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5 Ways to Enjoy a Hollywood-Style Halloween

Hollywood is haunted.  Make no bones about it. There are skeletons in the closet and rumors rattling the actors.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell the living from the walking dead. So, do as the fear-mongers on Sunset Boulevard do, and have a spirited Halloween.

Gloria Swanson and William Holden in Sunset Boulevard.  Now that's scary.

Gloria Swanson and William Holden in Sunset Boulevard. Now that’s scary.

1. Rent a costume.

Are you having trouble deciding to be traditional or original?  Dressing as a gangsta like James Cagney or a rapper such as Jay-Z? Then visit the Western Costume Company. They rent thousands of costumes from major motion pictures for Halloween. Even if you’re located in another part of the country, their website has some great ideas.

2. Wear makeup instead of a mask.

If you go this route, take some advice from Oscar-winning makeup effect artist Rick Baker: “Painting on a face is like painting on a canvas.  You have to understand the principles of highlight and shadow.”  To participate in the zombie zeitgeist, that’s so today, “Use oil-based paint sticks for the black shadow and a black eyebrow pencil to add lines and highlights.”

3. Put on your dancing shoes.

At Hollywood Forever Cemetery the party to celebrate Dia de los Meurtos, on November 2 this year, starts rockin’ after dark with hundreds of Aztec Ritual Dancers in full costume and musical performances on three stages.  What’s happening at your local burying grounds?

4. Visit a haunted house.

If the current residents of the house where Ozzie and Harriet and their sons David and Rickie lived in Hollywood have experienced unusual phenomenon, who’s to say that the dwelling down the street  wouldn’t make the perfect place to hold a séance.

5. Watch a movie.

Heads will roll and bodies will pile up, whether you’re into icky, creepy, bloody, gutsy, scary or all of the above.  After all, movies are what Hollywood does best.

Halloween: it’s not just about the candy anymore.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

 

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What Becomes a Legend Most?

What a history The Beverly Hills Hotel has had.  So many Hollywood legends stayed and played there it became a legend itself.

The Beverly Hills Hotel, 1925

In 1912 the hotel was built for $500,000 in the bean fields at the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, halfway between Los Angeles and the sea.  The city of Beverly Hills developed around the property on Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Drive, incorporating two years later.

With newlyweds Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks taking up residence nearby in 1920, the Hollywood community began moving in.   Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Rudolph Valentino, and Tom Mix built fabulous homes in the area.  Gloria Swanson stayed there during a divorce, before relocating to a mansion across the street.

Movie stars took advantage of the hotel’s accommodations.  Following polo matches at Will Rogers’ ranch, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Tyrone Power, Walt Disney, and Darryl Zanuck imbibed at its bar, hence, the name the Polo Lounge.  Humphrey Bogart and the Rat Pack later followed suit.

The pool was another favorite hangout.  George Hamilton cultivated his tan, while Fred Astaire read the industry rags poolside. Faye Dunaway learned the crawl for her role in Mommy Dearest.

Others just relaxed or socialized.  A veritable who’s who in entertainment included Cary Grant, Lucille Ball, Esther Williams, Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, and Carol Burnett.  The pool was opened late one night when the Beatles wanted to take a dip.

And then there were the famous bungalows.  Marilyn Monroe preferred numbers 1 and 7.  Howard Hughes stayed off and on for thirty years in Bungalow #4.  Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton frequently occupied Bungalow #5, with a standing order for two bottles of vodka at breakfast and two more at lunch.  That certainly juiced up the tempo.

So what becomes a legend most?  The perfect location, fun in the sun, beautiful people, and a touch of mink.

Celebrating its centennial this year, the hotel is rolling out the red carpet for all its guests.  In its promotional literature it promises “every visitor to ‘The Pink Palace’ is pampered like a celebrity.”  It’s just not likely that you’ll bump into a real celebrity.  They’ve moved on to the next hot spot.

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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Check out the fabulous icons in the Blackglama print ads:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2vNdROz7xg