Louella Parsons’ Good News
When you read this, Jane Powell will be touring this country and Canada with her night club act. And by the strangest coincidence, Gene Nelson’s public appearances take him to the same towns at the same time Jane is playing!
The rift between Janie and Geary Steffen was a body blow to her fans, to the whole industry, in fact.
The public is more or less used to the romantic failures of the Lana Turners, Ava Gardners, et al. But Jane and Geary and their two children stood for something solid among the younger married set.
Apparently, everything was okay until Jane was loaned by MGM to Warners’ to make Three Sailors And A Girl with Gene. So simon-pure was Jane’s reputation that even the usually suspicious co-workers thought little of the fact that she and Gene lunched together daily.
The first jolt came when Gene admitted that he and his wife of nine years were separating. (They have a son.)
Two weeks later came the thunderbolt that Jane and Geary had had “trouble” and were attempting to hold their marriage together.
But just before Jane left on her tour, taking her two children and a nurse, she said, “Unless I have a change of heart, I’ll divorce Geary when I return to Los Angeles in six weeks.”
She had “no comment” to make about Gene Nelson (as though one were needed!).
Somebody tried to tell me that the trouble between Jane and Geary is that he is a business man and she is an artist; and the attraction between Jane and Gene is that they speak the same language, showbusiness. That’s a lot of nonsense if you ask me.
What gets into these young people—the Donald O’Connors, Gene Nelsons, the Steffens, Jane Withers and her husband and all the rest of them? Do they think a change of partners will solve the problems that can only be handled by more inner strength and patience and understanding of the individual?
Desi Arnaz was all over the Racquet Club in Palm Springs the Saturday night of his and Lucille Ball’s first vacation since Desi IV was born, showing a whole set of nude pictures of his son and heir.
“Some boy, eh?” squealed Desi bustin’ his buttons with pride over his four-months-old boy. “Already the glamor girls are tryin’ to date him—but he gives them all the brush. Some boy!”
Lucille called from their table, “Desi! You bring those pictures right back here! Can’t poor little Desi have some privacy?”
Obediently, Desi returned the nudes to his red-headed Lucy. She gave him some others to show of the baby with clothes on.
Desi exhibited these, too. “But they don’t do him justice,” he sighed.
Frankie Sinatra Jr., age 10, had his first fight with a kid at school who said that Frankie, Sr. “couldn’t sing.”
Scratched up but victorious, Frankie reported the battle to his mother.
Nancy said, “Darling, you mustn’t fight. Don’t you know that if Daddy couldn’t sing we wouldn’t have this lovely home and all the good things he gives us even though he doesn’t live here anymore?
“From now on when a boy says your father can’t sing, just ask him if his father has done as well in his business as your father has done in his.”
Little Frankie thought this over.
“All right,” he conceded, “and if his father hasn’t done as well, I won’t fight. But if he has done as well—I’m gonna beat the stuffin’ out of him!”
The law of compensation really paid off for Virginia Mayo and Mike O’Shea.
After six years of a childless marriage, they expect a baby in November and they’re just about the two happiest people in the world.
This wonderful blessing came at a time when Virginia and Mike thought the breaks were going against them. Mike’s career hasn’t been going well. And a California court handed down a decision that Virginia (because of our state’s community property laws) had to pay the first Mrs. O’Shea $25,000 in back alimony.
When things looked blackest came confirmation of their dearest hope—a baby is coming to them. They’re nice people, Virginia and Mike. I’m so happy for them.
I’m not losing any sleep fearful that the “scoop” of Terry Moore’s “elopement” with Robert Wagner will elude me.
This little gal has a plenty hep press agent. He never misses a chance to get Terry in the papers as the burning heart interest of some very attractive gentleman or another.
Bing Crosby sat down at her table briefly following a golf match. The next day the gossip columns were flooded with news of this newest “romance.”
The truth about Terry and young Wagner’ (a much sought after guy) is that they were in Florida making a movie together. And they went dancing a couple of times.
So, this is blown into a “big story” that Terry and Bob are on the verge of eloping.
Listen To This: psychiatrists have diagnosed Marlyn Monroe’s frequent colds and asthmatic attacks us “psychosomatic” (meaning an illness brought on by a frustration).
“She needs to feel that she is loved and wanted,” say the mental-medics. “She suffers physically from a subconscious yearning for affection!”
Wait ’til the Army, Navy and Marines hear this!
I wonder what Janet Leigh thinks if she happens to remember the interview she gave not too long ago in which she said, “It may seem cold-hearted, but when a couple in our set starts quarreling and having trouble, we just don’t see them anymore. It’s too dangerous to the happiness of the young marrieds we know to associate with couples who are fighting or divorcing!” Now look what’s happened.
THESE FOUR ROMANCES ARE NOW THE HOTTEST TOPICS OF HOLLYWOOD.
Geary threw a birthday party for Jane. But Jane pairing off with Gene Nelson threw all Hollywood for a loop. Only temporarily, says Geary.
Wedding plans for Jeff Donnell and Aldo Ray were in the blueprint stage before Rita Hayworth came along . . . now everything’s sketchy.
The first couple in the set of “happy young marrieds” to turn in their badges were Mona Freeman and Pat Nerney. When their marriage break came, no longer were they among the gay group headed by Janet and Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis and Patti, invited to barbeques, to make home-made movies and to share vacation trips to Palm Springs or the mountains.
Then the Dean Martins had a serious break before they decided to try again.
