Lois Weber was an American silent film actress, screenwriter and director. She is identified in some historical references as "the most important female director the American film industry has known", among “the most important and prolific film directors in the era of silent films". Film historian Anthony Slide has asserted, "Along with D. W. Griffith, Weber was the American cinema's first genuine auteur, a filmmaker involved in all aspects of production and one who utilized the motion picture to put across her own ideas and philosophies."Weber produced an oeuvre, which Jennifer Parchesky argues is comparable to Griffith's in both quantity and quality, brought to the screen her concerns for humanity and social justice in an estimated 200 to 400 films, of which as few as twenty have been preserved. She has been credited by IMDb with directing 135 films, writing 114, acting in 100. Weber was "one of the first directors to come to the attention of the censors in Hollywood's early years". Weber has been credited as pioneering the use of the split screen technique to show simultaneous action in her 1913 film Suspense.
In collaboration with her first husband, Phillips Smalley, in 1913 Weber was "one of the first directors to experiment with sound", making the first sound films in the United States. She was the first American woman to direct a full-length feature film when she and Smalley directed The Merchant of Venice in 1914, in 1917 the first American woman director to own her own film studio. During the war years, Weber "achieved tremendous success by combining a canny commercial sense with a rare vision of cinema as a moral tool". At her zenith, "few men, before or since, have retained such absolute control over the films they have directed — and no women directors have achieved the all-embracing, powerful status once held by Lois Weber." By 1920, Weber was considered the "premier woman director of the screen and author and producer of the biggest money making features in the history of the film business". Among Weber's notable films are: the controversial Hypocrites, which featured the first full-frontal female nude scene in 1915.
Weber is credited with discovering, mentoring, or making stars of several women actors, including Mary MacLaren, Mildred Harris, Claire Windsor, Esther Ralston, Billie Dove, Ella Hall, Cleo Ridgely, Anita Stewart, with discovering and inspiring screenwriter Frances Marion. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Weber was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960. Florence Lois Weber was born on June 13, 1879 in Allegheny City, the second of three children of Mary Matilda "Tillie" Snaman and George Weber, an upholster and decorator, who had spent several years in missionary street work, the younger sister of Elizabeth "Bessie" Snaman Weber Jay and older sister of Ethel Weber Howland, who appeared in two of Lois's films in 1916 and married assistant director Louis A. "Lou" Howland. The Webers were a devout middle class Christian family of German ancestry. Weber was considered an excellent pianist; as a girl, music was her passion, her most treasured possession was a baby grand piano.
Weber left home and lived in poverty while working as a street-corner evangelist and social activist for two years with the evangelical Church Army Workers, an organization similar to the Salvation Army and singing hymns on street corners and singing and playing the organ in rescue missions in red-light districts in Pittsburgh and New York, until the Church Army Workers disbanded in 1900. In June 1900, Weber was 21 and living with her parents and two sisters at 1717 Fremont Street, Pennsylvania, where she was a music student. By April 1903, Weber was performing as pianist, she toured the United States as a concert pianist with renowned harpist Mrs Apt Thomas until her final performance in Charleston, South Carolina a year later. After an unfortunate incident when a piano key broke during a recital, Weber retired from the concert stage, having lost her nerve to play in public. Weber described the incident that precipitated her retirement: "Just as I started to play a black key came off in my hand.
I kept forgetting that the key was not there, reaching for it. The incident broke my nerve. I could not finish and I never appeared on the concert stage again, it is my belief that when that key came off in my hand, a certain phase of my development came to an end." Frustrated by the futility of one-on-one conversions, following the advice of an uncle in Chicago, Weber decided to take up acting about 1904, moved to New York City, where she took some singing lessons. Weber explained her motivation: "As I was convinced the theatrical profession needed a missionary, he suggested that the best way to reach them was to become one of them so I went on the stage filled with a great desire to convert my fellowman". For five years Weber was a stock actress. After short stint as a soubrette in the farce comedy "Zig-Zag" for a Chicago-based touring company, Weber resigned as it "proved too superficia
Reno is a city in the U. S. state of Nevada, located in the northwestern part of the state 22 miles from Lake Tahoe. Known as "The Biggest Little City in the World", Reno is known for its casino industry, it is the county seat of Washoe County. The city sits in a high desert at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and its downtown area occupies a valley informally known as the Truckee Meadows; the city is named after Union Major General Jesse L. Reno, killed in action at the Battle of South Mountain on Fox's Gap. Reno, with an estimated population of 248,853 as of 2017, is the fourth-most populous city in Nevada after Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, all three of those cities being part of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Reno is the most populous city in the state outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Reno is part of the Reno–Sparks metropolitan area which consists of all of Washoe and Storey counties. Archaeological finds place the eastern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Reno area.
