Recognized as a woman of many hats, Sausalito resident and KRON film critic Jan Wahl moved to Marin in the late 80s and opened a movie memorabilia store in downtown Sausalito.  A collector of movie memorabilia since age 9, Wahl remembers the time when screen legend Sterling Hayden wandered into her store and admired her large poster of his 1954 film “Suddenly” (also starring Frank Sinatra).

Sterling Hayden

Sterling Hayden

“It was a thrill,” she says.  Hayden, also a Sausalito resident, became one of Wahl’s first Marin acquaintances.

Another early Marin friend of Wahl’s was Sally Stanford, Sausalito’s colorful ex-madame/mayor.   Stanford owned the famous restaurant Valhalla and Wahl first encountered her as Stanford was holding court in the middle of her restaurant, sitting atop what Wahl remembers as a barber’s chair or a dentist chair.  “It was some kind of a funny chair and she had a bird and a wonderful piano player,” remembers Wahl of the eclectic scene.

Sally Stanford & Loretta“I mentioned my great love of Mae West,” says Wahl, “and I started quoting Mae West lines to her like ‘I feel like a million tonight. But one at a time.’ and she loved it and we hit it off.”  She got to know Stanford over time and says, “She was a wonderful mayor.”

Wahl was originally attracted to Sausalito and the SF Bay Area because “it’s a place that celebrates diversity and eccentrics,” she says.  “The Sixties were probably even better in that regard but I still think it’s great here!”

You can hear Jan Wahl on the radio as a regular film critic on KCBS and see her on KRON TV where she sports a different lovely hat every show.  For more information about her new and exciting projects, please visit


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