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Under Hedda’s Hat

George Hamilton and his mother aren’t planning another trip to Brazil. When they arrived in Rio a few months ago, a couple of strong men met them at the plane, whisked them off in a car, parked in an old garage and searched their luggage. They were kept prisoners for two hours before being released with a lame story that they thought they were jewel thieves. The men didn’t even apologize or say they were sorry. In addition, it cost George $1,500 to attend the festival for our State Department. How’s that for good will?

Gary Clarke’s supposed to be in a spin over Dolores Hart—but she’s pretty cozy with a local doctor named Mitchell Covell.

Above: Eddie Fisher’s date “Oscar” night was cute Ann-Margret. Eddie made a complete comeback with the Hollywood cynics when he sang his heart out on the Oscar show. He never sounded better. He claims he’ll never marry again, “I’ll never again give up my career for any woman.” That’s probably the wisest decision he’s ever made, but never is a long, long time and Ann-Margret’s mighty cute. Maybe he can figure out how to marry and keep working—like a whole lot of other men!

Ava Gardner’s developed a phobia of the candid camera. She refuses to attend any of the premieres of “55 Days At Peking” because she can no longer face a battery of photographers. She told a pal she wasn’t sure if she’d ever appear before a motion picture camera again. I’m sorry Ava feels this way and hope she changes her mind. Work would do her good, and we want her back in Hollywood.

Vic Mature’s coming back to pictures, which should give this town a shot in the arm. He’s had quite a time in the construction business and says it’s worse than Hollywood. “At least, in the movie business you know who’s doing it to you so you can keep an eye on them.” He almost lost his shirt in the building business, but stuck with it for two years and finally came out a winner.

Shirley MacLaine’s supposed to stay in Japan and play husband Steve Parker’s favorite Geisha for two whole months. Well, we’ll see how long she stays. They thrive on parting.

Kim Novak discovered English writer Roderick Mann. Now if she gets that Cockney accent right for “Of Human Bondage,” all will be serene. The producers provided Kim with a Cockney maid, secretary and chauffeur, but her accent came out so thick even the Cockneys couldn’t understand her. Poor Kim!!

That must have been a whopper of an argument that singer Joan O’Brien had with actor Harvey Allen. Just before their altar march she called the whole thing off. Then they patched things up and married. But it wasn’t smooth sailing. Joan made headlines again when she took too many sleeping pills.

Above: A sight to behold! Mama Ingrid Bergman strolling down a Street with her twin daughters Isabella and Isotta Rossellini. Her son Robertino was with them, but he very deftly managed to wander away from the camera’s prying eye.

Above: Rick Nelson’s wedding to Kris Harmon was as lovely as any wedding could be. Now, everyone is wondering if Kris will be on the Nelsons’ TV show. She’s pretty enough, but one thing is sure—she and Rick certainly don’t need the money she’d make! But it would be fun.

When Mrs. Tony Curtis has her baby this fail, she aims to retire from the screen. At least that’s what she’s saying now. But once you’re bitten by the acting bug you rarely recover.

The beautiful Carol Lynley married press agent Mike Selsman. I never met him. The first time he telephoned me, he introduced himself and said, “I’m the husband of Carol Lynley and want to give you a story.” I said, “Young man, I’m not interested in you but I adore Carol. I’ve known her longer than you have. I knew her first when she did ‘Blue Denim’ in New York, so don’t try to sell yourself.” Well, they had a baby and a few months ago they announced a divorce. Now, I hear he wants custody of the child, although Carol’s so crazy about their daughter that when she had to go to Boston to film “The Cardinal,” she took the baby, Victoria, along. Like the Dee-Darin split, this divorce might be a bitter one. It’s really sad. Carol has worked so hard for so long (she was a model long before she turned to acting), she deserves a better break.

Above: Pal Sophia Loren spent her one day in Hollywood after the Oscar show touring Disneyland and the Wax Museum with husband Carlo Ponti. She’s the latest star to be waxed (in a scene from her Academy Award role in “Two Women”) for the Museum, which is becoming as famous as Madame Tussaud’s. And bless her heart, Sophia brought me another hat from Paris, lovelier than the one she sent me a year ago. I had a heck of a time keeping that one from being stolen—half a dozen dames tried to snatch it off my head. Incidentally, I understand my busy friend is not content just being a good actress. I’ve now heard she’s going to made some recordings. If she does, I’ll be first in line at the store to buy one!

Above: Danny Kaye and Arthur Godfrey were a riot to talk to—the quips were fast and furious. By the way, Danny got a standing ovation after the opening of his marvelous one-man show in New York City.

