Sonny gives a big smile to a down-on-his-luck fellow fishing out coins.
Sonny Bono was an entertainer, songwriter, entrepreneur and the not-Cher half of Sonny and Cher. His showbiz career began by working with Phil Spector and co-writing the 1960s hit "Needles and Pins," then successfully partnering with Cher on records and TV, then solo work including more guest appearances on "The Love Boat" in the '70s than any other celebrity (by his own admission). Frustrated with zoning laws while trying to open a Palm Springs restaurant in 1988, he ran for mayor and won, serving until 1992. He later went on to represent his district in the U.S. Congress for four years until his untimely death at age 62 from a skiing accident (his widow Mary still holds his seat). He was a pro-business Republican and helped create the Palm Springs International Film Festival, still being held today in his honor. In 2001, the city paid tribute to him with a bronze statue in the heart of the downtown shopping district at Plaza Mercado on South Palm Canyon Drive. There he sits with a big grin by a coin fountain looking out at his constituents in a puffy open-collared shirt and high-waisted pants, proving it's forever Sonny in Palm Springs.