You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
It’s the Truth That: Ava Gardner’s dinner dates with Pat DiCicco at the “Little Naples” cafe are perfectly harmless, because Pat is Frank Sinatra’s good friend . . . Golf champ Ben Hogan isn’t too pleased with the way he’s being portrayed by Glenn Ford in “Follow the Sun” and there’s tension on the set . . . No extra bed was available, so Joan Crawford curled up and slept in a hospital chair the night before her twins had their tonsils out . . . Alan Ladd, who’s had the most sensational publicity campaign in Hollywood, has now hired his own personal press agent . . . Sharman Douglas has confided to friends that Peter Lawford says he has no intention of marrying her, or anyone . . . Victor Mature wants RKO to advertise the picture he’s making with Jane Russell as—“The Torso and the More-so”!
Ridiculous Rumors: That Kathryn Grayson is divorcing Johnny Johnston because she hopes to marry Mario Lanza. With a new baby girl in their household, the Lanzas couldn’t be happier. Katie’s heart belongs to her music . . . That Patricia Neal was dropped by Warners because of a rumored romance with Gary Cooper, who recently admitted his marriage to Rocky Cooper was experiencing difficulties. The truth is, Pat’s contract called for a huge hike in salary which she refused to forfeit when the studio suggested it at option time. Every other studio has offered to pay her what she’s worth but Twentieth, anxious to get her special kind of glamour, got her name on a contract.
Behind the Camera: Cal arrived on the “Rich, Young and Pretty” set, just as Jane Powell and Vic Damone were about to do a love scene. The bell rang, the cameras rolled, Vic poured forth his passionate plea. Suddenly a strange expression came into Janie’s eyes, she put her hand up to her head and tried her best to smile. When she started to swoon, naturally we thought it was all part of the plot, until the make-up man dashed in. He caught the future little mama up in his arms just as everything went black. No more pictures for Janie until after the baby has arrived, says her studio.
It Seems to Cal That: Franchot Tone doesn’t deserve the notoriety provoked by ex-wife Jean Wallace, whose current caper was suing (she lost) to gain custody of their two sons. When he married the former Paramount stock actress, not only did Franchot buy his bride a well-staffed home in Holmby Hills, he invited her mother, brother and little sister to live with them, too. Later he became little sister’s legal guardian and raised her as his own daughter. There are always two sides but somehow in return for his kindness to Jean and her family, Franchot does seem deserving of a better break.
Stitch in Time: Maybe there’s method in Warners’ madness in taking Gordon MacRae’s suggestion and signing Lucille Norman to a long term deal. If their number one songbird, Doris Day, decides to quit pictures (as some say she may) radiant radio singer Lucille would be a logical lady to fill Dodo’s famous boots. In her screen test Lucille photographed like two million bucks, but in the acting department she’s no Bette Davis. But then, neither was Bette when she first started!
New Twos: Joan Evans and Robert Patten looking heavenly happy at Harry Lewis’s “Hamburger Hamlet” on the Sunset Strip . . . Ann Blyth and Scott Brady going to church on Sunday and out to dinner on Monday . . . Robert Sterling carrying Nancy Sinatra’s books home from school. She’s taking a course in music appreciation, which is a bit ironical, to say the least!
Little Accidents: Hugh Marlowe’s including- his finger while sawing wood for his and K. T. Stevens’ fireplace . . . Bill Holden (who preferred suspension to another dull role like the one in “Born Yesterday”) getting a fast shock from a short circuit in his dressing room . . . Farley Granger sitting down too fast in a tight pair of dungarees . . . Jeanne Crain dropping a dozen eggs in a public market and still managing to keep that magnificent composure . . . Fred Astaire salvaging a sliver from his famous foot.
Feudin’ and Fussin’: Cal’s received so many letters inquiring about the so- called Bette Davis-Tallulah Bankhead feud, it’s high time we gave you the low down on the situation. Years ago when Sam Goldwyn offered her “Little Foxes,” Bette explained: “Tallulah Bankhead did it in the theater and only she should make the movie. There isn’t any other way to play the role of Regina.” Mr. G. insisted on having a movie name, so Bette played it as it should have been played. When the fabulous, unpredictable Tallu was in Hollywood recently, they showed her “All About Eve” at Twentieth. So the story goes, everyone crowded around to get her reaction. “Well, who did Bette remind you of?” someone asked. “Bette Davis, who else?” La Bankhead is supposed to have answered. According to one reporter, when asked if she thought Bette copied her, Tallulah replied: “Doesn’t she always?” According to Bette: “I don’t believe she said it. We are often misquoted. Tallulah Bankhead is too fine an actress and great a person. I have played several roles on the screen that she made famous in the theater. I am a great admirer of her talent.” About those Bankhead cracks on her wonderful weekly radio show. That’s showmanship, son, and great publicity for both famous ladies. Rest assured, Bette’s the one who laughs loudest when she listens in each Sunday.
