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Can A Glamour Girl Live Happily At Home With Mama?—Terry Moore

If you read about Terry Moore in the papers—and who doesn’t?—no doubt you’d expect her to be the wackiest of the wacky, a flighty, supercharged girl who lives every moment as if it were her last. She would seem to be the kind of girl who rents her own apartment, furnishes it sharp and snazzy-like, and races her motors until all hours of the morning.

But Terry isn’t like that. She lives at home with her parents, attends the Mormon Church each Sunday with Greg Bautzer, Hollywood’s perennial escort, and remakes her own clothes. Terry’s way of living is closer to that of the average American single girl than practically any movie star you could name.

Of course she’s seen at ritzy nightclubs and photographed at all major previews, but these are professional requirements. Give Terry her choice of dating spots, and she always picks home, the eight-room, white clapboard house in Westwood. She loves to bring her dates there.

Terry and Rita Moreno double dated Eddie Fisher and Joey Foreman, one of Eddie’s pals, on Eddie’s last visit to Hollywood.

“Shall we make the rounds?” Fisher asked, trying to live it up as befits a man of his mounting income—$450,000 last year.

“You mean hit the spots?” Terry inquired.

Eddie nodded. He didn’t really want to. He was just being the sporting gentleman.

“Let’s not,” Terry suggested. “Let’s hang around here. We’ll have a ball.” When Terry Moore says there’s about to be a ball, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Ko-ford, move at once into the den and turn on their TV set while Terry and her gang take over the livingroom.

On this date, Terry took out her tape recorder and the two couples went to work recording songs, jokes and corny patter.

Between sessions, the hostess served peanuts in the shell and a chocolate drink of sorts called Hemo. Real wild Hollywood party.

As Terry and Eddie began to break peanut shells, Mrs. Koford rushed in from the den.

“For Heaven’s sake, Terry,” she scolded, as mothers have scolded since time began “how many times have I told you to spread out some newspapers on the floor? The studio has scheduled a picture layout at home tomorrow, and I’m not going to spend all morning vacuuming a lot of peanut shells!” Terry did as she was told.

“She’s a good daughter,” Mrs. Koford declares. “Really is, Making her get enough rest is probably the only big problem I ever had with her. It used to be that if I said, “Come home early, Terry,” she’d die with embarrassment.

“Now she appreciates it when I remind her escorts to bring her home at a reasonable hour. She’s learned how awful it is to try to work the next day if she’s tired. That’s why she likes to date-here at home.

“Of course, she’s not perfect. Who is? Right now I’m having such a time trying to get her to plan ahead. What she wants to wear, who’s coming for dinner, what sort of food to serve.

“Some of the candid photos taken at previews and formal dinners have just about convinced Terry that she should always try on her gowns at least a day ahead of time.

“And then we’ve had a little trouble about food and dinner guests. Terry’s just got mobs of friends, and they’re always dropping in, and we just love it, and I try to keep food on hand for any emergency. But we’ve been caught short quite a few times, especially on Fridays, not having enough fish for Terry’s Catholic pals.

“All in all, she’s a good child. And we’re happy that she prefers living at home with her parents to getting a place of her own. So many girls these days, as soon as they make a few dollars, right away they fly the family coop and get into all sorts of trouble.”

Terry maintains that there are many advantages for the working girl who lives with her family.

“That’s why,” she declares, “I insist upon paying my share of the expenses and upkeep. Dad was against it at the beginning, but I put my foot down.

“The folks moved here from Glendale primarily for my convenience. It wasn’t easy for them to pull up roots. After all, their closest friends lived in Glendale and we were very close to the church there. But Hollywood traffic was getting so thick that it began to take me ninety minutes to drive to and from work.

“I also began to-take night courses at UCLA, and the family didn’t like the idea of my driving home after dark. So we all got together and debated the pros and cons of moving.

“My brother Wally was away at college in Utah, so he didn’t care where we moved. Mother, Dad and I decided to look for houses only in Westwood so that I’d be near 20th Century and the UCLA campus.”

The matter of size and style came up for discussion around the family dinner table, but Terry’s only request was for “a room of my own. All I want is enough closet space so I can store my shoes.” Terry has seventy-five pairs of size 4B shoes.

“And,” she added, “I think a swimming pool would be dreamy. Don’t you, mother?”

“That,” recalls Mrs. Koford, “was completely out of the question.”

“Some people,” Terry’s father explains, “might call us ultra-conservative, but my wife and I have never gone into debt for anything, and we didn’t intend to change.

“We did manage to sell our Glendale house for a nice profit, and I suppose I could have easily bought a large house and let Terry pay off the mortgage, but that’s not our way.

“We bought the house in Westwood mortgage-free, and I pointed out to Terry that she’d be getting married one of these days, and then what would her mother and I do with a large swimming pool?

“Terry’s a sensible girl. She gave up her dream and we bought this house.”

Actually, the new Koford residence is a slightly enlarged copy of their previous home. It has four bedrooms, a den and a livingroom. These two last rooms are so nearly the same size as their predecessors that Mrs. Koford had the walls painted the same color. So the family furniture fits smoothly into the new house.

Terry’s three favorite spots are the music unit, the patio and her own room.

The music unit is built into a wall in the center foyer. The turntable and record storage are in Terry’s bedroom, but loudspeakers are spotted all over the house and on the patio.

This patio is referred to by Terry as “Date Hangout.” It features a barbecue, a sharp hillside permitting complete privacy, and a surface good enough for dancing.

