You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Touring the Town: Bette Davis, back from honeymooning at Prouts Neck, Maine, moving into husband Gary Merrill’s Malibu cottage while he’s making a picture in Germany . . . Scott Brady hosting a Scandia dinner for his family—and Dorothy Malone . . . Burt Lancaster sending roses to director Mike Curtiz, after a blow-up on the “Jim Thorpe— All American” set . . . Joan Evans buying her first Hollywood home and being moved into it by such loving laborers as Hugh O’Brian, Jerry Parris and Jess Morgan . . . Ezio Pinza, who’ll appear in the movie version, sitting in the front row of the Las Palmas Theater and making mental notes on Cesar Romero’s exciting performance in “Strictly Dishonorable.”
Liza at the Wheel: The other evening Cal was heading for an early dinner with Joan Crawford, who was running a movie for her kids. Directly beside us a car stopped at a traffic light. We glanced inside. Judy Garland was in the front seat. Next to her, little Liza Minnelli, on her father’s lap, sat at the wheel “driving,” while her eyes danced with excitement. They might have been any average young family out for a spin, but unfortunately their lives aren’t that simple. Judy may make a New York musical and she plans a visit to Europe this winter, with Vincente.
Focus Fun: Cal goes on record that the Hollywood Press Photographers Costume Ball at the Beverly Hills Hotel was a whopping success. Everyone was supposed to come as his or her suppressed desire—which gave imaginations plenty of play and brought plenty of laughs. Bob Cummings came undressed as a Petty Girl . . . Scott Brady was a Times Square (New York) lamppost . , . The Larry Parkses were a pair of tramps—only he was the she and she was the he . . . Art Linkletter, dressed in counterfeit bills as “Mr. 880,” emceed the entertainment and put on a fabulous “People Are Funny” show . . . Bob Mitchum, as Brigham Young’, sang a duet with Jane Russell. Other stars entertained too. Ann Blyth sang “My Man” so poignantly, she brought tears to many eyes. Red Skelton, as King of the Hoboes, gave his wonderful “drunk” imitation. And Danny Kaye did a couple of his original songs . . . Much amusement was caused by the masked girl with Hoagy Carmichael, whose scanty costume of fringe seemed to grow less and less as it got torn—caused by Hoagy sitting on it!
Death of a Champion: The night the news of Al Jolson’s death came, Cal emerged from the downtown Biltmore Theater in back of Larry Parks who was attending the premiere of “Summer and Smoke.” He stood there stunned as newsboys shouted, “Al Jolson dies of heart attack.” Gossip to the contrary, Larry remained grateful to Joley for “The Jolson Story,” which marked the turning point in Larry’s career.
It Can Happen Here: Ruth Roman and Shelley Winters having’ lunch together and not talking about their “favorite” actress (themselves) . . . Lizabeth Scott walking across the Paramount lot wearing a big, becoming smile that caused a big male star to comment: “Wonder what’s wrong?” . . . Marlon Brando spending an entire lunch hour in Warner’s commissary (he always eats with the “little” people) without once trying to shock his companions with those unsolicited stories on self-revelations . . . Yvonne De Carlo admitting she’s not engaged to a Persian prince (this month) and isn’t planning a trip to Tripoli.
Hollywood Is Talking About: Farley Granger and his change of heart. After the public reaction to “Rope,” he wasn’t eager to appear in another Alfred Hitchcock production. Farley’s first picture following his return from Europe will be “Strangers on a Train,” directed by you-know-who . . . There’s a new Susan Hayward around town these days who talks in a softer, quieter voice that only adds to her fatal femininity. See for yourself in “I’d Climb the Highest Mountain” .. . That fascinating French girl Corinne Calvet is no longer late for appointments; she’s kinder and more considerate; she remembers to say thank you.
