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Party of the Year was Photoplay’s celebration to announce and honor your choices as winners of 1953’s “Choose Your Stars” contest. The party was held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and mistress of ceremonies was Barbara Stanwyck, who represents to the fullest the stature toward which this year’s newcomers might well aim. With an established favorite—Jeff Chandler, Joan Fontaine, Bob Wagner, Piper Laurie, Jose Ferrer, among others—presenting each newcomer to the invited guests, the room was filled with a dazzling array of talent and splendor seldom equaled even in Hollywood! For each of the winners, this represents a beginning of dreams come true. And they all express their thanks for the confidence of Photoplay’s readers.

Inside Hollywood: Because her name is news, press agents keep linking clients with June Haver. But she’s gone out only with her agent and with a few old friends . . . Describing his two- and-a-half-year exile as “a nightmarish experience,” Larry Parks is back in pictures. Cleared by the House Un-American Activities Committee and so grateful for a second try. Larry asks for your tolerance and understanding. . . . “Gene Nelson and I have decided it’s the best thing at this time not to see each other,” was Jane Powell’s surprise statement to the press. Insiders insist, however, they’re more in love than ever and hope this measure will move Gene’s wife to divorce him! . . . Donald O’Connor was dining at Marilyn Erskine’s house when he tuned in the radio and heard the report that the two are no longer speaking to each other!

News About Twos: Those printed reports that Rock Hudson is Number One in Joan Crawford’s life are really intriguing to Rock. He’s never had a date with the lady, but he’s finally caught up with Terry Moore . . . While Tab Hunter was dating Debbie Reynolds, that ol’ soft-shoe man, Tom Morton, deserted Mamie Van Doren long enough to take Tab’s place with Lori Nelson! . . . The added weight on Lana Turner everybody is talking about just may turn out to be a new addition to the Barker household a few months from now . . . Hollywood admires Rita Hayworth for defending Dick Haymes, but everyone’s amused, too, because she’s never been exactly a glib girl in the past. Now those startling, strong statements credited to the ex-princess make her sound like a state senator . . . Even their close friends are gasping over the switcheroo in the Tyrone Power marriage. No one now believes there will be a divorce. And how things have changed! In the past it was Ty who catered to the capricious Linda’s every whim. It’s just the other way around today!

Seen and Heard: Not to be outdone by Cornel Wilde who walks around Hollywood with a parrot perched on his shoulder, Zachary Scott startled the natives by introducing one pierced ear lobe threaded with a thin gold loop! . . . The long and short of it: Big Jeff Chandler dancing a rumba at a Hollywood party with tiny June Allyson while Dick Powell watched on the sidelines . . . Rosemary Clooney’s Great Dane, on the set of “Red Garters,” and Shirley Booth’s miniature poodle are carrying on the most ridiculous flirtation in all Hollywood. Rosie and co-star Guy Mitchell take turns watching Shirley’s poodle for fear the Great Dane will smother her with affection.

Just for Laughs: Bob Mitchum eyeing Guy Madison’s huge, hunk-of-gold-nug-get cuff links, as he cracks: “They’re peachy-keen, Guy, but can you get Channel No. 5 on ’em?” . . . Jane Russell to Vincent Price: “The only thing that’s important about a girl is what she has in her head!” Vincent to Jane: “Not when the head is on your body, honey!”

. . . Audie Murphy in the U-I commissary: “I’m always reading that top dramatic stars want to make a Western. Do you suppose I should go in for something by Noel Coward?”

Cal Wonders: Why Dale Robertson looks annoyed when questioned about his first marriage . . . Why Jean Peters, who is one of the most amusing conversationalists, is never invited to parties where the usual people are obviously so bored with each other . . . Why Montgomery Clift always walks as if someone were tailing him . . . Why Piper Laurie still insists she and Tony Curtis have such friendly feelings for each other, when he makes statements that say otherwise?

New Loves for Old: All in one day, Bob Taylor announced he was tired of traveling; ended his romance with Ursula Thiess; took Barbara Stanwyck to dinner! And George Nader who often escorts Barbara—switched over to Ursula .. . Now that John Wayne’s divorced and not seriously attached to anyone, his name is high on the estranged Mrs. Gary Cooper’s preferred party list . . . Film cutter Stefan Arnsten is helping Mrs. Gregory Peck forget the tall boy who didn’t come home for Christmas.

Studio Stuff and Things: Pity poor Jean Simmons who didn’t dare accompany Stewart Granger to Europe where he’s making “Beau Brummell” with Elizabeth Taylor. Jean isn’t working, but without RKO’s permission, the trip would have cost her her five-figure salary . . . Debra Paget, now twenty, visited court for the ninth time for option approval . . . And M-G-M is making such fantastic overtures to Van Johnson, he may sign that new deal after all . . . It was a surprised Mario Lanza who received a polite refusal to his offer to return and make “The Student Prince” for M-G-M. The studio is that excited over replacement Edmund Purdom!

According to Cal: Kathryn Grayson has no San Francisco romance. It’s strictly a publicity dream-up! . . . Before she left on location with Martin and Lewis, Janet Leigh stayed up all night to get the new home in order for Tony Curtis . . . For once in his life, Burt Lancaster was really scared! He met his mother-in-law for the first time when she visited the Lancasters. Burt merely fell in love with her!



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