As early as the mid 1850s a few pioneers settled in the Truckee Meadows, a fertile valley through which the Truckee River made its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. In addition to subsistence farming, these early residents could pick up business from travelers along the California Trail, which followed the Truckee westward, before branching off towards Donner Lake, where the formidable obstacle of the Sierra Nevada began. Gold was discovered in the vicinity of Virginia City in 1850, a modest mining community developed, but the discovery of silver in 1859 at the Comstock Lode led to a mining rush, thousands of emigrants left their homes, bound for the West, hoping to find a fortune. To provide the necessary connection between Virginia City and the California Trail, Charles W. Fuller built a log toll bridge across the Truckee River in 1859. A small community that would service travelers soon grew up near the bridge. After two years, Fuller sold the bridge to Myron C. Lake, who continued to develop the community with the addition of a grist mill and livery stable to the hotel and eating house.
He renamed it "Lake's Crossing". In 1864, Washoe County was consolidated with Roop County, Lake's Crossing became the largest town in the county. Lake had earned himself the title "founder of Reno". By January 1863, the Central Pacific Railroad had begun laying tracks east from Sacramento, California connecting with the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory, Utah, to form the First Transcontinental Railroad. Lake deeded land to the CPRR in exchange for its promise to build a depot at Lake's Crossing. Once the railroad station was established, the town of Reno came into being on May 9, 1868. CPRR construction superintendent Charles Crocker named the community after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the American Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain. In 1871, Reno became the county seat of the newly expanded Washoe County, replacing the previous county seat, located in Washoe City. However, political power in Nevada remained with the mining communities, first Virginia City and Tonopah and Goldfield.
The extension of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad to Reno in 1872 provided a boost to the new city's economy. In the following decades, Reno continued to grow and prosper as a business and agricultural center and became the principal settlement on the transcontinental railroad between Sacramento and Salt Lake City; as the mining boom waned early in the 20th century, Nevada's centers of political and business activity shifted to the non-mining communities Reno and Las Vegas, today the former mining metropolises stand as little more than ghost towns. Despite this, Nevada is still the third-largest gold producer in the world, after South Africa and Australia; the "Reno Arch" was erected on Virginia Street in 1926 to promote the upcoming Transcontinental Highways Exposition of 1927. The arch included the words "Nevada's Transcontinental Highways Exposition" and the dates of the exposition. After the exposition, the Reno City Council decided to keep the arch as a permanent downtown gateway, Mayor E.
E. Roberts asked the citizens of Reno to suggest a slogan for the arch. No acceptable slogan was received until a $100 prize was offered, G. A. Burns of Sacramento was declared the winner on March 14, 1929, with "Reno, The Biggest Little City in the World". Reno took a leap when the state of Nevada legalized open-gambling on March 19, 1931, along with the passage of more liberal divorce laws than places like Hot Springs, offered. No other state offered what Nevada had in the 1930s, casinos like the Bank Club and Palace were popular. Within a few years, the Bank Club, owned by George Wingfield, Bill Graham, Jim McKay, was the state's largest employer and the largest casino in the world. Wingfield owned most of the buildings in town that housed gaming and took a percentage of the profits, along with his rent. Ernie Pyle once wrote in one of his columns, "All the people you saw on the streets in Reno were there to get divorces." In Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead, published in 1943, the New York-based female protagonist tells a friend, "I am going to Reno,", taken as a different way of saying "I am going to divorce my husband."
Among others, the Belgian-French writer Georges Simenon, at the time living in the U. S. came to Reno in 1950. The divorce business died as the other states fell in line by passing their own laws easing the requirements for divorce, but gambling continued as a major Reno industry. While gaming pioneers like "Pappy" and Harold Smith of Harold's Club and
The Edge of Night
The Edge of Night is an American television mystery series/soap opera produced by Procter & Gamble. It debuted on CBS on April 2, 1956, ran as a live broadcast on that network for most of its run until November 28, 1975, it is said that the writer P. G. Wodehouse, actress Bette Davis, actress Tallulah Bankhead, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and songwriter Cole Porter were all devoted fans; the Edge of Night, whose working title was The Edge of Darkness, premiered on April 2, 1956, as one of the first two half-hour serials on television, the other being As the World Turns. Prior to the debuts of both shows, 15-minute-long shows had been the standard. Both shows aired on CBS, sponsored by Gamble; the show was conceived as the daytime television version of Perry Mason, popular in novel and radio formats at the time. Mason's creator Erle Stanley Gardner was to create and write the show, but a last-minute tiff between the CBS network and him caused Gardner to pull his support from the idea. CBS insisted that Mason be given a love interest to placate daytime soap opera audiences, but Gardner refused to take Mason in that direction.
Gardner patched up his differences with CBS, Perry Mason debuted in prime time in 1957. In 1956, a writer from the Perry Mason radio show, Irving Vendig, created a retooled idea for daytime television—and The Edge of Night was born. "John Larkin, radio's best identified Perry Mason, was cast as the protagonist-star as a detective as an attorney, in a thinly veiled copy of Perry Mason." Unlike Perry Mason, whose adventures took place in Southern California, the daytime series was set in the fictional Midwestern city of Monticello. A frequent backdrop for the show's early scenes was a restaurant called the Ho-Hi-Ho; the state capital, was known generically as "Capital City". From its beginning in 1956 until 1980, the downtown skyline of the city of Cincinnati stood in as Monticello. Procter & Gamble, which produced the show, is based in Cincinnati. In years, the Los Angeles skyline replaced that of Cincinnati; the skyline motif was eliminated altogether in the final two years of the show, as was the word "The" in the title.
While most soap operas centered on extended families or large hospitals that tended to be insular in their scope, The Edge of Night was the only daytime serial to capture the dynamics of a medium-sized city. Indeed, the city of Monticello—for all of its longtime friendships, age-old family vendettas, insidiously cutthroat district attorneys and bad cops in the proverbial pockets of white-collar mobsters—was as vital a "character" as any human being depicted on the show. During most of the show's run, viewers were treated to an announcer enthusiastically and energetically announcing the show's title, "Theee Edge...of Night!" Bob Dixon was the first announcer in 1956, followed by Herbert Duncan. The two voices most identified with the show, were those of Harry Kramer and Hal Simms, who announced until the series ended in 1984; the Edge of Night played on more artistic levels than any other soap of its time. It was unique among daytime soap operas in that it focused on crime, rather than domestic and romantic matters.
The police, district attorneys, medical examiners of fictional Monticello, USA, dealt with a steady onslaught of gangsters, drug dealers, cultists, international spies, corrupt politicians and murderous debutantes, while at the same time coping with more usual soap opera problems like courtship, divorce, child custody battles, amnesia. The show's particular focus on crime was recognized in 1980, when, in honor of its 25 years on the air, The Edge of Night was given a special Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America; the Edge of Night had more prominent male characters than most soap operas, included genuine humor in its scripts to balance the heaviness of the storylines. The show's central protagonist was Mike Karr, tireless crimefighter, introduced as a police officer, finishing law school; this character evolved from the earlier Perry Mason character on radio. He progressed to the district attorney's office as an assistant district attorney, hung his own shingle as a defense attorney for several years became district attorney of Monticello.
Karr was portrayed by three actors: John Larkin, Laurence Hugo, Forrest Compton. Among the show's cast members who appeared on The Edge of Night early in their careers and gained fame were Mariann Aalda, Leah Ayres, Conrad Bain, David Birney, Dixie Carter, Kate Capshaw, Philip Casnoff, Thom Christopher, Margaret Colin, James Coco, Jacqueline Courtney, John Cullum, Marcia Cross, Frances Fisher, Lucy Lee Flippin, David Froman, Penny Fuller, Scott Glenn, Sam Groom, Don Hastings, Earle Hyman, Željko Ivanek, Peter Kastner, Lori Loughlin, Bill Macy, Nancy Marchand, Doug McKeon, Julianne Moore, John Allen Nelson, Barry Newman, Bebe Neuwirth, Christopher Norris, Antony Ponzini, Lawrence Pressman, Tony Roberts, Reva Rose, Mark Rydell, Dolph Sweet, Millee Taggart, Holland Taylor, Richard Thomas, John Travolta, Ann Wedgeworth and Jacklyn Zeman. Over the years, the show featured many notable performers and celebrities in small cameo appearances, but some in roles important to the storylines. Among the show's guest stars were Willie Aames as Robbie Hamlin, Amanda Blake as Dr. Juliana Stanhower, Dick Cavett as Moe Eberhardt, Nancy Coleman as Elizabeth McGrath #2, Professor Irwin Corey, Selma Diamond, James Dou
Universal Pictures is an American film studio owned by Comcast through the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group division of its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal. Founded in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, Charles O. Baumann, Adam Kessel, Pat Powers, William Swanson, David Horsley, Robert H. Cochrane, Jules Brulatour, it is the oldest surviving film studio in the United States, the world's fifth oldest after Gaumont, Pathé, Nordisk Film, the oldest member of Hollywood's "Big Five" studios in terms of the overall film market, its studios are located in Universal City and its corporate offices are located in New York City. Universal Pictures is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America, was one of the "Little Three" majors during Hollywood's golden age. Universal Studios was founded by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, Charles O. Baumann, Adam Kessel, Pat Powers, William Swanson, David Horsley, Robert H. Cochrane and Jules Brulatour. One story has Laemmle watching a box office for hours, counting patrons and calculating the day's takings.
