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Larry's Classic Star Reminiscences


vecchiolarry

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Thanks Larry - I have been meaning to read Mongo's thread but want to have the time to read it all - so will try soon. I haven't been to the Japanese Gardens recently either - haven't even thought about it but an excellent idea. It is beautiful - and serene and tranquil. :-)

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Hi Larry,

Great thread you've got going here. I'd like to hear some of your stories about Marion Davies and Natalie Wood, if you ever got a chance to meet her. Oh, and what about Cary Grant? Thanks!!

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Hi Wojo 2110,

 

I did not know Cary Grant and only saw Natalie Wood once on the set of "West Side Story". She was doing a scene with George Chakiris, whom I knew from the London stage version of WSS....

 

I will do a bit on Marion Davies, who was a very good friend to Nell and me.

 

Larry

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Hey larry I don't know where it's been posted before and I haven't time to look but I read many of your posts on this thread and I was curious and very interested in how it was that you were so lucky to know so many stars? Sorry if I sound ignorant it's just I don't get around to the threads as often as I used to.

-phoebe

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Hi,

 

Katy -

Thanks for the nice plug!

 

Phoebe -

Some further reading about moi is on "Linda Darnell" - 'Your Favourites' and "Ask Mongo" (around March 29th) - 'Information, Please'.....

But, to summorize - I stayed with a grandmother, Nell, who orbitted around show business mainly to ****-off her family...

She knew mostly the older personalities through Marion Davies and W.R. Hearst and therefore so did I.

I did have some friends that she didn't like also, such as Dolores Gray.

 

Larry

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 

I am so spitting mad!!!!!!!

 

I have tried to post a piece on Marion Davies, a long piece, and I have been bonced off and told that I'm a 'guest' and that "Guests cannot post".

 

This has happened to me before here and I've had to type things over.

 

Well, not any more.....

 

Whoever is running this message board had better find my Marion Davies post and get it on here or I will not be returning here.

 

I logged on and I want my piece recovered!

If it isn't, you will not be hearing from me again.

 

I am **** off...

 

Larry

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Larry, sometimes this will happen if your posts are too long. It has happened to me on the birthday thread a few times, when there are numerous birthdays in one day.

I doubt very much that your post can be revived.

 

Mongo

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I've had the same experience typing longer posts myself, Larry, particularly when I was working on my Marie Dressler series a few months ago. But I found that they don't disappear, at least not completely. I've used the Back+History function in my computer browser to recover long posts after signing back in to the TCM website (by hitting Log In/Register again).

 

Then you click the little arrow next to the Back button on your browser, and it'll give you a list of the web pages you've recently visited. Click on the most recent "TCM Forums - Post Message in General Discussions" page, and your post should pop up. (Sometimes it just shows up as "Forums", so look for that, too.) Depending on when the system logged you off, you may not find everything you wrote, but you should find a version that's at least 90 percent complete.

 

If it's too far back to be recovered that way, click the History or Search button on your browser after you've signed back in. Look for your recent forums.turnerclassicmovies.com visits, and you can find it that way, too. Of course, the time span depends on how long you've set your computer settings for, but I've recovered posts I've left for as long as two weeks that way.

 

I've found that one good way to avoid losing my long posts in the first place is to use the Preview function frequently, to let the system know I'm still working. If you don't click often enough in a certain period of time, apparently the system thinks you're idle, and logs you off. In that case, you just hit Log In/Register at the top of the page, and that restores everything.

 

Above all, be patient. Remember, the longer your post was, the longer it's going to take to come up again. But it does come up.

 

But please don't go, Larry! I love reading your reminiscences!

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Hi Dan,

 

Thank you for the advice, but this did not work. No lists came up with the back button nor under search.

 

And, by reading the many complaints under "Technical Problems" on this forum, I can see people are frustrated and nobody is fixing anything here. There are no results.

 

I am still disgruntled and I have no patience - zero!!!

 

I don't think there's any administrator or moderator running this forum, so I'm screwed, I guess.

 

Larry

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Larry,

I think I have a solution for you. Just type up your wonderful, long posts in Word or whatever program you use, then do a copy/paste of it here. I just tried it and it works. That way, you can take all the time you need to type it up without worrying about losing it. If you need any help you can email me and I'll be happy to assist. Your posts are something I always look forward to and I really hope you will continue to visit.