Neptune’s Daughter: We were “On the Riviera,” thanks to our good friend and good director Walter Lang, who had invited us out to watch Danny Kaye do a number. Danny’s little Dena was on the set too and it seems the young lady wasn’t too happy with the new family swimming pool. “Well, if you don’t like your daddy’s swimming pool,” the cameraman wooed her, “you can always come over and use mine.” Dena regarded him intently. “Is it heated?” she asked nonchalantly, while Danny fell right on his famous face.
Rampant Rumor: Fortunately the Humphrey Bogarts have a sense of humor, so Cal wasn’t cursed when he called to check the town talk. “No, we’re not divorcing,” laughed Bogie. “Columnists in Hollywood are more competitive than actors. Our son is getting old enough to have his own room now, so we need a larger house. When we put this one on the market, we kept 19 it quiet because we didn’t want a lot of curious persons running through the place. Well, one of my poison-pen pals immediately printed that we were separating—just in case he might miss a scoop.” For the record, Bogie and Betty celebrated their fifth anniversary recently with a large party that was voted one of the best of the year.
Heart Trouble: We mentioned Janet Leigh’s name to Tony Curtis while lunching with him in the U-I commissary and this warm-hearted young Romeo made like a hunk of ice cream in a hot oven. “Janet’s wonderful! What a girl!” sighed the most likable newcomer to Hollywood. How did they meet? Tony, who hails from the Bronx, grinned with amusement when he recalled it. “At a Sazerac party, yet! It was given in Lucy’s Restaurant. I saw Janet across a crowded room—just like Pinza! I didn’t leave until someone introduced us.” When Janet flew East recently, she wore the gold medal and chain given to Tony by Jerry Lewis, the comedian. “Just to bring her luck.” Tony’s eyes beamed when he said it. “With Bob Quarrie?” we ribbed him. “Him—he’s dead!” And Tony was off to the phone to call that “terrific woman.”
Success Story: Cal was lunching with Bill Holden at Paramount when Jane Wyman joined our table. She was on the lot fitting the clothes she’ll wear working with Bing Crosby in “Here Comes the Groom.” “You know, this is the second time I’ve worked in a Crosby picture,” grinned Janie, as those large expressive eyes reflected her anticipation. When was the first, we wanted to know. “When I was in stock as a line girl,” she exclaimed. “I danced in one of Bing’s first musicals—and they cut the number out of the picture!”
Prediction: In case Debbie Reynolds isn’t aware of it, Cal can assure her that there are fabulous plans for her future. Cute as a button and loaded with talent, this little lady who was lost on the Warner lot, has her M-G-M bosses bewitched, bothered and about to make her a star of the Judy Garland caliber. Recently Sam Goldwyn (who is a rival producer) saw Debbie at a private dinner party showing of “Two Weeks with Love.” Sighed Sam: “This girl is sensational. She should be under contract to—Goldwyn!”
Personal to Debbie: Cal couldn’t be happier because you’ve worked so hard and we know just how much this will mean to your family.
Grand Old Guy: For years now, Cal’s been telling you about the beef-cake boys and the cheesecake queens of Hollywood. So we’re delighted to bring you a story that concerns someone who may not send the swoon set, but he’s just what the Tri-State theater managers ordered. At Twentieth they threw a party when the prize-winning managers visited Hollywood. With Betty Grable, Anne Baxter, Jeanne Crain and Gene Tierney within reach, the boys still wanted to meet—Edmund Gwenn! Word was dispatched to the beloved character actor, who was sick with arthritis. “Mr. 880” got up, got dressed and came to the party. He made such a hit with the boys from out of town, they insisted on accompanying him back to the rest home and tucking- him in for the night again!
Good Will Girl: News is news and this story is so warm with human interest, Cal hopes Jane Russell will forgive him for uncovering it. According to our correspondent, with no other purpose except to be helpful, the good Jane takes trips down to East Los Angeles’ Skid Row—the jumping-off place for respectability. There, she talks to the unfortunates and tries to renew their faith in mankind. Because of those roles she plays, her approach is a humorous one. “Here’s big bad Jane again,” she kids them, which immediately puts her on their side and banishes that “reformer” approach.
