Hollywood Party Line
Never seen Liz Tay Lor looking lovelier than at the fancy luncheon thrown at the studio by director George Stevens to launch the super-duper new picture, “Giant.” ,Liz was a summer dream in snow-white dimity demurely fashioned. All the cast, including Rock Hudson (done up :n a ten-gallon hat he had to wear because make-up men had been experimenting with Rock’s head all morning figgering how to make him look like a bald man of sixty which he has to be at the end of the movie!) ; Jane Withers (who makes her “comeback” in this one); James Dean (the only one who wouldn’t stand up and take a bow!); Dennis Hopper; Judith Evelyn; Mercedes McCambridge, were there to hear amusing talks from Jack Warner and director Stevens. They consumed the biggest steaks this side of Texas (the picture from Edna Ferber’s novel is about Texas, y’know) and Liz Taylor cut the enormous cake (in the shape of the Lone Star state and trimmed with oil-derricks of spun sugar). When photogs pounced on Dean, he didn’t even want to take off his dark horn-rimmed glasses for photos. Guess he’s either as shy as he seems or just doesn’t give a dern for the usual Hollywood hullabaloo. Later Jimmy took Liz for a tour of the Warner lot (it’s the first time she’s worked there) in his brand-new, all-white foreign sports car.
Bunch of Hollywood guys and dolls made a dash to Las Vegas when Jeff Chandler debuted at The Riviera. These included Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis; Rosie Clooney; Lucille Ball; the Howard Keels; Sonja Henie and Jeff’s spouse, Marjorie, who brought along their little girl, Jamie. Jeff, aside from his singing stint, surprised a lot of people by doing very good imitations of Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Cagney and others.
Mae West’s Hollywood debut at Ciro’s brought forth quite a turnout, too. Like, for instance, Cary Grant, Steve Cochran, Jack La Rue and Phillip Reed—all of whom had been leading men of Mae’s. Rhonda Fleming, in low-cut black cocktail dress and back to her own light red tresses, was with handsome businessman, Walter Troutman, who used to beau Jane Withers. Ann Robinson was Steve Cochran’s date. Marie Wilson, sohelpus—in the lowest-cut pale pink beaded sheath she’s ever worn was with ever-lovin’ Bob Fallon. The Reggie Gardiners; Abbe Lane, hair flowing, dress clinging, and Xavier Cugat; the Burt Lancasters, who seldom do the cafe route, were on hand for laffs.
Red and George Skelton double birthday partied for their two kids all over their spacious lawns. For a big, fat surprise, Red had invited Fess (Davy Crockett) Parker as special guest. . . . Joan Crawford didn’t have a chance to throw a wedding party on account of her elopement with Al Steele was so sudden. But she and Al tossed a humdinger at his N.Y. duplex a week later when she joined him for their jaunt to Europe. And wowee! What a trousseau Joan managed to take with her—all “ready made.” The studio let her have the more than twenty gowns, coats, hats and accessories from her Columbia picture “Queen Bee!” One of the outfits is a strapless, long evening gown of black satin, with a flowing matching coat. The coat is fashioned to show its lovely lining of lilac.
Speaking of lucky gals, how about Barbara Stanwyck at the dinner-dance at Romanoff’s following the charity preem of “Daddy Long Legs”? Barbara, in pale pink gown, pale pink fox wrap and pale pink sandals, came with Paul Gregory, but Sterling Hayden and Bob Wagner, who came stag, joined her table and monopolized most of her dances. Debbie Reynolds went to the show with Bill and Dean Gargaro, aged twelve and fifteen! Friends of the family. She’d been promising to take them to a premiere for ages. Kay Spreckels (Clark Gable was still in Mexico making “The Tall Men”) glittering with diamonds, was with Ray and Frances Hemmes. Kay, Anita Louise and other gals working on this event did a great job of raising over $100,000 for a new wing at St. John’s Hospital. Everyone was raving over the delightful picture and the incomparable Fred Astaire and cute Leslie Caron. Fred brought his thirteen-year- old dotter, Ava. Mamie Van Doren, in a skin-tight pink number, was with Ray Anthony and she was wearing rhinestone earrings so big they looked like chandeliers! Richard Todd escorted British find, Dana (pronounced Donna) Wynter. And boy! Did the bulb-snappers make a dash for Dana! Liz Taylor was the epitome of dignified elegance that night. Heavenly costume! Mrs. Mike Wilding was wearing a simple, beautifully cut evening gown of black silk, with a large pouf of yellowish silk at the back. Elizabeth had her hair all smoothed out into a chignon pinned to the back of her neck. But it was her black silk stole that got the gasps. It was only lined from stem to stern with the finest white ermine!
