Monday, August 31, 2015

Come Back, Little Diva

Today, we're taking note of a dozen film actresses (most of who could probably be considered divas, others perhaps not!) who once reigned supreme on the big screen, but then took an extended hike from the movies, whether they liked it or not, only to come back again years later (sometimes - but not always - with dire results.) We don't care whether the movies were any good or not, though. We just love to see the old mares back in action again! More on our cover girl shown on the left in a moment...
First we find Miss Janet Gaynor, the first actress ever to receive an Oscar (for Seventh Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans! Soon after, the award would be dedicated to a single performance instead of a whole season of them.) In movies from the mid-1920s, she enjoyed considerable popularity through 1938 (with 1937's A Star is Born gleaning her another Oscar nom, though she lost to Luise Rainer for The Good Earth.) She married famed costume designer Adrian in 1939 and retired from the screen.

Though she made a rare, but occasional, appearance on TV, she was coaxed out of retirement in 1959 (the same year Adrian died) to anchor the film debut of Pat Boone in Bernardine. She played the mother of costar Dick Sergeant and was the caring den mother of his college cronies including Boone. The guys had created a fictional female (Bernardine) and entered "her" in a contest, which "she" won! Most folks considered the movie "cute" or "nice" and it was Gaynor's last, though she did pop up for a requisite trip on The Love Boat in 1981 (passing away three years later from complications of a nasty taxi accident she'd suffered along with Mary Martin. She was seventy-seven.)
Miss Alice Faye morphed from a Jean Harlow-esque copycat to one of the most popular singing movie actresses of her time. Her deep, alto voice was featured in hit after hit musical, often alongside Don Ameche or Tyrone Power. Her song-filled movies had made money hand over fist for her home studio 20th Century Fox (which she nicknamed "Penitentiary Fox") and she eventually longed to try out a dramatic career, finally getting a shot at it with Fallen Angel in 1945, but when she discovered that studio head Darryl F. Zanuck had mercilessly edited her performance down to a shadow of what she'd shot, she got in her car, drove off the lot without any of her possessions and ended her career in movies on the spot.

She'd married comedian Phil Harris in 1941 and didn't need the hassle any more. She and Harris enjoyed a popular radio program together and raised their two children. In 1962, she was enlisted to portray Pat Boone's mother (what is it with Pat Boone?!) in a remake of State Fair. Cast opposite Tom Ewell, who she found less handsome than some of her costars of old, she was shocked at the demise of the business as she'd known it during the intervening 16 years and said so. She occasionally took on tiny parts in movies (including The Magic of Lassie in 1978) and like most other folks rode The Love Boat (in 1980), but stayed mostly retired until her death in 1998 of stomach cancer at age eighty-three.

Miss Claudette Colbert began acting in films in the late-1920s and started to make a name for herself in Cecil B. DeMille epics like The Sign of the Cross (1932) and Cleopatra (1934) while also proving to be highly adept at the soap operatics of Imitation of Life (1934) and romantic comedy such as It Happened One Night (1934), for which she won an Oscar. She was a considerable leading lady of the movies, but by 1955 was finding it hard to maintain her status. She did a bit of TV here and there, but was absent from movie screens.

In 1961, she returned to feature films with top-billing, but secondary publicity and promotion, as the mother of Troy Donahue in Parrish. Gone were costars like Clark Gable, Ronald Colman and Charles Boyer and in their place was... Karl Malden. Colbert still looked fit and lovely in the movie, but disappeared from screens again for a quarter of a century, popping up as Ann-Margret's nemesis in The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1987), a well-heeled TV-movie in which she still looked great. Colbert lived to be ninety-two until a series of strokes claimed her in 1996.

