You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Comments of the Month: If you wonder what’s happened to “Mildred Pierce” after all this time, wonder no more. Joan Crawford has the title role and it’s finally in production . . . Don’t be surprised if Marjorie Reynolds and her husband, Captain Jack Reynolds, come to a parting of the ways with all Hollywood on Marjorie’s side.
Freddie Bartholomew telephoned Cal about that auto accident involving his car and one containing Joe E. Brown’s daughters, Mary, aged fourteen (critically injured) and Kathryn, eleven. It seems the car ran into Freddie’s, which eliminates him from blame . . . That cute brunette taking driving lessons all over the Toluca Lake district was Mrs. Frank Sinatra. It was to surprise Frankie when he got back from New York . . . Hollywood is beginning to think Paramount Studios needs its head examined letting Fred MacMurray sign with 20th, losing Claudette Colbert and suspending Bob Hope, of all people.
Don’t be too sure of a reconciliation between Helmut Dantine and Gwen Anderson, who was so ill with pneumonia, even though he rented her a house in Palm Springs and visited her often during her recuperation . . . That leather gadget Turhan Bey wears on his belt to hold his pipe is really something.
Harry James’s return wiped that perpetual frown from Betty Grable’s face. And such a purty face . . . What we’re waiting for is the screen debut of Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine’s mother, Lillian Fontaine, as Jane Wyman’s mother in “Lost Weekend.”
Love from Judy: You boys over there, here and everywhere, while Judy Garland was recording for you, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” she broke down and wept, and when the musicians heard the playback, they wept too. And all of us wept with love for you this Christmas.
Fashion Fling: Wait till you see Ida Lupino in “Pillar To Post.” She will be the first movie star to wear or even be seen in one of those new short nightgowns—Ida says they’re very cute. And she says that the scene in the picture in which she wears one contains some of the funniest dialogue she’s ever heard or spoken!
Saw Merle Oberon at Mocambo, looking very smart in what at first seemed to be a plaid dinner suit. But when you got closer you saw that the skirt was short and the beautiful plaid material was of lame—the shimmer of the metallic threads doubly chic in the almost severely tailored but very dressy suit. Her famous individual diamond flowers (which can be worn together or in different spots) were stuck onto a lapel.
And speaking of diamonds—Paulette Goddard wore that fabulous necklace of hers to the big party tossed by Cobina Wright Sr. for the stars who had entertained overseas—and it just about blinded everyone. Joan Fontaine, seated near Paulette at dinner, was drooling in admiration and in a mood to throw away the very good-looking chunk of costume jewelry she was wearing around her own neck! Paulette was in a long black dinner gown, trimmed with black lace—the bodice cut very low. Joan wore a long black velvet evening gown. Decollete—but around her shoulders and trailing almost to the floor was a narrow black velvet scarf (like Grandma wore) edged heavily all around with masses of ermine tails. Very picturesque—and very flattering. Ilona Massey had eyes popping with the evening gown she was almost not wearing! Cut very low back and front—no straps, tight bodice of cerise taffeta and very full simple skirt.
Adrian’s latest fashion show is responsible for a lot of the Hollywood babes going in for bustles in a big way. Saw Gene Tierney one night in a brown satin-brocaded dinner suit, short skirt, with a cute little puffy bustle resting where a good bustle should be —and Lana Turner (who has positively been wearing the gaspiest gowns in town) has a black satin dinner suit that features one—so have Mrs. Gary Cooper, Claudette Colbert and some of the smarter dressers in movieland.
Saw Lucille Ball one night at La Rue and she looked stunning in a short turquoise wool jacket over a tight short black wool skirt. The jacket, with enormously wide shoulders, was severely simple, cut close up to the neck but collarless—and very snug around the hips. She had the biggest bag we’ve ever seen slung over her shoulders by a black leather strap—the bag was in three sections. Black gloves and pumps finished her off. Very snazzy outfit—and one that can work about six different ways—if you have a good-looking plain black or brown skirt. Just change jackets and accessories.
