You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Congratulations: To Debbie and Eddie, who held onto their love and took it to a happy ending in a surprise ceremony in Liberty, New York.
Marriage a la Hollywood: Determined to have his marital freedom, John Derek filed a divorce suit despite the pleas of advisers to “take time and think it over.” Equally insistent is Pati Behrs Derek, who plans to fight the charges. . . . The surprise shocker was Aldo Ray walking out on Jeff Donnell, who loves the guy—and how! She says he doesn’t want to be married, but he says he isn’t sure. Some time back Jeff lost their expected baby. Then she lost out as George Gobel’s wife on his tv show. Now she may lose Aldo in real life, but Hollywood sincerely hopes she won’t . . . On the other hand, no one expected the marriage of moody-broody Gloria Grahame and egocentric Cy Howard, to last as long as it did. They were battling and beefing—before the honeymoon was over!
Cal Salutes: Audie Murphy! He doesn’t resort to beefcake art, cheap publicity stunts or night-club brawls to get his name in print. He doesn’t pop off about his studio and “what they’re doing to me.” He loves his work, his family, and he’s grateful for his success. He toured the country recently, selling “To Hell and Back” and broke boxoffice records. “It’s part of my job,” Audie told Cal, “and only one thing bothers me today. The traffic in the Valley is getting so heavy where we live, but I can’t find another place. I worry about the kids!”
Uninvited Guests: Robert Wagner had a little surprise awaiting him when he returned from Chamonix, France. While he was away emoting in “The Mountain,” souvenir hunters invaded his apartment back in Beverly Hills and took monogrammed handkerchiefs, personal stationery and, of all things—an old toothbrush! Incidentally, Bob met a Swiss miss named Heidi while abroad and was so impressed with her and her beauty, he turned talent scout. His agent is showing the young lady’s photographs to Hollywood casting directors. If she comes over for a screen test, for obvious reasons Bob plans to make it with her!
Rugged Individualists: It can happen here! Sheree North took the body beautiful into boss-man Zanuck’s office and begged him to take her out of “The Lieutenant Wore Skirts.” With typical honesty, “I’m a dancer, not an actress,” she pleaded. But wise Mr. Z. talked her out of it and Sheree’s rushes are now the talk of the lot! . . . John Kerr (he screen-debuted in “The Cobweb”) has the courage of his convictions. Now playing opposite Leslie Caron in “Gaby,” he is the perfect type and age for “The Spirit of St. Louis.” Director Billy Wilder tried in vain to get him, and John, who has twin daughters, could have used the job. He turned it down because Lindbergh was never his idol! When practical-thinking James Stewart took over the wheel, Warners flipped. Jimmy’s name on a picture always means mucho moola at the boxoffice!
For Your Information: Unless there’s a last-minute switcheroo, by the time you read this, Marilyn Monroe will be back in Hollywood playing the shopworn night-club singer in “Bus Stop.” And her number-one choice for the naive, lovesick cowboy is—Guy Madison! He’s under contract to 20th, and he’d only be perfect—so what are they waiting for!
Delightful Dates: High time, too, that lovely Anne Francis snapped out of her divorce blues. Now she has a Jeff to the right of her and a Jeff to the left of her—Hunter and Richards that is. The boys take turns dating one of the nicest gals in town . . . Both Piper Laurie and Tab Hunter are furnishing apartments and that’s what brought ’em together. They started bidding on the same desk at a public auction! Piper is still evasive about David Schine (now managing the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel) and Tab’s interest in cute Natalie Wood is purely platonic. So the coast is clear for everyone.
New Look: According to the preview cards, the fans didn’t like Jane Russell’s role, or her close-cropped hairdo in “Gentlemen Marry Brunettes.” It won’t be long now—until it grows out again! . . . His intentional loss of weight gave Jeff Chandler a terrific torso, but studio cameramen are unhappy because Jeff’s handsome face now looks too small on the screen . . . They used to fret and fume about Leslie Caron’s “natural” looks. Now that she’s a redhead with a stunning wardrobe, the little French girl would like a crack at a chic and sophisticated role. So the studio’s still fumin’ and frettin’!
Baby Talk: These new mothers are amazing! Despite all her suffering, Pier Angeli, like Ann Blyth, is anxious to have another baby! Vic Damone’s teaching pretty Pier how to make home movies. When he’s out on the road singing for his supper, she can keep up their film library on Perry Rocco Luigi Damone! . . . And don’t be surprised if the Rory Calhouns sign those adoption papers. Rory is so at peace with the world these days, it shines right through his performance in “Treasure of Pancho Villa.” Now he and Lita are anxious to share all they have to offer with their own little family.
