You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Be My Love: A manpower shortage in Hollywood? Not according to Elizabeth Taylor. Twenty-nine publicity minded young men called the fabulous beauty in one week, each hoping for a date . . . Practically everyone from his studio head to the gateman is begging Anthony Curtis not to marry Janet Leigh. They believe that Tony’s popularity can eventually top the immortal Valentino’s . . . Ava Gardner’s phone is “disconnected” every Sunday afternoon at two, which is the time Frank Sinatra goes on the air. You didn’t hear it announced, but his thrilling rendition of “I Am Loved” was dedicated to and inspired by the luscious lovely.
First Aid: Cal didn’t realize how sick Bing Crosby was, until we called on a friend in St. Johns Hospital recently and happened to talk to one of the nurses. While a kidney stone operation is very painful, Bing had no idea it was going to hurt that much. He couldn’t see a soul and he just barely had strength to speak. However, when he heard that Jimmy Stewart was there with his sons who were having their tonsils removed, him he had to see. “How about a few holes of golf?” was Jimmy’s sympathetic attempt at humor. “Even in this condition, I could still beat Hope,” the “Groaner” managed to groan.
Up to Date: Dan Dailey has returned again from the Menninger Clinic and this time his friends think and hope he’s back in Hollywood “for good.” Everyone welcomed Dan, especially 20th Century-Fox (who put him back on salary six weeks before he was scheduled to start “The Dizzy Dean Story”) and Virginia Grey who was his first date upon his return . . . Dispositions should improve in the Louis Jourdan family, now that the stork is expected. Louis and Quique (pronounced Keek), who were inclined to be antagonistic in the past, are now happy, excited people. Originally they planned to wait five years and then begin adoption proceedings . . . Probably the unfunniest funny man was Red Skelton, the day his little Richard Freeman had to submit to a double hernia operation. Now the comedian, who worships his children, has to suffer through it all over again when Valentina Maria parts with her tonsils.
Cabbages and Things: Susan Hayward, who collects evening shawls as a hobby, is now designing them for the commercial market . . . Kathryn Grayson introducing a new and not very popular fad in Hollywood. She doesn’t wear lipstick . . . It’s the same old story, Gene Nelson, who struggled so long for a foot of film, is now being so overworked he looks completely exhausted . . . It happens to one out of a million, but Francis Lederer’s new automobile license is the same as his Street address . . . Jeanne Crain and Paul Brinkman inviting Joan Evans and Bob Arthur to “come sit with the old folks” at a Hollywood party . . . Howard Duff invading the kitchen of the Villa Nova and exchanging autographs for their famous spaghetti recipe . . . Starlet Kathleen Hughes rendering first aid to her car-sick pet duck (so help us) by feeding it dramamine, the new drug for seasickness.
Inside Hollywood: Cal was amused recently, because in all the excitement of writing about Alan Ladd’s fabulous new Warner contract (they say he’ll receive a percentage and Ş250,000 a picture) reporters completely overlooked the most dramatic phase of the story. Actually it will be the second time for Alan on the Warner payroll. Years ago when he was an insecure, inhibited unknown, he was one of the gang who worked on the sets. Many a day as he watched actors from the sidelines, he wondered if he would ever find his rightful place in the world. The deserving guy did, as you know, and he’s never ceased to be grateful. Going back to Warners should be a great source of satisfaction for Alan Ladd.
“Peeks at Parties”: Barbara Stanwyck and Nancy Sinatra carrying on a corner conversation that looked as if their subject was an unpleasant one . . . Jeanne Crain and Esther Williams comparing waistlines, on account of because both girls took those special exercises for new mothers and got their old figures back . . . Richard Widmark taking over the drums and Gary Merrill wielding the stick in the popular Garden Room of the Bel-Air Hotel . . . June Allyson, by some strange coincidence, producing two dozen pictures right out of her evening bag, when Mark Stevens inquired about the Powell offspring . . . Joan Crawford looking very beautiful and not a bit frightened, as she dances with Mel Dinelli, whose prolific pen produced such hectic little hair-raisers as “The Window” and “The Spiral Staircase.”