Polish siren Miss Pola Negri began making films in 1914 when she was but a teenager. One 1919 silent Madame Du Barry, in which she was the title character, caused a sensation in Europe as well as in the U.S. when it was released in 1922 as "Passion." She and its director Ernst Lubitsch were drawn to America where he prospered and she became a vamp akin to Theda Bara. A highly-public romance with Rudolph Valentino was also in the cards, but her intense overreaction to his death (complete with public fainting spells) put a bad taste in the public's mouth. The one-two punch of film censorship regarding sinful behavior on-screen and the advent of sound, in which her heavy accent was a handicap, helped lead to the end of her career in the early-1930s, though she worked in German and European films until 1943.
In 1964, she burst out of obscurity to take on the role of a glamorous woman of mystery in The Moonspinners (1964), starring Hayley Mills. Walt Disney himself approached Negri about taking on the part in this "Hitchcock for Kids"-style thriller. Her character had a pet cheetah (as suggested by her versus the everyday house cat the script called for!) Just prior to this movie, she'd been living with a female oil heiress for six years until the woman's death and had never remarried after her second divorce in 1931. Negri never acted on-screen again, but lived until 1987 when she died of pneumonia and the effects of an untreated brain tumor at age ninety.
One of many highly-flamboyant and at times scandalous silent film actresses was Alla Nazimova, who also went as simply Nazimova. A student of Konstantin Stanislovski and his "Method" acting, she in time broke away from that practice and developed her own ways of conveying extraordinary tragedy, a specialty of hers. On film from 1916, her career was hampered by the Production Code, which was dampening the type of sexually charged roles she'd perfected. She also suffered bad publicity when one of her marriages was revealed to have been a sham from the start. (She was a lesbian who, despite one earlier "real" marriage, had always maintained relationships with women. By 1925, it was all over in Hollywood.

After fifteen years away from the movies, she returned in 1940 to play Robert Taylor's mother in Escape. Her character was in a Nazi internment camp awaiting extermination with Taylor and his glamorous friend Norma Sheared struggling to get her freed. She followed this up with Blood and Sand (1941) as Tyrone Power's mother and continued to act until her death from coronary thrombosis in 1945. She was sixty-six and had been living with a woman since 1929 at The Garden of Allah, which had once long before been her own estate The Garden of Alla!
Hedy Lamarr was (and still is) considered to be one of the cinema's most beautiful and photogenic actresses of all time. The Austrian beauty had made a splash, literally, in 1933 at age eighteen when she filmed a nude bathing sequence in Ecstasy. (She was also shown in an implied orgasm sequence!) Marriage to what turned out to be a Nazi caused her to flee to Paris where MGM's Louis B. Mayer spotted and hired her. She became a hot property thanks to her glamorous looks, though her roles tended to be thin on character depth and dialogue. As the 1950s dawned, things career-wise became dire and she was finished in Hollywood after 1951's Bob Hope comedy My Favorite Spy.

Lamarr did a few projects in Italy and filmed a scene in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957) which was cut before release, but was finally seen again briefly (along with a raft of other stars) in the 1957 Irwin Allen debacle The Story of Mankind as Joan of Arc. (That's her at the top of this page with a pre-toupee Allen!) In 1958, she played Jane Powell's adoptive mother, a glamorous actress, who is romantically involved with the same man (scantily-clad George Nader) as Powell! The movie was The Female Animal. It was the last movie she'd make. She intended to work in Picture Mommy Dead (1966), but an eyebrow-raising autobiography and an arrest for shoplifting led to her being replaced by Zsa Zsa Gabor. No dummy she, Lamarr patented a sound spectrum/frequency-hopping method that laid the groundwork for today's wi-fi signals! Her colorful, roller-coaster life ended in 2000 when a myriad of heart problems claimed her at age eighty-five.
You could search the world and the annals of history and be hard-pressed to find a more brazenly candid, outrageous or sexually-voracious actress of talent than Miss Tallulah Bankhead. Chiefly a contributor to Broadway theatre, she had a stop & start career in movies beginning in 1918 (when she was but sixteen years old!) After establishing herself more significantly on The Great White Way, she had another round of film work, but often had to stand and watch as Bette Davis recreated her stage successes on celluloid. (Many folks felt that Davis also channeled Bankhead in 1950's All About Eve.) Already a bit of a comeback kid the time she made Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944) after twelve years without a role in the cinema, she was again absent from the big screen by 1953.

