You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
What chance does a happy marriage have in Hollywood? That’s the question Photoplay asked last month. My own answer to it has always been an emphatic yes, but after those fifteen-minutes of tear- filled testimony that ended Pier Angeli’s four-year marriage to Vic Damone, I can’t blame too much the people who would argue with me. Pier, who won custody of their three-year-old son Perry, charged Vic was ’’insanely jealous.”. . . Tony Curtis’s imitation of Cary Grant on the set of Universal’s “Operation Petticoat,” is a screamer. A little of Tony’s old Bronx cheer mixed with Cary’s ever-so-slight cockney even fooled Betsy Drake during a long telephone conversation.
Strictly Inside: Yul Brynner’s young Viennese admirer failed to visit him in Spain while Yul was replacing the late Tyrone Power in “Solomon and Sheba.” At least no one on the set glimpsed her. . . . All wrapped up in cotton wool ready to be shipped home is Elvis’ new hand-made “geetar,” purchased in the small guitar-making town near the Czech border. El writes we’ll love its “caressing” tones. And I’ll bet we will. . . . Lauren Bacall is entertaining her friends in London with those Sinatra records ordered from Raf’s record bar in Beverly Hills. The Oliviers, Sir and Lady, go for the Sinatra style in a big way. . . . Kim Novak and Fredric March are knee-deep in 20th’s “Middle of the Night,” but if today’s vamp, who’s dyed her hair brown for this role, doesn’t stop those insecure fidgets, she may end up over her head. This Mr. March is some actor. . . . Those out-sized men’s sweaters Sophia Loren brought back from Europe are shooting up the eyebrows of Hollywood’s nosey set. “They hide my bosom,” Sophia explains. But Hollywood wonders if maybe—oh well, you know old nebby us. Always wondering. . . . Nothing personal, I hope, but producer-director Josh Logan wants Liz Taylor to play Edna St. Vincent Millay, who penned the line, “My candle burns at both ends.” Did you know that Miss Millay wrote some of her most famous poems when she was still a teenager? Why not give them a look-see? . . . That was a cozy compromise Rick Nelson made with his dad. Rick, who refused Ozzie’s plea to enter college this year, now has a private tutor to keep him up in his freshman studies. Just in case, you know.
Friendship: At its first glimpse of Diane Varsi and Don “Red” Barry together, the town literally tripped over its tippet. But the “Red” Barry who was so unpleasantly involved in scandals is no more. A new man today through faith in his Science of Mind Religion, Red’s imparted something of his life-saving philosophy to Diane. . . . Ava Gardner confided to friends in Australia, while filming “On the Beach,” that when (and if, may I add?) she weds Italian actor Walter Chiari, she wants her best friend and ex-husband, Frank Sinatra, to be with her. Frank, who dropped everything to fly to Ava’s side when an accident in Spain threatened to scar her beautiful face, is now thoughtfully squiring about Hollywood the widow of his late friend, agent Bert Allenberg, seeing to it that she is not left alone. A real son of a gun to those he has no use for, Frankie can be a friend indeed to those he likes. . . . I hate to say this but the truth is John Saxon regards Sandra Dee as a sort of teenage nuisance. The deeply philosophical Mr. Saxon smiles indulgently at Miss Dee, little dreaming that day by day the wise little blonde is more and more becoming aware of the power of those fatal feminine charms. Look out, Johnny Saxon! Wiser men than you have been caught in that oh, so tender trap.
New Girl in Town: When the Jean Harlow story is brought to the screen, Stella Stevens seems the girl most likely to play the role. And all because of Fate, Stella insists. . . . For instance, the first day the platinum blonde beauty began a modeling job in a swank Memphis, Tennessee shop, in walked the brother of Hollywood agent Bill Shriffin. “Mr. Shriffin telephoned his brother about me and,” Stella told me. glancing around the Twentieth Century-Fox dining room, “. . . and here I am.” . . . Stella had Little Theater work behind her, which, of course, helped to promote her right into a showgirl role in “Say One for Me.” But despite Fate and success, Stella has one big regret. Living most of her life in Elvis’ hometown, she never once glimpsed the singer. “Which makes me something of a wash-out in Hollywood,” she moans.