Now it’s Jane Powell and Geary Steffen on the skid list.
And, horror of horrors, Janet and Tony have spent a great deal of time recently heatedly denying that they are having their problems.
Pretty soon, the only couple left of the “original” group of friends still permitted to join the barbeque-home-movies group, may be Patti and Jerry Lewis!
The “cast” is rapidly pfftting out!
After being the dowdiest-dressed pregnant woman ever to have a baby in Hollywood, Shelley Winters is absolutely startling the natives by showing up at social events a bloomin’ fashion plate. She’s very, very chic these days.
She came to the Diner’s Club cocktail party at Ciro’s in a cinnamon-colored cocktail suit with jet buttons, black gloves and, believe it or not, a very chic cocktail hat with tiny jet beads on the veil. It’s the first time the oldest citizen can recall Shelley wearing a hat.
When she was kidded about how smart she looked, Shell flipped, “Why should I have spent money looking like I did before Vittoria was born? Now I’ve’ got my ‘figger’ back there’s some sense in going overboard on buying pretty clothes.”
Another gal at the same affair who looked surprisingly different was Jeanne Crain, who showed up with her hair violently red and very short. And her husband, Paul Brinkman, looked “different” because he had shaved off his mustache.
While we’re on the subject of fashions, Ann Blyth’s wedding garters will be the most original ever donned by a bride: they are blue-lace with tiny bags filled with rice decorating them.
Purely Personal: It’s touching and a little sad the way Greta Peck (Mrs. Gregory) tries to pretend that all is well between her and Greg. She explains her return to Hollywood while he remains in Europe making movies, by saying “It’s better for our children to be here.” . . .
Robert Taylor, who has always criticized people for necking in public, necks in public with Ursula Thiess. . . .
Nothing is sillier to me than the argument defending the stars in Europe for 18-months to dodge income taxes, “an actor’s career in the big money is so short.” Errol Flynn has had a short career? Clark Gable has had a short career? Claudette Colbert? Gene Kelly? Gary Cooper? Gene Tierney? Oh, come now. . . .
“ROSEMARY CLOONEY DAY” WAS A GLORIOUS ONE FOR THE WHOLE TOWN WHEN MAYSVILLE’S FAVORİTE DAUGHTER CAME HOME FOR A VISIT!
Grinning excitedly, Rosemary is interviewed in front of the theater. She was guest of honor at the gala teen-age dance that followed.
Wayne Bell of WFTM, Maysville’s local station, crowned Rosie “Queen of Song” in the name of disk jockeys the country over.
Back in Hollywood once again, Rosie relaxes with her favorite beau José Ferrer, and gives him a report on her triumphant return to her home town.
No girl ever took sudden, dizzying success with more modesty than Rosemary Clooney. Just love this gal. . . .
Mona Freeman’s torch for Bing Crosby is lighting up Sunset Boulevard. I still say, no matter. how many dates Bing has with a pretty girl, he ain’t thinking of marrying again. . . .
You may not think of “Schnozz” Durante as the ideal lady’s man, but his cute, redheaded girl friend, Marjorie Little, cried her eyes out when she (mistakenly) thought he was at a night club with another gal. Guess we better start calling him “Romeo” Durante. . . .
The sight-of-the-month was the Paramount Studio gates opening to permit a sporty Jaguar car onto the lot. The driver was Michael Wilding in bright yellow slacks and sweater and beside him sat a nurse holding three-months-old Michael Howard Wilding on her lap.
Just like his old man, baby Mike was also done up in yellow, but it was a paler shade; a little embroidered yellow cap and matching jacket.
The Wilding “men” were on their way to visit Momma Elizabeth Taylor who was emoting in Elephant Walk—her first movie since Mike, Jr.’s birth.
He is just about the huskiest little fellow you ever saw and so cute that director William Dieterle insisted on shooting a whole minute of footage showing young Wilding in his mother’s arms.
He was very blasé about it but kept trying to push Liz’ face to the side.
“Hmmmmm,” observed papa Wilding from the sidelines, “a born actor!”
Mario Lanza flies into such tantrums that I’m sure the only real solution to his problem is medical care. His latest antic was tearing the mail box off his Palm Springs house when he failed to receive a letter he expected.
And he’s re-gained a great deal of weight. although he triés to diet.
I believe that some people are born to be plump and that it is dangerous for them to diet too strenuously.
Judy Garland had all her trouble when she was trying desperately to get thin.
And, everything had been all right with Mario before he took off 75 pounds.
Mario is a great artist. If keeping his physique in shape means losing him on the screen, for heavens sake, let’s have him plump.
Rita Hayworth’s hair-do for Miss Sadie Thompson is said to be the sexiest yet. Hair stylist, Helen Hunt, created it and it’s a halo of soft, loose curls which sway with the Princess’ body movements. They “wiggle” when Rita dances. Sounds like Medusa and the snakes in her hair to me—but I’m willing to see it on Rita.
The Letter Box: A wonderful sympathetic letter from Vera Marshall, of New York, about Bing Crosby: “He never in any way revealed or indicated any personal unhappiness in his life. Can others, with less serious troubles, say the same? I say Bing is entitled to a little happiness.” You are a fan with rare understanding, Vera.
“Aleta, St. Louis, wants to know why Dale Robertson’s publicity has dropped off. It was his own idea—and I’m not sure it was a good one.
That’s all for now. See you next month.
—BY LOUELLA PARSONS
It is a quote. MODERN SCREEN MAGAZINE JULY 1953