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Hollywood Takes Washington By Storm!

For the first time in the history of Our country, Hollywood went to the Inauguration and stole the show! And that was quite a feat, I might add, considering that we have such a handsome young President and such a stunning First Lady.

A terrible snow storm nearly paralyzed the entire city of Washington. Herbert Hoover and Perle Mesta never did make it to the festivities, but nothing could stop Frank Sinatra from making Inauguration Eve, 1961, a night to remember.

After the concert in Constitution Hall, the tun began at the National Armory where Frank’s Gala got the Democratic Party out of debt by raising nearly one-and-a-half million dollars. Seats for the show were going at one hundred dollars, but it’s no wonder—the list of performers was one of the most impressive ever.

Final rehearsals for the spectacular went on practically up until show time, with the cast and crew working at a feverish pitch to make sure every routine in the show would be perfect. Frank, with the help of Jack Kennedy’s brother-in-law, Peter Lawford, worked long, hard hours and was near exhaustion by show time. Yet he did his usual fine job—both as performer and master of ceremonies. Some say that he and Juliet Prowse are back together again after working on the show together, but we’ll see what happens.

There was one mishap—Peter Lawford’s hotel suite was burglarized, and his wife Pat Kennedy had some jewels stolen. And then there was a near-mishap, too—Ethel Merman almost didn’t make it to the Armory in time for the show, and at the last minute, dashed onto the stage still wearing her street clothes!

Frank had taken the entire tenth floor of the Statler Hilton, and I’m told that he resembled a housemother more than a producer the way he kept hovering around to make sure everything was all right! And I must say, things were terrific! Congratulations, Hollywood, I’m proud of you!

A Queen Walks Out

The silliest of all divorces, say their friends, is that of Sheila and Guy Madison who have had no serious differences. Sheila, who was married so young and had three babies in a row, looks back to the fun of a lost girlhood with a grass-is-greener yearning, I’m told. She’d better stick to Guy. There’s no nicer Guy anywhere. . . . Glenn Ford’s dates with Yvette Mimieux don’t mean a thing. Hope Lange’s his best girl—in fact, he says he’ll marry her. Although, Hope and Don don’t seem to be in any great hurry to get their divorce. Quite a triangle, humm? . . .

Hugh O’Brian’s newest flame is Nancy Kwan, since Ex-Queen Soraya walked out on him. Her former husband, the Shah of Iran, disapproved, if you please, and her father, an Iranian Ambassador, ordered her home. And speaking of royalty, Princess Grace and Prince Rainier recently attended the opening of a new school named after their son, Prince Albert.

Dean and Jeanne Having Trouble?

Discredit those rumors of friction in the Dean Martin household. I am. I remember too well how deeply both Jeanne and Dean felt several years ago when the two reached an impasse in their marriage and Jeanne went to Palm Springs “to think things over.” Dean himself drove her to the Springs, silent all the way. He watched her leave the car with hurt and confusion in his heart and, without a word of protest, drove home alone.

She came back, of course, because these two really love each other. But with Dean living three lives in one, things must get a bit thick at times. Jeanne’s been wonderful with his four children by a former marriage and a marvelous mother to the three that were born to her and Dean. So I feel sure the gossip will come to nothing. I hope so, for Jeanne is one of the best liked people in town and Dean—he’s one of my favorites.

Cheryl Goes Home

At last Lana Turner has her daughter back. She hoped that when she married Fred May, the court would release Cheryl from the county school for delinquent girls. It looks as though she got her wish, and she looked so happy when she, Steve Crane and Fred brought Cheryl home. I’m sure that Cheryl’s record at the school had a lot to do with it, too. And now that everyone is happy let’s hope it stays that way. . . . There may be another happy ending in Hollywood if Lucy and Desi reconcile. Everything certainly points to the fact that they will, but I’m not taking any bets this time. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed! . . . 

Elvis has turned charity-minded. He plans to give benefit performances to raise money for a memorial to go on the battleship Arizona, which was bombed at Pearl Harbor. Good for you, Elvis. . . . And have you heard that Peter Lawford is going to be a senator? In the movie “Advise and Consent,” that is! . . . A rather sad note—Kay Gable says she doesn’t ever want to see “The Misfits,” Clark’s last picture. What can I say—except to repeat how sorry I am for her. She broke down at one of her baby showers, I’m told. And the reason is that Clark had made her promise that if anyone gave her a shower, she’d wait to open the presents at home with him.

Edd and Asa—On or Off?

Friends are sorry the Van Williams lost their expected baby. Van is one of the most popular lads on the Warner lot. Diane McBain, his costar in “SurfSide 6” would like more to do in the series than just look pretty. That she can do without trying. Incidentally, some of the kids on the lot refer to the series as “SurfSide Sick.” . . . Caught a glimpse of Edd Byrnes at I. Magnin’s perfume counter with his old flame Asa Maynor, and just the way Edd held Asa’s arm made me wonder and wonder and wonder. Looks like they’re back together again. … It could have been that beatnik beard of Bob Denver’s that caused him to lose his bride of less than a year. It’s kinda sad to see this “Dobie Gil I is” refugee shopping for groceries all by himself. . . .

The cutest angel to hit town is Frenchie Annie Farge whose French accent off screen is as funny as her TV Angel lingo. Annie brought along her husband to Hollywood, much to the disappointment of the local wolves. . . . Judi Meredith,who secretly wed Bob Westbrook last December, is a mighty happy bride with a mighty rich bridegroom. Judi need never again face a camera if she doesn’t want to . . . Jean Simmons and Richard Brooks are the happiest expectant parents in the world. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jean gave up being a movie star altogether. She’s just that happy being Mrs. Brooks. It’s wonderful to see.

