Kirk Kerko­rian among the crowd

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Casino, auto, movie mogul,” Obit­u­ary, June 17

Al­most any­one who came into con­tact with the late Kirk Kerko­rian, who died Mon­day at the age of 98, will at­test to his self­ef­fac­ing de­meanor with an anec­dote. Here’s mine.

Back when he was head of MGM Stu­dios, the com­pany ar­ranged for a small press group to fly to Las Ve­gas for the ground­break­ing of the planned MGM Grand ho­tel.

We met at Los An­ge­les In­ter­na­tional Air­port and boarded a DC-3 to dis­cover that Kerko­rian him­self had climbed into the pi­lot’s seat.

The flight was un­event­ful, and the group gath­ered for the cer­e­monies. Var­i­ous lo­cal big­wigs up on a plat­form were mak­ing the usual ef­fu­sive speeches when a quite lovely young lady joined them.

Kerko­rian was stand­ing out in the crowd with us to­tally un­rec­og­nized. He then turned to me. “Who’s she?” he asked. “That’s Gina Lol­lo­b­rigida, an ac­tress,” I told him. Lol­lo­b­rigida worked for the stu­dio, so lit­er­ally he was her boss.

He seemed con­tent to let the en­counter go with that.

Norm Sk­lare­witz

Los An­ge­les

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