You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Nuptials in the News: Of course the most excitement that Hollywood had in many a moon was the Faye Emerson-Elliott Roosevelt marriage—and you can bet Faye is still the most excited girl anywhere, Positively beaming all over the place. Faye didn’t get to meet her “in-laws,” the President and First Lady of the United States, until Christmas. She and Elliott spent a few days at the White House. Her picture schedule made it impossible for her to leave right quick. There were added scenes for “Hotel Berlin” to make before a trip was possible. And is Warners’ face red! Faye had, up to becoming a member of the President’s family, appeared in thirteen pictures for that studio. In many of them she played a ba-ad girl! Some are yet to be released! But how were Warners to know they’d have F.D.R.’s daughter-in-law in their midst all of a sudden? They might have guessed, though, because this romance started a year ago when Elliott was in Hollywood. He asked Johnny Meyers (Errol Flynn’s pal) to take him through the studios. On the second set he met Faye Emerson and there his tour ended. However, no one was more surprised over the wedding than a certain pretty Captain in the WACs who really thought she might be his bride. Faye left a broken heart behind her in the person of Bob Anderson, whom she’d been seeing much of before the surprising (to most) and hectic nuptials!
Cal’s Town: The Tommy Dorsey-Alan Smiley-Pat Dane-Jon Hall fracas is ended—all but that plastic mask over Jon’s rehabilitated nose— but the rumors that float around town as to why Jon couldn’t or wouldn’t prosecute or testify damagingly are really frightening. Anyway Cal’s glad it’s over and done with and we wager Frances Langford is too . . . Speaking of court trials, Olivia de Havilland won another victory over Warners in the Second District Court of Appeals . . . The town was shocked over Laird Cregar’s sudden death at the age of twenty-eight and at the very beginning of a great future. Perhaps the shedding of too much poundage may have caused the heart attack that ended his life a few days after a hernia operation. Cal recalls the last time he talked to Laird. We were lunching at a comer table in the dining room at Twentieth Century-Fox when Laird wandered in, spied us and sat down. Tony Quinn came strolling in a little later and joined the party. The bartering that went on between Laird and Tony over the purchase of a huge bed that Tony had for sale was worth listening to. We were amused, too, at the look of almost childish disappointment on Laird’s face when the waitress set before him the smallest cream puff imaginable.
“Haven’t you a larger one?” he asked, almost wistfully. Perhaps the desire for a bigger dessert was a throw-back to those awful years of 1939 and 1940 when Laird was hungry and homeless, sleeping in the backs of sedans, eating when friends came to his aid. We were there at the old El Capitan Theater the night Laird electrified audiences in his first professional stage role, “Oscar Wilde.” Although we’d seen Robert Morley in the role in New York, Cal had to admit this young man outshone the English actor.
Sad, too, about young Douglas McPhail, whom Lawrence Tibbett once called the greatest young baritone he’d ever heard. Cal remembers the first time he saw Douglas on the screen, and the last time, in “Seven Sweethearts.” His marriage to Betty Jaynes was over and so were his ambitions. He drank too much and seemed not to be able to combat it. And now at thirty-eight he’s dead by his own hand. Death can take them young, too young, in Hollywood.
News of Our Boys: To be an actor, a good one, a fellow has to be a pretty emotional and sometimes a pretty sensitive fellow. That’s why some of our boys are finding it hard to adjust themselves so suddenly to the rigors and demands of military life.
Donald O’Connor, for instance, never knew any life outside show business from his early toddling days. He never attended public school, played football on the corner lot with the gang, or had a chance to learn how to mix with boys outside show business.
Today Donald is a very sick boy confined to a hospital in Santa Ana in the nervous fatigue ward. Donald is just as ill as those boys who have suffered overseas—mentally groping for adjustment, longing with every breath to be allowed to do the thing he knows best—to entertain anywhere, at the front, any front, any time.
Naturally, civilians have no say in this matter, as military authorities know what the rules are, but Hollywood can’t help but feel if Donald were permitted at least to try entertaining, here or abroad, a good lad might be saved from serious illness and many boys would profit from it. As it is, he is contributing nothing to the war effort and suffering because of it.
