BEVERLY HILLS—Actress Sandra Bullock donated $5,000 to former Beverly Hills Hotel pool manager, Svend Peterson, 86, who retired more than 15 years ago. He was once known as the “Poolside Prince” and the “Cabana King,” and worked at the hotel for over 40 years.
Peterson recalls interacting with some of Hollywood’s legendary stars while working at the hotel including Marilyn Monroe, Faye Dunaway and Katherine Hepburn.
According to reports, Peterson fell on hard times after being taken advantage of by realtors, who persuaded him into selling his home at an unfair price. After experiencing issues with the IRS, he began living in a motel. At times he was forced to sleep in his car and often had little more than two bananas to eat in a day. He was recently hospitalized for an infection, which resulted from stress. He has been homeless for about five months.
A friend started a GoFundMe page to help Peterson get back on his feet. The original goal was to raise $5,900 so he could buy groceries and find an apartment in Los Angeles. In the first 11 days, the campaign raised over $33,000.
Bullock wrote on his GoFundMe page: “Everything is going to be ok!” She added that the message came from her 7-year-old son, Louis. The actress is one of 400 people who have donated to the GoFundMe page since it started. As of Tuesday, April 18, the GoFundMe page has reached over $65,771.