Classic Hollywood Actors - Out & About in Beverly Hills

If you’ve read any of my books, you probably know that I (and my heroine by extension) have a thing for classic Hollywood movies. I grew up watching them, and love hearing stories of Hollywood stars, especially stories of how wonderful the actors were. My mother provided many of the stories.

As a very young woman, Mom worked as a sales person at Robinsons, Beverly Hills, which was a high-end department store across from the Beverly Hilton.

Many big name stars passed through the department where she worked: bedding and linens. We recently talked about some of her favorite celebrity sightings. Back then, stars dressed like stars and mostly acted like stars, full of charm and wit. Here’s a small sampling:

Audrey Hepburn was not only beautiful on the outside, but on the inside, too. She carried around her lovely, pleasant smile and was kind to all who worked in Mom’s department. She loved talking about her son and was a favorite among the employees.

Greer Garson was not only elegant and kindly in her films, but was the same in real life. Friendly, charming, and animated, she was another favorite of the store employees. She was my most favorite. Strong, yet beautiful and feminine, I once wrote her a fan letter and she replied!  A wonderful reply that unleashed tears of happiness in me. That’s how big a fan I was and am.

Ann Margaret often went shopping with her mother. Another beauty who was ever so nice to the employees, Mom remembers her as courteous, polite and soft spoken. A pleasure to be around.

Rock Hudson was every bit as handsome as he was in his films. Do you remember Pillow Talk? Wow! Mr. Hudson usually shopped with his maid and was easy going and…did I say handsome? Very much a gentleman who treated all employees very nicely.

Vincent Price shopped with his wife, Mary. Both were very genial and easy to talk to. Once, when Mary came in without Vincent, Mom asked where he was. Mary replied that he’d made a beeline for the cookie samples in the gourmet food department. Apparently, he couldn’t resist sweets. Who can? One of my favorite actors, he was the inspiration for a character in Gambling with Murder. If you read it, you’d know which one.

There are too many sightings to share, but I hope you enjoyed these highlights.

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9 months ago

Hi Lida, I love old movie stars also. I remember running into a popular television actress in a small tourist town store that I was visiting. A young girl recognized the actress and got very excited. She asked her mom if she could get her an autograph. The mother very nicely asked the actress. The actress looked at the mother, said no and turned away, continuing her browsing. The young girl seemed stunned and disappointed. This is one example of today’s STARS. Hopefully, the rest don’t behave that way. Great post!

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