In the same ward was musician Dave Rose, Judy Garland’s ex-husband. Perhaps if Dave (more sensitive than Rooney), had been given the same opportunity as Mickey, to lead a band overseas, his nerves would never have given way. As it is now, he is recovering slowly and will probably be back on duty by this time.
Lt. (j.g.) John Howard returned to Hollywood for a brief visit after two years overseas on a mine sweeper. He was thin, nervous and not the least interested m food. His aunt, Mrs. Elizabeth Hill who runs the little hat shop near Photoplay, told us of John’s struggle to readjust himself to a life that even now seems foreign to him. And it only seems yesterday John and Hedy Lamarr were going to movies together.
Lt. Howard is now a naval instructor at Cornell University, but expects to be sent overseas again very shortly. Interesting, too, that John received the Navy Cross for his work in commanding a ship under fire and aiding in the rescue of his crew.
Sgt. George Reeves tells an amusing story on himself. While he was still a civilian he went over to Fort Roach to make several training films. The first week after his induction George was sent to study some films showing a soldier going through the manual of arms. To Reeves’ amazement he discovered he was sitting there watching himself on the screen teach himself in the audience.
Sgt. Reeves is a member of the “Winged Victory” troupe and will soon be seen in that film.
“Him no longer ride elephants, him ride bombers,” a friend of Sabu’s told Cal recently. And what’s more, the lad from India, a belly-gunner in a bomber, has completed his eighth Pacific mission. Two of them were over Leyte.
Navy Lt. Wayne Morris came back to Hollywood on a short leave to see for the first time his six-months-old daughter Pam. Wayne is now an ace, having shot down his seventh Jap plane. The former actor is a member of the 15th Carrier Squadron, called “The Fabulous 15th,” because its members together have accounted for 350 enemy planes so far. Wayne was one of the first Hollywood actors to enlist.
On Love: The Bob Huttons have a strange design for marriage, it seems to Cal. “We’ll wait till we’ve been married a year, or maybe longer, before we decide whether we want to stay together” is their decision.
Glimpsed a happy bride and groom driving out the bridal path in Beverly Hills a day or two after their wedding. Through their rear window Cal could see a very blonde head (hair all done up on top, too) nestled close up to the driver of the car. When we were side-by-side we glanced again at the car. It was Veronica Lake snuggled up to Andre De Toth and the look of happiness on Veronica’s face almost blinded us. What a change has come over that girl through love. You wouldn’t know the hot-tempered, unmanageable Veronica of yore.
Comments: Paul Hesse’s lavish color pictures on Maureen O’Hara have won her the Woman’s Home Companion’s vote for the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. And what a beautiful home companion, too. . . .
Olivia de Havilland lost ten pounds with pneumonia in the Fiji Islands and looks more beautiful than ever. What a jinx has hounded Livvie this past year in work, love and health. . . .
That pipe Lana Turner is smoking is a chic affair designed to hold loose cigarette tobacco. But what about that cigar Cal saw a prominent Hollywood woman smoking at a night club the other night? Brother, that even smelled like the real thing.
Sonny and Suits: Sonny Tufts can claim to be the world’s most-dressed man. He started at dawn the other day in a 1910 outfit for “Miss Susie Slagle.” Next switch was to an Army uniform for “Duffy’s Tavern.” Then he got into 1885 Western garb to make tests for “The Virginian.” When he got home (in slacks) Mrs. T. told him they were going to a formal dinner party—and to rush into his tux!
Shhh! Gossip!: Ran into Van Johnson in Ann Meredith’s beauty shop and felt darned sorry for him. Due to his red hair and very light lashes it is absolutely necessary, and studio orders, that he have his lashes dyed every so often for the camera. Otherwise, he’d have no expression on the screen. So, once in a while when we’d pop into Meredith’s to get our latest dish of gossip (yep, we have our operators everywhere) there would be Van.
