You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Glitter Event: Cal is sorry to report that regardless of what you’ve heard about this or that picture Clark Gable is supposed to be making soon, it just isn’t going to happen. Not for a while, anyway. Clark was overheard at Jack Benny’s party telling Gary Cooper that he wouldn’t make another picture until the studio comes after him with a shotgun. (And a good story!) Here’s hoping—with gals and G.I.s everywhere clamoring for more Gable pictures—and Clark looking handsomer than ever. And, too, he’s finished a fine war job. And believe it or not, gals, Van Johnson, Ty Power and Errol Flynn were only a few of the male heart-throbs at this Benny soiree, but it was Gable who was getting all the gasps and attention from the femmes! Just as hot as he was eight years ago! That party would be hard to top for glitter and glamour—with all the women done up and bedecked with jewels hauled out of the family vaults.
The Bennys had a big tent erected just off their patio, garlanded with foliage. A dance floor was in the center, complete with a good jive band. Around a buffet-table, about twenty yards long, were round tables that seated from six to ten guests each, giving people the chance to really get together. A dinner-feast was served to over a hundred guests around 9:30 and a scrumptious breakfast was served around 5:30 a.m. to over sixty guests who still remained! Fun?
Merle Oberon was there with Alexander Korda, whom she’s about to divorce; Judy Garland, with Vincente Minnelli, of course. Gene Tierney, looking luscious, was with Oleg Cassini, in Hollywood for only two days and expecting to be sent overseas any minute. Barbara Stanwyck and Bob Taylor on leave, as was Ty Power, who was excited as a kid, giving Hollywood the first look-see in almost a year. The Ray Millands, Claudette Colbert, Dorothy Lamour and her hubby, Maj. Bill Howard, Margaret Sullavan (who was facing a serious operation—but you’d never have guessed it), Norma Shearer, Joan Bennett, the Bill Powells, Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, stunning as ever, with Phil Terry—these were just some of the stars on hand. Around three a.m. Bing Crosby disappeared. About fifteen minutes later he was found outside, singing away like crazy just for two lone sailors who were standing in the road, waiting to see the celebs leave! And believe it or not, Bing was asked to please get dressed up and wear a black tie for this party. He not only wore the tie, but the black suit and fancy diamond shirt-studs to go with the duds. He was so done up, he’ll never live it down!
Oh, Danny Boy!: The town really tuıned out for the elaborate cocktail party to greet Danny Kaye after his first radio show. Jack Benny was all over the place and so of course was Eddie Cantor, so eager-beaverish for the boys with the cameras.
There was something familiar about an alluring blonde we saw, in spite of the straight-to-the-eyebrow bangs and hair hanging equally straight in the back. And then we suddenly realized it was Jean Arthur, all got up with her I’m-not-in-pictures-any-more attitude. The hairdo, we realized, was a rebellion against those hundreds of hours that had been spent at the studio hairdressers. The added plumpness (’becoming, too) was another tongue-out gesture toward the camera. And the smile of acceptance as she posed for photographers would have thrown the publicity boys and girls who used to shed tears over Arthur’s uncooperation.
Dick Powell and June Allyson hovered around the hors d’oeuvres table. They admitted to Cal they’d had a bit of a tiff for a few days, with Junie flouncing off places with Peter Lawford who seems to he the Patsy for all the girls who tiff with their steady beaus.
Lana and Turhan arrived late. Turhan, who had been ill with flu, was slender as a reed and looked years younger for it. And no one, let it be said now, squealed as Frankie, The Voice, mingled among us.
Gary Cooper and Eddie G. Robinson were just as sedate as usual, but that Kaye, with his blond head bobbing all over the place like an animated chrysanthemum, stole the show. Now there’s our vote for the personality kid of the year.
Boys—Here’s Your Gal: When the Royal Canadian Air Force decides to get behind a girl’s screen career—look out! Even Hollywood producers listen, and this time they took the advice of twenty-one Canadian fliers and gave Yvonne De Carlo the chance she deserves in pictures.
It all began when Paramount signed the little dancer from Vancouver to replace Dottie Lamour and her sarong when Dottie rebelled against South Sea epics. But at the last minute Lamour reconsidered, and Yvonne became only a pin-up picture sent out to various service men.
