Friday, February 23, 2018

Fun Finds: Uncensored Magazine, January 1956

We're going "old school" today with our latest Fun Find. Usually our celebrity rags tend to be from the 1960s and '70s, but this one jumped out at me during a combination flea market-antique show in Dayton, Ohio, so I picked it up for $4.00. Unsensored magazine was one of many to dive into the wake of Confidential magazine, one of the most notorious and controversial tabloid publications of the 1950s. (Other imitators included Exposed, Hush-Hush, Revealed, The Lowdown and several more.) Most of the time, I turn magazine pages to pure black & white for aesthetic reasons, but because this one frequently employs the use of red throughout, I've left it in its somewhat yellowed glory.
I don't typically include the Table of Contents page, but because of the letter to the Editors in the left column, I opted to this time. Apparently, the makers of this periodical considered themselves a kinder, more benevolent gossip mag than some of their competitors.  Riiiigghht... I wonder if the Editor-in-Chief's name was Mr. O.E.M.! Ha!
You can see a resemblance between Geraldine Chaplin and her mother Oona O'Neill in the picture at bottom-left. Most of these blurbs lack teeth (except the blind ones, but they're impossible to identify. At first I thought the one in the middle column was about Judy Lewis - Clark Gable's child - but she didn't act on screen until 1958 and that was on TV.)
Take note of the cartoon characters in this two-page spread. I like to pretend that they are Joan Crawford...
...and Bette Davis rehashing gossip on the phone, though I know it isn't possible. Ha ha! Rex Harrison did in fact, with Lilli Palmer's cooperation, obtain a divorce and then marry Kay Kendall in 1957. She then died in 1959 without ever being told the advanced severity of her leukemia.
Broadway dancer and actress Gwen Verdon is the subject of this next article, highlighting her early start in nightclubs, wherein she danced in little more than shiny paint and a G-string. According to this article, she worried a bit that scantily-clad cheesecake photos from those days might resurface the way Marilyn Monroe's nude calendar did.
Choreographer Jack Cole was a forerunner and major influence to Bob Fosse. Verdon (whose mother was a ballerina) suffered tremendously as a child from rickets and almost had her legs broken and re-set by a doctor until her mother placed her in special boots and braces. A 1942 marriage (and baby) drew a halt to her career for five years, but she returned to the stage and to movies.
This is just a composite I made from the next two-page spread, whose headline was separated between the panels. (So you'd know in advance what the story is about... celebs dumping their spouses for a new model version!)
I feel certain that even this "Uncensored" article leaves out many pertinent details of the breakups and marriages described.
Holy mackerel, is that the best pick of Dorothy Towne (Webb) that they could get their hands on for this?! And this article has the nerve to point out the longevity of Spencer Tracy's (!) marriage to his (estranged) wife Louise.
The seemingly never-ending whirlpool of Elizabeth Taylor's love (and marriage) life...
Methinks that Liz and William Pawley, Jr. would have produced some gorgeous kiddos with black hair and blue eyes. Not sure what broke that up. Of course, we now know why "relationships" with Monty Clift and Mr. Hudson didn't pan out.
E.T.'s date to the Oscars, above left, was a three-time All-American and Heisman Trophy-winning halfback whose Army service delayed his pro football career. He eventually worked as an event coordinator for the L.A. Times. At the time of this article, she was but twenty-three!
Whew! A little bit of beefcake, courtesy of silent film legend Rudolph Valentino.
The bulk of this article focuses on the love life of Ms. Glyn, who carried on a variety of affairs, some very longstanding, (before and) after the 1915 death of her husband.
Well, first I had to go and find out WHO Mary Sinclair even was...! The second of three wives for famed Broadway producer-director George Abbott, she divorced him in 1951 (after two years of separation), the same year she became the first ever TV actress signed to a long-term contract (seven years for CBS.) It led to an avalanche of work on the tube over the course of her somewhat brief career.
Eventually she drifted out of TV and lived in Europe where she painted, eventually returning to California where she directed local theatre. She died in 2000 at age seventy-seven, (Remarkably, Abbott lived to be one-hundred-seven!) Sinclair did make a couple of minor TV appearances in the mid-1980s.
Here, operatic movie star Mario Lanza gets no small amount of dressing-down!
The article goes on to berate him for home-wrecking (literally... he was sued for - and forced to pay - $40,000 in damages to one house and $17,000 on another!) and getting too drunk in Las Vegas to keep an appearance, among other things. Lanza died in 1959 at age thirty-eight while attempting to lose weight for an upcoming project.
This article gets testy with Maureen O'Hara, alluding to her relationship with a Mexican attorney and how her (recent) ex-husband was affected by it. Her ex was allegedly a rather abusive alcoholic and, in fact, died of a heart attack at age forty-eight in 1962. O'Hara's relationship with the attorney went on until 1967, though it helped contribute to a rift between her and mentor-ly director John Ford.