Here and There: Alan Ladd will be out your way—that is if your way is around the Middle West—and soon. He’s going on his first hospital tour as soon as “Salty O’Rourke” is in the bag. He won’t make any attempt at doing an act or making speeches. He’ll just sit around and talk to the boys.
Linda Darnell, who has to fight that old devil fat from time to time, has been dieting and has lost ten pounds. Hubby Pev Marley is afraid she’s getting too thin and he keeps stuffing vitamin pills down her pretty throat.
Bing Crosby has lost pounds and pounds—from that 19,000 mile overseas tour in Europe during which it seems he really never stopped singing, talking or entertaining except for the very few hours sleep he got in mostly uncomfortable places each night. But he looks wonderful—and for the first time is really bronzed from the sun. That rest on a Nevada rancho did it.
A Word obout the Boys: Lt. Jackie Coogan has already announced his post-war plans and they sound swell. With the Heasley Twins (those lads that shine on skates with Sonja Henie) Lt. Jackie will open a flying school and sell medium and low-priced planes on the side. Hear tell The Kid has other plans too, matrimonial ones that have to do with Ramsay Ames. Well, we’ll see.
Mrs. Henry Fonda raced from one nursery to. another (the flower kind) all this month in an effort to fulfill the request of her husband Lt. (j.g.) Hank Fonda now assigned to shore duty on a Pacific island. “Send me seeds, every kind and lots of them,” he wrote, “I want to start a Victory garden.” There always was a lot of farmer in Fonda.
They call him rootin’ shootin’ Skelton in Hollywood after Red rated ninety-five in marksmanship at Camp Roberts. Red stopped in Hollywood long enough to say “hello” and “goodby” between Camp Roberts and Camp Sibert in Alabama, his new destination. Wouldn’t surprise Cal to hear Red had gone overseas any day no w. And wait till the “mean widdle kid” hits Paris. Incidentally, Red has scribbled out a book on his experiences which should be a honey.
Capt. Bob Preston is now an intelligence officer with a medium bomber group in France. What’s more his outfit received a presidential unit citation.
Jeanette MacDonald flashed that beautiful smile when she learned husband Gene Raymond had been promoted from captain to major. Major Raymond served eleven months in England before assignment to Yuma, Arizona, as an instructor.
Purely Accidental: Katharine Hepburn went down to the M-G-M studio to inspect her newly decorated dressing room. Just as she stepped to the door a fire hose broke open, drenching the star and ruining the beautiful new room. For a moment Katie stood speechless, and then turning, she said to the publicists: “Is Ginger Rogers on this lot?”
Hepburn, of course, was remembering the time at RKO when Ginger dumped a bucket of water on Katie who was just entering her dressing room. The pay-off was that Ginger was on the M-G-M lot working on “Weekend At The Waldorf,” but naturally had nothing to do with the accident.
Yes, This Is Hollywood, Friends: After the preview of “A Song To Remember,” Merle Oberon, the star, hurried over to Paul Muni to tell him how much she enjoyed his performance.
Muni thanked her. “I hear you’re very good, too,” he said.
“Oh, didn’t you see the picture?” asked Miss Oberon, taken aback.
“Oh yes, I saw it,” Muni replied, “but I only looked at myself.” . . .
Mickey Rooney’s bride, head and shoulders taller than her husband, arrived in Hollywood to make her home with the star’s mother, Mrs. Nell Panky.
“And what do you call Mickey’s bride?” a studio friend asked one of Mickey’s pals, “Mrs. Rooney or just Betty Jane?”
“Neither,” said the pal. “I just call her The Lanky Panky.”
Party Note: Jeanne Crain was at the Cobina Wright Sr. party, looking so ingenue in a semi-evening gown of pale blue marquisette. She must have been a bit confused for she was flanked most of the evening by Errol Flynn who was being very attentive, and Paul Brooke who looks so much like Flynn that he left Warners where he was under contract, feeling he didn’t have a chance there because of the resemblance!
Cal-culations: Girls, focus your eyes on Hank Daniels at M-G-M. He plays Judy Garland’s brother in “Meet Me In St. Louis” and he’s good. Was a tennis champ in Ne w York before he broke his leg and foot*in an auto accident. His next film is “Alter Ego” with Phyllis Thaxter. The lad’s going places.
