Look What’s Happening To Farley Granger!
It began the night of Hollywood’s gala opening of “Call Me Madam.” Farley Granger was invited. Although his R.S.V.P. said he would come, no one really expected him.
But at 8:30 p.m. sharp, a blue Buick convertible drew to a halt before the Ritz Theatre in Beverly Hills, and Farley stepped out with Dawn Addams. Immediately flashbulbs popped; columnists took notes—all certain that this was a rare opportunity to catch Farley on the town.
But they were mistaken. At the next big premiere, “Lili,” Farley was very much in evidence again. And again, Dawn Addams was on his arm. Later that evening, at Leslie Caron’s big post-premiere party, Farley and Dawn were among the merriest of all the merry-makers on hand.
This started a barrage of questions flying in all directions: What’s come over Farley? Is it a new romance? Or is he just having a brief fling in the spotlight before returning to his tight circle of intellectual friends, his books and his records?
The truth is that Farley Granger has burned his bridges behind him and is looking ahead to a rewarding future.
He has given up his lone-wolf existence, is dating steadily and shows every indication that he’s having a wonderful time.
He has buried the hatchet with Sam Goldwyn.
He is again cooperative with the press, to the extreme of giving eleven interviews within a three-week period.
Why has Farley burned those bridges? There are several reasons. Take this business of dating and girls.
When Farley and Shelley Winters went together, they had a great deal in common, understood one another and were comfortable in each other’s company.
Once Shelley was asked if she wasn’t dating Farley for publicity reasons. And she replied, “If I dated for publicity, I’d go out with Lassie.”
When Shelley married Vittorio Gassman, Farley was the first to wish her happiness, and to assure their ever-continuing friendship. Her exit from his social life, however, left a definite gap. Dozens of Hollywood beauties would have been quite ready and willing to fill this gap. But Farley wanted no part of them.
It’s common knowledge that budding starlets are prone to latch onto a name star. They are conscious of the resultant publicity and their interest in him as a person is superficial at best.
Even if Farley didn’t resent being a foil to a date, there would be little about such a girl to attract him. For Farley has his own definite ideas as to what constitutes an alluring woman.
First of all, she’s not the flashy type who poses for pinups on a bear-skin with two much make-up on her face and too little of everything elsewhere.
“What’s exciting about this type of girl?” Farley asks. “As for myself, I’d be embarrassed. If I weren’t embarrassed, I’d be bored. I’ve never seen it fail, when girls haven’t much on below the neck, they have very little going on above it.”
Farley talks from experience!
One night he was invited to a big party at a friend’s house. In the midst of changing records his eyes fell upon a gorgeous-looking girl seated across the room.
She was poured into a low-cut, tight-fitting dress. Farley called over the host for an introduction.
All those “some enchanted evening” stories are bound by unwritten law to have a happy ending.
“But,” says Farley, “I should have stayed across that crowded room.
“From a distance the girl had an air of excitement about her. After five minutes with her, I began wondering whatever caught my interest. It was as if someone had once told her she was charged with sex appeal and she felt duty-bound to prove it. Therefore, her every calculated gesture defeated itself. A smart girl should do what comes naturally.
“That’s why,” Farley is quick to point out, “intelligence and sex appeal go together. Wise girls know you can’t turn sex on or off like a water tap or buy it for the price of a strapless gown. There’s more to sex appeal than meets the eye. It doesn’t vanish with the first grey hair or wrinkle.
“Take Garbo,” Farley says. “In my opinion she was the queen of sex appeal. Yet in her private life, her slacks, bulky coats and floppy hats were a trade mark. I can’t recall a ever posing for publicity pictures in a bathing suit. She didn’t have to. Her air of mystery radiated sex.”
A great many people were puzzled over Farley’s attraction to Shelley during the two years they dated. But to Farley, Shelley had a tremendous amount of appeal. It was stimulated by her zest for life, vitality and great spirit of fun. These ingredients, Farley feels, are the essence of sex appeal. It’s an attitude that comes from within, he states.
Dawn Addams, the girl responsible for Farley’s return to the spotlight, has this.
Raised in the English countryside and educated in London, Dawn, at twenty-two has enough of the traditional British reserve to give her a quality of mystery; she has intelligence far above her years and an appreciation of literature, the arts and theatre which equals Farley’s.
Although Dawn and Farley began dating this past winter, they first met three years ago at Shelley’s house. At that time they exchanged only a few idle words.
When Farley and Shelley were vacationing in Europe, Dawn was in London making “The Hour of Thirteen.” By this time, Dawn and Shell were real buddies. So along with a British actor Dawn was dating, they made a merry foursome, Dawn and her beau showing the sights, Farley and Shell absorbing every bit of them.
From London, Farley hopped over to Paris for a few days and Shelley went on to Rome, where as everyone knows she met and fell in love with Vittorio.
After they were all back in Hollywood, Shelley determined to play matchmaker.
“Why don’t you take Dawn out?” she’d insist time and again to Farley.
“Uh huh, good idea,” Farley would mumble. Absorbed, however, with career problems and other matters, he never did anything about it.
But Shelley is not a girl to be sidetracked when she has her mind set.
A few days before little Vittoria was born, Dawn had a baby shower in Shelley’s honor. Vittorio was in Rome, and Shelley, in no condition to drive alone late at night, asked Farley to pick her up after the party and take her home.
When Farley arrived at Dawn’s house the other guests had gone. The three started talking and a couple of hours sped by.
“Can we continue this sometime?” Farley asked Dawn.
“Love to,” Dawn replied.
