New York Heartbeat

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald-Journal/May 17, 1940

Faces About Town: The Rance of Sarawak dunking doughnuts at the counter of the Mayflower Doughnutery on The Grandest Canyon . . . Gertrude Niesen in Reuben’s—the lassie with the chassis . . . Grace Hartman wearing a $5,000 pin on her $2 hat at Café Louis XIV . . . Noel Coward and Sir Thomas Beecham leaving off the final Rs in a confab . . . Miriam Hopkins dining on a delicacy at Chateau Moderne—a Crepe Suzetching . . . Larry Hart, the most superstitious person in town, taking his temperature every lunch-time at Sardi’s—and then bending over it with a lighted match to read it . . . Ben Bernie and B’Way Rose in front of Lindy’s—the Gruesome Twosome . . . Dinah Shore, the thrush, toying with a torrid tamale at the Xochitl . . . Sam Goldwyn and Variety’s editor computing grosses at Park and 53rd  . . . D.O. Selznick and Jock Whitney in the Colony at the OColong Hour—no gels . . . Tallulabama Bankhead.

Sallies In Our Alley: At Club 18 F.D. Roosevelt. Jr., was moving swiftly from table to table swapping handshakes with his pals and others. It annoyed comedian F. Hyers so much he finally blurted: “Whatcha doing, Frank—running for a Thoird Toim or speeding?” . . . The laughter rocked 52nd St. . . . Over at Polyclinic Hospital yesterday, the Leonard Lyons’ latest cub jumped up in his crib to tell the little girl in the adjacent crib: “I’m a boy!” . . . “Yeah, how wonderful!” she said admiringly. “How do you know?” . . . Little Lyons lifted his nightie. “Look,” he said, “Blue Booties!”

Memos of a Midnighter: Whatever became of The Cliveden Set? . . . The wife of the Music Box office treasurer is shedding him via the courts . . . Horace Heidt, the bandsfeuhrer, had his schnoz mended at a hosp a week ago today. . . If you hear Stork Club employees pass the word (“200”) along to each other—it’s their code for: “The boss is coming” . . . Sherman Billingsley just got hep to it after two years . . . Republic Aviation Corp., is expected to declare a dividend from $1.50 to $2 on common stock by May 28th . . .  “Romeo and Juliet” was financed for the most part by Warner’s in settlement of a contract Olivier had with them for a film . . . It’s a boy for the Charles (NBC) Nobles . . . With Lowe’s State in the market for m.c. columnists, we hear P. M. is seeking a Broadway columnist with ham experience . . . And short-short word-eaters: The motor magnate, who said the war was phony, had his Belgian plane bombed by the Nazis from whom he accepted a medal! . . . J. Alexander’s doing a SEPiece on Billy Rose: Suggested title: “Barnum & Billy.”

Midtown Vignette: It happened April 25th at the Pennsylvania Hotel . . . The affair was The National Safety Council meeting, and a news cameraman named Jimmy Layer of the Journal and American took several photos of a pretty girl which his editor published that afternoon . . . But nobody thought to ask the young lady her name . . . And so the column is asked to page her . . . The nameless beauty is wanted by the Freres Shubert for a part in a new show.

Broadway Smalltalk: Vivian Leigh is stopping at the Ambassador, and the only way you can reach her by phone is to ask for a name with the initials “S.A.” . . . Don’t waste time trying to do it—you’d never guess the first name even if you know the last, which is Alexander.  . . Col. Gomez tipped the p.a. at La Martinique $1,000 Friday night . . . Betty Lynn of the “Walk With Music” (which used to be “Three After Three” chorus) may become Prince de Bourbon’s Princess . . . Burgess Meredith purchased a hat at The Allied Relief Ball for $100 and then shrieked his head off in protest when he learned that Elaine Bassett, who model’d it, didn’t go with it! . . . Ex-champ James J Braddock says he wishes the report that he has 2 per cent of Joe DiMaggio’s salary was true. “It would be a soft touch” . . . What’s soft about $400 a year? . . . The Column hears that Mrs. Jack Dempsey retained Moe Polakoff as her counsel last Thursday . . . FDR, Jr., and Kendrick Sparrow of Boston have written and sold a torch song, for a big advance, to Broadcast Music, Inc., of 580 5th Ave., entitled: “I’ll Spend the Rest of My Life With You.”

Manhattan Murals: The drug store at 79th and Columbus featuring a fluid called “Bottled Will Power’ . . . The best exhibit at the Fair—the crowd itself . . . The guy with the long black beard who has a newsstand at 50th and 7th: Look as though he just stepped out of a murder-mystery tale . . .  Billy’s Steak House at 58th and 1st Avenue, where they still use gas lights for illumination . . . The pretty gal at Park and 49th who solicits money for the Baby Milk Fund by asking passersby this nimble query “I beg your pardon. Do you keep your wallet near your heart?”

New Yorchids: Arthur Trongone, the cabbie, near the Hotel Belvedere, who saxed a girl’s life by talking her out of jumping from the 6th floor where she dangled with one hand. Happened last Thursday night . . . Fausto Cubelo’s latest: “Americoga,” a zinger, at La Martinique, Val Olman’s crew there, too . . . Louis Armstrong’s recording, “W.B.A.”—American folklore of this generation. A pip . . . “Fifth Avenue,” the song by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren in Zanuck’s latest musical, “Lillian Russell.”

New York Novelette: She was the screen’s glamorous golden girl—silken and superb . . . More than any actress before or since—her name was synonymous with luxury and elegance . . . At her height she befriended a struggling fan magazine writer . . . The sob sister traveled to the coast many times at the star’s expense, and one Christmas her happiness knew no bounds when the glamour girl remembered her with a costly mink coat . . . Now the star has waned . . . Only recently she landed on the front pages with a heart-tugging tale of financial and marital woe . . . The sob sister, on the other hand, has been smiled upon by fortune . . . At present she holds one of the town’s top executive posts . . . Not long ago the lady executive glimpsed her former benefactor coming toward her on Fifth Avenue . . . Hurriedly she crossed the street to avoid meeting her, and as she did—she hid her face in the soft collar of the mink coat the star bought her six years ago!

Sounds in The Night: In Leon and Eddie’s: “get a load of that tigger—she’d look better in front of a milk wagon!” . . . In the Cotton Club: “What she doesn’t know can’t hurt me” . . . At Ruban Bleu “You know the type—she’s a diamond a dozen!” . . . In Club 18: “It’s a cinch her singing will bring back silent pictures’ . . . At the Torch: “Hey, who’s the Trylon with the Perisphere?” . . . In Place Elegante: “You lucky, lucky people! Tonight—there isn’t a grr-damn celebrity in the house! . . . At the Gaucho: “She’s something to look forward to—and backward at” . . . At Theodore’s: “Sure she knows right from wrong. It’s wrong, she says, when she comes home without a new bracelet” . . . At Coq Rouge: “He’s so unoriginal. When he talks you can just see him turning the page” . . . At the Beachcomber: “He wears his hair departed in the middle” . . . At Armando’s: “Can you imagine? She wears a dress like that and expects a guy to respect her neutrality!”

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