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    Under Hedda’s Hat

    Those rumors that Ava Gardner was dating Skip Ward when both were doing “Night Of The Iguana” are false. When Ava came back to town, she met Skip’s fiancee Julie Payne (daughter of John and Anne Shirley). Julie was wearing a beautiful green sheath, and Ava hauled an emerald necklace out of the vault and loaned it to Julie. But Ava’s bitterness over Hollywood lingers on. She won’t give reporters the time of day, and has nothing but disdain for the town where she became famous. Director John Huston told me Ava will be the surprise of “iguana.” It was the first time he ever worked with her. When the film was finished, she told Huston it was the first time she had ever enjoyed working.



    Shirley MacLaine (above with Kevin McClory) does as she pleases and lets the chips fall where they may. She told me not long ago that she was tired trying to explain her marriage to Steve Parker to people who couldn’t understand. “It suits me and I’m happy and it’s nobody else’s business.” Despite her protestations that all is well, the



    Italian newspapers had a field day when she and producer McClory, both staying at Rome’s Hotel Excelsior, went nightclubbing together every night. As happens to all movie stars in Rome, they had more than one run-in with the paparazzi and at one point McClory heaved a chair at a cameraman. Kevin married heiress Bobo Sigrist last year and when their son was christened in Dublin, Shirley was one of the illustrious godparents on hand for the champagne party—along with director John Huston.



    Do you suppose Gary Merrill’s trying to impress Bette Davis? He borrowed a pal’s white Rolls-Royce when he went to pick up their adopted son for a visit. Gary wasn’t invited to the wedding of Bette’s daughter Barbara (BD)—so he phoned me halfway across the country to ask how it went.



    Van Johnson’s battle with cancer hasn’t softened his relations with his ex-wife and their fifteen-year-old daughter. Van never hears from his daughter.



    Carroll Baker stopped in Paris on her way to Kenya to costar with Bob Mitchum in “Mr. Moses.” Main reason for the stopover was to see Pierre Balmain about the dress he’s designing for her to wear to the American premiere of “Carpetbaggers.” all she’s saying about it is that it will be skin color! Although Carroll has a reputation for being undressed in most of her films, she outfitted herself in a Robin Hood outfit, complete with high suede boots, for her arrival in Africa. “I’m not going to let mosquitos get at me.”



    Bill Holden’s having conferences in London that may bring him back to Hollywood for a picture—his first in the old town in years. If Holden returns, I’ll believe those rumors that Brigitte Bardot is also weakening and may make a movie over here in sunny California.

     

    Shelley Winters and ex-husband Vittorio Gassman (above) are pals again. When she was in Italy making a picture, Vittorio saw a great deal of their daughter, and Shelley got acquainted with his eighteen-year-old daughter by a former marriage. I asked if she’d also patched up things with Tony Franciosa. “No relation,” said Shelley, “we weren’t married—we just went a fast ten rounds. You know, sometimes I start thinking I’d like a nice, calm, ordinary life, but I’m only kidding.” Is she?

     

    Tony Perkins (above) is a lucky guy. He’s had so many gorgeous co-stars, he’s got others green with envy. His impressive list includes Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot—and in his latest movie, “Fool Killer”—she’s shapely Salome Jens.



    Warren Beatty learned his lesson with Natalie Wood. Even he thought all the publicity over their romance was slightly overdone, and that’s why you rarely see his name in the columns. Don’t worry about Warren—he’s not sitting home pasting clip- pings in his scrapbook, but when he takes a girl out these nights he makes sure it’s on the quiet side. He’s become a co-producer and is very busy casting two pictures in Hollywood. One’s called “Hello, Pussycat,” and the other is “Honeybear, I Think I Love You.” He says he’ll act in both.



    Hollywood lost one of its most lovable citizens when Kate Crosby, mother of the elan, died a month before her ninety-second birthday. Despite all the fame of her sons, Kate remained herself. She liked to bet the ponies and used to be a regular at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park. For years Bing and Larry tried to find out how old she was, but got nowhere. She refused to tell them. About a year ago Bing was golfing back in the Midwest and went to the little town where Kate was born. The priest showed him the baptismal records, but Bing never let on that he knew her secret. Dennis Crosby and his estranged wife Pat showed up at the funeral and said they were going to give their marriage another try.

     

    Maria Christina Aumont (above), the eighteen-year-old daughter of the late Maria Montez and Jean Pierre Aumont, married Christian Marquand against her father’s wishes. So Jean Pierre is not only divorcing Marisa Pavan, he’s estranged from his daughter as well, or at least relations are strained. When she was fifteen Maria had a movie offer, but her father put his foot down and ended it. Jean-Pierre wasn’t so successful in her latest venture, but she didn’t ask his permission to wed.

     

    Gardner McKay (above with me) has always been a favorite of mine—and from his long date list, I gather other gals here agree with me. In fact, they don’t even mind when he brings his dog along on a date!



