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Hollywood partying, 50s-70s

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Benzadmiral, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    A lot of neat B & W shots here: https://worldwideinterweb.com/post/63468/scroll/page/2/

    The annoying thing is that the site doesn't bother to ID all the celebrities in each shot. For instance, in the one with Judy Garland and Marlon Brando, that's clearly Edmond O'Brien . . . but I suppose he's not on the modern media's radar, any more than Tony Perkins is (he's in the last shot, with Audrey Hepburn and a live deer, no doubt from when they were filming Green Mansions). Anyway, enjoy, and spot the unnamed actors/actresses.

    Q: Who is that in the shot with Rock Hudson, Robert Mitchum, and Marilyn Monroe?
  2. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    Definitely a more civilized time. So many of those shots were taken in public places, restaurants, hotels and the like. It's pretty rare to hear that such a multitude of celebrities is out in public anymore or even to imagine that they could be convinced to hang out together. Hollywood was once a community.
  3. I've read that back in the Golden Era it was not unusual for places to become known hangouts for stars / ballplayers / etc. and that the public - who also frequented these same places - would, for the most part, leave the famous people alone.

    Toots Shor's and Jack Dempsey's restaurants in NYC were well known famous people hangouts up through the '60s where stars and ballplayers could go and socialize right next to, but, overall, not be disturbed by, the public. I think this is true, but would love to hear if others can confirm or rebut it (Lizzie?).

    And it doesn't seem like this type of tacit agreement could happen today.
  4. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    Hmmm. Regrettably, the link takes me to Halloween costumes.

    Nonetheless, yes, I wonder at how accessible stars were in those days and how, by and large, the public respected their privacy. It has been a long time since I’ve even glimpsed a celebrity in public.

    (In the 1980s, one of my many college jobs was as tour guide on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. One day, actor Leslie Nielsen joined one of my tours as just another participant in a group of 10 people are so. He very politely paid attention through the entire tour. At the end of the tour I asked if there were any questions. “Yes,” a suburban mom raised her hand, “is that Leslie Nielsen?” He laughed and admitted that he was. He was gracious and gave autographs to anyone who wanted one.)
  5. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Try this one: https://worldwideinterweb.com/vintage-hollywood-party-photos/
  6. There were certain enclaves where celebrities could go to unwind with a tacit understanding of what happened there stayed there. Most of these were institutions of the 1930s and 1940s that lived into the 50s -- but that culture was dying off by the 60s and 70s. In New York, Toots Shor's was frequented by what was known as the "sporting" crowd -- athletes, gamblers, and actors who gravitated to those circles, while the Stork Club was favored by the Broadway crowd, visiting movie and radio people, society "celebutantes," and the political set. Walter Winchell was a steady presence at the Stork -- he had his own private table which served as his field command post -- and his presence did tend to keep personalities from getting too far out of control out of fear of what he might put in his column if they crossed him.

    In Hollywood, the cognocenti gathered in the back room at Chasen's Restaurant, run by former comedian Dave Chasen, where confidences tended to be respected and celebrities could generally do as they liked without worrying about what Hedda or Louella might say about them.

    The common link these places had was a strong personality in charge of each -- Sherman Billingsley at the Stork, Toots Shor himself, and Dave Chasen himself, all of whom ruled their establishments with an iron hand, and felt free to ban anyone who violated "the rules."

    The general atmosphere of uncontrolled paranoia in the United States during the early 1950s started this culture down the slope, with personalities becoming very conscious of who it was safe to be seen with. The Stork Club closed in 1965, Toots Shor lasted until the early seventies before folding. Chasen's actually lasted into the 90s, but its heyday was long past and it was a shadow of its former self when it shut down.
    Fading Fast likes this.
  7. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    In the late 1980s a very well known and easily identifiable TV star told me that he could go out in public to many restaurants and not be bothered ... until someone had the courage to approach him. Once one person did it then everyone would join in looking for an autograph or just acknowledgement of some sort. There are a few restaurants in LA (and I'm sure NYC) where reservations are so hard to get or the prices so high that "normal people" don't go there. In some cases the food is no better than it might be elsewhere but the extreme prices keep the civilians away; these restaurants are designed for a certain clientele. The extreme end of this sort of thing are private clubs and more downscale yet exclusive restaurants like Rao's in NYC. Rao's tables are all "owned" by standing 'subscription style' reservations that you pay for whether you attend or not. Basically it is sold out every night even if there isn't a single person in the place. If a civilian without a connection to a reservation holder wants to eat there they can sometimes get a table by hanging out at the bar and when it gets so late that management decides no reservation holder is going to arrive for a certain table they'll sneak you in. It's almost a private (owned by the clientele) restaurant.