In 1965, after a long stretch away from the movies (and some significantly hard living, dallying in vices of all sorts), Bankhead startled the world by traveling to England and portraying a staggeringly devout, careworn, plain-faced old bat named Mrs. Trefoyle in The Fanatic (called Die! Die! My Darling! in the U.S.) The deranged character was holding her deceased son's fiancee Stefanie Powers captive in order to keep his soul pure. She threw herself into the juicy part full throttle and knocked it out of the park, though most audiences at the time wrote the enterprise off as just another excursion into hag horror. By 1968, Bankhead was dead from the triple whammy of pneumonia, the flu and emphysema, aged sixty-six, but appearing older. The year before she died, she managed to turn in a two-part Batman episode playing the campy villainess The Black Widow.

Another comeback queen with more than one instance was the ultra-glamorous silent movie legend Gloria Swanson. After nine years away from movie screens, she took a starring role that many other old-timers turned down in Sunset Blvd (1950), playing a washed-up, out-of touch actress craving a comeback. Swanson earned an Oscar nom (losing to Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday), but was unable to parlay her regained fame into many more movie roles. By 1956 she was all gone again except for the occasional guest role on television.
She swept back onto movie screens in 1974 with Airport 1975, the first sequel to the blockbuster hit Airport (1970.) The role of a famous actress traveling on a red eye flight was initially offered to long-absent Greta Garbo, who unsurprisingly turned it down. Swanson opted to play the part but make it a version of herself instead of a fictional role! She wrote all of her own hooty dialogue and even managed to work in publicity for her mammoth autobiography "Swanson on Swanson." This proved to be her final acting role on-screen, though she lived to be eighty-four, passing from a heart ailment in 1983 (after having led a life of extremely careful nutrition.)
Sleek, eye-poppingly stylish, German actress Miss Marlene Dietrich was another unique persona who rarely, if ever, held back her thoughts on life and on other people she encountered. Having kicked around in German movies for the better part of a decade, she scored big in 1930 with The Blue Angel and the film's director Josef Von Sternberg guided her to Hollywood and considerable success there in a string of films. A top female star during the 1930s, '40s and '50s, she in time began taking glamorous cameo roles, though 1957's Witness for the Prosecution allowed her a pretty meaty leading part. After 1961, she concentrated more heavily on her career as a nightclub entertainer than as a movie actress.

Seventeen years after having last been featured in a movie, Dietrich popped up for a sequence in the 1978 David Bowie film Just a Gigolo. She shared a scene with the star and then proceeded to sing a song (the title number.) Seventy-seven years old, she managed to appear far younger than that, but the image-conscious actress (who'd once allowed her skintight bodysuits to cut into her wrists and ankles until they bled!) was done. She offered her voice to the documentary Marlene (1984), but wouldn't appear on camera. She died of kidney failure at age ninety in 1992, having been bedridden for a dozen years in the wake of a fractured leg. Dietrich, who was known for her open sexuality (with men and women) was married only once (for fifty-two years!), but had only lived with the man for five years.

