Welcome to Vintage Paparazzi.

They’re Married—June Haver & Fred MacMurray

A man cannot sever himself from his past at any given moment. But if he knows he must, he can succeed in finally blocking out of his consciousness the sadness of a loved one’s death.

This purge of sorrowful memory came to Fred MacMurray only a few weeks before he married June Haver. Without it, Fred might have postponed indefinitely his marriage to June. For sensitive men have been known to remain in love for countless years with the memories of wives long gone.

It happened to Fred at the old house in Brentwood, the one he and Lillian had bought many years ago from Leland Hayward and Margaret Sullavan. And it happened one ‘evening after Fred had finished a hard day’s work on A Woman’s World.

He walked into the bedroom where his wife had lain hopelessly ill for so many years. He sat down on the bed, and he tried, really tried, not to think about it. But the whole ebb and flow of their seventeen years together came back to him, the unforgettable years of their youth and struggle and climb, the years when Bobby and Sue were freshly-adopted little children, the years in which they had built and planned and formed their life. And thinking of Lillian, Fred MacMurray began to cry.

It is heart-rending to hear a big man cry. You know his sorrow lies deep, and you must feel for him. That evening when Fred walked out of Lillian’s bedroom, his face wet with tears, Cleo Howard, the housekeeper who had been with the MacMurrays for many years, saw him. And she, too, began to cry.

She ran down to the kitchen where Lee Martinez, Fred’s other servant, took the girl in her arms and tried to comfort her.

“It’s good for Mr. Fred to cry,” she explained. “Good for him to cry away all his sadness.” Then wisely she pointed out that it does a man no good to love one woman with his mind and another with his heart. “When Mr. Fred marries Miss June, he’s got to start all over with a clean slate.”

Fred had come to the same conclusion. There could be no going back, and even if he could, he didn’t want to. He and June must start afresh and give their marriage every chance to succeed. They must never burden it with an anchor from the past.

The next day Fred paid $135,000 for a new Colonial house in Brentwood, a lovely, rambling structure built by Nelson Eddy. Then he ordered that the furnishings from the old house be moved to the new one gradually.

At the same time he, who had formerly gone to very few parties, began making the social rounds with his fiancée. Fred MacMurray, who wouldn’t even go to see his own pictures, was now attending previews. And as far as June was concerned—well, she and Fred were inseparable.

Hollywood has rarely seen a mature couple so much in love. June would breakfast with her mother, but she would usually turn up for lunch and dinner with Fred and his two children, Bobby, ten, and Sue, fourteen, both of whom are very fond of her.

Early in June, Fred called his bride-to-be one morning and said, “Know something? I’ve forgotten all about your engagement ring. Let’s go around and pick ‘one up today.”

June was so excited she could hardly talk. “Okay,” was all she could manage.

Little did she know that a few days previously Fred had phoned Ruser’s jewelry store in Beverly Hills. “I may be coming in shortly for a couple of rings,” he said. “I want only the best.”

When June and Fred arrived at the shop, June took one look at a single stone 2¾-carat ring in a platinum setting and gasped. She slipped the ring, size, on her finger. It was a perfect fit. She looked up at Fred, gratitude in her beaming eyes.

“Another ring comes with this,” Ruser offered. Then he showed the marriage ring, a band of five round diamonds. “I know,” he said, “that there is some signifiance in the number, five, to you and Fred.” Fred and June had first met or had first started going around together last November 5.

In the shop, the lovers kissed and the next day the engagement was formally announced.

A reporter asked Fred, “What kind of ring?”


“How many carats?” Fred was asked.

He said he didn’t know.”

“If it’s not too personal how much did it set you back?”

“They haven’t sent the bill yet.”

Mr. Ruser said later the rings were worth approximately $10,000.

A week after June was given her rings, she returned to Ruser’s jewelry shop and ordered a house gift for Fred—a gold-plated key to the front door. On the key there is engraved a gnarled oak tree and on the oak tree the figure of a very small heart and the legend, “J.H. loves F.M.”

Last week Fred gave June an identical key. Hers says, “F.M. loves J.H.”

“When are you and Miss Haver getting married?” the reporter persisted.

“Pretty soon,” Fred smiled.

