New York Heartbeat

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald/April 5, 1940

Faces About Town: Betty Grable stepping out of a cab into the Spring breeze—a pretty view from instep to stepin . . . “Broadway Rose” clogging the stage door of “Too Many Girls”—a stage-door Jonah . . . George Balanchine, the newest American citizen, and his bride, Vera Zorina . . . Lana Turner (there’s no one sweeter in a sweater) with Artie Shaw, her pride-groom . . . Luise Rainer (Odets, There is Thy Zing!) patting a policeman’s horsey in front of the St. Regis . . . Tony (Versailles) Martin, who looks like a fullback—and when he sings reminds you of a full moon . . . Jack Durant, who looks like Clark Gable, with Billy Rose who looks like a coca-cola bottle with a hat on it . . . Tullio Carminati refusing to pose for a news photogger at Le Ruban Bleu—forgot his toupee! . . . Hoot Gibson looking very much like a middle-aged lawyer riding the Madison Avenue range in a taxi . . . The kept-in-the-dark-in-laws of Adelaide Moffett (the courageous bride), telling the columnist who revealed the secret: “But it isn’t true!”

Sallies in Our Alley: Sir Hoff, the cartoonist, went on a night club splurge last week. “Don’t you feel like a fool spending your money that way?” a pal asked . . . “Why should I?” niftied Hoff. “Easel come, easel go!” . . . Eddy Duchin sat next to George S. Kaufman at a Grade Z show . . . “My foot’s asleep” whispered Eddy . . . ‘Tell it’ grumbled Kaufman, “to move over” . . . Frank Novak says they are putting a big wastebasket in Times Square for columnists who go up in planes! And A. Franklin claims he can remember all the way back when a guy went to a night-club to shake his blues—instead of his hips.

Memos of a Midnighter: Dewey his special offices in the Ritz-Carlton to meet people he can’t see at his Dis’t Attorney’s office or at his Repub H’quarters . . . Lois Andrews’ maw left town sans consent to a merger with anybody . . . Third Term H’quarters will be formally opened in about two weeks in Washington with Ickes in charge. Insiders agree that FDR “must have approved” . . . Paul Douglas, the Chesterfield radio voice, admits he and Jerry Higgins are to wed any week, but “we aren’t secretly wed now!” . . . What’s become of Grover Whalen—last year this time his picture was in all the papers . . . Telegram from Wm. Buckner: “As long as story had to break am delighted but not surprised that you were responsible. Always intended to inform you at appropriate time, but as usual you were one or more steps ahead of time” . . . John Ringling North, whose “Best Show on Earth” (The Circus!) opens Friday will be married at the end of April to Germaine Aussev, the French movie star in New York. They met only last Christmas at Maxim’s in Paris.

New York Vignette: To collect material for her radio script (all about society) Ilka Chase arranged to meet three well-known debs at a smart salon on the East side. In the middle of their lunch, a photog from Look mag arrived to shoot a layout on Ilka at work . . . The debbies dropped their knives and forks and fled to another table, shrieking: “Our mothers won’t let us be in Look!” . . . A few moments later, however, another photographer arrived, handed each deb a check and a deck of cards . . . Then he began snapping his shutter as the debs played a game of cards—their shapely legs prominently displayed . . . Miss Chase might be interested to learn that the lensman who took their likenesses represented The Police Gazette.

Broadway Smalltalk: In Club 18 the other night, Jokey Nicky Wall handed the gang three horses, which he selected to win. They all came in last! . . . Because of Monte Proser’s introduction of “The Zombie” (via his Beech-comber), the rum biz is enjoying a 500 per cent increase in local bars . . . There is now a Beachcomber in every large city in the U.S. . . . The “Scene of the Crime” producer telegraphed apologies for misleading playgoers with an ad in which the sourest of the critical notices was made to appear as a boost for the show . . . The Civil Rights law in this state prohibits using the name of a person in any kind of ad without permission, anyway . . . Showmen are chumps to misquote a critic—who always has the last word and the last laugh . . . He can always come back with: “But it’s really the worst show in town!” . . . “Adelaid Moffett’s pals say she will blend with Wm. Buckner”—from this column January 22nd.

New Yorchids: Sis and Tom Dowling, brother and sister dancers, who interrupt the Stork steppers with clever and amusing clowning. Especially amusing is their mimicry of an uppity pair hoofing “at the Stork!” . . . Sammy Kaye’s version of “Please Take a Letter, Miss Brown” . . . . Eddie Cantors forthcoming “40 Little Mothers” . . . Flora Robson and the cast in “Ladies in Retirement” at the Henry Miller Theater. Best melodrama in town . . . Fausto Curbelos poetic pianoing at La Martinique . . . E. Hoists and J. Rodriguez’ crew at Sherm Billingsley’s Zoo . . . The exciting Samba, Rumba and Conga routines by the Rockettes at the Music Hall.

Sounds in the Night: In Place Elegante: “But honey, sometimes we gotta do crazy things just to keep from going crazy!” . . . At The Game Cock. “I’d like to meet that blond secretary—with the duplicate copies” . . . At Kelly’s Stable: “Her phone number is easier to get than to remember” . . . In Leon and Eddies: “What’s that on your lap—me?” . . . In El Morocco: “I feel peppy enough to go six rounds with a dowager” . . . In La Conga: “She’s doing all right—her kisses are being syndicated” . . . In The Cotton Club: “Some guys dislike girls without any reason, but I like ’em that way” . . . In Havana-Madrid: “I wonder who’s cussing her now?” . . . At Armando s: “He’s the kind of a guy who sets up a gal in a penthouse instead of on a pedestal . . . In Barney Gallants: “I love novels because in them I can associate with people I wouldn’t be caught dead with in real life.” . . . In Reubens: “She’ll be a little late, she’s having her mind swept.”

Times Square Tickertape: Benny Venuta and Dinah Shore are the latest additions to the Press Photog s Ball at the Astor on the 12th . . .  Ella Fitzgerald and her tisket-tasket orchestra start at the Famous Door on the 9th . . . Sammy Renick, the jocko, and Bell Kronberg, whose figger is the shapeliest at the Roney-Plaza Pool, are a terrific thing down there . . . The Arthur Godfreys expect another red-head about June 8th. . . Ben Grauer now broadcasts flashes Tuesdays and Thursdays for Mfgr s Trust at 11 peeyem . . . Dean Jennings, author of “Leg Man,” the newspaper novel just released, got his name in Collier’s last week for the first time. They spelled it Jenkins . . . Betty Hutton of “Two for the Show” opens at La Martinique next Wednesday . . . The law now knows that a West 54th St. clip-joint is running wide open and that they employ blackmail methods there via a special crew of roughnecks, male and female. If they are smart they will close it themselves—and take the first Clipper to Portugal.

Broadway Confucius Speaks: Gal in too many address books rarely in any guy’s heart . . . Man with money called miser. Woman with money called often . . . The musical comedy that runs the longest is the one with the best legs, ha-ha!