I’m Like This
Right now I’m like this: I’m expandingly, deliciously, disgustingly happy! I’m so happy that I can’t walk, I have to hop-run; and I can’t talk calmly, I have to chatter; and I can’t eat meals formally at my dining table at home, I have to eat them all over my apartment, from the window sills to the floor.
But I haven’t always been the way I am now, at twenty-one. At sixteen, I was a slightly shabby, very earnest little chorus girl in New York, fresh out of high school, with one desire—to save enough money to become a doctor. And five years before that, I was more than earnest, I was sad—for I was spending years in a hospital with a paralyzed leg which doctors told me would forever prevent me from walking. But people change faster than the headlines—and now what I’m like is happy!
This is because I have the six things I have always longed for: A charming five-room furnished apartment, a blue convertible car, a gray Persian lamb coat, a fireplace, a collection of Adrian clothes and a huge collection of records. I also have friends I truly love, and three pictures behind me that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed acting in—“Two Girls And A Sailor,” “Music For Millions,” and “Her Highness And The Bellboy.”
But aside from happy, I’m also these other things:
I’m hungry: I eat steadily from five-thirty in the morning (when I wake up) until ten at night (when I go to bed). I love sodas, ice cream, Chinese food, spaghetti; and all day long I eat candy bars, sandwiches and milk shakes; and at bedtime I always have several big pieces of fried chicken which my housekeeper, Mrs. Bess Van Dyke, keeps heaped in the refrigerator for me!
I’m suit-crazy: I have mostly suits in my closet, with accent on my favorite color—black. My secondary choices in colors are gray, blue and brown. I’m embarrassed to admit I own only two dresses—one gray, one black; and no hats at all. The first hat I ever wore in my public or private life was in “Two Girls And A Sailor.” I never wear jewelry either. But I wear gloves everywhere, even from the sound stage to the lunchroom—showing you how contrary women can be!
I’m allergic to: The words “swell,” “girl friend” and “boy friend.” I can always describe a man by saying he’s my beau or chum, and to me it sounds better. I’m also allergic to big parties, and to cats, and to people who are nice to you because they want something.
I’m a water baby: I take a shower every morning, a hot bath every night—and I wash my hands and face at least ten times a day. I also wash my hair every morning while I’m under the shower. My hair is naturally curly, so instead of having to wrestle with it for waves, I have to struggle to straighten it out! But I have one hair-trick I’d like to pass on to any girl doing her own hair: Part your hair on one side of your pompadour when it’s wet and once it’s dry, part your hair on the opposite side. This braces up the pompadour and gives it a lift, I’ve found.
I’m a bit on the hermit type when it comes to people: I find one or two people who like the same things I do, and I stick to them exclusively. It isn’t that I don’t like everybody else too—I do; it takes me twenty minutes every day to walk across the studio lunchroom to my table because I get so excited talking to people and I talk to everyone I know on the way. But in my free time, I see very few people . . . Jane Willkie, who’s my best friend, and Van Johnson and Dick Powell. That’s about all. And two evenings a week I spend all by myself—sitting in slacks, a sweater and my most comfortable bedroom slippers, listening to my wonderful collection of symphonic records. I sit looking into the first fireplace I’ve ever had and I make up stories to suit my idea of what the music means. Sibelius is my favorite. I’d give up any party in the world for Mr. Sibelius—and I often have!
I’m not pretty: And no one will ever convince me I am. Just when I begin to think, “Well, maybe . . .” because I’ve been chosen “The Prettiest Girl in Hollywood,” I get jolted back to my original theory about myself by things like this: Recently I was wandering around a store when two strange women walked up to me, stared me right in the face, and then one of them said in a surprised voice, “Why, you’re June Allyson!” As they walked off the other one said loudly, “Guess she just photographs yell!” This kind of event assures me I’m right about my looks—but whatever my looks are, they helped me get on the screen, so they’re all right by me!
I’m definitely on the short side: As you may have heard, I’m five feet one and I weigh 99 pounds. For the rest, my eyes are blue and my hair blonde.
I’m planning for the future: I plan for a nice, quiet house with a nice, quiet garden and a colossal collection of records . . . and I plan on being a producer, eventually. I want to produce pictures that are so real you’ll think the camera was trained on people actually living their lives.
I’m mad about the outdoors: Especially when viewed from a sailboat. Some day I want to travel all over the world in a sailboat, with me part of the crew. I’m a good sailor, and I proved it sailing off Long Island; out here I haven’t had much time to show off my nautical knowledge!
I’m a good cooker of eggs: Any style, all styles. But my housekeeper won’t let me cook anything else. She thinks (and she’s right!) that she does other dishes better!
I’m appallingly neat: When guests walk in my door, I strip them of coats and hang them up so fast they think a tornado hit them! I like everything to be done right; even my stationery has my name printed in brown at the top, so I have to write my letters in brown ink! I’m even neat about telephone conversations—I hate to have them slop around with “Hello, how are you, what are you doing, have you heard the latest about the Jones family?” and so forth. I like them to be right to the point, and bang! hang up!
I’m an inveterate reader: Of the comic strips “Brenda Starr” and “Dick Tracy” and every book ever printed, with Somerset Maugham at the top of my list.
I’m a collector of china pigs: I have 200 of them in my apartment, from the kitchen to the living room. Once a fan sent me a live pig, and it broke my heart that I couldn’t add it to my collection.
I’m the nearest thing to perpetual motion I know: Except when I’m listening to records (when I act as if petrified in stone). I sit all over my apartment; mostly on the floor. I eat all over my apartment, but mostly in bed. I order a steady stream of cups of coffee all day long on the set—and never drink any of them. In short, I’m too excited and happy to be serene at all—and if that’s the price of happiness, I’m willing to be jittery the rest of my life!
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE APRIL 1945