$64 Question: No wonder young actors get bewildered in Hollywood. Take Marshall Thompson, for example. Every time he appeared on the screen he gave an excellent performance. The fans loved him. But after “Command Decision,” his studio let him go. When the picture was previewed, however, he was so sensational they rushed his name back on a contract and doubled his salary. Now, just when Marshall and Barbara (she’s Dick Long’s sister) are expecting their first baby, the studio dropped him again—because his salary is too high! Speaking of Dick Long, who was the first actor to be drafted, his performance is so outstanding in “Air Cadet,” the Government is using him to exploit the picture and encourage enlistments.
Panic in the Pantry: The Gary Coopers wanted it to be a very special party—and it was! To begin with, tongues wagged again when Gary suddenly flew to New York (he had to exploit “You’re in the Navy Now”) but he returned in time to play the charming host. Glamour girls beamed, twinkled and froze under the special cellophane tent. As usual in Hollywood, there were extra women, so Steve Cochran was invited to come stag. That rugged individualist, however, showed up with Ginger Rogers! Well, movie stars love intrigue too, and no one was disappointed, because Jane Wyman was there with Greg Bautzer. While necks craned and eyes popped, the handsome attorney made a bee-line for Ginger and turned on the charm. Fortunately, Clark Hardwicke (whom she used to date) joined Jane. And Stevie boy, oblivious to the chaos he had caused, was having a grand time chatting at the bar with a lovely lady. Here’s hoping they never page Elsa Maxwell!
Mother Knows Best: Apropos of the Cooper party, when they invited Barbara Stanwyck, they figured her first date since divorcing Robert Taylor should be an exciting one. So Gary phoned Farley Granger’s house. “This is Gary Cooper,” he said, “may 1 ask who this is?” Farley’s mother, who is always alerted to her famous son’s kidding, replied: “why, of course. This is Gloria Swanson!” Gary tried again. Finally, he gave Mrs. Granger his phone number and she checked it with the Goldwyn publicity office. Of course they had a big laugh when she called him back. For the record, Farley took Barbara to the party. In case you hear they’re having a romance—you’ll know how such ridiculous rumors get started.
Negligee News: In “Strictly Dishonorable,” Janet Leigh will introduce something new, according to studio information. For some scenes (that she does not do with Ezio Pinza) Janet wears a combination negligee and nightie. What Cal wants to know is: Does that mean something you can parade in which is also suitable for sleeping? Or is it something you’re supposed to sleep in that looks well enough the next morning to parade around in after a hard night’s snoring? . . . Nancy Davis (at this writing still Ronald Reagan’s dearly beloved, no matter how many weak denials they get printed) was just one of four gals who tossed bridal showers for Arlene Dahl. M-G-M made Arlene a present of her wedding nightgown and negligee—just as they did for Liz Taylor. (See the July issue for a luscious color picture of Arlene in this confection.) Let’s hope this studio present portends more happiness for Arlene and Lex than it did for the Nicky Hiltons . , . In “Texas Carnival,” Esther Williams will wear a negligee and lace panties fashioned especially for an underwater ballet she’s doing in that movie with Red Skelton. She’s swimming in this gadget, too. But so far, no one has explained how such a costume could look like anything but a clingy thingy when it gets wet!
Forward March: Douglas Fairbanks, as a Citizen and representative member of a town that has too long been a target, is an inspiration in Hollywood. Recently, Cal had the good fortune to spend an evening in the Fairbanks’ home on the Santa Monica Riviera. There we quietly observed the fond father, the devoted husband, the charming host. “I’d like to show you my collection of miniature soldiers,” said Doug, with pride in his voice. In a special room, marching around the shelves that line the walls, we saw this fabulous collection that Doug began as a boy. They receive his personal tender care, for their craftsmanship and the tradition of their uniforms excites their collector, who is a pretty exciting guy himself. The Ronald Colmans, the Ray Millands, Janet Gaynor and Adrian, Sharman Douglas, and others, joined Cal in appreciating an evening to be remembered.
Dollars and Sense: Cal always looks forward to an evening with the Bill Holdens, whom he has known since those days when they were long on love and short in the short change department! Today, twelve years later, they’re still in love and Bill’s success has only made him nicer. “I took the boys to see their mother in that last picture she made with George Montgomery,” said Bill, as he winked and grinned across the table. “I’ll finish that story!” Brenda Marshall interrupted, with an air of hurt dignity. “When Bill asked Scott and West how they liked me on the screen, they answered: ‘We thought mama would never finish talking, so we could hear that man shoot those guns!’”