Shelley just beamed.
And a bridge came tumbling down.
Farley’s dates with Dawn haven’t been confined to premieres and parties. Often they go to quiet little places for dinner. Sometimes they visit Shelley or see a movie. Other times their get-togethers can hardly be classified as dates at all.
Dawn might be spending an evening at home when the doorbell rings. It’s Farley.
“Care to have a cup of coffee?” he’ll ask.
“Have some on the stove. Come on in.”
Dawn’s apartment is so charming and bohemian one would think it was on the left bank in Paris rather than in Southern California. This is the atmosphere in which Farley feels most comfortable. They’ll have their coffee and talk till the cows come home. There’s no stopping Farley when he gets on to a subject—whether it concerns the state of the world or a new book.
Always, Farley is gracious and stimulating. He’s quick to debate a point right down the line. He has an agile mind and ready wit and knows how to make the most of both when telling a story.
No one appreciates this more than Dawn—either in a private conversation at her home or during a group discussion at a party. One night at Cy Howard’s they talked till 6:00 a.m.
Farley doesn’t have to worry about the possibility of Dawn using their relationship for publicity purposes either.
During the three years Dawn has been in Hollywood she has made no effort to get onto the publicity bandwagon. When she as at Metro she was chastised for her refusal to pose for cheese-cake or go along with a trumped-up “romance.” Throughout the filming of her most recent film, “The Moon Is Blue,” the publicity department of U.A. found Dawn a most cooperative actress and a not-so-cooperative headline hunter.
A few weeks ago she finally consented to pose for a magazine picture-story about a day in the life of a young actress. At five she asked the photographer to excuse her so she could dress for a date. She didn’t mention her date was Farley Granger.
“You have a date? Wonderful!” exclaimed the photographer. “That’s just what I need to complete the layout.”
“I’m sorry,” said Dawn, “but I won’t ask my date to pose.”
The photographer was insistent.
Reluctantly Dawn called Farley. “I’d love to do it,” Farley volunteered. Aware of Dawn’s apologetic attitude, he added, “Now stop worrying your little head about it.”
The photographer got an unexpected bonanza. But Dawn didn’t stop worrying her little head about it and still considers it the most embarrassing experience she’s had since dating Farley.
Dawn and Farley are quick to assure everyone that theirs is not a romance. Both readily admit, however, that they enjoy each other’s company tremendously. This dashing intellectual young man and vibrant serious-minded girl complement each other beautifully.
Another bridge Farley is putting to the torch stretches between his former nomadic existence and his future as a man of property.
It’s an established fact that Farley has moved from apartment to apartment with lightning speed.
“No sooner,” his friends say, “do you think Farley is happily settled in West Hollywood, than you learn he’s living in a secluded beach house in Malibu. So you drive out to Malibu and discover he’s situated somewhere in the Hollywood Hills.”
Farley has always admitted that he changes his address more often than the average guy, but he has insisted that these moves were for practical reasons rather than because of any discontent or restlessness on his part.
“Why should I continue to pay high rent on an apartment I’m not occupying when I go out of town?” he’d argue. “It’s easier and less expensive to store my things and find a new place when I return.”
Lately these arguments have failed to ring true, even to himself. In spite of his never-diminishing desire to travel, Farley has now realized that a fellow has to have roots. He needs a place to hang his hat. Someplace that would be so nice to come home to, whether it’s after a day at the studio or a year around the world. Such a place, to Farley, would have to be his very own—from roof to foundation.
He originally planned to build a house. But after becoming involved with blueprints, building costs, construction problems and city ordinances he decided he’d be better off if he bought one already built.
So whenever possible, Farley hops into his car and investigates every “For Sale” sign from Sunset Strip to Pacific Palisades.
This is pretty rough going on his automobile, to say nothing of its driver, but when he sees his dream house, he’ll know it. The house may be modern, rustic or old English. It could be located in Westwood, Bel Air or Brentwood. But it exists somewhere, and somehow Farley is sure to find it. When he does, he’ll know he is home.
Career-wise, Farley once again is home. The most difficult bridge of all to burn is now a heap of smoldering ashes. Behind him lies his feud with the Goldwyn Studios. This feud began four years ago when Farley told Sam Goldwyn he was tired of the moody-youth roles he was playing. When he took a suspension and went off to Europe, bad feelings flared up all around. He went back on salary when he returned but the peace was not permanent.
Goldwyn was furious with Farley when he refused to work at Universal-International in “The Golden Blade.” For three months Farley remained on suspension, forfeiting a salary of several thousand dollars a week. But it is indicative of the change in Farley to note that this time he didn’t go running off to Europe. He remained in Hollywood and worked out the difficulties sensibly.
Now Farley is to be given more opportunities to display his versatile talents as an actor. He in turn agreed to make appearances with “Hans Christian Andersen.” And since Mr. Goldwyn has nothing on his immediate schedule suitable for Farley, a loanout to M-G-M is brewing.
Farley is particularly happy about his two recent M-G-M pictures, “Small Town Girl” and “The Story of Three Loves.” He thinks they have charming stories and offer great entertainment values.
Farley enjoys doing comedy; he doesn’t however, want to be typed. He will be completely content when he gets the opportunity to play the field in acting.
“Of course,” he grins, “before I plan on anything I better find out how Granger comes over in 3-D.”
There’s one more bridge left for Farley to burn. It lies between his bachelor days and a future with someone he loves. Farley will burn that bridge when he comes to it. For just around the corner, there may be someone waiting to help him strike the match.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE JULY 1953