Welcome to Vintage Paparazzi.

How He Proposed


The phone rang and I had this funny feeling . . .”

It happened in June, 1951. Janet was in New York, working, Tony was on a personal appearance tour through the midwest. Every night he’d call her from a different city—Omaha, Detroit, Fort Wayne. With each call Janet grew more miserable. “What’s it like in Chicago?” she’d ask.

“Lonely and terrible,” Tony would reply. “How is New York?”

“Empty and awful.”

Then came the night she choked, getting the words out. For a minute Tony thought she had a cold in the head. Then he realized it wasn’t sniffles—it was crying. “This is murder,” he shouted across country. “I’m cutting the tour short. I’ll be in New York next week end, and we’re getting married!”

“We’re what?” Janet cried.

Tony calmed down. “Will you marry me?” he asked, slowly and distinctly. And for a girl with a stuffed nose, Janet’s ‘‘Yes” was pretty distinct, too.


How many girls get proposed to three times . . . ?”

The first time Eddie Fisher proposed was in the autumn, in New York, and he must have enjoyed it, because he went on and on. Possibly also he was worried, because Debbie said “Let’s make sure,” instead of “Yes.” So he told her he loved her in taxis, in night clubs, over Cokes—anywhere. When he still didn’t get an affirmative answer, he proposed to her father. That was on a Burbank golf course, and he did it most earnestly and respectfully, and got Papa’s impressed consent. Permission granted, he dashed back to New York for the ring, and to let Debbie miss him. On his return he met her at Lori Nelson’s house, where the girls were burning a couple of steaks for him and Joey Foreman. He dragged her out of the kitchen and into the bedroom and plunked the 7½ carat diamond in her hands. She shrieked and burst into tears, Lori and Joey came dashing in to see, the steaks burned to a crisp, and Debbie never did get around to saying “Yes.” But nobody minded.


I liked the ring all right, but I kept giving it back . . .”

Most high school romances chart a pretty rocky course. That of Jane Russell and Bob Waterfield was positively no exception—in fact, it practically led the field. When they were in their senior year, hoping it would calm matters down, Bob gave his girl a small diamond as a kind of pledge of their future. Big help that was. Every time they had an argument, back went the ring. Some times Jane gave it back, sometimes Bob took it back. It was snapped from hand to hand so often that it was more like a yo-yo. Eventually Bob decided he’d had enough. He had the ring in his possession at the time, so he just sat back and waited. Finally Jane apologized and asked for it back.

“I pawned it,” he told her. “I needed money to go fishing.”

“Oh,” Jane gulped, nonplussed. “Get anything ?”

“Not a thing,” Bob growled.

“Oh, yes, you did,” said his repentant girl. “You’ve still got me!”

So what could he do? Obviously, he gave her back her ring—this time as an official proposal—and then he married the girl.


His proposal wasn’t so unusual, but the marriage sure was . . .”

Terry Moore was introduced to Eugene McGrath at a party, at a time when according to all the best gossip columns, she was planning to marry Nicky Hilton. If she was, the idea went out the window—along with Terry’s heart, which flipped at first sight. So did Eugene’s, but he wasn’t reckless enough to mention marriage—he’d played it safe for his first 33 years, and habit is habit. Instead he invited Terry and her mother to come along on a South American business trip, meet his family and see his world. After Miami, Havana and Panama they got to Caracas. There he plunked Terry down under a palm tree and proposed. A week later she had an emerald-cut diamond, and a month after that they each had a plain gold band—bestowed between courses at dinner with Debbie and Eddie on New Year’s Day! After which the happy couple removed the bands and kept the whole thing secret for months!


Seems like I was the last to know . . .”

The night she got engaged to Anthony Steel, Esq., of London, Anita Ekberg was the most surprised girl at the party. For it happened at a party. Tony and Nita (his nickname for her) were having dinner at the home of director John Farrow and his wife, Maureen O’Sullivan. The talk centered on business—movie business—but Tony couldn’t keep his mind on it. His thoughts kept wandering to the square-cut emerald ring encircled with diamonds that he was carrying in his pocket. He was still thinking about it when Maureen asked him how much longer he expected to visit in Hollywood. “Until I ask Nita to marry me,” he said, without thinking.

“What?” gasped Miss Ekberg.

Covered with confusion, Tony produced the ring. “Well,” he gulped, “will you?” And before the assembled guests, Anita said, “Yes.” Relieved, he put the ring on her little finger (that’s the Swedish tradition) and that was that.


We told everybody we were going steady . . .”

Jean-Pierre Aumont and Marisa had been dating a solid month when they got engaged—which struck them both as considerably longer than necessary, since from their first American date (they’d met briefly in Paris two and a half years before) they’d known that this was it. Actually, Jean-Pierre brought the subject up as a sort of joke on about the fourth date, which occurred the sixth night after the first!

At the end of a month he took Marisa out for a late dinner and proposed—not joking. Her “yes” wasn’t for laughs either, so they went home to tell Mama Pierangeli, who was pleased, but nervous when they mentioned an immediate wedding. “Wait,” she begged, “it looks too fast.” They compromised on telling people they were “going steady” instead of engaged and then a columnist did them a favor and broke the truth. No one knew how she got it, but no one cared. “Now what should we wait for?” asked the impatient pair, and since no one had an answer, they didn’t.



No Comments
Leave a Comment