Hollywood has a lot of history that gets lost beneath the stars and flashing lights. Thanks to Jason Kilar’s Twitter thread, we have a brief history about something that we see every time we walk through a studio’s lot. 

I’m talking about Star Waggons. You know, the trailers that litter studio lots and sets for actors and actresses to do their makeup, wardrobe, and more? Turns out the story behind how Star Waggons came to be is actually pretty interesting. 

So how did Star Waggons come to be?

The history of Star Waggons

Studios used to use standard motor homes that were rented and placed near sets to serve their purpose. Eventually, it became too expensive since studios had to pay a driver anytime the set was active, and the motors eventually broke down. 

Then, in the late 1970s, actor Lyle Waggoner (from The Carol Burnett Show, Happy Days, Love Boat, and Wonder Woman) came up with a genius idea. 

He noticed the issues surrounding the motor homes on set and found out that the motor homes were rented from nearby residents in Burbank. So he asked the studio if they would rent a motorhome from him. They said yes.

D7a20ae5-411f-4b4b-9ec2-1c3c61657f78Lyle WaggonerCredit: Soap Hub

Waggoner then went out and bought a fleet of moto homes at $50 thousand apiece, and rented them out to Hollywood production studios for $400 to $500 per week. He was able to make the payments on each motorhome (since his payments for one were only $400 per month) and take home a little extra cash. 

Nine years later, Waggoner stopped buying standard motorhomes, because who needs four stoves in their trailer? Instead, he started building trailers that were ideally suited for Hollywood productions. Full-length mirrors, an area for makeup, long luxury couches, and anything that made these trailers the best in Hollywood. 

6e878e2c-74b4-4a8e-9305-cbff90b1358eInside of a Star Waggon

5e614866-013a-4da1-af01-65f451d26e84The layout of a Star Waggon

Jump 33 years forward, and Star Waggons is living up to Waggoner’s ambitions and more. Some of the highest-end trailers cost over $2 million while weekly rates have gone up to $10 thousand a week. Waggoner made waves in Hollywood for his work in front of the camera as well as behind it, and his legacy will live on through Star Waggons. 

Next time you take a stroll down a production lot and notice a Star Waggon, you now know the history and legacy of these iconic trailers. 

What do you think about this brief history lesson? Let us know in the comments below!  

Source: Jason Kilar