The signs are everywhere–Greetings from California! A state whose name comes from a mythical place (Califia) created in a novel, has become famous around the world for its beaches, lifestyle and culture. Famous people and places have sprung out of this mythical land described as a paradise filled with gold and beautiful women in an early 16th century Spanish romance novel. Not much has changed.
People come from around the world to see and experience the magic they believe they will find in California places with names such as Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. Marketing has helped drive these icons and Hollywood Chamber of Commerce liked the name of their town so much, they even sought to trademark it.
HOLLYWOOD – There are several versions of how Hollywood got its name. Either version attributes the idea to Daeida Wilcox, and her husband Harvey. Version 1: Hollywood got its name in 1887 from Daeida Wilcox, whose husband Harvey, owned the land. Hollywood was the name of the summer home of a woman Mrs. Wilcox had sat beside on a train, and she liked the sound of it. Version 2: Hollywood got its name when Daeida Wilcox learned of the name from her neighbor in Holly Canyon. She recommended the name to her husband, Harvey, who owned the land.
BEVERLY HILLS – There are also several versions of how Beverly Hills got its name. Version 1: Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas Beverly was renamed Beverly, with “Hills” added. Version 2: Beverly Hills was named in 1906 after the town in England. Hills was added in 1911. Version 3: Official City of Beverly Hills version states that Rodeo Land and Water Company was renamed by owner Burton Green and his wife. They called it Beverly Hills after Beverly Farms, Massachusetts.
Celebrities who have made their mark in this “larger than life” destination have had some interesting transformations, as well.
Actors and their real names include:
Marilyn Monroe - Norma Jeane Mortenson
Demi Moore - Demetria Guynes
Danny Thomas - Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz
Whoopi Goldberg - Caryn Elaine Johnson
Lauren Bacall - Betty Joan Perske
Sally Field - Sally Mahoney
Rock Hudson - Roy Schere Jr.
Nicholas Cage - Nicholas Coppola
Dyan Cannon - Simille Frieson
Truman Capote - Truman Streckfus Persons
Doris Day - Doris von Kappelhoff
Ben Kingsley - Krishna Banji
Raquel Welch - Raquel Tejada