Hotel Utah's famous guests

By Ray Boren

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, June 7 2011 4:00 p.m. MDT

Jimmy Stewart, at the Hotel Utah Feb. 24, 1984. Deseret News Archive

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

Liberace, pianist-entertainer

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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