North Ridge Books | Hollywood Tour Book | Contents | Sample Chapter | Order
|Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Holmby Hills||16|
|Santa Monica and Venice||96|
|Westwood and Century City||107|
|The Sunset Strip||118|
|Fairfax and The Miracle Mile||167|
|Hancock Park and The Wilshire District||171|
|Mulholland Drive and the Hollywood Hills||178|
|Hollywood and Los Feliz||188|
|Burbank and Toluca Lake||221|
|Universal City, North Hollywood and Studio City||229|
|Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys and Encino||233|
|Other Points of Interest in or near Los Angeles||239|
The book provides a self-guided tour of celebrity homes in the so-called Platinum triangle: Beverly Hills, Bel-Air and Holmby Hills, complete with not one, but six separate maps, of the area. Unlike the maps hawked all over Los Angeles, the maps in the book are kept up to date and even include detailed driving directions. Mr. Gordon also removed all the distracting side streets where obscure or long-forgotten celebrities have lived.
With the aid of the book, visitors can create their own tours and sightsee at their leisure. Even if you do not have access to a car, and intend to take one of the many "Tours to the Stars' Homes," the book will make your sightseeing experience more enjoyable. That is because the book provides not only photographs of, but histories and anecdotes about the more famous homes.
For example, you will learn that:
Visitors who hope to catch glimpses of the stars will not see them outside their gated estates, but they can go to the many restaurants, nightclubs and hotels that cater to a celebrity clientele. The Beverly Hills Hotel is probably the best known, but there are several others, including the Four Seasons Hotel, which the studios constantly use for press junkets.
Another hotel, the Chateau Marmont, is so trendy that instead of putting Bibles on the nightstands in its suites, it provides guests with screenplays!
Between 1993 and 1996 Madonna lived in this nine-story-tall castle on Mulholland Highway. The $5 million estate was once a gambling den operated by the notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel.
Locations from the following motion pictures can also be found in the book:
|Annie Hall||Lethal Weapon (I,II and IV)|
|Back to the Future||Nightmare on Elm Street|
|Back to the Future, Part II||The Nutty Professor|
|Batman Forever||Planet of the Apes|
|The Beverly Hillbillies||The Poseidon Adventure|
|Beverly Hills Cop||Pretty Woman|
|Blade Runner||Pulp Fiction|
|Bugsy||Rebel Without a Cause|
|Charlie's Angels||The Rocketeer|
|Die Hard||Stand and Deliver|
|Down and Out in Beverly Hills||Star Trek IV|
|Escape from L.A.||Star Trek VI|
|The Flintstones||Sunset Boulevard|
|Grand Canyon||The Terminator|
|Independence Day||That Thing You Do!|
|Invasion of the Body Snatchers||True Lies|
|L.A. Story||A Very Brady Sequel|
Visitors can also find the "L.A. Law" building, the "Melrose Place" and "Seinfeld" apartments, the "Baywatch" lifeguard station; the "Bat Cave"; the site depicted as "77 Sunset Strip"; and homes featured in "Desperate Housewives," "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet", "Benson', "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Beverly Hills 90210", "The Brady Bunch", "Doogie Howser, M.D.", "Dynasty", "Happy Days", "Knight Rider", "Knots Landing", "Malcolm in the Middle", "Once and Again", "30something", and "The Wonder Years".
Recurring locations featured in "The Adventures of Superman", "Cagney and Lacey", "CHIPS", "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman", "Dragnet", "Empty Nest", "Fantasy Island", "M*A*S*H", "MacGyver", "Moonlighting", "Murder One", "Remington Steele", "Riptide", and "The Rockford Files" are also included in the book.
Author William A. Gordon (left) at the house featured as the "Dynasty" mansion with former owner Charles Morton (right).
O.J. Simpson's arrest photo
The book also has all the important O. J. Simpson sites, and the sites where Robert F. Kennedy, Sharon Tate, Sal Mineo, "Bugsy" Siegel, Jerry Rubin, Lyle and Kitty Menendez, and Lana Turner's Mafia boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, were killed.
The book also shows where Marilyn Monroe, John Belushi, George "Superman" Reeves, River Phoenix, Janis Joplin, and Thelma Todd committed suicide; examines the controversies surrounding several of these deaths; reveals where Michael Jackson allegedly took his "special friends," and shows where John F. Kennedy's most notorious mistress lived.
There are also entries for the cemeteries to the stars, including Westwood Memorial Cemetery, where every year thousands still make a pilgrimage to Marilyn Monroe's crypt. Hugh Hefner, who bought the adjacent crypt for an estimated $125,000, will eventually keep her company.
And then there's Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the only cemetery which provides visitors maps to the stars' graves. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is where you will find the graves of early Hollywood greats and the headstone of Mel Blanc, "The Man of 1000 Voices," including Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig. Blanc's epitaph reads: "That's all, folks!"
Filming on the Universal backlot.
Although the author has mastered the art of sneaking onto studio lots, we recommend that you take one of the four paying tours. Universal Studios' tour is more of a place to take the family (think Disneyland), while Warner Bros., Sony Studios, and Paramount Studios' backlot tours are geared toward the serious student of film.
If you are in Burbank, you can drive by the Disney studio and see the building in which the seven dwarfs hold up Michael Eisner's offices. (And read the jokes that have been told about the building.)
If you are in West L.A., Culver City, and Santa Monica, you can drive by 20th Century Fox, Sony, and MGM respectively.
The major television networks are also included in the book. At this time NBC is the only major television network which offers a tour.
All of the must-see landmarks: the Hollywood Sign, Mann's Chinese Theater, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the La Brea Tar Pits, Rodeo Drive, Griffith Park, and Farmers Market, are included in the book. And, of course, there are a number of museums you can visit, including the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, and the Museum of Television & Radio.
SOME UNEXPECTED SITES
The book also includes a number of surprises, including three castles in the Hollywood Hills (one formerly owned by Madonna), and a fourth in Malibu.
There are architectural jewels; including the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood and the so-called "Flying Saucer" house that was the highlight of the 1984 film "Body Double."
There are sites that inspired songs, the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" statue, and a tribute to the Apollo 11 astronauts on the Walk of Fame (not for being the first men on the moon. In typical Hollywood tradition, they were honored for giving us a great television performance!)
And then there is L.A.'s best kept secret: a secluded beach in Malibu where more celebrities own homes than anywhere else in the world.
It's the street where "Diagnosis Murder" was filmed and Robert Downey, Jr., mistook a neighbor's house as his own, walked into one of the children's rooms, and went to sleep. This prompting Jay Leno to joke: "Do you know what the hottest new business on Hollywood Boulevard is? Selling Robert Downey, Jr., a map to his own home!"
Want to see the North Hollywood home that Amelia Earhart lived in before she mysteriously disappeared? It's in the book. So are several political sites: every house that Ronald Reagan lived in Los Angeles (including his Pacific Palisades home when he was elected president and his Bel-Air retirement home).
There's the hotel where Richard Nixon, after losing the 1962 gubernatorial election, gave his famous "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore" speech.
There are also several sites associated with Richard Nixon's and Ronald Reagan's years in Los Angeles and John F. Kennedy's nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate in 1960.
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