Friday, November 19, 2021

Fun Finds: Hollywood Studio Magazine, April 1987

Today's Fun Find was generously donated to me by a loyal reader who, taking note of my struggles to post as regularly as I would like, scanned and submitted this entire magazine so that I, and you in turn, could enjoy its contents! A vivid color photo of Loretta Young adorns the cover. We heartily thank the good Samaritan who provided this material for us. And now, let's take a peek inside!

Loretta Young was still alive at the time of this publication (she lived until the year 2000), so I don't think anyone was going to find this particular copy of HSM on her coffee table at home...!

The early-to-mid 1980s marked a big return to glamour, which had slid to the wayside in the 1970s. But at this time, as the 1990s were on the horizon (and grunge was threatening to settle in), there was a question as to the future of elegance.

I wouldn't count myself as a particular "fan" of Young's but I did think she had some wonderful looks along the way during her popular anthology TV series (with it's famed entrances each week.)

I didn't know that youngest sibling Georgianna was actually a half-sibling! (And I've always chuckled at the nickname "Gretch the Wretch!")

The author of this article tries to shimmy in every conceivable bit of gossip possible, which I admire (ha!) I also love that he points out the fact that Louise Tracy was not Catholic, but Episcopalian, so it was unlikely that she was the one who never gave in to a divorce from her famous hubby Spencer.

She seemed to work her legendary religious beliefs to fit whatever way she wanted them to...

I was living with my grandmother when Christmas Eve aired. She was thrilled about it. Otherwise, at that time, I likely wouldn't have watched it. That's one good-looking TV family she conjured up! (Hunky Charles Frank was also in it.) I had no idea about all this with her son, Chris. Eeeek!! And I would love to get a look at Dark Mansions. I'd probably enjoy it.

Um, I looked up Virginia Hill and I found ONE photo in which she was pretty. Otherwise, nah... not leading lady material for that time.

One of my favorite things about HSM is its customary inclusion of then-current candid photos of classic stars out and about at events. For whatever reason, Marjorie Reynolds is a star that I know, literally, nothing about...! She had a busy career from the 1920s to the early-1960s and yet I have never seen her in anything....! LOL (She's a party guest in Gone with the Wind, 1939, but I'm not counting that.) Columnist Lee Graham nearly always winds up in one or more of the pics himself.

I'll be sharing a few extra details of that Lauren Bacall stage appearance at the end of this post. We dearly love reading all those "Whatever Became of....?" books and have most of them. But the name Korla Pandit (and his or her "turban!") intrigued me.

I just had to look this person up and this is what I found. Turns out he was an early TV sensation, playing the piano and the organ while staring exotically into the camera! During the duration of his 15-minute program, which ran for 900 shows, he never once uttered a word! In a later version of his program, he began speaking on spiritual matters. The inset is from his hey-day, the main photo is from an appearance in Ed Wood (1994.) After his death at 77 in 1998, it was discovered that he was not Indian, but actually African-American (born John Redd), having circumvented segregation policies of his era by adopting a different nationality for decades.

Another example of the great candid shots of stars from the past that I've come to rely on from this publication. Ann Blyth does look terrific!

File Donna Summer and Jane Seymour under "Pairs I Never Expected to See Together." We all know that Juliet Mills was a successful cougar when it came to landing Maxwell Caulfield, but don't be misled into thinking that Ginger Rogers followed suit. The man with her is George Pan Andreas, a Grecian-born actor who helped found the West Coast Academy of Dramatic Arts and, through some conneciton unknown to me, was Rogers' godson. 

I have to echo the headline here. Gifted young actor De Wilde was indeed taken from us far too soon.

De Wilde was not, as this article says, driving at 3:25am. He was driving in a rainstorm at 3:25pm after having visited his wife in the hospital. When the camper rolled on its side, he was pinned and suffered multiple broken bones, passing away within four hours. Close friend Gram Parsons wrote a song which included reference to this crash.

I loved seeing all the pictures in this section of female stars bedecked in the finery of old Hollywood. Smith and Wyman (who I didn't even recognize right away!) were in about a half-dozen of the same movies, which surprised me.

I was SO into Dynasty at this time. It served as a forerunner those days when it came to glitz on TV. They always talk about Joan Collins' shoulder pads, but you ought to take a look at Cybill Shepherd's from Moonlighting some time...! We love Ann Sothern (and Carole Lombard, too.) Fun to see an early Bette Davis being pressed into service as a glamour girl.

