HOORAY For Hollywood!!

My dear friend and Chicago’s own extraordinary photographer, Steve Starr had the opportunity to hang out in Hollywood last month to catch a few stars of his own!! What he brought back was beautiful.

Enjoy Steve’s posting, along with his AMAZING photos, of course!!

Steve Starr invades Academy Awards 2011 Photo courtesy of Steve Starr

Steve Starr ~ Reporting from Hollywood ~ Oscar weekend 2011.

I love riding the plane across the country to California… this time on wonderful American Airlines… the gorgeous corals, blues, turquoises and gold surrounding the snow-topped Rocky Mountain ranges and the cumulus and stratus clouds… it still is a magical world. Hollywood, at least in the mind is still a magical town. It is not the Hollywood of the glamour days of the mid 20th century and certainly no longer the exciting little sleepy place full of fresh air and orange groves and pepper trees of the days when the magic of motion pictures was so new and ethereal then.

Hollywood is now large and loud, beautiful and a little seedy too. It still captures the imagination of the world with its enormous Oscar event attracting fans and press from around the world. It is the center of glamour and excitement on Oscar weekend and there are literally hundreds of parties to celebrate the event. 

I attended Night of a Hundred Stars at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, invited by Irene Michaels, where a few hundred television directors, producers and actors, music stars, gorgeous models and former Oscar winners walked the enormous 200-foot-long “step-and-repeat” to be photographed by at least sixty photographers and video cameras.

Following the event, I attended BJ Murrays Third Annual Oscar Gathering party back in Hollywood along with our Red Carpet Concierge team and it was filled with friendly people, many who once lived in Chicago and New York and are now in Hollywood for a myriad of reasons, most of them because they are in the film world.

The Saturday before the Oscars, I had an interview with Carley Johnson of the Directors Guild Magazine at the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, Musso and Frank’s, on Hollywood Boulevard. Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra and everyone you can imagine once ate at the charming establishment with round leather booths, built in 1919 and still retaining the original murals and decor.

My new book, STARRLIGHT-Glamorous Latin Movie Stars of Early Hollywood featuring Rita Hayworth and Carmen Miranda will be reviewed and featured in an upcoming edition of the beautiful periodical, and I will be submitting to them a new story on one of my favorite 1940s Film Noir stars, Ida Lupino, who excellently directed films and television scripts as well. 

I visited the Hollywood Museum which has a large permanent exhibition of Marilyn Monroe as well as numerous costumes and objects from famous movies, and ate at the famed Mel’s Diner across the street from the Kodak Theatre.

Just to be on the Red Carpet at the Kodak was an experience to remember forever. Seeing the other journalists from around the world, watching Tim Gunn prepare for the enormous onslaught of fashion and stars he would interview and the hundreds of cameras getting ready for the biggest night of the year was great excitement.

The photos of me there are among my favorite ever. It was thrilling and next year there will be many more pictures as I continue my favorite profession.

Thank you so much to Sandra Smith-Doghmi of Red Carpet Concierge of Chicago for including me in the excursion.
                                                                                                                                       Steve Starr

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