Palm Springs Became The Home for the Rat Pack
Hollywood’s original bad boys, the Rat Pack, added to Palm Springs luster in the post World War II era. The shenanigans of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford at the Chi Chi Club, Riviera Resort, and other watering holes out there in the desert helped to add to the city cache, but Palm Springs was already renowned as a celebrity destination back in the 20’s when future members of the Rat Pack were still little kids or infants.
Palm Springs had a lot going for it as a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of studio life that already dominated the Hollywood scene by the 20’s. The region already had hotels and golf course where people could relax throughout the year. Yes, the days were hot in summer, but that was just a good reason to hit the links early in the day and while away the afternoons at pool side.
The setting was spectacular perched beneath the towering San Jacinto Mountains, but what made it especially attractive for the Hollywood crowd was the so called “two hour rule” that applied to actors under contract. Because they might be quickly needed for a shoot under special circumstances, Hollywood players under contract were required to remain at all times within two hours travel time of the studios. Palm Springs just managed to make it under that limitation. While the highways out to the resort have been upgraded, the traffic has gotten worse. The two hour rule can still apply just not during the morning or evening rush.
A Home Away from Home for Several Rat Pack Members
Several Rat Pack members including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. so enjoyed their visits to Palm Springs that they ended up purchasing homes there. The Sinatra compound in particular became a favored meeting site for Rat Pack members. Numerous other Hollywood celebrities purchased homes here in the Rat Pack hey days of the 50’s and 60’s.
Bob Hope bought a house here and became such a beloved member of the community that they named a boulevard after him. His partner in all those “Road Movies,” Bing Crosby also had a house here and a street that bears his name. Other luminaries include George Hamilton, Kirk Douglas, and Jack Benny.
The celebrities are not all out of Hollywood or just confined to film and stage. Albert Einstein maintained a home here. The celebrated genius found the star studded skies inspirational and loved to lie out on an easy chair in his back patio and look up at the heavens. He claimed that some of his best thoughts came to him during such moments of relaxation.
Female celebrities are also included on the list of famous folks who choose to have a house in Palm Springs. These include such people as Marilyn Monroe, Lily Tomlin, Dinah Shore, and Elizabeth Taylor. Palm Springs also attracts famous couples such as Carol Lombard and Clark Gable, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez, Elvis and Priscilla Presley, and getting back to the Rat Pack, Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra.