Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
vecchiolarry

Larry's Classic Star Reminiscences

Recommended Posts

Hello once again,

 

Louise Fazenda - known as 'Aunt Loolie' by one and all. She was the one to call for assistance or help if you were sick or in trouble. I think she knew every doctor and nurse in the United States!! That is an exaggeration, of course; but maybe not...

- everybody loved Loolie, truly loved her; never was a rotten word said about her, and she was the most easy going, down-to-earth person.

- Louise Fazenda was one of the premier hostesses of Los Angeles and was instremental in setting up the Hollywood Canteen with Bette Davis during WWII. She was the hostess with the mostess in LA...

- that can't be said for her husband, Hal Wallis (the producer). He was a pretty drole character and stayed in the background, even at his own parties. He liked me, but not too many other people. But, he did love Louise and she could make him jump through hoops. He was jokingly nicknamed "The Prisoner of Fazenda" by us all..

- they had an impressive art collection and rivalled the Goetz' art; but there didn't seem to be any rivalry between Bill & Edie Goetz and Hal & Louise Wallis.

- Louise always wore sunglasses outside and carried a parasol to ward off the sun. Strong light hurt her eyes terribly. Movie stars started wearing sunglasses, copying her - that's where it all started.

And, because of the parasol, I always called her 'my Japanese Princess'... She was going blind at the end of her life.

- her charitable and humanitarian causes may have contributed to her early death - a young convict she was helping (one of several, over the years) struck her in her home and caused her to have a nervous breakdown (??) of sorts. In the hospital, she suffered a cerebral hemmorrage and died in 1962. She was only 67.

- everybody who was anybody in LA society was at her funeral. I think it's still the largest funeral recorded in LA history.

- Hal Wallis was inconsolable and married Martha Hyer 4 years later. She has Louise's art collection now.

 

Larry

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you ask me Nell was quite a woman especially at a time when most men had control of the industry and its surroundings.

Rough, tough and ready to wheel and deal, she was quite a woman, if you ask me.

All in all Larry I would say that you were fortunate to have her. Just think of the adventure and glitz you would have missed out on and I bet that you do miss her...at times.

 

Mongo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mongo & Feaito,

 

Yes, I do miss her often. She was mostly good to me and taught me how to handle people; although I'm assertive and not overly authoritarian, like her.

 

A clarification - Nell was on the boundaries and outskirts of movie and TV; she mostly threw money at it (as Producer) but rarely had any creative juices involved.

When she got disgusted, as with Loretta Young and Martha Raye, she just withdrew her money and gave them the 'finger' so to speak. She wasn't really involved in Hollywood production. She thought most of these people were stupid and only W.R. Hearst was her equal.

 

I was more a friend to them than she was.

For instance - Dolores Gray and me; I was a friend but Nell disliked her!!!!

 

Larry

 

PS - I don't think I would write a book about Nell because my father would kill me and Nell's family (her brother's descendants) would sue me.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are hilarious Larry, you should have your own talk-show and be invited to Larry King Live! I'd be watching you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Everyone,

 

Dolores Gray - I met her sailing on the Queen Mary in 1949. She was going to London to star on the West End stage there. Nell and I sat with her for dinner the first night out.

Nell announced that she had brought on board 17 steamer trunks; Dolores said, "Oh, I've got 19!!"... Nell never did like her after that. But, I did and we had many a great time together whenever I was in New York City.

- lived the high life for most of her time on Earth and enjoyed every moment of it.

She was a true 'star', who loved to play the grand star and she had an extravagant life style.

- fortunately, she married a wealthy international businessman, Andrew Crevolin, who had even more money than Merle Oberon's husband.

- she turned down the Kay Thompson role in "Funny Face" saying it was 'an ageless, sexless character'....

- made only 3 or 4 movies (only one was any good) and when one fan asked her if she had ever won an Oscar, she replied, "Yes darling, I keep it in the toilet with the rest of my movie career!!".....

- she died shortly after her 78th birthday in 2002.

 

Larry

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info about Dolores Gray, Larry. I really enjoyed her (and the movie) in the Oscar winning (story and screenplay) film Designing Women (1957)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps if Miss Gray didn't refuse the role offered to her in "Funny Face" she may have been asked to participate in other MGM films.

I believe back then it was called being temperamental.

 

Mongo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mongo,

 

I have only seen clips from "Funny Face" but it wouldn't have hurt Dolores to do that film. She was in enough stinkers already.

 

I can imagine she could be tempermental; and she had a rather bitchy mother (stage mother) hanging on too; so who knows what decisions she made.....

 

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a pity she didn't do more pics...I liked her very much in "The Opposite Sex" and "Designing Woman"...and she was fine too in "Kismet".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dolores Gray is absolutely wonderful in the underrated It's Always Fair Weather. She has a big number called "Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks" that's a killer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ayresorchids,

 

I have seen this film clip and it pretty well sums up Dolores' persona.

 

She also did this number in an Empire Room club act in the late 50's and always got a standing ovation.

There's nobody around today who can play those supper clubs like Dolores Gray!!!!!

 

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ayresorchids,

 

I have seen this film clip and it pretty well sums up Dolores' persona.

 

She also did this number in an Empire Room club act in the late 50's and always got a standing ovation.

There's nobody around today who can play those supper clubs like Dolores Gray!!!!!

 

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just getting caught up with this thread, and I'd like to thank you again Larry for your stories, they are truly amazing. If there are any other stars that you would be willing to write about, I'm all eyes! Did you know any others?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr Larry - what a great thread. I haven't been around this site for a month or so and look what happens?!