Knowing it would cause him endless embarrassment, we pretended not to notice, even when such delectable items as Kay Williams came along with him. And then one night a certain radio commentator spilled the beans and in such a way as to make it appear Van was indulging in some personal vanity. So this notice is just to straighten things out and to clear Van, who was acting only on the camera’s demands. And here’s a tip to Van. Hope, who does the job, couldn’t have been more miserable over the broadcast. She has never once mentioned Van’s visits. . . .
Incidentally we saw Kay Williams at a party given Col. Elliott Roosevelt just before his marriage to Faye Emerson. We thought Kay looked awfully wistful when the name Clark Gable was mentioned to her by another friend.
“How is Clark?” she asked without even trying to hide the loneliness in her voice.
“Clark?” we said. “Thought it was Van Johnson and you as a steady two-some.”
To our relief she laughed, “You call one postcard from Van while in Mexico for three weeks and no dates since his return a romance?” she asked.
By the way, we heard under cover Clark is seeing Virginia Bruce again. But a friend of Clark’s told us confidentially the last thing Mr. Gable wants in this world is to get married. And what’s more, he isn’t getting married. Well, Cal could tell you a story about that, too, but it’s too long and besides, true as it is, you wouldn’t believe it.
Lana for the Defense: To be loved by Lana Turner is to be loved forthrightly, and by one unafraid to Champion the cause of her man. When a writer recently took a poke or two at Turhan Bey in print, Lana telephoned to explain that she felt the jibes were due to the writer’s not i understanding Turhan, and so, sensibly and logically (but still close to tears, don’t forget), Lana “explained” her man. She painted a new picture of the young Turk for those (and that writer included) who might reasonably misunderstand, stressing his gentlemanliness, his breeding, his straightforward thinking, his lack of awe at Hollywood, his fine sense of humor, his bewilderment at Hollywood’s determination to misunderstand him. And she did her work so well, there will be no more rumors unfounded on fact from that quarter.
Cal, who knows and likes Turhan Bey well, would like to go on record as confirming Lana’s analysis one hundred per cent.
Baby Data: Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles are Ma and Pa and it’s a daughter. They didn’t care whether it was a boy or a girl—but were just crazy for the infant to arrive. And Rita plans on taking a long rest away from Hollywood before she even thinks about making a picture. Speaking of new arrivals, the Dana Andrews have a son born about a week before Christmas. When Dana asked his little boy what he’d like—a little brother or a sister—the child answered, “What else is there?”
Pin-ups Again: Betty Grable, being good-natured as all git-out, went over to the studio one afternoon and in one single session in the portrait gallery posed for no less than seventy pictures. And the cameramen say that she made a bunch of pin-ups that are even more successful than that sensational bathing suit picture of last year—remember? One of the gowns they whipped up for Betty to wear in her new picture had eyes popping all over the lot. It is made entirely of mink skins—tacked loosely so that they dangle like fringe when she walks. Underneath is pale pink chiffon over a flesh-colored slip—so it looks as if there were nothing under the minks but Betty! But of course it only looks that way. And it has everybody looking twice—and then twice more!
Chatter: AH of June Haver’s V-mail is going to Farley Granger these days . . . Irene Dunne is putting a lot of money into a new cosmetic firm . . . Sight of the month: Sydney Green-street driving up to the premiere of “The Very Thought Of You” in the sidecar of a motorcycle. Didn’t know they built ’em that big! . . . Another sight to see is Sonny Tufts doing his imitations of just about everybody in Hollywood—even Veronica Lake. That one has his co-workers on the set in stitches . . . Garbo and her boy friend Gaylord Hauser are about to start a health farm in upper New York State . . . There are a hundred and ninety-one pages of script for “Weekend At The Waldorf,” but Lana Turner and Ginger Rogers, both in the film, never meet face to face in it. Lana is keeping a scrapbook of World War II for her daughter Cheryl. And there are two hundred pages in it already . . . Lt. Bob Preston wrote his wife that after he briefs his pilots in France, he feeds them self-made soup—and they love it . . . Martha Raye and her new spouse, Nick Condos, having verbal tiffs right out loud in public places . . . Evelyn Keyes and Director Charles Vidor didn’t make their reconciliation pan out, either. And they’ll be telling it to a judge. Evelyn’s new interest is an Army captain . . . Frankie-boy Sinatra got back to Hollywood just in time to celebrate his birthday—so Nancy tossed him a big shindig at the house. That’s the kind of partying they like best— it always winds up with a jam-session. And it always winds up with Nancy’s doing most of the cooking herself. She’s really a great cook!