Another opening that brought forth not only stars in bunches but lots of Army and Air Force brass was the preem of Paramount’s “Strategic Air Command” in Beverly Hills. There was a parade into the theatre of the thirty-five-piece March Field Air Force band and an Honor Guard of thirty fliers at attention to welcome celebs in the foyer. All this added to the thrills provided by the picture and some of the unexpected hoop-la. Like Marie Wilson, again in her favorite pale pink (that left NOTHING to the imagination) and draped in a pink fox stole, doing a typical “burlesque bump” as she got out of her car. The sidewalk crowds roared. Hugh O’Brien said such flattering things about his date, Carol Ohmart, (“She’s like perfume—we should bottle her.”) into the microphone in the lobby, people thought he was gonna swoon! Kathryn Grayson (with former opera star Oreste Kirkop) got a traffic ticket on her way to the preem; Dorothy Malone and Tab Hun- ter, who necked professionally through “Battle Cry,” were a two. Arlene Dahl and Fernando Lamas ditto—natch! Arlene wore a cream-colored satin gown, topped by a long, luscious lavender satin coat. June Allyson, on Dick Powell’s arm, was in a tight-fitting, elbow-length turtle-necked jacket of black jersey, over a very full ballet-length skirt of white organdy. Ann Blyth, with Jim McNulty, wore a gown of pale blue satin. Jimmy Stewart was busy chatting with Generals Mark Clark, James Mooney and other biggies. Newlyweds Marilyn Erskine and Charles Curland; the Charlton Hestons; Marlon Brando; Donna Reed and Tony Owen; Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis; Mala Powers; Lori Nelson; the Rory Calhouns; Farley Granger; Gene Nelson; the Bob Cummingses; Suzan Ball and Dick Long were others glimpsed. Also June Haver and Fred MacMurray.
The gals who comprise Share (which benefits Exceptional Children) turned Ciro’s into an early Western saloon for their annual charity party. Even had a big covered wagon in front of the place where tickets were taken up. Among others who put on a great show were Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis—to say nothing of the all-male chorus that included John Ireland, Peter Lawford, Tony Curtis, Jeff Chandler, John Agar, Herman Hover, Marshall Thompson, Forrest Tucker and Spike Jones! They were a riot! Dean Martin was all smiles when wife, Jeanne, with Miriam Nelson, Barbara Britton and Marjorie Chandler put on a song and dance act. Tony Curtis’s all-black cowboy outfit was an eyeful. Dewey Martin was with Jean McCallen, Bob Stack with purty Rosemarie Bowe.
Lori Nelson, in a blue Chinese eve- ning gown, was with Bob Francis at the Ice Capades opening. And Marla English, in a sophisticated sequin gown was with Larry Pennell, but they phffft next day! Also munching popcorn in their best duds were the Andy Devines, Hugh O’Brien with Jayne Mansfield (where was Carol Ohmart?), Walter Pidgeon, the Tom Harmons, Mona Freeman with Bob Wagner, the Gene Autrys, Vera Ralston and Herb Yates, Sharon Lee, in a white and gold dress with cape to match, with David Street.
There’s more doings than we have room for—and a coupla must wait.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE AUGUST 1955