O' Hara famously sued Confidential magazine not long after this period and won an out-of-court settlement (as did Errol Flynn and Liberace.) In 1968, she wed for a third and last time to a man from the U.S. Air Force and airline industry, but he perished in a crash in 1978.
I should think this photo of two Greenwich Village men in a romantic clinch would be rather heady stuff for a reader to see in 1956 (though hardly representative of "Cafe Society," which is what the article is geared towards)
Somehow whenever I read an article like this one, filled with innuendo, yet straining not to be too specific, it all just becomes word salad and I can't make head nor tale of its contents! LOL  I'm moving on...
Hmmm... Now this one is more my language. Here we find a pretty brazen article on Henry Willson, Tab Hunter and a few of the other handsome studs that Willson turned into screen stars (creatively renaming each one along the way.) The caption references "Greek" and of course there was the double entendre term of "making" someone.
In the top photo Tab is interacting with a beaver (?) while in the lower one he's on an arranged date with Debbie Reynolds...
This text goes into pretty vivid detail concerning Hunter's youthful arrest for "disorderly conduct." But he survived and continued to perform in movies and on TV (and is still with us today at age eighty-six.) BTW, it wasn't too long before "Touch" Connors lost that nickname and began a lengthy career as Mike Connors (chiefly of Mannix fame.)
Then-current musings on Marilyn Monroe's quest to break out of her bubbleheaded starlet image and become a serious actress.
This was the year that Bus Stop and The Prince and the Showgirl were released.
This article isn't celeb-focused, but I had to include it chiefly because of the second page.
The fascinating new device called "safety belts!" (Good Lord, we're still trying to get people to buckle-up, this time with shoulder straps, too. Sometimes it's the law: "Click It or Ticket!") A rubber protector to keep one from going through the windshield? Or my favorite... a built-in sand dispenser to shoot sand in front of tires on icy roads!!
The Croatian starlet shown here, Lila Andres, only had a brief career in her homeland, but lived to be ninety-four, passing away last June.
Pictured at the top-left is Gina Lollobrigida and at top-right Jovanka Broz, who was (the controversial) Tito's wife from the early-1950s until his 1980 death, though they had been estranged for a few years prior to that. From 1980 - 2013, she basically lived under house arrest by the new regime.
The murder of shady businessman and playboy Serge Rubenstein (whose body was found bound with his mouth taped by a butler) was never solved.
This article goes on to state that George R. Hearst (son of William Randolph) was married four times, but Wikipedia only lists one spouse, Collette Lyons. (They did have to wed twice because it wasn't clear if his marriage to this gal - Sandra Rambeau - was properly annulled yet.
Well... I can probably guess at least ONE "thing" that made Noel Coward tremble just a little bit anyway.... LOL!
The text contains this reference, now hopelessly un-PC: "he was as flat busted as a woman athlete." !! The article goes on to tell a rather staggering tale of how Coward, living alone after his two female roomies left town, was so hot in the sweltering New York City apartment kitchen that he cooked in the nude that a policeman saw him through a window and came to his door over it! Coward gave the officer three glasses of red wine (!) and the officer gave him a pistol to keep for protection in the dicey neighborhood. Oh, and the thing that REALLY got Coward trembling? His bed in the flat had bed bugs!
Due to interest in it, I've scanned the remainder of the Noel Coward story and added it to this post!
Uncensored magazine claims not to go in for sensationalism, but here's an article on how aspiring writers and publishers can increase circulation with it.
By "reporting" on it, they get to provide some of it...!
Interesting to see a feature article on Ari Onassis long before anyone ever heard of President Kennedy or Jacqueline.
Onassis and Prince Rainier III were involved in volatile partnership-turned-rivalry over Monaco and its future plans. Monaco was the subject of intrigue, too, when Rainier's sister Antoinette tried to wrest control of the place, an act that was thwarted when he we Grace Kelly (in 1956) and produced heirs thereafter.
Finally, we have a story on famed restaurateur and raconteur Toots Shor (who used the term "Crum Bums" affectionately towards his celebrity clientele.)
Shor's Manhattan eatery (of which there were ultimately three locations at one time or another) was famous as a hangout for notable names, many of who ate free. Successful as he was, the always generous Shor died penniless in 1977 after his fortunes shifted for the worse.
Not too many incredible ads in this mag, but I thought there was a certain element of campy glamour in the one found above.
Last item: This hooty ad for a Davy Crockett Playhouse Tent. In the mid-'50s, Davy Crockett was all the rage thanks to a Walt Disney TV presentation in 1954 starring Fess Parker. Even though this is "Only $1.00 Complete" you'd better also have a folding card table, one that Mom & Dad aren't using for Canasta anytime soon! This thing intended for "frontier and pioneer" enjoyment was just a piece of plastic that slipped over a standard card table! No wonder the kid is on his knees...


