Roman Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd (Beverly Hills)


Roman Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd (Beverly Hills)

The Church of the Good Shepherd, located at 505 North Bedford Drive is now the oldest church in Beverly Hills. It has only 600 seats.

Over the years, this small house of worship has been the local parish church for most of the Catholic movie stars who live in Beverly Hills, from Rudolph Valentino to Bing Crosby (who both attended Sunday Mass here). It has seen numerous celebrity weddings and funerals. It was the location for the funeral scene in the 1954 film, "A Star Is Born", which starred Judy Garland and James Mason.

Weddings

* Elizabeth Taylor - Conrad "Nicky" Hilton - ended in divorce
* Loretta Young - Tom Lewis - ended in divorce
* Rod Stewart - Rachel Hunter - ended in divorce

Actor Gary Cooper converted to Roman Catholicism at this parish a few years before his death. His funeral service in 1961 was also held at Good Shepherd, on the same day as the 13th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

Funerals

* Rudolph Valentino's 1926 funeral brought out crowds of fans who lined the streets around the church, as well as celebrities of the day such as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Harold Lloyd, William S. Hart, Jesse Lasky and alleged paramour Pola Negri.

* Frank Sinatra's funeral was held at the Good Shepherd (despite his divorces) on May 20 1998. Those who attended (besides his children) included: Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, Robert Wagner and Jill St. John, Jack Lemmon, Sidney Poitier, Jack Nicholson, Nancy Reagan, Jerry Lewis, Wayne Newton, Johnny Carson, Milton Berle, Bruce Springsteen, Debbie Reynolds, Liza Minnelli, Bob Dylan, Tom Selleck, Tony Bennett, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Stack, Mia Farrow, Bob Newhart, Don Rickles, Sophia Loren, Angela Lansbury, Lorna Luft, Diahann Carroll, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Joey Bishop, Tony Danza, Quincy Jones, Dom DeLuise, Tim Conway, Cuba Gooding Jr., Anthony Quinn, Tony Curtis, Jack Paar, Angie Dickinson, Paul Anka, Ben Vereen, Ed McMahon, Red Buttons, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Suzanne Pleshette, Dionne Warwick, Andy Williams, Della Reese, Suzanne Somers, and James Darren. Ironically, Sinatra had attended Gary Cooper's funeral in 1961 at this same church 37 years earlier.

*Danny Thomas' 1991 funeral drew a large crowd of celebrities to the Good Shepherd, including former U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, as well as Loretta Young, Mary Tyler Moore, Phil Donahue, Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Carl Reiner, Joey Bishop and Martha Raye.

* Eva Gabor's funeral was held at Good Shepherd in 1995, despite her divorces. Merv Griffin and Nancy Reagan attended and sat together.

* Mary Frann's funeral was held at the Good Shepherd in 1998; it was a quite small, largely family gathering. Co-star Bob Newhart attended.

Other celebrity funerals here include those of:
* Rita Hayworth (1987), despite her divorces
* William Frawley (1966)
* Vincente Minnelli (1986), despite his divorce
* Alfred Hitchcock (1980)
* Carmen Miranda (1955).

A rosary was said at the church for singer/actress Rosemary Clooney. In attendance were George Clooney, Kathryn Crosby, Frank Sinatra Jr., Brian Wilson, Natalie Cole, Diahann Carroll, and Rose Marie. Her actual funeral service was held at St. Patrick's, in her hometown of Maysville, Kentucky, where her last marriage was held, as well, to Dante DiPaolo in 1997, who survives her.

Other

The Church of the Good Shepherd is located near the All Saints Episcopalian Church. Both churches have tile roofs, but Good Shepherd is the one on the west side of the cactus garden. It features two tall steeples and has a statue out front of Jesus Christ holding a lamb.

Links

* [http://www.seeing-stars.com/Churches/GoodShepherd.shtml History of Weddings and Funerals]
* [http://www.beverlyhillsbehere.com/cvbgeneral.asp?id=606 Info. from Beverly Hills]
* [http://losangeles.citysearch.com/profile/111924/beverly_hills_ca/good_shepherd_catholic_church.html Citysearch.com]


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