What Every Bachelor Girl Should ”No”!
I’m lonely-shall I ask him in?
Shall I drink if I don’t want to?
Shall I kiss him to be a good sport?
To look at and listen to bachelor girl Dolores Gray, who is so progressively modern, you’d never suspect her of having certain values and viewpoints that are considered revolutionary in today’s fast-moving world.
“I’m practically Victorian about some things,” is the way Dolores sums it up. “For example, some girls actually can phone a man and ask for a date. Why, a good friend of mine, a popular and eligible Hollywood bachelor, had three invitations from three famous female stars to attend a recent premiere. all three had bought their tickets themselves! My reaction remains the same. It’s the man’s place to do the pursuing in every way—always!”
Brown-eyed, blonde-haired Dolores Gray (36,5-22-36!), who sparkles like her favorite pink champagne, is a scintillating sophisticate. She makes a habit of meeting life head on, making no attempt to change the established rules and regulations. But in her own inimitable way, Dolores juggles them around a bit to suit her own individual needs and purposes.
About dating, for instance, she says, “Dating has always presented, shall we say, situations. When it’s with a man you’ve met recently, it does seem best not to ask him in for a drink—especially if you live all alone. This way, until you get to know him better, you can say good night at the door and skip over asking him in for a nightcap as well. It’s usually the wee small hours that are conducive to getting entangled.
“About that inevitable good-night kiss,” Dolores goes on. “It’s up to the girl, of course. Don’t kiss a date if you don’t really want to, just to be ‘sociable.’ But I do think that if you want to kiss a man—then kiss him!
“I’m speaking generally,” she says, “because the same circumstances don’t necessarily apply to the same people. Although the problems of a Hollywood bachelor girl are highly individual, she does have one thing in common with bachelor girls all over the world. Glamour is every girl’s business and, whether it’s Hollywood or Hoboken, there are no limitations.
“I think every girl should take great interest in dress and makeup, using makeup as carefully as a painter uses his brush. Now, I may not be a great beauty, but I think my eyes are my most attractive feature. So what I do is enlarge upon what I have. Every man expects something different. If one wants you to be a pixie, the next may want you to smolder in the long, tight, black stuff. Up to a point, I do think you can be any type you wish to be, by taking advantage of good points. But don’t stray too far from your own natural type.”
Since taking Hollywood by storm, versatile Dolores has appeared in “Kismet” and played the serpent-tongued gossip in “The Opposite Sex,” which eventually led her into “Designing Woman.” How she got that role makes for an amusing story. Dolores, who didn’t want to be typed, had turned down so many Scripts that M-G-M didn’t bother to offer her this one. But she heard about its unlimited possibilities and headed right for the front office. Maybe she thinks she talked them into giving her the part. Actually, when she asked for it, they jumped for joy.
Come next spring, Dolores hopes to be in Hollywood when M-G-M entertains the four lucky winners of Photoplay’s new contest, which will run in the May issue. Four bachelor girls will be whisked to Movietown like so many modern Cinderellas, to experience all the thrill of living like a movie star—with Dolores Gray, the expert on glamorous living, girl bachelorhood and Hollywood, as their guide.
Dolores didn’t take long to size up the local bachelor girl situation when she arrived in Hollywood.
“I hadn’t been in town long enough to unpack my poodles [she has six],” confesses the popular Miss Gray, “when I went to my first ‘important’ party. Although I had grown up in Hollywood, I had been away for a long time, making my way in the theatre. So here I was ‘home’ again.” M-G-M had brought her back for “It’s Always Fair Weather.”
When Dolores arrived at this particular party so soon after her arrival, it climaxed everything. How wonderful, she thought, to go to this glamorous Hollywood affair and meet a new group of famous, fascinating people. And it was true; the room was filled with famous names and faces. But with one or two exceptions, most of the guests (especially the women) added little to the gaiety of the evening.
“They seemed so tense and, in some instances, so bored,” Dolores recalls. “It was almost as if they were afraid to relax and have fun. After dinner the gentlemen talked shop over brandy, while the ladies exchanged gossip in the powder room. Then those who had early morning studio calls began to leave early. Being used to theatre hours, I am an inveterate night owl, so I stayed on, hoping the party would pick up. It didn’t. In the car driving home I couldn’t resist telling my date.”
What was wrong? she wanted to know. After all, Dolores had lived in New York, London, Paris and throughout Europe. People in general and society in particular were pretty much the same. Why was Hollywood so different?
“It’s a fabulous place, Dolores,” mused her escort. “But, as you’ve already discovered, Hollywood is a small town despite its world-wide fame. Yet it is different from any other small town. The relationships here are closer and more intimate because of the nature of our business. Unlike other industries, people here aren’t primarily selling a product, they’re selling themselves! So it’s a highly competitive jungle and, socially speaking, the prevalent manpower shortage causes women to become their own natural enemies.
“You saw what happened tonight. Do you realize there were three women to every man in that room? Most of them came there without escorts—because there aren’t enough eligible men to go around. This is one reason why some actresses become so dedicated that it turns them into self-centered, single-minded creatures. They lose their humor and forget how to have fun. As a result, men don’t want to get involved. These bachelor girls possess beauty, fame, everything that money can buy—except the one thing they need. Companionship and love. To the outside world they have everything. They’re actually the loneliest women in the world!”
A bachelor girl herself, Dolores might have withdrawn from this possible fate that awaited her. It did give her food for thought, and during the two and a half years she’s been in Hollywood, Dolores has had ample opportunity to observe the local scene and come to some conclusions.
