You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
They’re Whispering That: The M-G-M front office issued a “sit tight and say nothing” edict to Debbie Reynolds. In other words, until such time when she says “I do” or “Goodbye now” to Eddie Fisher, the big wigs feels it’s wisest to say nothing. They have a point, too. No matter what statement harassed Debbie and Eddie make, it either comes out distorted, exaggerated—or completely changed! . . . The rumor persists that Elizabeth Taylor is restless and bored with her marriage to Michael Wilding. Three months must pass before she finishes “Giant,” so in the meantime he may take off and make a movie in Europe. Hollywood interprets this as a bad omen, in spite of Mike’s vehement British “Tosh!” to the rumors. Adding fuel to the flame of gossip, at the end of a hard day’s work when Rock Hudson and lovely Liz sipped champagne, tongues all over town wagged like windmills. Everyone failed to mention that Phyllis Gates was present and clinked glasses, too!
Life Begins: It was Sunday morning, 24 hours after they moved into their new home in Bel-Air. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the baby was born today?” sighed Pier Angeli to Vic Damone. Exactly 12 hours later their 8 lb. 12 oz. son came into the world via Caesarean section. Those feared complications as a result of that plane accident were in vain and their prayers were answered. New papa Vic was so thrilled because his son was born on his own father’s birthday. The wee one was named Perry after Perry Como, Rocco after Damone senior and Luigi after Pier’s beloved father. How Pier wishes her dad might have lived to see his first grandson! And just as soon as his Pier is well enough and willing to leave the new baby for a few weeks, father Vic is treating her to a trip back to Italy. Her devoted husband believes an ocean voyage and the sight of her native land will erase all pain of the past for pretty Pier.
The Good Life: “I’m not in the first shot after lunch,” said Doris Day on the “Man Who Knew Too Much” set. “Drop by the dressing room and we’ll yak it up!” Later Cal found Doris stretched out to rest, she pulled the false chignon from the nape of her neck and sighed with serenity. “I’ve never been happier, because I’m a girl who needs someone to lean on and Marty has been wonderful for me. One trip to Europe was terrific. London was exhausting, but we drove all through France and not a single soul recognized me. On the boat the sea was so eerie at night, I slept in the daytime. Then my son Terry would come in loaded down with autograph books. He had a ball—won one hundred and twenty dollars at shuffleboard, too! You know Warners owned the Ruth Etting story (M-G-M’s “Love Me or Leave Me!”) when I was under contract there. Now they want me to come back for a picture. I used to think it would be a sweet revenge to say no! Now I’m just grateful—and couldn’t care less!”
Happy News: If movie exhibitors know their business, there couldn’t be a happier future for the ten young people who won the COMPO National Audience Awards, as the stars of tomorrow. Beaming away were Anne Francis, Barbara Rush, Lori Nelson, Rita Moreno, Cleo Moore, Jack Lemmon, George Nader, John Erickson, Dick Egan, and Tab Hunter. They were feted at a big luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
For the Record: People are talking about “wot happen” to that pixie Leslie Caron. Leslie’s turned into a sophisticated French fashion plate. She had all the females sighing at a recent party . . . Jane Powell isn’t expecting another baby, she and her husband Pat Nerney aren’t feuding and she doesn’t want to break her M-G-M contract. We know because we asked her! . . . Piper Laurie didn’t meet up with family opposition when she decided the time had come to have her own apartment. She wanted to live closer to the studio and she still goes home for weekends . . . Far from being annoyed with Grace Kelly for turning down so many scripts, now that she’s making “The Swan,” the studio’s decorating the house she rented while in Hollywood.
Many Happy Returns: It was the hottest day of the year, but it was also Mrs. Rory Calhoun’s birthday. Whatever Lita wants Lita gets from her devoted husband, and this time it was a full-length ranch mink coat! . . . Eddie Fisher was 27, which was the reason why Debbie Reynolds gave him a surprise party and a set of diamond and emerald cuff links and studs.
Wrong Rumors: John Derek wasn’t annoyed (as printed) when Paramount borrowed Robert Wagner for “The Mountain.” John read the script first and didn’t believe an audience would accept him as Spencer Tracy’s brother . . . Debra Paget moving out on mama and taking an apartment of her own? “Anyone believing that rumor,” she insists, “is just plain karazy!” The lady should know! . . . To the contrary, Richard Widmark was delighted when William Campbell stole certain scenes in “Backlash.” It so happens Dick thinks Bill is such a terrific actor, he asked U-I to cast him in the picture!
Peeks at Productions: At first Eva Marie Saint thought it was a rib when Paramount asked her to play opposite Bob Hope in “That Certain Feeling.” When she said she thought she’d “be lost” in a comedy, Mr. Ski-Nose got on the phone and convinced her otherwise . . . And when Lana Turner reported the first day at 20th Century-Fox for “Rains of Ranchipur,” she was on the set at 9—and in the hospital at 12! Poor Lana suffered a brain concussion when she fell in a bathtub while vacationing in Acapulco. Headaches and dizzy spells prompted the “general checkup.”