Stranger Than Fiction: Can friends fall in love? They can and did and Cal couldn’t be. happier that it’s happened | to his good friends, Sophie Rosenstein and Gig Young. They met originally when he was an actor at Warners and she was his dramatic coach. Gig was married to a non-professional. His business manager was Sophie’s husband. Noel Coward couldn’t have written a better plot! All parties eventually went their separate ways and divorced. Sophie was signed at U-I and Gig came on the lot to make a picture. Now they’re man and wife and we wish them the happiness we know they’re going to have, because they have so much to share.
Musings and Mutterings: The very deserving Gene Nelson, literally dancing all the way home to tell his adoring Miriam about his new star status . . . That fur collar on Van Johnson’s coat, attracting more attention in New York than the Statue of Liberty . . . Howard Duff touring the town with Ida Lupino’s seventy-year-old aunt from England, who is paying her first Hollywood visit.
Bride of the Month: “I want you to meet someone!” It was Cal’s good friend Ruth Roman, who sounded happier than a field of meadowlarks. Quicker than you can say “I do,” she was off the phone and at our front door introducing us to Mortimer Hall. “Believe it or not,” exclaimed the beaming bride, “the first time I met Morty I knew I was going to marry him!” When she flew back from Las Vegas with her new radio-television executive husband, Missus Hall walked right into trouble. Shawn, her huge pet pup, would have no part of his new lord and master. What did they do about it? “We sent him to a dog psychoanalyst,” Ruth grinned at us, “and now he loves Morty as much as I do!”
Fond Farewell: Probably no other Hollywood couple has friends who are as loyal as those of Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor. Not once had one so much as whispered that this famous couple hadn’t been too happy for some time. “I think their marriage actually has been over for two years,” says one intimate, now that the Taylors have announced their separation. There are those who feel Bob was bored with his Hollywood pattern of living. Barbara has given the impression of being restless and really only interested in her career. The Taylors will undoubtedly divorce with the same friendly dignity that marked their eleven-year marriage.
Ball-bearing: Cal loves nothing better than a chat with Lucille Ball. When we heard the good news that she and Desi Arnaz were expecting the stork in June, we called to congratulate her. “Everything happens at one time!” Lucy exclaimed gaily. “The other night Desi and I were at a radio station when a neighbor called and said there was a fire near our ranch. She wanted to know if she should break into our house and rescue my furs and jewels. ‘Heck, no,’ Desi screamed back at her, ‘rescue my citizenship papers!’ ” Naturally Lucille won’t be able to ride that elephant in De Mille’s “The Greatest Show on Earth.” She lost one prematurely born baby because, she feels, she travelled around so much. This time she’s taking no chances.
Here and There: Mrs. Bob Hope and Josephine Wayne (John’s other wife) making a pilgrimage to Rome and delivering personal messages from Ann Sothern and Richard Egan to the latter’s beloved brother, Father Willis Egan, a Jesuit at Gregorian College . . . Anthony Curtis backing his father, who is a tailor, in manufacturing an Anthony Curtis shirt . . . Dana Andrews having a reunion with five of his seven brothers when “The Frog Men” went on location in deep in the heart of you-know-where . . . The James Masons throwing a wine-and- dine-and-watch-television party. The Masons have installed their new set (of all places) in their living-room fireplace—but there’s a reason. In England they didn’t have our push button system of unit heating . . . The Clark Gables organizing the Ronald Colmans, the Dick Powells and the Ray Millands, for the jai alai games in Tia Juana . . . Dorothy Lamour’s Ridgely and Joan Bennett’s Stephanie cooling off the “younger set” with an ice cream party at Wil Wright’s famous cone concession.
Last Laugh: For years Arthur Kennedy’s great talent was wasted at Warners. But after bringing him back for “The Glass Menagerie,” they offered him another long-term contract. To his negative answer, they countered with a three- picture deal. Arthur wasn’t even interested in signing for one! “I never want to be tied down again,” he told us at U-I, where we watched him portray brilliantly the blind man in “Lights Out.” Contrary to the usual pattern of behavior, Arthur has no time and too much humor to be bothered with bitterness. “I’ll never forget working in one crummy Western,” he mused. “There was an actor who had two lines to say and was obviously very unhappy about it. Naturally I wanted to know why he didn’t refuse. ‘Because,’ he said, ‘I’m still under contract, though the studio is dropping me. If I refuse to play a bit, this automatically takes me off salary and I need the money’.” The actor’s name? Richard Basehart!
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MARCH 1951