Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fun Finds: Vintage Movie Magazine

Once again, I’ve stumbled upon a vintage movie magazine and so, once again, I am sharing its contents with you here in The Underworld. This one is called Movie Mirror and is dated November of 1968 (and the price on the cover was “Only 25 cents!” For my part, this periodical was $3.00 at a local antique mall.) In order to properly read/view these pages, you may need to open the pictures in a new window by right-clicking them, thanks to the photo viewer in place on Google Blogger.

The cover story depicts sunglass-laden Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, with Miss Taylor allegedly in the throes of despair over an emergency hysterectomy. The other two featured articles concern Miss Barbara Stanwyck and the allegation that she shared her apartment with two men (!) and the prediction that Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra will reunite, despite their divorce, and that Mia will have Frank’s baby. As you can tell, the magazine was somewhat geared towards the sensational, especially compared to the more fluffy rags of a decade or so before.

The first story concerns Patty Duke and the oncoming unraveling of her first marriage. Harry Falk (thirteen years her senior) was an assistant director on The Patty Duke Show who knew Duke from that series in 1963 when she was but seventeen. They married in 1965 and he proceeded to direct a few of the installments of the hit show. When she made the quantum leap from perky sitcom girl to pill-popping, adulterous shrew Neely O’Hara in 1967's Valley of the Dolls, her career hit new highs, though he also continued to work steadily for many series including The Doris Day Show, The Flying Nun and Love, American Style. Duke was an undiagnosed bipolar sufferer who used alcohol and pills to self-medicate. She and Falk did indeed split up in 1969 and divorce in 1970. From there, he continued to great success as a TV director (helming 17 episodes of The Colbys along the way, which makes him something of a god in The Underworld!), but never remarried. He’s alive still now, though retired since 1989. She went on to a wild ride of manic-depressive mood swings, bouts of whirlwind romances, a paternity multiple choice mystery and three more husbands, though the last one (a drill sergeant!) in 1986 seems to have successfully stuck.

The sizeable gossip section, always a favorite thing to peruse so long after the fact, features a photo of the supermodel Twiggy and a male pal. She was then at or near the very top of her fame and the man, Justin de Villeneuve, was her business manager. Remarkably, she would retire from modeling in 1970 at the age of twenty-one and embark on a marginally successful acting and singing career. More recently, a career in reality television has kept her busy. She spent five seasons as a judge on America’s Next Top Model and continues to be active in the fashion industry. She is sixty-two at present.

Another twosome is shown that make quite a surprising match-up indeed. Screen legend Lana Turner is seen cackling away with Batman star Adam West. West’s offbeat sense of humor has been put to good use in recent years (since 2000) with a recurring role on the bizarrely hilarious animated The Family Guy. He is eighty-three today and just very recently got a long overdue star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Miss Turner passed away in 1995 at age seventy-four.

Interestingly, the column mentions Debbie Reynolds’ difficulty with husband Harry Karl’s gambling problem. Married since 1960, the union finally reached its breaking point in 1973 when Reynolds discovered that Karl had gambled away all of his own money along with virtually all of hers! Left with nothing to show for years of moviemaking, she had to hoof it on the stage and eventually sell her Hollywood home (and is still out there performing regularly today at age eighty.)

Incidentally, I had no clue that David Hemmings and Gayle Hunnicut were ever married (much less had a child together!) Wed in 1968, they were together until 1975. During the period of their marriage, they worked together in two movies and he directed her in another (she also made an unbilled appearance in The Love Machine in which he costarred.)

Look who we have on this next page! A rather rare shot of Miss Rita Hayworth. There are also shots of oldsters Groucho Marx and George Jessel as well as sitcom star Rose Marie. Marie was soon to start a three-year run on The Doris Day Show (The Dick Van Dyke Show having ended in 1966 after 5 seasons), but was already into her lengthy stint on the game show Hollywood Squares, a gig that would stretch, with varying levels of commitment, from 1966 to 1980! Rose Marie is still with us today at eighty-eight and remains sharp as a tack!

