You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Happy Father: Mel Ferrer was in bed for a scene when I tiptoed onto his “Hands of Orlac” set, shooting at Shepperton’s in London, first stop on my exciting trip to Europe. With a sudden leap Mel grabbed my hand in friendship while photographers snapped. “Wait till I tell Audrey who was here,” he beamed, for Mel knows how fond I am of his lovely wife, Audrey Hepburn. His new son hadn’t been born at that time but Mel had reservations on every plane from London to Switzerland in order to he there with Audrey. And I learned later he made it. While they were in the South of France last spring, Mel had surprised Audrey with a new nursery in their Switzerland home. He’d done it all by telephone. “We’re coming to Hollywood in the early fall,” he told me, “Audrey to make ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and I to direct ‘Return Fare.’ And, of course, we’ll bring the new baby with us and we want you to be among our first visitors.” And that I will.
A Birthday In Rome: “Now mother get busy,” Sandra Dee said to her mother, Mary Douvan, one morning in Rome. “This is Sara’s birthday and there’s a lot of planning to do.” So, Mary, who told me about it later, ordered the orchids which turned out to be gardenias, and suddenly everything was ready when I arrived for what I thought was an ordinary luncheon. Instead, there was Sandra, Mary, Jerry Germain and Jack Newman from Universal in Hollywood, and Vera Thompson, wife of the co-producer, Walter Thompson, on “Romanoff and Juliet,” the picture Sandra is making in Rome. The party was gay with a cake, champagne and lovely gifts, among them a giant bottle of Caron’s “Bellodgia” from Sandra. What a time! But that wasn’t all. That evening on the night location in the surrounding gardens of a beautiful villa, I was led over to a table laden with more champagne and an even fancier cake. And while the orchestra, a part of the picture, played Happy Birthday, I was surrounded by the Peter Ustinovs, Sandra, her mother, Mary, Cecily and Jack Gavin, the Akim Tamiroffs and Walter Thompsons. Surely, I thought to myself, no one ever had two such wonderful birthday surprises. And in such a romantic setting. Just like Sandra to dream it all up.
A Day With The Pecks: The driver finally found Burly Lane, an hour outside London, and suddenly there was Veronique Peck at the door with a warm greeting. She had telephoned my hotel a day or two before with an invitation to lunch and what a wonderful day it was, in the huge English manor house that housed Gregory,Veronique, the three older Peck boys and little Anthony and Cecilia. After their naps and our wonderful lunch, the two younger children appeared and if ever there was a pocket edition of the handsome Gregory himself, it’s little Anthony. “Even in Rhodes,” Veronique said, “the natives who had never seen us would stop Anthony and say, ‘Ah, a little Gregory Peck, eh?’ ” And, of course, pert, adorable 2-year-old Cecilia, the sole femme among a houseful of boys, is the Queen Bee of the household. A happy family, the Pecks. And Greg deserves it all.
A Day At Peter Ustinov’s: After “Spartacus” there can be no doubt about the talents of the bearded Englishman, Peter Ustinov, who wrote, directed, produced and starred in “Romanoff and Juliet” with Sandra Dee. So with pleasure I accepted his Sunday-at-home-day in the gardens of his elaborate villa. Here I met again the fascinating Oscar winner, Simone Signoret, who had been making a film in Italy. Simone raved over the smoothness of American production methods. And husband Yves Montand, she said, was crazy over Hollywood and has two more pictures to make for 20th Century-Fox. Simone will also make a few American movies.
A feet lmdParis: Maurice Chevalier was roaming the “Fanny” set in a dilapidated bathrobe the day I visited the Boulogne studios near Paris. Resting in a comfortable chair nearby was Charles Boyer. “You see what happens when you grow too old for romance?’ Maurice grinned. “Charles and I like to take it easy.” To me, both gentlemen seemed the epitome of romance and I wanted no further arguments from either of them. “I’m 72 in September,” Maurice called after me “and I’ll see you in Hollywood soon.” Director Josh Logan shook his head. “Maurice is the only actor I know who keeps reminding the world of his age,” he said. And you know something? It’s true. . . . Leslie Caron joined me for a chat. With her husband, Peter Hall, a director of Shakespearean plays at Stratford, she’s off to the Virgin Islands for a visit with her parents and then, if time allows, on to Mexico for a vacation. Leslie tells me she’ll appear on the London stage this winter in “Ondine, ’ to be directed by her husband. And what a happy marriage this one is! Happiness absolutely shines through the interesting face of little “Gigi” and her handsome husband. What an adorable couple they are! Don’t you agree?
And In Hollywood: All those femme admirers of Bobby Darin can now take heart. His engagement to Jo-Ann Campbell seems definitely off. . . . Terry Moore called me to tell me how exciting it was giving birth. She watched in a mirror! . . . Poor Vera Miles and groom Keith Larson. Right after the ceremony, Keith took off for location for his new TV series “Aquanaut”—and without Vera.
