You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Sun-kissed Sweeties: A lass with a delicate air—and a still more delicate skin—Piper Laurie takes her sunbathing in small doses. But with a figure like hers, not even a shady porch could put Piper in the shade! . . . Yes, there was good reason for those crazy, mixed-up, low-flying planes over RKO! For her role of the part-Cuban girl in “Big Rainbow,” Jane Russell had to have creamy coffee-colored skin. So she sun-tanned that terrific torso every day on the studio roof! And speaking of Jane who loves to pound that pillow until noon when she isn’t working, she’s up at dawn these days. Her newly formed Russ-Field Corporation leased office space on the Goldwyn lot. Madame herself is supervising the decorating and it’s quite a sight to see her in overalls wielding a wicked paint brush! . .
There’s a wise brain inside Elaine Stewart’s beautiful head. She hasn’t worked for director Vincente Minnelli since that sensational bit in “Bad and the Beautiful,” which launched her career. So when she heard that Vincente needed her type in a short modern sequence for “Brigadoon,” she went after the role and got it. Contrary to all those serious romance rumors, Elaine says: “Leo the Lion is my only love!” That’s what the girl said! . . . Everyone knew something was bothering luscious-looking Rhonda Fleming when she arrived at the studio red-eyed to work in “Yankee Pasha.” Now everyone knows! Rhonda and Dr. Lew V. Morrill have separated. Their courtship was tempestuous and their marriage simmered down to a series of near-separations. The toast of Technicolor hopes she can make a movie in Europe and get away from it all . . . And while we’re in Europe, Anne Francis turned thumbs down on those Italian film offers and is remaining right in Hollywood. In love with Bam Brice, she believes a husband and wife should stay together if they want to remain together. Since “Susan Slept Here,” Anne’s been helping Bam complete that movie he’s making. It’s actually his thesis and the subject deals with the effect of narcotics. They’re both praying it will win him his master’s degree.
Helping Hand: Cal feels confident that his readers will agree on the following. Much has been written about Guy Madison’s devotion to Gail Russell and rightly so. Gail’s brave attempt to regain her health and find peace of mind is something to comment about too. She’s attending lectures in Beverly Hills conducted each week by an admirable religious man who teaches “right” thinking. Gail’s trying hard to help herself, so let’s all add our prayers to hers. If ever anyone deserved them, she does!
Many Happy Returns: Jane Powell wore Pat Nerney’s gift of gold-encrusted watch and earrings on her twenty-fifth birthday. They took her children to lunch in the patio at Frascotti’s on Wilshire Boulevard, and Debbie Reynolds who was twenty-two on the same day joined them. Robert Dix (now at M-G-M) son of the late matinee idol, Richard Dix, was Debbie’s date that evening. “Why is it,” she sighed wishfully to her mother, “I always fall for the name of Bob?” Senor Wagner please note!
Today’s Target: For Cal’s cold cash, Donald O’Connor did a brilliant job at MCing this year’s Academy Awards. Following instructions, he kept things light and gay. However, for the first time in his life, the press let him have it. He was accused of lacking in dignity, maturity and showing little respect. After the first blast, poor bewildered Donald called his close friend, Marilyn Erskine. “I tried my best,” he said sadly, “what did I do that was so wrong?” Wise in her way, Marilyn comforted him: “You were wonderful, Donald. Everyone goes through the same thing. It just happened to be your turn!”
Son Up: World War II hero, Audie Murphy, now thinks the Army is pretty good. He was out making personal appearances when the stork suddenly decided to make a forced landing. Audie and the ambulance arrived simultaneously at his front door. On the way to the hospital they were forced to detour because of a fire. Then, in all the excitement of getting his wife to her room, the expectant father discovered he’d left her packed bag in the ambulance. Despite it all, James Shannon Murphy weighed in at eight healthy pounds. “And looking,” says Audie humorously, “just like an Indian chief!”
