Gene London: From Beloved TV Host to Hollywood Collection Curator

A.D. Amorosi and Gene London
A.D. Amorosi and Gene London
By A.D. AMOROSI

The world-renowned Philadelphia Flower Show is in full swing through March 8, 2015, and with it comes a classic Hollywood theme. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, hosts of the Flower Show, held a red carpet premiere on February 28 featuring clips of Philly-filmed favorites (Rocky, Mannequin, Blow Out, etc.) and an entrance garden with an Art Deco theater fa├žade, chandeliers with hanging moss, rings of calla lilies and towering palms. The flowers are delightful, but the biggest star of that night, and of the entire PFS, is Gene London and his Hollywood Collection. London is a one-time local children's show host who, after his program's end, became both an expert on and collector of Hollywood’s rarest costumes.

In my youth (and that of Glamorosi Magazine's Reese Amorosi), The Gene London Show was a cherished television program and its host was a sweet, charming guy who was great with kids. He seemed earnest and curious while speaking with them on air and off. How do we know this? Because Reese and I – separately, we haven't been married THAT LONG – were both on London's WCAU-TV program.

When I ran into London before the Philadelphia Flower Show premiere, I actually shed a tear. He seemed genuinely touched by that, and told me how he left his one-time home in Manhattan after 9/11 ("mostly because it was too costly to live there and house all my costumes") and moved to Reading, PA with the aid of his benefactor, Al Boscov, of Boscov's department stores. London looks great, and is enthusiastic about his traveling Hollywood Costume Collection featuring nearly 60 outfits worn by the likes of fellow Philadelphian Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn and more.

During the Philadelphia Flower Show, The Gene London Hollywood Collection will be in Room 203 of the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch Streets. For tickets and information, visit TheFlowerShow.com

©Glamorosi Magazine 2015

Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2015