Rumors Rumble That: Gordon MacRae objects to the invasion of his personal privacy and will no longer allow his family life to be publicized . . . M-G-M and Twentieth are waiting breathlessly with poised pen, hoping Howard Duff succeeds in securing his release from Universal-International . . . John Agar’s prohibitive salary is no longer a studio obstacle, due to the fantastic increase in his fan following.
Hollywood Happenings: Sympathy to Lana Turner and Bob Topping, who had looked forward so eagerly for a child and hoped for a son. Ironically, every floor in the Topping household is thickly carpeted except a small hallway strip that had been waxed without Lana’s knowledge. After she fell they tried in vain to save her baby in the hospital. Heartwarming is the news that no ill-effects will prevent Lana from dating the stork in the future.
Names in the News: The happiness of Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger over the new house they’re furnishing in Brentwood. After an on-again, off-again romance that was heartily disapproved of by J. Arthur Rank, who held the beautiful Britisher’s contract, Jean will return to Hollywood after the New Year and their wedding will follow . . . Those inevitable Gable rumors, this time that Clark’s friends on adjoining Valley ranches are no longer invited to his house . . . Jane Powell’s husband reporting to an Eastern insurance school (an annual requirement) which is bound to provoke separation rumors . . . June Allyson bought a layette of yellow for her baby, on account of it’s her favorite color.
News of Twos: Younger than springtime and just as romantic, Debra Paget and Bob Arthur “Lost in the Clouds” at the downtown Philharmonic Theater . . . Boots and saddles for rugged and romantic Bob Patten, who loves to ride along the Santa Monica sands at sunset with Wanda Hendrix … No card enclosed or needs to be when Shirley Temple receives black orchids from Charles Black.
Dream Girl: If Marie Wilson has a single enemy, Cal has yet to meet up with him. Our adored friend Irma had proof of her popularity when she arrived at the House of Westmore with “Mr. Hobbs,” her Yorkshire terrier. Since the beauty parlor has been redecorated, even Garbo was refused permission to park her pet within the sacred portals. “For Mr. Hobbs, we’ll make an exception,” explained Perc Westmore. “If he’s your dog, Marie, I’m sure his manners are excellent!” Batting those inch-long lashes, Marie drew a deep breath and answered: “Oh gosh!” Don’t you love her?
Hollywood Hodge Podge: Betty Grable making the amazing discovery that four fireplaces in her new Beverly Hills home had been sealed up by the former owners . . . Mark Stevens trying to figure out how not to offend his Japanese gardener who had planted a hedge that had to go. It spells out the star’s name . . . Rosalind Russell returning from a casual Beverly Hills shopping tour with a Cadillac . . . Ann Sothern recording her composer-sister Bonnie Lake’s “Butterfly Blues” and sending the record to Richard Egan . . . Mario Lanza is a sensational hit in “The Toast of New Orleans” but director Norman Taurog wouldn’t mind if he didn’t have to work with the tempestuous tenor again . . . Robert Young received his first important film break because Joan Crawford volunteered to appear in his screen test. In “Goodbye, My Fancy,” Bob receives $75,000 for playing in six scenes opposite Joan! . . . Those plans to appear in their first personally produced picture are very close to reality for the William Holdens … A beautiful and newly decorated studio dressing room for June Haver, who’s been a very sick girl, when she returns from her European pilgrimage.
Paging Pinkerton: An FBI investigation had nothing on Cal trying to track down the rumor that John Barrymore Jr. had undergone plastic surgery, the purported reason being to perfect a profile that would be similar to his famous father’s. John Jr. was in the hospital for plastic surgery. There was great secrecy attendant on his sojourn, no doubt to try and circumvent gossip that would have followed an honest announcement. According to our informant, the operation was performed to remove a scar from John Jr.’s mouth, the result of a childhood accident. Sometimes wires get crossed in Hollywood.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 1951