Louella Parsons’ Good News
“Elizabeth, you’re going to have the most spoiled baby in the world!” I said to Elizabeth Taylor after she had just confirmed to me over the phone the happy news.
“Oh, I know it—I know it and I don’t care,” Liz laughingly replied, obviously at this moment the happiest expectant mother in the world.
“Why did your mother keep on denying it after I had checked her time after time to see if it were true?” I asked.
“Mother really didn’t know, honestly,” Liz said. “I was not sure when I was in England, and I wanted to wait until I came back home and went to my own doctor. Oh, it just isn’t possible for two people to be happier than Mike and I.” Elizabeth had broken the happy news to Michael Wilding via telephone to London, The pappy-to-be had been detained in his native England awaiting a quota number and was to follow Liz within a few weeks.
Let me let you in on something: Twins run in the Taylor family and nothing would thrill our girl more than to welcome a little Michael and Michele. Those names will stick no matter what—Michael for a boy and Michele for a girl—that’s how crazy Liz is about her Mike.
Can you imagine what Liz, who has always lavished affection on kittens, dogs, birds and other pets, will feel about a child of her own.
Yes, indeed—everybody is glowingly happy about Liz’s baby-to-be—that is, all but MGM, which had enough pictures lined up for her to keep her busy the next two years.
So far, at least, those who predicted that happiness between 20-year-old Liz and 39-year-old Mike would be short-lived, may now hide their faces in shame while everybody croons lullabies!
I’ve never more enjoyed hostessing a party than the one I gave in the garden of my home honoring William Randolph Hearst, Jr., and his beautiful wife, Austine. I’ve known Bill since he was a little boy, and I am so proud of the way he is following, so brilliantly, in his father’s journalistic path.
Everybody came to greet Bill and “Bootsie”—so many acceptances, in fact, that we put up a cellophane tent and set up white tables with vivid umbrellas in the garden.
Lana Turner, in a beige cocktail dress and coat that exactly matched her hair, came with Fernando Lamas—who else? These two, so much in love, held hands all the time they were here.
Jack Benny came “stag” because Mary had already left for London. I have to tell you something amusing Jack said to Ava Gardner, whose hair was surprisingly blonde, looking like a dolls wig.
“Honey, began Jack, tactfully, “I’m not your husband. But, if I were, I’d ask you to get rid of that damned blonde hair and be a beautiful brunette again!”
Frankie Sinatra died laughing, but he didn’t say anything! Ava was a good scout and laughed, too.
I never realized how small Merle Oberon is until I saw her talking with Father Thomas English, the tallest priest in America—six feet eight inches. Merle’s neck was absolutely bent backwards.
Gracie Allen had a wonderful time singing with the string band.
Jane Wyman said, “What do you mean, stealing my stuff? I’m the one who has gone crazy over singing in public.” Jane wore a pearl gray cocktail dress and matching coat along the same line as Lana’s. She really looked stunning.
Ginger Rogers wore black chiffon with beautiful blue earrings and necklace.
Cary Grant and Betsy had to leave early, reluctantly, because they have a new cook who gets violent migraine headaches.
Sylvia Ashley Gable sat with the David Nivens and said she was so glad to see so many of her “old pals” again. Sylvia has put on weight, but that is natural. She hasn’t been able to move around much since she hurt her foot so badly. She has to use a crutch.
I was particularly proud that California’s Governor Earl Warren and his charming wile were able to attend. The Governor always seems to enjoy: himself so much.
Rosalind Russell wore a little yellow hat with a tiny yellow veil over her eyes—very flattering.
Norma Shearer Arrouge looked wonderful in a smart black suit and hat.
I’d just like to say—as maybe I shouldn’t—that I had an awfully good time, myself, at my own party.
Ingrid Bergman wept as though her heart would break in a thousand pieces when she read Pia’s statement, “I do not love my mother. I like her. I love my father.”