“We are at best a group of strolling players who need roots,” Dolores decided. “So the average Hollywood bachelor girl must be very careful with her heart. Quite frankly, she needs someone waiting for her when she comes home at the end of a long, weary studio day. She needs a sympathetic man who understands the occupational hazards of her work. Therefore, the temptation to fail in love with an available young actor is strong, but I think she’s asking for trouble if she marries him.
“This is a tricky business we’re in, and young actors have their own heartaches in trying to forge their own patterns. Although they make charming companions, they still have great insecurity. It happens invariably when a bachelor girl marries a young actor: That big, strong shoulder to lean on is conspicuously missing, because the gentleman in question is too involved with trying to survive himself. It ends with—divorce!”
Every girl needs someone to talk to at times, Dolores admits. She needs a man who is mentally and spiritually stimulating, and here again is where many girls make the mistake of being too fussy in their choices. “After all,” says Miss Gray, “he doesn’t have to be the man she’d throw herself off a cliff for! Another mistake made by girls everywhere, including Hollywood, is refusing to accept a last-minute date, just on principle, with any man. Even one who really attracts her.
“In Hollywood, if the would-be escort is an actor, he may not actually know until the last minute whether he has to get up at dawn the next day. So he calls at six in the evening. On the other hand, if you’re an actress, you may have to break a date at six, because you suddenly learn you have to get up at dawn. So both of you have to understand, and if you’re available, why not accept a last-minute date? Some of my most enjoyable evenings were the direct result of not limiting myself by certain silly conventions.”
Just recently the famous face, figure and voice of Dolores Gray rocked and rolled the TV world in a Cole Porter-Ford Jubilee spectacular. A few days before rehearsals started, “well-meaning” persons offered Dolores some advice.
“You won’t like George Sanders,” they warned her. “He’s so bored with life. You’d better watch out. He can be very sarcastic.”
So the rehearsals started. “And we had a ball,” Dolores sums up. “George Sanders w as a little aloof at first, but that is his privilege and I paid no attention. One evening we finished early and I asked if he’d like to drop by for scrambled eggs on the way home. He said yes. I said that’s fine—and now let’s stop by McDaniel’s Market in Beverly Hills and buy the eggs!
“George went shopping with me and he carried the packages. We had more laughs, all of which I might have missed had I held out for, say, Romanoff’s or Chasen’s. How did I know George would accept such an invitation? someone asked later. He’s a big boy, was my answer, and all he had to do was say no. Thank heaven I learned long ago: Never type a man before you know him!
“I’m equally grateful that I learned never to listen to gossip, especially here in Hollywood. If a girl stays home because she happens to love her home, they say she has no sex appeal. But if she goes out a lot because she loves to go out, they say she’s man-crazy. In most small towns people usually know too much about each other’s business. In Hollywood, if a girl is a celebrity, she tries to be twice as careful because she almost lives under a magnifying glass and is a potential target for gossip every minute. The answer is, I think, that a girl must learn how to live with herself and be indifferent to the rest. Indifference is a healthy weapon.”
For example, says Miss Gray, “I’m always amused when people ask why I’m not married. This even intrigued the actress who chanced to employ my maid after me; she used to question her avidly! Now, I don’t think there’s anything lacking in me just because I’ve waited. It’s true that I’ve had proposals, but you marry when you fail in love, not before. The theatre is a full-time job. I love it and have worked long and hard to get where I am. The most important thing in marriage is sharing, and until I’m ready to give up my career, a man would have to be very unselfish if he married me.
“Some girls marry because they are lonely. I’ve never been lonely or bored in my life, and my problem is finding enough time to do all the things that interest me. I collect paintings, Georgian silver and china. I love a home and doing things in it myself. After all, where should you go at the end of the day, but home? My mother, who is a complete individualist, lives with me. But she leads her life and I lead mine. This is a perfect arrangement.
“True, a career girl’s chances of meeting men are multiplied, and our contacts are wider than those of the average small-town girl,” Dolores sums up her advice to bachelor girls. “Our salaries, needless to say, make many more things possible, but I still think there is always a way of doing things your way to your advantage. Background plays an important part in establishing popularity, and if you want a man to be interested, make yourself interesting. Simple as that!”
Since Hollywood first saw the light of Gray, many men have been attracted to Dolores. Among them are U-I executive Milton Rackmil, actor George Lee, famous artist Jon Whitcomb and disk jockey Del Courtney, who plays her Decca recordings and flies down from San Francisco to see her. Also, Count Dominic Luis y Sierragorda, whom she met while traveling. It was this same count who wanted to buy Dolores a house in Monaco. She loved it, wanted it—and didn’t accept it!
Following her smash hit in Las Vegas, Dolores (who is no longer bound by an exclusive M-G-M contract) took off for New York, where she’s due to star in Richard Ney’s play, “But Not for Marriage.” A prophetic title for a streamlined exponent of sex appeal? Not for Dolores.
“I will marry,” declares the girl who definitely is not the one next door. “But when I do, it has to be for life, because I am a Catholic. In the meantime, as the saying goes, I’ll play the field. I think every girl will agree that nothing is more important than a man in your life—when he is the right man. But it works both ways, of course.
“A man is rarely anxious to give up his freedom, so he’s looking for someone pretty special himself. In the final analysis, however, I believe it’s pretty much up to ‘the opposite sex.’ Don’t we all have to be ‘designing women,’ who must try to please just as much as we want to be pleased? I think we do.”
BE SURE TO SEE: Dolores Gray in M-G-M’s “Designing Woman.”
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MARCH 1957