TV fans will note that Kirkeby owned the stately mansion used for the hit CBS sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies" exterior shots, located at 750 Bel Air Road, Bel Air, California. Series producer Paul Henning paid the family (Mr. Kirkeby was killed in a plane crash prior to the series debut) $500 per day for filming on the mansion's grounds. The mansion's interior and rear were duplicated on Stage 4 at General Service Studios. Contractual provisions at the time prevented disclosure of the mansion's address in press releases and required restoration of the grounds after each shoot. The mansion had been previously used by Jerry Lewis for 1960's "Cinderfella."
Arnold Kirkeby was the founder of the Kirkeby Hotel chain, beginning in Chicago with the Drake Hotel, and ending his hotel interests when he sold the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA.
After selling the hotel, he then invested in the Janss Brothers' Westwood, Los Angeles, California development in 1959. As part of this project, Kirkeby broke ground on the Kirkeby Center on Wilshire Boulevard in 1960, but died in the crash of American Airlines Flight 1 on March 1, 1962, before the building was completed.
The Kirkeby Hotel organization included:
- The Blackstone, Chicago, Illinois: Now operated by Marriott Hotels
- The Drake, Chicago, Illinois
- Sherry-Netherland, New York, New York
- The Townhouse, Los Angeles, California: Now operated by Sheraton
- The Gotham, New York, New York: Now known as The Peninsula New York
- Hampshire House, New York, New York
- The Warwick, New York, New York
- Saranac Inn, Saranac Lake, New York
- Hotel Ambassador, Atlantic City, New Jersey: Became the Tropicana Casino
- The Warwick, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Now operated as the Radisson Plaza.
- Sunset Tower, West Hollywood, California
- The Kenilworth, Miami Beach, Florida
- Belleview-Biltmore Hotel, Clearwater, Florida
- El Panama, Panama City, Panama: Became the Panama Hilton
- Hotel Nacional de Cuba, Havana, Cuba
- Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills, California
- Peninsula Hotels
Ron Fields Designs: Memories of Westwood