Celebrity Photos and Autographs: Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills

by Karen A. Romanko

Every time Hubby and I stop for a burger at the 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood, I always make sure to walk up the stairs to the Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills. I scope out the lobby’s fascinating collection of celebrity photos and accompanying autographs, some with a unique feature...the autographs are on bank checks! I feel a bit like a voyeur, getting a brief glimpse into the personal lives of the famous.

I see an $8 check made out to Hazel Pierce from “Lucille Ball Arnaz” during the I Love Lucy (1951-1957) era. Wonder what that’s for? Seems like a small amount, but in 2019 that translates to $76.46 according to my trusty inflation calculator. Apparently stars have to pay phone bills too, and Desi’s $5.55 check to Pacific Telephone would buy $53.65 worth of service today. Hmm...Lucy and Desi have different banks.

Lucy, Desi, and their checks

A check from “a Martian” would have been a find, but Ray Walston’s autograph, alas, is on plain paper. Walston’s co-star in My Favorite Martian (1963-1966), Bill Bixby, has a check, however, made out to “Equitable Life Assurance Society” under the name of “Wilfred B. Bixby.”

Bixby, Walston, and their autographs

Adam West wrote a check out to “cash” for $50, desirous, no doubt, to camouflage the purchase of batcave furnishings, even after Batman (1966-1968) had been canceled. That $50 in 1981 would buy $140.89 of batsupplies today.

Adam "Batman" West and check

There are many more photos and autographs at Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills, located at 6141 Franklin Ave. in Hollywood. Check it out if you’re in the area, and don’t forget to stop by the 101 Coffee Shop, a retro 60s diner, for a burger or a shake. There’s a jukebox too. Fun, fun!

Ernest Borgnine and friends opposite the lobby elevator

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