Academy Award Sidelights: So typical, modest Bill Holden wouldn’t walk into Chasen’s carrying his highly deserved Oscar. So his wife sneaked it in under her furs and then set it up on the table where they celebrated with close friends. . . . Since winning the acting award, the change in Frank Sinatra is heartwarming. Not too co-operative in the past, grateful Frankie drives all the way in from Palm Springs to keep appointments with the press. . . . When Grace Kelly confided she’d turned down Clark Gable’s proposal in Africa, she provoked skepticism. But if she could persuade him to escort her to the Awards—his first time in fifteen years, looks like Gracie could be the King’s queen of hearts. . . . And now it can be told! At the eleventh hour, hysterical Gene Tierney tried to get out of her stint. She was forced to postpone her unexpected rendezvous with Aly Khan in Mexico until the next day!
Cal Wonders: Where those rumors start that all is not well between Jeffrey Hunter and Barbara Rush. Currently her career seems to be gaining a faster momentum, but Jeff is so enthused for her. They had a ball together at the Argentine Film Festival and their obvious devotion thrilled the natives. . . . When Zsa Zsa Gabor is going to learn that too much publicity is much more harmful than none at all. Insiders report that women’s clubs have subtly suggested that studios instruct the uninhibited Hungarian actress to stop living her life on daily front pages!
Stork Club: Liz Taylor and Mike Wilding are saying right out loud that they want another baby and soon. First they have to find a larger house, so in the meantime M-G-M waits and wonders! . . . And the Ronald Reagans face the same situation. They may add a room where they are, however, if the stork outsmarts them. . . . Mrs. Edmund Purdom has the most glamorous maternity costumes. Mrs. Tyrone Power who wore ’em first gave them to her. . . . Rory Calhoun to a reporter who called to ask if they were expecting: “The only thing we’re expecting is a new outboard motor I ordered!”
Man Power: Most movie stars have to watch that waist line but not Robert Wagner. He can’t gain an ounce, so he’s working out in a Westwood gym to build up a body beautiful. . . . Dale Robertson’s sharing a valley house with former Argentine polo player, Manuel Rojas. You’d be so surprised at the names on their long list of lonesome ladies who offer to come over and cook dinner. . . . Poor Tab Hunter didn’t work for a year. Then he played opposite Claudette Colbert in her first Tv pilot film and now Warners won’t let him sign for the series!
Home Fires Burning: Cute gag Janet Leigh pulled on Tony Curtis who was working and unable to accompany her to New York to exploit “Prince Valiant.” Jan bought a dozen thick novels and instructed the book store to deliver one daily to her husband! . . . Marilyn Monroe was Jane Russell’s neighbor long enough to move into a house and right out again. Crowds parked out front all day in hopes of getting a glimpse of the famous DiMaggios. . . . And when Alan Ladd learned Richard Widmark was going to make a London movie, the thoughtful guy cabled the owner and secured the house the Ladds rented for the Widmarks.
That Old Feeling: Now that everyone realizes Doris Day was really ill and not temperamental, all hatchets are buried. And Doris is so well these days, she even called the publicity department and requested a portrait sitting—her first in two years. When she walked into the gallery, the gang had a red carpet at the door. There were signs posted that read: “Welcome Home”—“You Know Who We Love.” Doris laughed and cried at the same time.
Sour Note: Before he left for the “Bengal Rifles” location, with Arlene Dahl, Rock Hudson dashed into a Beverly Hills record shop. He had about ten minutes to listen to new recordings and then he was due at the city hall for publicity pictures. Suddenly, a group of hysterical teen-agers spied him in the glass-enclosed booth. They swarmed around it, turned the key and stood there gazing rapturously at their idol. Rock would have been amused—if he hadn’t known the Mayor was waiting! The store owner finally sprung him!
The Facts, Ma’am: It isn’t exactly news that Jimmy Stewart is a pretty even-tempered, easygoing guy. But recently, while he was on location in Florida for “Strategic Air Command,” one of those smart-alec troublemakers buttonholed him. “Why do you make so many pictures with June Allyson?” needled the pest. “Don’t you two get sick of looking at each other?” Jimmy started talking fast! “She’s one of the best actresses in Hollywood,” he said. “I like June personally, she’s always good luck for me because our pictures make money—and it’s still none of your business!”
