Under Hedda’s Hat
Undecided is the word for the Sandra Dee-Bobby Darin marriage situation. To date, nobody’s filed any legal action; on the other hand, neither Sandra nor Bobby seems to be making any effort (that anyone can detect) to patch things up. When Darin walked out of the house, it looked as if he was going to cut all ties, but he couldn’t do without his small son. Bobby arranged for the boy (Sandra and Bobby named him Dodd—but call him “George!”), to fly down to Las Vegas with a nurse while he was entertaining there. So, for a while, George was a weekend commuter. Mama didn’t mind, in fact, she approved. It’s tough to predict the outcome of this split-up—mainly because Sandra and Bobby don’t even know it.
Above: Mr. and Mrs. Francis Taylor stole the show at a London art auction. They bid $190,000 for a Van Gogh—and got it—not for themselves, but for their famous jewel-and-art- collecting daughter—Liz!
Talk of two continents is the snub Richard Burton got from the British Embassy when he and Liz Taylor appeared at the Paris premiere of “Lawrence of Arabia.” Liz didn’t win any friends when she arrived ten minutes before the intermission. She stole the spotlight during the breather, then departed shortly after the picture resumed. At the very proper party, given by the British Embassy after the film, she was not seated to the right of the Ambassador. That seat of honor was occupied by actor Jack Hawkins’ wife. Liz’ place was way down the table, and at Burton’s place, which was next to Liz’, the card read: “Miss Taylor’s Escort”!
I’m getting a bit weary of watching Glenn Ford jump from girl to girl. It seems to me he’s frantically trying to recapture his teens. I don’t say Glenn should act his age, but at least he could act like he’s thirty.
About a month before Carol Burnett and Joe Hamilton flew to Juarez to be married, stories circulated that their romance was over. Since then, many people claimed this was just a smoke screen and that they’d never intended to break up. However, I know that Carol had told Joe it was over. She felt that his wife, who has eight children born of her marriage to Joe, would never give him a divorce. It was when Joe realized Carol was serious about breaking up that he decided to press even harder to get that divorce.
George Peppard’s separation from his wife, Helen Davies, was as quiet as their marriage of almost ten years had been. She was a stranger to Hollywood. George never took her to premieres, openings or parties, and absolutely refused to discuss his private life with anyone. Until recently, he stayed at a Hollywood hotel and spent weekends with his family in Chula Vista. But even when all the Peppards moved into town, Mrs. Peppard was never on the scene.
Above: Bette Davis and daughter Barbara had such a great time in London at the “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?” premiere, they didn’t want to come home. Latest episode in the drawn-out bitter battle between Bette and her ex-hubby Gary Merrill had her daughter Barbara going to court to change her last name from Merrill to Sherry. Gary adopted her when she was five. Sixteen-year-old Barbara told the court she wanted the name of her father, William Grant Sherry, a one-time boxer who now paints and sculpts for a living in Maine. “I do not discuss Mr. Merrill,” said she. “I have nothing to do with him and this is by choice.”
Though you’d never know it from the way they act when they’re together in public, the romance between Dick Chamberlain and Clara Ray is more a public than a private romance.
Above: Now that Kim Novak has found English writer Roderick Mann, there’s no telling when “Of Human Bondage” will be finished. She’s already had two directors and is working on her third. Laurence Harvey offered the producer a quarter of a million dollars to get out of the picture and let someone else take over, but he was turned down. Kim doesn’t seem to be too concerned about it all.
Early last April, Rod Taylor admitted he’d fallen in love with New York model Mary Hilem, but added, “It’ll be a long, careful, untheatrical engagement.” Well, it wasn’t as long as Rod hinted. Mary came here in late April, redecorated his house, and they were married on June 1st—in a quiet ceremony. Rod’s time sense is a little peculiar, so maybe that explains it. When I asked how long he’d known Mary, he said, “Oh, for ages—six months.” Well, I guess that’s quite a while here in Hollywood.
Above: Three Fondas in one photo is a rare treat. The alert cameraman caught this one when Papa Henry and his son Peter visited daughter Jane on her location (in the middle of busy Forty-Second Street) for her new film, “Sunday In New York.” I hear everything is peaches and cream between Jane and her father now that her romance with Andreas Voutsinas is almost over. Peter, who’s in “Tammy And The Doctor” with Sandy Dee, is married, and is the quietest Fonda. But he’s young—and maybe he needs a little time to catch up with the rest!