America's favorite "good girl" in musicals and as the wife of assorted heroes, June Allyson recovered from four years of rehabilitation from a childhood accident to become a Broadway chorus singer and dancer. Catching a break when Betty Hutton developed the measles, Allyson parlayed her understudy appearance into a role in a subsequent show and when that second show was filmed as a movie (Best Foot Forward, 1943), she was on her way. Many starring roles followed through the late-1950s whereupon she turned to the stage and TV for work. A tumultuous off-screen life (including alcohol abuse, an affair with Alan Ladd and the death of her husband Dick Powell) was at odds with her movie persona.
In 1972, Allyson returned to the big screen in a role that was utterly at odds with her usual array of portrayals! True, she'd made one attempt at being a villain (in 1955's The Shrike, a box office bust), but this time she jumped off the cliff as a dour, tough, lesbian murderess in They Only Kill Their Masters. The film starred James Garner and Katharine Ross, but also featured an array of veteran players in supporting roles (one of whom was a dissipated Peter Lawford, who'd costarred with Allyson in far sunnier pictures like Good News, 1947, and Little Women, 1949.) Allyson worked through 2001 (becoming a highly visible spokesperson for Depends undergarments), but died of respiratory failure in 2006 at age eighty-eight.
Easily one of the most exotic and striking actresses of 1920s and '30s cinema was Miss Anna May Wong, who cut a dazzling figure in beautiful costumes and had talent to spare. She, however, was only ever able to rise to a certain point in fame because it was then the practice to cast Caucasians in Asian roles even when a capable, in this case Chinese, one was on hand! Thus she found herself in supporting parts or with leads in lower-budget fare and without the ability to perform love scenes against a white costar. Having maintained a film career through 1942, she made only one more motion picture in 1949 before departing for television and radio.
In 1960, Wong was brought back to movie screens to play the imperious, possibly nefarious housekeeper of Lana Turner in the glossy Ross Hunter-produced mystery Portrait in Black. She next appeared as a guest on The Barbara Stanwyck Show and with a role set for her in Hunter's upcoming production of Flower Drum Song (1961) seemed primed for a prolific comeback, but illness followed by a massive heart attack claimed her before she could work on the musical (Juanita Hall played her part.) She was fifty-six.
A lifelong pusher of the sexual envelope, first on stage and then on screen, Miss Mae West was a curvaceous, wise-cracking pistol who always seemed to be generating controversy and public unrest whenever she performed. In the early-1930s, she embarked on a film career that, while successful, was consistently hamstrung by the moral codes of the day. She did her best to allow her famed double entendres to slip through the censors' eyes, but rarely without difficulty. By 1943, she had retreated from the movies and returned to her spicy and flavorful stage extravaganzas which often featured a bevy of musclemen at attention.
1970, however, twenty-seven years after her previous movie, found her back in action again. Myra Breckinridge featured her as a lascivious talent agent, bedecked in Edith Head costumes (the same designer who'd created many of her earlier looks at Paramount) and spouting a lot of the same sort of one-liners that had gleaned her attention decades earlier. The movie was quite a mess, but she reveled in the newfound attention it afforded her. She might have quit while she was ahead, but instead came back again eight years later for Sextette (1978), a dazzlingly bad musical that tarnished her reputation (with the 73 people who happened to see it, that is!) Within two years she was dead from complications of a series of strokes at age eighty-seven.

The title of this post is, of course, a play on Come Back, Little Sheba (1953), but it turns out that quite a few of these gals were little in stature if not in fame. Marlene Dietrich and Anna May Wong were tallest at reportedly 5'7" and 5'6," but no one else went above 5'5" and four of the gals were 5' even! There may be some others who didn't get singled out this time, but if there are enough of them, perhaps I'll revisit the subject again in the future.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today, August 24th is the sixth birthday of Poseidon's Underworld. Hard to believe it's been toddling along all that time. Looking back at that very first post, I do think I've stuck to my goals with it pretty closely, though the style of the posts has morphed here and there over time.

Like young Miss Temple, we're ever-evolving and (hopefully) growing with each passing year.
Shirley Temple
Sometimes we're sexy,
Brigitte Bardot
Sometimes we're scary,
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark & friend.
Sometimes we could use a good, stiff drink!
Betty Ford
Sometimes we think this birthday will be the last.
Marilyn Monroe on what would be her last birthday.
Shirley Temple as a teen.
We're ever-reluctant to give up, however. A couple of weeks ago, I was sure that my new work computer system and monitor had sounded the death knell of the site, but I've managed to arrange my screen to remain mostly hidden for the time being! (And now I'm also a contortionist!  LOL)

So for now we're still plugging along, slow but steady. We're getting rather close to the site's 500th post! I hope to make it a good one. Just know that if the days between posts stretch rather far, it's only because I haven't been able to finish one, not that I haven't wanted to. THANK YOU so much to all my readers, regular and otherwise, who have supported this blog with your attention and comments. It's still ad-free, which is how I hope it will always be, though I could probably rake in some serious dough if I changed it. Till next time, Poseidon!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fun Finds: Modern Screen, August 1973