Reports of squabbling between David Janssen (of The Fugitive) and his wife Ellie were apparently not exaggerated, the two ended their twelve-year marriage in 1970. He would marry again in 1975, but, sadly, died of a heart attack in 1980 at only age forty-eight. I was surprised to see that Miss Edie Adams was pregnant in 1968 (by her second husband Marty Mills, her first husband Ernie Kovaks having died in an auto accident in 1962.) She was forty-one which was, for that time, rather advanced an age for impending motherhood! Her marriage to Mills spanned 1964 to 1971 and she would marry again in 1972 to musician Pete Candoli. Though they divorced in 1988, they both died in 2008. She was eighty-one. Her son, by the way, is Josh Harris, a handsome show business hyphenate trying to make it in his own right. (Sadly, Adams other child, a daughter with Kovacs, died in a car accident two decades after her father had done the same.)

Speaking of car accidents, it’s easy to see why the incorrect rumors about Jayne Mansfield’s death in a nasty crash were so deeply engrained in peoples’ psyches. Though she was fatally struck when her convertible smashed into the back of a semi and her hairpiece was removed from her head, she was not scalped or “beheaded” as this gossip item states. The wedding picture in the middle is that of Lawrence Welk Jr to a vocalist (Tanya Falan) from his dad's show. The union ended in 1979, which couldn't have been a very happy occasion for the highly traditional Welks. There’s a nice item geared towards Miss Doris Day and her troubles in the wake of her controlling and deceptive husband’s death. Whatever TV project that the author is referring to with Mae West did not happen. However, a little over a year after this, she returned to the big screen for the first time in twenty-seven years (in Myra Breckinridge.)

Get a load of Lee Marvin’s cross-eyed expression in the photo at the top left of the photo above left! There’s also a shot of blonde comedienne Marie Wilson, who had enjoyed a film career in the ‘30s and later won fame in a couple of My Friend Irma films and a subsequent TV series (the whole enterprise having firmly typecast her as a ditzy blonde.) Sadly, Miss Wilson died in 1972, just a few years after this issue, from cancer. She was fifty-six. The author fails to identify Peter Lawford's gal pal,but says he'd know her face anywhere... I don't! Anyone??

The next feature, also a sort of gossip segment, addresses several people. Jackie Gleason is shown with a female friend who is speculated to be more than that, but he was actually married at the time to his first wife (since 1936!) and would divorce her and marry a second in 1970. In ‘75, he divorced that one and married a third time, this one lasting until his death in 1987 at seventy-one (of colon and liver cancer.) The article also predicts that recently divorced Rod Taylor would soon marry again. In fact, he waited until 1980 when he wed the wife he is still married to today. (He is eighty-two.) There’s a photo of the aforementioned Edie Adams and new baby and then the surprising announcement that Mr. Paul Newman would be starring in Airport (presumably as general manager Mel Bakersfeld)! That did not come to pass as Burt Lancaster eventually essayed the role.