Only in Hollywood: Kim Novak’s costumes in “Music by Duchin” won’t be 100% authentic. Columbia calls it “artistic license”—but that ain’t the reason! Women wore that flat-chested look in 1927, and, after several futile attempts, designer Jean Louis compromised . . . When Gary Cooper turned down the role of Daniel Boone, the studio proceeded to test Tab Hunter who is 29 years younger than Gary!
True Blue: Alan Ladd never forgets a friend, which is why he remembers Robert Higgins. They were buddy-buddys back in their North Hollywood high-school days, both had schemes and dreams, but Alan’s materialized first. When Bob wanted to open a hardware store in Palm Springs recently, he needed a partner. The sign on the door reads—Higgins-Ladd. You can find Alan behind the counter any weekend!
Man at Work: After four pictures in a row, William Holden “retires” for six months—it says here! In the meantime, Bill believes he’s been spoiled by such super-charmers as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Deborah Kerr (no, he didn’t mention Jennifer Jones). “They are real professionals and give everything in every scene,” says Bill. When he was in the Virgin Islands making “The Proud and Profane,” Bill bought his wife an 80-piece grey and yellow Wedgwood dinner set. It arrived on her birthday—in 160 pieces!
Growing Pains: Sometimes it takes a good jolt to bring an actor to his senses. It happened to Tab Hunter and now he’s really going places and accomplishing things. He didn’t work for a year and, although he got paid, his salary is small and his pride and confidence got smaller by the moment. When all the good gusty parts went to such stars as Brando, Tab took mental inventory. Result, he buckled down, hired himself a dramatic coach, stayed home nights and studied. Tab recently appeared on “Climax,” his first live dramatic show for TV. He was so superior, both “Studio One” and Perry Como offered him $3500 for one guest appearance. If Warners can’t come up with that good role they’re frantically searching for, Tab gets to go to New York. As a well-earned reward, he also gets to keep all that money the studio might collect, legally speaking, from his TV work.
One Man’s Meat: In Hollywood they refer to him as “Lucky” Gordon MacRae. When a younger man was wanted for “Oklahoma!” Howard Keel (under contract to M-G-M) lost out and Gordon (who is great) got the role. Now he succeeds Frank Sinatra who walked out on “Carousel” after prerecording his songs, which go to waste. 20th Century-Fox threatens to sue Frankie, but he’ll probably “give” them another picture. In the meantime, Warners is wearing a grim smile. They discovered Gordon (ditto Doris Day) and put up with his shenanigans while building him to today’s startling success—for someone else to share!
Hollywood Dines Out: Some actresses complain about working too hard, but Jane Powell’s miserable over her long inactivity. To help kill time, she gave a dinner party and, instead of using the usual place cards, Janie embroidered individual napkins with each guest’s name . . . And Doris Day had to say it after staring at Joan Crawford in wide-eyed wonder. “Why do you keep those long gold kid gloves on while your eating hors d’oeuvres?” Joan burst out laughing. “I’ll show you why,” she said. Then she peeled off a glove and displayed the nails she’d broken while scrubbing the kitchen floor!
New Year’s News: December 30th will be a big day for Russ Tamblyn. He’ll be 21, so he’ll be eligible to collect $19,000 in bonds, accumulated by law from his juvenile earnings. Then, says Russ, “I’ll feel free to announce my engagement to Venetia Stevenson and make plans for a June wedding!” . . . Unless the stork detours, Ann Blyth welcomes the new baby and the new year simultaneously. Do you know she shopped for and wrapped Christmas presents during California’s hottest September in 57 years!
New Deal: Spiking those rampant rumors, Michael Wilding got up daily at dawn and drove Elizabeth Taylor to Warners until she finished “Giant.” He even returned later with Michael, jr., and the day they filmed the swimming pool sequence, all three Wildings took a dip. They looked might happy to us!
Hollywood After Dark: Jeff Richards who’s getting around these days, finally got around to tall, blond, super-stacked Anita Ekberg. Serious about his promising career, Jeff takes the Swedish siren home at nine when he’s working. . . . Sammy Davis, jr.’s recent opening night was a bang-up, sell-out sensation. When Frank Sinatra flippantly announced free drinks for anyone who was a veteran of the Spanish-American war—incomparable Humphrey Bogart stood up! Baby Bacall yanked him back to his seat again . . . Rival hostesses bent on pepping up their parties, haven’t succeeded in snaring” the man of the moment—Fess Parker. “An early movie and sippin’ a soda is speedy enough for me,” he says.
With Sympathy: Hollywood reeled at the sudden death of Jimmy Dean in an automobile crash. At 24, he was already known as one of the finest actors of his generation. He had talent, drive, conviction, idealism. He forever struggled within himself to find truth in his personal and professional life. Jimmy’s death cut short a highly promising career and robbed every one of us of the many important contributions he had to make. He leaves behind two great monuments to his acting ability: “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant.”
—BY CAL YORK
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE DECEMBER 1955