Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Today's Blind Items - I Remember You Well At The Plaza Hotel - Old Hollywood - An INSIDERHER Blind Item

My Mom was a big shot at the Plaza Hotel in the 60s-70’s and met all the stars who stayed there. My Mom didn’t much care for movies or movie stars. There was no one she was  awestruck by, except maybe Gregory Peck.

But, she was very much aware that her 12 year old daughter was obsessed with old movies, and permanent A+ actor  & permanent A+ Actor in particular. So, when she heard that this Permanent A list film star was staying at the Plaza, she told me. I flipped, since film star had appeared in 2 films from the 1930’s with my favorite actress!

The next thing I know, my Mother tells me, “We’re having dinner at the Plaza with...let’s call him Chick. I cannot believe this news. I’m a 12 year old girl from the suburbs, and I’m going to dinner with the man who danced his way through two films with my most beloved actress? I guess we should call her Hazel.

I was freaking. All I could think of was whether I could get through this dinner in his suite and have the courage to ask him what it was like working with Hazel?

It was the strangest dinner ever. A dapper old movie star, my gorgeous mother-and little old me! He wore a silk bath robe. We’re sitting around a four seat table room service brought into the suite. Chick is very, very elegant. And meticulous. To the extreme.

Watching him really amused me, especially given his background. I’ll never forget his dinner. He ordered one lean baby lamb chop, a spot of peas, a spot of potatoes. To me? It wasn’t enough to keep a bird alive. But hey, he was getting on, and he was looking good. Who was I to criticize? He didn’t want to be criticized, that was fairly obvious. He was a rather intimidating figure, and I don’t intimidate easily. But, I mean, the guy had worked with Bogey!

He spoke not about old Hollywood, which is of course what I wanted to hear, but about his strict dietary habits, and yar yar yar. I was bored. I was also hesitant to eat in front of the man. He definitely had a thing about food and hygiene.

I think it was my indomitable mother who finally brought up the subject of my idol, Hazel, and her still more famous Permanent A+ list hubby-whom I shall call Blackie.

When the topic of Hazel was broached, Chick waxed rhapsodic. Said he adored her. That working with Hazel was the high point of his life. I felt like my heart would burst hearing that. It was as close to her as I might ever get, and it was cool. I felt close to her through him

And then he ruined it.

My Mom asked him about Blackie. Oh, dear. Big mistake. Chick blows his stack!

He starts raving ‘He killed her! Blackie killed her, that SOB!

It was his fault she died!”

Well, I thought I’d die on the spot. What?

Was he accusing Blackie of somehow murdering his wife? Horror!

Chick raved on: “She knew he was screwing Permanent A list actress!

And that other broad, from Gone With the Wind. That’s why she rushed back, because he was a lying, cheating SOB!’

Wow! Quite an earful for 12 year old ears! That was about as much of this lovely evening at the Plaza as I could take. I couldn’t wait to get out of this crotchety, eccentric old actor’s suite.

But-I had read the same thing from other sources. I knew, even then, that people blamed Blackie for Hazel’s death. And that Blackie blamed himself. But it was another thing to have it yelled at you by a movie star who once did the rumba with Hazel!

As I got older, I read interviews where Chick says he was crazy about her, and implies that perhaps, something went on between them. Why not?

I’m sure it was the violence of her death, and the fact that he had loved Hazel himself, that made him bear this lifelong grudge against the lonely, distraught Blackie .But at the time? It was a bit more truth than I was prepared to admit. It’s hardly like Chick’s background or connections were less indicting than  Blackie’s! They were far worse.

I don’t think I ever really recovered from Chick’s shattering my childhood illusions.

This was, indeed, a very bitter taste of Old Hollywood.

I’ll never forget him eating one pea at a time.

He was, without a doubt-a character! 

42 comments:

Tricia13 said...

Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers-@Hazel”?

Brayson87 said...

Sounds like he expected a sportsman's double for dessert, silk bathrobe lol.

Tricia13 said...

Or Marilyn Monroe-Hazel/Clark Gable for the actor. Her more famous husband DiMaggio?

Tricia13 said...

DiMaggio”Blackie”/ perm A actress Joan Crawford?

sandybrook said...

Gene Kelly\Clark Gable\Olivia deHaviland\not sure of the dancing actress

MontanaMarriott said...

Hmmm I don't know I never heard rumors of Dimaggio being the one to kill MM. Also her last husband was Arthur Miller not Dimaggio she died single at her time of death.

Wes H said...

But what about the shrimp????

Nummi said...

This one was better than the last 3... Still not sold on InsiderHer. Maybe it's the writing style? Idk.

As for answers I'm at a loss.

Jackie said...

Sounds like Carole Lombard and Clark Gable. Don't know who the old actor could be, though.

Guesser said...

Blacks Clark Gable,wife Carole Lombard, I believe he means she rushed home because of his affairs.

MontanaMarriott said...

George Raft
Carole Lombard
Clark Gable
Joan Crawford

riffer73 said...

I kind of like these blinds.

Mah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sandybrook said...

Montana is on the right path, I'm trying to fit Fred Astaire into this somewhere.

Humor Me said...