Cupid Kay-Od: Susan Hayward says she isn’t having a romance with Don Barry—or anyone. They’ve known each other for years and the gal says it’s nuttin’ but good ol’ friendship . . . And George Nader says he isn’t having a romance with Kim Novak but—“I’d even be grateful if someone thought I was!”
Hollywood Is Amused: At Mr. and Mrs. Clark Gable turning down that invitation to the party ex-actor William Haines gave for his long-time friend Joan Crawford and new husband Alfred Steele, who was detained in New York and couldn’t attend . . . At the New York report on Marilyn Monroe’s endeavors to better herself as an actress. In all fairness, she’s very serious about studying at the Actors Studio where most of the students are struggling young hopefuls. Marilyn lives at the Waldorf Towers and employs a male secretary to take notes during class. Later she lunches with the others at Childs—while the secretary transcribes the notes for her to study!
Fact or Fiction: According to June Allyson, her 16-year-old step-daughter, who spent the summer with the Dick Powells, is most enchanting. According to a close friend, June was real relieved when Missy Ellen returned to her mother (Joan Blondell) in the East. Among other worries that supposedly unnerved June was the way the young lady drove her car in heavy traffic . . . When he returns from England and visiting Linda Christian in Spain, Edmund Purdom has a surprise awaiting him. Last time he visited a Spencer Tracy set he made remarks and behaved so unprofessionally, Spence wouldn’t work until Purdom was asked to leave. Now ’tis said the unpredictable Britisher will be told he’s barred from all Tracy sets in the future!
Storm Signal: Some say he’s consulting a psychiatrist, but one thing’s for sure. These are troubled days for Jeff Chandler. He looks disconsolate, his attitude is weary and dejected. Although he’s temporarily refusing all interviews, Jeff was his usual kind, cooperative self when he sat down with Cal in the U-I commissary. “We’ve been trying to find a larger place,” he began, “but now we’re remaining in the house I bought for Marge when we separated, cutting off the bedrooms and enlarging the closets.” About those interviews. “You reach a point where there’s nothing left to say,” Jeff explained, “then a few writers distort the truth to get hot copy, and lies actually make me ill. So I’ll lay off until I have something interesting to talk about again.” After “Pillars of the Sky,” Jeff takes a long rest. Cal believes this is the answer to his problems.
Paradise Lost: That “dream” location on the Virgin Islands turned into a nightmare for Deborah Kerr, William Holden and the “Proud and Profane” company. Angry wasps bit them. They suffered weeping skin infection from tropical plants and the resort was overrun with overbearing tourists. One persistent woman even tried to make Debbie sit on her fat husband’s lap for a snapshot!
Male Garbo: “Try and catch me!” challenged Marlon Brando—and news photographers took him at his word when he appeared in court on two old traffic citations. Wearing sneakers and dark glasses, Marlon climbed out a window and sprinted up an alley after the judge fined him $50. A waiting photographer grabbed his shot as he cracked: “I hope you move this fast when you make that Western!” For the record, Marlon will play a gun fighter of the early West in his first picture for his own Pennebaker, Inc., productions.
Names in the News: At ease kiddies! Martin and Lewis are going to keep on being Martin and Lewis. The feuding pair finally met at Paramount and “agreed to go on making many millions as America’s highest paid comedy team.” . . . Her studio can’t find Jean Peters to tell her she’s off suspension for turning down “View from Pompey’s Head.” Estranged husband Stuart Cramer the 3rd, would like to know where she is, too! . . . Montgomery Clift helped his good friends, Julie Harris and Manning Gurian, select a name for their new son—Peter Alston. . . . No one knows why Sheree North was so secretive about her five-month marriage to music publisher John “Bud” Freeman. They kept steady company for four years, so who was surprised? . . . Those inevitable rift rumors about Joan Crawford and Alfred Steele she could take in stride. Joan’s learned to take them.
Lights Out: The tragic and untimely passing of Robert Francis, Carmen Miranda and Suzan Ball revives the grim legend that death comes in threes in Hollywood. The town will never forget Richard Long’s devotion during the 16 months his courageous bride battled cancer . . . The Sunday afternoon ride in an unchartered plane that snuffed out the glowing, young life of Bob Francis has studios pointing to the fatal crash as a warning for their young players. Amongst Bob’s many Hollywood friends, hardest hit was Van Johnson, who was so helpful during “Caine Mutiny.” . . . Carmen Miranda of the famous salad bowl headgear, loved fun and gaiety. So she went right on amusing others until the end came, and not even her husband knew she suffered from a heart condition. How we shall miss them!
—BY CAL YORK
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 1955