Within weeks of his Chicago trip, Laemmle gave up dry goods to buy the first several nickelodeons. For Laemmle and other such entrepreneurs, the creation in 1908 of the Edison-backed Motion Picture Trust meant that exhibitors were expected to pay fees for Trust-produced films they showed. Based on the Latham Loop used in cameras and projectors, along with other patents, the Trust collected fees on all aspects of movie production and exhibition, attempted to enforce a monopoly on distribution. Soon and other disgruntled nickelodeon owners decided to avoid paying Edison by producing their own pictures. In June 1909, Laemmle started the Yankee Film Company with partners Abe Julius Stern; that company evolved into the Independent Moving Pictures Company, with studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where many early films in America's first motion picture industry were produced in the early 20th century. Laemmle broke with Edison's custom of refusing to give screen credits to performers. By naming the movie stars, he attracted many of the leading players of the time, contributing to the creation of the star system.
In 1910, he promoted Florence Lawrence known as "The Biograph Girl", actor King Baggot, in what may be the first instance of a studio using stars in its marketing. The Universal Film Manufacturing Company was incorporated in New York on April 30, 1912. Laemmle, who emerged as president in July 1912, was the primary figure in the partnership with Dintenfass, Kessel, Swanson and Brulatour. All would be bought out by Laemmle; the new Universal studio was a vertically integrated company, with movie production and exhibition venues all linked in the same corporate entity, the central element of the Studio system era. Following the westward trend of the industry, by the end of 1912 the company was focusing its production efforts in the Hollywood area. On March 15, 1915, Laemmle opened the world's largest motion picture production facility, Universal City Studios, on a 230-acre converted farm just over the Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood. Studio management became the third facet of Universal's operations, with the studio incorporated as a distinct subsidiary organization.
Unlike other movie moguls, Laemmle opened his studio to tourists. Universal became the largest studio in Hollywood, remained so for a decade. However, it sought an audience in small towns, producing inexpensive melodramas and serials. In its early years Universal released three brands of feature films—Red Feather, low-budget programmers. Directors included Jack Conway, John Ford, Rex Ingram, Robert Z. Leonard, George Marshall and Lois Weber, one of the few women directing films in Hollywood. Despite Laemmle's role as an innovator, he was an cautious studio chief. Unlike rivals Adolph Zukor, William Fox, Marcus Loew, Laemmle chose not to develop a theater chain, he financed all of his own films, refusing to take on debt. This policy nearly bankrupted the studio when actor-director Erich von Stroheim insisted on excessively lavish production values for his films Blind Husbands and Foolish Wives, but Universal shrewdly gained a return on some of the expenditure by launching a sensational ad campaign that attracted moviegoers.
Character actor Lon Chaney became a drawing card for Universal in the 1920s, appearing in dramas. His two biggest hits for Universal were The Phantom of the Opera. During this period Laemmle entrusted most of the production policy decisions to Irving Thalberg. Thalberg had been Laemmle's personal secretary, Laemmle was impressed by his cogent observations of how efficiently the studio could be operated. Promoted to studio chief, Thalberg was giving Universal's product a touch of class, but MGM's head of production Louis B. Mayer lured Thalberg away from Universal with a promise of better pay. Without his guidance Universal became a second-tier studio, would remain so for several decades. In 1926, Universal opened a production unit in Germany, Deutsche Universal-Film AG, under the direction of Joe Pasternak; this unit produced three to four films per year until 1936, migrating to Hungary and Austria in the face of Hitler's increasing domination of central Europe. With the advent of sound, these productions were made in the German language or Hungarian or Polish.