The continuing page offers info about singer Tiny Tim and Cliff Robertson, then in the midst of filming what would be his Oscar-winning role in Charley. There is also mention of Connie Stevens being dejected about losing the movie version of the play she had originated on Broadway. (For a Neil Simon show, it was not particularly successful, closing after 261 performances.) Not only did Connie not get to play the Star Spangled Girl, with Sandy Duncan winning the part, but this was after Britt Ekland, Ali MacGraw, Cybill Shepherd and Goldie Hawn all turned it down! Jacques Bergerac is pictured with his new “wife” Gloria Garrick. I can find no record at all of this marriage!! He had previously been wed to Ginger Rogers (1953-’57) and Dorothy Malone (1959-’64) but then that is it. A lawyer who became an actor through his older wife Rogers, he left the biz again in 1969 and proceeded to run the Paris office of Revlon cosmetics. Still alive today, he is eighty-four. This has to be one of the last photos of Bea Benaderet. The actress (famous for her roles on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction as well as providing the voice of Betty Rubble on The Flintstones), had been battling cancer and left Junction in 1967 (returning briefly in 1968.) She died in 1968 of lung cancer at age sixty-two (and truly looks quite well in this photo taken just before her demise!)
The big cover story about Elizabeth Taylor’s hysterectomy features a photo of her mother Francis (shown above), who was already quite busy dealing with her husband (and Taylor’s father) in the wake of a paralyzing heart attack. The article goes on to describe mother of four Liz’s heartache over knowing she couldn’t have another baby, this time with Richard Burton. Burton is described as having recently battled with director Tony Richardson over a film in which he dropped out. The film, Laughter in the Dark, was eventually made with Nicol Williamson, though most reports state that Burton (who had worked with Richardson beforehand on 1959’s Look Back in Anger) was fired for drunkenness and unreliability in meeting his call times. The whole article, like so many others, is very speculative. Reportedly, Taylor had already had a procedure before this that would prevent pregnancy because she tended to be high risk even when healthy (which, by 1968, she sort of wasn’t) so the whole angle of her distress over the possibility of motherhood was rather moot and unlikely. If anything, she may have felt like the onset of old age was coming on her after this surgery since she was only thirty-six at the time.

The story and photo-spread on Miss Barbara Stanwyck is really intriguing. Now we all know good and well that she didn’t sit down with some reporter from Movie Mirror and spill her guts about her early days in show biz, but the then-rather-current photographs seem to suggest a visit to her home and a pretty up close and personal encounter. I’m guessing that the pictures were taken by a photographer for some other purpose (another periodical, perhaps?) and these weren’t used and so were sold to Movie Mirror for use with their story.

There’s no real scandal to the story, despite the suggestive headline. It turns out that at the dawn of her career, when she was teenaged chorus hoofer Ruby Stevens, times were so tough that the only way to survive in The Big Apple was to share a small apartment (platonically, natch!) with two young men who had a Vaudeville act together. The guys slept in a pull-down Murphy bed and she had a curtained off alcove in the main room where she slept in relative privacy. In time, the boys went on to perform in England for a year and Stanwyck, by then, was successful enough to keep the apartment alone. (According to the article, she had a boyfriend at the time of this arrangement, then proceeded to romance one of her costars in a play who died suddenly on a ship to England himself!)

Eventually, she married Frank Fay (from 1928 to 1935), an actor whose career - in contrast to hers - was slipping, and they adopted a son, Dion. Then in 1939 she married Robert Taylor and was with him until 1952. (Both of them were whispered to be gay or bisexual and affairs punctuated their marriage throughout most of it.) She never wed again and had been estranged from her adopted son since 1951 when she passed away of heart failure and emphysema in 1990 at the age of eighty-two.

Here we have a two-page spread on the fashions of kooky Goldie Hawn, then a regular star on TV’s Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. She would soon win an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for the 1969 film Cactus Flower, but, remarkably, stayed with Laugh-In until 1973. During hiatuses of the hit comedy sketch show, she worked in films such as There’s a Girl in My Soup (1970) Butterflies Are Free (1972.) As time went by, it was markedly clear that the giggly, dim-bulb act shrouded a very savvy and intelligent lady. She had a string of hit movies including Shampoo (1975), Foul Play (1978) and Private Benjamin (1980), always managing to expand on her persona just enough to remain fresh and appealing. Now sixty-six, she has been absent from the big screen since 2002, perhaps finding it hard to blend her girly-goofy image with the maturity she had no choice but to acquire by now. Oh, and her four year marriage (1976 - 1980) to comedic actor Bill Hudson gave the world Kate Hudson…

There are articles about the on-again/off-again romance of Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, a profile that stresses the poetic ability of rough and ready actor Robert Mitchum, the challenges of single actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr, and a dissection of the marital woes of Dick Smothers (of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.) This article depicts the troubled marriage of Sean Connery and Diane Cilento. They’d wed in 1956 and had son Jason Connery in 1963. That same year, she was in Tom Jones and won an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress as did her costars Edith Evans and Joyce Redman! (The winner was Margaret Rutherford in The V.I.P.s.) Cilento let her career slip to the side after becoming a mother and Sean became white-hot once the James Bond series took off (starting in 1962.) He also allegedly had some affairs along the way, including his Shalako costar Brigitte Bardot (shown here around the same time as this article, though this photo is not from the magazine itself. The next photo of Connery and Cilento isn't either, but is just here for reference - and for her hairdo!) She did author a novel and accept the occasional film role, though all but retired when she and Connery finally divorced in 1973 (one imagines she got a decent settlement!) In 1985, she married playwright and screenwriter Peter Schaffer and eventually settled in Australia where they remained wed until his 2001 death. She played her son Jason’s mother in the 1985 Australian film The Boy Who Had Everything which, aside from some 1994 Australian TV appearances, was the last screen acting of her career. She died in 2011 at the age of seventy-eight of cancer. For his part, Connery married again in 1975 to Micheline Roquebrune and they are together still today. He is eighty-one.
This is a feature about divorced dad Sidney Poitier taking three of his four daughters to Rome on a shopping and sightseeing spree while considering a movie offer there. (I don’t believe the movie - whatever it was - ever came to fruition, at least not with him starring in it.) Poitier and his first wife Juanita had divorced in 1965 after having been wed since 1950. The year after this magazine was published, he starred in The Lost Man with Canadian actress Joanna Shimkus and the two got on very well. Staying in contact afterwards, they became a couple, had kids and ultimately married in 1976 and are still together now. He is eighty-five years old and she is sixty-nine (and has since left acting soon after their marriage to pursue a career as an interior designer.) Between the two wives, Poitier amassed a total of six daughters! The last one born in 1973 is Sydney Tamiia Poitier, a successful television actress, though two of her sisters (Pamela - shown in this spread as Pam - and Anika) also pursued the family craft for a limited time.
There’s a story on newcomer Barbra Streisand and her perceived reputation as a control freak. The primary photo could scarcely be less flattering! (Her skin has quite a few pocks in it.) Oddly, the article goes on to mention how free of strain and conflict the set of Hello Dolly! is, when now it is known to have been a virtual cage-fight between Walter Matthau and her!

Faye Dunaway was and is my world, but even I have trouble sitting through her 1968 film A Place for Lovers, in which she costarred with Marcello Mastroianni. While filmed among exquisite mansions and striking Italian scenery (and with some chic costumes for Miss D.), its dreary, oblique story couldn’t be any less involving. (I say “story,” of which there is precious little despite five credited writers in addition to the original playwright (yes, it was based on a play!)

She portrays a very sick woman who flees medical care in order to enjoy a final fling with a wealthy race car driver she scarcely knows. Her real-life romantic scenario was probably more compelling than the movie! She was dating fashion photographer Jerry Schatzberg, who was recently divorced from his wife of eighteen years. She and Jerry were considered engaged, but she fell for the long-married Mastroianni during Lovers and proceeded to have an affair with him, even living with him for about two years. However, Schatzberg was the director of her very next film, Puzzle of a Downfall Child! Mastroianni died in 1996 of pancreatic cancer at the age of seventy-two, having never divorced his estranged wife, but having had a couple of longtime companions (including Catherine Deneuve, with whom he fathered a child.) Ah, the messy lives of movie stars…

Now comes a profile on Lena Horne, the 1940s MGM musical star who faced constant hamstringing in her roles due to being black, but who nonetheless managed to forge a lengthy and successful career as a vocalist. She had been married from 1937 to 1944 (though separated from 1940 on) to black man who fathered her two children. Her success in contrast to his blue-collar background caused many problems for them. In Paris in 1947, she married a white MGM music arranger named Lennie Hayton (shown with her here), which caused no small amount of uproar.

