The Frances Langford Outrigger Exhibit in the Elliott Museum celebrates the life and career of one of Stuart's most famous and beloved resident and philanthropists, Frances Langford (1913-2005). In this exhibit, visitors have an opportunity to see photographs from her life, posters and awards from her career, and objects from her original Outrigger Café.
Born in Lakeland, Florida, and discovered by Rudy Vallee, Frances Langford made her film debut in 1935 in the movie Every Night at Eight, which introduced her signature song, I'm in the Mood for Love. She eventually starred in twenty-eight films and became famous for appearing in Bob Hope's USO Tours to entertain American troops overseas during World War II, and during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
Following her first marriage to actor, Jon Hall, Frances Langford married outboard-motor heir, Ralph Evinrude, and the two lived a glamorous life in Martin County. Here they lived on a sprawling estate in Jensen Beach-a home which Frances had purchased many years before-and built the Outrigger Resort (now the Dolphin Bar), including a restaurant and a marina. Many of the resort's guests included the wealthy, the famous, and their movie-star friends. The couple also lavishly entertained on their luxury yacht, the Chanticleer, which was moored at the Outrigger Harbor Marina. After thirty-one years of marriage, Ralph Evinrude died in 1986. Frances lived another nineteen years and remarried; her third husband, Harold Stuart, served as Secretary of the Air Force in the Truman Administration.
The décor in the Museum's Frances Langford Outrigger Exhibit was inspired by the famous Outrigger Resort and Restaurant which the Evinrudes opened in 1961, the same year that the original Elliott Museum was built. The room features a reed cloth ceiling and lashed timber roof beams reminiscent of the Outrigger. Its east-facing windows allow visitors a view of Stuart Beach.
Personal artifacts from the Elliott's Langford collection, including a postcard from Ronald Reagan accepting honorary admission into the Frances Langford Fan Club, original artwork, movie lobby cards, awards, and Polynesian artifacts from the original Outrigger Restaurant décor are featured in the exhibit. Additionally, eight different tabletop designs are used to tell the star's story and pay tribute to her tireless philanthropy in Martin County and across the globe.
Beverages and snacks are available for purchase at the Museum Store and may be enjoyed while viewing this unique exhibit. The Exhibit room seats forty people and is available for rentals for meetings and private parties. Call 772-225-1961 for more information.