Turn In Your Top Hat & Tails: Beverly Hills Ambassador Laid Off
Not even the Ambassador of Beverly Hills is safe from economic cutbacks. Gregg Donovan, the 51-year-old former concierge and personal valet to Bob Hope who has been greeting visitors to the lux and lavish 90210 from the corner of Via Rodeo and Rodeo Drive for more than a decade, has been asked to turn in his top hat, frilly white shirt and signature red fancy coat by the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau that reportedly said they could no longer afford him.
"Gregg Donovan, the jovial, stentorian-voiced actor who has spent much of the past dozen years in top hat and tails giving directions, posing for photos, promoting local businesses and bellowing in dozens of languages, 'Welcome to Beverly Hills! You have arrived,' is leaving," reports the AP.
Called "the face of the city" by local businesses and an "institution" by Nate 'n Als mayor Larry King, locals are Indeed concerned considering that Donovan's face is also "plastered right on the visitors maps handed out all over town, as well as on T-shirts in some of the souvenir stores," notes CSB Local.