“I go to a lot of previews,” Terry says, “and to the nightclub shows afterwards. But honestly, there’s no place in town where you can really dance. All the clubs have such tiny floors. You’re squeezed and jammed. Not even room to breathe.

“But now after a big opening or something, our gang bypasses the late spots, and we wind up here. We dance and have snacks. Everything under the stars. Real dreamy.”

Terry’s interpretation of “snacks,” you should know, means sandwich fillings without bread—cold cuts wrapped around sweet pickles, smoked oysters and cheese, strips of bacon around tomatoes, and of course, popcorn, peanuts and cider. Nothing stronger than cider is served. Despite this, every bachelor in Hollywood wants to date at “Terry’s house.”

“More fun there,” Eddie Fisher says, “than any place.”

Terry was asked how her life had changed since she moved away from the middle-class residential district in Glendale—just about as typical a city as you could find in America.

“In one year you’ve taken on the special glitter of a celebrity. Your salary increased, your fan mail quadrupled, you moved to Westwood. What has it done to you?”

“I’ll tell you. It’s like being placed on a conveyor belt,” Terry confessed with a giggle. “First, one thing is added to you, then another. You change, you get molded, and in the end I guess you come out a full-fledged movie personality. But I don’t ever want to lose my individuality.”

After she moved to Westwood, Terry soon found that she needed two telephones, so the family has two unlisted numbers.

“Then,” Terry explains, “I saw that I needed lots more clothes, especially formals. When you’re photographed all the time, you can’t be seen in the same dress two or three times in a row. Luckily for me, Mother’s a good dressmaker and I guess I’m pretty handy with a needle, too. We borrowed my dress form from the studio and began a small remodeling campaign. It has worked out swell.

“You want to know something? MODERN SCREEN ran three pictures of me with three different dates. I wore the same dress on all three occasions. Only the dress was remodeled and Mother and I were the only ones who knew it was the same dress.

“That’s pretty good remodeling, because the people who read fan magazines are very sharp. They’ll write and ask, ‘Why did you wear the same dress to three previews?’

“This dress in MODERN SCREEN started as a full-length formal with a big flounce and a pocket of flowers and a matching jacket. The flounce and pocket were stripped and the jacket discarded. Our third change was to shorten the dress to ballerina length and in place of the flowers, substitute a strip of mink and rhinestones.”

Terry’s mother takes care of the tremendous increase in her fan mail at home.

“She answers the mail and keeps my appointments straight and chaperones me on trips overseas and does so much for me that for the first time in our lives, we’ve hired a housekeeper. That’s another change.

“In Glendale we never even thought of a housekeeper, but then Mother didn’t have so much to do. Now we’ve got Sally Richards to help and she’s more like a relative to us than hired help.

“My hike in salary has also made it possible for me to keep a pianist under personal contract.

“When I first began developing an act for Army camp shows I met Eddie Samuels. He helped me with new arrangements and my timing, and he went along when I flew to Korea. We’ve just finished working out a new act for Las Vegas.”

All things considered, the most impressive additions from the Terry Moore conveyor belt have been the top echelon people she’s met since becoming a star and the trips abroad she’s taken.

Not only has she journeyed through most of Europe, Hawaii, Japan and Mexico, but now she numbers among her friends Mr. and Mrs. Darryl Zanuck, Mr. and Mrs. Fredric March, Shirley Booth, Burt Lancaster, Mr. and Mrs. Tyrone Power and a dozen or so high-ranking bachelors.

“There’s no doubt about it,” Terry says. “I’ve come a long way from Glendale.

“There was a time,” she recalls wistfully, “when after a party I’d come home, drop off to sleep, and wake in my room surrounded by my old stuffed animals and pictures of me in high school.

“Now I come home and wake up in a newly-decorated bedroom, and it’s hard for me to know whether I’m awake or still dreaming.”

Terry’s room today is one of the most satisfying manifestations of her new-found success. Ever since she was eight, she has wanted a room with rose velvet curtains and a wall of mirrors.

Vaguely her parents talked of giving it to her, but the years slipped by and there was always a more pressing need for the money. But when Terry insisted upon contributing to the household budget, her dad decided to give her the glamour treatment.

“She might as well have her fun while she’s still with us,’ Mr. Koford told his wife. Mrs. Koford needed no urging. She covered one wall of Terry’s room solid with mirrors. Then she explained one of Terry’s pet theories to the painters.

“My daughter believes that it’s more harmonious to follow nature’s way. We’ll use dark colors at the floor and let them grow lighter as we reach the ceiling.” Thus the room offers a dark grey carpet, lighter grey walls, and a pale ceiling.

To cap all this, Mrs. Koford ordered an Artists Imperial wallpaper in pink and grey with a ballet motif.

Rather than buy a new king-size bed, she retained Terry’s old twin beds and had one large headboard made. At a secondhand shop, she found the bench and footstool now beside the bed. She antiqued the bench herself and put the stool near the phone hoping that Terry would remember not to flop on the bed. Sometimes she does.

The redecorating involved a load of work and cost a pretty penny, but Terry’s mom says, “It’s worth it, because the child really appreciates it. Days when she’s worked especially hard she comes home, bathes and hops into bed right away. She loves to study lounging on her chaise.”

Terry says she’s happiest with her walk-in closets that hold her seventy-five pairs of shoes.

“Honestly,” she exclaims, “I thought I’d never have enough room for them.”

Pleased as her parents are to have Terry living at home with them, they do have one unselfish, unfilled hope.

It’s their fondest wish that the little star who twinkles so brightly around their house will find a husband and a home of her own. They are reconciled to losing her to love. All they ask is that the love be lasting.





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