Change of Heart: Twentieth called off its two-million-dollar breach of contract suit against Marlon Brando. Under psychiatric care, he walked out on “The Egyptian,” but will now play Napoleon in “Desiree” instead. The sudden death of his mother, who was visiting a sister in Pasadena, touched Marlon deeply. He rushed to the coast immediately and since this unhappy event, he’s a changed. Man.
Idle Thoughts: Wonder if Grace Kelly’s secret love really is Jean Pierre Aumont, as whispered? Some say her various dates (including Gable) are merely to throw people off the trail. . . Will Leslie Caron eventually leave Hollywood? Essentially an artist seeking self-expression, she’s still trying, but not too successfully, to adapt herself to a spotlighted existence here. . . Is Pier Angeli quietly planning a campaign to emulate Jane Powell, Jeanne Crain and Anne Baxter by going on the glamour kick?’ Pretty Pier, who’s been dating Kirk Douglas again and Richard Anderson, too, isn’t too happy with her role of Miss Mouse on and off the screen.
Romantic Rumors: Handsome George Nader (he’s terrific in “Carnival Story”) doesn’t want to go steady, not even with Barbara Stanwyck, whom he admires tremendously. And Joan Crawford’s recent date whirl with Franchot Tone was strictly for fun and not for publicity, as some say. . . Remember back a husband or two ago when Rita Hayworth was the gal Fernando Lamas hoped to date the mostest? Well, he’s now dating Mary Castle, who looks like Rita’s twin.
The Truth Is: Jeff Chandler’s been christened into a new world of music. He’s getting a terrific kick traveling from city to city to plug his new record with disc jockeys. Although the little daughter of Ursula Thiess has been in this country only three months, she speaks perfect English. Her teacher was the devoted Robert Taylor.
Predictions: That Eleanor Parker will marry famous artist Paul Clemens. When you see them together, you understand why. . . That Lana Turner and Lex Barker will be on the stork’s waiting list before the year is out. They want it this way because they’re so much in love. . . That the divorce trial of Susan Hayward and Jess Barker will make unhappy history for Hollywood. His fight-it-out-to-the-finish ultimatum is the result of failure to settle their differences out of court. . . That his ad- visors will succeed in convincing John Wayne a marriage to Pilar Palette is inadvisable, careerwise—and they have nothing against the lady personally.
Lights, Camera, Action: A torn ligament (which necessitated a cast from ankle to thigh) postponed Elizabeth Taylor’s new picture. But Stewart Granger drove her to lunch with Michael Wilding at 20th where Mike was making “The Egyptian.” Stewart, of course, lunches with Jean Simmons, who’s in the same picture. Girls! Now hear this! In “Three Gobs in Paris,” Tony Curtis, Gene Nelson and Paul Gilbert do a musical strip tease right down to their shorts. The big news of this picture, however, is Tony’s singing. He played his first recording for Cal, and it sizzles with sex appeal. . . . Humphrey Bogart, who delights in needling his new leading ladies, didn’t uncurl a hair on Ava Gardner. Those typical Bogartisms during “Barefoot Contessa” only amused her, and they got along famously.
News and Views: It’s another son for the Gordon MacRaes, which gives them two boys and two girls—or, as Gordy puts it, “A perfect family”. . . Since seeing “About Mrs. Leslie,” Shirley Booth wishes she didn’t have one more picture to make for producer Hal Wallis. She’s great. The picture isn’t. . . . And while we’re checking out of studios, the day Greer Garson moved out of M-G-M and into Warners Leo the Lion handed her a phone bill for thirty cents. . .. Fortunately, Bob Wagner was on location in Nogales when police found a fan under the bed of his Westwood apartment. Believe it or not, he was waiting to get an autograph! . . . The taste and talent of designer Jean Louis rates him a life-long friend—and customer. Betty Grable was so thrilled over her gowns for “The Pleasure’s All Mine” that from now on her personal wardrobe will feature Jean Louis labels.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE JULY 1954