Finally Walter Wanger received a joint letter from those Canadian lads telling him why they thought Yvonne, their favorite pin-up girl, should get the role of Salome in his new picture, “Salome—Where She Danced.” Intrigued, Mr. Wanger saw and tested the little blue-eyed brunette (a honey, lads) and brother, those Royal Air Force boys knew whereof they spoke. Yvonne was so good she got the starring role. And where she dances is right where Dottie Lamour wears those sarongs. Fellows, how do you spell a long drawn out whistle?
By the way, Yvonne speaks French, likes Shakespeare, has a clear olive complexion, is now under contract to Universal and boys—she’s beautiful; she’s five feet four, she’s young, she’s single—but maybe not for long, as Hank Daniels put a ring on her finger just the other day.
Cal Plays Cupid: He sat in a booth at Romanoffs—a tall dark and handsome young Navy officer who, it was obvious by his ribbons and stripes, had seen plenty of action. He was with his father. Cal, in the next booth, didn’t really mean to overhear their conversation—about the three and a half years of combat flying, about the girl who haunted his dreams when the going was toughest, about how he’d give anything to meet her—just once.
Then she walked in—his dream girl, June Allyson. The Navy Lieutenant and his father stopped talking—and looked. This was too much for Cal’s romantic soul, so we forthwith sent a little note to June (lunching with Navy Lieut. Art Jarrett) asking her to drop by our table. She did. The miracle happened. Lieut. Ted Tuets-berry met his dream face-to-face. His dark eyes filled with wonder and he stammered in gratitude.
Later we had them over to our house and the boy’s father kept reiterating his thanks. He told us about Ted, who was attending Harvard when he joined up and who was going back across within a few days. The father had flown out from their home town, Boston, to be with his boy these few remaining days. Only that morning Ted had telephoned his mother in Boston.
What are you doing in Hollywood tanight, son?
Nonchalantly, never dreaming the truth he spoke, Ted replied, “Oh, having a date with June Allyson.”
And that’s the wonder of it all!
You May Want to Know: The happiest bride in town is Janie, nee little Joyce Reynolds, who pleased her studio to death by marrying Lieut. Robert Lewis just when she was about to begin her newest picture, “Janie Gets Married.” And don’t try to tell us it was a publicity stunt either. Cal saw Janie yesterday on the Warner lot and we’re here to say she couldn’t have been more glowing. . . .
The place to find John Loder at all times is in that children’s playground park on Olympic Boulevard. The actor spends hours with his daughter, Danielle, child of a former marriage, while his present wife, Hedy Lamarr, makes her home in her studio bungalow on the M-G-M lot. Hedy, who is expecting a baby, is saving herself as much as possible while making “Her Highness And The Bellboy.”
The males are hitching their wagons to two stars—Bing and Frankie, by breaking into song in their newest pictures. Paul Henreid will warble in “The Spanish Main” and not that old “ho ho ho and a bottle of rum” thing, we are happy to announce. Dana Andrews, who has a really fine baritone voice, will sing the musical background for his new picture “A Walk In The Sun.” And from what Cal hears, the lad may do musicals from now on. And wait till you hear Sonny Tufts in “Here Come The Waves”—or have you seen the picture yet? There’s a professional finish to Tufts’ voice that makes it worth listening to.
Commets: Even though Tallulah Bankhead has been raving about Bill Eythe and rooting for him to get the lead in Somerset Maugham’s “The Razor’s Edge”—he’s not the new thrill. In fact, Bill isn’t being anybody’s special thrill at the moment. Very much playing the femme field . . . Joan Edwards is rapidly getting her salary into the Sinatra brackets . . . By the way, you can add Cary Grant to the rabid fans of Frankie-boy. Thinks he’s terrific and says so at the drop of a record. . . . Not supposed to be known—but Gene Tierney didn’t dye her hair for “A Bell For Adano”—she’s wearing a blonde wig . . . Poor Veronica Lake— she got a terrible case of flu the second day of her honeymoon. Bridegroom Andre De Toth spent most of his time rushing to the corner for pills.
That Stroke: Ed (Archie) Gardner and bathing beauty Esther Williams got to arguing the other day about various swimming strokes. Gardner kept insisting that a certain stroke should be done his way—and not the way Esther, the swimming champ, kept telling him it should be done. Ed even got up in a chair and made wild gestures to illustrate his point and prove he was right. “Tell you what,” said Esther, “you come up to my house and demonstrate all that in my pool.”