Hedy Lamarr was, of course, considered one of the movies' all-time great beauties. That's quite a get-up on Marion Davies!

I've yet to see Mrs. Parkington (1944) and never realized that redheaded Greer Garson went for a dark brunette look in that one. That Lana Turner photo looks like a John Engstead portrait. He was one of the TOP photographers when it came to diffusing the image and bringing out gauzy glamour in his subjects.

Great shot of Deborah Kerr. Norma Shearer's look is terrific, too. Was this in her "hey-day" though or near the end of her reign? Love Errol Flynn and am always happy to see him.

This was a sensational color pinup of the aforementioned Miss Loretta Young.

Another color pin-up, this time of Judy Garland and frequent costar Mickey Rooney. "Hey! Let's put on a show!"

This page precedes an article on some of the lesser-known actresses who worked at Columbia Pictures. Rita was one of the their greatest stars, but we're about to learn a little about some of the others...

The primary reason that my magazine donor held onto this publication all these years (yes, 1987 was, now, 34 years ago!) was because it featured a favorite actress of his, Jeff Donnell. The unusually-named star is the first one profiled in this article. Studio head Harry Cohn was one of the most hated men in town, but he's fascinating to read about. If you ever see the book King Cohn for sale, I suggest giving it a try.,

It's really due to his own interest in her that I was able to take note of who she was and learn to spot her in things. She had an innate charm that came through in practically any role she played. Incredibly, she died of a heart attack only one year after this interview at age 66. She was still appearing as The Quartermaine's housekeeper Stella on General Hospital at that time. (The character was written off as having won the lottery and resigned.)

Evelyn Keyes lived to be 91, passing away of uterine cancer in 2008. Janet Blair passed away the year before that at 85 of complications from pneumonia.

I dearly loved the human dynamo Ann Miller. She died of lung cancer in 2004 at age 80. Jinx Falkenburg is really known more for her modeling and her work on radio and TV with her husband Tex McCrary than for the movies. She died in 2003 at age 84. There are no credits beyond 1977 for Marguerite Chapman, so I don't guess her comeback came to fruition, though she was reportedly in the running to play Old Rose in Titanic (1997.) By then her health had deteriorated and she passed away in 1999 at age 81. Dusty Anderson was chiefly a model rather than an actress. She practically retired after marrying noted director Jean Negulesco and lived until 2007. She was 88 or 90, depending on the source.

Janis Carter didn't work on-screen after 1955, but was active in local theatre. She died of a heart attack in 1994 at age 80. many of you will recall Marcia Mae Jones for her work with Shirley Temple in Heidi (1937) and The Little Princess (1939), not to mention These Three (1936.) She continued to act on TV up to the early-1980s, passing away in 2007 at age 83. 

Leslie Brooks (not pictured) only acted for about a decade and had a really elegant look. She lived to be 88, passing away in 2011. Most of us recall Gloria Henry as the mother of Dennis the Menace. Remarkably, she worked sporadically until 2012, passing away just this last April, one day after her 98th birthday! Audrey Long passed away in 2014 at age 92. Adele Jergens lived until 2002, when pneumonia claimed her at age 85.

Ann Savage's performance in Detour (1945) has assured her a lasting following. She died in 2008 following a series of strokes at age 87. Remarkably, she'd just made a return to movies the year before in the art film My Winnipeg. (She may not have minded a pinch from Charles Coburn, but she whacked Tom Neal across the face once when he put his tongue in her ear!) I had never heard of Lynn Merrick, but like most of these ladies she lived a long life, passing away in 2007 at age 87. Carole Mathews segued from movies to a prolific career as a TV guest star. She died in 2014 of heart failure at age 94. Mary Castle really did resemble Rita Hayworth. She's one of the few of these gals to die before the age of eighty, passing away of lung cancer in 1998 at age 67. She'd been plagued by an alcohol problem in the 1950s.

The letters section of this magazine included a thank you from one man whose Joan Crawford collection had been featured. Now we see part of a massive Johnny Mathis collection from a fan. I always enjoy Johnny's opening theme for The Best of Everything (1959.)

I wonder what ever happened to all those Marilyn Monroe paintings...!

Needless to say, the blurb at the top of this page made me think of Chuckles the Clown from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, though in that case the third line was "A little seltzer down your pants!" Ha ha!

God knows I adored Jon-Erik Hexum myself.

