Welcome to Vintage Paparazzi.

Louella Parsons’ Good News

I’LL NEVER DO ANYTHING to let our boys down. They mean everything to me—and to Greta,” Gregory Peck told me as we sat in my garden. “She’s been wonderful about everything and She’s a fine mother.”

I believe the marriage of Greta and Gregory Peck has reached the end even though there may be no move to an actual divorce from either side for years.

As I write this, Greg is back in Hollywood, living at home and spending as much time as possible with his sons. But soon he will be on his way again, this time to London to make Moby Dick for John Huston.

While he was here, Greg came to see me and while he was reluctant to discuss the situation with Greta, he admitted for the first time that they are estranged.

I got the impression that neither of the Pecks plan any definite move, although the latest word is that Greta intends to file for divorce.

Greg told me he plans to spend much more time in Hollywood making films after Moby Dick—because he wants to be with his boys as much as possible from here on in.

The shortest reconciliation on record: Betty Hutton and Charles O’Curran patched up their differences Saturday, then separated again on Sunday morming. Now she has her interlocutory decree.

The trouble seems to be that Charlie and Betty’s agent, Abe Lastfogel, can’t get along for five minutes—and Betty, a very ambitious girl, always listens to her agent.

THERE’S SOMETHING VERY MYSTERIOUS about the affair of the story about Marilyn Monroe which ran in a London newspaper.

Marilyn was furious when she talked with me over the telephone about her shock and distress over the supposed story of her life, under her byline (but actually authored by Ben Hecht).

Titled “My Own Uncensored Story,” the articles told shocking things including dramatic and heartbreaking anecdotes about her mother.

“I am going to sue,” Marilyn told me, her voice shaking, “how dare Mr. Hecht, who pretends to be my friend, do such a terrible thing and without my permission! Joe is just as indignant as I am.” This was my cue to contact fireball writer Hecht who lives nearby at Oceanside.

I’ve known Ben a long time—and he’s liable to do anything. But he sounded sincere when he told me, “The story was sold by my agent without my permission. I knew nothing of the publication of the stories on Marilyn until your call.”

It’s difficult to believe that an agent to a writer as important as Hecht would dare to sell a story without permission.

Anyway, in this case, most of the sympathy goes to Marilyn because Hecht reveals that he has nothing but utter contempt for Hollywood and most of the people in it in his autobiography, Child Of The Century.

THE PARTY OF THE MONTH was hosted by composer Jimmy McHugh in honor of the new darling of the debs, Eddie Fisher, and seldom have I seen so many teen agers at a cocktail party, seemingly most of them with a crush on Eddie.

The garden of the McHugh home was abloom with flowers and sweet young things in summery dresses—among the sweetest and the youngest, Anna Maria Alberghetti and Pier Angeli.

Later on I went to dinner with the two dark eighteen-year-old Italian beauties and Eddie. Although the girls are the same age, Pier seems far more mature because she dates without a chaperone.

She told me confidentially that her mother had had a talk with Anna Maria’s parents and told them that they should give Anna Maria a little more freedom. “It’s amazing,” Pier whispered to me, “she can’t go anywhere without a chaperone.”

I have a feeling that Pier considers herself something of a woman of the world, particularly as she is supposed to have “suffered” over the break-up of her romance with Kirk Douglas who just recently married Anne Buydens.

Someone had asked Pier if she had sent Kirk and his bride a message of congratulation. She shrugged her shoulders, “Why should I?”

But to get back to the cocktail party, one of the most stunning girls present was dancer Vera-Ellen in a banana-colored chiffon cocktail dress. It was just a few years back that Vera was regarded as one of the worst dressed gals in pictures. Remember the comment she stirred up when she attended a premiere wearing a bouffant pink net gown, ballet slippers and a beret!!

Ever since Vera has been dating suave, witty Richard Gully she has shown the most excellent taste in clothes. Methinks the sophisticated assistant to Jack Warner has had a lot to do with Vera’s smart appearance these days and nights.

I simply didn’t recognize Debra Paget when she arrived. What in the world has this girl done to her hair? It’s suddenly flaming pink—and I mean pink! Even though she is recently divorced, Gloria De Haven looked pretty, fresh and happy. She wore a pale pink jacket over a black cocktail dress. I think Jeff Chandler has something to do with the new happiness Gloria has found.

A few days after the party, Eddie opened at the Cocoanut Grove and not since the old days when Joan Crawford used to win: Charleston contests there have I seen so many stars sitting under the coconut trees. Joan, herself, was there with Jennings Lang. So were Dinah Shore and George Montgomery, Jane Wyman and Freddie Karger, Jeanne Crain and Paul Brinkman, Vera-Ellen and Richard Gully, Anna Maria Alberghetti with Vic Damone (yep, he was her date without a chaperone), Betty Hutton, Debbie Reynolds and practically all the local younger set who are real “gone” on Eddie.

IT WAS A BIG MONTH for parties—Judy Garland’s birthday shindig being one of the most luxurious affairs.

