Things I Never Knew About Glamour Girls

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald-Journal/May 19, 1940

Cleopatra was a female Durante. Her proboscis was so gigantic that Pascal once flippantly recorded: “Had the nose of the woman been shorter, the face of the world may have changed” . . . Sappho, famous Greek poetess of love, had lavender dyed hair . . . Brenda Frazier’s favorite midnight snack is seafood, mama . . . The most dreamed about Glamour Girl of the day is never seen out, and poses only for her pappy. That would be George Petty’s luscious lass, who is the model for her pater’s Petty pretties . . . Honore Balzac’s frau was so frigid that he wrote: “Any man who makes advances towards her is either a fool or an optimist” . . . Mrs. Caligula, the reigning Roman Scandal of her day, was served up undraped by Mr. Caligula to amuse his dinner guests.

Dolores was the highest paid showgirl of all time. Ziegfeld paid her $650 per week simply for posing in the “Sally” finale . . . America’s first bride was Ann Buras, a Puritan pip . . . The former Marcelle Edwards Manville sleeps with her mascara on . . . Lupe Velez was first to sport those evening gowns that reveal the epidermis from waist to hip  . . . Maxine Elliott, who weighed more than 200 pounds when she died recently and who had eaten a chocolate layer cake daily for years before, penned an article four decades earlier insisting: “Beauties must be stern with themselves. They must frown upon the alluring box of bon bons. They must eat sparingly, even when hungry” . . . Arline Judge tips bellhops with a tipple—a bottle of brandy . . . Lily Langtry, the Jersey Lily, used to “eat” her thumb . . . Mrs. James Brown Potter, mother of the former Fifi Stillman, was the first society woman to sign advertising testimonials. Anita Colby has been engaged more often than any glamour girl on record.

Ninon de Lenselos despised restraint of any sort. While visiting she frequently infuriated her hosts by releasing their caged birds, when they weren’t looking . . . At sixteen, Chorus Girl Lois Andrews is already battling that “middle-aged” spread—has to count calories constantly . . . Honey Chile Wilder is the only GG who can go walking with her dog and return home with a Packard . . . The Countess Dashkov, who helped overthrow Peter III, wore military uniforms because she believed they gave her sex appeal . . . Cobina Wright, Jr.’s favorite quaff is beer . . . George Sand once cut off all her hair and presented it to Alfred de Musset, the poet, as proof of her love for him . . . Lilvan Tashman was the first blonde to wear bright red, which had always been considered strictly a brunette color . . . Julie De Krudener, an evangelist, was followed to Basle by 50,000 Pilgrims who stood in line for days just to kiss her hand.

Wally Simpson adhered to the Hauser health diet even before Garbo did . . . Alice Faye married the very first man who ever proposed to her—Tony Martin Beginner’s luck? . . . Empress Josephine always wore a scarf around her neck to conceal a goiter . . . Gertrude Niesen was the first to wear wedgies. Her pet potion is a very rare imported brandy made with walnuts . . Countess di Frasso calls a spade a !? ?!! . . . Ditto Diana Barrymore . . .  When Peaches Browning married Daddy she bought more fur coats than Lois Andrews now owns, including a full length sable and chinchilla. What’s more, she was a year younger than Lois at the time . . .A stutterer can be either cured or confounded learning to pronounce the name of Liz Whitney’s maw—it’s Bessie Dobson Altemus Eastman . . . New York society debs fear that Gloria Vanderbilt’s debut in 1941-42 will over-shadow theirs.

Elaine Barrie tells intimates she is a Woman of Destiny . . . Maxine Eiliott’s bull terrier, Sport, would bark and growl ferociously whenever anyone mentioned Lillian Russell. Professional jealousy? . . . Peggy Joyce hates to discuss men. Peggy’s pop was a barber . . . Mrs. Harrison Williams is the world’s best listener. She rests her cheek in her hand and looks positively enthralled even by the weather reports . . . Marie Louise, queen of Spain, would never speak to anyone who wore white gloves. (Lucius Beebe would have been marked “Louisey” in her book) . . . Peggy Mabon has a mirror mania. Can’t pass one without facing it . . . Joan Crawford could not get a job as a mannequin if she wanted to—her top and bottom don’t match. (She has size 16 shoulders and size 12 hips.)

During her fatal illness, Anna Held slipped from 115 to 80 pounds. She was given a blood transfusion with a truck driver as donor . . . Mae Murray considered high necked gowns more enticing than the most daring décolleté. Always wore evening frocks right up to her chin . . . Gloria Reisinger, the beer baroness, is the richest debbe . . . Patricia Plunkett is the poorest. (Has been supporting herself by modeling since before her sixteenth birthday.) . . . Betty Grable, with a leg-acy most heiress envy, hangs out in Latin niteries, but always orders ham and egg . . . Martha Stephenson is the wittiest of the 400. Her chapeaux are the half-wittiest . . . Doris Duke Cromwell likes champagne or coca-cola, but snubs the in-betweens . . . Marlene Dietrich is one glamour girl who can really cook. Once she misplaced an emerald ring while whipping up some strudel. She found it later—but a guest nearly lost a tooth . . . Merle Oberon never gained favor with American audiences until she was completely deglamourized.

Virginia Clemm, Edgar Poe’s heart throb, was declared a hopeless moron by medicos . . Barbara Bannister looks at you like Baby Shooks and lets loose a flow of smoking car language . . . Simone Simon goes heavy on the soap and easy on the perfume, She likes that fresh-scrubbed look and loves to smell “like a little baby” . . . Brenda Frazier, who has everything most girls wish for, always drops a coin in the Wishing Well at La Conga . . . The oldest glamour girl is Mrs. Washington Kavanaugh . . . George Sothern, the strip tease dancer, over-dresses off-stage . . . Hazel Forbes Richman had a crush on Harry Richman when she was a Ziegfeld girl fifteen years ag . Every dawning when Richman finishes his nightclub stint, he has a waiter fix him a box lunch to tote home to her . . . Most glamour girls wear dark glasses to attract attention. Cynthia Cavanaugh wore the smoked specs during a Paris blackout! . . . Lillian Russell warned against the use of cosmetics, but went into the cosmetic business.

Marie Antoinette is credited with having invented the pocket handkerchief, being so broken up at leaving her home in Austria that she cried all the way to France and wiped her eyes with bits of lace torn from her dress and lingerie . . . Pola Negri once swallowed some wave lotion her hairdresser had left behind, thinking it was mineral oil, and ran into the street screaming that she has been poisoned . . . Cora Pearl (Emma Crouch) one of France’s most glamorous shady ladies in the 18th century, used her ill gotten gains on charities for the less fortunate ladies of the pavements. Once gave them 100,000 franes within a fortnight . . . Disraeli once said he first realized the inferiority of Greek sculpture when he saw his wife in her bath.

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