Hollywood Party Line
THE PARTY OF THE YEAR—and no doubt about it, was the out-of-this-world dinner-dance Sonja Henie so lavishly tossed at her home. The Henie had imported and installed a complete “Dancing Water Ballet.” The installation cost $7500! “Everybody”—as they say, was at Sonja’s party. In their finest duds and jools. A list of those enjoying a truly glamorous affair would fill the book, but some who stayed till the wee hours were Grace Kelly, in simple, clinging black, with Roman-striped cloth stole, and Oleg Cassini; Virginia Mayo and Mike O’Shea, and Virginia in a red-taffeta over tiers of white—its skirt so full she could hardly navigate! Lana Turner, gorgeously blond again, wore a short but flowy, simple strapless gown of coral chiffon, with her huge diamond clips clipped at the side just below the bustline. Lex Barker waggled his finger at us when we told Lana she should keep her hair the lovely, soft silvery blond (no more of that white or yellow tint) it is now. He still prefers her brunette. Joan Caulfield and Frank Ross fresh home from Europe were on hand. Joan in a pencil-slim gown of white crepe, banded with silver sequins, and wearing a shocking pink satin stole. One of the knockouts of the party was Norma Shearer, slender as a reed, in slinky black crepe and wearing a short, blond hairdo. . . . June Allyson (in a white and red Loper job) and Cesar Romero put on quite a hunk of dance-exhibition before the eve was over. Pier Angeli came without a feller, but had pullenty of stags to contend with! Rosalind Russell, Joan Crawford in black with Chuck Walters, Ethel Merman in black and her mop of hair shorn, Ann Miller in full-skirted white, the Eddie Robinsons, Jeff Chandler, the Gary Coopers, the Ty Powers, Gloria De Haven, Gracie and George—we could go on and on. Our escort was George Nader, who on studio orders had had his black hair dyed blond that day for “Lady Godiva.” You should have seen the gals practically swooning over Nader! And that, we’d betcha, is a mere straw in the wind! At our table was Barbara Stanwyck, in slinky black trimmed with a bit of white across the bustline—and wearing those diamond gardenias she loves so well (who wouldn’t?).
Lori Nelson tossed a nice birthday party for—herself. She was turning twenty one—and had just about that many in to help her celebrate. Debbie Reynolds had a big disappointment because Eddie Fisher couldn’t get to Hollywood that weekend as thought. So she went with her pal Leon Tyler. Marla English was with Larry Pennell, Julia Adams with George Nader, Kathleen Crowley with Dick Clayton. Ann Blyth and her Dr. Jim, the John Ericsons, Suzan Ball and Dick Long, Race Gentry, and the John Agars.
Shelley Winters may have meant it after all when she announced after returning from Europe that she was “through with sloppy clothes and slacks.” When Shell gave a hen-party for Constance Dowling, she was all done up in a chic black dress trimmed with pearls. Among the. “hens” were Marisa Pavan, Peggy Maley, and Marsha Hunt. The fellers who came in later included Farley Granger, who wants to stay in Hollywood and make another flicker, Richard Egan, Bob Presnell and John Houseman. Dick Egan sported a beard for “Untamed.”
When actor-turned-producer, Ross Hunter gave his party for newly engaged Jane Powell and Pat Nerney, he had the whole front of his house strung with wedding bells and the invitations were signed “Dan Cupid.” Jane and Pat hoped to be one by November—IF “Hit the Deck” hit the finish line. They planned a European honeymoon the minute it was finished. They also planned plenty of “the blues.” For a wedding color-scheme, I mean. Jane said she’d wear a light blue sheer-wool dress with a matching, fox-trimmed coat; that Pat would be in the well-known “blue serge suit”; and that their suite at home would feature a blue bedroom, blue bathroom (complete with blue towels and mats)—and that her bridal nightie would be blue! P.S. Janie’s favorite color is blue.
The splendiferous preem of “The Egyptian” brought out scads of stars. Bella Darvi, with Brad Dexter, was the only star in the picture who showed up for the opening. Buzz went that Edmund Purdom wasn’t on hand because Purdom was supposedly pouting at home after a tiff with his Mrs. Anyway, there was glamour galore for the bleacher-fans with Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis; Katy Jurado; Jack Webb and Dorothy Towne; Carol Ladd and Dick Anderson who’d just announced their engagement; Vera-Ellen with Carlos Thompson; Mary Murphy with Dale Robertson and so many more.
—BY EDITH GWYNN
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE DECEMBER 1954