Every effort had been made to keep the newspapers away from Ingrid, who was very ill in Rome just before the birth of her twin daughters. But she got hold of them anyway.
A very close friend—who had talked with her over Trans-Atlantic telephone—later told me, “She is crushed. Completely crushed.”
It is very hard for me to believe that Pia wasn’t coached in her testimony when she said, “I seldom saw my mother. She was usually working, or away, or tired.”
I remember when Ingrid was making Joan Of Arc and I visited her on the set. It was a big production into which a fortune was being poured, But she was always the mother as well as the great actress carrying a heavy load.
The day I lunched with her, Pia was there, so gay, so devoted to her mother and so worshipful that she had her hair cut just like Ingrid!
I know, too, that the little girl came often to the studio and lunched with her mother. And time after time I saw them shopping in Beverly Hills with their arms around each other.
Whenever I ran into Ingrid, she never failed to tell me about Pia, some sweet thing she had said or done or about how proud she was of her good school cards.
As for Dr. Peter Lindstrom, I know what I am talking about when I say his private life is far from an open book. I know of a marriage into which he brought great unhappiness himself. And, this he will not dare to deny.
It is up to him to undo the terrible damage he wrought in permitting a 13-year-old girl to read everything printed in the papers and the actual transcript of the Bergman-Rossellini affair.
No mother in the world should live to hear her daughter say she does not love her.
Right at the height of Jane Wyman’s rug-cutting party at the Tiffany Club, Jerry Lewis said, “Man—this is a WHAM-BAMMIE!”
I’m not sure what a wham-bammie is, but I’ve never seen so many top stars letting down their hair and cutting up their feet!
It was a farewell for Jane’s friends, the William Perlbergs, who were leaving for Europe where Bill will direct the Bing Crosby picture.
Jane had taken over the small nightclub, where so many hot jive bands play when they come to Los Angeles. How that Janie loves jive, and she looked so cute in a décolleté red-and-white checked gingham gown.
Believe it or not, but when I got there such “dignified” people as Greer Garson, Gary Cooper, Van Heflin, Barbara Stanwyck and some producers and agents were hot-footing it like crazy to Red Nichols and His Five Pennies band!
As for Betty Hutton and Charles O’Curran—they are such wonderful jive dancers they could turn professional.
Everyone took Janie at her word and came in ginghams and cottons—everyone but Evie Johnson (Van’s wife) who was done to the teeth in full evening regalia. But she had fun.
Tyrone Power took a turn at the drums!
The fun went on until five o’clock in the A.M. I’ll never know how Janie got up the next day, packed her two children, and took off for the East.
Eleanor Powell was hysterical as she sobbed, “Let me get myself together—I’ve never been so unhappy. Yes, Glenn (Ford) and I are having trouble, but I’m too miserably confused to talk now.”
This was the climax to a long series of rumors that Glenn and his dancer wife, Ellie, were on the verge of ending their nine-year marriage.
Last year when Glenn went to Europe to be gone a long time making Green Gloves and took his mother, the whispers of trouble were really shouts around Hollywood.
But Eleanor held fast to her story and to her hope that their marriage would survive. When Glenn returned from Europe after four months, he went home to Ellie and their six-year-old son, Peter, whom both adore. Apparently, all was well or, at least, calmed down.
Then, Glenn went off to Europe again—this time to make Time Bomb for MGM—another jaunt of three or four months.
Eleanor, at first, told me that she had no idea where Glenn was. Her mother, highly excited, called later and said that Glenn was in the house all the time these hysterics were going on.
Whether he was or he wasn’t, I hare by the time you read this that things will be well between the Fords again.