Familiar Faces: That cute, delectable Frenchie, Christine Carere, and her husband, Philip Nicaud, paid us a visit at our hotel in Paris. Christine expected her baby any day but later, in 1961, she and Philip plan to come to Hollywood for a movie. “I hope they haven’t forgotten me,” she sighed. . . . “Hey” came Gene Kelly’s voice over the phone. “Why are you arriving in Paris just as I’m leaving?” But not a word about his plans to marry Jeanne Cogne, which he did a short while later, in Nevada. . . . “Come right over, Richard Egan telephoned in Home. “Pat and the children and I love it here. We may even stay to do another picture.” Richard, we gathered, was very happy with his “Esther and the King” movie Believe it or not , Jack Lemmon left this harem to telephone another girl—me! and lives in a charming villa. . . . “It’s a press cocktail party so do come,” Rhonda Fleming telephoned, so with Al Hix, that handsome man around Rome, I sat beside Rhonda and her husband, Lang Jeffries, while the Italians asked their questions through an interpreter. Rhonda and Lang were on their way to Madrid to make “Revolt of the Slaves.” . . . “I’m off to Sicily,” Tina Louise told me in Rome, “to make a picture for Rossellini called ‘Viva la Italia.’ It’s the story of Garibaldi and I love the role.” “And what about your love life?” I asked Tina who merely laughed. But I happen to know it’s quite a romance between Tina and a certain Italian attorney of good family. . . . I saw Sal Mineo when he came through from Israel and his role in “Exodus” and somehow it hadn’t occurred to me before just how the long hard hours of work these young people put in can interfere with their social life. Sal phoned Sandra Dee for a date and Sandra was eager to accept. But suddenly her set call was shifted to a night scene and so the date had to be cancelled. And Sal understood.
The Ball And Home: When Pier Angeli arrived at the Berlin Film Festival Ball, all eyes turned toward the little Italian beauty. She looked absolutely beautiful. It was sad, though, not seeing Vic Damone with her. . . . One of the first callers, when I got back to Hollywood, was my friend Jack Lemmon. . . . On the plane home, I read Paul Anka’s book, “Diana and Me,” and it should prove a best seller. “Diana” was also the name of his first song hit.
On The Set: Cary Grant wrote and said, “Be my guest. Fly over to Europe. You’ll feel at home.” And when he came across the sound stage to greet me with his usual charming smile, suddenly I did feel at home—even far away at Shepperton’s Studio outside London where Cary, Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons and Bob Mitchumwere filming “The Grass is Greener.” Cary, of course, knew I was coming as he was my host for this wonderful month’s holiday in Europe but Deborah, whom I hadn’t seen for some time, did a perfect double take when she glimpsed me. The instant the scene was finished, she came over and with a “May I?” kissed my cheek and held my hand in greeting. Cary and Deborah and I lunched in the studio dining- room and, of course, I had to give them all the news from home. Both Cary and Deborah looked fantastically young and handsome. Could be the English weather. Deborah has married Peter Viertel by this time and Cary is back in Hollywood. But for that moment, what a wonderful reunion it was!
Dinner With The Darrens: Jimmy and Evy Darren drove up to my hotel exactly on the hour and the three of us took off for an Italian restaurant in the heart of London. But the rather touching thing, to me, was Jimmy’s concern that everything be just right. He had tele-phoned me in advance to know if I liked Italian food and had ordered everything in advance—made to his own tastes. Wonderful pizzas with small sausages. Raviolis stuffed with cheese. A special red wine. And we ate and laughed and gossiped for hours. Evy, who is expecting a baby in November, is a doll. I’m crazy about her. And here’s news: “I’m giving up my career from now on,” she confided. Jimmy says it’s strictly up to her but Evy is a sensible young woman who wants to be free to go where Jimmy goes. Incidentally, the three wives of the “Guns of Navarone” stars, Mrs. Gregory Peck, Mrs. David Niven, and Evy are all chums, visiting back and forth. And here’s a prediction—when Jimmy appears on the Ed Sullivan show, this fall, he’ll surprise the world with his marvelous voice. And wait till they hear his new record of “Man About Town.”
This And That: Peter Brown’s latest, is new starlet Joanie Sommers. Says Peter: “Joanie’s a lot of fun. She’s vivacious. She has freckles on top of her tan, and she’s so healthy, it’s frightening!” ! ! ! Desi Arnaz visited Lucille Ball and the children during the time Lucy recovered from her fall on the Bob Hope set of “Facts of Life.” No reconciliation. Just an adult regard for the feelings of their two children. . . . The death of Mrs. Forrest Tucker has left her many friends greatly saddened.
Hollywood: It’s so good to see happily-marrieds like Jane Withers and husband. . . . That final blow-up between Shelley Winters and Tony Franciosa surprised no one in Hollywood.
Cal York’s Jottings: Cynthia Lemmon Robertson received her divorce decree from actor Cliff Robertson on their third wedding anniversary. . . . That unexpected visit Frank Sinatra paid to Juliet Prowse on the “G.I. Blues” set must have assured Frankie no definite romance existed between Juliet and Elvis, as rumored. The following day, Frankie gifted Julie with a diamond bracelet. So one hears. . . . Two reasons are given for Elvis not attending his father’s secret wedding in Memphis. One is that Elvis objected to the wedding so soon after his mother’s death. The other is that Elvis felt he’d attract too much attention from the groom. So, you pay your money and take your choice. . . . The cutest romance in town is that of Molly Bee and Dwayne Hickman. It could be that Molly’s tender influence softened that feud between Dwayne and Tuesday Weld. At any rate, it seems to be all over. . . . The return of Diane Varsi from her Bennington, Vt., retreat caused more excitement than it’s worth, for my money. I never could see what all the Varsi fuss was about in the first place. Could you? ? ? ? Jimmy Boyd made Yvonne Craig his bride before he took off for his Uncle Sam duty in Texas. At least those were his plans. . . . Tab Hunter’s new TV sponsors are unhappy over that cruelty to his dog charge that may bring Tab before the courts. Tab’s neighbors brought the charge. . . . It’s another boy, Zoltan, for Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay. Hownice
Good News Department: Fabian is more and more intrigued with cute Katie Kelly every day it seems to me. And he’s also all excited over his appearance at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier over Labor Day. There’s just no stopping this Fabe Boy. But, then, who wants to? Everybody’s just as excited as he is! ! ! ! It will be a Christmas baby for Ann Blyth and her husband Dr. James McNulty. Their fourth child, incidentally, and the best present I know of.
—BY CAL YORK
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE OCTOBER 1960