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country house

Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital

The Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital is a retirement community, with individual cottages, and a fully licensed, acute-care hospital, located at 23388 Mulholland Drive in Woodland Hills, California. It is a service of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, providing services for members of the motion picture and television industry.

History

In 1940, then president of the Motion Picture Relief Fund, Jean Hersholt, found 48 acres (194,000 m²) of walnut and orange groves in the southwest end of the San Fernando Valley that was selling for $850 an acre ($0.21/m²). The Board purchased the property for the Motion Picture Country House. To offset the costs for the first buildings, which were designed by architect William Pereira, seven acres (28,000 m²) were sold. Mary Pickford and Jean Hersholt broke the first ground. The dedication was on September 27, 1942.

The Motion Picture Hospital was dedicated on the grounds of the Country House in 1948. In attendance were Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple, and Robert Young, among other stars.

Eventually, services were extended to those working in the television industry as well, and the name was altered to reflect the change.

Scores of movie notables spent their last years here; so have far less famous people from behind the scenes of the industry. Those with money paid their own way, while others, who had no money, paid nothing. Fees are based solely on the "ability to pay."

All kinds of workers in movies, TV, and other aspects of the industry, are accepted, from actors, artists, backlot men, cameramen, directors, extras, producers, security guards and stars. To qualify for a cottage, applicants (or their spouses) must have reached a minimum age of fifty-five for women and sixty for men, working steadily for at least twenty years in entertainment industry production. The waiting time is usually a few months, with no preference given to celebrities or those who can pay their own way, officials of the fund have said.

This full-service facility has an annual budget of $100 million.

Famous residents

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