Louella Parsons’ Good News
Dan Dailey surprised everyone in Hollywood when he went to the Menninger Sanitarium—the place where Robert Walker was restored to health. Dan went there of his own accord after his doctor, a noted psychiatrist, told him that he must have complete rest. He had been very nervous following the separation from his socialite wife. I don’t believe it was so much on her account as because of their little son. Believe me, my hat is off to Dan because it took a lot of courage to go to the Kansas City sanitarium to get away from everything.
Meanwhile, Barbara Whiting is head-over-heels dizzy in love with him, and doesn’t care who knows it. The 19-year-old sister of songstress Margaret, may be “just a kid”—but, oh my, her yen for Dan is on the grande passion proportions.
She runs to fortune tellers a couple of times a week to see if they “foresee” a marriage for her to a “tall, sandy, song and dance man” in the immediate future!
At first, I think Dan was merely amused by the peppy kid—but now, to quote the song, I’ve got a feeling he’s falling.
There’s almost the plot for a movie musical comedy back of this real-life romance.
There’s another lady (who shall be nameless) whom Dan was supposed to have been quite serious about right after his separation from Liz Dailey. But he didn’t want gossips linking their names so soon after the break-up of his home.
So, because he was lonesome, and thought little Barbara was a “cute kid” and much too young (for him) to start romance rumors—Dan started taking her out!
All this was very amusing to The Lady In The Background—at first! Now, I hear, she’s as miffed as miffed can be!
Set this situation to music—and Dan and Barbara could star in it as their next musical at 20th Century-Fox.
We will know by the time you read this whether the baby June Allyson and Dick Powell want so much is a boy or a girl. It doesn’t matter to them if it’s triplets—that’s how many gifts Junie received at the shower given her by Mrs. Edgar Bergen, Dinah Shore and Mrs. Justin Dart (the former Janie Bryan of the movies).
When I walked in at the luncheon I thought—no small town girl could be getting more of a thrill out of unwrapping the pretty packages than was our June.
Gloria De Haven, who started in movies with the honor guest, brought a silver frame for the baby with a place on it for his or her name—plus a lovely nightie for happy June.
Gloria told me that when she was leaving the house, her little daughter didn’t want her to take the packages. “The baby should open them,” she said.
“But the baby isn’t here yet,” Gloria told little Kathy.
“Well, then, keep them until the baby comes,” Kathy insisted.
Frances Bergen gave June a lovely yellow bassinet. The flowers on the table were blue, pink and yellow. The centerpiece was a large stork standing on a mirror and at each place was a knitted bonnet in blue, yellow and pink, holding tiny little candy booties.
At my table sat Ginger Rogers and Mrs. Ray Milland, who was just home from England. Also Gail Patrick, who said she had done a landslide business in her successful baby shoppe, “The Enchanted Cottage,” what with this shower and the one for Darrylin Zanuck Jacks the night before.
Roz Russell dashed in and right out again as she had to do a radio show.
Dinah Shore was a busy co-hostess looking after all the guests—one of the most active being Candy Bergen, who wheeled in the bassinet and wanted all the favors for herself!
Steffi Duna (Mrs. Dennis O’Keefe) made one of her first appearances since her serious accident which happened several months ago.
Bunny Green (Mrs. Johnny) brought her camera and was all over the place taking pictures. Georgianna Montalban (Ricardo’s wife) brought a beautiful handmade dress.
Other guests were Connie Moore, Mrs. Mervyn Le Roy, Mrs. Leonard Firestone, Mrs. Ben Hogan (wife of the golf champ who is very well liked in our town), Julie Murphy, Marion Nixon Seiter and Mrs. Alfred Vanderbilt who really got a kick out of the filmland shower.
Farley Granger has moved into the smallest house in Laurel Canyon—a tiny place just clinging to the side of a hill. It has the fancy name of “Idylwilde”—and therein lies a gag:
With Farley’s yen to travel and to be a free soul when he isn’t actually making a movie the current talk of Hollywood—his pals have changed the name to “Wild To Be Idle”!
It’s true he is actually living in two suitcases—hasn‘t even unpacked one—he is so eager to be off again the minute he finishes Stranger On A Train on loan-out to Warners.
This flitting of Farley’s is, of course, a pain in the neck to his contract boss, Sam Goldwyn, who last month barred Farley’s manager from the Goldwyn lot.
Personally, I would hate to see young Granger get in the middle of a long drawn-out contract fight at this time. He is so popular now—right at the height of his career. I’ve seen so many contract fights injure the careers of promising young stars.
