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Sara Entertains Hollywood

Martha Hyer’s full-length cream-streaked mink coat was the eye-knocker-out of my party. “I’ve got to have one like it,” I heard at least three women sigh while their husbands—even the enormously important Lew Wasserman, President of MCA, pretended not to hear. But then Edie Wasserman knows she can have the world as for as Lew is concerned. And me, too, if I had it. Producer Ross Hunter progressed from lovely Virginia Grey to Mrs. Jules Stein, wife of Chairman of the Board of the world’s largest agency, Music Corporation of America, on to Margo Moore and Anne Francis. From those two, he came to a permanent stop beside Evelyn Pain, Photoplay’s chic and lovely editor.

But then every eye in the room was turned her way, as usual. “I think Frances Heflin, Van’s wife, is one of the greatest women in this town,” Tab Hunter told me during the evening, “but I’m really in love with Felicia Farr.” Just to complicate matters, I relayed Tab’s confession to Felicia while she and her escort, Jack Lemmon, were chatting in a corner. I must say Jack, who had hurried back from lecturing on the art of motion pictures at Stanford University, looked rather startled. And about that lecture, the Stanford lads were vitally interested in all Jack had to say, and were mighty appreciative. They should be. He’s the greatest! And speaking of Tab, his old house in Glendale, surrounded by its accusing neighbors, now stands empty and forlorn. Tab and his dog have moved elsewhere. . . .

Chatted with popular Andy Williams who modestly refuses to believe that you, his fans, are interested. “Do you mean people really write in about me?” he asked. Now what can you do with modesty such as that? . . . Mike Dante brought socialite Fern Gimble to Photoplay’s young people’s party at George Lim’s famous Kowloon Restaurant, and Nancy Kwan showed up with Mark Damon. It turned out Nancy and George are old friends. Very direct and not given to small talk, Nancy was the most vibrant personality in the room. . . . Efrem Zimbalist called to say Stephanie was snowed in at Big Bear and couldn’t get down for the party. I was sorry, as Ef and Stephanie are two of my favorites. And I am happy they’ve decided to give their marriage another try. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for this popular couple.

The Changing Clan

Pete Lawford and Frank Sinatra, who quarreled at that whoop-de-doo Frank put on in Washington, D.C., have only recently resumed speaking. And Frank, who has been riding the water wagon for some time, was a living doll during his stint at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. His entire family, including Nancy Sr., Nancy Jr., looking chic as ever as a blonde, and her husband, Tommy Sands, were guests of Frank’s, who couldn’t have been more charming. No one is too sure about Ava Gardner’s trip to Las Vegas to see Frank—some say she flew out, but did an about-face at the airport when she realized that Nancy Sr. was in town. Rather a sad story, don’t you think? . . . Another mystery: Annette denied that she was planning to have her nose fixed, but then turned up at a party with what certainly looked like a bobbed nose. . . .

Peace, happiness and contentment are Debbie Reynolds’ these days, and I’m happy for her. Her vacation with Harry and the children in Jamaica did her a world of good. But there is one thing that needs clearing up and that’s a song Debbie wrote, “Tammy, This Is True,” and tried to sell producer Ross Hunter for his movie, “Tammy, Tell Me True” with Sandra Dee playing the role Debbie played in the original “Tammy.” Instead, a title song, “Tammy, Tell Me True,” was chosen by Ross and recorded by Sandra. Now Debbie plans to record her own song, which makes so many “Tammy” numbers floating around no one knows who is who! . . . Roger Smith’s wife Vici Shaw has recuperated from a recent illness, and those two seem more in love than ever. . . . There’s been quite a reaction to handsome, leading-man type Horst Buchholz. Keep your eye on him.

Love—It’s in the Air!

It’s a love match all the way with Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, and from all I can see, their love grows stronger every day. “She’s the most wonderful baby in the world,” says Bobby proudly. “I never want her to change.” As for Sandra, she glows, she beams, she radiates happiness when she speaks of Bobby. “I put my hand in his and I know everything is all right,” she says. “I feel secure and safe with Bobby. I love him so very much.” Of course, she realizes there exist differences in the way they think about their careers. But to Sandra, Bobby is the answer to her every problem. And no wonder, for Bobby still woos her tenderly and lovingly. For instance, while Bobby was performing in Las Vegas, she found notes all over the house saying, “I love you,” “I miss you, I need you.” It’s no wonder she loves him as deeply as Bobby loves her. It’s a real hearts and flowers marriage, and make no mistake about it. . . .

