You Read It First In Vintage Paparazzi
Oscar Doings: Come backstage with Cal and let’s gather a few impressions of the 1949 Academy Award winners. It’s the greatest show on earth—stars, lights, enchantment . . . faint hearts, high hopes, laughter, tears. There’s Olivia de Havilland in a daisy-trimmed white organdy. She’s almost too beautiful and almost acts too calm and collected. This is one occasion when emotions should be boundless.
It’s a great and deserving night for Helen Broderick’s son, who was once told by a producer to get out of Hollywood because he didn’t have a chance! Hollywood loves a success story and was especially thrilled for Brod Crawford, who never stopped trying until he won.
Less than a year ago, Mercedes McCambridge was unknown on the screen. Now her tears are splashing unashamed—down the front of that thirteen-year-old “good luck” dress. “I feel as if I just gave birth to a baby instead of an Oscar.” She starts crying again when she says it.
Dean Jagger seems to be taking his “medicine” quietly. But his face is red and the corners of. his mouth are twitching. It’s a night of special significance for Dean and his beautiful young Chinese wife. Time and again he’s given great performances in Hollywood pictures, only to return to the theater “to make a living.” Academy Award night in Hollywood! The night when broken dreams—come true.
Dear Hearts and Generous People: Ann Sheridan, for giving her time, money and devotion to police officer Mickey Finn’s great cause—help and hope for the Eastside’s underprivileged Mexican kids . . . Cary Grant, for encouraging newcomer Paula Raymond on the “Crisis” set by telling her how scared he used to be . . . June Haver, for keeping her promise to entertain Vets at Birmingham Hospital on the day the studio unexpectedly started shooting “I’ll Get By” . . . Robert Young, for devoting endless effort toward lessening the terrifying human toll in traffic . . . Bette Davis, for remembering Betty Lynn’s trouping in “June Bride” and requesting Darryl F. Zanuck’s permission to borrow the little Lynn for “A Story of a Divorce.”
Pouting Pigeons: Joan Crawford, because that terrific beating administered by David Brian (she wouldn’t allow him to pull his punches) in “The Damned Don’t Cry” was considered too brutal and practically cut from the picture . . . Bill Holden, because he may have to follow “Dear Ruth” and “Dear Wife” with “Dear Mom,” after maturing so magnificently in “Sunset Boulevard” . . . John Iveland, because twenty-five per cent of his earnings revert to Columbia, in exchange for his artistic freedom.
Set Talk: Van and Evie Johnson are so crazy about Mexico, now that they’re back from Europe they’re going to hunt for a hacienda . . . John Wayne’s Mexican-minded too. He plans to make the film, “The Door of Scares,” there . . . Paul Douglas, who likes to see Jan Sterling every night, would like to make a picture with her so he can see her every day . . . Hollywood is asking: Where did Joseph Cotten get that black eve? . . . Hear that Deborah Kerr, who is allergic to the sun, has been verging on a nervous breakdown since making “King Solomon’s Mines” in Africa.
Super-Cooper: There was a time when all the chromiest cars in Hollywood had Gary Cooper behind the wheels. Then our old friend became Coop, the conservative. Recently we smogged it out to the Valley studios and who should whiz past us in a blaze of gray glory, but the tall boy himself. With top down, he was driving one of those low-slung imported Jaguars that roared like a lion. Later, we caught up with Coop on the “Bright Leaf” set. Nudging fifty and showing signs of it, he’s still lost none of that mercurial charm. Before we could gibe him about the Jaguar, Lauren Bacall steamed on the set. “This corset kills me!’’ were her words of greeting. Eying her quizzically, Coop finally drawled, “S-a-ay, haven’t I seen that dress somewhere before?” Baby Bacall flashed him that innocent-insolent look. “You certainly have,” she cracked. “Whenever I’m working, they always decide to save money. This dress was made over from one worn by Ingrid Bergman in ‘Saratoga Trunk!’ ”
Scott Scoots: Come summer, Zachary Scott will be free from Warners and he swears he’ll never sign another longterm contract. During the last seven years, he sweated out fourteen suspensions (that’s being off salary, chums), rather than play some of the parts he felt were not right for him. The straw that finally broke the actor’s back was easting him in “Lightning Strikes Twice.” In the fight sequence, because he towers over Richard Todd, Zack was asked to remove his hat and high-heeled boots and jackknife his body a bit. “I was over six feet tall when they put me into this picture,” he pointed out, “this can’t exactly come as a surprise to them now.” P. S. He didn’t make like a pretzel!