Parties of the month: Debbie Reynolds, who’s been hurling herself into movie and record making, keeps busy with her pet charities, too. She buzzed from the Waif to the Thalian ball, a glitter, a glamour, a pocket full of clamor, that delighted Gail Storm with husband Lee Bonnell, Kim Novak, back with Mac Krim before a New York visit, Terry Moore and Cesar Romero. And my oh my, the way people gaped at the Waif affair when Debbie, in a cute hair bow, danced and prattled with handsome Jacques Bergerac on “loan” for the evening from Dorothy Malone. Ronnie Burns gave Debbie a breather by attracting the stares to himself when he waltzed with Princess Sophia, who then guided Ronnie through the presentation to guest of honor Queen Frederika of Greece. . . . As chairman of the Thalian Charity Ball a few weeks later, Debbie once again fluttered among the tables of the Dean Martins, Milton Berles, Shirley MacLaine with husband Steve Parker, and Doris Day, a dream in her white satin coat, with husband Marty Melcher. And this time Dorothy Malone herself, wearing dark glasses, arrived with her handsome Monsieur Bergerac. . . . Can it be that Rick Nelson was too shy to fix up his own date? He escorted pretty, blonde Barbara Loren through the courtesy of his agents, Music Corporation of America, who “arranged” it all. Sharing a table with David Nelson and slim, trim Venetia Stevenson, Rick and Barbara seemed to have a ball at the ball. With a skullcap wig, a la Yul Brynner, Donald O’Connor and the three Crosby boys, Dennis, Philip and Gary, supplied the formal entertainment. But it was Debbie who really starred. . . . When I trekked to New York for a snappy few days to attend the wedding of MCA chief Jules Stein’s daughter, Jean, I had to look twice to make myself believe that really was Princess Grace and her husband Prince Rainier at the reception. Grace, in a white angora tarn covering her blonde hair, behaved royally but couldn’t help remembering when Grace was one of us in Hollywood, working together, attending parties together.
TV Jottings: I personally, could do with less of the Everly Brothers and more of Johnny Mathis. All right, so sue me! Or better yet, why not write and tell me your favorites? . . . Put me down as one of those who feels Tommy Sands is mulling his promising singing career with all this yen for a dramatic acting career. Tommy, who had a good chance of catching up with Pat Boone or maybe Eddie Fisher, has let his singing career slide, and to my way of thinking, that should come first. Tell me, am I wrong in this? . . . Lindsay Crosby flips from a “Yancy Derringer” episode to a guest shot on “77 Sunset Strip.” And if Lindsay makes the grade—watch out, TV, here comes another Crosby. . . . Incidentally that pretty girl you’ve wondered about on the “Yancy Derringer” series, as a frequent guest, is none other than Charley McCarthy’s step-mother, Mrs. Edgar Bergen. Next season Frances Bergen may do a series with husband Edgar. And Charley, of course.
Tales of Hollywood: Did you know Al Hedison, Joanne Woodward and Steve McQueen were all students together at New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse? “We all landed in Hollywood about the same time,” Al moans, “but look what happened. Joanne became an Oscar winner, I became ‘The Fly’ and Steve became ‘The Blob.’ ” My bet is that with Al’s humor and good looks, he’ll become a star one of these days soon. His “Son of Robin Hood” role is a stepping stone. Al dates both Terry Moore and Venetia Stevenson but his heart really belongs to a pretty reader at Warner Bros, studio. Al doesn’t like to talk about it—yet. . . . England’s popular star Kenneth More, who co-starred with Jayne Mansfield in “Sheriff of Fractured Jaw,” claims he’d rather play opposite the Titanic, as he did in “Night to Remember,” than make another picture with Jayne. “I don’t know why,” retorted Jayne, taking time-out from cooing over baby Miklos. “The Titanic met up with an iceberg and no one ran accuse me of being an iceberg.”
