The stately and elegant Biltmore Hotel played host (of the Coast!) to the Ninth Annual Gene Convention.

Lights, cameras, action!

It was all there at the Ninth Annual Gene Convention, where 350 enthusiasts from around the world gathered in the fabulous Biltmore Hotel for a weekend packed with glamour, glitter, and great times!

Traffic on Grand Ave. came to a screeching halt when Gene raised her lovely hand to hail a cab!

Although the schedule included several tours to various attractions in and around L.A., attendees never even had to leave the hotel to have their plates full! Workshops were held throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, punctuated by elegant meals in the Crystal Ballroom and the Biltmore Bowl. Hardworking and devoted volunteers fashioned elaborate table centerpieces, all of which were distributed or raffled to the lucky conventioneers. And of course the pièces de résistance were the convention exclusive dolls, costumes, and accessories!

Guest of Honor Marsha Hunt, star of the Silver Screen's Golden Age.

Undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend was the presence of guest of honor Marsha Hunt, star of dozens of films during Hollywood's Golden Age, and the inspiration for one of the first dolls released in the 2004 Gene line. Her graciousness, charm, and poise were reminders of a bygone era.

Attendees were also honored with a special guest at the Saturday night gala: Jane Withers, who achieved early filmdom fame co-starring with Shirley Temple, and is an avid collector. Gene and friends make up only a small portion of Miss Withers' thousands of dolls, many of which she has auctioned for charity, with the remainder earmarked for a planned museum.

Special thanks to Sandra Stillwell and her team for all their efforts in making this convention such a resounding success!

Please enjoy these photographic highlights of the weekend…

Photos & design by Scott Bell © 2004 Bell Enterprises