Beverly Hills Hotel 100th Anniversary Celebration

Warren Beatty, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Brett Ratner, Mary J. Blige and Generations of Stars Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows

 

Warren Beatty, together with Jeffrey Katzenberg and hotel manager Ed Mady, welcomed generations of guests to the June 16 100th anniversary celebration of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows. 

Katzenberg – CEO of DreamWorks Animation – called the hotel, “the center of the universe,” noting that he holds his annual pre-Oscar party there each year.

Beatty said, “It’s almost impossible to imagine the history of Hollywood without imagining the Beverly Hills Hotel.” He then reminded guests of the saying, “If walls could talk,” and then thanked the walls for not talking.

The two-night shindig, benefiting the Motion Picture & Television Fund, comprised “A Century of Hollywood History, One Legendary Weekend.” Included, too, was a June 15 evening of comedy and jazz, hosted by Bill Cosby to benefit MPTF’s American Comedy Fund division.

At the June 16 affair, added to a champagne reception and dinner, producer Brett Ratner hosted a performance by nine-time Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige in the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom.  ”I have a lot of history here at the Beverly Hills Hotel,” Ratner said, noting that he lived in one of the bungalows for 6 months, where he was “channeling Warren Beatty.”

Party guests stopping by throughout the weekend included Mena Suvari, Debbie Reynolds, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Tom Arnold, Byron Allen, Jo Champa, Patrick Kielty, Brenda Vaccaro, Frances Fisher of “Titanic,” Stana Katic of “Castle,” Rob Riggle of “The Daily Show,” Zach Braff of “Scrubs,” Karina Smirnoff of “Dancing With the Stars,” Ashley Jones of “The Bold and the Beautiful,” Cat Deeley of “So You Think You Can Dance,” Donna Mills of “Knots Landing,” Elena Satine of “Just Go With It,” Joely Fisher and Brad Garrett of “‘Til Death,” Songwriters Hall of Famer Diane Warren, Bonnie Pointer of the Pointer Sisters, Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks, CaCee Cobb of “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica,” Donald Faison of “Scrubs,” Marisa Coughlan of “Freddy Got Fingered,” MTV Networks President Doug Herzog, celebrated voice coach Eric Vetro, top stylist Jen Rade and many more. 

A display showcased historic photos and Robert S. Anderson was on hand to sign his new book, “The Beverly Hills Hotel – The First 100 Years.” Anderson’s great-grandmother Margaret Anderson founded the hotel. “She couldn’t vote and she couldn’t stand behind the counter,” said Anderson of his great-grandmother, who ventured into a man’s world to develop the hotel.

Anderson said the hotel was built as part of a real estate development, with lots originally selling for $1,200. “You got a 25% discount if you started building within 60 days,” he said. Since then, of course, the hotel became legendary.

He named some of the famous early guests, such as Buster Keaton, Rudolph Valentino and Will Rogers, who lived on the property.

“Will Rogers claimed he was going to make Beverly Hills as famous as Claremore,” Anderson said. Claremore, Rogers’ hometown, is in Oklahoma.

Before Blige delivered her dynamic set, a short film showed Hollywood icons set against the hotel’s distinctive banana leaf-wallpapered halls. They included, among others, Doris Day, Jane Fonda, Cary Grant, and Lucille Ball with the “I Love Lucy” cast.

BMW was the 100th birthday weekend’s official sponsor, with other participants including essie cosmetics and Girard-Perregaux. As part of weekend festivities, a silent auction offered a Girard-Perregaux limited edition watch and a Mikimoto Akoya cultured pearl necklace, with all proceeds earmarked for MPTF to provide financial aid and services to members of the entertainment industry in need.

 

Top photo: Producer Brett Ratner and Mena Suvari at the Beverly Hills Hotel 100th Anniversary Celebration

Second photo: Nine-time Grammy Award-winner Mary J. Blige performed at the Beverly Hills Hotel 100th Anniversary Celebration (photo: Michael Buckner/ Getty Images for BHH)

Third photo: Actress Jo Champa shares a laugh with Warren Beatty, who proposed the official 100th birthday toast to the Beverly Hills Hotel (photo: Stefanie Keenan/ Getty Images for BHH)

Fourth photo: Tom Arnold and Kristen Bell enjoy the show at the Beverly Hills Hotel 100th Anniversary Celebration (photo:  Michael Buckner/Getty Images for BHH)

 

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Beverly Hills Hotel 100th Anniversary Celebration

Published June 17, 2012 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA