Friday, February 16, 2018

Revealing More of the "Truth!"

Yes, we just did a whole hair, jewelry and fashion parade of To Tell the Truth's Miss Kitty Carlisle not long ago. But since winter is still upon us and we've been watching vintage episodes two at a stretch during our lunch hours, there seemed to be more call for attention to some of the looks appearing on the show. This was initially going to be a post about various necklaces I spotted, but it soon turned into just a festival of some of the other ladies who made appearances on the TTTT panel, often with other notable accessories. It's time we paid some due to the glamorous gals who dotted the landscape of 1950s and early-'60s TV. The cover girl for this one is Betty Furness, who we'll see again in a little while.
A key To Tell the Truth panelist in its early days was Miss Polly Bergen. Her clothing and jewelry tended to be understated and usually tasteful.
One of her accessories was a pair of eyeglasses, but like many female TV personalities of the day she didn't wear them most of the time.  She'd just hold them up briefly in order to help her get a good look at the participants.
Mrs. Television as far as I'm concerned, Miss Betty White, worked on the early days of TTTT and continued here and there throughout its many renditions and variations (including the one that's been airing in the last year or so.)
This looks like a fun necklace from another gal who always dressed prettily, but not necessarily glamorously.
We can never quite get enough chiffon in our lives and also like a good brooch with it whenever possible. Jayne Meadows supplies both here.
I like the way she's holding her pencil here. Note the eyelash flick at the sides, which she kept probably to the grave...!
Monique Van Vooren helped inspire a hairstyle post involving Password and now here she is again, but with the focus on her earrings and brooch.
Her hair here isn't quite as big as it later got, but I do love the sparkling jewels and patterned top.
1940s model-turned-radio personality and actress Jinx Falkenburg. I just fell in love with the neckline on this dress as well as the snappy pin.
Ironically, this episode with Jinx on the panel concerned a steeplejack by the last name of Plunk who'd fallen several times up to 60 ft and whose parachutes had failed to open 12 times during his time in the service!
Commercial spokeswoman and actress of stage and screen, Julia Meade.
To tell the truth, I really wasn't all that familiar with Ms. Meade at all, but a visitor to The Underworld made mention of her during one of the other vintage game show posts, which led me to look into her more. Like so many TV game show ladies of this era, she lived a long life, passing away at ninety in 2016.
Movie and early-TV actress Faye Emerson, who also became a game show and talk show personality.
This is a rather atypical look for Ms. Emerson, who more often favored tightly drawn hair with a large bun at the nape of her neck. What a collar on this jacket...!
Now we come to Miss Betty Furness again. Actress-turned-spokesmodel and consumer advocate, Furness was a highly popular TV persona in the 1950s.
For many years, Furness had to deflect the urban legend that it was she and not her fill-in for the occasion (June Graham) who found a Westinghouse refrigerator door impossible to open, leading to a famous blooper. By the way, Betty is also showing a startling amount of cleavage for this show at the time!
One of THE most associated personalities with To Tell the Truth was Peggy Cass. The almost legendarily plain-dressing actress was a bit more done-up than usual on this occasion, which is why I chose it.
Famous for originating the frumpy role of Miss Gooch in Broadway's Auntie Mame (for which she won a Tony and also an Oscar nomination for the film version), Roz Russell must have gotten hold of her before this episode aired! A perky yet cranky character, she always made a perfect counterpart to the more austere ladies who often shared the panel.
Stage actress Phyllis Newman, wife of famed lyricist and playwright Adolf Green, was the initial inspiration for this post with the eye-popping creation she has around her neck in this instance.
She's lucky Joan Crawford didn't show up and snatch it off her neck mid-show. That's quite a statement necklace. I only wish we could have seen it (and the dress) in color.
Same goes for the confection Miss Dina Merrill is sporting here. I wonder what color or colors this was...!
The hair is higher and sleeker than usual and she's really got some eyelashes going this time out. Don't miss the great drop earrings, either!
Broadway musical star Sally Ann Howes popped up on TTTT more times than you might realize. She was always sleekly pulled together, contrasting with a rather daffy sense of humor.
This interesting neckline is augmented with a pretty brooch.
There's quite a lot going on here on Sheila MacRae. MacRae was a film, stage and TV actress as well as a popular nightclub singer. For twenty-five years she was the wife of Gordon MacRae.
I became a bit mesmerized by the hair, the bow, the eyelashes, the earrings, the beauty mark, the fur and the busily-patterened fabric! Of course any TTTT lady's best accessory is her ballot. Ha ha!
Every so often a glamorous stranger would show up to fill in, such as Joan Bennett or, as in this case, Miss Joan Fontaine.
This is another one of those episodes that was broadcast in color, but only saved in black & white, depriving us the chance to see what colors all went into her vivid dress. Note the considerable hunk of bracelet that she's wearing.
Miss Florence Henderson, then a stage persona, but soon to become a legendary TV icon for her work on The Brady Bunch.
She's rocking some nice high hair here, but counters with a very simply tailored dress and a fun pin.
Get a load of this necklace worn by Miss Kitty Carlisle!
One wouldn't want to wear this to the doctor during one's annual physical or it could significantly change the weight showing on the scale!
As the years and various incarnations of the show went by, glamour (apart from Kitty Carlisle) sort of died on the vine. Sometimes Betty White might bring a bit or Polly Bergen, but more often it was hard to find. Here, Cathy McAuley is sporting linebacker shoulders and some big earrings, though everything is to excess.
Billed as "Night Court's Cathy McAuley," she made less than half a dozen appearances on that series and her other credits are spotty indeed. The days of the elegant game show panelist seemed nearly dead. (And what's with that rat's nest of a hairdo?)
Yes, I said rat's nest!
One last gasp of glitz came courtesy of Miss America 1959, Mary Ann Mobley.
Her sort of taste recalled the glory days of the show to a certain extent. Important collar and sparkling jewelry.
She enjoyed her sequins and shoulder pads too, to be sure, but generally kept things more tailored and with a level of cohesion that didn't instantly scream out "cheap & tacky!" Or maybe it was just her inherent comportment and grace that helped sell the looks.
Still, no one ever quite did it up like Miss Kitty!
Thus, we have to end with her, regardless of her prior LENGTHY tribute!