Only Sissy Spacek of the actresses mentioned for Crimes of the Heart (1986) wound up Oscar-nominated (losing to Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God), but unmentioned Tess Harper was nominated for Supporting Actress that year as well. (The little gold man went to Dianne Wiest for Hannah and Her Sisters.) 

Finally, this pinup of Hedy Lamarr. She was heralded for her beauty (and was no dummy, as it turned out), but her acting never set the world on fire.


This concludes the magazine proper, and I do thank again our friend who worked hard on providing it to me! But I had to revisit that story near the beginning on Lauren Bacall's failed tour of Sweet Bird of Youth. I hadn't been aware of it and the columnist made it sound like an unmitigated disaster. The production opened in London's West End in 1985, 26 years after its initial debut on Broadway. At that time Bacall's costar was Michael Beck (of Xanadu, 1980.) Destined for L.A., it first toured Australia where it got rave reviews:

They seemed to like her pretty well down under!

By this point, Colin Friels was her costar.

Somehow by the time the show reached L.A. and she had Mark Soper (of The World According to Garp, 1982) as her leading man, the wheels had come off, apparently. (L.A. review here.) I do like this photo of her. The two-time Tony-winner didn't get to return to Broadway with this as hoped, but she did act on the Great White Way in a couple of benefit concerts and one last time in 1999 with Waiting in the Wings, running for 186 performances.

Oh, and I've posted this photo before, but just in case anyone has forgotten, the adult Brandon De Wilde may not have exceeded 5'9", but to paraphrase Mae West, let's forget about the 5 feet and concentrate on the 9 inches! Ha ha ha! Till next time...


A said...

Great post, as usual. I'm amazed at how much info there is in one issue. I have never actually seen the Loretta Young show, so I googled this fun video of a youtube of opening scenes from her show. It's a hoot. Thanks again and also a thank you to your reader to supplied the magazine!

VictorG said...

What a blast from the past...two pasts, actually, the late 1980s and the way way back. Very nice of your fan to scan this fun magazine for your other fans' delight, thank you!

Marjorie Reynolds is the blonde in White Christmas although her singing voice is dubbed. According to a recent Bing Crosby bio, the part was supposed to go to Mary Martin but she was not available. Reynolds was a versatile starlet who never broke through to the top ranks of stardom, and is memorable in one of my favorite Abbott & Costello films, The Time of Their Lives, as a brunette ghost.

I met Lauren Bacall a few times over the years and got off on her grande dame demeanor, which could turn into chummy friendliness, with a sassy line like, "Hiya, fellas." I always addressed these great cinema stars as Ms. or Mr., never using their first names, and giving them "the respect they deserved," to paraphrase Miss Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest. Ms. Bacall signed a couple of beautiful photos for me as well as her books, and I saw her in Woman of The Year, her second Tony Award winning musical role, and her last Broadway outing, in the revival of Noel Coward's Waiting In The Wings with the legendary stage and film star, beautiful Rosemary Harris.

Loretta Young was like Claudette Colbert in that she never aged and always maintained a classic elegance. I remember how excited I was to see her in
Christmas Eve, which was made 70 years after Loretta's first uncredited silent film appearance as a child in 1916. That is a fantastic career for any star! I also recall her stunning entrances in her anthology television show in the 1950s, which clearly made a big impression on drag queens everywhere, particularly the divine Lypsinka. Miss Young was a star who signed fan photo requests and that's how I got some lovely autographed glamour shots of Miss Loretta Young in some spectacular evening gowns. She knew how to werk a dress!

Huttonmy710 said...

That photo of Norma Shearer with the note below linking it to her heydey was a publicity shot for her next to last film, We Were Dancing. Many consider it along with Shearer's last film Her Cardboard Lover quite the come downs for the divine Shearer so yes not her heydey. But I for one do enjoy them (more so We Were Dancing) very much. I find them quite entertaining and still brimming with quality performances and production values. They are far from being terrible films that's for sure. I had read that Shearer was offered Mrs. Miniver during the making of We Were Dancing but turned it down whatever reason. Perhaps she had no interest in her career at that point, or no desire having to play a mother again or she preferred an earlier time period hence her last two films at a time MGM was turning out wartime fare (Shearer of course did the excellent 1940's Escape). But I could definitely envision Shearer doing a wonderful job as Miniver. It just screams Shearer.

