From the Archives: Red Cross Day at Hollywood Park

The stars attended a charity fundraiser at the track for the Red Cross. Times sports writer Paul Lowry reported the next morning:

Red Cross day brought a crowd of 18,500 persons to Hollywood Park yesterday afternoon and tossed records into the discard right and left. The returns to the mercy fund were estimated at $40,000 by the track management. The exact total will not be known until a complete check is made of pari-mutuel handle, concessions, admissions, program sales and other items. Jockeys donated their services, owners split their purses.

It was a day of superlatives.

America’s most beautiful movie queens crowned the winners.

And their counterparts, gallant heroes of the screen, served as honorary stewards.


Don Ameche was the master of ceremonies.

Neil S. McCarthy’s Ben Ben won the $10,000 Red Cross Handicap …

Myrna Loy crowned the winner, assisted by the honorary steward of the race, Admiral Middleton Elliot.

Others who crowned winners were Mary Martin, Priscilla Lane, Hedy Lamarr, Rosemary Lane, Irene Dunne, Olivia De Havilland and Virginia Field. As honorary stewards in the stand opposite the judges’ post, Edward G. Robinson, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Richard Green, Bing Crosby, Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney took their turns.

This classic Hollywood image was actually not published the next day in The Times. It appeared years later in the 1999 Los Angeles Times book, “High Exposure: Hollywood Lives Found Photos from the Archives of the Los Angeles Times.”

This post was originally published on Oct. 6, 2011.

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here