In the U. S. Universal Pictures did not distribute any of this subsidiary's films, but at least some of them were exhibited through othe
The Great Gatsby (1926 film)
The Great Gatsby is a 1926 American silent drama film directed by Herbert Brenon. It is the first film adaptation of the 1925 novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Warner Baxter portrayed Lois Wilson as Daisy Buchanan; the film was produced by Famous Players-Lasky, distributed by Paramount Pictures. The Great Gatsby is now considered lost. A vintage movie trailer displaying short clips of the film still exists. An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, where obsession and tragedy await. Warner Baxter as Jay Gatsby Lois Wilson as Daisy Buchanan Neil Hamilton as Nick Carraway Georgia Hale as Myrtle Wilson William Powell as George Wilson Hale Hamilton as Tom Buchanan George Nash as Charles Wolf Carmelita Geraghty as Jordan Baker Eric Blore as Lord Digby Gunboat Smith as Bert Claire Whitney as Catherine Claude Brooke - Bit part Nancy Kelly - Uncredited role The screenplay was written by Becky Gardiner and Elizabeth Meehan and was based on Owen Davis' stage play treatment of The Great Gatsby.
The play, directed by George Cukor, opened on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre on February 2, 1926. Shortly after the play opened, Famous Players-Lasky and Paramount Pictures purchased the film rights for $45,000; the film's director Herbert Brenon designed The Great Gatsby as lightweight, popular entertainment, playing up the party scenes at Gatsby's mansion and emphasizing their scandalous elements. The film had 7,296 feet. Mordaunt Hall — The New York Times' first regular film critic — wrote in a contemporary review that the film was "good entertainment, but at the same time it is obvious that it would have benefited by more imaginative direction." He lamented that Herbert Brenon's direction lacked subtlety and that none of the actors convincingly developed their characters. He faulted a scene where Daisy gulps absinthe: "She takes enough of this beverage to render the average person unconscious, yet she appears only mildly intoxicated, soon recovers." Hall describes a scene in which Gatsby "tosses twenty-dollar gold pieces into the water, you see a number of the girls diving for the coins.
A clever bit of comedy is introduced by a girl asking what Gatsby is throwing into the water, as soon as this creature hears that they are real gold pieces she unhesitatingly plunges into the pool to get a share. Gatsby appears to throw the money into the water with a good deal of interest, whereas it might have been more effective to have him appear a little bored as he watched the scramble of the men and women."In contrast to Hall's mixed review, journalist Abel Green's November 1926 review published in Variety was more positive. Green deemed Brenon's production to be "serviceable film material" and "a good, interesting gripping cinema exposition of the type certain to be acclaimed by the average fan, with the usual Long Island parties and the rest of those high-hat trimmings thrown in to clinch the argument." The Variety reviewer observed that Gatsby's "Volstead violating" bootlegging was not "a heinous crime despite the existence of a federal statute which declares it so." The reviewer praised Warner Baxter's portrayal of Gatsby and Neil Hamilton's portrayal of Nick Carraway but found Lois Wilson's interpretation of Daisy to be needlessly unsympathetic.
Professor Wheeler Winston Dixon, the James Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln made extensive but unsuccessful attempts to find a surviving print. Dixon noted that there were rumors that a copy survived in an unknown archive in Moscow but dismissed these rumors as unfounded. However, the trailer has survived and is one of the 50 films in the three-disc, boxed DVD set More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931, compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from five American film archives; the trailer has a running time of one minute. It was featured on the Blu-Ray released by Warner Home Video of director Baz Luhrmann's 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby as a special feature; the Great Gatsby trailer on YouTube The Great Gatsby on IMDb Synopsis at AllMovie
Beverly Hills, California
Beverly Hills is a city located in Los Angeles County, United States. Beverly Hills is surrounded by the cities of West Hollywood. Sometimes referred to as "90210," one of its primary ZIP codes, it is home to many celebrities, several hotels, the Rodeo Drive shopping district. A Spanish ranch where lima beans were grown, Beverly Hills was incorporated in 1914 by a group of investors who had failed to find oil, but found water instead and decided to develop it into a town. By 2013, its population had grown to 34,658. Gaspar de Portolá arrived in the area that would become Beverly Hills on August 3, 1769, travelling along native trails which followed the present-day route of Wilshire Boulevard; the area was settled by Maria Rita Quinteros de Valdez and her husband in 1828. They called their 4,500 acres of property the Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas. In 1854, she sold the ranch to Benjamin Davis Henry Hancock. By the 1880s, the ranch had been subdivided into parcels of 75 acres and was being bought up by anglos from Los Angeles and the East coast.
