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The Ghostly Inhabitants of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

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The most famous, haunted hotel in Hollywood is the Hollywood Roosevelt. Today it has been refurbished and remodeled but the spirits of days gone by are still there. The Hollywood Roosevelt opened its doors in 1927 and served the movie industry as a luxury hotel. The grand opening hosted celebrities like Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo, Will Rogers, Clara Bow, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford. The hotel was popular for many years to come and underwent restoration in 1984.

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The first unusual event happened in December of 1985 two weeks before the grand re-opening. Alan Russell, the personal assistant to the General Manager was in the Blossom Room. This was the room where the first Academy Awards banquet was held in 1929. While sweeping the floor Alan noticed an extremely cold spot in one part of the room. He and other employees could find no explanation for it because there were no drafts or air conditioners going. Psychics, who have investigated the hotel, believe that a man in black clothing haunts the Blossom Room but no one knows who he may have been.

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On this same day in December another employee Suzanne Leonard was dusting a mirror in the manager’s office. While looking into a  glass , she had seen the reflection of a blond woman. Turning around quickly she saw no one behind her but the reflection remained for some time before fading away. Later it was discovered that this mirror once hung in Suite 1200 which was frequently used by Marilyn Monroe. Perhaps she still visited the Roosevelt.

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The photo was taken at the Roosevelt

Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jean Mortenson in 1926. She knew neither her mother nor her father and lived in a foster home and later on in an orphanage. In 1942 Marilyn met Jim Dougherty and married him on June 19th. When he was sent overseas during the war Norma Jean worked in a factory inspecting parachutes. In 1944 she was photographed by the Army as a promotion to show women on the assembly line contributing to the war effort. She was asked by one of the photographers to let him take more pictures of her. By the following spring, Norma had appeared on 33 covers of national magazines.

In July of 1944, she signed a contract with Fox and selected a new name for herself, Marilyn Monroe. She got a minor part in “Scudda-Hog” and her first divorce in the fall. In 1949 she met agent Johnny Hyde of the William Morris Agency who became her lover. That year she agreed to pose nude for a calendar and her career was up and rising. Marilyn’s first major role was in 1950 in “The Asphalt Jungle” followed by “Don’t Bother to Knock” in 1952. 1952 was also the year Marilyn met baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and fell in love. She also began filming “Niagara” with Joseph Cotton. This film would establish her stardom but “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” with Jane Russell made her a legend.

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On January 14, 1954, Marilyn and DiMaggio were married making headlines all over the world. It only lasted until the fall of 1954 when they separated and were later divorced. Marilyn’s career continued skyrocketing as she filmed her classic role in the “Seven Year Itch”. In early 1955 intent on being a serious actress, Marilyn went to New York and joined the Actors Studio. In New York, she renewed her acquaintance with playwright Arthur Miller. This led to an affair and later marriage. She returned to Hollywood in February of 1956 to film “Bus Stop” returning to New York in June. On June 29, 1956, she married Arthur Miller and divorced him in 1961.

During the time Marilyn was married to Arthur she went to London with him and didn’t return to Hollywood until 1958 to film “Some Like It Hot” with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. At this time her health deteriorated and she became dependent on drugs, especially sleeping pills. In 1960 Marilyn began seeing Dr. Ralph Greenson “psychoanalyst to the stars”. Since such things were common at that time he relied heavily on prescribing barbiturates and tranquilizers to accompany his therapy.

In July of 1960 began filming of “The Misfits” based on a short story by Arthur Miller. However, on location, he and Marilyn lived in separate quarters and hardly spoke to each other. The filming of “The Misfits”’ would be marred by tragedy. On the day after the film was completed, co-star Clark Gable suffered a serious heart attack and died.

In 1962 Marilyn was fired from Fox on June 7th. At this time Marilyn had started seeing Joe DiMaggio again and had agreed to remarry him on August 8th. She was rehired by Fox on August 1 to complete the film “Something’s Got to Give”. Here fate stepped in and things took a tragic turn Marilyn died on August 5, 1962, she was just 36 years old. Her death remains shrouded in mystery – some say suicide other say she was helped to the other side. And me – what do I say – I feel shivers looking at her date of birth 1926 and her date of death 1962 they do say there is something in numbers as well, or is it just me?

The haunted mirror still hangs at the Roosevelt and can now be found in the lower level elevator landing. They say that some visitors still catch a glimpse of a beautiful blond in the glass and some believe that Marilyn’s sad life has been permanently impressed in the glass.

Room 928 has been most often connected with actor Montgomery Clift who lived in this room for 3 months in 1952 while filming “From Here To Eternity”. Clift was known to restlessly pace his room and the hallway outside while rehearsing his lines and practicing the bugle. Some say he still does this…

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Montgomery Clift was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1920. He was the son of a Wall Street stockbroker and traveled all over the world with his family and private tutors. When Wall Street crashed in 1929 the family moved to a small house in Sarasota, Florida. He won a part on Broadway at the age of 17. For the next 3 years, he played a number of leading roles on Broadway. When United Artists in Hollywood finally agreed to what Clift wanted he was cast alongside John Wayne and Walter Brennan in one of the most famous westerns of all time “Red River”. Later he would appear in several films with Elizabeth Taylor – “A Place in the Sun”, “Raintree County” and “Suddenly Last Summer”.

He appeared in the film “From Here To Eternity” with Burt Lancaster and Frank Sinatra. The film was nominated for 8 Academy Awards and Clift was nominated for Best Actor. Clift died in 1966 waiting to star in a new role with Elizabeth Taylor. He apparently suffered a heart attack at the age of 46 but there were rumors of suicide. He is remembered today as one of the great actors of all time and a continuing guest at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

So book a room and meet the stars. They will be waiting.

 

 

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