She later admitted that the initial reason for the marriage was to advance her career and aid in crossing the color barrier, though it didn’t really work out that way. However, in time, she did learn to love him in a way, though they eventually had several separations. They lived in the more open-minded Europe for a while and eventually returned to California (where they were greeted with much prejudice), then relocated to New York where they hoped that their relationship would be more accepted. Small inroads of activism (such as requiring “white” hotels in which she performed to accept reservations from black patrons) eventually gave way to more overt action. This was instigated by an event during one of her concerts in which she was insulted by a white man and she struck him in retaliation. Afterwards, she no longer cowered from saying and doing what she felt was just.

Hayton (who was nine years her senior) died in 1971 of a heart attack and Horne never remarried. She continued on to a near-legendary career until her death of heart failure in 2010 at the age of ninety-two. Her son died of kidney disease the year before Hayton at only age thirty. Her daughter was married for about fifteen years to famed film director Sidney Lumet (and one of their daughters, Jenny Lumet, grew up to work as an actress and writer.)

Towards the back of the magazine, there is the final bit of an earlier gossip segment. There is a photo of Cher, who was then pregnant, and mention of a prior miscarriage, making this impending birth of Chastity (now Chaz) a source of some concern. There’s also a shot from the wedding of Tim O’Kelly to Evelyn Rudie. Rudie had made quite a splash in a 1956 Playhouse 90 version of Eloise (with costars of no less notoriety than Ethel Barrymore, Hans Conried, Kay Thompson and Monty Woolley), but by the early-’60s her career as an actress had sputtered out. O’Kelly was a toothy, hunky young actor whose career on screen only lasted from the mid-to-late-’60s. At the time of this issue, he had just starred in the small-budget, but starkly arresting Targets. His biggest claim to fame was playing Danno in the pilot for Hawaii 5-O only to be replaced for the series by James MacArthur. This marriage was annulled very soon and Kelly never remarried, but Rudie did so in 1970 to a man she remains wed to today more than forty years later. She turned to stage acting and ultimately became co-artistic director and resident playwright at The Santa Monica Playhouse . She is sixty-three today. (No info on O’Kelly’s age could be found!)

These are most of the stars and stories included in this magazine (which, sadly, had no color pages apart from the cover with the insides being ads.) A couple of ads are shown below that might interest one or two of you. For example, my mother actually had the perfume sampler! I thought it looked so exotic and expensive on her dresser (and she practically never touched any of them.) Maybe those my age and older have seen it before. The color ad for toiletry products made me smile because of the package design and a couple of the names. I had forgotten that lipstick used to come in METAL sheathes, not plastic, which rules the day now. The Fredericks of Hollywood ad has a couple of hooty clothes and drawings. What struck me was how the logo got messed up in the printing process! Did they get a discount or another ad later for free? I’ll be back soon with more celebrity reflections and recollections!


joel65913 said...

Fun article as usual, not positive but the woman with Peter Lawford looks like a short haired, groovied out Elizabeth Ashley. I'm pretty sure Diane Cilento just died last year.

Poseidon3 said...

Of course... an effing typo! I'll fix right away. Thanks, joel!

Ken Anderson said...

It's always a hoot to look at Hollywood press coverage in the old days. I guess because they figured they're writing for a predominantly female readership, the articles have such a "chatty" feel to them...like articles in a sewing magazine or something. Second, I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the observation about the Dunaway film with Mastroianni...I SO concur. It's hard to watch. Lastly, I was distracted from the pock marks on La Streisand's dreaded right profile due to wondering what the hell Bill Cosby is wearing in the smaller photo with her. It looks like one of those Eleganza suits or some dashiki/suit mashup. Whatever it is, it's odious.
Thanks for another fun post.

NotFelixUnger said...

Awesome! My favorite line, "There’s a story on newcomer Barbra Streisand and her perceived reputation as a control freak."

There are so many ways to read that line out loud and one can enjoy every single version. :-)

Oh! After being around for 44 years she still claims the reputation is unfounded and she is just a "perfectionist."

Scooter said...

Love the tidbit about Cher (of Sonny and Cher!) awaiting the birth of her bubula. I'm guessing it was Chaz.