“Church or civil ceremony?”



“I don’t know,” Fred answered, “and even if I did I wouldn’t tell you. I was talking about this with June last night. ‘I wish I had a yacht and a private plane like Bob Taylor,’ I said. ‘Then we could do it very quietly.’ ” Actually, they were married at Ojai Valley Inn, June 28.

Just why Fred and June were so secretive about their marriage no one knows. Fred has always been chary of private-life publicity. For years he paid a press agent to keep newspaper people away from him. He likes reporters as people but not as interviewers.

June, on the other hand, has always been accessible to the press, but when she started going with Fred, she, too, clammed up, at least about Fred.

When Mrs. Carl Johnston, a friend of the family from Rock Island, Illinois, had a shower for June on her twenty-eighth birthday, the little actress finally conceded, “Fred and I have known for months that we’d get married.”

At the shower were Gail Patrick, Claire Trevor, Mary Cummings, Fred’s mother, Mrs. Melita MacMurray, and his aunt, Mrs. Hazel Martin. “They gave me enough lingerie to last a lifetime.”

A week later, Mrs. Bo Roos gave another shower for June. Result: more lingerie. Mrs. Roos is the wife of Fred’s business manager. Bo has managed June’s money, too. In fact, June has never made a sizable investment without consulting Bo Roos.

Not that she needs her own money. MacMurray is wealthy in his own right. Early in 1940 Bo Roos insisted that he invest his surplus funds in Los Angeles real estate, and as a result Fred’s holdings have appreciated tremendously. Undoubtedly, he is a millionaire. But June Haver has no intention of abandoning her career.

“There’s a very good chance,” she said, “that I may do a musical with Gene Kelly later in the year. I’m also interested in making some recordings for children. Whatever I do, I certainly want to stay close to Fred. That’s why I didn’t do Catch A Thief with Cary Grant. I would have had to go all the way to Cannes.”

Asked if she and Fred considered the South American trip a pre-honeymoon trip, June answered, “It was wonderful fun meeting all those movie fans in Brazil and Peru and the other countries. Fred and I would be walking along a street and suddenly a little girl would come up to me and press a rosary into my hand and I’d look around and she’d be gone.

“Irene Dunne and Joan Fontaine went to several South American schools with me, and it was really an educational trip.”

Right now, June’s primary interest in life is her husband and her stepchildren and, of course, her new home, in which she will have a new domestic staff, understandably.

The actress is an experienced decorator and she says, “I’m very much on a merry-go-round buying this and fixing that.”

June is so busy that it’s difficult to believe that less than a year ago she was a quiet, reclusive ascetic who was prepared to devote her whole life to God and the Catholic faith.

She is still extremely pious but the transformation in her personality is absolutely amazing.

Her hair is very blonde, her eyes sparkle, her wardrobe is spanking new. Her mother says, “She has spent a small fortune on clothes ever since she began going with Fred.” Her voice is vibrant and her behavior lively.

No one would ever imagine that last year at this time, June was a novitiate in a Roman Catholic convent in Kansas.

One of her friends said, “June Haver is today the luckiest girl in Hollywood. In Fred MacMurray she’s landed the best catch of the season.

“Fred’s got everything: money, looks, career, position—well, you name it and he’s got it. He’s understanding and tolerant. He comes from a strict Presbyterian family. His grandfather was a Presbyterian minister. So was June’s. But June converted to Catholicism, and Fred believes her religion is her own business. And he admires her piety.

“As you may know, he suggested a civil wedding ceremony because that was best for Junie. She has been seeking a Papal Dispensation for her marriage to Jimmy Zito, and if she and Fred had been married in a Presbyterian Church, for instance, then the chances are she never would get the Dispensation.”

Hollywood has seen so many marriages turn sour that the community is now ultra-sophisticated about weddings. A prophecy of divorce usually goes hand-in-hand with a wedding announcement. But that didn’t go with the wedding of June Haver and Fred MacMurray, two people who are widely loved and deeply respected throughout the community.

No one has ever suggested that Fred married June on the rebound or that June married Fred because she wanted to further her career or establish a nest egg.

The key to this whole relationship has been love—simple, beautiful and binding. Love from the very beginning.





No Comments
Leave a Comment

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger