December 23, 2015

Celebrities

Many celebrities from various genres have been regulars at the Mai-Kai. I covered just a few in the book. Here are more who I have found in my research:

Steve and Eydie Gorme

Steve and Eydie Gorme

 

Jack Nicklaus with Big Susan

Jack Nicklaus with Big Susan

 

Frank Fontaine

Frank Fontaine

Frank Fontaine was a comedian best know for appearances on The Jackie Gleason Show. Jackie was also known to hang out at the Mai-Kai. Above he is presented with a portrait by artist Bert Sadkins who worked in and around the Mai-Kai.

Bob Clayton

Bob Clayton

Bob Clayton was a local TV personality who was the early host of the TV show Concentration. He was married to Mireille Palmer Levy, the Tahitian Dancer at the Mai-Kai for a little while.

Earl Wrightson

Earl Wrightson

Earl Wrightson was a singer and actor in theater.

Joe Dimaggio

Joe Dimaggio

Joe Dimaggio and all of the mid-60s New York Yankees were regulars at the Mai-Kai, especially during spring training. I have no evidence his wife Marilyn Monroe came to the Mai-Kai with him, but they were seen around town enough that we can guess she did.

Herbert Hinojosa

Herbert Hinojosa

Herb Hinojosa was among many famous jockeys associated with the Mai-Kai Cup, or Rums of Puerto Rico Cup and the Mai-Kai in general.

Johnny Weissmuller

Johnny Weissmuller

Johnny Weissmuller is best known as the early Tarzan star, and an Olympis Gold Medal swimmer. He was prominent around town and known to get onstage at the Mai-Kai and give his famous Tarzan yell.

Liberace

Liberace

tn_Liberace-1966-program

tn_Liberace-1966-program-inside

tn_Liberace-and-Andree

It is unclear whether Liberace made it to the Mai-Kai, but the Mai-Kai made it to him. In 1966 he was the award winner of the “Circus Saints and Sinners” of the “Ed Wynn Tent of Delaware Valley.” Perhaps a Hermetic, Masonic type organization of the time, the Mai-Kai Islanders went to perform and dancer Andree performed the Mystery Drink for him.

Ted Kroll

Ted Kroll

Golfer Ted Kroll was not only a PGA champion, but was around the Mai-Kai enough to write at least one article for their “Happy Talk” newsletter.

Woody Woodbury

Woody Woodbury

Comedian Woody Woodbury was a regular at the Mai-Kai. In fact he still lives just blocks away. He was the founder of a group known as BITOA, which stands for “Booze Is The Only Answer.” He had several big selling comedy albums.

Mike Douglas

Mike Douglas

Mike Douglas, seen here with Woody Woodbury at the Mai-Kai.

Hugh Downs

Hugh Downs

Hugh Downs was said to have been “discovered” at the Mai-Kai. No one I have spoken to can explain what that meant, but he is very fondly remembered.