Hotel Del Coronado Celebrates 50 Years Of ‘Some Like It Hot' - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: News

Hotel Del Coronado Celebrates 50 Years Of ‘Some Like It Hot'

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Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2009 12:00 am

The Hotel del Coronado celebrated the 50th anniversary of iconic film “Some Like It Hot” the weekend of Sept. 18 - 20 with actor Tony Curtis, Laurence Maslon, author of “Some Like It Hot - the Official 50th Anniversary Companion” and members of Sweet Sue, the all-girl band from the film.

Voted the number one comedy of all time by the American Film Institute, the 1959 film was directed by Billy Wilder and shot at the Del.

The official weekend began Friday night, Sept. 18 with a reception and chef's tasting menu along with a cabaret performance with Broadway singer/actor Nancy Anderson. Earlier in the day, a press junket was held for Curtis, Maslon and the ladies from the band, which included Marian Collier - “Olga,” clarinet/alto sax; Mary Foley Dunne - violin; Joan Kayne Nicholas - “Betty,” clarinet; Penny McGuiggan - “Maude,” trumpet; Lori Mitchell - “Mary Lou,” trumpet; Tracy Moss - “Gloria,” harp/clarinet; Sandra Warner Gendel - “Emily,” tenor sax and Grace Lee Whitney - “Rosella,” trumpet.

In the holding room the ladies were a buzz with excitement. “We haven't been together, all of us like this, for quite some time,” said McGuiggan. “I think the last time was when we were photographed for the stamp.” Reminiscence was the order of the day as the ladies recalled their lives before after the film.

“They said it was originally supposed to be a four to six-week shoot,” said Dunne. “I was working at Columbia (Pictures) as a receptionist when one day, out of the blue, my boss walks in and says, ‘I just got you a job in a movie.' Apparently they needed a violinist who was decent-looking, I guess there weren't many around at the time,” she said laughing. “My boss knew that I was a classically-trained concert violinist so I took it as a compliment that he'd recommended me.”

Dunne said as time passed it became clear that the shoot was going to be longer than four to six weeks. “My boss called and told me that he couldn't hold my job anymore. I really liked working there but at this point I was committed to the film. It felt like we were there for nine months but everyone's telling me it was only four. I guess that's what happens when you get old,” she said smiling.

Dunne said her life went back to normal after the film wrapped. “I got married, got divorced, married again, got divorced. This last one is it.” And what about the violin? “I haven't taken it out of its case since then Š that's so sad. I was hoping one of my children would take it up but they're interested in other things,” she said.

For Whitney “Some Like It Hot” was a bullet point in a film, television, stage and singing career that spanned six decades. Known mostly for her role in the Star Trek series both in television and in film as Yeoman Janice Rand, Whitney is the author of “The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy.” Marian Collier's career continued as well in television and film, more prolifically in the Lethal Weapon series as did McGuiggan's, in films prior to “Some Like It Hot” and related television appearances after.

The weekend continued with a behind-the-scenes champagne reception at the hotel Saturday, Sept. 19 where fans of the film had the opportunity to meet Maslon and reap the entertainment fruits of his labors from interviewing cast members and researching the film, as well as participate in a book signing. The highlight of the evening, however, was the aptly-named “A Night with Tony Curtis.” Billed by the hotel as a reception and buffet dinner featuring classic menu items including some of Marilyn's favorite dishes Curtis recounted behind-the-scenes stories from the filming of ‘Some Like It Hot' and presented a retrospective video of his career.

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  • danwat1234 posted at 11:07 pm on Thu, Nov 28, 2019.

    danwat1234 Posts: 1

    Ok, so then your mother is not the actress, Sandra Warner?

    Now we know.

  • Sandywarner posted at 6:53 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2019.

    Sandywarner Posts: 0

    This is her daughter Jennifer my mother sandra is alive. She did not pass away in 1995 not sure why imdb says this but its incorrect

  • Sandywarner posted at 6:48 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2019.

    Sandywarner Posts: 0

    This is her daughter Jennifer. My mother sandy warner is alive . Whomever wrote that she passed is very wrong

  • danwat1234 posted at 3:27 pm on Thu, Jun 27, 2019.

    danwat1234 Posts: 1

    I thought Sandra Warner, the woman who played Stephanie Carew on an episode of Perry Mason, died On April 14th, 1995? IMDb says this. Wikipedia on the other hand says she is still alive. Or is this a different Sandra Warner?