Explore Palm Springs: William Gargan

Movie star, Oscar nominee made his home here



William Gargan and his wife, Mary, at Palm Springs’ own Our Lady of Solitude Church.

Courtest of the Palm Springs Historical Society

 

Actor William Gargan appeared in his first film in 1928 where he played a bit part in a movie called Lucky Boy, directed by Norman Taurog.

His career quickly took off and by 1940 he had appeared in more than 55 motion pictures. He credits included Alibi for Murder, Some Blondes Are Dangerous, and They Knew What They Wanted, co-starring with Carole Lombard and Charles Laughton.

In the latter movie, Gargan was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also experienced much success on the radio/television series, Martin Kane, where he played Kane, a private detective. According to the Internet Movie Database, he was one of few actors to play a private eye who had actually been one in real life.

The photos show Gargan and his wife, Mary, at Palm Springs’ own Our Lady of Solitude Church where they likely have just renewed their vows. The couple was first married in 1928 and remained together until Gargan’s death in 1979.

Gargan and his wife maintained a beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival home in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood for many years. Unfortunately, Gargan suffered throat cancer in the late 1950s, which ended his acting career.

He subsequently became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, warning of the dangers of smoking cigarettes by pleading with listeners through an artificial voice box.

As the city celebrates its 75th anniversary, there is a multitude of ways to learn more about this desert treasure. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.

The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive. For more information, visit www.pshistoricalsociety.org

Like what you're reading? Then "Like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Explore Palm Springs: Little League Baseball

Palm Springs Mayor Florian Boyd tossed out the first baseball of the opening game of the 1956 Palm Springs Little League Series on June 7, 1956.

Explore Palm Springs: Oliver S. McKinney

Oliver S. McKinney found a way to tap into the water source that helped the Greater Palm Springs area flourish.

Explore Palm Springs: Harry's Café

The graduation class from Nellie Coffman Junior High in Palm Springs celebrated its promotion to Palm Springs High School at Harry’s Cafe, which later became a Frank Sinatra hangout called Ruby's Dunes.

Explore Palm Springs: Memorial Day

American Legion Owen Coffman Post 519 in Palm Springs has historically honored local servicemen and women who were killed in action. This year they will honor 27 local residents from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Explore Palm Springs: The Desert Turf Club

Seventy-five Coachella Valley officials gathered on May 3, 1957, to watch as bulldozers began to break up the sand dunes in an attempt to transform the barren desert into The Desert Turf Club, a luxury horseracing track.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

McCallum Theatre Broadway Blockbusters Experience!

McCallum Theatre Broadway Blockbusters Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the four 2015-2016 Broadway Blockbusters Series shows.
Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couples getaway
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Edit ModuleShow Tags