Well, I've done it again! I was spelunking through a local antique mall and found this poor, distressed, heavily-abused magazine among the assorted bric-a-brac of a certain vendor's booth. Dated August of '73, it would have hit the streets a couple of months before that actual date. The poor thing was yellowed and barely held together, but I did what any other archeologist would do. I excavated it and have attempted to archive its contents the best I can! (Something Dr. Brockton of Trog taught me? LOL) You may need to open in a new tab or window to read the pages clearly.

First up is a review of the then-new feature film Paper Moon. The magazine gives the pic, especially star Tatum O'Neal (who would go on to win an Oscar), high marks and applauds it for harkening back to the good old days. (I do, however, seem to recall Paper Moon featuring at least some language that would NOT have been found in a 1930s movie!) On the same page is a photo of one of my best friends of the '80s & '90s, Aqua Net hairspray! I always used the Super Extra Hard-to-Hold Unscented in the lavender can, though. Remarkably, I'm not completely bald today, but it's coming...

I'm devoting a fair amount of coverage to longtime columnist Dorothy Manners' gossip section because we all love to read the various tidbits about this star and that. No matter how many times I see it in print, I always have a hard time imaging Liza Minnelli in a relationship with EITHER Desi Arnaz Jr. OR Peter Sellers. I mean, can you imagine Liza having Lucille Ball as a mother-in-law?! Then again, I've often had trouble buying into Ms. Minnelli's relationship's and marriages, especially that last one!

On this page, we're already back to Ryan O'Neal and daughter Tatum, this time describing the torment she was going through at being separated from him after they spent months filming their movie. O'Neal was dating Ursula Andress at the time and on the cusp of filming Barry Lyndon, which didn't see release until 1975! The project mentioned with Orson Welles didn't come to fruition. There is also mention of Patricia Neal's daughter Tessa Dahl, who acted with her mother in Happy Mother's Day, Love George (1973) alongside Bobby Darin, Cloris Leachman and Ron Howard. She did very little on screen after that (and her older, British boyfriend Freddie Eldrett never worked on screen again after 1967!)

An interview with the rather reclusive Al Pacino has him opening up about his childhood and even a bit about his love life. I had no clue that he and Jill Clayburgh had been an item for five years! Another blurb focuses on the (ill) health of Burt Reynolds and Laurence Harvey and blessedly includes a shirtless photo of Burt lifting a weight.

This page offers up a couple of treats. There's a photo of Carol Burnett receiving a trophy in the wake of a Friar's Club Roast in her "honor." Then there's one of her after being hit in the face with a cream pie, allegedly unexpected! We also see Miss Doris Day on the town astride her trusty bicycle. No one, perhaps not even Doris, realized that she would never again act in a movie or on TV after 1973. The article mentions the irony of Burt Reynolds' and Dinah Shore's exes appearing in television ads during Dinah's show, the recent marriage of Mannix' Gail Fisher and, sadly, the widow and son of Clark Gable being forced to sell their beloved ranch.

I positively love this page, riddled with Old Hollywood stars. At the top ate Alexis Smith and Alice Faye with some unnamed buddies. Where was Smith's husband Craig Stevens this night?! Joan Fonatine appears to have goosed her date right when the picture snapped. Joan Bennett receives a mother of the year award with her daughters and granddaughter. Then we have an highly unusual pairing - Myrna Loy and Lainie Kazan! It says that Kazan was fired from the 1973 Broadway revival of "The Women" (which Loy was in, as was Alexis Smith) because they "wanted a blonde." Wigs hadn't been invented yet in 1973?? That was a rough year because Kazan was also replaced in "Seesaw" by Michele Lee shortly before opening! Finally, Terpsichorean titans Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are reunited for a tribute to them.

