Thursday, January 14, 2016

Racquet Club in Palm Springs, California

The Palm Springs Racquet Club, built in 1934 by silent film star Charlie Farrell and actor Ralph Bellamy, the club became an exclusive desert destination where Lana Turner and Artie Shaw honeymooned, Clark Gable and Natalie Wood could often be found lounging, and where Marilyn Monroe, 22, was said to have been discovered by a William Morris agent while sunbathing poolside.

Reminiscing to The Los Angeles Times in 1988, Bellamy, then 83, recalled how he and Farrell, having been kicked off the tennis courts at the El Mirador hotel, bought 53 sandy acres in the desert and built courts of their own.

The rest, of the Palm Springs Racquet Club story, is a glorious and wonderful history.

The Racquet Club was a hot destination for Hollywood’s elite. The Racquet Club featured a two-story hotel and 12 tennis courts. The Racquet Club visitors enjoyed an Olympic-sized pool, bungalows, and a famous Bamboo Lounge.

Photographer Bruno Bernard, at the Racquet Club in 1947, discovered a young and beautiful Norma Jeane Mortenson. She is known around the world as Marilyn Monroe.

Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Rita Hayworth, John Barrymore, Carole Lombard, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, were among the many celebrities known to visit the Racquet Club.

The Racquet Club was destroyed by fire in July, 2014.

The Palm Springs Guru is just one of many people in Palm Springs, the greater Palm Springs area, the entire Coachella Valley, Hollywood, across America and around the world who remember the Palm Springs Racquet club.

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