Set of the Month: Debbie Reynolds was wearing a few stray beads for her chorus girl role in “Say One for Me” when I arrived on the set at Bob Wagner’s special invitation. “Come and get a load of me as a song and dance man,” Bob had telephoned and oil I trotted to sit on the sidelines with Natalie Wood and enjoy the fun. . . . “Now make like a singer,” director Frank Tashlin ordered Bob. “Here, let me show how a singer stands,” Debbie offered, going into a perfect take-off of who else but Eddie Fisher! . . . During a long take, with Bob taking a singer’s stance, I caught his look of petition directed toward Natalie. “Am I doing this right? Is it okay?” his eyes seemed to ask. “And I do the same with him,” Natalie confided. “I constantly need his assurance.” Which should give you an idea of just how happy this marriage is. Bob’s sudden drop in weight, fifteen pounds, due to those dance rehearsal routines for the picture, had Mrs. Wagner worried. “We’re having liver, mashed potatoes with butter and dessert for dinner,” she warned Bob, “and you eat.” . . . On my way out, a faint tapping sound coming from one of the rehearsal rooms caught my attention. Cautiously opening the door, I peeked in and there, all by himself, was Bing Crosby, practicing a little dance step for his role in the “Say One” movie. As a priest caught up in the Broadway whirl, it seems Bing enjoys a bit of fancy feet tapping.
Bits and Pieces: David Nelson will spend six months with the Air National Guards, but first, he and Rick hope to make a movie together. . . . Taina Elg and Keith Larson are a constant, serious twosome. . . . The serious hernia operation on their baby daughter Jaimie had Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis depressed and worried. Conning so soon after the death of Tony’s father, it spread a pall of gloom, now lifted, on the Curtis manse. . . . Marlon Brando thinks France Nuyen, now in Broadway’s “Susie Wong,” is the prettiest thing since Anna Kashfi. But, as friends point out to France, look what happened to Anna. . . . Anthony Steele, Anita Ekberg’s husband and a once favorite star in England, may try it alone in Hollywood. And everyone in town is pulling for him to rebuild his tottering career.
Around Town: Janies Darren lost little time bemoaning his separation from wife and child after they were gone. At least James looks awfully pleased these days with Evie Norlund of Denmark, a young and pretty starlet—and with the success of his song “Gidget.’
. . . Sal Mineo was amused at those first few fan letters raving over his latest film. “And Tonka very much,” the letters ended. But now Sal has had it. So, please, no more. And Tonka very much. . . . It was a return shower Debbie Reynolds gave Lita Calhoun. And Rory s cute wife, who “showered” Debbie before the arrival of Todd Fisher, is so excited over the prospect of her second child— “Well, I can’t eat,” she cried. “Only like a small horse,” Rory grins. . . . If Sue and Alan Ladd aren’t the most excited, adoring grandparents in town, don t tell me about any others. I wouldn’t believe it. In fact, the glow that radiates from the Ladds over the birth of their grandchild to daughter Carol Lee and husband John Veitch, makes dark glasses a must. Even young David Ladd is beaming like crazy.
