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Hollywood Party Line

Hollywood guys and dolls have been livin’ it up with an assortment of parties, preems, openings—as usual. But this month things were a bit more varied than usual! One of the more colorful events. was the weekend junket Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis staged at the Apple Valley Inn for private and press chums. It was a two-and-a-half-day shindig that started with a wonderful outdoor western steak fry. Dean and Jerry and Janet Leigh donned chef’s outfits and personally helped feed guests made extra-hungry by sniffing that “charcoal-broiled-filled air!” Later the boys previewed their picture, “Living It Up,” the real reason for the weekend wingding. Added guests that eve included airmen from nearby George Air Force Base.

Photogs had a field day all the way to goodbye time, wot with Dean and Jerry’s mad capers in and around the swimming pool and at the tennis courts that almost blew away in a sudden high wind. The zanies (in full western regalia) also did a lot of singing with the Bel Air Trio, danced and clowned together. I’m sure they rightly figgered this co-operative nonsense would end the goshawful rumors of their splitting up. Personally, I don’t believe they will split. Dean said, “We have a different set of friends. We go our separate ways. But that’s nothing. We’ve always done so—‘after hours.’ ”

Jerry Lewis says he’s having a turrible time with son, Gary, aged 9. The moppet is embarrased about Jerry! Never looks at M and L’s tv shows because he thinks the whole country is laffing at his father! P.S. Gary’s favorite comic is Lou Costello.

It wasn’t till Kirk Douglas tossed a big party for Ann Buydens (a French lass he met there a few months ago) that anyone knew he was even slightly interested. (And then very soon after that came the surprise word of their sudden marriage in Las Vegas.) Eleanor Parker was at Kirk’s with portrait painter, Paul Clemens—and they’re at the serious stage. Susie Hayward was with her manager, Ned Madin. He’s the only guy she’s gone anywhere with since her marital troubles began. The Fred Astaires, Clifton Webb, Joan Crawford with Chuck Walters, Mari Blanchard, the Peter Lorres, others on hand. Also the James Masons, who brought their five-year-old dotter Portland.

Few nights later, Joan Crawford took over the private dining room (with small dance, floor) at Chasens and tossed a big bash for some hundred guests. Among them were Donald O’Connor who sang and performed with his pal, Sidney Miller; June Allyson and Dick Powell, who put on a cute act of their own. Doris Day said she couldn’t sing because she was “too nervous!” Jane Wyman, who wasn’t nervous at all, sang and sang. Fred MacMurray and June Haver, who could be one as you read this, were there as a two. Also Jeff Chandler, stag; Rock Hudson, stag; George Burns and Gracie Allen; Jane Greer and Ed Lasker. Joan wore another of the “little-girl” type semi-evening dresses she’s long adored, but that enormous diamond clip of hers at the throat took some of the naive look away, however. Her daughter, Christina, now a tall, willowy teen-ager, charmed Joan’s friends with her lovely manners.

Let’s skip from parties to a preem. “The Magnificent Obsession” had a magnifique bow at an off-beat spot. It opened at the Westwood Village Theatre (just beyond Beverly Hills), where usually hordes of teen-agers—in Levis, weird hair-do’s, moccasins and bright red jackets—hang out. This night, though, a beautifully dressed crowd streamed across the premises. Rock Hudson, who came into his own as a big-time star in this film, brought his best girl, Betty Abbott. Jane Wyman, top femme in the flicker, was in a lovely bouffant gown of pink and black net—with a pleated band of flesh-colored net across the line that counts most these, days—the bust line! Jane’s costume was topped by a black-fox cape stole. She wore heavy pearl and diamond earrings and pearl choker. Joan Crawford, who sported a new combo of red dress, pink roses and pink mink last month, showed up in a gray gown, grayish tinted hair, gray bejewelled sandals—and natch!—a blending blue-gray mink cape. Similar to a getup la Crawford sported some time ago with great success. Curb-cheerers didn’t go for Lana Turner’s dark hair (again!)—but Lana likes it that way—and besides what could look bad on her??? Lex Barker kept beaming upon Lana, and Lana kept beaming back. These two are really aglow! Others applauding the picture were Gregg Palmer with Bobbie Bond, a belle with practically white hair; Lori Nelson with Dick Clayton; Corinne Calvet, in much too-glittering white crepe, with Jeffrey Stone; Barbara Rush in a charming gown of white and green starched chiffon and Jeff Hunter by her side. Jeff Chandler, stag again, wore a pale blue dress shirt with his tux. (D’you suppose he knows those shirts just match his eyes?) Gene Nelson was with beauty-contest winner Christiane Martel; Mamie Van Doren (still doing the Marilyn Monroe “act”) was with Steve Crane; Vera Ellen with Richard Gully; Tom Morton with Joan Vohs (they’re nutz about each other); Joanne Gilbert with on-again off-again fiance, Danny Arnold. Movita, who used to be Marlon Brando’s “heart trouble,” was with Tony Kent; Susan Cabot with Richard Anderson. Also glimpsed: Ida Lupino and Howard Duff; Jeanne Crain and Paul Brinkman; the Spike Joneses and Annie-pie Sheridan.

One of the loveliest at the Toast of the Town Tv show was Lana Turner who showed up in a stunning figure-hugging gown of black crepe cut wide and low in the front with a daring over-drape skirt that opened everytime she took a step, showing off those million-dollar Turner legs. All eyes were glued on her! Janie Powell was there, looking ever so lovely in a very soft chiffon gown that was a mass of tiny, tiny pleats except for the waist which was sparkling jeweled chiffon.

Another star-studded group came to the “Executive Suite” premiere and walked through the Egyptian Theatre’s floral motiff decor, replete with big baskets of spring and summer blooms, hundreds of potted azaleas, rhododendrons—and giant vases of mixed flowers. Debbie Reynolds with Tab Hunter; Esther Williams and Ben Gage; Bob Stack, stag; Dick Anderson, stag; Aldo Ray and Jeff Donnell; cute Pat Crowley with Vic Damone; Leslie Caron with ever-lovin’ ballet-master Roland Petit; Marilyn Maxwell with Carl Neubert; the Dennis Morgans; the Ronnie Reagans—just a few of the celebs I saw. Star Bill Holden couldn’t be there on account of he and his Mrs. were in Florida on a well-earned fishing trip.



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