    Regardless, you don't see "show people" out in public in LA much anymore. As a kid I can remember Groucho Marx plowing up the center of Beverly Blvd in his Rolls Royce, barely the top of his head showing over the steering wheel. At the theater in NYC I sometimes run into celebs out to see the show. I had a brief conversation with Liv Tyler a year or two ago, it might have been at a performance of "Something Rotten." She didn't seem the least bit defensive but I never treated her like she was any different than any other audience member, so I wasn't like someone who "wanted something." If you want to see theater in NYC you have to mix with the unwashed masses.

    I have the feeling that the same celebrity will be more skittish in LA than NYC; it's part of the accepted definition of the place. In LA it's all about avoidance and social paranoia; don't be seen mixing with people lower in the Hollywood pecking order that you are because if you give them a chance they'll all be demanding you do them favors. In NYC it's just in your face and shoulder to shoulder and it's less of a social sin if you tell someone to "&$@# off!" if they are bothering you. That harsher attitude creates more openness between people. Go figure!
  8. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    Sounds like living in a gilded cage. No thanks. Especially nowadays when celebrities seem to be targets of anyone with a twitter account. (Either rightly or wrongly/fairly or unfairly. But let's not go there.)

    Thanks, Benz, for the new link.
  9. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    How perceptive of you. last night on the BBC was a program about Annabels, the London night club that the rich and famous love to patronise. Although a haunt for the wealthy, it's also an equality of guests meaning everybody, no matter what title or rank, is the same as everybody else. The reason Frank Sinatra loved the place was because there was never any paparazzi. It may not be in my league but nonetheless it was compulsive viewing:
  10. Not sure, but it kind of looks like Audrey Meadows to me...

  11. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Could be. Since the girl's hand is on Mitchum's arm, too, she might very well be a starlet he was dating that night.

  12. I don't really see Audrey Meadows in her face (but I could be wrong - often am), but also, methinks many women put their arms on Mitchum whether they were his date that night or not :). It was good to be Robert Mitchum.
  13. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage Call Me a Cab

    Good thread, thanks. Does anyone have any more related anecdotes?
  14. 3fingers

    3fingers Practically Family

    Unfortunately the link now takes me to a page of babies who look like middle age men and something about turkeys ruling the world.
    I snoozed and loozed on this one. :(
  15. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    Try the second link I posted, this one: https://worldwideinterweb.com/vintage-hollywood-party-photos/ It worked for me just now.
    3fingers likes this.
  16. 3fingers

    3fingers Practically Family

  17. 3fingers

    3fingers Practically Family

    Terry Moore. I believe she was one of Howard Hughes girlfriends for a long time.
  18. Agree re: Terry Moore. Most well known Hollywood role was probably Mighty Joe Young. Supposedly, she and Howard Hughes got married in 1949 by a ship's captain but Hughes destroyed the evidence.
  19. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec Practically Family

    I might have said this somewhere before but Hughes had girls stashed all over just in case he wanted to visit them ... and from all I can tell he rarely did. I doubt that there was an absolute understanding that they were there in case he 1) wanted to have sex, and 2) had the gumption to get out of the house but I'm guessing that the ladies tended to be interested when he did bother. A family member of mine was approached by his "recruiter" several times but always told him "no."

    Oddly, we lived across the street from one of the houses where he stashed his women. His security men staked out the place 24/7 when he had a prospect living there ... Hughes might want a report on what she was up to. The security guys were pretty straight laced Mormons for the most part and they definitely were tight lipped about some of the aspects of their job.

    A friend of ours, an antique dealer was always amazed at the place. It was a modest little house above the Strip in West Hollywood, but some Hughes employee had decorated it and they had placed a huge urn in front which was used as a planter. Our friend said the urn was something like 2000 years old, Roman or Phoenician or something of the sort. Worth, in those days, nearly as much as the house. We were long gone by then but I noticed that it disappeared sometime in the 1990s ... hopefully not to a landfill!
    MagsRags and Fading Fast like this.

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