Look Who’s Here!
Young actors are becoming very sensible these days. They are saving their money. One of the most sensible. and one of the most attractive of the careful new crop. is six-foot-plus Palmer Lee. He already has nine pictures under his belt. including the current “All Because of Sally,” in which he’s Ann Blyth’s boy friend, and “Francis Goes to West Point.” wherein he’s Donald O’Connor’s chum. With his Universal-International contract, and leading parts coming up any minute. Palmer could afford to splurge a bit. But he’s saving for “a small house with a lawn and a picket fence.” In the meantime, he shares digs with two other boys. They eat out. but not at Romanoff’s.
Palmer has no steady girl friend. Although he has never dated her, Ann Blyth is his idea of a perfect girl. Recently Ann. Palmer and several other young U-I players toured Army bases and hospitals in Alaska. “The G.I.’s wanted to eat Ann with a spoon, they loved her so,” says Palmer.
Palmer himself is an ex-G.I. He joined the U.S. Air Force in the summer of 1945, and served as a code expert. Two of his four brothers are in service now—one in Korea. one in Germany. After his Air Force stint. Palmer got a job. by accident. as a radio announcer and disc jockey in San Jose. The guy who gave him the job became a Hollywood agent, and Palmer became his client. It took three years to get a picture part. and a U-I contract. Meanwhile he drove trucks and hauled ice.
Palmer is a born emcee. His hobby is building small models of trains and planes. He blushes easily, prefers casual clothes, likes all athletics, especially skiing. He works hard at the studio preparing himself for the “big break.” It’s due. Soon.
Born: San Francisco, Calif. Date: 1/25/27 Height: 6‘ 2“ Weight: 185 Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown
It’s old home week for talented Allyn McLerie in Warners’ box office hit. “Where’s Charley?” Allyn created the role of the prim and pretty Amy in the original production and played it in New York and on the road for almost three years. One week after it closed, she was on her way to London for the picture version. The Brothers Warner liked her screen test so much they signed her to a contract. “The Desert Song” is her second picture.
W hen Allyn first came to Hollywood. she lived in a small apartment. Then she got a real break. Her good friends Eddie Albert and Margo set out for Europe, and left their house to Allyn. “It has a pool and a dog and a beehive,” says city-girl McLerie. “I’ve never had it so good.”
Allyn was born in Canada. When her father died. her mother moved to New York, became an American Citizen and started her daughter taking dance lessons. Allyn was fifteen and attending high school in Brooklyn when Agnes De Mille gave her a part in the chorus of “One Touch of Venus,” Then came “On the Town,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” and “Where’s Charley?”
Allyn likes clothes. yet hates to shop. She learned to ride horseback while in London and did her own difficult riding in “The Desert Song.” She can’t remember names. However, she remembers conversations word for word. She’s friendly, but shy. and finds it hard to make small talk with strangers. She is completely sold on California. She has only one beef: she eats more in California and thinks she’s taking on weight. “When I take it on.” she says, “the only way I can take it off is by worrying. And I have nothing to worry about these days.”
Born: Quebec, Canada Date: 12/1/26 Height: 5‘ 5 ½“ Weight: 125 Eyes: Blue-gray Hair: Brown
“The iron mistress” is the first Alan Ladd picture under his new Warner Brothers contract, and young Phyllis Kirk is the lucky girl who gets him in the final fadeout. “It’s the only incredible thing in the picture,” says Phyllis. “No one will believe that Alan would choose me instead of Virginia Mayo.”
Phyllis has always wanted to act. As a child in Syracuse, New York. where her father sold autos and her mother was a nurse, Phyllis used to invent roles for herself. After high school graduation in Elizabeth, New Jersey. she headed for Ne w York. She started as a waitress, moved on to a job selling perfume. A Conover scout saw her behind the atomizers and—presto—she was a model.
She studied drama with every penny she could save, and in 1949, hit the boards in the Jean Pierre Aumont play, “My Name Is Aquilon.” Next, roles with road companies and in summer stork. Then Hollywood. Her first picture was Sam Goldwyn’s “Our Very Own.” Warners signed her to a long-term contract a year ago. and she’s now appearing in “About Face.”
Phyllis lives alone in a small Beverly Hills apartment with her half-Persian cat. Her pet hate is paying rent, and as soon as the bank balance permits, she’s going to buy a small house and have her sister Peggy live with her. “I have no desire for a mink coat or a Cadillac,” she says.
She’s cordial, warm-hearted and doesn’t try to hide her intelligence. And she’s a great talker—on any subject! She loves Hollywood and picture-making, and has no patience with fancy “theatuh” folk who criticize the place. And when Phyllis has no patience, she lets you know. You’re never bored around Phyllis.
Born: Plainfield, N. J. Date: 9/18 Height: 5‘ 5“ Weight: 109 Eyes: Blue-green Hair: Reddish brown
When Richard Allan received a letter of invitation from his Uncle Samuel, he was preparing for a career as an opera singer at the University of Illinois. But Uncle Sam had other plans. “We were consigned to the Quartermaster’s Laundry Battalion,” Richard recalls. “You never saw sadder rookies. But being a soapsuds soldier did have its moments. When the washing was done. I studied languages and voice from wonderful teachers in Oran, Pisa and Rome.”
It was swimming. however, that got Richard his first movie job after Army days. Paramount hired him as a double and stunt man for Montgomery Clift in “A Place in the Sun.” Swimming also got him jobs in Esther Williams’ pictures. He was working in a musical with Betty Grable—this time as a dancer—when he caught the eye of a Fox producer and was signed to a long-term contract. He’s in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “Bloodhounds of Broadway,” but his best part to date is in the recently completed “Niagara.” He portrays a heavy who plots a murder with Marilyn Monroe.
Richard comes from a large family, most of whom still live in Jacksonville, Illinois. His father is a farmer and his mother is a dietician. When he was a kid he sold magazines from door to door. “I was not a success,” he says. “I was too social. Customers would give me cookies and milk and soon I’d be completely bogged down from food and conversation.”
Richard’s quite a conversationalist. He’s always a great asset to a party. He can play piano as well as sing. But he’s no party boy. He’s studying for that day when grand opera and acting will merge on the screen. A Great Day for Richard.
Born: Jacksonville, III. Date: 6/22 Height: 6‘ Weight: 165 Eyes: Blue Hair: Dark brown
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE OCTOBER 1952