“Me?” cried Gardner. “I can’t swim!”
Town Data: Deanna Durbin and Steve Crane still twoing around Mocambo and other places—but then Deanna “twos” with a lot of beaus . . . Rosalind Russell, up and around af ter a long siege with illness, looking right smart and healthy at La Rue with her favorite
Major—Freddie Brisson . . . Donald O’Connor expected to be out of the Army with a medical discharge any moment . . . June Allyson went to the “Winged Victory” opening with Peter Lawford; Jeanne Crain with Paul Brooke—they’re getting really serious. Little June Haver with Bill Eythe . . . George Raft is in the midst of a terrific new crush—it’s Ann Jeffreys, the gal who got to neck with Frankie Sinatra in that telephone-booth scene in “Step Lively”—remember?
Success Song: One of these days you’ll be hearing of a singer named Virginia Paris—and there are those who think someday she’ll be as great a voice and just as famous as Marian Anderson. And here’s the little human interest story behind Virginia’s story. She used to be (until three months ago) Loretta Young’s maid! For weeks, Virginia was going down to the Hollywood Canteen and singing for the service men—scoring a solid hit each time. And all this time, she was still working for Loretta. Cal discovered that Loretta and her husband, Col. Tom Lewis, had been giving the girl plenty of encouragement and help (and you know what it means to give up a good maid these days) with the result that just recently the gal left the Lewises and gave her first big concert at an auditorium in Los Angeles. Also, two major studios are interested in her. How’s that for a success story?
Why, Gary: Gary Cooper never did think he was a Bing or a Sinatra—or a Roy Rogers—but when they wanted him to give out with the notes in his role of Melody Jones in his new Western, “Along Came Jones,” Gary said he’d take a chance. Singing for the first time on-screen, he thought he’d better record about twenty verses of an old cowboy ditty—so he did just that.
He was so pleased with the results that he took the record home and played it for his wife and seven-year-old daughter, Maria. When the “concert” was over, Maria turned to Gary and chirped, “Daddy, do all cowboys sound like you—or were you really riding a horse when you made the record?” Gary now knows all about Deflation!
Here and There: Anne Baxter and Bill Eythe suddenly found themselves in Palm Springs at the same time, enjoying a little vacation. So they went stepping and wound up by winning a waltz contest at a night spot at that resort. But John Hodiak is still top man with Anne—even though her ma is said to object to her marrying at this point . . . Next time Ella Raines orders any furniture especially made to her desired measurements, she’ll do a little measuring around the house first—you can bet. She just about wept when an oversized bed, which she had ordered and waited months and months for, finally arrived. It was too large, not only to go through her bedroom door, but any door in the house! . . . Lynn Bari has been taking flying lessons regularly from her test-pilot spouse, Sid Luft . . . The Rita Hayworth-Orson Welles baby, Rebecca, has coal-black hair—just like her Mama’s really is.
A Chat with Aunt Cissy: We liked Joan Blondell so much as Aunt Cissy in “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” we marched over to the set of “Two-Faced Quilligan” to tell her so. The talk finally got ’round to her two children, Norman aged ten and Ellen just six.
To our notion, Joan Blondell is the epitome of modern motherhood. There’s so much joy of living in the woman, it’s reflected in the children themselves.
For instance, there’s little Normie’s recent heart affair and Joan’s sympathetic understanding of it. Little Miss Murphy, aged eleven, the object of Normie’s affection, is hall monitor at the Gardner Street school and Normie can hardly bear the way he loves her. He hadn’t even spoken to her, of course. One Sunday he announced to his mother his intention of calling on his girl. Joan approved and even suggested Norman bring her back for lunch.
At one o’clock he telephoned his mother he was hungry. And no, he hadn’t yet got the courage to go up to the house. He was telephoning from a pay booth. At two he called back. The situation had remained the same.
“Just where are you, Normie?” Joan asked. He was on a terrace across the Street from the house and just couldn’t move either way—toward her house or his house. So Joan wrapped up a lunch of milk and cold chicken and delivered it to her love-sick son.
“Go away now, please,” he begged. “She might see you bringing my lunch.”
At six he returned, a Romeo defeated by timidity, but the next week Joan took matters in hand, called up the Murphy miss and invited her to lunch. And now the romance is blooming.
