Seeing Stars: the Schools of the Stars.


  
405 Hilgard Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA. / (310) 825-4321 or (310) 206-8147.

The beautiful campus of the University of California at Los Angeles will probably look familiar to you, even if you've never been there before. If you've seen a Hollywood movie filmed on a college campus, there's a good chance that it was shot on location at UCLA


The University's film school is legendary. Actor James Dean went to school here at U.C.L.A, and earned a degree. (He was thrown out of the Sigma Nu fraternity house when he got into a fight.)

So did Jim Morrison (lead singer of "The Doors"), Jayne Mansfield ("The Girl Can't Help It"), director Francis Ford Coppola ("The Godfather"), comedienne Carol Burnett, actor-director Tim Robbins ("The Player" & "Dead Man Walking"), Elizabeth McGovern ("Ragtime"), Heather Locklear ("Spin City"), actor/director Rob Reiner ("All In The Family"), actors Robert Englund ('Freddy Krueger' from "Nightmare on Elm Street"), Lloyd Bridges ("Sea Hunt"), Beau Bridges ("The Fabulous Baker Boys"), Ally Sheedy ("The Breakfast Club"), writer/director Paul Schrader ("Cat People"), actor Doug McClure ("The Virginian") and John Williams (conductor of the Boston Pops and all those Steven Spielberg movies). And that's not to mention Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley... and your's truly.

Patrick Stewart was discovered for the role of Captain Picard by Star Trek producer Robert Justman while Stewart was giving a dramatic reading at UCLA.

Countless movies & TV shows have been filmed on the UCLA campus. In 1983's "Breathless," actor Richard Gere playfully pursued Valerie Kaprisky through the university's Franklin Murphy Sculpture Garden. Most of 1985's "Gotcha!" (with Anthony Edwards) was shot on the UCLA campus, as were scenes from Rob Reiner's "The Sure Thing" (1985, with John Cusak and Daphne Zuniga), 1992's "Final Analysis" (starring Richard Gere and Kim Basinger), "Happy Together" (1989, with Patrick Dempsey, Helen Slater & Brad Pitt), and a host of other movies.

For TV, they shot the college campus scenes for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" here, and when 'Sydney' of TV's "Alias" wasn't out on a CIA heist, she was a student at UCLA. On "The O.C.", the UCLA campus pretended to be Berkeley (when 'Ryan' went there), while in "Gilmore Girls", it passed for Harvard (when 'Rory' went there).


            

Recently, they shot scenes from Eddie Murphy's hit remake of "The Nutty Professor", at various locatitons around the campus, including on the school's famous Janss Steps. (And the director of that movie, Tom Shadyac, is also a UCLA graduate. He's also done "Ace Ventura," "Liar, Liar" and "Patch Adams.")

Historic Royce Hall, with its dramatic archways and bell towers, has been seen in dozens of films. Three U.S. Presidents have graced the stage at Royce Hall over the years, as have Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Luciano Pavarotti, George & Ira Gershwin, Arthur Rubinstein, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis, to name just a few. In April of 1998, a star-studded crowd showed up on stage to celebrate the post-earthquake renovation of Royce Hall, including Paul Reiser, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Don Henley, John Lithgow, James Galway, Heather Locklear, Sidney Poitier and Carol Burnett

The giant UCLA Medical Center was featured each week in the TV series "Medical Center," starring Chad Everett; a number of Hollywood stars have passed away at the UCLA medical center, including John Wayne, and George Peppard (star of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "The A-Team"), Vince Edwards (who starred in a hospital drama of his own, as TV's doctor "Ben Casey"), Ted Bessell (Marlo Thomas' boyfriend in "That Girl"), and singer Mel Torme.

At 410 acres (many times the size Disneyland), UCLA, over 140 buildings, and a daily population of 65,000, the campus often seems like a city-within-a-city; students almost need a motorcycle just to get between classes. But the beauty of UCLA is evident for all to see. Nestled between charming Westwood Village and the green foothills of Bel-Air, UCLA offers broad green lawns and bubbling fountains, sculpture gardens & fine museums, lush landscaping & an intriguing mix of architectural styles. UCLA is well worth a visit.

Students relax on the grassy quad between Royce Hall and Powell Library, the two oldest buildings on the campus (built in 1928). These two Romanesque buildings stand at the top of the dramatic Janss Steps, a 195-foot brick stairway overlooking a grand vista below. It was from these same Jann Steps that John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King made historic speeches in the 1960's.

Jann Steps overlook Pauley Pavilion below, home of the world-famous Bruins basketball team (which nurtured such budding NBA superstars as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes), and the scene of concerts and performances by artists as diverse as Bob Hope and Steppenwolf.

At the north end of the campus, you'll find gleaming modern towers; research libraries & art museums, as well as the Murphy Sculpture Garden, a serene stretch of rolling lawn, filled with modern sculpture by renowned artists such as Rodin, Moore, Miro, & Matisse.

At the south end of campus, you'll discover the "inverted fountain," and UCLA's beautiful botanical gardens, filled with wandering streams, friendly squirrels, and a waterfall. On the west side is the student center with several cafés and restaurants.

Guided tours of the UCLA campus are available on weekdays at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM, and on weekends at 11 AM and 2 PM. Reservations are required for the tours, which begin at the UCLA Visitor's Center. Phone (310) 825-4321 for exact times and dates.

You can buy tickets to shows at Royce Hall and sports at Pauley Pavilion by using the links below:

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Parking: Stop at one of the Information kiosks on the campus and ask for directions. They will sell you a token (for about $5), which allow you to park in one of the student parking garages. You will find an information kiosk in the center of Westwood Boulevard (near the Student Store), just after you enter the main gates and pass Circle Drive.

Getting there: From Rodeo Drive, go south and turn right (west) on Wilshire Boulevard. Take Wilshire west (about two and a half miles) to Westwood Boulevard. Turn right (north) on Westwood Boulevard and follow it four blocks to the UCLA campus. / From the San Diego (405) Freeway, take the Wilshire Boulevard exit. Go east on Wilshire to Westwood Boulevard. Turn left (northwest) on Westwood Boulevard.



[For more information on this subject, you can access UCLA's official website at: http://www.ucla.edu.]



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Copyright  2014-Gary Wayne
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