You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
A Fine Romance: Bob Wagner has been rumored to have more romances than a newspaper has pages, an hour has minutes or a year has weekends. Ditto, Natalie Wood. And then in the course of time Bob and Natalie discovered each other and it turned out to be the discovery of the year! It all started at the Photoplay party last February, at which Natalie and Bob had their first date together. They had such a good time that other dates followed: parties, premieres, long walks followed by a stop in for an ice cream soda, long talks followed by a drive out for a midnight snack. Bob, who doesn’t like “romantic” publicity, explained to the press that “This is no big romance, so please don’t play it that way. We’re just good friends.” Natalie said nothing. But when Bob left for Japan to make “Stopover Tokyo” Natalie was at the airport to say goodbye, and was so heartbroken after the take-off that she burst into tears. Since then, Bob has been telephoning Natalie long distance. The latest was a call at five a.m. and they talked for twenty-five minutes. So maybe it’s not a romance, but it certainly could be love. And Bob and Natalie make a handsome couple, yes?
Journey for Elizabeth: “When that girl loves she really loves,” is what her best friends say about Elizabeth Taylor, and in this case, her best friends really know. Despite the fact that her injured back has been giving her pain, Liz insisted on accompanying Mike to the Cannes Film Festival, which he had to attend because it was important for Mike to meet the exhibitors of “Around The World in 80 Days.” Too much in love with her husband to be separated from him for only a short while, Liz talked Mike into taking her with him and (together with a small white pillow which Mike tucked under her) off they went. At the showing of “80 Days” Liz kept biting her lips in agony, and had to go out to the ladies’ lounge to rest when the picture was halfway through. Before it was over, however, she returned to accompany Mike to the lavish supper party he was giving for the exhibitors and members of the foreign press. Liz did some of her best acting at the party, hiding her pain from the world and being charming and gay and nonchalant. They stayed there till the band played “Home Sweet Home”: it was after four o’clock in the morning.
Mike, who is most attentive to and concerned about Liz, has taken her to the most noted specialists in London and Paris, and tried to take her mind off her troubles with such gifts as a pair of exquisite diamond earrings which had to be flown out to him from Paris, and a Rolls Royce with the license plates ETT (for Elizabeth Taylor Todd). For somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 for three months, he has leased a villa at Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera from Lady Kenmare, a noted Riviera hostess. It has a marble-pillared staircase at the entrance, a huge ballroom inside, and the rooms are made for entertaining. Liz and Mike don’t plan to have much company while they’re there though. They live quietly, with Liz’s sons Mike and Christopher Edward, have a white poodle puppy dog to keep them company, and a small white pillow to travel with them wherever they go. If medals for gallantry in action were given to women, Liz would certainly get one.
Mike, however, is not so calm. Worried about Liz, especially because of the expected baby, he called the doctor five times in twelve hours!
Reports and Retorts: Pier Angeli reports that her 20-months-old Perry can outwit her when it comes to thinking up stalls to delay his afternoon nap. His newest gimmick is to pretend he has the hiccups. And he can make one glass of water last a long time. We like . . . the quote attributed to Jeanne Crain: “There’s nothing so exhausting in life as being insecure.” . . . The latest label for Vikki Dougan’s open-back exposure: “Reverse cleavage.” . . . Frank Sinatra’s “business” about two wrestlers who met in a restaurant and one said, “I’ll toss you for the check.” So he did—out the window. . . . The comment made by Mack Gray, at Doris Day’s garden party. When a sudden thunderstorm broke, he walked up to the man who played Moses in “The Ten Commandments”—Charlton Heston—and ordered, “Stop the rain!”
Information Tease: Ever think about what you’d have for dinner if it happened you earned more than a million dollars a year? Elvis Presley, who’s done so well in movies, TV and records this year that he says, “I never knew there was so much money in the world,” still sticks to this favorite dinner menu: several strips of well-done bacon, a mound of mashed potatoes, gravy, bread that’s been inundated with butter and several glasses of milk. It’s his favorite meal, honest!
Things we’d like to see happen: That Hugh O’Brian does get engaged to Dorothy Bracken, the June Taylor dancer (he seems so in love). That Marilyn comes back to Hollywood soon to make another film. . . . That Gene Barry gets the slick comedy role he wants so badly.
Date-line, Mexico: Now that Ava’s down in Mexico, she’s finally getting around to picking up that divorce decree from Frank Sinatra. After years of being too busy, too bothered or too bitter to do so, Ava decided that this was the time to make things final. And though she declares that her heart’s as free as her status will be, everyone’s watching developments of her romance with Walter Chiari. Fiercely loyal to those she’s fond of, Ava wanted Walter Chiari to have the role of the bullfighter in her picture and wouldn’t speak to Bob Evans, the actor who did get to play the role. Things got better and Ava got happier when Walter flew in for a reunion in the middle of May, and Ava told reporters, “He’s great fun—has a wonderful sense of humor and is very talented. But I’m not getting married.” All of which led a reporter to assume that “Ava’s chary of Chiari.” But Ava’s not talking.
News and Nostalgia: It’s been a good many years since Clark carried Vivien Leigh up the steps of Tara, but time has been very kind to Clark and he doesn’t look as though he’s changed much. Other people have, though, and what brings the point home is a story Clark tells about his recent trip to London. When he checked into the Dorchester Hotel there he found a note waiting for him. Opening it, he read: “Dear Father Rhett: You may not remember me but I am your little girl ‘Bonnie’ who was thrown from a pony in ‘Gone With The Wind.’ I am now eighteen years old and on my way to Switzerland. After all this time, what a shame that I have to miss seeing you here in London! Best wishes always, your daughter, Cammie King.” When he read it, Clark says, he was so touched that he just stood there in the lobby, trying to choke down the lump in his throat.
Not ordinarily one to turn back the clock (even for a great movie milestone like “Gone With the Wind”), Clark manages to do so when he goes back to frock coats and double-breasted vests for “Band of Angels.” He looks lahk Rhett Butler, suh!
—BY CAL YORK
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE AUGUST 1957