Interesting reading here about Debbie Reynolds and her then-hit Broadway show "Irene." She talks about moving from Hollywood to New York with her kids, Carrie and Todd (Carrie is in the show, too, seated prettily on the floor!) and a potentially deadly accident that Todd had with an old "prop" gun. Of course, one burning question is: Why did Irene Sharaff decide to costume the petite, still-in-shape musical comedy star as if she were one of those Barbie doll birthday cakes in which the person icing it was unable to stop until he covered the arms and got all the way up to the chin?!

The final page has an article about motion picture up-and-comer Marisa Berenson, on the verge of costarring with Ryan O'Neal in Barry Lyndon. The article suggests that they might become lovers even though he was then dating Ursula Andress and even still married to Leigh Taylor-Young! Maybe the columnists knew him pretty well. LOL The final part of the page is devoted to some letters from readers and Manners' responses to them.

This was a fun feature! "Catching Up With..." (a precursor to, or is it rip-off of, those "What Ever Became Of..." books that I adore.) We get a contemporary photo of Laraine Day, who left the movie business in the late-1940s, tired of the empty promises of studio execs and eager to begin a new life in New York City with her second husband. She worked on TV and still did the occasional film (such as 1954's The High and the Mighty), but her more high-profile years were finished. (She looks lovely - a lifelong avoider of smoking & drinking of any alcohol, coffee or tea! - but those eyebrows!! Wowza.)

Day was a devout Morman, though married three times in all! The final marriage was to a man who converted to her religion and was her most satisfying. They wed in 1961 and remained together until 2007 when they died about six months or so apart. The final page of the interview had some remaining copy about her working with C.B. DeMille whose difficult reputation she didn't encounter (though he did have a man following him around with stools to put down for him) and Josef von Sternburg who required people to write his or her name on a chalkboard if they wanted to speak to him and he'd call on them when he was ready! Marlene Dietrich was a glamorous visitor to the set with ruby and diamond garters on her famous legs. Day's last screen work was as a guest on Murder, She Wrote in 1986.

Next we come to a feature on Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland. Both of these stars were married to other people when they first met. The night Bronson met Ireland at a party, he went up to her then-husband David McCallum and - kidding or not - told him, "I must warn you, I'm going to take your wife away from you." McCallum had no response.

In time, the two did draw together, a mutual interest in painting solidifying their connection. Their shaky, respective marriages were dissolved after a lengthy period of time and The Bronsons became a new, inseparable, blended family. Her three plus his two and then one together, shown in this spread, went on location together whenever possible and the couple strove to avoid long separations.

Bronson earned every single line in that craggy face. His father died when he was ten, leaving he and his fourteen siblings in the care of a mother who was, needless to say, overwhelmed and penniless. Bronson and his brother worked double shifts in a coal mine as kids at base wages to try to help pitch in.

Bronson and Ireland worked together many times in movies until she died of cancer at only age fifty-four in 1990. Bronson lived to be eighty-one, passing away in 2003 of pneumonia and complications from Alzheimer's Disease.

For some reason (the heavy black border/background?), I had so much trouble scanning these next two pages. In any case, fans of Al Pacino might be happy with the large photo of him. I always forget that he was once involved with Tuesday Weld.

The article delves into their relationship as two wounded souls brought together by difficult childhoods. He had a possessive, erratic, emotionally disturbed mother who kept him close by and she had a pushy, demanding stage mother who drove her to an early nervous breakdown. (She later became a wild child, simultaneously dating Frank Sinatra and big John Ireland when she was FIFTEEN, which doesn't say a lot about the sensibility of those two gents either.)Weld married Dudley Moore in 1975 and Pacino has never married but has three children from two women, one of who is Beverly D'Angelo.

This feature "Cooking With a Star" focuses on Shirley Jones, then married to Jack Cassidy and wrangling stepson David and three other sons Shaun, Patrick and Ryan for the occasional family dinner. The Partridge Family, which starred David and her, was still in full swing, but Shaun's and Patrick's fame as actors was still to come. Jones and Cassidy divorced in 1975 and Cassidy died in a 1976 fire. Ms. Jones is still with us now at eighty-one and has been married to outspoken comic Marty Ingels since 1977.

