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Louella Parsons’ Good News

When Arlene Dahl broke up with Fernando Lamas, the redhead said, “I’m through with love.”

But love, apparently, isn’t through with Arlene.

Head over heels in love with her is Rudolph Schirmer, son of famed music publisher Gus Schirmer. Arlene and Rudolph did not date for months after he was separated from his wife and he thought the lady had obtained her Reno divorce before he and the Dahl doll started going around in Hollywood.

But after more than seven weeks in Reno—Mrs. Schirmer changed her mind for some reason (you can guess why) and for a rather frantic forty-eight hours denied that she would divorce Schirmer.

Arlene was really frantic at the implication that she had broken up a marriage—which she certainly had not.

“I know both Mr. and Mrs. Schirmer,” Arlene told me, “and it was she who first told me that she and her husband were separated.”

Whether or not he and Arlene will be married all depends on the lady.

If there were hard feelings between Doris Day and her boss, Jack Warner, you’d never have guessed it at Jack’s beautiful party for Pierre de Gaulle, former Mayor of Paris.

Just twenty-four hours previously, Jack had blown his top when Doris failed to show up to record the final musical number in Lucky Me.

He ordered the cast dismissed, said the song would be cut from the picture, and also said quite a few other things about temperamental stars and one star in particular!

What got Doris’ nose out of joint was that Judy Garland had been given four days of rest at Ojai Valley before she (Judy) recorded her songs for A Star Is Born.

When I first heard that Doris was Awol, I called to get her version.

“I have an earache,” she said, “but really I’ve had no trouble with the studio.” Oh, Doris!

“When Mr. Warner hears I’ve been ill, I’m sure he’ll change his mind and put the song back in the picture,” she opined. You were right, Doris.

Doris went on, “Also, I wish you’d deny for me the silly talk that I’m unhappy about Judy Garland. Or that I am trying to copy her by arriving late on the set—or staying home.

“It’s the same old talk that went the rounds when Peggy Lee made a picture at Warners. It’s all so embarrassing.”

To get back to the Warner party, it was a dilly.

The surprise twosome was Robert Taylor and Ursula Thiess, back together, holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes as ardently as though Ursula had not said a few weeks back, “Bob and I are washed up.”

Scott Brady’s former heart, Dorothy Malone, danced almost every number with millionaire Alfred Vanderbilt and I must say his taste is good. Dorothy was one of the loveliest girls present.

Vera-Ellen wore one of her fabulous costume jewelry necklaces, this one of brilliant orange-colored stones which matched her orange-colored bouffant gown.

Merle Oberon’s glittering emeralds were not costume but the real thing, and they were beautifully set off by the stunning green gown she wore.

There are few girls in our town who have blossomed out more than Jeanne Crain. Formerly very much an ingénue despite her status as a married woman with four children Mrs. Paul Brinkman has suddenly become one of our wittiest girls. Jeanne’s new touch of sophistication in her talk and dress is trés becoming.

Mari Blanchard, the sultry siren of U-I, is one of the lovelies I admire just as much with her new dark tresses as I did when she was blonde. She’s a blonde naturally, but the dark hair is becoming.

The newest divorcée, Corinne Calvet, was escorted by producer Mike Todd, but I noticed that Carlos Thompson, who came stag, cut in on several of their dances.

All in all, it was a big night.

All right, all right, so Peter Lawford wanted to be socially correct and have the announcement of his approaching marriage to Patricia Kennedy come from the Kennedy family.

But did he have to go to such extremes in denying my scoop as to say:

“Hah! Absolutely nothing to it. I enjoy my freedom too much.”

And, the very next day, former Ambassador (to England) Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy confirmed my story that Pete and Pat would be married the week after Easter.

It takes just one good argument to start divorce rumors in our town, and Ruth Roman and Mortimer Hall had that one good argument right in front of Chasen’s, one of the top spy spots of the town.

The following morning, when reporters checked the Halls to find out which one was going to Las Vegas, Morty got on the phone and said:

“Listen, fellas. It was two-thirty in the morning. My wife said to me, ‘I wish you hadn’t had that last drink.’ If there is a wife in the world who, at sometime or another, hasn’t said this to her husband he’s got to be a teetotaler or else he’s dead!

“Ruth and I are very happy. We’ll probably have a few more disputes in public. Think nothing of it.”

Jane Powell, who had a terrible time getting out of the ingénue class on the screen (she got out off screen when she broke up her marriage), says to all girls who have a yen to be sophisticated:

“Wear red. I’m sure you’ll find it’s more effective than black in causing the boys to turn their heads.”

Gossip is that one of the reasons Marlon Brando walked out on The Egyptian is that he is ‘emotionally upset” that his long time girl friend, Movita, walked out on him.

The story goes that Movita is tired of holding his hand—and head—unless a wedding ting goes with the job. And Marlon just can’t make up his mind to get married.

Somebody said that marriage would have been a lot cheaper than the $2,000,000 suit slapped on him by 20th Century-Fox after Marlon came to the coast, had wardrobe fittings, sat in on a rehearsal with the entire cast—and then suddenly blew Hollywood without even a wave of the hand to the studio which already has $1,000,000 invested in this film without a camera turning.

In these times of tight budgets, there’s nothing funny to the studio about Brando’s disappearing act and the abrupt communiqué from his New York psychiatrist that he is “too muddled” emotionally to work.

But one of the executives piped up, “When he reported wearing a Homburg, a clean shirt and his pants pressed, I knew something had to snap!”