Now Bacall, there are a few stories about her not being very nice. There is a Television archive interview with a lady who did her hair for Misery I believe up until 2011's (or 2012) The Forger and she described Bacall as 'mean.'
Another instance can be found in a interview on the recent bluray release of 1981's The Fan with actor Michael Biehn. I haven't got my hands on the release but I read a review about the special features and in the description of Biehn's interview, it says Biehn has some choice anecdotes about how awful Bacall was to him and the director. This after Bacall wasn't happy with changes being made to the film. Funny but years later in a interview (with a young Scottish guy I believe) Bacall stated she loved The Fan so I don't know.

hsc said...

So glad you're still posting, Poseidon! I had a few rough weeks myself and didn't get a timely comment in on the last couple of blog entries, but they were much appreciated!

I always enjoy these magazine finds and your breakdowns, and HOLLYWOOD STUDIO MAGAZINE is one of the ones I actually used to get from time to time around this period-- but I didn't get this issue, so it's even MORE fun!

I love the dish on Loretta Young! When I was a wee kid, that TV show of hers was an obsession for me. I don't really remember much of the actual episodes, but that star entrance-- !!!

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that I used to make my poor Mom do a Loretta Young entrance and "swirl" every time she got really dressed up to go out-- over and over again.

That article hits a lot of the juicy gossip, but somehow it left out one of the most infamous stories about "Attila the Nun"-- that she always used to keep a "swear box" on hand on a set and would "fine" fellow actors and crew members for bad language, with the collection supposedly going to a Catholic charity.

According to legend, she made so much of a nuisance of herself on one film that when she shook the box at one offender and cooed, "Oh, dear! That'll cost you a dollar," her target stuffed in a bill and snarled, "Here's a TEN-- now go F--- yourself, Loretta!"

I've seen similar accounts of the scandal with Young's son Christopher Lewis, but I've heard a couple of varying details about the actual "obscene film" part of it.

The entry about the film (actually titled THE GENESIS CHILDREN) on Wikipedia claims that it was rated "X" but not actually a porn film, instead more of a "Lord of the Flies"-type "art film" with a lot of quasi-religious blather, a small amount of nudity and no sexual content. Maybe so, but it doesn't excuse the other parts of the story of the arrest of that group Lewis was involved with.

And finally: one reason the Lauren Bacall revival of SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH may have had trouble is that the play is really unpleasant, ending with the male lead about to be castrated. Not a fun evening.

So what it needed to be an audience-pleaser was to be reworked as a *musical*. I mean, APPLAUSE worked well for Bacall, and that was a rehash of ALL ABOUT EVE, right?

Hey, what could go wrong with THAT idea?:

Thanks for all the great posts, Poseidon! Be well, everyone!

hsc said...

Oh, and one other thing:

I always used to love the letters section of HOLLYWOOD STUDIO MAGAZINE, because there was almost always at least one reader with an unexpected obsession for an obscure star or film.

And in this case, there's that reader with his "mere beauty is not enough-- there MUST be talent!" soapbox that includes that odd assessment of the looks of Virginia Hill.

I looked her up and I've got to agree with you. Hill was reasonably pretty, but not quite "movie star pretty." Other than a few photos, she was a little too "heavy" featured without actually being overweight, not the type of thing the camera loves.

(Her mobster lover Bugsy Siegel, OTOH, was kind of hot...)

But what I found personally amusing in that rant was his mention of the actress who played the American nurse in PAISAN being "beautiful" but "hardly seen after that."

The performer in question was Harriet White, also known as Harriet White Medin after her marriage to Italian art director Gastone Medin.

And to be honest, by Harriet's own admission, she was somewhat pretty but not a "Hollywood" pretty face. She had interesting features and an intense, intelligent look, but too strong a jawline for the beauty standards of that era, even in Italy.

However, she actually COULD act, and she stayed in Italy and appeared in one lead role, GENOFFEVA DI BRABANTE (1947), and in a number of supporting character roles until the end of the sixties.

Her best-known appearances are perhaps as Anita Ekberg's personal assistant in Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA and in a number of Italian horror films for the likes of Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava, frequently cast as a "Mrs. Danvers"-type sinister maid.

Harriet also worked in Italy more widely behind the scenes, as a dubbing artist; since Italian films are shot without sound and dubbed even in Italian, she was frequently heard but not seen.

Additionally, she worked as a dialogue coach and casting director, frequently on U.S. productions shot in Italy. She wound up working with Gina Lollobrigida on SOLOMON AND SHEBA, which led to a friendship and her returning to the States at the end of the '60s to work again with Lollobrigida on a U.S.-shot film.