    Arlene Dahl was all set for a trip to India and the film festival on behalf of the State Department when the whole thing was cancelled. It had been arranged by Pat Newcomb, Marilyn Monroe’s press agent, and Arlene had already taken her overseas shots. So the whole thing wouldn’t be a total loss, she decided to travel anyway. She went to London to talk about doing a play. Sometime later she made a tour behind the Iron Curtain for the State Department. The idea is to take her beauty clinic over and show the women how we do it. The Communist ladies can buy French cosmetics (very expensive), but so far the only American beauty aids they’ve seen are the ones that have been smuggled into the country.



    We thought George Montgomery was brewing up a real romance with Gloria Vanderbilt, then she threw cold water on the whole thing by running off with writer Wyatt Cooper and getting herself married for the fourth time. Gloria’s ex, (one of them) Pat DeCicco, took a new bride, too. She’s a young fashion editor, Marie-Pierre Coll. They went to the altar after taking a cruise on Henry Ford II’s yacht.



    Steve Boyd is the siy one. He’s been dating Patricia Stander almost nightly. She’s a beautiful brunette, young and a widow. She was personal assistant to Anton Dolin, choreographer of the Royal Festival Ballet for ten years. She’s done choreography for a lot of BBC and commercial television in London and in British films. Patricia was born in South Rhodesia and she and Steve have known each other since 1955. They dated casually in London and Spain, but things have been getting serious lately. Steve quit drinking a year and a half ago; now he’s quit smoking. Furthermore, he’s selling his house in the Valley and getting a bigger one, which all adds up to a man who’s about to settle down. Yes?

     

    George Maharis and Gloria Montoya (above), a nurse, met when he had hepatitis. Now their romance is in full swing. George doesn’t mind talking about his pretty friend, but he gets furious if anyone suggests she’s just a cover-up for his real heart—his agent Mimi Weber.



    When our glamour girls buy those sparklers from Tiffany’s they should get a bodyguard to go with them. There have been more robberies in the past year than ever before, and Eva Gabor really had a narrow escape when a thief knocked her on the head and made off with her fifteen- carat diamond ring. She was hospitalized with a concussion. After Eva got back on her feet, she swore she was giving up jewels.



    After the big bust-up, Alain Delon offered to let Romy Schneider have the mansion they occupied in Paris, but she decided it was too much house and rented a smaller apartment.



    How about Hayley Mills! In a poll of two thousands theaters, she displaced Liz Taylor as Britain’s Number One Female Star. However, the first four places went to men: behind singer Cliff Richard came Peter Sellers, Elvis Presley and Sean Connery.



    Elizabeth Ashley didn’t beat about the bush when I asked if she was in love with George Peppard. “I am,” she said, “but neither of us is divorced, so marriage will have to wait.” Since Elizabeth is marooned on Broadway in the hit play “Barefoot In The Park,” George has been jetting from Hollywood to New York to be with her.



    Bob Hope’s just not the type to take it easy. Everybody held their breath when he got out of a San Francisco hospital after undergoing treatment on his eye and took off on a sixteen-thou-sand-mile jaunt to entertain G.I.’s. He didn’t seem as chipper as usual and his friends were worried. The trip was just what the doctor ordered. By the end of it Hope was feeling much better than when he started. He says those wonderful G.I. audiences give him a lift.



    Best kept secret in the world was Doris Duke’s marriage to bandleader Joe Castro. They were wed in 1956—again in 1960, and nobody knew it for sure until Joe sued Doris for divorce and demanded five thou- sand dollars monthly alimony. If I could get my hands on the money Doris and Barbara Hutton have paid off to ex-husbands, I could start my own bank.



    Judy Garland doesn’t see Glenn Ford anymore. She divides her dates between real estate man Mike Silverman and her dress designer Ray Agahyan, unless she’s in New York. Then she goes out with Albert Finney, who has a special talent for making all his dates feel they’re really the one. You’d think at least one glamour girl would get a little miffed when he turns up with somebody else, but not at all. They just sigh, tell you he’s their favorite man in all the world and let it go at that. Even Shelley Winters is gone on him. I took my sixteen- year-old granddaughter Joan to see “Tom Jones,” and she laughed so hard I thought they’d throw us out of the theater. I’ve seen it twice, and I plan to go again. Yes, it’s that good a movie.



    Only actress to make the World’s Best Dressed list is Dina Merrill, heiress to the Post Toastie fortune. She and Stanley Rumbaugh still go their separate ways. So far there’s been no reconciliation and no divorce.



    Frank Sinatra and all his enterprises will be housed on a half million dollar bungalow which Warners is building on their lot. There’ll be room for his pal Dean Martin, too.



    You don’t suppose Hugh O’Brian has decided to give up his freedom, do you? Every time I see him, he’s with Chris Noel and that isn’t like him. He usually divides his time among the ladies—so they all have a chance. But Chris seems to be something special.



    Our glamour girls have taken baths in everything, but leave it to Mamie Van Doren to come up with something different. For the film called “Three Nuts In Search Of A Bolt,” Mamie bathes in a tub of beer!



    Yvette Mimieux is a girl to be reckoned with. She fired her agents, told M-G-M she wanted a brand new deal, and when reporters asked personal questions (like is she really married) she told them it was none of their business. She’s been dating Dick Chamberlain, who still sees his old flame Clara Ray.

     

    That’s all the news for now. I’ll write more next month.

     

    It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE APRIL 1964

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