Also, I happen to have seen a letter Farley wrote Sam admitting he has been away too much and promising to concentrate more on his career.
And maybe you think Goldwyn isn’t keeping this letter—just in case!
Like the buzz, buzz, buzz of the old saw mill, gossip was all over our town that Joan Fontaine had deliberately pushed Patricia Medina at Collier Young’s Old Times party—and as a result, Pat was treated at the hospital for a slight concussion!
Take my word for it—there was never a more untrue, or unkind story. Here is what really happened:
Collier’s party was a real old fashioned affair with kid games, pinning the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, Post Office and all that sort of thing. Everybody came dressed up silly-style.
At the height of the evening a group consisting of Joan Fontaine, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Richard Greene and Patricia Medina were putting on an impromptu “ballet” doing adagios. Everybody was running and jumping and Joan was supposed to catch Pat.
Accidentally, the girls lost their balance and Pat fell, hitting her head on a tile step between the living room and the dining room! At the time, she did not even seem to be hurt—but when she had to be taken to the hospital the next day, a veritable mountain of gossip was made out of this clowning!
“They” said—Patricia has been going around with Joan’s ex-husband, Bill Dozier—and Joan is jealous! They said that Joan deliberately dropped her during the height of the horseplay.
Poor Joan! She was absolutely sick about the whole thing.
In the first place—she is not the slightest bit jealous of Bill Dozier. She certainly has no feeling against Pat who did not even meet her ex-husband until almost a year after he and Joan separated.
And, even more important, she is in love with Collier Young (Ida Lupino’s ex) who was the host at the party. I believe she will marry him when she is free.
As for Patricia—she was a swell scout about doing all she could to set everybody straight about the accident, and she was just as indignant as were Joan’s friends over the silly gossip.
Larry Parks is the envy of every male on the MGM lot. The dressing room building for male stars is completely filled up, so Larry was moved into the women’s section for his stint in Love Is Better Than Ever!
His neighbors are Arlene Dahl on one side, and Elizabeth Taylor on the other!
But Larry did insist on a redecorating job. He had all the chintzes and cushions and fripperies taken out and moved in his old red leather easy chair and portable radio.
This has been “preem” month in Hollywood—meaning all the important pictures not yet released gave themselves gala premieres getting in under the wire for Academy Award consideration.
First off—and by far the most glittering (Grauman’s Chinese hasn’t been so lighted up since the days of Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin) was All About Eve.
Every glamor girl in town wanted to see Bette Davis’ take-off on Tallulah Bankhead in this wonderful drama of back-stage Broadway—so they trooped in by the dozens arrayed in jools, furs, and gorgeous gowns.
Bette Davis, in décolleté black velvet and a diamond necklace, showed up, although she had promised her bridegroom that she would not look at the picture without him. (They fell in love making it—“just about the time of the second kiss,” says Bette.)
Without breaking that promise—she got as close as she could—sitting up in the projectionist’s booth while the movie was run off. Her guests, Gary’s parents, sat in the audience and must have been thrilled to tears hearing their handsome son applauded.
If you ask me—Gary is the closest thing to Clark Gable since—Clark Gable!
Lana Turner, gorgeous in pale blue, got a special cheer from the sidewalk crowds—maybe because it was almost her first appearance in public since she lost her baby.
What a night it was for Anne Baxter (“Eve” herself) looking radiant in pink. This is by far her greatest role.
George Sanders, marching in nonchalantly with his red-headed Zsa Zsa on his arm, didn’t fool me. He was inwardly trembling. George actually has an inferiority complex and is nothing like the blasé critic he plays in the picture.
Joan Crawford wore a red dress with red roses over one bare shoulder.
Greer Garson came with her mother, Nina (Buddy Fogelson being in New Mexico). She wore a simple black dress with a gorgeous mink coat—both perfect to set off her lovely red hair.
Speaking of hair—all the fans were intrigued by Danny Kaye who has trimmed his once shaggy locks to almost a “butch” haircut.
Little Vera-Ellen furnished the fashion surprise by wearing a bright red tam with evening clothes. On her, it looked cute.
As usual, Arlene Dahl looked like a magazine cover, in a pink gown and ermine coat and, as usual, she was holding hands with Lex Barker.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, across the street from the premiere, added a cute touch by blocking out everything but the letters E-V-E in their big electric sign.
After the picture there were many parties at Mocambo, La Rue’s, Romanoff’s and Ciro’s. It was like New Year’s Eve with so many gorgeously gowned women and their escorts.
