Film stars and celebrities have been drawn to Mallorca since the 1950’s.
It was the British poet Robert Graves who introduced Hollywood superstar Ava Gardner to Deià. Ever since then, Mallorca has held a magical lure to the film community.
Ava Gardner was escaping a disastrous marriage when she came here in the 1950’s.
She was married to the crooner Frank Sinatra, and their fights were frequent and infamous. There was often booze involved, on one occasion they even shot at street lamps and were promptly hauled to a police station. Another time Sinatra threw a douche bag filled with water at Ava Gardner and her pal Lana Turner in public.
So, when things got tough, Ava Gardner escaped, and was invited to Robert Graves’ home in Deià, where she, according to legend, had an affair with a local policeman.
At roundabout the same time, action film star Errol Flynn arrived in Mallorca on board his yacht ”Zaca” on his honeymoon with his third wife, Patricia Wymore. The two came upon the island seeking refuge in a storm, and promptly fell in love with Mallorca. Flynn rented a villa in Illetas, where he invited his close friends Orson Welles, David Niven and Rita Hayworth.
The first Hollywood stars made way for more. A friend of Ava Gardner’s, Grace Kelly, spent her honeymoon with Prince Rainier of Monaco on their yacht in the Formentor bay in 1956, right next to the Formentor hotel, where stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Peter Ustinov liked to stay.
Others visited ”The Beverley Hills of Mallorca” – Gran Castillo Hotel Son Vida – and among them were Anthony Quinn, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Brigitte Bardot, Sean Connery, Steven Spielberg, Leonardo di Caprio, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer López.
The night club Tito’s was another Hollywood hot spot, where people like Marlene Dietrich and Frank Sinatra performed.
Stars that have visited Mallorca are Natalie Wood, John Wayne, Mary Pickford, Tyrone Power, Joan Fontaine, Gina Lollobrigida, Johnny ”Tarzan” Weissmûller, Esther Williams, Gary Cooper, Claudia Cardinale, Cary Grant, Jane Birkin, Michael Caine, Candice Bergen, Lauren Bacall, Jude Law and Sadie Frost.
In 2016, the award-winning “Night Manager” BBC TV series, based on the John le Carré novel, starred Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, Tom Hiddleston, and Tom Hollander. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Susan Sarandon filmed ”Cloud Atlas” on the island and Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson made ”Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” here.
Kelly Preston, the wife of John Travolta, made her last film ”Off the rails” in Mallorca before she died of cancer. Netflix made ”Turn up Charlie” here with Idris Elba.
Apart from visits and films, Mallorca is a haven of peace and security for Hollywood stars like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who have spent their summer vacation on their estate in Valldemossa, hosting many top billing names including Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, George Clooney, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jack Nicholson.
In 2019 Orlando Bloom vas seen with singer Katy Perry on the island. Other sighted stars that year were Jason Momoa, Melanie Griffith, Jared Leto and Emily Ratajkowski –and the year before that Liv Tyler and Sharon Stone were spotted.
Among the actors and directors who are said to have homes here are Brad Pitt, Mads Mikkelsen, Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Colm Meaney, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Martin Semmelrogge, Til Schweiger Toni Bestard, Ursula Karven, Dieter Wedel, Pierce Brosnan and Esther Schweins.
Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.