Hollywood Party Line
Two big preems of two fine films with downbeat themes were sure upbeat in the matter of star attendance. First came “I’ll Cry Tomorrow,” with Susan Hayward’s Oscar-bait performance thrilling everyone. A few nights later came the opening of “The Man With the Golden Arm,” which unquestionably established Frank Sinatra as one of the finest dramatic actors Hollywood has ever harbored. Susie Hayward was in a party with singer Lillian Roth, whose life she portrays in “Cry.” Liberace wore red suede shoes that night and a red bow tie, but didn’t take the fashion spotlight from such celebs as Debbie and Eddie Fisher, Russ Tamblyn and his cute fiancée, Venetia Stevenson, the Dana Andrewses, the Paul Henreids, Julie Adams and Ray Danton, and scores more.
Turnout for “Golden Arm” was really something, with Frank Sinatra who arrived stag, getting a whooping roar from the crowds. Kim Novak, who attains real stardom in this one, couldn’t be there because she was in the East, but Eleanor Parker was on hand with hubby Paul Clemens. Rhonda Fleming, fresh home from Europe, sported a low, low cut leopardskin gown! A very plump Judy Garland, with Sid Luft, wore high-necked ruby satin and a dark mink wrap. Most of the crowd gathered for a supper dance later at Romanoffs—hosted by director Otto Preminger.
Among the parties enjoyed was a “cocktail-ball” given by writer-producer Charles Brackett and his Mrs. They cleared out all the furniture from their large living room, tossed in a small band for the hundred-plus guests who sipped and danced from late afternoon well through the evening. Carol Ohmart was there with Paul Millard, Bob Stack with Rosemary Bowe, Fred MacMurray and June Haver. The Rock Hudsons, Bob Wagner, stag, Richard Egan, stag, Rita Moreno and the John Lunds were others I glimpsed there.
Benay Venuta and Fred Clark gave a huge cocktail-through-dinner party at which Judy Holliday held court in a pale gray, heavily beaded tight sheath. She talked show business with some of the tops—the Milton Berles, Barry Sullivans, John Irelands. Rod Steiger was with Valerie French. Nancy Sinatra, chic as always, wore a tight-bodiced, full-skirted green taffeta.
Other doings included the housewarming Debbie and Eddie Fisher had for “a few thousand chums” in their first home. Marge and Gower Champion had a glittery crowd for their opening at the Cocoanut Grove and tossed a “Welcome Home” party later for Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, fresh back from months abroad. . . . Peggy King’s opening at the Mocambo was real gala, with “boss” George Gobel introducing her with a witty preamble. Peg’s date was Jeff Hunter, but Peg’s ex, Knobby Lee, flew in for the event. Others there included Aldo Ray and Jeff Donnell, Gary Crosby, Joan Collins and Arthur Loew, Jr., Debbie and Eddie, the Spike Joneses, and Sid Chaplin (who used to be Joan Collins’ steady). Pretty much the same crowd showed up for Mocambo’s fifteenth anniversary shindig a couple of weeks later—plus Dana Wynter and Greg Bautzer, the Gordon MacRaes, and George Jessel, beauing Peggy King. . . . A gay cocktail affair and buffet dinner ushered in the new Versailles Restaurant on the Sunset Strip. The men flocked about curvaceous Barbara Nichols (who has a good role with Jane Wyman in “Miracle in the Rain”), but Jody Lawrence (you’ll see her in “The Leather Saint” with John Derek) also made a hit. Susie Hayward was there with Hal Hayes.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE APRIL 1956