Back in the U.S., Harriet largely appeared in small roles and bits in low-budget films like DEATH RACE 2000 (1975, playing the President in a role Shelley Winters turned down!) and THE TERMINATOR (as a customer in the diner Sarah Connor works in), but she did keep working until 1995, passing away ten years later at 91.

The magazine VIDEO WATCHDOG did a wonderful cover article on Harriet back in 1994, with stories about her work with people like Orson Welles.

Thanks for indulging MY little obsessed rant!

Gingerguy said...

This was an amazing amount of material, I kept finding little nuggets that sent me off on a tangent, like being at a party with Yma Sumac! and the turbanned Korla Panditt in Ed Wood definitely stuck out, I can see why he got the love in that, even briefly. All the gossip was dishy and delicious. I also never heard of Lauren Bacall in Sweet Bird Of Youth, seems miscast but London is tough town for critics so must have been good initially. So nice you got this scanned and we all got to enjoy. A real pre Thanksgiving meal.

Al in PDX said...

Whenever I see Harry Cohn's name, I recall the line, attributed to comedian Red Skelton, about Cohn's well-attended funeral: "It proves what Harry always said: Give the public what they want and they'll come out for it."

My introduction to Ann Miller came in 1970 with her performance in a legendary Stan Freberg commercial for the Great American Soup. (Pardon the poor quality).

Polly Esther said...

Thanks for the post! Seeing Old Hollywood glamour is always a treat. Hang in there, Poseidon.

Poseidon3 said...

Hello, my friends! Never in a million years did I think it would take this long for me to reply your your wonderful comments. I did my best to keep up with approving them at least so that they'd show up. I recently had the "joy" of going 48 hours with no heat when the overnight temps were in the mid-20s! It's always something... But I made it through Thanksgiving and am now back on the scene.

A, I loved watching that video and then saw that I had commented on it years ago! The double doors are my favorite.... She could really model/show off a dress.

VictorG, yes, I am so grateful to the reader who took such time to create these scans...! I think you mean "Holiday Inn" rather than "White Christmas." I've never seen it. It's rarely shown for reason you are likely aware of... so any merits it has are basically buried along with Bing in blackface. :-[ That's amazing that you got to meet Lauren Bacall! I agree with you that both Loretta and Claudette aged very gracefully and elegantly. I feel like Jennifer Jones did, too, though I didn't see much of her after the 1970s. Thanks!

Huttonmy710, it fascinates that Norma Shearer went to such lengths to ensure that she was one of the top dogs (if not THE) at MGM and then seemed content to just fade away after Irving was no longer around. I mean, she takes a bit of heat for her marriage to the boss, but it's not like she wasn't also good in things and had many fans. Seems strange to have quit. But maybe she had enough. About Betty Bacall... her reputation is choppy. Amazing that she'd be difficult for what is basically a little cameo in "Misery." I actually forgot that she was in it! LOL (I did the play, which was just two characters.) I may have to get that BluRay of "The Fan." I have profiled it here (long ago.) I have it on VHS (!!) and must to my incredible astonishment I recently discovered that VHS tapes are selling higher than some DVDs as a new generation of movie fans are finding them highly collectable and apparently fascinating! A local store is selling them (ones that would once be $0.50/each and sit there) for $7.99, $8.99, $12.99 and up! I lost my shit when there was a 5-movie Elvis VHS set on the shelf for $75.00!!!! ??? Cause there's nothing more fun than blurry, cropped, panned & scanned movies that you have to rewind when you're done....! Ha ha!!!

hsc, I hope you're doing all right! I keep waiting for life to get back to some sort of normalcy, but it's a long wait. I love that you had your mom show off her looks with a spin before she could leave! I love that story about the swear box. I actually watched all or part of "The Genesis Children" a few years ago out of nothing but sheer curiosity to see what it was all about. I don't recall being offended by anything about it, but I know that we're inundated with all sorts of sick puppies out there who grasp such opportunities for their own reasons. (The way I grasp at the adult physique whenever it's revealed to me onscreen, I guess! LOL Fortunately, I've never had a thing for anyone under age.) I don't know enough about what he was up to in order to really have a solid opinion on him. But I can't imagine that mom was too happy...! Thanks for all the info on Harriet White. She was in a movie I once profiled here called "Black Sabbath," too! Take care.

Gingerguy, what a party with Yma and Korla in attendance!

Al, I love Ann at the Tonys singing "Time to Start Livin'" or whatever it's called from "Pippin!" :-)

Thank you much, Polly!!