We Remember Lupe: The maid opened the door and asked us to step upstairs. There, in the half-moon-shaped black and silver bed in which she died several years later by her own hand, lay the Mexican spitfire Lupe Velez. “Seet down,” she cried. “I don’ feel so good so I stay here, eh?”
We remember the almost childlike naivete of her that day, rising from her bed to scream down to the gardener to verify her statement that she and she alone had painted her swimming pool. Still not satisfied, the cook, the secretary, the chauffeur and neighbor’s boy must be brought in to prove her story, one we never doubted in the first place.
She talked of love that day. There was an ache in her voice. We knew almost instinctively what it was—memory of the first and great love that she could never forget. The man’s name was Gary Cooper.
As we came to know her better we learned many things about Lupe. That great pride and sensitiveness hidden behind a strident voice, a laughing front and an I-don’t-care attitude, that fooled so many. It was that same pride and sensitiveness that, as sure as Fate, killed Lupe Velez several years later.
It began the day Gary left her to join Dorothy di Frasso for a big game hunt in Africa. Nothing seemed to matter much after that. She slipped into B pictures because—well, it didn’t matter, really. She slipped in and out of marriage to Johnny Weissmuller, a marriage punctuated with violent quarrels and disagreements. The color began to fade and the light to dim in Lupe Velez the day Gary walked out of her home. But pride would never let her admit it.
They were like two playful animals together, the big gangling cowboy and this little Mexican fireball, as uninhibited as a monkey, fighting and scratching and howling with laughter. It is odd, recalling the tremendous vitality of her, to think of her dying in that huge bed, desperately alone, with the fire of her burned to ashes.
After Gary married, his wife and Lupe became fast friends for a while, as if each recognized the bond between them. And then Mrs. Cooper went on to other friends and Lupe on to other beaus, Eric Remarque, Big Boy Williams, Arturo de Cordova—but none really mattered. It was only at those Friday-night fights at the American Legion Stadium that the old Lupe blazed forth, a volcano of action. In fact, the audience had a difficult time watching the contestants for Lupe put on a much better show.
The Friday after her death an unprecedented event took place in that stadium. Her chair was carefully roped off and before the main event, the immense audience rose to its feet while taps was sounded for little Lupe.
Hollywood loved her. The grips, the carpenters, the secretaries, the publicity boys, the actors who worked with her, the shop girls, the dressmakers, beauty parlor operators and the press—that same American press she thanked so touchingly in her farewell note.
The housekeeper had gone in to awaken her for breakfast and knew by the strange stillness of her body, so small in that odd black and silver bed, that Lupe was dead. She would have been a mother in five months and the man she loved, Harold Ramond, had not married her.
She first saw Ramond while visiting the “Frenchman’s Creek” set. Her romance with de Cordova was then a its peak and Lupe was a frequent visitor on the set, stormily on his side is the set-tos with Joan Fontaine.
Lupe remembered the handsom Ramond, who claimed to be a French actor, but who subsequently proved be an Austrian, so when Arturo Lupe parted, she telephoned Ramond who was flattered at the call from famous a star. And Lupe, anxious find security in home and love, found herself seeing the handsome actor almost nightly.
And then came the day Lupe her doctor told him, and he insisted the marriage be delayed. Had she been less naive, more scheming, Lupe would have been living today. But Lupe has never learned to scheme or connive Lupe had never bargained for success with her love. Lupe had been just Lupe and the town will miss her, just for a day or two but for always.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MARCH 1945