Mailbox Corner:

A card from David Niven “with love” ell the way from Switzerland. It’s good to know that David, who was ill for several weeks, is well again. . . . A letter from the wife of a prominent architect reads, “Please tell me why Dinah Shore will not let her guests sing or dance alone? My husband and I never watch her anymore.” And this isn’t the first such complaint I’ve received about Dinah. . . . Letters, letters, letters asking about cute Leticia Roman. Even Polly Businger of the Dorothy Provine Fan Club feels Leticia, Vicki Trickett and Sonya Wilde will become stars, right along with Miss Provine, of course. . . . Keep writing, everyone!

The Young Brides

These modern young brides! How amazingly Ingenious they are in the cooking department. For instance, Carol Lynley tells me she’s a frozen Chinese food fan, and after a long day at the studio she’ll thaw out a frozen dinner of chow mein or whatever, adding her own bits of creative art—bean shoots or blanched almonds—and husband Mike Selsman is delighted. Bobby Darin solved a lot of Sandra Dee’s impromptu, informal dinner problems by presenting his bride with an electric gadget that dips frankfurters into a batter and toasts them a golden brown. Bobby could live off them. . . . Doug McClure, the blond member of the “Checkmate” trio, has a problem. His plans to wed Barbara Luna, when his divorce is final in May, may have to be postponed if those feature movie plans go through. Several of his friends are urging Doug to stay single for a while, but he’s old enough to make up his own mind.

Marilyn and Joe

It was inevitable that Marilyn Monroe would date ex-husband Joe DiMaggio after her separation from Arthur Miller. Joe is the only man Marilyn couldn’t involve in her world of self and her movie problems, and she respects him for it. During their marriage, Joe, a national hero on his own, kept free from Marilyn’s movie entanglements and as a result, she divorced him. Not so the very talented Arthur Miller who became hopelessly entangled in Marilyn’s affairs even to the point of writing her recent film “The Misfits,” which brought him only grief and disillusionment. When Marilyn entered a New York psychiatric clinic, Joe stood by her. And when she got a pass, she went out with Joe.

Paulas a Hit

Every eye in the Cocoanut Grove turned toward the grand stairway when Hope Lange made an entrance with Andy Williams. The occasion was Paul Anka’s opening night at the Grove and both Hope and Andy—no romance they say—enjoyed the teenager’s debut at this most elegant of clubs. Dodie Stevens, accompanied by her father, drank so many soda pops she was ready to pop herself. Mrs. Van Johnson escorted her thirteen-year-old daughter Schuyler and Zsa Zsa Gabor’s young daughter, Francie. Mama Gabor sat with the Milton Berles and waved to Francie across the room. I loved Milton’s witty introduction, especially that made-up wire to Paul from Frank Sinatra. “Congratulate you on your opening night, but who are you?” An hour later everyone in the place knew who Paul Anka was. What a wonderful talent. . . . Don’t be discouraged, kids, if a few credits stand between you and graduation. 

Fabian wasn’t. “I lacked three credits to graduate in February,” Fabe told me. “So I’ll make them up and go back to South Philadelphia, to graduate with my regular class in June as I was supposed to in the first place.” . . . And if you’re wondering about Ethel Mertz of the “I Love Lucy” series, wonder no more. Vivian Vance, who played Ethel, is now the wife of publisher John Dodds and couldn’t be happier. . . . I felt right at home the other day when I had lunch at Twentieth Century-Fox. Handsome Bob Goldstein, head of the studio, marched over for a firm handclasp. “It’s wonderful to have you here,” he said. Then my friend Walter Lang came over. “I’m on stage 15, Sara, so do come to see me,” he said with an affectionate hug.

What’s New Around Town?

The marriage of Ernie Borgnine and Katy Jurado may be saved after all. They haven’t announced a definite reconciliation, but when Katy flew to Rome, Ernie was at the airport to greet her with a bouquet of roses and a big kiss. . . . A near-tragedy occurred at the Roger Smith household. Roger was watching his own TV show, “77 Sunset Strip,” when a fire broke out in his home. Luckily, no one was hurt, but the fire caused several thousand dollars’ damage. The origin was unknown. . . . “Gidget” girl, Deborah Walley, seems very shy. Says an actress on the picture, “I feel Deborah thinks there’s bound to be a comparison between her and Sandra Dee who was the original Gidget and it makes her rather self-conscious.” We’ll see what the fans think when the film comes out. . . . 

Millie Perkins is an unsung heroine as far as I’m concerned. Allowed to remain idle for two years after the release of “Diary of Anne Frank,” Millie went into the Elvis Presley picture “Wild in the Country” without a quibble about Tuesday Weld’s role being the stronger. “What marriage to Millie has done for Dean Stockwell is a miracle,” a publicist told me. “Dean, who was moody and hard to understand, is a changed lad. It’s as though Millie had opened the windows and let in the sunshine.” All of which makes Millie a marvel in my book.

It looks as though handsome Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and his wife Stephanie will reconcile after all. Those two certainly have had their troubles this year. It’s too bad their differences got such a public airing. . . . And while I’m sounding off, it seems Troy Donahue has added another name to the list of heartbroken ex-girlfriends. This time it’s Sally Todd who lost out to Lili Kardell—a chum of hers, to make matters worse. Troy has a reputation of being extra nice to his fans, but his girlfriends haven’t been getting too much consideration A happy note to the Luciana Paluzzi-Brett Halsey marriage difficulties—they’ve decided to reconcile. . . . But Molly Bee has called off her marriage to Sandy Kevin. . . . Hard-working Debbie Reynolds was elected President of the Thalians for the fourth year. . . . The Rory Calhouns and the Mickey Rooneys both welcomed baby girls. Well, that’s all for this month—Sara.



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