Jill St. John is certainly playing a fast game. She’s a beautiful girl, and at the time she separated from Lance Reventlow I told her I thought it was a mistake. Since then she’s been playing the field. When Walter Wanger, who’s old enough to be her father, flew in from New York, she was at the airport to meet him. She’s also been seeing Richard Gully and Frank Sinatra and her ex-husband. If this isn’t playing aces wild, I don’t know what is—do you?

Virginia and James Arness, after five separations, finally got a divorce, and Jim got custody of their two children. He charged that she was unfit to raise them because not long ago their twelve-year-old daughter went to the hospital with an acute case of alcoholic poisoning.

Above: Anita Ekberg seems very happy being Mrs. Rik Von Nutter. They kept the press away when they wed in Switzerland, but willingly posed a few days later in the garden of her beautiful villa in Rome.

Anita Ekberg’s new mother in-law put a fast damper on all those dreamed-up stories about her son being an Austrian-born film star, fabulously wealthy, and seven-feet tall. She cut him down to size with, “He was born in Pomona, California, he’s six feet two, and worked on a newspaper in Hawaii and had a job with a film company on location there.” As for his name—Rik Von Nutter—he’s just plain old Freddie Nutter to his mother.

I always feel sorry for these young girls who make stardom and then marry and have a baby before they’re out of their teens. It’s tough enough learning to act without having to learn how to become a wife and a mother. This is what happened to Sandra Dee. She and Bobby Darin were brought up in totally different environments. She had the protection of a lovely mother. Darin fought his way up every inch of the way. His was the world of song writers, pluggers, etc., and the things that go with that life. While he was singing “Mack the Knife,” she was playing “Tammy.” When they had a baby, they wouldn’t permit it to be photographed. They were devoted. She told me how she used to get up at 5 A.M. to feed the baby and make Bobby’s breakfast before he went off to work. He was very good at his acting job—and at being a father. Then they had a terrific row the night he opened at the Cocoanut Grove. The separation followed. Now I understand he’ll fight for custody of the child. Where will it end? Nobody knows.

Above: Eddie Robinson and Charlton Heston stopped to compare beards at a recent premiere. Beards are the big thing now, but I’m glad Paul Newman decided to get rid of his.

Above: That Doris Day-Marty Melcher divorce talk seems to have subsided—for good—I hope. They’re inseparable these days, and a husband and wife should be if they want their marriage to work in this crazy town of ours.

The feud between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis was only an undercurrent during the making of “Baby Jane,” but Oscar night it came to the surface. Half the town was certain Bette would win her third Oscar. Joan was betting on Anne Bancroft or Geraldine Page. Before she left New York, she very sweetly arranged to pick up the Oscar in case either won. She showed up at the theater in a gown of crystal dewdrops from shoulders to feet, highlighted by the largest diamond clip she owns—and she owns plenty. Backstage, she installed two Pepsi coolers, and had her dressing room stocked with champagne, Scotch, and bourbon, along with cheese, crackers, etc. She held open house for the press. Then came the electric announcement of best actress. When Max Schell announced, “Anne Bancroft,” the camera flashed to Joan. She wore the biggest, broadest smile on record. Joan clutched the Oscar in her hand.

The next day, a bitter friend of Bette’s said, “I cringed as I watched.” But I say you’ve got to hand it to Crawford. If there’s a star in this town with better showmanship, you name her.

Joel McCrea sold a thousand acres of his San Fernando Valley ranch for a paltry three million. It didn’t exactly leave him cramped for space—he has six hundred and fifty acres left.

Above: Fabulous Marlene Dietrich had the world talking about her when she helped out at a Paris circus for charity. Other actresses dressed glamorously, but grandma Dietrich dressed as a circus boy and stole the show from the glamour gals.

Diana Hyland, the cool blonde who’s playing Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale in her first picture, aims to be the female Marlon Brando. I met Diana’s lovely mother in Cleveland, so I asked Diana in for an interview. She’s about as informative as a Secret Service agent. She gave out with a flat yes or no to my questions until I asked if she had gone to the Academy Awards. “Why should I,” she shrugged. “It’s like the Emmy. If you spend $2000 for promotion you can get a nomination.” Well, I just hope Miss Hyland has lots and lots of talent, she’s sure going to need it.

Richard Chamberlain was more than a strong arm to Clara Ray at her Beverly Hilton opening. He helped her out by singing a duet—all about love. But when asked when they would marry, he said, “We both have our careers to think about.”

Fred Astaire pooh-poohs romance with, “I’m too busy—I don’t need it. I’m a very happy fellow.” I thought for a while Barrie Chase might change his mind, but she didn’t. He did go up to Las Vegas when she opened there, and she was darned good. After all, she had the great master to teach her.

Sheila Connolly came up with a unique reason for divorcing Guy Madison. She claimed, “He was so devoted to practicing with his bow and arrow that he paid no attention to his family.”

That’s all the news under my hat now. See you next month.



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