You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Nighttime Belles: Piper Laurie, who is an unusual girl, gave herself an “unusual” (for Hollywood!) 23rd birthday party at Ciro’s. The important names on her guest list were her mother, father, grandfather, sister, brother-in-law and the Lee Scotts—he created Piper’s exciting choreography in “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” . . . Debra Paget, however, is a stay-at-home-with-her-family-girl these nights. In her 26-room house there are ten people who watch nine TV sets! To quote Debbie’s Mom: “We keep a running account with Vic Mature!” . . . On her recent trip to New York, Kim Novak tasted her first hollow victory since success. With eager anticipation she stopped off in Chicago for a reunion with hometown friends. Instead of a royal welcome, they were cooler than that proverbial cucumber. Now why pull a stunt like this on a sweet, unspoiled gal like Kim? . . . Rita Moreno has such a passion for red pajamas, she even wears tailored models on the set when she’s rehearsing in “The Vagabond King” . . . And Martha Hyer is responsible for a new and fancy fashion in the boudoir. A fan in Hawaii sent her one of those colorful native muumuus, which the blond beauty uses to sleep in! . . . Mitzi Gaynor wants to be a model wife, so she’s taking cooking lessons from a model chef. Jane Powell’s teaching Mitzi how to cook her steak and be able to eat it, too.
Say It Isn’t So: That ever since he made “Country Girl,” Bing Crosby’s been bitten by the “acting” bug and is searching for new dramatic fields to conquer . . . That Edmund Purdom’s so weary from overwork and so unnerved by his personal life problems, he’s reached the point of throwing things on the set . . . That the marital troubles between June Allyson and Dick Powell could be traced to the presence of his high-spirited teenage daughter Ellen (her mother is Joan Blondell) who now makes her home with them . . . That talented Grace Kelly who’s never aspired to becoming a cheesecake queen, may sue the parties responsible for putting her head on a curvaceous body. Object: “Green Fire” advertising! . . . That Michael Wilding obtained his release from his M-G-M contract because he felt he was “Elizabeth Taylor’s husband” on shat lot.
Young At Heart: Debbie Reynolds was still in New York visiting Eddie Fisher when Lori Nelson called her from Hollywood and introduced Robert Francis over the telephone. Bob was flying East for personal appearances and Lori didn’t want her new boy friend to get lonely in the big city! . . . And reporters flipped when Terry Moore leased a cottage for two for Jack Sernas. It will be occupied by the handsome Frenchman, who returned to Europe to bring his mother back to this country . . . Rusty Tamblyn carries Luana Lee’s scripts instead of her school books these days. She’s a beautiful studio messenger girl now enrolled in M-G-M’s dramatic classes. Object: eventual stardom.
Father’s Daze: The day before Charlton Heston’s wife gave birth to a 7 pound 14 ounce boy (they named him Fraser which is Chuck’s Scottish family clan name), Chuck was so nervous on “The Private War of Major Benson” set, he wasn’t aware he had his boots on the wrong feet! . . . And anxious Jose Ferrer took several runs to St. John’s Hospital before Rosemary Clooney presented him with a son and heir they named Miguel Jose . . . But fatherhood’s no novelty to Robert Cummings who welcomed his fourth child and third daughter.
Funnies: Jeff Hunter to Dan Dailey: “How come you and Gwen O’Connor got married when you fight all the time?” Dan back to Jeff: “All our fights were about the same thing. Should we get married!” . . . Robert Mitchum to Jane Russell: “Tell me, how did you like Europe?” Jane back to Bob: “I’m glad it’s over there!” . . . And then there’s that woman who wrote to Liberace about his highly publicized “romance” with Sonja Henie: “I’m much better for you than Sonja. At least I have piano legs!”
Personal Piffle: Richard Widmark is a handy man who just designed and built his own furniture for that new room in his Mandeville Canyon home . . . Rory Calhoun calls Jeff Candler “Big Grey” and Jeff calls Rory “Old Smoke” . . . Debra Paget and her sister attending a Beverly Hills church each Sunday, dress like they’re going to a cocktail party later! . . . And Doris Day finally asked for her first autographed photograph. She couldn’t have picked a worthier subject—Jimmy Cagney!
Ladies In Waiting: Susan Hayward broke right out in front of everyone on the “Soldier of Fortune” set and planted a big birthday buss on Clark Gable. But not a single news hound found out that Grace Kelly gifted the King with a real live miniature burro for his ranch. While she was in Hollywood long enough to turn down her next picture, Grace called Clark constantly. And sometimes the calls came in when Kay Williams Spreckels was sitting a few feet away with an amused smile on her beautiful face!
Our Town: Ever since he hit Hollywood again, perfectionist Marlon Brando has been rehearsing like a demon for his songs and dances for “Guys and Dolls.” Finally one hostess did manage to snare him for a Saturday night party. Marlon worked late and was the last to arrive. The room was filled with aspiring young actors—all trying to look like you-know-who in leather jackets and dungarees. The original one and only walked in wearing a white shirt, black tie and a beautiful charcoal gray suit!