Ellen is the stoic type and refuses to mention or discuss the accident that befell her several months ago when a i ferocious dog attacked her.
Recently Joan dressed in her newest formal for a party and strolled in to bid them goodnight. Normie whistled and Ellen, surveying her mother with approval, leaned over and advised in a whisper: “Mommy, when you get where I you’re going, drop your handkerchief.”
“They are beginning to live now,” Joan says, and one can almost feel the joy of sharing life with them that be-longs to this vibrantly alive woman.
Love and Romance: Cutest thing in the world the way Grace McDonald fusses round that motel cottage keeping house or her new husband, Lieut. Ralph Greene. Only place in Southern California the couple could find to live . . . Myrna Loy will be the bride of Navy Captain Gene Markey before summer and the betting that Clark Gable will surely marry Mrs. Dolly O’Brien of New York and Florida is hot and heavy in Hollywood. Cal asked him point dank about the lovely Mrs. O’Brien several years older than Clark as were wo of his other wives) and all we got for our pains was that famous grin . . . For the benefit of Van Johnson fans let it be said he’s afraid of girls. Says so himself. The minute things begin getting serious the lad seems to crawl within himself. Is there a psychoanalyst in the house? . . . Alexander Knox (Wilson) tells us his marriage Doris Nolan wasn’t one of those quick-quick-to-the-preacher things at all. They simply carried on their courtship at home instead of the Strip night clubs, and took only Barry Sullivan into their confidence . . . The good-looking brunette beauty who was seen everywhere with Richard Jaeckel while on furlough from the Merchant Marine was his mother Millicent, and what’s more Richard intends to keep her the one, too. Chatted with Millicent the may after Richard unexpectedly popped in from sea and what a happy, happy woman. She loves him too, girls . . . Cal heard that Farley Granger isn’t too happy over June Haver’s interest in Bill Eythe, but maybe it’s just one of those interludes until Farley returns. After all, June is so very young. And pretty . . . Jeanne Crain and Paul Brooke are so serious friends are wondering about Pvt. Lon McCallister who used to be top man with Jeanne.
Events of the Month: The town grieved with Paulette Goddard over the loss of her expected child due in three more months. And they despaired over her life for a time with Paulette unconscious for days . . . Deanna Durbin received her final divorce papers but still hasn’t settled her heart on any om man. But Donna Reed, who divorced make-up man Bill Tuttle in Mexico, is said to be smitten with Tony Owens.
A possible plot to kidnap Betty Grable was overheard in a cocktail bar and reported to the police, but the woman who had been annoying Joan Crawford in the belief Joan had adopted her child finally got into the house and had to be chased up and down stairs before the police caught up with her . . . Bob Hope was awarded the Poor Richard 1945 gold medal of achievement in recognition of a fine job in entertaining American troops on the fighting front.
Our Boys in Service: To date the stars in the Screen Actor’s Guild service flag number 1427 and with the reclassification hundreds more, including Dana Andrews and Vincent Price, will join the ranks.
Seaman Jackie Cooper was sent of to Pearl Harbor where he’ll join orchestra leader Claude Thomhill, Dennis Day and others in a service un to tour the Pacific.
Lieut. (j.g.) Richard Ney was almost certain to have been at Luzon all through the bitterest action. At home Louise Allbritton is winning salvos for appearing nightly at the Biltmore. Theater with the combat casualty boys from Birmingham Hospital who are putting on the play “Personal Appearance.” Proceeds go to the March of Dimes, but think what it’s doing for the hopes and morale of the boys, too.
Chief Boatswain’s Mate Cesar Romero, after nine months aboard a Navy attack transport, is in town again seriously courting Virginia Bruce.
Richard Denning recently volunteered for submarine duty and is now with an underseas squadron . . . Lieut Van Heflin is in an Army hospital in this country after combat duty in Europe . . . Peter Van Eyck, stationed in Maryland, has been commissioned a lieutenant in the Intelligence Dept. Peter, German born, became naturalized before entering the Army.
Ouch: The scene was the men’s make-up room at Paramount and the young man sat miserably while the barber thinned his eyebrows and raised his hairline at least an inch and a half by literally yanking out each hair.
Bing, the casual, wandered in and stood looking down at the wretched young man whom he recognized Andy Russell. “Well, well,” said Bing “so they finally get a singer with hair and darned if they don’t pull it out of his head by the roots.”
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE APRIL 1945