Next week will mark the 53rd anniversary of the death of one of Hollywood’s greatest comedians, Harpo Marx (pictured above). Following his cremation, rumor has it that Harpo’s ashes were scattered in a sand trap on the seventh hole of the Rancho Mirage golf course just outside the Palm Springs, California area.
In case you are unaware, Palm Springs has a unique rental situation. Because of the many luminaries who have lived here over the years, consumers have the opportunity to rent homes which once belonged to these megawatt stars. Take the aforementioned Harpo Marx as an example.
If you are a super fan of the comedian, his magnificent home in Rancho Mirage is available for the nightly rental of about $1800. Keep in mind, this is no ordinary home. Built in 1956, featuring architecture by the renowned Wallace Neff, this 9,071 square foot mansion has 8 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Landscaping is over the top: to reach the front door, one must cross an arched bridge which spans a lagoon with waterfalls. Exterior features include a pool, tennis court, spa, and a three-hole putting green. The open floorplan has 27 foot vaulted and beamed ceilings which create dramatic views of the nearby mountains.
Harpo’s house is one of the cheaper options in the Palm Springs area. For instance, for a mere $4,500 per night, Leonardo DiCaprio’s 7,022 square foot “compound” dominates a 1.3 acre property. Built for Dinah Shore in 1964, these elegant digs contain 6 bedrooms, 7.5 baths, a separate guest house, tennis courts, pool, and spectacular views.
DiCaprio still owns the property, but word is he is too busy to take time to actually live in it.
Other vacation rentals include the Sonny and Cher ultra-secluded home which was originally built as a Spanish style estate for actor Joseph Cotton. Beautiful terracotta floors, spa-like bathrooms, plus the de rigueur Jacuzzi are all part of the package.
Other Palm Springs homes available include those owned by composer Frederick Loewe, Bing Crosby (pictured above), and Merv Griffin. Perhaps the most famous rental is Frank Sinatra’s first home, Twin Palms.
Designed in 1947 as a weekend getaway, the house was originally going to be styled as a Georgian mansion, but Sinatra worked with his architect to create a more non-traditional modern looking home. Measuring in at over 4,500 square feet, the estate has a grand piano-shaped pool, as well as an entire wing dedicated to the master bedroom.
Sinatra certainly enjoyed his time in this mid-century modern masterpiece. It is reported that when the master of the house felt that party time had arrived, he would invite his neighbors by flying a flag that had a Jack Daniel’s emblem on it. All were welcome.
It was once used in a Joan Crawford film called “The Damned Don’t Cry.” Loaning it out to Crawford as a personal favor, Sinatra only allowed exterior shots. Twin Palms is available for rent at $2,600 per night.
On a tangential note, it would be impossible for the Martin Oaks Cemetery & Crematory staff not to comment upon Frank Sinatra’s burial, which took place in Desert Memorial Park in nearby Cathedral City. Even though his funeral took place at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills, California, Sinatra loved the Palm Spring area so much that he wanted to be buried there.
Sinatra’s coffin is said to contain a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, cigarettes, a lighter, and a role of dimes (the latter was something that played a prominent role in his life – when Frank Sinatra, Jr. was kidnapped, Sinatra was taking calls and ran out of dimes for the pay phone. So, for the rest of his life, Sinatra always liked to have change around).
If you note Sinatra’s grave marker, one of his favorite songs, “The Best is Yet to Come,” is memorialized on the stone.
To conclude, the point is if you have the money, come to Palm Springs and stay in the home of your favorite personalities! Not exactly inexpensive, but certainly sentimental.