Forever1267 said...

Nudity! In the summer! In one's own home! Why, I never!!!!!

Gingerguy said...

Uncensored looks great. I am curious about who the readership was, Valentino would have been gone for at least 25 years by then, I guess it was not a youth rag?
Love the salacious Tab Hunter and Noel Coward headlines, and it sounds like the stories didn't disappoint.
I love Jack Cole! so great to see a photo of him. He invented a "Hindu Swing" style of choreography and there is a clip on youtube from Kismet "Not since Ninevah" that is glorious. All the Gwen Verdon stuff was fun too.
What's with the lousy Latin Lovers headline? I thought the stereotype was always favorable.
I never saw a chubby picture of Mario Lanza before. Poor guy, how sad he died that young. I guess the beauty of Turner Classics is that you mostly see stars at their apex and time has filtered out the unflattering images.
Those are two guys smooching in that shot? Wow that's pretty racy for that time. I don't remember ever seeing a photo like that from that period.
Ari Oanassis had cool glasses in the 50's!
This was a very dishy helping of gossip, Thanks Poseidon

Poseidon3 said...

Forever1267, right...? In NYC? The Big Apple? Unthinkable... Now, for kicks people have sex up against their picture windows. LOL

Gingerguy, that's a neat perception. So many 1960s rags were teen-oriented, but this 1950s one is decidedly skewed adult... maybe jaded housewife eager to see how awful the underbelly is of all those rich Hollywood stars? I didn't scan it, but there was also a piece on Okinawa and how it could become a military target. So they may have also been angling for men (which goes along with the car stuff, Tito's love life and the "dancer" on the cover, etc...) Glad you liked seeing Jack Cole. My first exposure ever to Lanza was his lesser effort "Serenade." I watched it solely because of Joan Fontaine. You know, looking at the hands, maybe I'm wrong about the face-sucking couple, but good GOD if the one on the bottom is a gal, then she's the ugliest one I have ever seen. Ever! Henry Willson is practically licking his chops and they have him facing Tab Hunter's crotch under a scanty towel! With stories like this out there, it's a miracle that Tab remained able to star in movies (including opposite Sophia Loren) for years afterward. It says a lot about his appeal that he was able to stand up to all the smearing and innuendo and maintain a career while he could.

Andrea L said...

I have a few copies of Confidential and I must say, Uncensored seems much more interesting. As an aside, am I the only person who finds the disembodied heads magazines and posters used to use hilarious? Every time I see one, I giggle.

I think the Valentino article was included because, by the 50s, movies from the 20s and 30s were being aired on the good old “Late Late” shows and there was mild interest in stars from that era. That’s my guess anyway. I know there was great interest in people like Jean Harlow by the mid 60s thanks to that awful, inaccurate biography that was released and the two equally awful biopics. Peter Lawford as Paul Bern?! What?!

The two men kissing picture surprised me. Initially I couldn’t figure out what I was looking at. I thought it was a man and a woman tussling!

It is interesting to see an article about old Ari O. before he became known as the frog man who defiled the Widow Kennedy! I’ve never found him particularly interest outside of the context of Jackie though.

Love the card table Davy Crockett fort! I imagine many a kid knocked his or her head on the table while trying to play in that thing.

Poseidon3 said...

Andrea, thanks! I have never actually gotten my hands on an issue of Confidential. Interesting that you are more impressed by this. The disembodied head thing... I think I am just used to it because The National Enquirer (a staple in my trashy childhood existence! Ha!) always had them, too. I have mentioned on the site before though the hilarity of '60s teen mags who would illustrate bodies to go with the heads! That makes sense about the Valentino thing. Did the late show on TV show SILENT movies?? Interesting... I recently read a book about Jackie, Ari and Bobby Kennedy that was rather eye-popping, i.e.-the endless sexual shenanigans it alleges. Ari was a complex figure, it seemed. LOL about the Davy Crockett fort. So tacky.... I'd rather have had a brown refrigerator or stove box with window cut out!