Hollywood Hospital to Close – Hospital and Nursing Home Facility for Actors and Actresses
Posted Mar 07 2009 2:57pm
The facility is located in the San Fernando Valley and will require moving 100 patients and has been run by the Motion Picture Relief Fund and was a place for the “needy” to retire and be taken care of. The hospital facility is one more victim of today’s economy. Recently in the news there were picket lines and around 300 people will be looking for work. BD
In 1940, Hollywood humanitarian Jean Hersholt purchased 48 acres of walnut and orange groves in the far reaches of the San Fernando Valley for a hospital to be run by the Motion Picture Relief Fund.
Hersholt, a popular character actor of the day, was president of the fund, which had been founded 20 years earlier by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and others to aid needy members of the film industry.
After a delay caused by World War II, the Woodland Hills hospital was finally completed in 1948. Among those attending the opening ceremonies were Robert Young, Shirley Temple, Ronald Reagan and Hersholt, who is probably best known today as the namesake of a special Oscar recognizing charitable work - most recently given to Jerry Lewis.
Reports of the closure, which will displace more than 100 long-term patients and eliminate some 300 jobs by the time it's complete at the end of the year, sparked a recent picket line of 200 people at the MPTF's nearby headquarters. Among the protesters was John Schneider of "Smallville" and "Dukes of Hazzard" fame.
"Many people look forward to coming here and I am one of them," Schneider said. "This decision was indeed a fiscal decision. We didn't lose the debate. We weren't even invited to the debate."