Merry Go Round: Clark Gable forgetting his car es (which mostly concern the poor pictures they’ve been giving him) by taking his bride to Ciro’s to look at the lady with a “peel,” Lili St. Cyr . . . Marilyn Monroe telling Craig Hill all about her chest cold. Sighs Craig: “What a lucky illness!” . . . Dennis Morgan shedding thirty pounds and now looking the way he looked many pictures ago . . . That country gentleman, Fred Astaire, buying dungarees in Sears Roebuck for that new ranch he bought in the San Fernando Valley . . . Jeff Chandler ordering an Ann Sheridan sandwich at a drive-in, while the lady with him tells the waitress to “load it” with ham. The lady with him? Ann Sheridan!
Oscar Night in Manhattan: Cal almost wished he was three thousand miles away from the Twenty-third Academy Award presentation. For it was 3,000 miles away that the real drama of the awards was taking place. In New York, a combined birthday celebration (two days late) for Gloria Swanson and an Academy Award party was being given by Jose Ferrer. Most of the nominees who were not in Hollywood were there: Celeste Holm, George Cukor, Sam Jaffee, Thelma Ritter, Jose, Judy Holliday and Gloria Swanson. Hysteria broke out when it was announced that Jose had won the Best Actor Award. Then a hush filled the loom as they heard Broderick Crawford, over a special wire, announce the name of the winning actress, Judy Holliday. Before the last syllable was uttered Gloria had her arm around a tearful Judy congratulating her. Gloria—always a grand trouper—took her defeat philosophically. “It’s all right,” she told friends. “I’ve won so many things. I think if I’d gotten the Oscar I’d have to die. And now that I didn’t get it, I don’t have to die. I’ll start working tomorrow for next year.” Cal bets she will, too.
Oscar Night in Hollywood: A crowd of 2,000 fans watching the stars enter the Pantages Theatre. Lex Barker, hardly recognizable, arriving in full dress—a departure from his screen costume of leopardskin . . . Fred Astaire dancing backstage to the strains of Bob Merrill’s “Mona Lisa” . . . Josephine Hull’s wonderful speech directed to a 6‘4“ rabbit and Miss Hull’s award coming just a few days before her fiftieth anniversary in show business . . . Grandma Marlene Dietrich almost stealing the show in a sheath skirt slit to one knee . . . Stanley Donen handholding with Liz Taylor . . . Nominee Jeff Chandler and the missus back together for this occasion . . . Jerry Lewis’s pantomiming during Dean Martin’s song, breaking up the theater audience, puzzling the radio listeners . . Jewels, furs, happiness, heartbreak—all part of a glittering evening.
Just Between Us: While Janet Leigh did work long and hard on those ballet numbers for “Two Tickets to Broadway,” in the long shots her strenuous routines will be executed by Patricia Denise, the lovely ballerina who is famous on two continents . . . Insiders are of the opinion that illness was not the reason why Ann Blyth was rushed to London to replace Constance Smith in Tyrone Power’s “House on the Square.” The lovely Constance, so they say, proved to be wrong for the part . . . Under one condition did director Joseph Mankiewicz replace Anne Baxter (who is stalking the stork) in “Doctor Praetorius,” with Jeanne Crain. She had to agree to cut her long hair, to forfeit familiar mannerisms and concentrate on creating a new personality. To work for that guy named Joe, Missy Crain would have been happy to wear a clothespin on her nose!
Set Stuff: “What’s the matter, didn’t you like my last picture?” It was Dana Andrews parked right next to Cal in a Sunset Strip drive-in. It was one of those days and, not expecting to meet a movie star, we had actually looked right through him! “Why don’t you come out to the ‘Frogmen’ location,” invited the friendliest actor in Hollywood. “You’ll get a great kick out of sitting there in your overcoat and watching the actors freeze to death.” If we hadn’t seen it, we never would have believed it. In trunks, a glass-faced rubber helmet, rubber-feet fins and a slate and pencil around his neck for undersea writing, Dana had to keep diving in and out of the below-zero water. “From now on, just refer to me as ‘wet pants Andrews,’ ” he called out to us. From now on we’ll like him even better.
