Wide range of pros settle in Palm Springs
Producer (“Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen,” “Nashville,” “The Karate Kid,” “Oh, God!”)
Producer Jerry Weintraub’s career has spanned more than 50 years, linking the glamour of the Rat Pack era to the George Clooney/Brad Pitt “Ocean’s Eleven” remakes of today. He produced Elvis Presley’s first arena tour, presented Frank Sinatra at Madison Square Garden in the “first around-the-world-by-satellite” concert, and has worked with Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and Neil Diamond.
He first came to Palm Springs 45 years ago, “because I was in business with Sinatra and Elvis, who both had homes here, along with Col. Tom Parker. I loved to play tennis, and they had great golf and great weather here, so I bought a home, too.”
Today, Weintraub lives in a “very exciting, contemporary” Guy Dreier-designed home, perched high above the valley in Palm Desert, which also showcases his extensive collection of modern art.
“There’s always been a very vibrant film community here, as we all used to come here on the weekends,” he recalls. “It was the weekend getaway for everyone from Hollywood, as it was just two hours away and beautiful, and very quiet in those days. It’s not so quiet now, but I still love it.”
Weintraub received a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars recently and will accept the SAG Foundation Patron of the Arts award at the film fest.
Writer (“Northern Exposure”; two films in development at Utopia Pictures: “Evan’s Crime” and “Glazed-Over”)
- In Palm Springs since 2003.
- Only in P.S.: “My wife was looking for a dining room table, we met this designer and ended up buying this big house there — but no regrets at all.”
Film & TV director (“Jericho,” “Numbers”), d.p. and former stuntman (“Apocalypse Now,” “Days of Thunder”)
- In Palm Springs since 1987.
- Only in P.S.: “It ‘s close to L.A., a great place to play golf, one of the scenic wonders of California, and has the perfect climate for when I need to warm my old stuntman joints.”
Mark Shane Davis
Key grip (“Pulp Fiction,” “Blue Velvet,” shooting “Comeback” for the Weinstein Co.)
- In Palm Springs since 2000.
- Only in P.S.: “You see great old convertibles driving past ’50s-style homes. It reminds me of old-Hollywood glamour and how Beverly Hills must have been a long time ago.”
Production designer (“The Sixth Sense,” “Signs”) and short filmmaker (“The Stranger,” “Greetings From America”)
- Full-time, year-round (“and that includes the really hot summer”) resident of Palm Springs since 2005.
- Only in P.S.: “Being 58 and being considered a ‘young’ filmmaker … priceless.”
Host of “Entertainment Tonight”
- Has been in her Palm Desert Home for eight years.
- “The desert is a great escape for the best R&R; golfing, hiking and stargazing, the kind that requires a telescope. The best Hollywood stargazing, however, is the Palm Springs Film Festival — truly a star-studded A-list event.”
Producer (“Face/Off,” “Charlie Bartlett,” “Youth in Revolt”)
- Second home since 1999.
- Only in P.S.: “I’ve been escaping to Palm Springs for the peace and tranquility since early in my career, beginning with trips to the renowned Racket Club where I forged friendships with Hollywood notables from Greg Bautzer (who later became my first attorney) to former studio owner Kirk Kerkorian.”
Hairdresser (five-time Emmy nominee for “Alias”; does Jennifer Love Hewitt’s hair on “Ghost Whisperer”)
- In Palm Springs since 2003.
- Only in P.S.: “It’s the perfect two-hour-away retreat. I head out there the moment we finish shooting on Friday and don’t come back till Sunday night. It’s also a great place to socialize with other industry people living there.”
Singer (“Moon River,” “Dear Heart,” etc.)
- Built his home in La Quinta in 1965.
- Only in P.S.: “A good friend, Ed Crowley, was president of the old La Quinta Golf Course, which is where they used to play Bob Hope’s tournament. In order to coax me to come down, Ed got me a membership in the club as well as a free lot where I later built my home. Understand, in those days, the area was pretty barren. What I love about it is the weather and that same golf course, which I now frequent each year for almost all of the winter. I’ll go there after I finish my Christmas tour and stay until the beginning of spring.”
Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson
Actor, writer (“Starsky and Hutch,” “Delta Force Commando”)
- In Palm Springs since 1997.
- Only in P.S.: “Out here you realize there’s far more to life than your next role or appointment in Hollywood. No one cares what role you’re getting. They just want a good round of golf.”
Makeup artist (“Ironman,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” currently working on Jerry Bruckheimer’s “G-Force”)
- In Palm Springs since 2004.
- Only in P.S.: “After a long week and long hours of shooting, it’s the perfect, calming getaway. The Palme d’Or theater near me in Palm Desert always shows the best films.”