You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Debbie breaks out of a triangle: In a plain tailored suit, Debbie Reynolds sat primly in the witness chair of the Los Angeles Divorce Court and told Superior Judge Roger Alton Pfaff, “Interest in another woman broke up my home. My husband Eddie Fisher asked me to get a divorce.” Debbie’s Camille Williams, the statement and ten minutes later, without mention of Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie emerged a free woman.
Shortly afterward, she was off to Spain to make “It Began With a Kiss” with Glenn Ford, telephoning home every day to talk to little Carrie and baby Todd and warn her parents not to spoil them too much. And reports are that, except for missing the children, Debbie has never been in better spirits. . . . In My Opinion: Dean Stockwell’s the best of the young dramatic actors. Wait till you see his work with Brad Dillman in “Compulsion.” . . . Count Carol Lynley as the most practical, feet- on-the-ground lass among the new teen stars. Neither pretty clothes, dreamy boys nor good-time dates can distract Carol; she’s the youngest student of abnormal psychology at UCLA! . . . Sal Mineo got so hot on drums for his Gene Krupa role, several big bands have tabbed him for guest shots. For me, the role’s not his best. Agreed?
Tea with Deborah Kerr before her last take-off for Europe and Peter Viertel. “I loved this place,” she said wistfully. “The garden for the children and the view far down the Pacific Ocean exactly like the Riviera. It’s so peaceful.” The house with the garden, ringing with children’s voices, and the view, is up for sale now and I can only pray that a happy future lies ahead for Deborah. At least one hears ex-husband Tony Bartley is relenting a bit and Deborah may have her two daughters part of the time.
TV Jottings: Those bright young fans who tag after Frankie Avalon shrieking “I touched him, I touched him!” indicate the guy’s on his way up among the warbling world’s “touchable” greats. . . . Richard Boone laid down his gun and did travel to Broadway to play Lincoln in “The Rivalry,” and a splendid job he does. . . . People often forget that western stars can be darn good actors. James Garner, for one, is just aching to be tapped for a Broadway play. I predict that “Maverick” could set the town on its pearl-studded ear, he’s that charmin’. . . . Who’s the pretty miss seen now and then in John Payne’s “Restless Gun” series? It’s John’s own 18-year-old daughter Julie, making her debut with dad. . . . Pat Boone vows he’ll be more choosey on future film commitments. “I want my movies to mean something,” he told me. Pretty great words for a guy with thousands of fans eager to respond to his big handsome presence on the screen, meaning or no meaning. . . . On April 12, musical director Buddy Bregman wed Anna Maria Alberghetti, who warbles up quite a storm. Both are singing the song that never ends. Especially after mama Alberghetti, who said she disapproved and would stay away, attended the wedding reception after all. Even if Buddy’s own TV show and the one he worked on forEddie Fisher have bowed out, the bridegroom’s undaunted. Nothing like the movies, you know. where there’s always a market for muscianship like young Bregman’s.
Lunch at Paramount: It’s fun to sit at a center table in Paramount’s huge dining room and watch the stars go by. Danny Kaye, weary after a long trek to Israel, lunches quietly with the studio’s top designer Edith Head. . . . Mr. Marlon Brando Sr. holds down his son’s table in the rear waiting for a tardy Junior. . . . Heads of young actors turn to stare at veteran Edmund Lowe, part of the “Heller With a Gun” cast, for all the world like the fans who stare at them. . . . Ben Cooper in a navy uniform stops by for a chat. “I’m no sooner out of the army than the Desilu TV Show plunks me in the navy,” he laughs. . . . John Derek, back from filming in Italy, pauses to pass around pictures of his two children Sean and Russ who live with their mother in Hollywood. John and wife #2 Greta were off the following day for movies in Uruguay and Greece. Wonder if he’s running away .. . from Hollywood, its disappointments, and himself? Greta implied she wished he’d stand still and face up to whatever is troubling him about his career.
