Under Hedda’s Hat
Debra Paget’s the richest actress in Hollywood, but her Chinese husband won’t allow her to work in pictures. Louis Kung—she married him last April—is worth $500,000,000. That’s right, five hundred millions. They live in Houston, Texas. He’s Madame Chiang Kaishek’s brother and is as generous as he is loaded. He wanted to give Maggie Griffin (Debra’s mom) a new car, so he asked if she wanted a Rolls or a Cadillac. Maggie was so surprised she gasped Cadillac before she had time to think. One day she was going shopping and he tucked something into her purse and told her to buy herself some little thing. When Maggie looked, it was $10,000.
Below: Barbara Hale got the shock of her life when she saw what jokester Raymond Burr did to her dressing room. He had it painted black, put in pigeons, a cat, lamb, baby chicks, hamster, a fireplug—even put roses you know where. Cost of joke (?): $177!
Dinah Shore’s a gal with bounce. It isn’t just their common love for tennis that brings her and Palm Springs contractor Maurice Smith together so often. Dinah isn’t talking marriage now—but this could be it.
The guest house at Glenn Ford’s mansion will be occupied by his mother! A pal who got a gander at the place says Glenn will be living like the Aga Khan with music floating up from center of the pool, a hi-fi system on stilts, and special furniture designed by George Montgomery.
There’s too much smoke surrounding Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer to be dismissed as smog. Mel does a picture in Italy while Audrey’s someplace else. They’ve always stayed together before. Could be they’ll patch things up, but it’s the first rift in their married lute.
Liz Taylor and Richard Burton made only enemies when they signed for a five-week stint in “The VIP’s”—which M-G-M could rush out before “Cleo” and cash in on all that Roman scandal. I’m told Liz won’t work unless Burton co-stars. The picture, a remake of the old “Grand Hotel,” will be set in an airport.
Bobby Rydell can’t be accused of being a bad influence on his teenage fans. One girl is such an admirer of his that she made straight A’s for a year. Her grandfather told her if she had good grad,es he would treat her to a week end in Las Vegas to hear Bobby sing. Her grandpa kept his promise.
Dorothy Malone’s marriage to Jacques Bergerac deflated her ego. She was seriously considering going into real estate and giving up her career. All she needs is to wash that man out of her hair and get back on screen where she belongs.
Above: John Barrymore, his Italian wife Gabriella and their new little daughter seem happy in Hollywood now. After all his wild antics, maybe he’s finally settled down. I really hope so. It would be good for John.
Above: Madlyn Rhue promised before her mother died that she would have a church wedding and she kept her word when she tied the knot with Tony Young. She told me, “I’ve always loved picture brides. There’s a part of me that’s sentimental and still believes in fairy tales.”
I believe Peter O’Toole will be the next actor to get star rating—he’s a fine performer. When he went to Stratford-on-Avon he’d already been seasoned in Shakespeare and he had to be strong as an ox to survive the things that happened during making of “Lawrence of Arabia.” He claims he has a hundred and twenty more years of life, which will be marvelous. “I’ve known poverty most of the time—it’s soiling and degrading. When I married I couldn’t afford to buy a suit. Now I’ve got a house outside London, a partly equipped ocean-going Georgian gaff, with a hospital on the left and a workhouse at the bottom of the garden. So I’m ready for success or failure.”
Above: Greta Garbo still looks beautiful and despite her secluded life and her wish to be alone, her name is still magic everywhere.
Now I’ve heard everything! When Jayne Mansfield went back to her Mickey, she explained it by saying she’s a woman and can change her mind. Jayne, honey, no one who has seen you doubted that at all!
Hayley Mills is big news in England—and here, too. A story broke in London that she was “lying ill and exhausted” which brought a big snort from her father, Johnny. “Ridiculous,” he said, “Hayley’s having a ball, riding about on her horse, running with her dogs. She does only one picture a year and when she travels, my wife and I are with her.”
Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin shrug off those rumors of rifts. They came back from New York to celebrate little Dodd’s first birthday here so they could invite some of their friends’ toddlers to the party. Bobby’s career is zooming as an actor as well as singer. If these two have problems, money won’t be one of them.
Connie Stevens’ contract feud with Warners almost boiled over when she hired a Beverly Hills attorney with a reputation for winning action against studios. He tried to negotiate a new deal for her. Our Connie was fit to be tied when Warner’s legal injunction kept her from going on stage at the Chevron Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Australia. She wanted out completely from the contract which has almost five more years to go—but she had to compromise. And she should remember it was their “Hawaiian Eye” series that made her a well-known star.
Henry Hathaway, who directed Marilyn Monroe in her first starring picture “Niagara,” told me he believes Marilyn would be alive today if she had been permitted to play one honest role instead of those dizzy blondes that she was forced to repeat time and time again. But they made so much money producers wouldn’t give her a chance. It broke her heart. Henry thinks she could have gone to the top as a dramatic actress and he’s one of our most capable directors and knows talent when he sees it.
Above: Sophia Loren gives her sister a kiss for making her an aunt. Maria, wife of Romano Mussolini, had a baby girl on New Year’s Eve.
Rock Hudson will be surrounded by three glamour girls in “Man’s Favorite Sport?”—Paula Prentiss, luscious Viennese blond Maria Perschy and a twenty-three-year-old brunette from Texas, Charlene Holt. Off screen, his number one gal is still Marilyn Maxwell.
Zsa Zsa Gabor’s new husband gifted her with a thirty-nine-carat blue-white diamond which sister Eva says “makes Liz Taylor’s look like a chip.”
Fifteen years ago Dick Van Dyke and his wife Marge were married on the “Bride and Groom” show. “It was the only way we could afford to wed,” said Dick. “Marge got a bridal gown and we had a week’s honeymoon at wonderful Timberline Lodge in Oregon.”
Jerry Lewis’ pals sent flowers when they heard he’d signed for a two-hour TV show next season. It didn’t seem unusual to Jerry. There’ll be no rehearsals, no script. He’ll just go on and do what comes naturally. The kids absolutely adore him. In all his career he’s had only one losing picture.
Her studio gifted Paula Prentiss with a new coat when she went to England on her honeymoon to exploit one of their pictures. It was a coat Liz Taylor wore in “Butterfield 8.” It wasn’t fur, but it had fur trim.
That’s all the news for now. I’ll write more next month.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MARCH 1963