You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Without A Song: No sooner had Elvis finished “Jailhouse Rock” and gone back to Memphis with his entourage of five chums, than a bombshell burst back in Hollywood. Rumor had it that Elvis didn’t want to sing in his next movie. He just wanted to act, like Bing Crosby. And what’s more, he had a picture all picked out. It was about this prizefighter, see, and—well, anyway, the town is still down for the count of nine. By the way, it may come as a surprise to Elvis, but the latest group to adopt him as their favorite is the Roy Rogers and lollipop set. They’ve even invented a parlor game about him, to replace the old one of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. And this is the way to play it: Tack a large cut-out profile of Elvis to a sheet and hang it on the wall. (You can us the cover of our July issue if you have it handy.) Blindfold each and give him a large, cut-out black sideburn. The trick is to pin the sideburn where it belongs—and not on his nose, where it usually lands, they tell me.
Rock ‘n Roman: Rossano Brazzi and his charming Lydia, are due in Hollywood any minute and already hostesses are planning bids for parties and more parties. But if I know the Brazzis, and I certainly do, they’ll waste no time in taking off for Hawaii, where “South Pacific” will be filmed. I got to know them several years ago, at a dinner party given by Joan Crawford at the swank River Club on the banks of the Thames. I’ve never met a couple quite like them—the comradeship between them, the bantering, the small gestures of affection, the way they dance together, the things they say and leave unsaid. “This,” I thought to myself as I watched them, “is it. A truly happy marriage.”
Rossano had sent for Lydia to come to London as soon as the picture he and Joan Crawford were working on got under way, and she’d promptly found a house, made him a home, and brought with her the two small dogs they love, the pets that sleep with them at night and are with them always. “Since we have no children, they are our family,” Lydia said. And later Rossano added, “Many problems that try a man’s soul can be talked out with his wife in the night when the two are alone.” I knew what he meant. But the next instant the orchestra struck up a lively rock ’n’ roll number and Rossano, beating time, remarked, “This music really brings me.” “It sends me,” we Americans all laughed. “Maybe you,” said Rossano with a shrug, “but it still brings me.”
Dye-ing For Privacy: Marlon Brando, who has never particularly liked the brilliant glare of the limelight, has been having his troubles in Paris. First he was mobbed by fans and had his clothes almost torn off him when he appeared at a benefit for veterans of World War II. and the police had to be called out to protect him. And then he made the fatal mistake of not looking well in his blond wig for “The Young Lions.” So the makeup man in the company scheduled the real thing—a dye job—and gave him the name of an elegant Paris hairdresser. When Mar got there he found that the salon—like most beauty shops in Paris—had no private booths, and he had to sit through two hours of near-riot as the women of Paris gaped and gasped, and lined up four deep to stare at him. . . . Marlon’s been a little luckier in the evenings though, spending them quietly with Liliane Montevecchi, a French dancer who was in the United States with the Roland Petit ballet group, and had a brief fling in American pictures. She plays his sweetheart on the set, and Marlon’s been giving her acting lessons off it. That’s what’s known as making a pleasure of business and business, pleasure.
$750,000 is Enough: Sophia Loren, who once made the classic comment, “Too much money is enough,” may find that she has indeed made too much money this year. The Italian government is claiming an additional chunk of the $775,000 they say she made this year, and Sophia has taken her troubles (and her bankbook) to Switzerland. Rumor has it that if the man and money problems in her life can’t be straightened out by the time she finishes her four-month vacation in Switzerland, she wants to become an American citizen.
Skeltons On Holiday: It was heartwarming to see the Red Skeltons vacationing in Rome with their children, Richard, nine, and Valentina, ten. Red showed his family America and Europe over the summer, the trip made primarily for Richard, victim of leukemia. In Rome, they had audience with the Pope.
Get-togethers and a break-up: Tony Perkins and Venetia Stevenson are a new duet in town—when she’s not with Tab Hunter, that is. (Venetia’s Rusty Tamblyn’s ex-wife) . . . And Natalie Wood is confining her dates these days to land, sea and air. When she was in Hollywood, she and Bob Wagner had a great time on his boat when they took a trip to Catalina with some friends, on Natalie’s nineteenth birthday—but it was Nicky Hilton who flew with her to New York when she made a trip there in connection with “Marjorie Morningstar,” and he was her only escort in the Big City. . . . Joan Collins’ divorce from Maxwell Reed finally came through, and he was awarded just $5,750 for himself and $1,000 for his attorneys instead of the $1,250 a month alimony he’d originally asked for. In an earlier trial, he asked for separate maintenance and support. It was a long, long time ago that chivalry was popular in England. . . . They say that Bing Crosby’s sons have told him they approve of newly divorced Inger Stevens.
Big Wheel with a Big Deal: Frank Sinatra comes back to television with one of the most liberal contracts ever given a performer. Before he signed with ABC, his agents got in touch with the networks and outlined what Frankie wanted to do on TV. Being the emcee of a musical comedy or variety show would bore him, they reported, but if he could surprise people by alternating musical comedy and dramatic shows, and if he could spice the schedule up with an occasional musical show which he’d emcee, and if he had a free hand with the budget and a free reign with production, well, maybe. ABC met all the “ifs” and said “yes” to an eight million dollar show which is scheduled to run for three years. No one but Frankie could have swung such a deal, but then, “Practically no one else in the business can do the things Sinatra can do,” says Bill Self, Frank’s producer. Self may be prejudiced, but he’s right!
Patter and Chatter: Newest and first candy item on the market bearing the name and likeness of Elvis on its wrapper is the Elvis Presley “Teddy Bar.” A milk chocolate bar containing puffed wheat, crushed almond and Brazil nuts, the “Teddy Bar” is designed for the sweet tooth set—those of us who love to nibble rather than crunch popcorn in the movies—and will be sold in your neighborhood movie theaters!
Starlet of the Month: Presenting a young actress we predict you’ll be seeing in the next month; an actress with a future: Heather Sears, Photoplay’s starlet of the month. Twenty-one years old and London born, Heather will soon be seen in the title role of Columbia’s “The Golden Virgin,” costarring Joan Crawford and Rossano Brazzi. We predict your excitement about her will match ours.
Heather will never forget the dramatic way in which she was chosen for her role. In a darkened Hollywood theater, a select group were viewing the screen tests of a number of youngsters. Across the screen flashed a picture of a young actress testing for the role of a blind, deaf-mute orphan. The scene continued for a few moments, ended abruptly and the lights went on. For a second there was silence. Joan Crawford was the first to speak. “Don’t test any more girls,” she announced. “Here is our Esther Costello.”
Heather’s acting career began several years ago. But her decision to become an actress was pronounced very early in life. While still little girls Heather and her sister, Ann, daughters of Dr. Gordon Sears, resident physician at London’s Mile End Hospital, were evacuated from war-torn London to North Wales. There they walked away with a number of school acting prizes.
Her movie contract was handed her when a casting director spotted Heather in a school play. Since, there have been rave notices for TV performances, too.
Heather is vibrant looking with her dark hair, light brown eyes and wistful, melancholy quality that’s been likened to that of actress Susan Strasberg. Away from the cameras, she is a vivacious gal who likes modern music, collects records, is a sports enthusiast and a champion swimmer. She enjoys reading and likes to write poetry. Her pet subject is history; her hero, Disraeli.
Heather speaks French fluently and loves to paint, a hobby she acquired from her father.
What is her favorite type of movie? Heather confesses timidly, “Westerns!”
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE OCTOBER 1957