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Hi Larry -

 

I too have experienced this problem. I once wrote a very long post about something and lost it, and I was EXTREMELY **** off, so I can understand your frustration. But coffeedan made a good point when he said to frequently hit either "Preview" or "Spell Check," since this will allow you to say logged in.

 

If you're like me, then it'll take you a few days to simmer down before you can calmly compose another lengthy post, but please do so in time - I would LOVE to hear your memories of Marion Davies.

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Holy cow, Larry! What a fantastic story (about Dodsworth, Ruth Chatterton, and "Nell" ... my gosh, the phrase, "this is not your father's grandma" comes to mind) ;-)

 

I've loved Dodsworth since I saw it first (way the heck back when I was 16 or so...) but never had an inkling that it had such a backstory. And up to now the most interesting thing I knew about Ruth Chatterton was that she and Jose Iturbi dated for a while in the mid-1930's!

 

Thanks, and keep these great stories coming! BTW, I contest your notion that there's no market for books like this. I bet everyone on the TCM boards would buy the book -- at a minimum, two copies each!

 

Trout

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Hi,

 

Marion Davies -

 

- of all the acquaintances that I?ve had, Marion Davies is the one who affects me the most. She was the first of my ?old ladies?; the first movie star I knew. And so, it has taken me this long to cover her.

- when I first went to LA in 1946, Marion and her sister, Rose, came to tea at my grandmother?s house and that?s where I first met her.

- I was her little ?Snookums? (I was 4 years old) and she used to kiss and cuddle and chase me all over the place. She was wonderful with kids.

- she had a very large beach house, Ocean House, in Santa Monica with a swimming pool, stables and guest cottages and that?s where I met Pola Negri. She sold this place in 1948 and it was demolished in the 60?s and is gone now. Shame?

- she and William Randolph Hearst also had a house in Beverly Hills on Beverly Drive. Many, many parties were held there. The only real conversation I had with Mr. Hearst was in 1950 when I asked him if he had any new purchases for San Simeon. He said that he would invite me up to SS when they were unpacked and I suggested we swim in the Neptune Pool there. He said, ?We?ll plan on it, my boy?.. He never did unpack those treasures and I never did get to San Simeon except as a tourist, years later. They don?t let tourists swim in the Neptune Pool! Bummer?..

- Marion was no dim-witted shop girl as has been publicized. She was witty, vivacious and a perfect hostess. And a very astute business woman. Hearst treated her like a precious treasure.

- She was still ?the socialite of the entertainment world? although she was winding down because of Hearst?s illnesses. Her last great party was in 1951 for Johnny Ray. This is the party where I met Betty Blythe with a large ruby glued to her ****.

 

OK, it looks like this worked, so I'll write more in the coming days....

 

Larry

 

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Hi again Teri, Dan and Joe,

 

I succeeded with the 'Word, copy, paste' method and my first Marion Davies tome is on....

 

I will write some more using the "preview and Spell Check" method next and see if that succeeds, too...

 

Thank you all for the great advice. Muchly appreciated.

 

Larry

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Great account on Marion Davies' Larry.

 

I have also used many times the word-copy-paste method and it has worked for me.

 

Another useful method is: After writing a long post, before pressing the "post message" option, select all you've written and copy it, so if when you post it does not work, you will still be able to paste it completely on a new "reply" and post it.

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Hi,

 

Thanks Fernando, that's another great suggestion.

I need all the help I can get with computers. When they called out "computer savvy", my name wasn't on the list.

But, when they announced "computer stupid", I'll be damned if I wasn't first on the list!!!!

 

Technologically, I'm brainless!!!

 

Larry

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Larry!

Good to have you back. I'm so glad it all worked out and thank goodness it did. Another good thing about the copy/paste method is that you can always save a permanent record of your reminiscences on your hard drive and they don't just disappear into to void.

Save to a CD or a disk as well though, just in case! Somebody suggested you put all these wonderful stories in book form. Something to think about,huh? I'd buy a copy and get a few more for Christmas gifts. So what are you waiting for?!

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Hi again,

 

Marion Davies (2) ?

