Before there was Beverly Hills, during the silent film days, Whitley Heights was where the famous stars of Hollywood lived. Francis X. Bushman had a large, opulent house, with the first swimming pool built in the area and Rudolph Valentino lived off Wedgwood Place.
Villa Valentino, 6776 Wedgewood Place, Whitley Heights, built in 1922, this was the site of the home Valentino shared with Natacha Rambova in upscale Whitley Heights just north of Hollywood. In 1951 the state of California paid Tom Lyle Williams, $90,000, intending to demolish it to make way for the Hollywood Freeway. The foundation of the home survives and can still be seen from the freeway.The foundation to the home is still visible from the freeway.
Traveling along Franklin Avenue, the east/west thoroughfare north of Hollywood Blvd., you might not notice the most historic enclave of 1920s residences from the Golden Era of silent films and speakeasies, aka The Roaring Twenties, rising above Franklin Avenue. And roar they did in those days of high living, laughter and a new industry that seemed to have no bounds. Ethel Barrymore, Charlie Chaplin, Marion Davies, W.C. Fields, Harold Lloyd, Carole Lombard, Rudolph Valentino and many others lived and held legendary parties that marked an era and the early Hollywood film industry.
|Tom Lyle Williams on the left, followed by his sister Mabel, her husband Chet Hewes, and his sister Eva and her husband Ches Haines. Notice the statue, Aspiration in the background.|
Read more about Tom Lyle Williams and his love affair with the Villa Valentino, in The Maybelline Story, buy a signed copy today at www.maybelliestory.com.