Welcome to Vintage Paparazzi.

Maggi McNellis’s Private Wire

“To Bob or not to bob,” that was the burning question of the day that nosed out all others, after singer Eddie Fisher completed camera rehearsals for his NBCTV fifteen-minute series.. Undecided as to whether or not to follow Vic Damone’s example of plastic surgery, friends of Eddie Fisher think he should, but, personally I don’t think he should.

Rosalind Russell’s “Never Wave At A WAC” Coast-toCoast plug on “Toast Of The Town” helped the film do great business at box-offices all over the country. Her “in person” Broadway musical hit, “Wonderful Town,” by the way, is a complete sell-out for many months to come. Roz will return to “Toast Of The Town” next October.

Rosemary Clooney agrees that mink, in any shade, never televises as well as it looks in the movies. On TV, the precious pelt takes on a shabby mink-dyed-muskrat appearance. The Clooney lass insists that inexpensive rabbit fur shows up a lot better than costly ermine. Could it be that Imogene Coca’s sleazy-looking fur-pieces in her “Show Of Shows” comedy sketches are genuine sable . . . !?!

Faye Emerson narrowly missed serious injury at the N. Y. “Salome” telecast premiere festivities when the platform she was standing on, buckled beneath her because of the crushing crowds who tried to get close to “Salome” star Rita Hayworth. A terrifying experience.

Asked what the Egyptian swallow bird was called, Dagmar fractured Jimmy Durante with her reply. “It’s an Esophagus,” she answered.

Barry Nelson, stage and screen actor, who plays the male lead opposite Joan Caulfield in the CBS-TV “My Favorite Husband” series, was once “unofficially” engaged to Janet Leigh (Mrs. Tony Curtis) while starring in the Broadway play, “Light Up The Sky,” several years ago. During their courtship he sent Janet an autographed copy of the Isabel Scott Rorick novel, “Mr. And Mrs. Cugat.” The “My Favorite Husband” video series is based on two of the Rorick books—“Outside Eden” and “Mr. And Mrs. Cugat.”

Five of the most recent Hollywood films to be released to TV-viewers are “Rocketship X-M,” “Man Bait,” “Stolen Face,” “Lost Continent” and “Stronghold.” They star Lloyd Bridges, George Brent, Paul Henreid, Lizabeth Scott, Cesar Romero, Veronica Lake and Zachary Scott and are of 1951-1952 vintage.

Adventure,” the new and exciting television series which dramatizes the vast resources of the American Museum of Natural History, will soon have feminine audiences coast-to-coast drooling over such great treasures as the fabulous Star of India sapphire which weighs 543 carats; a “piece” of topaz crystal weighing a quarter-ton and a 100-carat ruby which any woman in her right mind would consider “a girl’s best friend.”

Mr. Saturday Night,” Jackie Gleason, that is, whose “Reggie Van Gleason III” characterization has found great favor with his vast “Jackie Gleason Show” audience, credits much of the success of that particular comedy gem to the support given him by his TV “mother.” She’s the stage and screen actress, Zamah Cunningham, who as the dowager Mrs. Gleason, contributes her comedy talents to the proceedings. Jackie Gleason says “she’s merely the best there is.” As for Miss Cunningham, her evaluation of the Gleason talents is simply an in-a-word description “he’s the MOST.”

William Bendix, who lived anything but “The Life Of Riley” before he became a Hollywood star wanted to be a baseball player, but took a job as a grocery store clerk instead in his pre-acting days. On a recent telecast of his popular show, he was forced to eat a can of sardines when, with a group of fishing friends, their rod and reel expedition netted them nothing from the briny deep. The tinned sardines he consumed during the program were the same brand he once had to sell the most of in order to be made manager of the grocery store. He was promoted, of course, and he’s remained a loyal customer to the same sardines.

Susan Douglas, who plays Jimmy Lipton’s serial-wife on “The Guiding Light,” is still trying to convince biographers that she wasn’t born in Vienna, but instead, is a native of Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her true given name, Zuska Zenta, was a famous one when she appeared as an actress with the Czech National Theatre. In private life she is Mrs. Jan Rubes, wife of a concert singer, or, as she puts it, “I’m Zuska Rubes, at home. On TV I’m Susan Douglas, but please check, I’m a Czech!”

Dancers, Bambi Linn and Rod Alexander (Mr. and Mrs. off-TV), anxious to raise a family of their own, may sponsor a foster child until such time as they can settle down in one place and build the kind of home and home-life they aspire to. They were refused the privilege of adopting a youngster from a famous Chicago orphanage on the grounds that they spent too much time away from a permanent residence, hence the foster child negotiations.

Hildy Parks, who plays Vanessa Dale’s roommate on “Love Of Life,” made her Broadway stage debut opposite James Mason in “Bathsheba.” Peggy McCay (Vanessa Dale) on the same show, speaks French fluently and during their “Love Of Life” rehearsal breaks, Peggy and Hildy translate their working scripts into French, Keeps them relaxed, explains Peggy.

