Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Harold Lloyd's Christmas Tree

Famous Silent Film Star Harold Lyloyd

Harold and his wife actress Mildred Davis started decorating from Thanksgiving till Christmas.

The tree was constructed from several trees, he drilled holes in its trunk and inserted branches cut from the remaining trees. He secured them with bamboo poles and wire to build a 14 by 9 foot frame with limbs that never sagged.
Lloyd collected ornaments, and one year he bought a Saks Fith Avenue Christmas display, ALL Of It.  He would spend weeks on a ladder layer after layer until complete. His daughter recalls counting 5,000 ornaments on the tree with enough left over to decorate at least 3 more trees the same size. She says eventually the tree became a permanent fixture year round as it was to massive to dismantle.
Greenacres was their home in Beverly Hills construction started in 1926 and completed in 1929 at the cost of 2 Million Dollars. It boasted no less than 44 rooms. Lloyd passed away in 1971, the home was opened as a museum and closed shortly after in 1975. The home was later sold, and the 16 acres subdivided.  

Christopher Radko has duplicated 2 of Lloyds ornaments, The Rose Ornament which was a gift from Silent Film Star Gloria Swanson, and Holiday Bounty Ornament gifted from Charlie Chaplin.



Shelia said...

Hi Cathleen! Oh, this was a great post. Who would have thought the funny man would have been so meticulous about his Christmas tree! It's truly beautiful! Thanks for the Hollywood history, I love it.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Shelia said...

I'm back! Oh, I accidentally clicked the wrong thing about my new floors post. It's supposed to be up tomorrow. I published it by mistake and then deleted it! I'm a silly!
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Catherine said...

Thanks for sharing this great story - I'd never heard this before.

Ann said...

THat is such an interesting post to read. And I love Christmas trees full of ornaments too.

Anonymous said...

OMG I am in love with that tree and all that AMAZING history!!! thank you for such a great post!

squawmama said...

Cathleen this was a very good post... I remember Harold Lloyd... Not because I am old enough but because my mother was such a huge entertainment buff... She new them all and told my brother & I about many of them and when she could have us watch their work... This was an amazing picture & story of his tree... Thank you


nikkicrumpet said...

Wow...that was some kind of wonderful Christmas tree...I can see why it had to stay up year round. I loved this interesting post...so cool to learn new stuff and have plenty of eye candy to go with the story!

Emily, James and Mike said...

I love it but I'd never have the patience.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Cathleen, thank you for coming by to see me so often! Interesting post on Lloyd, what a tree. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas & yes, make that recipe!

Shelia said...

Hi Cathleen! You're totally right! I thought we'd picked out marble but it was granite and no one told me! What do I know? But I do like it! Hope you've had a great day!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Ms. Tee said...

Wow, how interesting, and what a massive tree! Thanks for sharing - I'm going to show my son.

Also, I really like your idea of one ornament on the urn - so elegant. :)

Raggedy Girl said...

Hi Cathleen:
That was really interesting about Harold Lloyd and a trip down memory lane as I am the daughter of a Christmas tree builder myself.
Roberta Anne

Rue said...

Hi Cathleen :)

That tree is something else! Famous funny people are always odd, aren't they? LOL

I loved your Christopher Radko post. Did you know that the reason he started making those in the first place was because his mother lost all the ornaments on her tree one year. I can't remember if it was a fire or if the tree fell, but he felt so bad he started having them made. My Aunt, who lives in the same place as one of your favorite shows, told me that :)

Thank you so much for your sweet comment about the New/old house. I'm so excited, it's all I can think about LOL


laurie said...

Incredible tree, and very interesting facts. I enjoyed this post. laurie

niartist said...

Thanks for the history lesson Cathleen! That will be me in a few years! LOL!


It all began with a family calamity: In 1984, Christopher Radko decided that his family’s rusty old Christmas tree stand had served long enough. He replaced the stand and put their 14-foot tree in a gleaming new aluminum model. His family decorated the tree as always, with a treasured collection of over 2,000 mouth-blown, European glass ornaments. As it is for most families, their Christmas tree was a family diary with a story to go with each ornament. One week before Christmas, tragedy struck. The new stand gave way and the tree crashed to the floor, shattering almost every ornament. Many cherished memories and family traditions lay among those broken pieces, heartbroken, Christopher was determined to restore them for his family.

Yes Rue your are Right!