Famous Faces and Memories
Fame comes in many forms. And The Roosevelt has seen virtually every kind during its century-long history. The Roosevelt has attracted names that fill volumes of “Who’s Who in American History” or “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”
Sonny and Cher, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe – they’ve all dined or hosted here. Marlene Dietrich was among the famous performers appearing at the Blue Room. In her case, it was near the end of a lengthy career in 1975, and she was requesting oxygen between songs. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Audrey Hepburn, Ginger Rogers and Bob Hope were here. And style and beauty, because what other words better describe Grace Kelly?
From politics to royalty, we have greeted many U.S. Presidents, including Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton; Gaganvihari Lallubhai Mehta, India’s ambassador to the US; HRH Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg; even U.S. Sen. Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin.
And, of course, Huey Long, who was so enamored with the hotel that he reportedly built Airline Highway from Baton Rouge to shorten his drive. The recreated “deduct box” located in the lobby pays tribute to the original, into which it was said government workers deposited “donations” to fund Long’s political aspirations. General Manager Seymour Weiss continued to serve as Long’s financial adviser until Long’s death by an assassin in 1935.
Dignitaries, too, have created their own kind of sparkle at The Roosevelt, including M.J. Rathbone, president of Standard Oil of New Jersey; Upton Close, the fabled war correspondent; even Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan, pilot of the sensational wrong-way flight to Ireland.
Throughout history, The Roosevelt has seen it all.