Palm Springs, CA, has been a hideaway for celebrities since the 1920s; the desert location, with its unique microclimate and dry weather, was seen as a “tonic” for those looking to escape the stress and pressure of Hollywood. In the early and mid-1900s, there was a “two-hour rule,” meaning stars couldn’t live further than two hours away from set in case they were called back to work unexpectedly. Palm Springs became the perfect destination for celebrities who needed to stay close but desired privacy.
There was no shortage of celebrities in Palm Springs, with Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Lauren Bacall, Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, Sonny Bono, and briefly Elvis Presley as residents. Even Walt Disney owned a home in Palm Springs.
Many of the famous residents lived in the Movie Colony neighborhood or had their own custom houses built. Futuristic then and nostalgic today, celebrity homes in Palm Springs stand apart from the usual mid-century modern look. These glamorous homes, among the desert landscape, hosted the parties and sordid affairs that defined Palm Springs’s legendary golden era.