The Secret of Hollywood's Hospital
Whose heart had to be resuscitated nine times (by Garry Marshall's wife!), who ordered in from Chasen's (yes, it was Liz Taylor), and does a celebrity baby ward really exist? How Cedars-Sinai, the medical world's most glam facility, ended up with both boldface patients and patrons.
From birthing room to deathbed, no institution in L.A. can claim anywhere near as emotionally central or uniquely sweeping a hold on the entertainment industry as the internationally renowned Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Whether it's Patrick Swayze fighting pancreatic cancer, Frank Sinatra dying of a heart attack, Madonna undergoing hernia surgery, Jessica Simpson having a baby -- or untold behind-the-scenes business players privately tending to the health of themselves and their loved ones -- Hollywood's hospital is almost inevitably involved. Sure, there are other medical meccas favored by those in the industry (UCLA's med school, after all, is named after David Geffen, and Saint John's in Santa Monica is popular for its maternity ward), but Cedars, as it's known, boasts by far the most hallowed history for not only treatment but also Hollywood giving. Celebrating its 110th anniversary this year, the hospital has been built and steered in significant ways by the industry and certainly wouldn't be considered a world-class facility, recognized today both for its top-notch care and research strides in everything from stem cells to strokes, without its help.
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