The Born Yesterday premiere was not nearly as gay because nobody got so dressed up. But this picture gives the world a new star in Judy Holliday. She’s wonderful—and you’re going to be crazy about her after the picture is nationally released in February.
Judy gives the best comedy performance of the year—with no one even close to her. The surprising part is, although Missy Holliday played Born Yesterday for years on Broadway and was very cute in a minor part in Adam’s Rib in the movies—she’s sure to be a brand new star discovery to screen fans.
She’s beautiful, cute, irresistible—and oh, well—just the comedienne we have been waiting for. Watch for Judy at Oscar time.
Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh left Hollywood after a series of dinners and cocktail parties that would have “done in” less hardy and appreciative people.
Jack Warner gave a dinner for them the day Vivien finished Streetcar Named Desire in the magnificent War showplaces of the West Coast.
The placecards were miniature streetcars with each guest’s name printed on the side.
Larry (he prefers to be called Larry instead of Sir Laurence) came in limping. He has been suffering from bursitis—but he didn’t let it dim his wit or his spirit. He made a very amusing after dinner speech.
But, no one could have been funnier than Danny Kaye who sounded for all the world as if he were addressing a Rotary club. I’ve never heard anything so hilarious, made even more so by Danny’s deadpan expression.
The Alfred Gwynn Vanderbilts, Ruth Roman, lovely, blonde Virginia Mayo, the Artur Rubinsteins and the Louis B. Mayers were among the guests who numbered only twenty-five.
This intimacy made for wonderful conversation. Seems that conversation is a lost art in these days of jammed cocktail parties and night club affairs where you have to yell above the din of a swing band.
I fully believe that by the time this Good News reaches you, Mr, and Mrs. Gary Cooper will have forgotten their differences and will be together again. It was a minor bombshell when I printed an exclusive story that Rocky had gone to New York for an indefinite stay, taking their daughter Maria with her. Both Rocky and Gary are my close personal friends, and they admitted very freely that they had had a big misunderstanding. I talked to both the Coopers to get the straight of the story. Seems there had been trouble for some weeks and Rocky decided the best thing to do was to go East. Mrs. Cooper, who is a Catholic, is opposed to any idea of divorce, but I am sure the Coopers who have had a beautiful life together for many years will not risk the divorce thing.
Is anyone even faintly surprised at the parting of Kathryn Grayson and Johnny Johnston? I’m not. These two, I think, have been straining at the matrimonial leash for a year.
But, always, when I checked Kathryn she would stall with, “No, everything’s all right. Johnny has to go to New York for a TV show—or to read a play—or to see about a picture”—or any one of a number of invented excuses.
It was the same thing when she separated from John Shelton. Kathryn is down in my book as the “deny-ing-est” lady I know—even when she knows I know better.
I had the tip that she and Johnny (Johnston) were going to make an announcement a full ten days before they got around to doing it. As usual, I called Kathy.
“Oh, no,” she said, etc, etc, etc.
There’s no particular “inside” to this newest Hollywood rift. There is no “other woman” talk as there was once before when Kathryn and her singer husband parted.
Personal Opinions: Jose Ferrer is a cinch to be Mr. Hot in the Academy Awards race for “best performance” in Cyrano De Bergerac. By the way—did you know that Jose’s real name is Jose Vincente Ferrer Otero y Cintro? Light that up on your old theatre marquee! . . . Never have two people tried to make soooo sure that their approaching marriage will be “for keeps” than Doris Day and Marty Melcher. Absolutely scorning a Mexican elopement, they are postponing their wedding until April when their marriage will be unquestionably legal in the California courts. Main reason is—Marty wants to adopt Doris’ nine-year-old son, Terry. . . . John Agar will sing when he goes out on his p.a. tour of the nightclubs—you’ll be surprised, I bet, at how good he is. There’s a slight Sinatra quality about his way of delivering a tune—and that ain’t bad. . . . Keep your eye on the Linda Darnell-William Dozier romance. All these steady dates mean something. . . . Isn’t Arlene Dahl’s red hair getting blonder and blonder?
The Letter Box: Those of you who wrote this month asking if Farley Granger is giving up his career—the answer is no, no, no.
I notice you’re getting a hankering for Howard Keel after Annie Get Your Gun. You Florida fans be on the lookout—Howard’s heading there soon to meet his in-laws for the first time.
Among the belles, you asked me more questions about Judy Garland and June Allyson. Well I’ll keep trying to bring the news to you. But that’s all for now. See you next month!
—BY LOUELLA PARSONS
It is a quote. MODERN SCREEN MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 1951