For the gala occasion, Sid Luft took over the new private room at Romanoff’s—which has a magnificent view of the whole city—and the motif was pink—tablecloths, candles, flowers—all very flattering to the femme guests.

Judy was like a kid. showing off the new big diamond ring Sid gave her. “It’s the first diamond ring I ever owned in my whole life,” said the happy Mrs. Luft.

I got a kick out of Ethel Merman when I asked her if she was working in No Business Like Show Business the following morning.

“That all depends on Marilyn Monroe,” said the queen of Broadway musicals who, I understand, has been patience herself waiting for the Queen of Hollywood glamour girls to show up on the set—or not show up.

When Rocky and Gary Cooper walked in just about the same time that Peter Lawford and his bride, Patricia Kennedy, arrived, every eye in the place was on this foursome. Or had you forgotten that during several separations from Gary, Rocky Cooper and Pete Lawford used to be dancing dates?

Those who expected fireworks were doomed to disappointment. Rocky and Peter were extremely cordial to each other—and I later saw Gary dancing with the new Mrs. Lawford.

I had a ball at the Eddie Fisher party


It turned out that the big surprise of the evening was Humphrey Bogart’s singing! With all this professional talent in attendance—Bogey got up at the microphone and gave with “September Song,” and he was plenty good.

Lauren Bacall remarked, “The old boy can do anything,” but she was plenty proud of “the old boy,” believe me.

Mona Freeman, who is Judy’s closest girl friend, came with Bob Neal (Frank Sinatra being up in Las Vegas). All Mona can talk about is how wonderful Judy is in A Star Is Born.

“If she doesn’t get the Academy Award,” Mona told me, “they should stop handing out Oscars.”

The, Dean Martins seem absolutely lovey-dovey since their reconciliation. I didn‘t see either of them dancing with anyone else the entire evening.

Van and Evie Johnson are always so sweet and thoughtful to everyone. I had to go home early—too early for such a good party—and they brought me to my door.

I had to tell Van how good I think he is in The Caine Mutiny movie.

“Thank you, Louella,” he said, “my days of the howling bobby soxers are over. But I’m thankful that my career has moved into maturity without too big a jolt.”

Evie told me that she and Van were bent double the other evening going over some of his old fan magazine stories. The worst was titled, “The Kutest Kid In Town.”

AVA GARDNER’S NEW LOVE is costing her plenty—in more ways than one. She is completing her six-weeks stint in Reno divorcing Frank Sinatra and my money says that she will be heading immediately to Madrid to marry—and I said marry—bullfighter Dominguin!

MGM has suspended her, which means no more fat salary checks, for refusing to do Love Me Or Leave Me,the story of singer Ruth Etting.

Ava took a beautiful house on Lake Tahoe and imported practically her entire family to be with her while she sat it out. Two sisters were with her, one brother-in-law and her secretary.

If the Reno-ites expected her to go into seclusion, as have many stars in quest of freedom, they were pleasantly surprised.

A fan writes, “Ava is at a nightclub or at one of the gambling palaces almost every night—all dressed up and looking anything but unhappy.

“When Ann Sothern opened her nightclub act in Reno, Ava, sitting ringside, attracted almost as much attention as Maisie Sothern. When Ann introduced her, she stood up in the spotlight and took a bow and threw kisses. She was very gracious to fans who came to her table and autographed menus for several of them—including me.

“The only time she seemed disturbed was when a fresh guy asked ier if she knew that Mona Freeman had gone to Las Vegas to visit Frank Sinatra.

“Ava frowned and snapped, I care nothing about that.

“She wears simply scrumptious clothes. Even her denims have pearl and rhinestone trimmings and her slacks outfits are divine. A boy who makes deliveries to her house says that Ava has pictures of her bullfighter boy friend all over the place—even in the kitchen!

“At cocktail time she wears the cutest matador pants in bright red or green satin.”

Thank you, Miss Fan, for this inside peek at Ava getting her divorce.


If you think 20th Century-Fox isn’t sold, sold, sold on Robert Wagner, listen to this: the studio took up his option eighteen months ahead of time.

I have a hunch Jeff Chandler and Gloria De Haven will marry when both are free. They’re soooo gone on each other.

Everyone is so happy for Wanda Hendrix—now Mrs. Jim Stack. Wanda was a miserable little girl when. her marriage to Audie Murphy went on the rocks. Now she’s living in the clouds again, so in love with the handsome and wealthy socialite who is Bob Stack‘s brother and who recently came into about $4,000,000 inheritance on his thirty-seventh birthday.

Back in the days when Peter Lawford was romancing various Hollywood beauties, he never liked them to visit him on the set. But that’s all changed since Patricia Kennedy became his bride. She lunches daily with him while he’s making his TV series and remains on the set till he’s finished for the day.

A certain little doll-faced ingénue is hitting the bottle too hard and she can’t disguise it under the guise that she’s just “peppy” much longer.

A fashion I wouldn’t exactly advocate—unless you are another Marie Wilson—is her new gag of wearing colored wigs to match her evening gowns.

