Joan Crawford regularly pulled up for lunch in a chauffeured Rolls Royce the color of money, the Beatles slipped in through the back door for an after-hours dip in the pool, and Sidney Poitier danced barefoot in the lobby after winning an Oscar for “Lilies of the Field.”
CNN sends a big wet smooch to the Beverly Hills Hotel, which turns 100 in 2012. The roll call of Old Hollywood names is irresistable:
W.C. Fields, Humphrey Bogart and the Rat Pack tippled at the bar, Katharine Hepburn did a back flip into the pool in her tennis clothes, and Elizabeth Taylor honeymooned in the bungalows out back — six times.
And of course, there was Marilyn Monroe. Turns out the hotel played a role in Watergate, too:
President Richard M. Nixon’s chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, and domestic affairs counselor John Enrlichman were having breakfast in the hotel’s famed Polo Lounge when they learned about the Watergate burglary in 1972. Hotel phone records were key to the obstruction of justice case that toppled Nixon’s presidency and sent many of his aides to prison.
“Poor devils,” to quote Peter Lorre in Casablanca.
This is as close to the bungalows as we’ll get, in any case: they top out at $15,000 a night.