A La Carte: Jeff Richards passing by Louis Calhern’s table in the M-G-M commissary, exclaimed: “You’re my favorite actor!” With that inimitable twinkle, Calhern countered: “Mine, too!”
Town Talk: Cal caught up with Tony Curtis, who was on the set making “The Rawhide Years.” “Jan gained five pounds,” he greeted us joyously. “Every time she gains a pound she gets a gift, so that makes five gold trinkets for her charm bracelet!” Does this sound like a man in love with his wife?
Sexy Santa: There may not be anything serious between Rock Hudson and secretary Phyllis Gates, but the big boy gets very serious when he picks out gifts for her. Rock recently devoted an entire day to personally selecting a complete outfit for Phyllis. It included gloves, shoes, handbag and perfume to go with a coat and dress. Then as an extra gift he threw in—a set of pink and white candy stripe sheets and pillow slips. No wonder every glamour puss wants Rock for a husband. “They don’t hardly make them that way no more!”
Peaks At Production: After her experience at Paramount, Pat Crowley refused that U-I contract. But they needed her so badly for “There’s Always Tomorrow,” she got the role anyway . . . Paging Hollywood’s number-one miracle man! For their roles in “Giant,” Elizabeth Taylor ages from 21 to 45 and Rock Hudson from 27 to 50! . . . And here’s a bit of irony. Stewart Granger over in India is helping Ava Gardner acquire a British accent for “Bhowani Junction.” But back in Hollywood, Jean Simmons Granger is trying to lose her British accent for “Guys and Dolls!” . . . The old gang ganged up on John Derek who was once a stock actor at 20th. When he went back to make “The Prince of Players,” the sign on his dressing room door read “Derek Harris”—his real name and the one John used to use!
As We Go to Press: The Jack Webbs celebrated one month of marriage with their first “lovers’ quarrel.” She went home to mama, “But I’ve been working very hard and we got to snapping at each other,” says Sergeant Friday. “There’s nothing to it.” Da da dum dum! . . . Joan Evens and Kirky Weatherly are going to be happier (if possible!) when their first wee one arrives next September And that blessed event for Aldo Ray and Jeff Donnell could be a double production—twins to you! . . . And to you from the front office at M-G-M: “Eleanor Parker’s brilliant performance in ‘Interrupted Melody’ has lessened enthusiasm for Grace Kelly.” . . . Since breaking his arm skiing at Sun Valley, Dick Powell is even closer than ever to June Allyson . . . But Edmund Purdom’s one-man holocaust for Linda Christian is becoming a feeble flame—and his studio couldn’t be more relieved to see it dying!
Cal Salutes: William Holden whose exemplary family life is worth many millions to Hollywood. Recently all the Holdens appeared on Edward R. Murrow’s “Person to Person” tv show. For two days fifty men were in and out moving furniture, setting up four cameras and wiring the Holden house for sound. Bill served them 250 sandwiches and endless gallons of coffee. After the telecast he opened up his bar for the men and when he talked to Mr. Murrow in New York. Bill told him how painless it all had been because of his great crew. Those headline hunters who give the town a black eye should observe Bill Holden and learn how a real star operates.
Optimistic Type: Looks like Marilyn Monroe’s buying a permanent residence in Connecticut and with Joe DiMaggio back there to help her select the right place, draw your own conclusions. Speaking of the blond bombshell, remember Cal told you she’d formed her own “Marilyn Monroe Productions, Inc.” and dismissed her agents at the same time. She also sent all parties concerned a wire and wished them—a Happy New Year!
City Slickers: When Debbie Reynolds visited Eddie Fisher recently, she fell in love with New York. “After we’re married,” she confesses, “I’d love to live in the East when I’m not working.” Bet M-G-M will love that! . . . And when Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis blew into the big city to meet the press, they held quiet conferences with important playwrights. The popular pair are just panting to face a live audience in a good comedy . . . Tab Hunter had an odd experience during his brief stopover in New York en route to Europe. Someone swiped Tabbie’s long underwear (used for ice skating) out of his hotel room. He just hopes it fits!
Funnies: In surgery for two hours for removal of a kidney stone, Bing Crosby came through like a block-buster and Bob Hope cracked: “Wouldn’t you know they’d find uranium in Bing’s kidney stone!” . . . After waiting a year (on salary) Sheree North finally replaced Marilyn Monroe, scheduled for “Pink Tights” and “How to Be Very, Very Popular.” Hearing the news, sizzling Sheree cracked: “If I was married now, with my luck, I’d probably be pregnant!” . . . And some sentimental soul (?) dedicated a song to Ava Gardner, entitled: “Barefoot Contessa, Where Are Your Shoes!”
Wee Ones: Because her baby had to be born by Caesarean section and she could name the date, Elizabeth Taylor switched the day to February 27th and on her own twenty-third birthday, Liz gave birth to a 5 pound 12 ounce boy, whom the Wildings have named Christopher Edward.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MAY 1955