Party Pranks: Have to tell you about the hilarious birthday party that Jerry Lewis’s cute wife Patti gave for him. The reason it was so rib-splitting was because, a few nights before, Jerry and Dean, plus Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis, song-writer Mack David and a few chums had produced, acted, directed and generally “messed up” their version of a burlesque of “Sunset Boulevard.” The Martin-Lewis film is titled “Fairfax Avenue” (that’s not one of Hollywood’s swankier streets) and on this particular evening, after dinner, the film was flashed on the family screen for the forty guests. We just wish we had space to go into details about how funny a picture it was. Actually, this isn’t the first one the boys have made. But maybe someday you’ll see them on TV—it’s a cinch you won’t see them in theaters. And you’d be surprised how many big stars (aside from Janet and Tony who just love “working” in them) have participated in the fun.
Show Business: Too seldom, Cal feels, do you hear about the great friendships of Hollywood. Such a one exists between Judy Garland and Roger Edens, the brilliant M-G-M arranger-composer, who w as there when Judy gave us her memorable “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” Roger remained a friend in need and she often needed one. At Mocambo recently, the orchestra and most of the patrons had departed. Roger Edens left his table and moved to the piano. “How about it, Judy—for old times’ sake?” he called over to where she sat with her party. Judy came over, started to sing. Suddenly she was a little girl with a great voice again, a little girl who just wanted to please. While she poured out her heart, her listeners were thrilled to tears.
Crystal Ball Stuff: If the truth were known, Sally Forrest probably is just as curious about her future as we all are. The girl who was discovered by her fiance-manager, Milo Frank, is soaring to stardom with startling speed. Recently when Howard Hughes saw Ida Lupino’s “Hard, Fast and Beautiful,” so impressed was the boss-man with Sally’s performance, he dug down in his own pocket and paid for two extra days’ shooting to build up her part. Fred Astaire wants to dance with Sally, M-G-M has brilliant plans for her. Still being postponed, however, is the date of her marriage to Milo Frank. Some say Sally has changed her mind. Knowing how grateful she is for all he has done for her, Cal can’t believe that these two who had so much to share, could suddenly have nothing.
Beverly Hills Beach Combers: Any party Bette Davis gives is informal and fun. The one at Malibu the day before the Gary Merrills left for London was no exception. “Wear something comfortable, so you can relax like we do,” they warned us. Bette wore stockings that fitted on her feet like gloves, thus avoiding leather soles and high heels. Gary n shorts proved to be a host who knows how to enjoy his own party. “When we descend upon London with two children, two nurses and a cook,” Bette bantered, “they’ll think they’re having another blitz!” Typical of the Davis tradition, while they’re making that picture together the Merrills will live in the country and avoid those smart hotels. About those two war orphans they’re supposed to adopt. A Hollywood columnist, desperate for a news story, dreamed that one up.
Sex Appeal: In ease you care, men’s sox are now the last gasp in Hollywood! Gary Cooper’s are shocking pink when he wears them with his dinner clothes. Van Johnson’s feature a mug of beer design with white angora wool “foam.” Gordon MacRae’s have clocks that are clocks and not embroidered arrows. Tony Curtis’s are monogrammed. Cal can’t make up his mind whether to wear plaid, puce—or just cut off his feet!
News, All Kinds: Good news that Howard Duffs leg is healed and he’s well enough to play opposite Josephine Hull (Cal’s dream girl) in “Fine Day” . . . Disappointing news that Judy Garland ended high hopes for a reconciliation, when she divorced Vincente Minnelli just before departing for that London Palladium engagement . . . Delightful news that Bing’s brother Bob is expecting another Crosby (his fifth!) which makes him one up on the “Groaner” . . . Heart warming news that Dorothy Lamour’s five-year-old son, Ridgely Howard, will suffer no ill effects caused by complications that followed the measles . . . Secret news that Glenn Ford is suffering from a serious eye infection and undergoing very special treatment . . . Encouraging news that two lonely people like Barbara Stanwyck and writer-producer Norman Krasna are charmed with each other’s company . . . Amusing news that Warner Bros, would give their collective shirts to have Humphrey Bogart back under exclusive contract . . . Startling news that Anne Baxter’s maternity clothes have a Chinese motif.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE JUNE 1951