Man About Town

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald-Journal/May 115, 1940

Zorina and Balanchine are acting like loons instead of adults. Before she went with “Louisiana Purchase” she tepeed alone at the Ritz Tower . . . F. Donald Coster’s widow may remarry soon . . . Why was that “break” at the Walkill Prison hushed last month? . . . Jane Frazee (Frazee Sisters) was quietly divorced in Chicago two weeks ago . . . Groucho and Chico Marx are having their own war . . . The Scripps Howard gazettes are for Wendell Willkie, and don’t be surprised if Time, Life and Fortune come out for him, too . . . Joe Adonis saved the Police Dep’t much embarrassment by giving up. The “Wanted” ads (20,000 of them) misspelled Comm. Valentine’s name. . . . Nunnally Johnson is convinced Saroyan is some kind of practical joke (a literary hot-foot) that George Jean Nathan is playing on D. Watts, Jr.


Arline Judge’s divorce cost husband D. Topping $25,000 in counsel fees . . . That’s the fee for his own lawyer! . . . When the bill arrived the other day, Topping phoned the attorney and said: “I’ll play you one game of golf–$50,000 or nothing!” . . . The game is to be played this week. The barrister is John Kadel, once golf champ of Wingfoot.


Dixie Dunbar’s pals suspect that she married Gene Snyder long ago . . . Hoot Gibson is flying to Detroit for Barbara Bannister’s premiere at The Bowery—it’s that serious . . . The W. Gardiners (Babs Backwith) fooled those who said they were arranging a Florida melting. They’ve made up . . . M. Loring, the Royal Palm Club thrush, has it bad again. She’s the estranged wife of a local sports-pager . . . The cops are reading to fingerprint all New York night club employees just like Miami Beach . . . Jenkins, the new lightweight champ, had a brandy via coffee at Toots Shor’s before knocking out Ambers . . . Mrs. Myron Kirk has movies of Myron lolling around a Hollywood pool showing him holding hands with Anita and I don’t mean Santa. One of the nation’s richest motor car makers is turning Catholic.


Orson Welles received oodles of publicity over the legend that on May 6th he would inherit $25,000 . . . So what happened? . . . Well, Orson got the check from the estate on that date, but taxes, erosion, time and etcetera made him the receiver of the magnificent sum of $28.40.


Sherman Fairchild, the airplane parts mfgr, and Dorothy Sparrow of the Powers heaven, are bloop-bloop . . . Phil Ammidown, whose Beatrice had a change of heart, is now the steady shadow of Peggy Tibbett, the Conover model . . .  Christine Fisher and Hamilton Andrews are a midnitem . . . Gertrude Niesen’s hideway popsy is allegedly one of Chicago’s richest lads, who follows by plane wherever she premieres. . . . Eileen McKenny (“My Sister Eileen”) became Mrs. N. West in Beverly Hills April 19th .. . . . Saxie Dowell certainly didn’t get fussy when he wrote “Playmates,” which is “Redwing” note for note. . .  Nazi 5th Columns are being established all over S. America. In Ecuador a purge of Nazis left the nation with hardly any air force! . . . Viv Leigh has Broadway all to herself this week: In person as Juliet at the 51st Street Theatre, at the Capitol in “Waterloo Bridge,” at the Rivoli in “21 Days Together” and at the Astor in “Gone.”


A woman who is a clever crook, and who has mulct plenty of coin from married men respectable and vice versa (including a governor in New England), has finally been caught up with by John Law . . . Never before would anyone permit her threats to get into a courtroom. One man, fed up with the blackmail, let the spotlight blind him temporarily to unmask her . . . The names are so big lawyers couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw a small account of her predicament in a newspaper. It seemed to be the understanding of all lawyers whose clients were trapped by her skirts, that no sum would be too big—to hush things up . . . And now she is prison-bound-and when she gets out—her face will be as wrinkled as her reputation.


The Allied Relief Ball Friday eve’g raised raised $42,700 . . . Joyce Mathew’s new groom, Col. Gomez, is the biggest money-man since Diamond Jim Brady . . . Gomez carried 100 thousand-dollar bills when he came to town . . . H. Ines, the Paramount exec, and Leila Ernst of Adler of “Too Many Girls” are sighing in rhythm . . . Wallace Berry and Polly Adler arm-in-armed it on 5th Avenue the other afternoon—bowing to their respective fans. Such popularity! . . . The straw that killed Kid McCoy: The screen story he and a friend wrote about his life was rejected by the studios. Now, two studios are thinking of doing a picture about him! . . . From the col’m of April 12th: “The report persists that Chamberlain may be replaced by Churchill as head man—mebbe in 2 wks” . . . P.M.’s biggest raid was on the World-Telly—14 men—who won’t be replaced.


Liz Whitney’s settlement isn’t anything like the three million given the press . . . In cash it is under $150,000: she gets property worth $800,000—on which she must pay present yearly taxes of $35,000; jewels insured at $220,000—which Jock had given her years ago anyway! . . .She is seen (in Reno) most frequently with Dick McGee, who is just through “rushing” Muriel Vanderbilt . . . She has gotten herself cordially disliked by most of the divorcees for she enjoys “taking” their men away from them . . .Sometimes she walks into a bar surrounded by 8 or 10 cowboys and delights in leaving “Rockefeller” sized tips.


Diana Barrymore treats J. Gerard, Jr., as though she were Mrs. J. G. Jr! . . . Lief Erickson’s current insomnia is Doris Dudley . . . Lyle Talbot is celebrating his divorce with Fifl D’Orsay . . . Jim Braddock gets two percent of Joe DiMaggio’s earnings . . . The Daily News has assured the Larry Clintons it will be a boy. . . . Iturbi is now campaigning for Miriam Hopkins . . . John Lowe of Hollywood is Ruby Keeler Jolson’s greatest fan firm—if all jells well in Reno . . . Mrs. Kay Foster, mother of Betty Benjamin, who divorced Betty’s pop 18 years ago—may wed him again . . .  Teachers will be startled at the inside info in May Healy’s articles in Civil Service Leader, Biggies will squirm.


The police have an attempted murder which was hushed last year at the Aquacade. It’s on their open-case file . . . Chad Ballard, the sportsman, was married a year ago in Florida to Alicia Reynolds . . . Nancy Mae Woodbury, the soap heiress, is the reason Tony DeMarco looks happier lately . . . The Univ. of Missouri’s annual award this year will go to the Portland Oregonian. Publisher E.P. Hoyt is probly the youngest on a big town gazette . . . Sally Fields, the rage of vaudeville not too long ago, will soon return to the tootlights, and hurray for that . . . J.P. McEvoy, who biogs Charles E. Coughlin in Reader’s Digest, may be sued for alleging that the Reverend’s brogue is phony . . .. “Whitey” Dahl, Franco’s prisoner, had check trouble at the Stork Saturday night . . . After listening to FDR’s speech on the radio, over 200 diners in Dinty Moore’s stood up and applauded . . . All the opposition against FDR is gone—only Farley’s remains. The President now has 900 delegates out of 1190.

(Source: Google News,