Wonder why there isn’t a national TV show devoted to hillbilly singers. Very much a part of our American entertainment scene, they seem to have been neglected by most program directors. Too, there must be enough video fans interested in jazz concerts. Can’t viewers protest this oversight and start a petition to their local TV stations and get the ball rolling?

Gene Autry is a shrewd businessman when on the lookout for antiquated stagecoaches (he’s paid as much as $5,009 for a 1732 Concord model found in an old barn in Hopkinton, Mass.) to round out his collection at his Melody Ranch home in California. Rather than rent one of these old hayburners from a movie studio for use in his Flying A Picture films for TV, he reconditions those he collects, and in the long run saves thousands of dollars annually on rentals. Wonder if Gene, in turn, rents those he’s collected? So far he has ten.

Gertrude Berg is being considered for bi-monthly appearances on next season’s Milton Berle show. Ann (“Private Secretary”) Sothern, can’t type, but is proficient at shorthand . . . Jack Benny has his blood pressure checked before and after each telecast, by doctor’s orders . . . Gale Gordon, the Mr. Conklin on “Our Miss Brooks,” a talented painter, will execute a series of oils of leading TV stars for a one-man show in Los Angeles early in December . . . Mercedes McCambridge, one-time Academy Award winner, will return to Hollywood for film work, telefilms, that is, only. She doesn’t want to give up her New York way of life and steady video employment. . . The Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis gag list of “writers” for their show, which always includes the names of “Bernie Schwartz” and “Ira Grossell” (they’re actually Tony Curtis and Jeff Chandler, in that order)may have to be dropped on a future show. Tony and Jeff are working on a comedy sketch which will be submitted to Martin & Lewis. They’ll receive, in addition to salary, proper camera credits as Tony Curtis and Jeff Chandler . . . Jane Powell is very unhappy about the TV-showing of an early film she made with Constance Moore and Ralph Bellamy. Called “Delightfully Dangerous” it isn’t Janie at her glamourous best . . . Eddie Cantor is planning a coast-to-coast personal appearance tour so he can meet his TV fans. Wife Ida, and the rest of the Cantor clan are trying to discourage him, with the aid of medicos who advise him against it . . . Dinah Shore is busy denying the stork rumors while the Johnnie Johnstons (Shirley Carmel) are hoping their first visit from the long-legged bird will be a double-bundle, twins!

Jerome Thor and his actress-wife and “Foreign Intrigue” co-star, Sydna Scott, learned to speak fluent French the hard way. They ensconced themselves in a small apartment in Paris and lived in the French capital like Parisians, never once speaking their own native tongue. They preferred forcing themselves to speak French at all times. It wasn’t easy but it was great fun and in time they mastered the language. The happily-married Thors are now thinking of learning Arabic. If they repeat their Parisian methods, won’t it have to be in a tent-for-two on the sands of the Sahara and is that really going to be worth it, Sahib?

There have been so many rumors about why Marie Wilson, the “My Friend Irma” star is never photographed without wearing gloves, that we decided to investigate. Tossing aside such ridiculous reports as those which claim “she lost her fingernails when very young,” “her hands are covered with birthmarks,” and “she’s horribly scarred,” this reporter asked a direct question and got a direct answer. Marie Wilson favors those mittens, lacy, silk, cotton and other fabrics, because she likes them. Further, they serve a dual purpose, they’ve become a Marie Wilson “trademark.” Like Marlene Dietrich’s legs, Claudette Colbert’s bangs, Joan Crawford’s mouth, Billie Burke’s lacy jabots, Hedda Hopper’s hats and Adolphe Menjou’s moustache. Pretty simple explanation, don’t you think?

There’s a little-known story about Neil Hamilton, host-emcee on ABC-TV’S “Hollywood Screen Test” that should be told. Neil, who has more than four hundred movies to his credit, almost spent his life as a cripple.

As an infant in Lynn, Massachusetts, he escaped serious injury when his mother, carrying him in her arms, fell from the platform of a moving trolley car. Neil was uninjured, but she suffered a spine injury, was confined to a hospital for many weeks and had to walk stooped over upon her release. The Hamilton family filed a civil lawsuit against the transportation company and won a small amount of money.

Before Mrs. Hamilton collected the damages awarded her, young Neil, playing in a lumber yard with other youngsters, fell off a five-foot-high plank pile and shattered an elbow bone. Doctors wanted to amputate, but his mother refused to permit this. His arm in a steel cast (they didn’t have plaster casts in those days) he accompanied his mother to the shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre in Canada, and spent several days there in prayer and meditation.

On the third afternoon, Mrs. Hamilton ascended the stairs to the altar, prayed and. returned to her pew cured. She marched to her seat as straight as a ramrod, dissolved in tears. Neil’s arm, suddenly without pain, was removed from the steel brace and he escorted his mother from the shrine with a fully healed elbow. Neither one required medical attention after that miraculous occasion.