You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Glamour Gams: Rhonda Fleming has brains to match her beauty, which is why she refused to become a black-haired senorita in an important European movie. Even a five-thousand- dollar bonus couldn’t induce her to dye the famous red hair that’s become her trade mark in Hollywood . . . But Debra Paget, who became a carrot-colored blond, had to acquire a new wardrobe to complement her new personality. She displays strapless bare shoulders for all occasions, including luncheon in the studio commissary. Debbie’s two favorite models are ice blue and violet organza worn with endless petticoats . . . Cyd Charisse is an eye-stopper anywhere, and especially as seen above in green. She loves red, too—and her lipstick-red summer cotton, worn when she and Tony Martin vacationed in the Virgin Islands, stopped traffic! Cyd’s startling red outfit has a tiered skirt, halter neck and comes complete with cover-up jacket that converts it into a dinner dress. The Tony Martins guest spot in M-G-M’s “Deep in My Heart” but they never appeared in the same scene or even worked on the lot the same day . . .
Vacation: Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis got that dream vacation in Boston—except the studio put Tony into “Five Bridges to Cross” and he had to work on location! After eight eventful years at M-G-M, Jan decided to free-lance and her last day on the lot was so typical of Hollywood. With pet pooch Houdina, wearing a diamond-studded velvet collar, she posed for Christmas cover art—on the hottest day of the year! . . . Indefatigable Marge and Gower Champion finished their last number with Betty Grable in “Three for the Show” on Friday and started shooting “Jupiter’s Darling” with Esther Williams on Saturday. Next stop—a cross-country concert tour. Cute story concerns Marge, who always reads local gossip columns. “It says here,” she exclaimed, “that we’re going to have a baby in 1955.” Gower chuckled. “I know,” he answered nonchalantly, “I gave out the story yesterday!”
Moving Daze: It’s moving day for beautiful, blond and bombastic Kathleen Hughes, who’s always living with her mother. “I fell in love with this little place in the hills,” sighs the girl with the torso silhouette, “because it has a fireplace and a built-in aerial.” As an afterthought, she added: “I wish I had a television set!” . . . Publicist-socialite Richard Gully is still head flower-sender in Vera-Ellen’s life. She arranged a special showing of “White Christmas” for him. It’s Paramount’s first super-colossal production in exciting VistaVision, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Missy Vera.
Happiness for two: In the July issue, Photoplay published the story of June Haver and Fred MacMurray—of two lonely people who met and found with each other the companionship they needed. It was inevitable that they should fall in love. But love brought problems. Problems that had to be faced before they could talk of marriage. Fred needed time for his two children to share his feelings towards June. For June, it meant days of anxiously weighing her heart’s needs—for she would be marrying outside of her faith. But fate smiled once—when they met—and everyone who loves these two believes that it will smile again and bring no shadows to the marriage they have embarked upon with so much hope.
Credit Department: Anyone directing one word of criticism at Joan Crawford will have to answer to George Nader. It was La Crawford who plugged the handsome guy to U-I executive Milton Rackmil. Now George has a long-term contract and he gets his big break replacing Jeff Chandler, who bowed out of “Five Bridges to Cross.” . . . Robert Stack is on the praise wagon too. Without the help and encouragement of John Wayne, says Bob, he never could have given that surprise performance in “The High and the Mighty.” And speaking of the “Duke,” when fifteen-year-old Pat Wayne was. selected for “The Long Gray Line” by director John Ford (who happens to be the lad’s godfather) proud Papa played the role of agent—but didn’t collect his ten per cent commission!
Acid Test: When Terry Moore heard they were looking for a sixteen-year-old to play Greer Garson’s daughter in “Strange Woman in Town,” the enterprising little lady put on bobby sox, blouse and skirt and combed her hair in pigtails. Then she headed for Warners. Half way across town a motorcycle officer flagged her down. “But I wasn’t speeding,” fumed Terry. “I know it,” came the dry reply, “but you look too young to be driving a car. Let’s see your driver’s license.” Sighed Terry sweetly: “If only you were a casting director!”
Hollywood’s Happy About: Clark Gable’s decision to remain in pictures, which came to light when he signed a percentage deal with 20th—with outside picture-making privileges yet! . . . William Holden’s announcement that acting talent instead of “big names” will be given first consideration in casting his newly formed Toluca Productions, of which he is president . . . Director William Wellman’s prediction that Tab Hunter will be a top-ranking star after the release of “Battle Cry” and “Track of the Cat” (he’s just been signed to co-star with Robert Mitchum).
It’s the Truth: That “Cry Baby” Johnnie Ray wasn’t too happy over his recording session with Doris Day—but there are always two sides to a story . . . That Barbara Rush and Jeff Hunter now admit they’re having the same arguments most young couples have. but their marriage is solid, man, solid! . . . That the recent birth of Mario Lanza’s fourth child (a boy) catapulted the tempestuous singer into such a happy frame of mind, his return to the screen is imminent . . . That Shelley Winters proclaims she’ll never marry an actor again, after her heartbreaking experience with Vittorio Gassman.