The night I caught her, Marie had on a soft pink wig that exactly matched a décolletté gown she was wearing.

She also has one in pale blue, another in white and she’s toying with one in orange!

There is no bigger fan than that great actress Shirley: Booth who is just as wonderful in her new movie, About Mrs. Leslie, as she was in her Academy Award winning Come Back, Little Sheba.

Whenever Shirley sees a picture or a play that impresses nee she sits down and writes a personal letter to the actor or actress. Most of them are bowled over by such recognition from a great actress.

Tony Curtis was really surprised


“But there are two,” says Miss Booth, “who didn’t answer—or didn’t send me a photograph with an autograph. I’ll give them a little while longer. And then, I’m going to name, them,” she laughs.

There’s a bit of a catch to the contract Mario Lanza has signed with Howard Hughes. It is effective only if the singer loses at least fifty pounds.

To many actors, this might seem like a slight stipulation. I’m not sure it will be so easy for Mario. A very close friend of his tells me that he will diet strenuously for a day or two—and then he just can’t resist spaghetti.

Poor Marie MacDonald. Even before she was picked up by the Beverly Hills police for ramming three parked cars, and was booked on charges of driving under the influence of sedatives, I had suspected that she was a sick girl.

She frequently called me for no apparent reason. But not too long ago she called to say that she had come to the conclusion that she could not go on with her marriage to Harry Karl.

Within a week she called again to say that Harry had bought her a station wagon, filled it with fishing poles, “and now we have reconciled our differences.” This is hardly the reasoning of someone in control of herself.

As for the charges brought by two newspaper cameramen that Harry Karl deliberately tried to run them down when they tried to take Marie’s picture—I can only believe that he was distraught and hardly knew what he was doing—except blindly trying to protect his ill wife.

I talked with Ann Blyth McNulty exactly twenty-six hours after the arrival of Timothy Patrick McNulty, who weighed in at seven-and-a-half pounds, a big baby for such a little girl.

“Now that Timothy is here, Ann,” I laughed, “break down and admit you and Dr. Jim wanted a boy all along.”

“That’s right, Louella,” Ann chuckled, her voice strong and happy, “we did want a boy first and we couldn’t be happier.”

“You always get what you want,” I said.

“And, I’m deeply grateful,” she agreed. “I guess I’m just lucky.”

If you ask me, I’m sure it’s more than luck. This beautiful and religious girl is just getting back some of the joy and helpfulness and consideration of others which she gives out.

I nominate for stardom: MAGGIE McNAMARA

The cuter-than-a-button Broadway actress is a half-pint package of Irish delight in Three Coins In The Fountain.

The ironic part of it is—ninety-five-pound Maggie, flattered as she is with her new found film success, really prefers life in New York. She tells me, “I guess my husband, David Swift, and I just have New York in our blood.”

She doesn’t look old enough to have a husband when she wears her favored low-heeled shoes and sweaters and skirts. But she’s very proud of Swift, one of the writers on the popular Mr. Peepers tv show.

The Swifts live in a one-room apartment near the campus of UCLA in Westwood. They’re both nearsighted, wear glasses and seldom touch anything stronger than beer.

All the time Maggie was working in Fountain they never attended a nightclub. With the exception of the actors and actresses she worked with at Twentieth, she knows no screen stars. “But I like to see them in public,” little Maggie says. “I saw Judy Garland in the book store in Beverly Hills and I got such a kick out of it.”

Missy MacNamara was born in New York City and came up the model route—posing in teen-age clothes.

Her first stage appearance in The King Of Friday’s Men wasn’t too hot. But the show folded just in time for Otto Preminger to discover her for the Chicago presentation of The Moon Is Blue. Maggie was so great in it she got the movie lead. I think she’ll be with us a long time.


I’m challenging Robert Mitchum to make me eat my words that he is the most miscast actor of the year as the sensitive young doctor in Not As A Stranger.

In the right role, I say there are few better actors than Bob. And most of the fans agree with me. But Bob should see the letters I’ve received from fans who have read Mort Thompson’s best seller—and not one believes that Mitchum is the star for the part.

I even discussed this with Stanley Kramer, the producer. He said, “Wait. I think Bob will surprise you.” I’ll wait. And I’ll be the first to say that he’s great—if he is.

Here are some of the objections to Bob I’ve received in letters:

“He’s too old to be convincing during the large part of the story when the young doctor is a medical student.”

“He has been associated with too much personal sensational publicity to be acceptable to the medical profession.”

“He represents physical, almost animal, appeal which will be a jarring note in the playing of a sensitive, misunderstood man who is dedicated to medicine.”

“All the time I’m watching him, I’ll be thinking of that picture he posed for in France with that girl who stripped off her brassiere.”

And so the letters go.

With all these strikes on him before he goes to bat, I say that Mitchum has the hardest assignment ever handed an actor. But if he overcomes all this in a fine, fine portrayal I’ll be the first to say so—and also to say that he deserves an Academy Award,





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