Man About Town

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald-Journal/May 8, 1940

The Alfred G. Vanderbilts, wed only two years, should be spanked—to hear their dearest pals groan it . . . When the DeMarcos end their Morocco date Renee definitely will seek a Flori-division and then wed Desi (La Conga) Arnaz . . . The D. Wagstaff Jrs., of the Tall-Hat Set, will have it Renotarized  . . . The Stork Club maestro, E. Holst, and his Mrs. have decided to unwind. He will next marry Mary Jane Walsh, soubrette of “Too Many Girls,” who once said she’d only wed millionaires . . . The John Mason Browns of the Post’s play-pages will be a quartet in Oct . . . Did Marion Anderson, the negro nightingale, recently secretly wed a pianist? . . . Add spring style notes: Bimelech doesn’t look good in a Derby.

The sensation of “Louisiana Purchase” is said to be the most revealing garment ever seen on a stage.” Zorina wears it. The show our spies say, packs oodles of risgay humor, with Irene Bordoni in the role of a New Orleans Moddom . . . In the soon-due “Keep Off The Grass” revue, “the bluest lyrics ever” will be heard. Bostonians, Broadway learns, winced at the wordage of the songs: “Gone With The Wind” and “The Horse With The Hansom Behind.”

Nino Martini is supposed to be having contract trouble with the Metoper because he gets “too rough” in the love scenes. . .  Grace Moore isn’t over her “La Boheme” scare yet! . . . Because G. Jessel applied to editors by phone for a job as war correspondent, they assumed his honeymoon was over. Lois Andrews, his bride, seemed perfectly satisfied last night—and prettier since the merger . . . Freddy McAvoy, man-about-worlds, and Beatrice Cartwright will blend on May 16th at Cannes. She recently inherited 40 million . . . What’s this nonsense about the Newbold Morrises? . . . Mr. Dewey is said to have wondered if H. Hoover would run as his V-P . . . “As I Remember Him” will be the July “Book-of-the-month.” . . . The question about F.D.R. appears to be: Will he run for a 3rd term or will they bring it to him?

The column has the lowdown on a group of well-meaning Americans who do not suspect they are being used to further the interests of Dictators abroad. Foreign agents now here are readying a “Hate England” campaign in the U.S.—most likely to begin in mid-summer. Some Communists will be in it—but this is a smoke-screen—the part they will play will be very tiny. The Nazis are the real actors—and so clever and legal is their scheme they will even have some of the “persecuted” on their committees!

Bonnie Baker, the “Oh. Johnny!” thrush, was melted two years ago from Claude Lakey, sax tooter with the H. James crew . . . Many White Russians living in hall bedrooms still get their mail at swank hotels. . . Jane Frazee (Frazee sisters) has been reported preparing marriage with movie names. This is bunk, considering she still is sealed to a Chicago band leader, who won’t consent to a division . . . Ben Marden needs more show gals for his Riviera show. Apply Chester Hale, but quick! . . . It cost the union $5,500 a month to support the Brass Rail strike . . . That Monte Carlo spot west of Broadway sued the swanky Monte Carlo (Fefe’s) for allegedly pirating the name Fefe, just settled for a few Gs to use it . . . H. Ross, the New York ed, has bought a pair of mauve silk gloves with pearl buttons for handling Sally Benson.

The Times reported that one of the Berlin shortwavers (who aims his stuff at America) “has a rapid-fire delivery like Walter Winchell.” If the Nazis bother to ape our tempo—it means they listen to us—and if they listen to us and are forced to stage an opposition echo—then we know they are irked—which makes everything even plus honky-dooly.

One of Britain’s foremost writers (not Noel) believes the war will last 3 years or longer and that England and France will have revolutions before then . . . Van Heflin, in Chi with the Hepburn show is adoring Lois DeFee via long distance phone . . . That reminds us of the line: “Love is a funny thing—and then it gets funnier!” . . . The Morntelly refused to print Critic Robert Rice’s panning of Saroyan’s “Love’s Old Sweet Song.” It was rewritten prettily by a staffer who never saw the play—without Rice’s signature . . . Zanuck paid Hoagy Carmichael for the use of the title “Star Dust” Everybody gets money for their titles—except us! . . . The buzz persists around town that Ambassador J. Kennedy will return and become the Czar of Radio . . . The Mirror has sold over 22,000 copies of the kitten photo.

Judge Wenzel’s opinion (Brooklyn Supreme Court) in the Asfar vs. Brett divorce case, includes this excerpt: “She obtained her decree, after having been ‘Renovated,’ she again saw her husband, etc” We found it on page 2048 in Saturday’s Law Journal . . . Carol Goodner of “Man Who, Etc.” becomes Mrs. T. Marshall, he’s the real estate man, in a week or so . . . Edith Dahl, wife of the flier, undergoes a major op this wk. The Carlos Israels have definitely decided to become adults. He’s a prominent lawyer and will depart for Reno soon

There is a freighter, freshly returned from the war zones, now tied up at a North River pier in the 50s. On its prow, in huge letters for all anti-Nazis to enjoy, is a lovely two word phrase ending in Hitler, Haw!

Rudy Vallee’s Office was the scene where Bert Lown, his ex-partner, was picked up for non-support of his babe. One of the swankier places may have to give back its furniture. Another is laying off its waiters 3 nights weekly.

Van Johnson the dancer in “Too Many Girls,” is having too much girl-trouble backstage . . . Jean Parker says the name is Doug Dawson, not Val Olman . . . Gypsy Rose Lee’s estranged groom prefers table-talking with Hazel Scott, the sepia singer . . . Eddie DeLange has retained A. Garfield Hays to sue the Wm. Morris Agency for breach of contract . . . Robert Sarnoff, son of the RCA chief, and Jeanne Jordan (whose socialite groom socked her in a 52nd Street joint) are being young. Rudy Valentino would have been 45 today.

Ellen Drew, ex-candy store sweetie, who was elevated to leads in the films, is on a trial separation from her groom. Probably divorce this year . . . The Stewart Ingleharts are imaging—sometime in Aug. He plays polo, too . . . Dagmar Godowsky broke a foot trying to cure a cold. The cast of “Higher and Higher” and the prima donna, Martha Eggert, may be divorced shortly—and the feeling is mutual . . . Ham and Eggert? A tennistar is slated for a nasty mess up Harlem Way if he doesn’t stay away from certain folks. Been warned by night spot managements . . . The legend is that Laurence Olivier has $60,000 in “Romeo and Juliet,” nobody else investing a centime . . . Hazel Flynn thundered her way out of the Radio City Music Hall publicity post after a row with Mr. Big . . . An agent for Leland Hayward’s booking offices visited Vassar last Tuesday—to try to sign up a girl named Janet Ashley of there for a star role in a H’wood production . . . The British are saying that the next war “will be between the two Yellow races—the Japs and the Americans!” They’re not gonna win us over by flattery.


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