Life at the Marmont: The inside Story of Hollywood’s Legendary Hotel of the Stars—Chateau Marmont

Raymond Sarlot and Fred E. Basten. Penguin Press, $16 (348 pages) ISBN 978-0-14-312311-8
The story of Chateau Marmont “is practically a capsule history of Hollywood itself,” an assertion more than proved in this delightful history by co-authors Sarlot (who owned the hotel from 1975 to 1991) and journalist Basten (Max factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World). Out of print for more than two decades, but now featuring a short afterword, Life at the Marmont still shows in copious detail how the Marmont has been “Hollywood’s authentic grand hotel” for actors, actresses, directors, producers, and even rock stars since it opened in 1929. Every page includes at least three or four prominent Hollywood legends—from early owner Albert E. Smith, the cofounder of pioneer film production company Vitagraph, who saved the Marmont from bankruptcy in the 1930s, to Lady Gaga, who made gossip column headlines in 2011 when she dined at the Marmont wearing “an all-white Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo.” There are fascinating stories of memorable visits by Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Robert De Niro, Duke Ellington, Jim Morrison, and literally hundreds of others whose exploits gave the Marmont its “magical” reputation. In the words of legendary producer Harry Cohn in 1939 to then “hot-blooded” Hollywood newcomers and future legends Glenn Ford and William Holden, “If you must get into trouble, go the Marmont.” (May)
Reviewed on: 03/25/2013
Release date: 04/30/2013
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