Up next, young love in bloom, courtesy of The Waltons star Richard Thomas and Sian Barbara Allen, who costarred in the creepy 1972 feature film You'll Like My Mother alongside Patty Duke and Rosemary Murphy. Allen later appeared in two episodes of The Waltons.

A ton of photos were taken of the young couple posed in various stages of '70s chewing gum and deodorant ad bliss.  LOL Thomas did marry in 1975, but not to Allen. It was to a woman named Alma with whom he had four kids before divorcing in 1990. He married his present wife in 1994. Allen apparently wed at some point, too, but I don't know the details. She retired from acting in 1990 and turned to writing instead.

I must confess that I was never attracted to Thomas, though I know that many people have been and are. Somehow when I was a kid, that mole on his face disturbed me. I didn't really ever warm up to it as an adult either! Ha! And I also cannot deny that I never considered Allen "pretty" as the author of the article does.

Still, they were pleasant, talented performers, just not my own personal cup of tea. If you looked closely at a few of these shots of Thomas, you will see that he seemed to have something of a Walton's Mountain of his own peering out from those salmon-tinted trousers.


Speaking of trousers, how about the high-waisters on Mr. Lawrence Welk?!? I love Mr. Welk as much as the next gay... er, guy, but this is not a good look on him! I've read two or three of Welk's autobiographical books and they are all entertaining and uplifting, if a tad heavy on the religious aspects at times.

Nevertheless, he had a lot to say about the morals and morale of people and I must say some of it ought to have been taken to heart by those who probably would rather take a bullet than read any of it. In fact, the last book of his I read warned of things that could have been written yesterday, yet the book was about forty years old! Whatever anyone thinks, he was certainly a mentor to many people and lived a highly positive life before passing away at eighty-nine in 1992 of pneumonia. His biggest legacy for me, however, is a raft of colorful shows with chiffon and camp galore!

This color photo is of Dean Martin and, at far left, his then-new bride Cathy Hawn. In what was something of a midlife crisis, Dino left his wife of 24 years, Jeanne, and married the younger (natch!) Cathy. The article allegedly includes all sorts of quotes from her about their wedding night, though if she intended to stay married to Martin for long I doubt she said all this verbatim shortly after her wedding (of between $50,000 and $100,000!), at least not to a gossip reporter!

Martin, it turns out, was suffering from severe ulcers and apparently wasn't able to lay claim to the marital bed ('cause, you know, I'm sure they "waited"...) Martin, already the natural father of seven, adopted Hawn's seven year-old daughter Sasha. The marriage, however, was over by 1976 at Martin's choosing. I did have to chuckle about how the article states that Cathy "began removing flowers from my hair" in anticipation of their honeymoon night. Um... from the looks of things, that might have taken until morning all in itself!!! The ornate wedding had 200 dozen lilies of the valley flown in from Paris along with 150 white lilacs and other flora. Despite the divorce, Martin and his prior wife Jeanne did remain lifelong friends (after she got a nice settlement!)

This article about Michael Landon is billed as "gossip," but it was actually quite a serious story! Landon, another prolific Hollywood progenitor, had fathered three children with his first wife and would ultimately produce four more with his second (and two more still with a third wife!), but also had a step-daughter with second wife Lynn, who he unsuccessfully attempted to adopt. It was she who was involved in the accident relayed in this article (her picture is on the NEXT page of the spread.) Then nineteen, she was in a roll-over car wreck that killed her female friend and two male companions! She did, however, survive and make a full recovery despite massive head injuries and broken bones.

Here we see Cheryl Landon as well as a story on Ali MacGraw and Steve McQueen, not yet married thanks to a drawn out divorce and custody battle with her husband, producer Robert Evans. McQueen went to Jamaica to film Papillon (1973) and MacGraw joined him there at a rented beachfront estate. Against his advice, she swam in the ocean below the house and was caught in an undertow that almost swept her out to sea! McQueen had to jump in fully-clothed and retrieve her, causing a day-long rift in their relationship. The twosome did wed in 1973, but the marriage was over by 1978.