Quite late and so very quietly, Jerry Lewis and his writers took a table at the far end of the room. Jerry calm! Jerry subdued! Memories of the days he and Dean Martin set this very room on its ear with their crazy antics flashed through my mind as I watched him obey his doctor’s orders to “take it easy.” . . . Jack Mattis who has a small dancing role in Brando’s “One- Eyed Jack” stopped to tell us about Marlon as man and director. “The nicest man I ever met and the kindest to everyone from extra to star,” Jack said. A bit of by-play caught our eye as Rita Moreno, Marlon’s former flame, and Pina Pellicar, his leading lady in “One-Eyed Jack.” came into the dining room arm in arm. Could this be a notice-me-again on Rita’s part? If so, someone on that set will really be “One-Eyed”! With sadness I noted that Cecil B. DeMille’s table had been removed from its place against the wall. In its stead stood a replica of the Ten Commandments under a painting of the famous director. The scene may change in Hollywood but the great and the deserving are never forgotten. And so it is with DeMille, one of the last of Hollywood’s great pioneers.
It’s Set Time: Sophia Loren backed into an open gas jet, Fess Parker stomped around in sox feet and Clark Gable made the prize “boo boo” of all time the day I gave the movie sets a whirl. On the “Heller With a Gun” set Sophia’s ostrich feather headdress went up with a poof when the plume and an old-fashioned gas light got too cozy. Such excitement! Robert Darin grabbed the flaming mass from Sophia’s astonished head while actors Tony Quinn, Steve Forrest, Eileen Heckart and Margaret O’Brien stood with their mouths hanging open. Only Indian chief Yowlachie remained stoically calm, as if it were part of the story, which concerns the adventures of a second rate traveling show troupe in the rugged west a century ago. Margaret, the troupe’s “Baby,” upset the chief’s frozen-faced composure in a scene where she stealthily lapped up the dregs in his brandy glass. Everyone broke up, including director George Cukor. Sophia tells me she acquired her new slim figure on Italian food only. “Not the starches,” she assured me. “Only the proteins.” Who ever heard of Italian proteins? Speaking of Italy brought to mind the troubles of Fess Parker, whose name had to be changed to “Fier” over there because “Fess” means “Dope.” Still in trouble through no fault of his own, I heard director Frank order him, “Take your shoes off,” as I sneaked onto “The Jayhawkers” set. “We can’t get all of you on camera.” Poor Fess. While Barry Coe sat on the sidelines and grinned, Fess emoted in sox and cold feet. A chat with Fess between takes proves again what an unaffected, soft-voiced, young bachelor he is. “By golly I’d like to get married if—” he confesses. The “if” is a nice, intelligent girl who would enjoy making a home, appreciate a hard working husband and love children. Any volunteers? Line forms to the right, gals! Briefies: Roz “Auntie Mame” Russell did it again! After her footprint-planting ceremony in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater Roz had the gapers in hysterics attempting to fit her own fair-sized tootsies first into the large prints of the late Tom Mix, then into the dainty ones of Mary Pickford. Roz’ were the first “dogs” to be immortalized in the cement of this tourist mecca in over two years. . . . A simple marble bench will mark the Hollywood grave of Tyrone Power, who died before the cameras in Spain last November at the age of 45. The bench is being carved at the request of Mrs. Debbie Power, who hopes the weary in heart and soul may find it a comforting retreat. Ty would have liked that, I’m sure. . . . Closer than ever these days are Lana Turner and her Cheryl, who’ve chatted with me at every showing of Lana’s extraordinary film, “Imitation of Life.” Never has this star looked so beautiful nor performed with such depth of feeling. . . . Those Hargitays! With each body-building course they sell, Jayne and Mickey include free dumbells—pink for girls, blue for boys.
Once-Overs: Rick Nelson has bulls on the brain, and come the first gap in a busy schedule, he’ll tango off to the Land of the Matadors and catch a glimpse of the real thing, Olé! . . . . Debbie Reynolds gave Bob Wagner a raised-eyebrow look after he and Nat double-dated with Liz and Eddie. . . . A studio producer told me Diane Varsi showed up for an interview in Levis and bare feet. Sometimes it seems that, in her efforts to jump off the bandwagon, the young lady would grow a beard, if she only knew how. . . . They call May Britt “Angel on a Bicycle,” after her 500-mile marathon from Stanford University (where husband Ed Gregson is studying law) to Holly- wood. pedaling every single mile—really. . . . For Mickey Rooney, it’s off with the old love (his fourth wife) and on with the new (Barbara Thomason); for a little man, Mickey sure takes the lion’s share in love. . . . Elizabeth Taylor has rented a Las Vegas ranch in order to be near Eddie Fisher while he fills an April nightery stint, taking with her, maybe, the 27-diamond- studded birthday purse—a gift from Eddie.
—BY SARA HAMILTON
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MAY 1959
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