Hollywood Party Line
IF THE “OPENINGS,” celebrations, fashion shows, charity events that ushered in the debut of the fabulous new Beverly Hilton Hotel had lasted one more night, believe me, most of Hollywood and citizens of its swanky outlying districts would have been in a state of collapse! The hotel’s private ballrooms and its various cafe rooms were the setting for tremendous shindigs—seven nights in a row before the place was open to the public! Started with the glittery Victory Ball at which hundreds of exquisitely clad diners were treated to a fashion show from Sophie, among others. Clark and Kay Gable were among the film folk who showed up—as did Bob and Mary Cummings, Ann Miller (with Bill O’Connor) in a sari-type gown of gold cloth with matching gold sandals. Guests from all over the world mingled with the local crowd of glamour-pusses and socialites . . .
That was true, too, of the $100.00 a plate dinner dance—The Champagne Ball, masterminded by the Nina Anderson Foundation for the benefit of the Jimmy McHugh Polio Fund. Twelve American designers exhibited their lovely clothes at this ball, plus hats by Rex, singing by Eddie Fisher, fireworks, baby elephants painted pink! At both these events the guests got souvenir presents, ranging from solid gold cuff links for the men to gold brooches, hats and perfumes for the women. . . . Then there was the opening of the gorgeous Bali room—the hotel’s night club that drew a mob including the Dan Daileys and newly divorced Elizabeth Montgomery (you’ll see her as Gary Cooper’s leading lady in “The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell”) with Gig Young. And guess what! Acting as a cigarette girl and wearing a thousand-dollar Balinese costume was Alice Pearson, who used to be a secretary for dear old Photoplay!
There was also the preopening of “The Traders” (a branch of San Francisco’s famed “Trader Vic’s”) South Sea type restaurant in the Beverly Hilton. The L’Escoffier room, so exclusive that there will be NO prices on the menus. Along with other special events, Al Teitelbaum previewed his fine fur collection to a few hundred drooling femmes. Jane Powell’s eyes popped at a fifteen thousand dollar midnight-mist mink. Terry Moore sighed over a wrap of white jasmine mink—worth a fortune. (Didn’t we all?)
Terry Moore toddled into Herman Hover’s cocktail party at Ciro’s for Sammy Davis, jr., looking real dreamy in a blue silk, off-the-shoulder dress, its skirt a mass of flounces. Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher were there and Debbie, too, was in full-skirted blue. The Dean Martins were on hand—but not the Jerry Lewises, though both pairs were invited. They’ve managed to avoid each other socially with amazing “accuracy.” Also sipping and nibbling were the Jeff Chandlers, Ann Blyth (wearing a snug-topped, full-skirted black dress with a red sash, and a black velvet picture hat), Joanne Dru, in brown crepe sheath with cap sleeves, Jeanne Crain and Paul Brinkman, Mitzi Gaynor and Jack Bean, Mitzi Green and Joe Pevney, the John Lunds, Gary Crosby with Peggy Connolly. Gary was stuffing in canapés like mad, saying he worries so much he doesn’t need to diet.
Glamazon Anita Ekberg “stole the show” from everything but Sammy Davis’ great show, the next night when he opened at Ciro’s. She was with F. Sinatra and the room was full of celebs. But the Ekberg, in low, low, low-cut, skintight, white lace gown, with black velvet stole trimmed in white mink, long white gloves, long earrings, long blond bob bobbing almost to her ample shoulders (she’s not a tiny gal, y’know!) knocked ringsiders for a loop. Applauding Sammy as usual, were the H. Bogarts, Marlon Brando, the Jack Bennys, Judy Garland and Sid Luft, Betty Furness and Cesar Romero, Gary Cooper, stag, Leigh Snowden and Dick Contino, and of all things, Cleo Moore, all herself!
Before Eddie Fisher took off for the East again, Debbie guess who gave him a surprise birthday that actually surprised him. She arranged a real Hawaiian luau for her feller in a home she borrowed from a chum. Feasters included Lori Nelson with Dave Haft, Barbara Ruick, the John Ericsons, George Nader and Martha Hyer, Joey Foreman, Lennie Gaines.
Well, kiddies, Sinatra dood it again! Meaning Frankie tossed another (for 75) big bash—this one less formal than the dinner dance he gave out with last month—but a heap more fun! F. S. took over the entire Villa Capri, his favorite Italian restaurant in Hollywood, for a bon voyage party for his pal, Patsy D’Amore, who owns the place. And for the How Crazy Can We Get Dept. Frank had all the regular chefs and waiters “just helping”—because he had the dinner catered by an outside outfit and served up Mexican food! A small, hot band served up jump tunes besides backgrounding such as Sammy Davis, jr., Nat King Cole, Pat Stanley and Frankie later when they dished out a million $$$$ worth of free entertainment. None of the talent went to waste on the Milton Berles, Lauren Bacall (Bogie was working), Betty Furness (snapping candid camera shots of everyone for hours), the Dean Martins, George Raft with Mari Blanchard, the Jerry Colonnas, Peggy Connolly, Jimmy van Heusen, W. Winchell, May Wynn, Jack Entratter, handsome boniface of The Sands at Las Vegas, the Sammy Cahns and James Dean, who brought his semi-steady date, Ursula Andress, to “the ball.”
Golly! If we don’t quickly lump a lot of other doings together in a hurry, you’d never guess how crowded with carryings-on the last month was! There was a special showing of “Oklahoma!” at M-G-M, attended by Oklahoma’s Governor Raymond Gary, that drew gasps of awe and praise from the lucky invitees—and made Shirley Jones the happiest gal in Hollywood. She’s definitely a new star who was born with that showing! There was the reopening of the Huntington Hartford Theatre—with the play, “A Day by the Sea” (the critics couldn’t “see” it! )—where Grace Kelly and Jean Pierre Aumont drew the most stares . . . And such a nice cocktail soiree given by The Thalians, a group of truly ambitious, hardworking actors (including Jimmy Dean, Gary Crosby, Terry Moore, Tony Curtis, Carol Ohmart, George Nader, Rory Calhoun)—where they told about the “do-gooding” for charitable causes their club will foster in the future. More about them soon.
—BY EDITH GWYNN
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 1955