Gingerguy said...

What a glamorous show! You do make a good point Poseidon that elegance died somewhere along the line, with a brief reappearance in the 80's on Kitty and Mary Ann. The early to mid 60's is my favorite period for how the ladies looked and they don't disappoint in this post, beauty marks and bows included.
Polly Bergen also had a line of wigs I think. Jayne Meadows was a real looker. I saw her in a restaurant once and you were right about the liquid eye liner.
Dina's hair is divine as always. My guess for the color would be apricot silk, I can dream, can't I? what a fun idea for a way to spend lunch.

Skippy Devereaux said...

Mary Ann Mobley was Miss America 1959, even though the pageant was held in September 1958. Sorry for being a royal pain in the backside, but I am such a stickler for trivial facts. Egads, I need a life. LOL.

Poseidon3 said...

Hey, Ginge! It goes without saying that I am obsessed with the clothing, hairstyles and jewelry of the '60s, even though those ladies really punished themselves (particularly their locks) achieving the desired looks! I swear I don't think Polly Bergen's hair ever changed much at ALL from the first time she appeared on TTTT to her final appearance of the b&w run. I never knew about the wigs. She always seemed to be sporting her own hair, even in advanced years. Again, I cannot believe that you actually SAW Jayne Meadows... Wow.

Skippy, my apologies. I should have researched that. It's fixed now. We can blame the (now defunct) cable channel Trio for this because they once broadcast the "1958 Miss America Pageant" and the "1985 Miss America Pageant" (featuring Mary Ann in the former and Miss Vanessa Williams in the latter) and those years just stuck to my consciousness as a result. I still have them on VHS, locked in the vault with armed Pinkerton guards rotating 8-hour shifts to protect them. LOL Thanks!

Forever1267 said...

How can we make mile high hair fashionable again??? Some wonderful fashion styles here.
And I also love that collar on Faye Emerson.

If I'm remembering right, Sally Ann Howes was Dick Van Dyke's singing ballerina partner in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"?

The Mistress said...

Are the 60s episodes on DVD or are you watching them on TV?

Poseidon3 said...

Forever1267, I'm on board with it! I love hair piled high. Really high! Look! --

The Mistress, I'm not aware of TTTT being on DVD. Every screencap from this post and the one on Miss Kitty Carlisle came from good ol' So you can see all of this for yourself any time! ;-)

The Mistress said...

Thanks for the YouTube tip!

p.s. You can call me "Mistress" without the "The." :)

Kevin Keane said...

Thanks for this post. I love watching the old game shows. Although the Buzzer channel leaves something to be desired too many commercials and too much Match Game. Do a google search for “Jayne Meadows performs Hello Dolly in Chinese" its a real treat”.

Poseidon3 said...

Kevin, they've taken Buzzr OFF THE AIR in my area, so I miss it, even with its limitations. Thanks for reminding me of Jayne doing her thing on The Hollywood Palace. She looked stunning, it must be said, though I suspect that number causes a few people out there to clutch their pearls. ;-)

Michael Whelan said...

And of course, Miss Sally Ann starred in one of my favorite movies of all time, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG!!