Screenland‘s August 1951 issue promised to share “What Hollywood Itself Is Talking About,” with the help of columnist Lynn Bowers. What scoop did Bowers have for readers that summer? Here are the best bits:
Rita Hayworth: Back to Work
Bowers reports that on the heels of her divorce from “her prince” — a six-week divorce obtained in Nevada — Rita Hayworth was wasting no time in getting right back to work. Columbia planned to re-team Hayworth with Cover Girl screenwriter Virginia Van Upp (“Rita’s close friend”) for a new picture. I can only assume the picture turned out to be Affair in Trinidad, released in 1952, for which Van Upp was credited with the story.
Jane Wyman was working on The Blue Veil for RKO. With the film’s story spanning several decades, Wyman was required to put up to three extra hours in each morning for age makeup. As a result, she refused an apparent swarm of potential suitors, vowing not to engage in any social activity which would keep her awake past 10:00 pm — steering clear of “the bags-under-the-eyes circuit,” as the mag refers to it.
Tony Curtis: Fearing for the life of his… wardrobe?
In a classic “fans gone mad” tale, Screenland reports that Universal-International decided to insure Curtis’ wardrobe for The Prince Who Was a Thief‘s press tour, after his last press tour resulted in all of his shirts being ripped to shreds. Meanwhile, on the love front, Tony almost lost his gal Janet Leigh when she captured the hearts of “the entire Pirates baseball team” while filming Angels in the Outfield (then titled Angels and the Pirates) in Pittsburgh.
Audie Murphy: A Hero in Love, On Set
Screenland calls Murphy a “war hero” and says that he enjoyed an eleven-day honeymoon with his bride, stewardess Pamela Archer, before reporting to work on his latest film. When it was time to get back to work, he brought his bride along, not just to extend the honeymoon but to show her “what movie life-in-the-raw was like.”
Betty Hutton: Keepin’ it Clean
A very fancy dressing room was awarded to Betty Hutton for her time spent filming The Greatest Show on Earth, Bowers reports. Hutton was so proud of her new digs that she insisted all guests must take their shoes off before entering the dressing room.
Barbara Stanwyck: Big-Screen Return
After taking some time off following her split from Robert Taylor, Screenland reports that the Queen of Hollywood is ready to return to the screen. Not only that, she has two pictures lined up: Clash by Night and The Man With a Cloak. “We hear she’s going to sing a ballad of the old days, written especially for her, in the latter,” Bowers writes.
Judy Garland: Continental Crooner
Judy Garland had an amazing time performing in London, the mag says. A performance at the Palladium gave her a major confidence boost, and she was so happy that she decided to stay on that side of the ocean, taking several singing gigs in Europe (mostly in France).
It was time for Peggy Dow to vacate her cozy little home at the U-I Studio Club. She decided to room with a fellow Studio Club alumna — but the two found they had no idea what to do with all of their newfound space! Rather than battling over who could have the largest room, they found themselves puzzled by exactly how to fill all of that emptiness, after living in such close quarters at the Club. The mag also noted that Peggy was dating an oilman named Walter Helmerich. She went on to marry Helmerich, retiring from Hollywood after just a few years on screen. The marriage resulted in five sons and lasted until Walter’s death in 2012.
Marge & Gower Champion: Kitten Crazy
These hoofers are reported as having three pet cats when they left New York for Hollywood. At time of print, their gaggle of furry children had expanded from three to nine! Forget those stereotypical “crazy cat ladies” — the Champions were, without a doubt, a crazy cat pair.