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Hollywood Whispers

About Rhonda Fleming’s frank and open admission that she’s a lot more interested in Dr. Lew Morrill now that they’re apart than she ever was when they were sharing the same roof—his roof, that is, that cozy made-over Hawaiian shack in Bel-Air. What the whisperers noted particularly was that Rhonda began dating the doctor, on her initiative, just about the minute their property settlement was reported ready for signing. It’s all in the best Hollywood tradition.

About the firm decision of Maureen O’Hara to lower the boom on her ex, Will Price, who alienated a lot of folks, including some of his own pals, by filing those charges attempting to link Maureen with the fabulously wealthy Mexican politico, Ricky Parra. And how Hollywood has rallied practically unanimously behind Maureen since it’s only the local insiders who know the real story of her wedded years with Price and her losing struggle to save their marriage for the sake of little Bronwyn, their daughter, how eleven. Now Maureen’s Irish is up this time—but really!

About the chilling of romance between Leigh Snowden and Dick Contino, which also surprised nobody since Dick’s first allegiance is always to mom and pop and they wouldn’t hear to his marrying outside his church. . . . About the imminent conclusion of Debbie Reynolds’ stellar role in “The Tender Trap” for Metro and the possibility of marriage, at long last, for her and Eddie Fisher, something that too many people have tried to sell short. . . . The waxing of the Natalie Wood-Ben Cooper attachment; she’ll be 18 soon. . . . About John van Druten’s clever “kidnaping” of James Dean from Hollywood to star in John’s new play, “Dancing in the Checkered Shade,” on Broadway this season by holding out the alluring prospect of James’ name in “legit” lights as well as film theatre marquees at the same time.

About the fascinating possibility that sexy Rexy Harrison may find himself in the town he loves to hate—Hollywood, that is—before the snow flies in dear old Lunnon. And it all hinges on the arrival on our shores of Kay Kendall, the British actress who’s said to be the reason why Lilli Palmer called it a day with Rex.

About the seemingly serious way Oleg Cassini is consoling himself with the new Hollywood lovely Dana Wynter following the fizzling of his romance with Grace Kelly. . . . The apparently rapt devotion of Ray Anthony and Mamie Van Doren, who have eyes and ears for no one but each other. . . . And the no less persistent devotion of Gregory Peck and Veronique Passani. . . . About Virginia and Jack Palance, whose marital spats seem to have faded out completely with the impending arrival of the baby, expected on Christmas Day—and if that happens, they’ll name it Noel, no matter which sex.



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