The other day whilst billboard hunting for my other blog, Daily Billboard, I had the opportunity to take a closer look at the intriguing L.A. landmark, the Hollywood La Brea Gateway monument, featuring four silver lady statuettes.
This weird gazebo on the corner of N La Brea Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, adorned with a spire reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower, marks the western border of the infamous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
At the corner of the Art Deco inspired structure you'll find a statue of one of four multi-ethnic leading ladies of film, sculpted by Harl West.
First up is Brooklyn-born sex symbol Mae West, known for her acting and singing in I'm No Angel (1933) and My Little Chickadee (1940), to name but two films.
Mae West silver statueShe's also known for memorable quotes like "It's not the men in my life, but the life in my men" and "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?".
To her left you'll find actress Dorothy Dandridge, who was the first ever African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for the 1954 film Carmen Jones.
Dorothy Dandridge silver statue
She also received acclaim from being nominated for BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards, plus performing vocally at such venues as the Cotton Club and Apollo Theater in New York City.
The statue to her left depicts Asian-American actress and fashion icon, Anna May Wong.
Anna May Wong silver statue
She starred in silent and talking motion pictures including The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and Shanghai Express (1932).
Born near L.A's Chinatown neighbourhood in 1905, she was the first Asian-American to become an international star.
The final silver statuette looking out over Hollywood Boulevard is that of Mexican actress Dolores Del Rio.
Dolores Del Rio silver statue
A star of Hollywood films in the silent era and the Golden Age of Hollywood, she was also an important actress in Mexican movies, making over thirty films in her career.
With the arrival of the 'talkies', she apparently became of one the principal Art Deco symbols of beauty and was the first Latin American movie star to enjoy international success.
So as you can see that's quite good company to keep, and atop the tower you'll even find a miniature Marilyn Monroe weathervane with her iconic dress billowing.
The monument was commission in 1993 and was apparently dedicated in February 1994 to a mixed reception.
I have to say in my opinion it's not the best sculptural work I've ever seen and could be easily overlooked, but it is worth a closer inspection if you are in the vicinity, just for the sheer spectacle.
Hooray for Hollywood...