Boys, have you seen Lauren Bacall, or The Look as they call her out here? That’s because of those looks she threw Humphrey Bogart’s way in “To Have And Have Not.” She’s tall, thin, wide-mouthed and nineteen. Most unusual actress to appear since Garbo.
We’ve told you before, fellows, about the blonde baby doll, June Haver, who really out-Grabled Betty in “Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” A half-pint of charm, with a peach-bloom complexion, June is an expert musician, writes music, dances, sings, makes eyes ooo la la, and is just eighteen. Her next is “Where Do We Go From Here?”
And here’s one for the subdebs (see, we think of everyone) and high-school cuties. His name is Jerome Courtland, he was nineteen two days after Christmas and actually proposed to Irene Dunne in “Together Again.” Six foot three, he has black hair, brown eyes, pink cheeks and a huge appetite. His mother is a Los Angeles socialite and Courtland got shoved into movies.
Ride ‘Em Cowboys: Westerns are such an integral part of motion pictures and their stars so popular among moviegoers, Cal felt you’d like to know how Southern California voted in a recent poll, with Bronco awards handed out to the winners in the Hollywood Bowl.
If you agree or disagree with their choice, why not write your favorite Western star (not Cal, please), and congratulate or boo the choice as the case may be. Here are the winners:
Top western leading man: Bill Boyd; with Bill Elliott in second place.
Top western juvenile player: Donnie Stewart.
Top western film: “Buffalo Bill,” produced by Harry Sherman and released by 20th Century-Fox.
Top western director: Robert Tansey.
Top western horse: Thunder, owned by Bill Elliott.
Top western song: “Pistol-Packin’ Mama,” by Al Dexter.
Top western band: Spade Cooley’s band; followed by Jimmie Wakely’s band and The Painted Post Rangers.
Top western leading woman: Dale Evans.
Top all-around cowboy: Roy Rogers; Johnny Mack Brown in second place.
Romance Rounds: It’s still love between Turhan Bey and Lana Turner and Cal believes Lana has never been so deeply in love with anyone, not even Steve Crane. And it’s still friendship between Turhan and Susanna Foster. The other day at Universal Turhan took Susie’s picture off the dining-room wall and put it on the chair next to his to reserve her place beside him. Then in comes Susie, spies some friends and forgets all about Turhan. Back goes the picture on the wall—upside down.
Phyllis Thaxter who played Van Johnson’s wife in “Thirty Seconds over Tokyo” is now the bride of Capt. Jimmy Aubrey of Chicago. The Captain is a flyer Phyllis met in Hollywood on a blind date and it was love at first sight.
Jeanne Crain always says, “Lon and I,” as if it were definite between her and Private Lon McCallister. The other beaux, Jeanne tells us, don’t mean a thing.
June Horne and Jackie Cooper may be one by the time this reaches you. all Hollywood was sorry that Jackie had to give so much time to that case in which he was completely exonerated that he flunked the exams for his commission in the Navy. But June, who has stuck to him through thick and thin, is still stickin’.
Judy Garland’s heavy dating is with Vincent Minelli, a young designer and director. This is worth watching.
Bill Eythe obviously has a big crush on Tallulah Bankhead and raptly tells one and all how wonderful she has been to him all through the filming of “A Royal Scandal.” And Tallulah has been loud in her praise of Bill’s acting and is rooting for him to get the starring role in a big new picture coming up. But Cal doubts if this is anything to get excited about from a truly romantic standpoint.
Cal would herewith like to predict a switch in that Deanna Durbin situation —or rather a switch back to Felix Jackson. Felix, who was strictly top man until Bob Landry got back to Hollywood from overseas and “took over” Deanna for a couple of weeks, suddenly began bombarding the Durbin with champagne, flowers and other knick-knacks—but every day! He’s a jealous type too—and bis hectic tactics are beginning to work. Because at this writing he’s hardly letting Deanna out of his sight! And she doesn’t seem to mind. What’s more, Bob Landry has been long-distance telephoning New York to talk to a gal on the staff of Life magazine that he’s known and cared for for a long time. A pal of his tells me he’s getting ready to propose to her. So don’t be surprised if Deanna shows up at Bob Landry’s wedding as a bridesmaid! They’ve been such good friends for so long—Cal wouldn’t doubt that she’d do it!
