A CELEBRATION OF LIFE FOR GLORIA GREER, PALM SPRINGS AMBASSADOR TO THE WORLD
The Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs was the venue for the celebration of the life and legacy of Gloria Greer, local entertainment and society journalist, on the chilly evening of November 30th. Greer, whose byline appeared in hundreds of columns, magazines, television appearances and more for over 50 years was honored by friends, fans and family whose lives were touched by her non-stop reporting on the desert’s social scene. Her spirited reporting on celebrities the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, President Gerald R. Ford, Ambassador Walter Annenberg, Lucille Ball, Kurt Douglas and Donald Trump, not to mention Elvis Presley helped bring Palm Springs into the international limelight.
Gloria was known throughout the desert for her popular column in Palm Springs Life magazine where her thorough coverage of events from the Palm Springs International Film Festival and philanthropic events year round were a must read for those who looked forward to her monthly chronicle, including this reporter. “This was truly a remarkable evening for all who cherished the glamour and history of the desert,” said Grace Robbins, her longtime friend. “I met Gloria in the South of France in the 1970s on my yacht, the Gracara. I knew nothing about Palm Springs and Gloria raved about all that has made Palm Springs a legend. I wanted to know everything about it, and ended up living here, all thanks to Gloria’s enthusiasm. I owe a lot to her,” Robbins added.
Guests began arriving at the Camelot Theatre’s tented terrace around 5PM for a reception and were seated inside by 6PM. Already seated for the event in the front row were Carol Channing, Bea Levy and Dr. Joe King.
Pianist Rush Robinson charmed the audience with mellow hits from the 1950s and beyond such as “I’ll be Seeing You “ and “Our Love is here to Stay”. Gloria’s daughters Ann and Norma welcomed guests as commentaries from Peggy Cravens, lifelong friend, Karen Devine, KESQ-TV news anchor, Amy Blaisdell, Communications director for Palm Springs and others remembered Gloria and her irrepressibly upbeat attitude.
Images of Gloria’s youth revealed growing up in New York City followed by snapshots from the 1930s taken in Los Angeles, enhanced by clips from her television segment, “Stars on the Desert” broadcast on KMIR-TV, the Coachella Valley’s NBC affiliate, that focused on the charities and local celebrities calling the desert home. Gloria’s inimitable smile was captured in images from her youth throughout.
Of Ms. Greer, “She made Palm Springs the place to be,” said Ruta Lee, Gloria’s “little sister” who brought guests to tears and laughter with her well-chosen words and impeccable sense of timing. “It was an evening Gloria would have loved,” said Ric Supple, the long time owner of RR Broadcasting.