The benevolent ghosts of celebrities past continue to roam the thoroughfares of Rancho Mirage, illuminating our path.
Where else in America can you turn right from Bob Hope onto Gerald Ford — or find your way from Palm Springs to Palm Desert via Dinah Shore? But who, exactly, were these stars who so generously lent their names to our streets?
Burns and Allen Road
Vaudeville, radio, film, and TV stars George Burns and Gracie Allen were a team on- and offstage for more than 40 years. Upon his death at age 100, the Oscar winner made sure to give his love top billing on the marker of the crypt they share.
Barbara Stanwyck Road
A four-time Oscar nominee and winner of multiple Emmys, this actress, model, and dancer left her mark on Hollywood via television’s The Big Valley and The Thorn Birds and in films like Double Indemnity and Stella Dallas.
Bing Crosby Drive
Sure, this actor-crooner won an Oscar for playing Father Chuck O’Malley in 1944’s Going My Way, but it’s his 1942 recording of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas — by some accounts still the biggest-selling single of all time — that keeps him relevant. His rendition was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Bob Hope Drive
The revered Emmy-winning, British-born comedian was also an accomplished actor, singer, dancer, and author. He and wife Dolores were instrumental in bettering their beloved desert. Chief among their accomplishments is the donation of land to help establish Eisenhower Medical Center (now Eisenhower Health)
Claudette Colbert Road
A French-born stage and film actress, she played Broadway (earning a 1959 Tony nomination for The Marriage-Go-Round), did TV (receiving a 1987 Emmy nomination for The Two Mrs. Grenvilles), and appeared on the silver screen (winning the 1934 Best Actress Oscar for It Happened One Night).
Danny Kaye Road
Known as much for his cooking and airplane piloting as for netting an Emmy and two Golden Globes for his acting, dancing, and singing, Kaye’s most important legacy may be philanthropy. He served as the first ambassador-at-large for UNICEF in 1954, and as a result, the French Legion of Honor was bestowed upon him in 1986.
Dean Martin Drive
One of the original Rat Packers, this singer-actor-comedian handily conquered every corner of the entertainment industry. His 10-year friendship and professional partnership with Jerry Lewis — from 1946 to 1956 — yielded some of the best live, radio, TV, and film material of his career.
Dinah Shore Drive
This singer-actress-TV host — winner of two Daytime and six Primetime Emmys — charted more than 80 pop hits between 1940 and 1957. In 1972 she was asked to lend her name to the desert’s Colgate Dinah Shore Golf Tournament. Known today as the ANA Inspiration, it is the first major tournament on the LPGA tour.
Frank Sinatra Drive
Ol’ Blue Eyes was the leader of the Rat Pack, a singer and actor who earned an Oscar, two Golden Globes, and nine Grammys during his illustrious career. More than 150 million records sold worldwide? Not bad. Originally known as Wonder Park Road, the street’s name was changed while Frank and his wife, Barbara, were living at No. 70588.
Gerald Ford Drive
Our country’s 38th president retired to the desert following his long government career in Washington, D.C., while his wife established Rancho Mirage’s Betty Ford Center, which, for decades, has helped many overcome addiction.
Ginger Rogers Road
Vaudeville led to Broadway and movies (nine with dancing partner Fred Astaire) for the singer, dancer, and thespian who won the 1940 Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Kitty Foyle.
Greer Garson Road
A British singer and actress, she was one of America’s top box office draws from 1942 to 1946. She won a Best Actress Oscar for 1942’s Mrs. Miniver and was nominated six other times (five of those consecutively).
Jack Benny Road
This comic violinist made his mark in vaudeville, radio, TV, and film. A founding member of Tamarisk Country Club (alongside Danny Kaye, George Burns, and four of five Marx Brothers), the double Emmy winner was known to send his radio show out onto the airwaves from Palm Springs’ Plaza Theater.
Kaye Ballard Lane
Theater, film, TV — Ballard did it all and then some before retiring in 2015 at the age of 89. Ballard, who passed away in January 2019, lived on the street named in her honor. “I love it,” she said in an interview. “It makes you feel a little bit appreciated. It’s as simple as that!”
Four of the five Marx Brothers — Groucho, Harpo, Gummo, and Zeppo — lived in various homes throughout Rancho Mirage (including those at Tamarisk Country Club, in whose founding they participated). From 1905 to 1949, the famously funny sibs dominated vaudeville, Broadway, and motion pictures, earning their well-deserved reputation as five of the most significant comedians in history.