Skip to comments.Checking out: Why celebrities die in hotel rooms
Posted on 07/20/2013 4:21:15 AM PDT by rickmichaels
When Cory Monteith died alone in a room at Vancouver's Fairmont Pacific Rim last weekend, he took up permanent residency in a sad but famous corner of popular culture: A celebrity registry of bitter suite ends.
Fortunate stars that grow old naturally can look forward to meeting their maker covered by monogrammed sheets and framed by pictures of their younger-selves on nearby walls. Their families will gather to remember and mourn perhaps later to fight over the estate.
But troubled and addicted celebrities are continually found by demons as they sit alone, not sheltered inside fine homes or a back seat of a limo or even beyond the velvet ropes of a RIP section. Instead, it's time and again in the rented accommodation of a hotel room. A transient space designed as a stopover.
In hotels in countless cities across different continents, the final scene has been played out before. Not just for the stars, of course, but often for suicide victims who we will never read or talk about.
Through the lobby and into the elevator. Then down the hall, past the ice machine and then a key-card swipe that welcomes you with a green light.
Magazines fanned on a desk. TV remote waiting patently by the bed. Fresh, white towels piled next to instructions on what to do with dirty ones.
A room that seems like home, but is only clever set dressing. Privacy that is assured but slightly impersonal.
And a number on a door rather than a name on a mailbox.
New York-based addictions counsellor Stephen Lewis says he teaches users especially heroin users to use a buddy-system.
"We talk about doing it in pairs and never being alone, so there's someone to call 911," he explains.
Away from others, he adds, there's also a potentially toxic mix including shame, doing a higher dose and especially after rehab, not having the same tolerance.
Other than his addiction, Monteith reportedly very giving with a low-key Canadian style seems an odd addition to the usual rouges gallery of celebrity hotel deaths.
After a day of partying hard, comedian John Belushi did one last speedball in 1982 at the Chateau Marmont on Hollywood's Sunset Strip. INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence, under the influence of drugs and alcohol while inside Sydney's then-Ritz-Carlton Hotel in '97, wrapped a snakeskin leather belt around his own neck with such force the buckle cracked.
The registry of those who rent a room to die-for is voluminous, including Sid Vicious, David Carradine and Janis Joplin.
It hardly surprised anyone when fame-monster Anna Nicole Smith died in a Florida hotel room of an overdose in 2007. It was almost a natural death for her.
Monteith seemed better destined for a familiar room circled by family at an old age.
Even the hotel rooms themselves take on the smear of celebrity.
After Whitney Houston died in one of their bathtubs last year cocaine swimming in her system Beverly Hilton officials took the room out of service. The L.A. management even unscrewed '434' from the door.
"I think there's an element of boredom and the anonymity of a hotel room ... along with the disease of addiction," says Scott Michaels, who nine years ago founded Hollywood's Dearly Departed Tours, which takes visitors on rides to last stops of the stars. That includes hotels, such as the one where Joplin died -- her music playing in the tour bus as it rolls by.
Michaels says being an actor sitting and waiting to deliver moments of dialogue can be a boring life.
"In a hotel room, you close the door and draw the drapes and let loose."
Couples take off to lodges because it sets a romantic atmosphere. Celebrities often seek a different kind of escape, reasons Michaels.
A room taken for a night doesn't judge, he says, and it doesn't cast guilt.
It's also continually wiped clean of hints of the faceless, transient tenant who last checked in. Then checked out.
Why do celebrities check out in hotel rooms...?
Probably so dont hurt the resale value of their mansions....
I was just thinking of that great movie. But in Dinner at Eight, he sets up the lamp to light his face in the chair. It’s very dignified.
Proof reading today means spellcheck didnt catch anything.
I thought it was a bright white light??
Re the name of the author (post #12), many thanks.
I was thinking it was Faulkner.
I heard that line is a reference to Jackson Brown’s wife who committed suicide.
I heard that line is a reference to Jackson Browns wife who committed suicide.
OK - had not heard that!
Cannot remember where I read/heard it though. There are alot of symbolic meanings in that great song.
“Dont people proofread anymore?”
Apparently not - I noticed these at first reading down the page:
“TV remote waiting patently by the bed....the usual rouges gallery of celebrity hotel deaths.”
I rarely complain about this appalling trend. ;^)
Actual quote is
“I knew it, I knew it. Born in a hotel room - and G-d damn it-died in a hotel room”