To You from Cal: Whenever Piper Laurie hears “Tell Me You’re Mine,” her eyes grow misty. It was her number-one favorite in Dick Contino’s repertoire during their romantic interlude . . . Elaine Stewart is much more interested in studying medicine and psychiatry than being seen in night clubs—and she doesn’t expect you to believe it either! . . . Jerry Lewis introduces Dean Martin as, “My partner whose talent is exceeded only by his alimony!” . . . Jeff Donnell broke up completely visiting Aldo Ray, who was doing a tender but dramatic scene on the “Battle Cry” set . . . Someone suggested that Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger invest in raising chinchillas. So Michael Wilding and Liz Taylor also suggested they write a book: “How to Raise Your Own Fur Coat!”
Young at Heart: For a guy who hates to travel alone, Rock Hudson took off for Ireland to make “Captain Lightfoot” in high spirits: U-I script girl Betty Abbott promised she’d fly over to see the sights with Rock, even if she doesn’t work on the picture. And Rock’s wistfully wishing the news story about his new three-thousand-dollar-a-week contract was fact—not fiction! . . . It was quite a sight to see Debbie Reynolds entertaining recently. Personal press agents keep coupling their clients’ names with this popular pixie. So Debbie put her sense of humor to work and threw a party for all the fellows she’d never met! . . . Julia Adams has the highest-priced dancing instructor in Hollywood and all points east. Name: Donald O’Connor. Remarks: He’s quite impressed with the lovely lady and decided this was the best way to see her oftener!
Spending Spree: Fortunately for Marilyn Monroe, she doesn’t have many days off from “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” All she bought on her first free day was a black mink coat, a brand-new Cadillac car and, as a gag gift for her husband, Mrs. DiMaggio dashed into the popular “Gifts for Men” shop and picked up a pair of those new pink linen slacks. Well, Gary Cooper wears them. Maybe Joe will call Marilyn’s bluff and put ’em on!
Song and Dance Man: “Let’s rehearse right now,” Ethel Mermen exclaimed. “You’re going to sing a song with me!” She and Bob Wagner were on a plane flying to Denver where Miss Show Business was to m.c. a theatre opening. “It happened so suddenly,” grins Bob, “I didn’t start to shake until it was all over.” The audience went wild over their duet of “I Hear Music” and now, of course, Bob’s bitten by the singing bug so badly—“I won’t be happy until I make a musical!” Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, Jeff Chandler and other new members of the crooner’s union—please note.
Seen and Heard: Jack Benny to Ann Sothern at the Bob Hopes’ charity bazaar: “From the back I couldn’t tell if you were a fellow who needs a haircut, or a girl who just had one!” Ann back to Jack: “And what about the front?” Jack throwing up his hands: “I can tell—I can tell!” . . . And while we’re in the Italian-haircut department, movie-mogul Howard Hughes believes short hair on women is very unglamorous. So Jane Russell’s promised the boss she’ll shy away from shears.
Did You Know: That Jane Wyman, who isn’t a Catholic, is attending church regularly with husband Freddy Karger, who is . . . That recent bride Jean Peters is a great baseball fan. When left-fielder Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox broke his collar bone, Jean sent him a fan letter although she doesn’t know him . . . That Montgomery Clift is crazy about Wil Wright’s famous Sunset Strip ice cream. Every time a Hollywood buddy flies east, a few fancy quarts of the stuff flies with him . . . That Mel Ferrer always carries a tiny silver pill box in his pocket. It contains—Audrey Hepburn’s vitamins . . . That Richard Egan lost a plushy role with John Wayne and Susan Hayward in “The Conqueror”—because he was too good looking!
Silver Lining: Cal believes John Derek is the happiest hamola in Hollywood! “My new Paramount contract boosted my morale sky high,” he beams, “but my personal plans are just as exciting too. You see, no actor has ridden an Arabian stallion since Valentino—three decades ago. So I had to plead with producer Walter Wanger to ride my own Fakaar in “The Adventures of Hajji Baba.’ He isn’t a movie-trained horse and this gave me an idea. I have my eye on a ten-acre ranch in Northridge. If I can swing it, I’m going to start a training school for movie-star horses! It’s never been done before.” Cal says: “And John’s just the boy who can do it.”
On the Town: Doris Day and Marty Melcher introducing Armenian food to friends at the popular “Sasha’s Palate” in the valley . . . Elizabeth Taylor, along with Michael Wilding, celebrating the “unveiling” of her sequin-studded leg cast, with June Allyson and Dick Powell at Jack’s at the beach . . . The Howard Keels and the Alan Ladds making up a fascinating foursome at the new Players restaurant on the Sunset Strip . . . Bare-chested Charlton Heston waiting for a hamburger in an open car at a Beverly Hills drive-in . . . Jerry Lewis surrounded by pals and his favorite turkey, ham and coleslaw sandwich in the Gotham delicatessen.
Last Minute News: U-I was all set and ready to sign handsome Richard Allan for zee big build up, when 20th gummed up the works by renewing Dick’s contract for another year . . . Mona Freeman and Frank Sinatra insist their dating is purely platonic, while Ava Gardner, who’s now back in Hollywood, denies there’s a new Latin lover in her life . . . And still another production number has been added to “A Star Is Born” (it’s already three hours long! ). . . . Jess Barker went ahead and filed an affidavit contesting Susan Hayward’s request for permission to take their twins on location with her. And speaking of the realistic redhead, Bob Mitchum hopes she’ll refuse to play opposite him when she makes “Untamed” for 20th. “Maybe if I’m repulsive enough,” kids the inimitable Mitch, “I won’t be loaned out and in August my RKO contract will finally end!”
—BY CAL YORK
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 1954