on his property and a train room with model trains), art and the color orange. Danny Kaye was a gifted cook and loved Chinese food — he even added a special Chinese-themed kitchen and dining area to his home so he could prepare Chinese food for dinner guests.

And of course, a lot of these people are book lovers. Peering at the photos, I see that Candice Bergen has works by John Le Carré and Art Buchwald, and Marilyn Monroe read Fyodor Dostoyevsky (I’ve always thought that she was a lot smarter than many people believe).  Jimmy Stewart had a library with a large number of books on topics such as American history and the military. He even wrote a book of poems.

The book includes some funny stories. Danny Kaye’s daughter, Dena, went to answer their front door one night, adorned in bathrobe, curlers and Clearasil, and found Cary Grant on the other side. (It’s at times like this that you wish life had a rewind button.)

And wow, the pools! The pools! (Did I say I liked the swimming pools yet?) So if you like architecture or celebrities, this is the book for you.

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Writing

11 responses to “Hollywood booking it back to their homes

  1. Sounds fun!! And glamorous!!!

  2. Old Hollywood is a weakness for me. To peep into the homes of old Hollywood…hmmm, time to take a break from Henry James. Sounds fun! And for some reason your posts do not show up in my inbox. I will have to investigate the matter.

  3. Sounds like a very interesting read. 🙂

    • If you ever wonder how the other half lives (or lived, depending upon the era), it’s definitely the book to read. It’s interesting how much the homes reflect their owners’ personalities. Angelica Huston’s home was quite the surprise.

  4. Dena is regretting that moment! **grin** I think the other half lives similar to us in so many ways.

    • I think so, too. I saw a couple of actors (Mark Harmon and Ed Begley, Jr.) interviewed on TV a while back and they seem to live in suburbia like the rest of us. I guess it comes down to personal taste more than anything else.

SPEAK!!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s