This story is suggestively designed (Richard Burton teaching his sixteen year-old stepdaughter Liza Todd love lessons?!), but is actually about how the much-married Elizabeth Taylor and her then-husband Burton showed Liza how love should be by example.  Ahem! Todd was born during Taylor's third marriage. Her father died and Taylor wound up with his best friend, who was married to someone else, then she left that man for Burton!

Not only that, but Burton and Taylor divorced in 1974, then remarried each other for about a year before divorcing again! Love lessons indeed. Mama had two more husbands after that! But, anyway, the article describes how Burton's undying love for Taylor was demonstrated with gifts, protectiveness and passion. Todd, by the way, looks at this point to be the spitting image of her father Mike.

This gossip section is called Marvene on the Scene. She chats about meeting up with a Speedo-clad Mark Spitz at a pool in which he refused to swim because the water was too warm! Also, she offers love advice to Dinah Shore regarding her then-boyfriend Burt Reynolds. Pictures include Carroll O'Connor, Alan Bates and Patty Duke and John Astin.

On the next page we discover that John Wayne, having had an entire lung removed due to cancer, is still smoking. Other ailing stars noted include Susan Hayward, Laurence Harvey and Betty Grable. Hayward held on until 1975, but the other two were gone before the year was out. Photos on this page include Dinah Shore with Frank Sinatra, Mark Spitz on his wedding day and the just-deceased Lex Barker.

I've continued the pages by Marvene because her stories are pretty interesting and entertaining. Here, she continues about Grable and then talks about nearly being cast in a bit role in Mame (1974) with Lucille Ball. Before she could even finish writing about Lucy's plans for a grandbaby between Desi Jr. and Liza Minnelli, Liza had dumped Desi for Peter Sellers!

Moving on, we hear more about Minnelli and Sellers as well as further info regarding Ali MacGraw, Steve McQueen, Robert Evans and then Lois Chiles (misprinted as Lois Childs!) A couple of blurbs concern Barbra Streisand and Merle Oberon (!) as well as more gossip about the cost of Dean Martin's and Mark Spitz's weddings. Elizabeth Taylor's recent bout with the measles is also discussed along with more on Lex Barker. By the way, I cannot tell you how adversely I was affected as a child by undergarment ads like the one shown here! LOL

Those who are aware of the post-mortem allegations made against Barker by Lana Turner's daughter will note that Turner's reaction to Barker's death is completely at odds with the attitude she described in her book. We may never know the full story there. There is a blurb about Cary Grant's recent datemate and another about Marlon Brando nearly falling into a pond. 1973 was a bad year for celebrities. Robert Ryan is quoted as having "licked" his lung cancer, but, in fact, died that year. There are tidbits about Jackie Onassis' lifestyle and then, hilariously, a photo of Marvene in makeup for a scene in Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), erroneously called "Battle of."

She continues describing her adventure with chimpanzee makeup on the next page. She also mentions a tennis tournament with Bill Cosby (hopefully she didn't accept any drinks from him!), and another with Robert Stack. She finishes with a blurb about Mae West and a blind item about a cheating TV star.

This page is a tad out of order, but I didn't want to break up Marvene! It's an interview with British actor Edward Fox, then hot from Day of the Jackal (1973.) In the interview, he discusses filming a nude scene with Delphine Seyrig and how impersonal it all was, almost like an army induction exam. He also reveals that he and actor brother James Fox have drifted apart somewhat thanks to James' recent, serious immersion into religious teachings. He also notes that he felt he was not nearly as handsome as his brother and, thus, led a different type of career.

The final two things I am featuring from the magazine are for amusement purposes. One is this ultra-tacky wig ad with a lot of tacky pictures and hooty names.
The other is a crossword puzzle that was printed in the magazine!  If you want, you could print it off and try your hand at old time Hollywood trivia...  Till next time, my loves!  Poseidon.