Far from separated, despite the recent rumors, the Bob Denversare closer than ever. In fact, they are now a family of four. Such delightful people, the Denvers. . . . “Either we become a family of two,” Dolores Hawkins warned handsome Gardner McKay, “or I cease to exist in your life.” And with that, Dolores, who commuted between New York and Hollywood to visit Gardner, flounced back east to her modeling jobs. Gardner is still thinking it over. . . . Joanne Woodward denies all those rumors of trouble in the Paul Newman household. “In fact, says Joanne, “Paul and I are having another baby next summer.” Susan Kohner and George Hamilton may be engaged by the time you read this. Susan said it would be soon, and who knows, George may finally be ready to settle down after all.

What’s New Around Town

“She’s beautiful,” I said to Glenn Ford as we sat chatting at the Don Loper party. His eyes followed my glance toward Hope Lange, who came with Glenn. “She has the profile of an angel,” I said. Glenn agreed. “But underneath that angel calm—look out,” he said. . . . I hear Monsieur Montand of the Montand-Monroeepisode tried his charms on Lee Remick during the making of “Sanctuary,” and much to his embarrassment, Lee reacted with laughter. . . . Stella Stevens is ready to face the music when she returns to Memphis, to fight for custody of her small son. Charged with taking her son out of the state illegally, before he was snatched back by his father, Stella may face a stiff fine. Doug McClure, the blond, handsome lad of the “Checkmate” series, came to call with his best girl, Barbara Luna. At the moment, the courtship of Doug and Barbara moves along quietly. “We don’t want to announce an engagement until my divorce is final,” Doug told me. . . . There is a wonderful radiance about Troy Donahue and Lili Kardell since the announcement of their engagement. And after meeting Lili, I’d say she’s the right girl for Troy. . . . There were a lot of surprised people in Hollywood when Connie Stevens and Gary Clarke said it was all off, despite all the altar plans.

Liz Near Death

It was touch-and-go for Liz Taylor when she was stricken with double pneumonia in London. At one point, her doctors gave her only an hour to live. But she rallied, to the great relief of Eddie and her parents keeping up the long vigil at her bedside. This has probably been the most unfortunate and tragic year of Liz’ life. She’s been plagued by one illness after another, and it seems the end isn’t in sight yet. Even though she managed to win the desperate fight for her life, she will have to take it very easy for about a year. Another bout with illness would be disastrous. But after the fifth day, when she rallied, everyone seemed certain that all would be well in the Eddie Fisher household once again. I certainly hope so.

Judi Meredith

What a hullabaloo when millionaire Bob Westbrook, in seeking an annulment from Judi Meredith, claimed, “Judi isn’t the dewey-eyed innocent she pretended to be.” Says Judi, “I will oppose any attempt to end our marriage through either annulment or divorce.” In view of several overly-frank statements made by young Westbrook and all the mud-slinging, one wonders where the whole unpleasant thing will end. . . . Shocking news from New York, where popular rock ‘n’ roll singer Jackie Wilson was shot by a fan, who claimed that she loved him and would kill herself if he wouldn’t accept her overtures of friendship. The gun went off, wounding Jackie severely, when he tried to take it away from her. . . . Dinah Shore won’t be seeing the USA in her Chevrolet next year. After so many years, she and her sponsor called it quits. During a recent Las Vegas engagement, Dinah said, “On TV I only change clothes. Here at Vegas I sing.” However, she will probably have a new TV show next year with a new format and sponsor.

Mailbox Corner:

In the mail came a huge card from George Nader with the printed words “Let’s Frolic.” George added “and soon.” I’m all for it as George is one of the finest gents in town. . . . From Dolores Hart came one of her greeting cards in the “Sweethart” series. Dolores is doing very well in her greeting card business, and in romance, too, having discovered John Saxon, for whom I have the greatest admiration. . . . A telegram came from Janet and Tony Curtis hoping we can get together soon. And I hope so, too. . . . Sweet messages attached to beautiful flowers arrived from both Barbara Stanwyck and Loretta Young, plus a telephone call from Cary Grant and one from a very old friend, Janet Gaynor. . . . And so very welcome was a letter from Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer who have been in Hollywood longer than they expected. Wonderful people, Audrey and Mel. Well, that’s all for this month. And don’t forget—keep writing! I look forward to your letters and cards.


It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MAY 1961

1 Comment
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