As for Ida Lupino and Louis Hayward—they’re seen around a lot together since their separation—and may even co-star in a Broadway play together as lovers. She wants to star with him in the picture “Ten Little Indians.” But I’ll bet they don’t take up their marriage again.
Gold-Trimmed Umbrellas: Lynn Bari quipped one day that “Hollywood is a place where the only thing an actor saves for a rainy day is somebody else’s umbrella.” But she must have been kidding. Because actors (and actresses) these days are as shrewd about the money they make, invest or save as the most astute business people. And if they’re not, they hire smart business managers who are! Can’t think of any featured players or stars who don’t have someone to advise them what to do with their earnings or who have not wisely put them into investments (mostly War Bonds) that assure them they’ll have comfortable old ages. These stories you read about the many players who own apartment houses, gas stations, general real estate, etc., are mostly on the level! Brian Donlevy, Alan Ladd, Ty Power, Johnny Weissmuller, Claudette Colbert, Bill Bendix have well paying businesses aside from their movie-making.
Divorce Data: Now that the John Waynes have really parted for keeps, Cal can spill a little information that he’s been keeping under his typewriter for some time. For one thing, negotiations between John and his lovely wife, the form er Josephine Saentz, have been going on for over a year! Mrs. Wayne, who is getting a civil divorce through permission of the Catholic Church, got a terrific settlement for herself and their children. Much money—even for Hollywood. And now comes some big news. You can look for John to marry Esperanza Bauer as soon as he’s free. They’ve been going together for ages—in fact ever since John and Josephine separated—and that’s a long time. It was Wayne who helped Miss Bauer get a contract at Republic Studios—though nothing much in the way of a movie career has materialized for her.
Wolves and Wildcats: Johnny Weissmuller promised Frank Sinatra that he wouldn’t take off for that hunting trip to Wyoming until The Voice got back to Hollywood. Whether Frankie wanted to see whether even mountain wildcats would swoon at the sight or sound of him, we don’t know, but he sure did want to go on that hunting trip! But his New York stay kept lengthening and lengthening. And Johnny W. got more and more impatient. And finally he just gave up and gathered up a couple of other guys and off to the wilds he went with nary a crooner to help him.
Reminds us that Errol Flynn thinks the wolves should sing it this way, “I’ll Be Seizing You”—and John Calvert, who is about to get a star build-up at Columbia, thinks the magicians ought to sing it, “I’ll Be Sawing You—in all the old familiar places—.”
Deglamorizing: Wait till you see what the studio’s doing to poor Buzz Meredith who is playing Ernie Pyle in “G. I. Joe.” Paulette is thrilled aplenty at having him around Hollywood for the next couple of months (he was put on the inactive list by the Army to make this picture), but what a ribbing she’s been getting. All because Buzz doesn’t look like Buzz at all these days. They’ve shaved his head clear across the top and right down the middle, as Ernie Pyle is very Guy Kibby-ish in the hair department!
It’s Those Little Things: Lana Turner’s face is small and pale without screen make-up and Judy Garland looks older than her screen age. Sydney Green-street coaches Phyllis Thaxter in all her stage and screen roles and John Hodiak was the original Lil Abner of the radio. Claudette Colbert wears her hair off the screen exactly as she does on, but Hedy Lamarr pins hers back any old way. Louise Allbritton carries her own cigarettes on dates, and believes snitching the boy friend’s during the shortage a snide thing. Jeanne Crain has teeth like a very little girl in the third grade without those caps she wears on the screen and Sonja Henie won’t even give away a discarded pair of ice skates. Bonita Granville wants to sing on the screen, Van Johnson wants to dance and Cal wants to go home and read a book. So ’scuse us all, please!
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 1945