Museum of wax founder Singh dies

first_imgThe lifelong entrepreneur was born in Punjab, India, in 1922, and his family moved to Canada when he was 3. He was living in Victoria, B.C., operating saw mills and an amusement park, when first visited Hollywood in 1964.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Spoony Singh, who once said he founded the world-famous Hollywood Wax Museum to give tourists who couldn’t find any real celebrities in Hollywood the next best thing, has died at age 83. Singh died Wednesday at his Malibu home of congestive heart failure, his family announced Friday He was visiting California in 1964 when he spent a day popping into Hollywood hotspots in search of famous faces. The closest he came to finding any was seeing the stars’ footprints in the courtyard of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. “So, I thought, let’s bring the stars back to Hollywood Boulevard. Let’s allow people to get close and look into the eyes of their favorite entertainers,” he recalled years later. “Believe me, I didn’t know if it would even work.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECalifornia’s bungled $1 billion accounting system When he opened his museum down the street from Grauman’s on Feb. 26, 1965, people were lined up for half a mile waiting to get in. The nearly 200 famous figures change over the years as individual celebrities’ fame tends to ebb and flow. Marilyn Monroe, however, has remained a perennial favorite. To save costs, celebrities’ sculpted heads and hands are placed on fiberglass bodies, allowing the heads of the fading celebrities to be removed and stored in anticipation of the day they might make a comeback. Over the years, visitors have also noticed that souvenir hunters will sometimes abscond with wax celebrity fingers, leading some critics to complain of an air of cheesiness at the museum. The criticism never bothered Singh. “Look, I know other museums are more stately and artistic,” he said in 1970. “But on Hollywood Boulevard, dignity kind of gets lost in the shuffle.” Singh turned over the museum’s day-to-day operations to family members in 1990, but remained active in the business, guiding development of the Hollywood Guinness World Records Museum, which opened in 1991, and another Hollywood Wax Museum, which opened in Branson, Mo., in 1996. last_img read more