Hollywood Heartbreak: It seemed so incongruous seeing her there at a gay and gala party in the beautiful Garden Room of the Bel-Air Hotel. She was the youngest, the sweetest, and the saddest! In the midst of it all, Wanda Hendrix. “Everyone says I’ll get over it, do you think I will?” She was referring, of course, to the tragic ending of her marriage to Audie Murphy. It was a reunion for Cal, who’s known Wanda since she was a carefree kid, untouched by the fates and fame of Hollywood. She hadn’t changed outwardly since we last saw her, except her eyes were older, wiser and mirrored with memories. “Sometimes, even the one who loves a person the most can’t help him, if he doesn’t want to be helped,” we tried to reassure her. Wanda nodded her head knowingly.
Johnny on the Spot: Did you ever hear of Johnny Indrisano? This former fighter stages fight sequences for the movies. He trains the stars to look like Champs, instead of chumps. Johnny understands people, his helping hand is oversized. He’s a simple philosopher, he’s also an excellent cook. Recently, we saw him in the Hollywood Post Office. “Collecting your fan mail?” Cal kidded. He gave us a good grin. “Remember that scene in ‘The Bells of St. Mary’ where the nun put on boxing gloves?” (Could anyone ever forget it?) “Well,” he continued proudly, “I taught Ingrid Bergman how to defend herself, so I just mailed her a pair of miniature boxing gloves. Miss Bergman’s a great lady, with a wonderful sense of humor. She’ll get a great kick out of it!”
Hollywood Is: Confused by—the scarlet slipper-satin dress, smoke-colored stockings, black satin shoes with rhinestone straps (three on each ankle yet!), taffy-toned egg-beater hair-do worn by Joan Fontaine at Adrian’s fashion show . . . Gladdened by—the news that after fourteen years of illness, Mrs. Fred MacMurray’s operation at the Mayo Clinic, will make her a well woman . . . Saddened by—the rumor that Judy Garland, who sings so enchantingly at parties, must recuperate for a year, so she’ll be well enough to sing at the studio . . . Impressed by—the indifference of Joan Caulfield to those silly rumors that her head was “attached” to another body in ads exploiting “The Petty Girl” . . . Depressed by—the way producers search for new faces, while tried and true troupers like Una Merkel, Virginia Grey, Joan Lorring, Isabel Jewell (to name a few) are so missed by their public.
A Little from Lots: With still a year to go on her current contract, Audrey Totter asked for and received her release from M-G-M . . . The Rory Calhouns planning to hit the road in a personal appearance act. No longer under contract to David O. Selznick, ’tis whispered Rory’s option wasn’t renewed when he refused to forfeit a raise . . . According to inside information, they had to call that rugged individualist on the carpet and tell Mario Lanza to watch his language, especially when visitors are on the set . . . John Lund, failing to get himself “written out” of the “Irma” series and wondering if he’s stuck until “My Friend Irma Becomes a Grandmother.”
Gossip Has It That: Those weren’t words of love exchanged by Lana Turner and Bob Topping, the night she worked on location . . . next husband may be a talented director . . . That Phil Harris sometimes gets awfully angry at Alice Faye during those radio rehearsals .
their current alterations . . . That the next Mrs. Zachary Scott will be the former Mrs. Louis Hayward . . . That friends are worried over the eventual outcome of the Gail Russell-Guy Madison reconciliation.
That Certain Party: This was party month in Hollywood and oh, my aching rhumba! The Tyrone Powers probably gave the gayest under a cellophane tent decorated with bobbing balloons. “Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts” was the theme song played by the dance orchestra and Cal, being the bright type, was quick to catch on why. For each guest there was a real cocoanut, identified with his name burnt right into the bark. They were filled with lovely liquid, served with straws. With necklines plunging right and left—that subtle, super-sexy grandma, Marlene Dietrich, wore all-black with one long sleeve and one bare shoulder. When she started to leave (before dinner) six men got trampled in the rush to reach her wrap!
Errol Flynn, bearded for his role in “Kim,” compared red socks with Van Johnson. Sylvia Gable got the “King” out on the dance floor, so you know it must be love! The Zanucks sat with the Goldwyns, which proves we have a democracy in Hollywood.
Recently returned from Europe and now on their way to the Philippines (where he’s making a picture), Ty and Linda radiate the happiness they feel over their expected baby. “My friends wonder why I take chances and travel,” lovely Linda confided. “But I am very optimistic. I want a healthy, normal child, so why should I pamper myself? I don’t intend to fly and I will rest a lot. The baby will be born wherever we happen to be and we’ll probably be away a year. When we return we’ll build a larger house. My mother had many children and we hope to have many too.”
Backseat Driver: Just as Cal came through the gate at Universal International we were hailed by a sleek limousine, driven by a liveried chauffeur. “Hop in and I’ll drive you over to the party,” called out Jane Wyman from the back seat. Because of so many close calls in traffic, near-sighted Janie’s finally given up driving herself. “I feel silly in this hat,” she said, as she fussed with the veil. “You know I never wear them, so I had to stop in town and buy this one Charlie Coburn’s party.” As we drove along that fabulous Wyman face grinned impishly. “I’ll never forget the last time I was in this studio,” she laughed. “I was playing a bit with Carole Lombard and William Powell in ‘My Man Godfrey.’ The tin lizzie I was driving looked so sad—they wouldn’t allow me to bring it on the lot.”
New Model Ford: All’s well with the Glenn Fords again and their Hollywood They’re rid ing horseback and playing golf these days. When Glenn goes to Europe, to make “The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By,” not only does Eleanor go along but she’ll have a dancing spot in the picture. This time they’ll see Paris together—the fulfillment of a dream that got lost along the way. Despite denials, a divorce action was practically pending. Eleanor Powell has a warm and loyal heart for her friends, her home, husband and child. Only as a last and desperate measure would she jeopardize any of them. Hollywood ofttimes produces strange and unexpected pressures. That Glenn is relieved of his, is only too evident. Gone is that brooding unhappiness from his eyes. Gone is that unbecoming weight and once again he has that lean look, that eagerness and enthusiasm that made him one of Hollywood’s most appealing and exciting figures.
Good Night Nurse: Yes, writing this rumor seems just as silly to Cal as it will sound to you when you read it. But we keep hearing that since she returned from Honolulu, Shirley Temple has lost interest in acting. Furthermore, she’s supposed to have said she’s likely to become a nurse! When Shirley Temple and Jane Withers were youthful competitors, all along the way, Shirley’s ride seemed to be the rosiest. Today she’s a divorced woman, her future happiness is problematical. Jane, on the other hand, is happily married to Bill Moss, they’re expecting their second baby and wouldn’t trade places with anyone.
Southern Style: Ann Sothern’s unfailing good-naturedness never fails to astound us. There she was in the Hollywood hospital, propped up on pink sheets, her throat swathed in bandages, barely able to speak. Painful and serious though it was, how grateful Ann is that the skilled hands of Dr. William E. Branch only disclosed a hardened calcium deposit on her thyroid gland. We leaned closer as she motioned she wanted to whisper to us. “I wired Winchell,” were her amusing words. “He said I was carrying a torch for Cy Howard. I wanted him to know that the only torch I’m carrying is for myself!”
—BY CAL YORK
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE JUNE 1950
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.