Jack Nicholson doesn’t own a cell phone. Why should we care what Jack does or doesn’t own. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big-time movie fan but I don’t really care much for so called “movie stars”. I like the characters they play but I find them egotistical, uninteresting and intellectually shallow. In spite of my prejudice I’d jump at the chance to go to a Laker game with Jack, play chess with Bogey or go sailing with John Houston and the Duke. Anyway, here’s some stuff about these Hollywood icons that you might not know.
Marlon Brando (1924-2004) was roommates with Wally Cox during their theatrical training in New York City and they remained close friends until Wally’s death at 48 in 1973. Marlon talked Wally’s widow out of Wally’s ashes and hid them in a closet at his home. He frequently talked to Wally’s ashes until his own death in 2004. After he died Marlon’s son Miko scattered Marlon’s and Wally Cox’s ashes together in a private ceremony in Death Valley, California.
Betty Grable (1916-1973) suffered from demophobia, the fear of crowds and she was plagued by sleep-walking.
Steve McQueen (1930-1980) was invited for dinner at Roman Polanski/Sharon Tate’s home by a mutual friend on August 8, 1969, the night Sharon was murdered by the Charles Manson followers, but something came up and he cancelled his date at the last minute. After Sharon Tate’s murder Steve learned that his name was on the top of Manson’s celebrity death list and he may have been the target that fateful evening. He carried a concealed weapon until his death.
Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was overly concerned about her complexion and feared blemishes so much that she washed her face up to 15 times a day.
Peter Lorre (1904-1964) attended the funeral of Bela Lugosi with his friend Vincent Price. When they saw Lugosi dressed in his famous Dracula cape Peter said, “Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?”
Bing Crosby (1903-1977) had his large ears pinned (taped or glued) back during his first 17 films. They finally unpinned them partway through She Loves Me Not in 1934.
Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) was an outstanding chess player. He played chess by mail with GIs during WWII and he took on all challengers at home winning almost every game. He eventually turned chess pro and beat 40 or more opponents a day.
Mitzi Gaynor (1931- ) had a 35 ½” C bust, a 23” waist and 37’’ hips in 1953.
John Wayne (1907-1979) was caught pissing in Ward Bond’s flask by John Ford as they sailed along the Baja peninsula on John’s yacht, Araner.
Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) was born Margarita Carmen Cansino and legends say that the Margarita cocktail was named for her when she was dancing under her real name in a Tijuana, Mexico nightclub.
Lana Turner (1921-1995) was once forced to evacuate her apartment building during a fire. With only minutes to collect her valuables, Lana grabbed her lipstick, her eyebrow pencil and her hairdryer.
Bob Hope (1903-2003) was a professional boxer for a short time fighting under the name Packy East.
Robert Mitchum (1917-1997) served briefly in the Army as a medic at the tail end of WWII. He was a “pecker checker” at an induction center, checking recruits’ genitals for venereal diseases.
Bette Davis (1908-1989) was married to four gentiles. Her friend Joan Blondell who was married to Mike Todd, a Jew, always referred to Bette’s husbands as the “four skins”.
Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) owned an extensive collection of toy electric trains. He set up a track that followed the path of his career starting with a replica of the Hoboken train station.
Woody Allen (1935- ) has a variety of neuroses including: arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, entomophobia, the fear of insects, heliophobia, the fear of sunshine, cynophobia, the fear of dogs, altophobia, the fear of heights, demophobia, the fear of crowds, carcinophobia, the fear of cancer, thanatophobia the fear of death, misophobia, the fear of germs and one they don’t even have a name for yet, the fear of hotel bathrooms.
Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990) had a “contract” put out on him because of his affair with Kim Novak. The villain threatened to put out his other eye if he continued seeing Kim. Frank Sinatra intervened and saved Sammy from harm but Sammy was so scared that he broke up with Kim and married a black showgirl.
Orson Wells (1915-1985) once ate 18 hot dogs in one visit to a hot dog stand in Los Angeles. He became obese in his 40s and weighed over 350 pounds in his later life.
Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) was with Spencer Tracy the night he died. After Tracy got out of bed to get a glass of milk she heard glass shatter and a loud thud. Racing to the kitchen she found Tracy dead on the floor from a massive heart attack. She didn’t attend his funeral out of respect for his family.
Gary Cooper (1901-1961) had a huge appetite. He referred to his Hollywood breakfast of a dozen eggs, two of loaves of bread, a side of bacon and a pile of pork chops as his starvation diet. He’d follow that with a cherry pie and a quart of milk for lunch.
Dean Martin (1917-1995) had a fear of elevators and a love of comic books, which he read his entire life.
Cary Grant (1904-1986) shared a house with Randolph Scott. There were so many rumors about their relationship that the studio heads threatened not to employ them unless they moved apart. Interestingly, Scott often referred to himself as Grant’s wife.
Dan Aykroyd (1952- ) was born with heterochromia; his right eye is blue and his left eye is brown.
Clark Gable (1901-1960) had a daughter, Judy with Loretta Young. He only met her once and not until she was a teenager. Loretta, afraid that her pregnancy would damage both of their careers, gave birth to their daughter in Europe and returned home saying that Judy was adopted.
Bill Murray (1950- ) was bitten twice by the groundhog on the set of Groundhog Day.
George C. Scott (1927- ) had a tumultuous relationship with Ava Gardner. They both drank heavily and Scott’s temper often got the best of him. He was abusive and would beat Ava. He once beat her so badly that he broke her shoulder forcing her to complete her film in a body brace.
Paul Newman (1925-2008) was one of the celebrities on Richard Nixon’s famous “Enemies List”.
Judy Garland (1922-1969) lay in a temporary crypt for over a year after her funeral because no one would pay the expense of moving her to a permanent resting place. Upon learning that Judy’s last husband didn’t have the money, Judy’s daughter Liza raised the funds to have her mom properly buried.
Clint Eastwood (1930- ) weighed 11 lbs 6 oz at birth.
Marlene Dietrich (1901- 1992) sucked lemons between takes to keep her mouth muscles tight and demanded that her hair stylist sprinkle a half ounce of real gold dust into her wigs to add glitter.
There you have it. Eat your heart out, Rona Barrett.
©2010 by Bob Rockwell