I agree with MontanaMarriott.

ladybugmo1 said...

MM is not a possibility. She wasn’t acting in the 1930’s.

I am liking the Lombard guess.

Amartel said...

Never meet your heroes.

sandybrook said...

Fred McMurray\Carole Lombard\George Raft\Olivia deHaviland?

Flashy Vic said...

Clark Gable died in 1960 which I think is too early to be Chick. I think is meal was meant to have taken place in the 70s sometime.

MontanaMarriott said...

Gable's character in the movie "San Francisco" is Blackie Norton

This Rebel Heart said...

Old actor is clearly Raft given he danced the rumba with Lombard in the film "Rumba"

Nurk said...

Chick = William Powell?

MontanaMarriott said...

Carole Lombard's character in "Nothing Sacred" was named HAZEL flagg

Farmgirl said...

Just came here to agree with you Montana

Simon said...

Good job, Montana. You got it.

Simon said...

Vivienne Leigh must be the one he was sleeping with from gone with the wind.

riffer73 said...

Okay. Raft is mad at Gable because Lombard died rushing back home because Gable was screwing someone else. Who was he screwing?

ZantiMissKnit said...

riffer73, Lana Turner?

from imdb:

The plane crash that killed her took place less than a month before the Oscars. Despite her mother's premonition of the disaster, she refused to take a train to Los Angeles. She was reputedly in a rush after getting wind of an alleged affair between her husband Clark Gable and Lana Turner who were filming Somewhere I'll Find You (1942) at the time. The decision to take the plane was decided literally by the flip of a coin, with Carole winning the toss.

DDonna Tarttty said...

Feel like these might be building towards a crescendo of some kind, perhaps. They're growing in interest. I like the writing style, too.

Buddytesla said...

Correct. Gable & Lombard. George Raft is most likely the dinner companion. He danced with her in “Bolero”.

Temi said...

Raft/Lombard/Gable makes sense:
2 movies (Bolero/Rhumba)
Danced the Rhumba
Worked with Bogey (they drive by night)
" It’s hardly like Chick’s background or connections were less indicting than Blackie’s! They were far worse."
Raft & Bugsy Siegel (Raft's mafia connections were well known).

Lindy said...

I’m not sure why this needs to be a blind. Carole Lombard rushes back (killed in plane crash), Clark Ganke guilty. This has to be a blind like forever?

La-Juice said...

This was fun! more please!

Happymostofthetime said...

Clark Gable's character in 'San Francisco' was Blackie. And, this: https://thatwilliampowellsite.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/bill-and-carole-post-divorce-bffs/

Cool blind. More like this please.

MattDaddy said...

Carole Lombard, wonderful actress. Had a dread fear of flying. They say the first and only time she boarded a plane was on the flight that killed her.

Ghost of Darby Crash said...

I’ve always wondered if Clark Gable had a direct hand in Carole Lombard’s death, he was familiar with aircraft and could have got one of his fixers to sabotage her airplane.

It’s long been rumored that one night Gable was driving drunk and struck and killed a pedestrian. MGM supposedly got John Huston to take the blame.

Interestingly to me, is that Gable became the step-father to Bunker Spreckels.

DejaBlue said...

Of course Gregory Peck was Insiderher's favorite. Carole Lombard's best role? Maria Tura in TO BE OR NOT TO BE!

Teachermom said...

Definitely George Raft as chick. Though as an old lover of old movies, I would not call him permanent A list. You would have to be really into movies to know his name, unlike Clark Gable. George and Carole were in two movies together- rumba was the second, less popular of the two.

Carole Lombard, that is easy. Died in plane crash. Was Hazel in one of my fave movies. She was hugely popular with costars and got a long better with male actors than females, but not in a slutty way.

Clark Gable as Blackie. He played that character in Manhattan Meladrama, another great movie.

Hated Vivian Leigh so must be Olivia DeHavalind for the Gone with the Wind actress.

Affair with Lana Turner. They had just made a movie together and rumors were she was in his bed when he found out about the plane crash. He did have an affair with Joan Crawford but that was in the early 1930s, before he was even dating Carole.

I doubt he killed Carole. He was devastated (and mostly feeling guilty about cheating on her, as I think he truest loved her.

T. W. said...

Biographers claim Leigh and Gable got along but he said she swore like a sailor. Others have confirmed she did this & was a fan of dirty jokes.

Southern Man said...

Notes from Astaire's screen test: "Can't act. Sings a little. Balding. Dances alright."



AIP said...

I don’t think George meant that Clarke deliberately caused Carole’s death, but was the reason she was on that plane.

Just deviating to the late great Gregory Peck: about 20 years ago a relative of mine was in service in a high-end establishment in Dublin, when the banqueting room was given over to filming an interview with Gregory Peck. My relative wasn’t entirely sure who he was, and knowing my love of old Hollywood called me that evening to tell me and gauge how much of a big deal this was. Wonderfully Peck was lovely, an absolute gent, treated them and everyone else with great kindness and respect. It made my year (and considering what has been coming out of the woodwork recently, my century!) to hear that!

Lynn said...

Raft may have been referring to Evelyn Keyes, who played Suellen in GWTW. Gable had an affair with Keyes.

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