Above: That nice, quiet European trip Debbie Reynolds took while awaiting the birth of her baby proved more tiring than she expected it to be. She’s now under doctor’s orders to “Take it easy!” and Debbie is following his orders to the letter E—for Easy! Stay with it, Debbie.
Joan Crawford’s brother, Hal LeSueur, died in obscurity in Los Angeles. Few people knew of his death until twenty-four hours after his burial. He had been working as a motel clerk, living quietly, and refusing to discuss his relationship with Joan. The people close to him knew that he was Joan’s brother, but that was all. For a while Hal worked as a makeup man at MGM, but gave it up. Somewhere he has a daughter, Joan Crawford LeSueur, who would be around thirty now, but no one seems to know where she is.
The Edgar Bergens have a celebrity on their hands in daughter Candy. After being crowned queen at Westlake School, she was one of 300 girls from all over the country accepted in the freshman class at the University of Pennsylvania. That Candy can keep her grades up and keep track of all her boy friends proves how smart she is. She gave up Doris Day’s son Terry for David Niven, Jr. and Jack Ellis. But there are other fellows hanging around, too.
Kathy Crosby’s house hunting. They already have five homes—the most famous is the one in Palm Springs which President Kennedy borrows occasionally. But now Kathy’s got her eye on one in swank Burlingame, outside San Francisco. Among other things, it has a ballroom. The upkeep on the grounds alone runs over a thousand dollars a month. You don’t suppose she’s planning to go social, do you? Well, one thing for sure, our Bing isn’t.
Zsa Zsa Gabor’s plenty mad and says she’ll sue for millions over the story that she’s had everything, including her face, lifted. Zsa Zsa says when she first came to Hollywood, Johnny Engstead did a photographic sitting of her, and she can prove she still has the nose she was born with—although it was broken once and she had to have it reset. Well, here we go again! It should be a lively bout!
When Dinah Shore’s divorce from George Montgomery was final, everyone predicted she’d marry Maurice Smith. Dinah denied any marriage plans up to three days before the big day. Then, after the Redlands, California, ceremony, somebody asked her why. Said Dinah, “It’s a woman’s privilege to change her mind!” By the way, when Dinah was home in Tennessee, recently, Senator Estes Kefauver told her she should run for office—that was how impressed he was with the way she gladhanded all those Tennesseeites!
Above: Brigitte Bardot and Sammy Frey are still an item. She says she may never leave France again after her experience with those Italian cameramen who made her life miserable in Rome. BB’s not exactly camera shy, but the paparazzi were too much for her.
Marlon Brando almost lost himself a couple of fans when he appeared on TV with Dolores Hart and Hermione Gingold. It was during Marlon’s campaign to destroy once and for all his “mumbles” image and to prove that he could talk. He did, for almost two hours and the girls didn’t get a chance to say much. Hermione, who’s very rarely silent, almost flipped.
Above: George Maharis and Ann-Margret met at the New York Grammy Awards—and were very cozy till she had to go back to Hollywood. What happened to that manager he’s supposed to be so crazy about?
Dorothy Malone, in her divorce action against Jacques Bergerac, claimed he struck her several times forcing her to move from their home.
If Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty aren’t married by time you read this, I’ll bet my best hat they never will be. If you’ll remember, Warren was enamored of Joan Collins right up until the moment when Natalie and R. J. Wagner separated. In the quickest about face I’ve come across, Joan was out and Natalie was in as far as Warren’s heart was concerned. Perhaps Shirley MacLaine’s younger brother felt safe with Natalie since she obviously wasn’t free to marry and seemed in no hurry to file for a divorce. Her divorce from Wagner is legal now, and I’m wondering if Warren will run away.
Above: I thought I’d lost all my naivete years ago, but I’m still gullible, I guess. After each zany Jayne Mansfield publicity stunt, I keep thinking it will be the last one. I can’t figure out how this girl, who has a maxi- mum of everything but talent, can keep dreaming up ways to get on the front page or, if that isn’t available, even into the real estate sections of the newspapers. Jayne has almost become a caricature of herself. I think when 20th dropped her contract, she panicked at this loss of security. It’s too bad because Jayne, for all her wild taste, is actually a very sweet girl. She’ll be a long time living down those nude photos in a national magazine. Marilyn Monroe could get by with posing in the altogether—on Jayne it’s just not very pretty.
