Iconic Hollywood Sign Gets Makeover For 90th Birthday

It may be more than 50 miles from Laguna Niguel and Dana Point, but the sign holds special meaning for most So Cal residents. Both cities have connections to Tinseltown.

Celebrities and reality stars aren't the only ones who get makeovers.

The iconic Hollywood sign had yet another moment in the spotlight on Tuesday when the curtain went up showing off its new look, which is once again visible from much of the city.

During the refurbishment, workers removed all existing paint from the
sign's nine 45-foot-tall letters, which were then primed and repainted with two
fresh coats of white lacquer.

"The Hollywood Sign Trust is excited that Hollywood's leading lady
received two tons of makeup in time to celebrate her 90th birthday," said Chris
Baumgart, chairman of the nonprofit trust.

The project cost $175,000, with $140,000 covered by
which donated the paint for the iconic sign, Baumgart said.

Over nine weeks, existing coatings were removed almost entirely by hand
before painters applied more than 100 gallons of primer and paint.

Built by Los Angeles Times then-publisher Harry Chandler in 1923 to
trumpet his Hollywoodland real estate development, the sign quickly became a
giant billboard for a city forever linked to the American movie business.

Locally, Laguna Niguel has Hollywood connections including several Hollywood stars and starlets who once lived here and still do.

For example, the late Warner Bros. starlet Beverly Roberts was a longtime resident and once starred with some of the Hollywood's heavy male hitters including Bogart.

The former resides here and her kids go to the local schools.


owns a home, and many films were made in the city most recently actors Annette Bening and Ed Harris were filming a new comedy.

John Travolta was in Dana Point a few times to film Savages and parts of The Perfect Storm starring George Clooney were also filmed in or near the harbor.

Both cities have many more ties, which you can read about soon on Laguna Niguel Patch.

The Hollywood sign is situated on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains, the sign was initially supposed to remain in place for just 18 months.

It has been upgraded periodically since the late 1940s.

--City News Service contributed to this report.

Barton Mac Leod December 06, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Hollywood will always be our neigbor ... It's glitter has brought so much to the world. I have worked with many of the "Greats" John Wayne, Jim Hutton, Tom Bosley, David Janssen, Malcolm McDowell and many more. The Hollywood sign is like "American Apple Pie" ...
Debbie L. Sklar December 06, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Bart: You are so right. It's a shame we do not have the real celebrities that were around during the Golden Years of Hollywood. Today we have reality stars who get paid a lot of money for having no talent.
Shirley December 06, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Interesting article Debbie, I am reminded how close we are to Hollywood & how many actors & actresses have live in south county over the years. This also reminds me that many also have homes in our neighboring city, Laguna Beach. What about this "Did you know" thing? Makes me wonder what I can contribute to that.
Debbie L. Sklar December 06, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Shirley: Thanks, I agree with you 100 percent. I plan to start a series about all the wonderful Hollywood connected history here in South County starting in 2013.
ms.sc. December 07, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I was surprised to find out it only cost $175,000 to refinish the iconic letters. Interesting article Debbie, I look foreward to your series!


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