Every time the phone rang at Zsa Zsa Gabor’s “Come-As-Your-Favorite-Person” party, someone would crack that it was George Sanders asking if he could send over a butler (presumably the same one Zsa Zsa accused him of “stealing” when he moved out of her home).

There was a photographer for about every three guests, which isn’t too surprising, Zsa Zsa being Zsa Zsa.

Ann Miller and her beau, Dr. Al Mietus, created the biggest sensation as the Male and Female Kinsey Reports. (Just evening clothes with signs, kids.)

Geary Steffen came as the White Rabbit, a bit of subtlety which eludes me.

Exotic newcomer Bella Darvi was a Rainbow and Brad Dexter her Pot o’ Gold.

John Ireland, and four other gents, came as Howard Hughes!

Mrs. James Mason wore a nightgown with oodles and oodles of jewels which she said represented the hostess going to bed.

Everyone thought Zsa Zsa was a cinch to come as herself. But she fooled ’em and came as herself as Jane Avril in Moulin Rouge.

What a gal. But never let it be said that she isn’t good copy and doesn’t supply color to the Hollywood scene.

In a way it’s more like a movie plot than I any movie she’s ever played in.

I mean beautiful Martha Hyer’s real life romance with a man who is not free to marry her.

She did not break up his home. She didn’t meet the handsome actor until he and his wife decided to separate hoping the “time out” would help them to solve their problems. Neither the husband nor the wife wanted a divorce because of their two children whom both adored.

It’s the irony of fate that during this estrangement Martha should have met the man and fallen very much in love with him.

He didn’t try to fool her. He didn’t say he wanted or expected a divorce from his wife. He told her truthfully that he didn’t know whether they would be able to work it out—or not.

Martha herself was just recovering from the wounds of a broken marriage to Ray Stahl. She had been dreadfully unhappy until this new love came into her life.

If this were a typical Hollywood story about people who throw themselves headlong into an emotion, the ending would be that the man divorced his wife and married Martha.

Instead, it is a different story about a girl who doesn’t want a broken home on her conscience nor could they be happy with each other when both were conscious of his strong obligations to the family he left.

When there was a chance of a reconciliation, even though it broke her heart, Martha told him, “Go home to your wife and children—and never regret that you did the right thing.”

When beautiful Lorraine Chanel, the luscious model Gary Cooper dated in Mexico City, arrived unexpectedly in Hollywood just a few days after Gary landed here, Mrs. Cooper (Rocky) said:

“So what? Suppose Gary did take her out in Mexico. I don’t expect him to sit home nights when we are parted. We’re much too civilized for that.”

But Rocky wasn’t so civilized at a recent party that she didn’t tell off in no uncertain words a certain charmer who seemed, at least to her, to be occupying too much of big Coop’s attention.

Eavesdroppers were enthralled by Rocky’s choice of words to the belle as she took her husband’s arm and steered him to a neutral corner of the room.

Ava Gardner and Shelley Winters have struck up a friendship in Rome and Shelley writes: “Both Ava and I are getting fat on this Italian food.”

Shelley on the plump side I can imagine. But Ava? This belle has always had trouble keeping her bones covered.

The Letter Box: “You don’t like Lana Turner’s dark hair and you’ve been very skeptical about her marriage to Lex Barker,” chides Vera Campenelli of Dallas. “Is there anything you like about Lana?” Yes, Vera—I like Lana.

Johnny Laliberti, Montreal, Canada, writes: “I am employed as a bellhop in the Hotel De La Salle where Miss Dorothy Lamour and her troupe stayed during her nightclub appearance at Chez Paree. May I say, Miss Parsons, that this lovely lady, so kind, so gracious and so cordial to everyone, is the best ambassador from Hollywood who has ever visited our town.”

“It makes me laugh to read that Marilyn Monroe has pushed Betty Grable off the throne as Queen of Hollywood musicals,” writes Robert McArdy, San Antonio. “Wait until Marilyn equals Betty’s record as Queen of the Box Office for six years straight before such extravagant claims are made for her.”

Many, many letters from all over the world, Sweden, Ireland, Australia and Italy, all asking in effect: “What is the real trouble with Mario Lanza? Please tell us the truth.” The truth is, no one knows what is the matter with Mario. His closest friends admit that he is “mixed-up” and some of them go so far as to say he needs psychiatric aid.

Frank Sinatra’s fans have had a sticker printed which they paste on all their letters, reading: FRANK SINATRA’S FANS WILL LOVE HIM “FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.” And no doubt they will!

Mrs. Alice Hakarine, of Virginia, Minnesota, is just one who writes this month with raves for The Robe and special raves for Richard Burton.

Ignaeio Aurrecoechea sends a blast from Manila, Philippine Islands, “Why you insult Liz Taylor? Always you print nothing nice about Liz.” Is that so? I challenge you, señor, to send me a clipping in which I have insulted Liz.

After getting the above off his chest, Ignaeio calms down and tells me about the American actors and actresses who are popular in his country. “The box office draws here,” he writes, “are Virginia Mayo, Ann Blyth, Eleanor Parker, Susan Hayward, Gregory Peck, James Mason, Liz Taylor, Ricardo Montalban, Martin and Lewis, Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie.”

I’ve used more letters than usual in this month’s LETTER BOX because the mail from all over the world was particularly heavy—and interesting, don’t you think?

That’s all for now. See you next month.





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