That Happy Curtis Family: You can have your jamborees, I spent an afternoon playing peek-a-boo with two-year-old Kelly Curtis, who peeked in and out of the bedroom draperies at her mother and me, and I found it much more fun. Janet Leigh, Kelly’s beautiful mother, invited me to inspect the new Curtis-Leigh manse and was I ever impressed by that large entrance hall! The den, living room, dining loom, master bedroom and Tony’s office suite are all on the first door, all carpeted in white and furnished here and there with semi-modern pieces Tony and Janet selected themselves. Like most young couples, the Curtises are buying furniture only as they can afford it, and going slowly to insure against those repent-in-leisure mistakes. . . . Tony and Janet sleep in twin beds in one large room, with Tony using his office-den-bath as a dressing room, hut every once in a while Tony frowns like a thundercloud as Janet loses her head in a grand rearranging and shoving around of furniture. . . . All afternoon, Janet kept peeping in at Jaimie, reassuring herself that the baby was really all right after that operation. Kelly, in a black-and-white check blouse, red pleated skirt and red bows in her blond hair, made elaborate efforts to tiptoe and not waken her baby sister sleeping in the yellow nursery. When Tony arrived home from the studio, his first move was to hound up the stairs for a long, tender look at Jaimie. Tony looks completely happy and he doesn’t care who sees it. As for Janet, there’s a new maturity about her these days that has nothing to do with those becoming grey hairs that Tony loves.
Flying Chips: When “Maverick’s” Jack Kelly and his wife May Wynn part, they say “I love you.” When they meet again, they greet each other with the same words. Kinda wonderful, isn’t it? . . . The way to have a ball when visiting Hollywood is to look like a star. When blond lovelies Dorothy Johnson and Betty Holland arrived from Texas to spend a few days while husbands Kirk and Gage hunted tiger in India, tourists instantly fastened on them with “Aren’t you Eleanor Parker?” “Aren’t you Deborah Kerr?” or “Aren’t you Mrs. Kirk Douglas?” Intrigued, the girls stayed on an extra week. . . . One Broadway show they really should run excursions to will be Tony Perkins’ proposed play about his experiences as a babysitter in New York. “I worked at the job for a year and a half in order to earn money,” Tony says, “and one time I even sat with a Great Dane dog.” . . . When Audie Murphy was married to Wanda Hendrix, both were young, immature and unhappy. Yet Audie, who has grown since those bad days, was the first to reach out a helping hand to Wanda after her recent divorce from Jim Stack, actor Bob’s brother. Heartsick, Wanda wept with gratitude as Audie told her, “Don’t worry, I’ll help you get started again.” And he will. . . . After happily waving farewell to Fort Old and the Army, Ben Cooper’s back in Hollywood and his many friends couldn’t be more pleased to see him once again. Do you remember Ben in “The Rose Tattoo”? I wonder what smart producer will he the first to sign him up again.
Cal York’s Jottings:
They go, go, go! Barry Coe hied himself off to Oregon to meet Judi Meredith’s family. . . . Sheree North, on a cloud anyway because of her marriage to Dr. G. Summers, decided to fly to New York for a honeymoon, ’cause that’s where his family lives. . . . Ingrid Bergman married quietly, then honeymooned in Paris with Lars Schmidt. She was toting a Swedish passport. made possible for her once again by King Gustav himself. . . . The Don Defores will make it five in April. . . . Wonder how many people recognized eighteen-year-old Juliette Payne as John Payne’s daughter when she made her debut on TV recently? . . . Jody McCrea, who exits the Army in May, will start the career wheels turning before he marries Jennifer Lea. . . . Eddie Fisher gained ten pounds. . . . Mel Ferrer predicts Stephen Boyd will be “Mister Actor in 1959.” Do you agree? . . . Lee Remick expects her first child this month and doesn’t care if it’s a boy or girl, just as long as it’s followed by three more. . . . Men don’t like women who are too outspoken or argumentative, says Roz Russell, who learned this the hard way. . . . Susan Kohner and John Saxon like the same health food. And have you had a look at Susan’s new short haircut? . . . A college injury, from the days when Johnny Mathis was a high jumper, will keep him out of the service. . . . Phil Silvers, who’s making a career out of being TV’s Army sergeant, became a daddy. . . . Clint Walker finally made up with his studio. . . . It’s off betwixt Lance Reventlow and Jill St. John. . . . Joan Collins an intellectual, “but not a practicing one.”
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MARCH 1959