Under Hedda’s Hat
Gardner McKay’s back in the swing again—and the one he’s swinging with is Tuesday Weld. When adventure-boy returned from his jungle hopping in South America he told me many pals here had improved in his absence, but that Tuesday had improved the most. He’s also linked with ex-Queen Soraya but he wasn’t so vocal about her. He tells me, “She’s shy—in a peculiar way.” I wonder what happened to the model who followed McKay to Hollywood and lingered before she finally got the message and went home.
Jim Hutton said: “You must have heard this song before,” when he was telling me about his divorce from Maryline. “She’s a homebody and I’m up to my neck in a career. We found ourselves living in different worlds. At first we decided to stick together for the kids’ sake; then figured marriage shouldn’t be an endurance contest. But who knows what will happen in a year?” When I asked how he liked batching it he said, “Let’s just stay that I’m having a ‘period of adjustment.’ ”
Above: Joan Collins is engaged to Tony Newley, but so far there’s no wedding date. Poor girl, she went through the same routine with Warren Beatty before Natalie got him!
Marilyn Maxwell, completely recovered from a six-month illness, is back on the Hollywood scene insisting that she has no marriage plans with Rock Hudson. “Nobody will believe this, Hedda, but we’re only friends. Everybody keeps insisting it’s a big romance, it isn’t. We don’t date exclusively.” Which probably means they’ll pop off to the altar any minute.
Connie Stevens learned her lesson the hard way. After taking on Warners and deciding to ignore her contract and work in foreign countries, she had to give up in Australia after the studio slapped an injunction on her performance. When Connie came home she took her medicine like a good girl. Instead of playing the wounded fawn, she reported for work as cheerful as a Cricket.
Strange that Linda Christian should wait so long to marry Edmund Purdom then sack him in less than a year. She’s opening her Bel Air house to make a home for her two daughters by Tyrone Power, and hopes to pick up her career again. I hear she’s dating Glenn Ford.
Believe it or not, I got a letter from a thirty-five-year-old Chicago woman who thinks Elvis Presley is the sexiest man on screen. Her beef: “Why don’t they put him in pictures that appeal to adults as well as teenagers? It’s a waste. There are plenty of good looking all-American type boys for their age. I speak for many older women who’d rather die than say they’re crazy about Elvis. Can you do something to help?”
Above: Pat Kennedy Lawford like the dutiful sister she is, went to the airport to bid her brother, the President, bon voyage and got caught in the jet plane’s backwash. She wasn’t hurt, just backwashed!
Rita Hayworth’s new boy friend is Jack Wilson. She and Gary Merrill are no longer even friends. Gary’s ex, Bette Davis, after a few trips to court over custody of their children, says she’s going to start a campaign to do away with all men. Well, some girls won’t go for that!
Above: Bob Wagner and Marion Donen announced they’ll wed in May at Liz Taylor’s chalet at Gstaad, Switzerland. That on-set accident in which Bob’s eye was injured scared everyone, but the last I heard he’d recovered nicely.
After all this time Debbie Reynolds finally revealed why she married Harry Karl. In her book “If I Knew Then,” she said after her experience with Eddie Fisher, she decided she could no longer trust young men and that’s why she wed an older one.
Dick Powell’s will was a surprise to many people. When his widow June Allyson started divorce proceedings a year ago, her settlement was to be $2,500,000, which meant his estate amounted to $5,000,000. The divorce was subsequently dropped. But in his will he left June one million dollars and provided handsomely for their two children. In a codicil to his will, he left his two children by Joan Blondell shares of stock in “Four Star,” which might bring $20,000 to each child. Before the codicil was added the will said he’d amply provided for them. They received nothing from him until they were in their teens. Then they got $25 a week each.
Bob Mitchum may not recognize son Jim when he gets home from Europe. Jim went to London’s Saville Row and got himself a complete British wardrobe. Bob never did that!
When Hugh O’Brian signed to do a “Perry Mason” for producer Gail Jackson, he told her it was the second time he’d worked for her. When he first came here he mowed lawns to live. He’s never forgotten Gail’s yard—it was the toughest one the then poor Hugh had to clip.
Above: Any way a wardrobe girl measures, Victor Buono is a big man—on or off the screen.
I thought Ann-Margret might get ideas when she went east to be maid of honor at the marriage of her best friend Sharon Lauver. She was impressed with the candlelight ceremony but still says she’s not getting married to anybody and that includes Eddie Fisher.
Them that has gits. This time it couldn’t happen to a nicer man. Fred Astaire shared the two and a half million dollar estate left by Mrs. Maud Livingston Bull, aunt of his late wife Phyllis. The will also returned a Rolls-Royce which Fred had originally given Mrs. Bull.
Pat Boone almost bought him- self a home in Beverly Hills. While filming “Yellow Canary” he locationed in the old Cord mansion and decided it was just what his family needed. Then he found out the price was only two million. Pat’s not buying.
A schoolmate of Janet Leigh’s told me an ironic story about the star’s first marriage. During her senior year in high school she eloped with a man whose family was quite well-to-do by the small town’s standards. They thought Janet was after his money and had the marriage annulled. Now Janet can buy the whole town.
Cara Williams is an honest to goodness kook! While telling me what a time she was having reducing, she reached for a vitamin pill but took a sleeping tablet by mistake. Short conversation. Cara claims when she’s happy she just eats and eats. But when she has a broken romance, she gets thin as a rail and looks gorgeous so the guy will know what he’s missing.
Funniest story in town concerns a well known society-movie doctor who became too ili to practice. One of his patients, a bedridden millionaire, received daily shots from the M.D. When the doc took to his bed the patient went without shots and began to get well. In no time he was on his feet and rarin’ to go.
Ava Gardner may settle in the Hawaiian islands. That’s a great place for her—she can go completely native and no questions would ever be asked.
Edie Adams is so much in demand that her problem now isn’t how to get rid of debts—but how to pay taxes on her earnings.
Above: Lana Wood, Nat’s little sister, quietly wed Jack Wrather, Jr. in Mexico, but made headlines when it was announced the wedding would be annulled.
Kay Gable sold the Palm Springs home she and Clark built because it had “too many memories.” Elvis Presley offered her $3500-a-month rental for it but she didn’t want to see it again. She and Clark used to go down in January and stay until June. She cooked; he played golf—it was a heavenly life!
Nobody knows exactly why Dolores Hart’s romance with Don Robinson blew up before the wedding. All she said to me was “People who advise long engagements certainly know what they’re talking about. You should get to know the man you’re going to marry very well. When you do, sometimes you don’t want to marry him.”
Warren Beatty who’s made only three pictures because he hasn’t liked the scripts offered, now says he’s mentally ready to go back to work. Yes, but are we ready for him?
James Dean still has a faithful fan. Jose Maria Maldonado of New York wrote me, “I’ve seen his four films over a thousand times—there has never been anybody like him. I visit his grave in Claremont, Ind. every year and pray by it. I collect his photographs. I know his relatives well. They are fine folks. I read what you wrote about Jimmy in McCall’s and can’t wait to get your book ‘The Whole Truth And Nothing But.’ ”
That’s all the news for now. I’ll write you more next month.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE APRIL 1963