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Shellfire—Shelley Winters

“I won’t stay another minute in this hotel!” Shelley Winters stormed at the fabulous Flamingo in Las Vegas.

“That’s all right with us. We’ll send up a man for your bags.”

No hotel management sends a movie star packing. It isn’t done. But this time the man meant what he said and amazingly, Miss Winters calmed down. Shelley had had a great deal to say about the comic who appeared on the show with her. She didn’t like the way he kidded her act, nor the way the orchestra played, just for a start. According to the management, by the time she had finished ranting, they weren’t too sure who was running the hotel.

About this time a MODERN SCREEN reporter-photographer arrived in Las Vegas to find out what the fuss was all about. There was no fuss at all, after Shelley kept him waiting a couple of days for his pictures. Then she showed up with her little daughter, Gina. They were all smiles, and not once did Gina show any evidence of the tornado temperament of her mother. After Gina had smiled for enough pictures, she was put to bed. Then Shelley set sail to investigate the wonders of Las Vegas gambling.

First stop: the dice table. Shelley barged in, picked up the dice and announced, “This is a practice shot.”

The croupier turned grey. “Look, lady. There are no practice shots at any table anywhere in Las Vegas. Nothing is for free.”

“This is a practice shot,” Shelley announced, ignoring him and tossed the dice. The cubes came up seven and everybody winced. The customers egged her on, but Shelley would play no more. “The hotel is paying me a lot of money now; if I tool any more away from them, they might start charging me for ice water.”

Grabbing the photographer by one arm, she dragged him to the nearest quarter slot machine. She didn’t have a purse and the photographer didn’t have a quarter. She walked up to the cashier and said, “Gimmie some money!” The cashier nearly swallowed her gum. She looked at a house man standing nearby. “I said,” Shelley repeated, “gimmie some money.” The house man shrugged and the cashier shelled out two quarters. Shelley planted then in the slot machine. There was the usual grinding of the wheels but no payoff.

“See?” Shelley exclaimed. “This is no way to get rich!” With that she disappeared to rest for her evening show in which louder and longer than any performer in months, she sang and swayed to rocking applause. Evidently, although she was a thorn in the side of the show managers, she did please the customer and she was well worth the $15,000 a week they paid her.

One boss said: “Next time I hear that doll is headed this was I’m heading for Paris—fast.” He’d better not; Shelley may take her show to Paris. With all her startling behavior, she is beloved by the press, because she makes news a mile a minute. That’s the press. As for her press agent, he’s suing her. He claims she hasn’t paid all the money she owes him, and he hints privately that she has exploded once too often.

Shelley retorts, “I’m the easiest girl in the world to get along with. What’s wrong with everybody?”



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