 

Loretta Young - a friend of mine said that an acquaintance was walking down the street sometime in the mid-1950's when a big Cadillac came roaring down a driveway and hit the brick post near the street. The acquaintance stopped to assist the driver who turned out to be Loretta. She surveyed the damage to the post and the fender, looked at the acquaitance and said: "I never could drive."

 

Larry - although she was before your time, do you have any stories that others might have told you about Frances Farmer?

 

Also a lovely girl who was around movies and television in the 1950's - Allison Hayes.

 

Anything you have heard or know would be appreciated. And thanks again for a great thread!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Jhnrndgit -

 

That's a very funny story about Loretta Young and her driving!!

I know who Allison Hayes is or was; but I can't say whether I've ever seen her. Is she still alive?

 

 

Moviejoe79 -

 

I guess I should concentrate on some of the men now.

I'll try to recall some experiences with Rex Harrison, Ramon Novarro, James Stewart, Cesar Romero and Reginald Gardiner.

Then later, maybe Claire Windsor and Betty Blythe if anyone's interested.

 

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, unfortunately Allison passed away in 1977. She had been a health food fanatic and gotten mixed up with Dr Henry Bieler through Gloria Swanson. Allison started taking a calcium supplement given her by Bieler and eventually suffered lead poisoning and died. Sad story.

 

Thanks for the answer, though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jhnrndgit,

 

OMG, that's awful; lead poisoning is a horrible death. I hope that doctor was prosecuted....

 

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well - he really didn't know the dangers, and there was and still isn't any FDA approval over such supplements. Dr Bieler did pass away although Allison and he certainly had some harsh words for each other. She threatened to sue him, but eventually sued the American distributor of the supplement.

 

Sara Shane - the Australian actress has worked tirelessly to make people aware of the health hazards of some of the "cures" still being plied by some medical professionals.

 

Sorry you didn't know Allison. But keep those stories coming!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Larry, belated thanks for the info on Louise Fazenda, Laura LaPlante and Theda Bara. You've added a lot to my impressions of these fabulous women -- thanks again for sharing!

 

I'm dying to hear your take on Betty Blythe. I just found a picture of her in a 1924 issue of Liberty I recently bought, and she looks LUSCIOUS!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Larry, love your take on all these bigger-than-life movie immortals! Do you know anything about that Jazz Mad flapper--Colleen Moore? I know she was the number one movie star for several years but I've brought several of her silents and I honestly cannot see any of the magic. She looks literally weird with that pursed mouth and large eyes and skinny torso. Maybe if I saw her on the big screen it'd be different. Also, I've always been fascinated by the Talmadge Sisters, especially Constance. She was supposed to be a real spitfire. Anita Loos wrote a book--that many said was fiction--about the Talmadge gals and paints a dismal picture of them as all being alcoholics towards the end--although another book I've read has it that Constance, at least, always married men with lots of money and loved to party until the very end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Coffeedan1927 -

 

Yes, I'll do one on Betty Blythe happily......

 

Patypancake -

 

I did not know Colleen Moore nor the Talmadges but my grandmother did. I never saw any of them.

 

Colleen Moore was very rich and I'm sure you've heard about her famous doll house with all the jewelled furniture. I believe it's in a Chicago museum now.

She had her own money but married a couple of millionaires along the way.

She apparently had one blue eye and one green......

 

The Talmadge sisters were also very wealthy:

 

1) Norma was once married to Joseph Schenck, who owned and ran movie studios and theatres across the country. She divorced him to marry Gilbert Roland but he ran off with Constance Bennett.

Before Schenck died he wanted to remarry Norma, but she told him, "You can't do anything for me anymore!"....

Norma also married comedian George Jessel and then divorced him because he wanted to continue his career and not wait on her full time.

Once later, I heard, he phoned her and she told her maid, "Tell him I died and left all my money to him!!"... Cruel!

In the 30's after her career was over, a little boy asked her for her autograph and she waived him away saying, "Go away, I don't need you any more"...... Really cruel.

 

2) Natalie had a minor career but ended up marrying Buster Keaton.

 

3) Constance was a great friend of Marion Davies and Bebe Daniels and they were party girls, for sure.

Bebe later married Ben Lyons and moved to England.

Constance lived most of her life in New York City and hobnobbed with several millionaires, as you've noted.

 

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Larry:

 

Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle is housed at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, on 57th and Lake Shore Drive in Hyde Park. It's about two blocks from the University of Chicago. Moore was a native Chicagoan and once married to the McCormick heir.

 

I believe Colleen donated the fairy castle, which her father gave to her, in the late 1950's. The castle is in the basement of the museum off in a corner. It used to be hard to find because it wasn't labeled. Now they do have a sign over the entrance as well as different movies of hers playing. The last time I was there, I think the movie they were showing above was "Scarlet letter."

 

If you go online, the Museum has a website with interactive exhibits. One of them is of the fairy castle. You can look at each room close up and click on different objects you want to see. As you can imagine, there is only so much you can see in the little room castle is located. There are phones you can pick up with Colleen Moore's voice, where she talks about the different rooms. It has always been one of my favorite places in the Museum.

 

Keep up the nice reminisces. I found what you said about Corrine Griffith quite interesting and very touching. I guess she had Alzheimer's or something similar in later years. Too bad.

 

I'm also interested in hearing about Betty Blythe and some of your other acquaintances. I had seen the movie Dodsworth, but never read the novel. After hearing it was based on your grandmother, though, I'm dying to read it. I've read three Lewis novels so far: "Babbit," "Main Street," and "Elmer Gantry," which is a lot different than the movie.

 

Take care.

 

Deborah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Jhnrndgit -

I don't know much about Frances Farmer except for the movie that was made starring Jessica Lange.

What a horrendous and depressing life she lead.

 

 

Ayresorchids -

 

I've never heard of Dorothy Stone, sorry to say.

 

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

© 2019 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...