Tuesday evening, fans of the Academy Award winning leading man, William Holden, were treated to a special celebration in the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room of what would have been the South Pas High graduate’s 100th birthday. A prerecorded video welcome by actress Stefanie Powers, a screening of Holden’s 1954 classic, “The Country Girl,” and the cutting of a 100th birthday cake highlighted the event.
The evening began with a 30-minute musical performance by Adam Gilbert. Gilbert was a last minute replacement for recently retired City of South Pasadena Finance Director David Blatt, who plays concert piano under the name Yrsan Daro.
Library Director Steve Fjeldsted was pleased to welcome as distinguished guests Kim Fieldhouse, the niece of Holden, and Mary Fosselman, who attended SPHS with the actor. The 97-year-old Fosselman, who founded the successful ice cream restaurant Fosselman’s Ice Cream Co. with her husband in 1937, now located in Alhambra on Main Street, showed off her high school yearbook in which Holden is pictured on the same page as her.
The event drew people from across Southern California who remain to this day fascinated by the star of dozens of Hollywood’s Golden Age films, including “Sunset Boulevard”, “Union Station”, “Born Yesterday”, and “Splendor in the Sun”.
The acoustics for the evening were set up by 210 EastSound and snacks and drinks were provided by the Friends of the Library.