Thinking out loud: Red Skelton must watch his health—all the fame and success in the world isn’t worth what Red is pouring into his work. Too much work. . . . A certain beautiful blonde babe is drinking too much. . . . You’d be surprised if you knew what top star, ultra dignified, has a great big crush on Jane Wyman. Tried to get his plane ticket changed to the train, just so he could ride East with Janie and her children. . . . Barbara Stanwyck is finally “over” Robert Taylor. . . . Speaking of Bob, he’s been dating Mickey Rooney’s ex, Martha Vickers. . . . Rita Hayworth is really working very hard on Salome. None of the headaches and suspensions connected with her comeback movie, Affair In Trinidad. But she does find time to dine quietly now and then with Richard Greene. . . . Doris Day threw out her Early American furniture in favor of French Provincial—which is Early French to the French. . . . The “upsets” between Kathryn Grayson and Gordon MacRae making The Desert Song have not blazed out in the open as did her troubles with Mario Lanza. Kathie seems such an easygoing gal off screen. What happens with her and her singing co-stars?
Talked with John Wayne right after he made up his mind that his marriage to Esperenza was definitely over. For weeks his Mexican wife, nicknamed Chata, had kept him dangling about their marital status and finally the worm turned. It was John who said, “I’ve had enough.
“I can’t take any more—and still keep my dignity, Louella,” the No. 1 star at the box office told me. “I was absolutely bewildered when I returned from Honolulu, expecting to join Chata, to find that she had taken off for Mexico.
“When we were both in Honolulu, she promised to join me there again after, a short trip back home. She never returned. Never offered any explanation.
“Things were getting to the point whee I didn’t know whether I was married or not. It was an intolerable situation.”
I asked John if it is true, as everyone said, that Chata was very jealous of his love for his four children by his first wife, Jo, and of the frequent visits he made to their home.
“That part of the gossip isn’t true, and I can’t say that against her. But I can no longer be kept dangling at her apron strings about whether she wants me or not. Not—and keep my self-respect.”
John wouldn’t discuss whether there is now a chance that he and Jo will re-marry. But their friends are keeping their fingers crossed hoping they do.
Well, Rock Hudson is back with Vera-Ellen, as of this writing.
Even after these two broke their engagement and started dating others, they still didn’t seem to forget.
He is supposed to be Marilyn Maxwell’s big moment now—and Vera has been getting zee beeg rush from Ernie Byfield, Jr. So, frankly, I don’t seem able to puzzle out just what will eventually happen between Rock and Vera.
Here’s, a tip, gals. Jane Greer says that only relaxed women are glamorous.
“Can you imagine Marlene Dietrich, or Garbo, or Hedy Lamarr chattering like magpies at men, giggling on a dance floor, running here or there in breathless confusion?
“No—if a girl wants to go in for the glamor treatment, the first thing she has to learn is—take it easy. Not only that—it’s a beautifier. The girl who crinkles her face up and goes into contortions when she laughs gets nothing but—wrinkles.
“I don’t mean a girl should be spiritless and dull—but soft-pedal the voice, keep cool, be a little remote and mysterious if you want your husband’ or boyfriend to think you’re glamorous.”
Had to laugh over the way the rumor started that Doris Day and Marty Melcher are “expecting.” Doris’ seven-year-old son by a previous marriage, Terry, went to a kids party.
One of the children asked Terry if he had any little brothers or sisters. “Nope,” he said, “But we got one coming up!”
When I checked Doris, she died laughing. “I’m afraid that’s just wishful thinking on Terry’s part—right now, anyway.”
The Letter Box: Alma Totters, Huntington, Tenn., writes: “What has happened to June Haver? She is my very favorite. She seems to be slipping both on the screen and in magazine interviews.” June isn’t slipping. Alma. She has been ill, which has delayed her newest picture, and naturally she has not been available for interviews.
“Effie,” Brooklyn, wants to know: “Don’t you like Rory Calhoun?” Of course I do. He’s one of the best-looking actors. in town, and just,as nice as he looks. He’s very happy these days now that he and his lovely wife Lita are on the Stork’s list.
—BY LOUELLA PARSONS
It is a quote. MODERN SCREEN MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 1952