One thing for sure, Sybil Burton’s going to have plenty of room in her new home. That New York apartment (Burton signed the lease) has fifteen rooms. Sybil refused to be photographed with Eddie Fisher when the two ran into each other at a New York night club. She didn’t snub Eddie though, she extended her hand, kissed him on both cheeks, and told the cameramen to hit the road.
Above: Prince Philip personally handed Leslie Caron the British equivalent to our Oscar for “L-Shaped Room.” I’m sure Leslie was as thrilled with the presentor as she was with the prize.
Merle Oberon collects houses like some people collect diamonds. She owns homes in Bel Air, Mexico City and Cuernevaca, and is building another in Acapulco. While she was touring the Orient, she decided to sell her place in Bel Air, California, but when she walked back in the door, she decided it was much too beautiful to part with. And to show you how lucky Merle is, a beautiful old tree outside her bedroom window was uprooted in a storm. Disaster? Not at all. “Now I’ve got a view to die over,” she said. By the way, the secret of her fabulous size eight figure is that she swims every single day of the year.
Vic Damone’s a puzzle. He keeps denying he’ll marry Texas model Penny Rudd, and even bought a co-op bachelor apartment in Westwood. At the same time, he keeps dating Penny, and even sees her parents. I think it’s all just too chummy for a platonic friendship, don’t you?
English actor Peter Sellers was a sight to see when he took his two kids (aged nine and five) on a tour of Disneyland, Marineland and Knott’s Berry Farm. The children decided they’d like to live here. The recently-divorced Peter took out some glamour girls at night, but he says it’s nothing very serious.
Horst Buchholz is the proudest movie papa around. Ask him about his baby daughter and he’ll give you a ten minute description, including, “When she smiles at me, it’s an embrace.
Ann Sothern was the saddest girl in town when she vacated her beautiful Bel Air mansion, stored all her possessions and moved into a hotel. “I feel absolutely unwanted,” she said. Last I heard, she was considering an offer to be the Ray Millands’ house guest. When she took the part of a blowsy dame in “Lady In A Cage,” she was out to change her image, and from what I hear she sure succeeded. Nobody on the set recognized her in a dark auburn wig and dress right out of skid row.
Jimmy Stewart’s wife Gloria says she was embarrassed when her house guests from Chile asked her to recommend a place where they might have dinner and see a floor show. Gloria had to admit she hadn’t the slightest idea! That will give you an inkling of what a racy life the Stewarts lead. “We took them to Chasen’s,” she said. “Some floor show!” The truth is, it’s the best show in town because all the celebrities eat there.
Ginger Rogers was the belle of the ball at the party in Greenwich, Connecticut, for all those celebrities who went to New York for the fortieth anniversary of Time. You had to be on the cover before you were invited. When the music began, Gen. Mark Clark tapped Ginger on the shoulder and asked her to dance. “Wait until I tell my son I danced with Ginger Rogers,” he said. After that every man in the place had a whirl with her. She didn’t sit down all night. Tired as she was, she didn’t mind. “What it does for one’s ego is beyond belief,” she told me.
Scowling Vince Edwards, is all smiles since he did big business during his Las Vegas nightclub engagement. Don’t expect him to marry Sherry Nelson until he finishes “Ben Casey.” Also, I get the feeling he’ll have to promise to pay more attention to her than to the horses.
A raccoon crashed the party Mary Pickford gave for Colleen Moore recently. The animal came calling at the back door and refused to leave until it got a handout. The guests were entertained for an hour by the antics of the raccoon. “Years ago, we used to be bothered by coyotes and a few skunks,” said Mary, “but this is the first time we had a raccoon visit us.” I’ll never forget the time Bob Burns sent me a pig. The darn thing got loose and we looked all over before we finally found him enjoying the garbage at Pickfair.
Shirley Temple celebrated her thirty-fifth birthday—and how old do you feel?—on a TV stage in Hollywood. Red Skelton ordered a big cake topped with a doll like Shirley. “No one has paid this much attention to me since I was starring in pictures,” she said. She has no ambitions to do any more acting: “I’m leading the kind of life I’ve always wanted—wife and mother. I’m just Mrs. Black to all my friends. I do get annoyed sometimes when people tell me how they used to bounce me on their knee. Charlie and I figured that if I’d been bounced on all those knees, I’d never have learned to walk.”
That’s all the news for now. I’ll write more next month.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE AUGUST 1963