To many, William Holden, the star from Hollywood’s Golden Age is the most famous person to hail from South Pasadena. During the late 1940s and early 1950s he was the most in-demand male movie star and starred in now-classic films like “Sunset Boulevard”, “Splendor in the Grass”, “Union Station’, “Born Yesterday” and dozens more.
Exactly 100 years from the day William Holden was born, on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, a very special centennial event will be presented in the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room at 7:30 p.m. The celebration will feature a 30 minute piano performance by David Batt, a recording artist who has released 2 CDs under his own name and 3 under the moniker, Yrsan Daro. David recently retired as the Finance Director of the City of South Pasadena.
The event will also feature a video tribute to William Holden by Stefanie Powers, perhaps best known as “The Girl From Uncle” TV series and for co-starring in the popular “Hart to Hart” TV series. Stefanie was the William Holden’s intimate partner for about 10 years before he passed away tragically in 1992 and she has remained very active as an actress and as the President of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation.
After Stefanie, the event will present a screening of the classic, “The Country Girl” (1954), a riveting film that showcases three stellar acting performances by Holden, Bing Crosby, and Grace Kelly who was accorded the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal. The film was also nominated for Best Picture of the Year, and an Academy Award for writer/director George Seaton’s spellbinding screenplay.
William Holden plays a hotshot Broadway director in need of a big name star for his new stage production. Bing Crosby plays a former musical star desperate to make a comeback, and Grace Kelly is “the Country Girl”, Crosby’s long-suffering wife who’s both weary of her husband’s weaknesses and wary of Holden’s motives. In all, the film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards.
The Library Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. Doors will open for the free event at 7:00 p.m. The entertainment will start with the piano performance by David Batt at 7:30 p.m. No tickets or reservations are necessary and refreshments will be served. A special exhibit of William Holden movie posters will be on display.
The celebration is presented by the South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, and the Friends of the Rialto Theatre, with special thanks to The William Holden International Wildlife Foundation, Kathy Bartels, 210eastsound, and the Rotary Club of South Pasadena who will be conducting their 7th Annual Taste of South Pasadena fundraising event on April 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 28 eateries within walking distance of the Library.
Free parking is available after noon at the Mission Meridian Parking Garage located at 805 Meridian Avenue adjacent to the Metro Gold Line Station, only one block from the Library. Upon request made no later than four (4) business days before the event, the City will provide a reasonable accommodation for a qualified person with a disability to have equal access to the event. Please contact ADA Coordinator and Human Resources Manager, Mariam Lee Ko, at (626) 403-7312 or fill out the City’s request form available at www.southpasadenaca.gov and email the form to Human Resources at HR@southpasadenaca.gov