 

- Marion stuttered when nervous, sometimes quite badly. It got better the more she drank, although she didn?t drink as much as has been reported. She loved to tell the story about her and Lillian Lorraine, both chorus girls around 1915. Lillian was a brown-noser and used to glory in games of one-uppmanship; Marion and the rest of the girls disliked her intensely. One night Marion called her ?a real shshshshshit? and Lillian just laughed at her. Several nights later, after Lillian connived her own dressing room, Marion was so **** off with Lillian that after the show she marched into her dressing room and shouted ?Sassafrass, up your ****!? at her. She used to laugh and declare, ?How?d I do that!!???

- Marion was partially paralyzed by polio in 1947 and many didn?t know that she was. She often needed help getting into and out of cars and sometimes walking. She was often perceived as drunk, but wasn?t. She never allowed her condition to be publicized as she wanted no pity. Thus, her reputation suffered. Her sister, Rose, was the drunk, not Marion.

- She died in 1961 of cancer of the jaw and like Lana later on, she wouldn?t allow her face to be disfigured.

- No one was more charitable nor well beloved than her, except maybe Louise Fazenda.

- In 1961, Marion appeared on Hedda Hopper?s TV show and she brought in the top makeup artist in Hollywood to do her face and hands. Her gown was done by Jean Louis and she wore her best chinchilla wrap. She looked marvellous!!!! Young and beautiful. The makeup artist had used something akin to polyfilla and the results were stupendous??. After the show, Marion went all over Hollywood ? the Goetz?s, the Warner?s, the Zanuck?s, the Selznick?s, the Goldwyn?s, Irene Dunne, Loretta Young and Nell and many more to show off her wonderful results. Nell phoned me in Malibu to tell me she was coming out to show me how young and grand she looked. And sure enough, at 2:30 AM, there she was at my front door, ?Look, don?t I look marvellous!!??? ?Yes, you?re the greatest star of them all!?, I cried?? ?Let?s go and show Lana?.. So off we went, next door and woke up Lana and Fred??? Marion was like a kid in a candy store and she looked 17. Hours later, several people were again awakened by Marion as she phoned (Nell among them) demanding, ?How do you get this stuff OFF!!!!!!!!!!

 

Larry

 

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Hi,

 

Marion Davies (3) ?

 

- Marion had three sisters, Ethel, Reine and Rose, the Douras sisters, although they all adopted the Davies name that they got off some company building in New York City. Reine and Ethel were both dead by the time I arrived on the scene, but Rose was very much alive and kicking! She was Nell?s best friend and was a pretty rude and crude woman ? a drunk and I didn?t care for her much. Surprisingly, Rex Harrison got along very well with Rose and they danced many a night away quite cosily, hmmm!!!!!

- Marion loved children and had a great rapport with them. While I was her ?Snookums?, my brother, Mark, was her ?Skeeziks?. She built and financed the Davies Childrens? Clinic at UCLA Medical Center.

- she personally paid for many medical and surgical needs of those less fortunate. Several casts and crews at MGM, Warners and Fox had their medical bills paid in full by Marion Davies over the years.

- when she died, in 1961 (aged only 64), I was so crushed; I was at home at Malibu and I just sat on the beach for hours. I was so sunburned that my neighbour, George Chakiris, had to take me into the hospital for dehydration and delirium. She was like a mother, sister, aunt and everything to me. Her death affected me more than anybody?s, even Nell?s. Only Paulette Goddard?s death in 1990, hit me as hard and that was expected since she was older.

- her funeral was attended by any body who was any body in old Hollywood and not just an obligatory appearance, but those who truly loved her. All the Catholic Ladies (Irene, Roz and Loretta), Merle Oberon and Mary Pickford and all the studio bosses (Goldwyn, Warner and Zanuck) and even Herbert Hoover. Everyone but the Hearsts and she was so good to those boys.

- Millicent Hearst was actually a nice and kind lady but she ostracized Marion after WR died and so did her boys. Unfortunate!!! She still loved them all and was hurt by that.

- today, Marion is regarded as a refreshing light comedienne, and not the talentless mistress of a megalomaniac industrialist. Even Orson Welles spoke highly of her in an interview in the 70?s. So maybe she will come to be regarded as a brighter star than she has been in the past!!!!!

 

Larry

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