Henry Hammel and Andrew H. Denker used it for farming lima beans. At this point, the area was known as the Denker Ranch. By 1888, Denker and Hammel were planning to build a town called Morocco on their holdings. In 1900, Burton E. Green, Charles A. Canfield, Max Whittier, Frank H. Buck, Henry E. Huntington, William G. Kerckhoff, William F. Herrin, W. S. Porter, Frank H. Balch, formed the Amalgamated Oil Company, bought the Hammel and Denker ranch, began looking for oil, they did not find enough to exploit commercially by the standards of the time, though. In 1906, they reorganized as the Rodeo Land and Water Company, renamed the property "Beverly Hills," subdivided it, began selling lots; the development was named "Beverly Hills" after Beverly Farms in Beverly and because of the hills in the area. The first house in the subdivision was built in 1907. Beverly Hills was one of many all-white planned communities started in the Los Angeles area around this time. Restrictive covenants prohibited non-whites from owning or renting property unless they were employed as servants by white residents.
It was forbidden to sell or rent property to Jews in Beverly Hills. Burton Green began construction on The Beverly Hills Hotel in 1911; the hotel was finished in 1912. The visitors drawn by the hotel were inclined to purchase land in Beverly Hills, by 1914 the subdivision had a high enough population to incorporate as an independent city; that same year, the Rodeo Land and Water Company decided to separate its water business from its real estate business. The Beverly Hills Utility Commission was split off from the land company and incorporated in September 1914, buying all of the utilities-related assets from the Rodeo Land and Water Company. In 1919, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land on Summit Drive and built a mansion, finished in 1921 and nicknamed "Pickfair" by the press; the glamour associated with Fairbanks and Pickford as well as other movie stars who built mansions in the city contributed to its growing appeal. By the early 1920s the population of Beverly Hills had grown enough to make the water supply a political issue.
In 1923 the usual solution, annexation to the city of Los Angeles, was proposed. There was considerable opposition to annexation among such famous residents as Pickford, Will Rogers and Rudolph Valentino; the Beverly Hills Utility Commission, opposed to annexation as well, managed to force the city into a special election and the plan was defeated 337 to 507. In 1925, Beverly Hills approved a bond issue to buy 385 acres for a new campus for UCLA; the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Venice issued bonds to help pay for the new campus. In 1928, the Beverly Wilshire Apartment Hotel opened on Wilshire Boulevard between El Camino and Rodeo drives, part of the old Beverly Hills Speedway; that same year oilman Edward L. Doheny finished construction of Greystone Mansion, a 55-room mansion meant as a wedding present for his son Edward L. Doheny, Jr; the house is now owned by the city of Beverly Hills. In the early 1930s, Santa Monica Park was renamed Beverly Gardens and was extended to span the entire two-mile length of Santa Monica Boulevard through the city.
The Electric Fountain marks the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd. with a small sculpture at the top of a Tongva kneeling in prayer. In April 1931, the new Italian Renaissance-style Beverly Hills City Hall was opened. In the early 1940s, black actors and businessmen had begun to move into Beverly Hills, despite the covenants allowing only whites to live in the city. A neighborhood improvement association attempted to enforce the covenant in court; the defendants included such luminaries as Hattie McDaniel, Louise Beavers, Ethel Waters. Among the white residents supporting the lawsuit against blacks was silent film star Harold Lloyd; the NAACP participated in the defense, successful. In his decision, federal judge Thurmond Clarke said that it was time that "members of the Negro race are accorded, without reservations or evasions, the full rights guaranteed to them under the 14th amendment." The United States Supreme Court declared restrictive covenants unenforceable in 1948 in Shelley v. Kraemer.
A group of Jewish residents of Beverly Hills filed an amicus brief in this case. In 1956, Paul Trousdale purchased the grounds of the Doheny Ranch and developed it into the Trousdale Estates, convincing the city of Beverly Hills to annex it; the neighborhood has been home to Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, Ray Charles