Deseret News Archives, Deseret News Archives
In 1911, acclaimed turn-of-the-century French actress Sarah Bernhardt came to Salt Lake City. She was to perform, as an advertisement phrased it, "the poetic play 'L'Aiglon.'" She did not stay at the Hotel Utah. It was days away from opening its doors. As it turned out, American Broadway actress Ethel Barrymore had a reservation the week the hotel made its debut. She was the first "big dramatic star to visit the house," the Deseret Evening News reported.
During its three-quarters of a century, the hotel hosted hundreds of celebrities and politicians, including every U.S. president from William Howard Taft in 1912 to Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, the Web site www.hotelutah100.com reports. Here's a smattering from the Hotel Utah's "Who's Who."
Ethel Barrymore, Broadway actress
William Howard Taft, U.S. president
Woodrow Wilson, U.S. president
William Jennings Bryan, politician
Warren G. Harding, U.S. president
Herbert Hoover, U.S. president
Jack Dempsey, boxer-entrepreneur
Wallace Berry, actor
Will Rogers, comedian-actor
Florenz Ziegfield, Broadway showman
Franklin D. Roosevelt, U.S. president
Myrna Loy, actress
Shirley Temple, child actress
Basil Rathbone, actor
Jack Benny, comedian-actor
Jawaharlal Nehru, ambassador-future prime minister of India
Fred Astaire, dancer-actor
Bob Hope, actor-comedian
Eleanor Roosevelt, U.S. first lady
Olivia de Haviland, actress
Harry S. Truman, U.S. president
Cecil B. DeMille, movie director
Gloria Swanson, actress
Ralph J. Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Bing Crosby, actor-singer
Marian Anderson, concert singer
Freddy Martin, big band leader
Natalie Wood, actress
Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. president
Gregory Peck, actor
William Holden, actor
Louis Armstrong, jazz singer-trumpeter
Elvis Presley, king of rock 'n' roll
Kim Novak, actress
Dinah Shore, singer-TV host
John F. Kennedy, U.S. president
Ella Fitzgerald, singer
Lyndon Baines Johnson, U.S. president
Ladybird Johnson, U.S. first lady
Phyllis Diller, comedian-actress
Neil Diamond, singer
Luciano Pavarotti, operatic tenor
Richard M. Nixon, U.S. president
Cliff Robertson, actor
Dina Merrill, actress-socialite
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