The most unusual and BEST party of many months was the "millionaires" wingding hosted by producer Ross Hunter. It was held on Stage 12 at Universal on the luscious set built for I'd Rather Be Rich. The invitation read: YOU ARE WELCOME WITH OR WITHOUT MONEY.
There was something going on every minute!
First, you never saw anything so lavish as the mansion constructed for Sandra Dee--"the richest girl in the world." Everything on the set is the real thing--including the grass growing in the landscaped garden where the party was held.
The first thing that caught my eye as I entered the marble entrance hall with its imported (from France) chandelier, was a glass case of many tiers holding a fortune in jewels from Cartier which Sandy wears in the film. Despite the three guards with pistols on their hips, I went over and feasted my eyes on one of the most fabulous collection of diamonds and emeralds I ever saw.
Sandra, wearing one of the gorgeous hostess gowns Jean Louis designed for her, later decided to model the "jools' (the diamond solitaire alone covered half her hand) and every place that Sandy went, two guards went with her. "These boys won't let me out of their sight," Sandy laughed. "They even stood outside the LADIES ROOM while I was in there!"
"They stick even closer than I do," put in Bobby Darin.
Andy Williams, Sandra's co-star, caught me admiring the chandelier. "Glad you like it--it's mine. Claudine (his bride) and I bought it in France when we were there. We loaned it to Ross." How's that for being rich?
It was so good to see my old friend Maurice Chevalier (also in the movie) again. He was sitting with Hermione Gingold at a table on the terrace holding court. Peter Brown slipped over from his Kitten with a Whip set, the movie he's making with Ann-Margret. Because he had to go back for night scenes, Peter skipped the bar and patronized the lavish buffet catered by Chasen's.
Two of my favorite people, Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy, were holding hands. Jack is back from Broadway briefly before returning for another big musical with Carol Burnett. Debbie Reynolds, who must be on the rich side herself after paying $1,000,000 for a private hospital recently, said she dropped by to find out how the rich really live it up.
Roddy McDowall told me he was on his way to London to photograph Sir Laurence Olivier for a national magazine--that's how good Roddy is with his camera.
Nancy Sinatra was there, her first party appearance since the kidnapping, and she drove out in the new big black car Frank gave her for Christmas. With her was lovely Irene Dunne--two very popular ladies.
Also chatted with Kamala Devi and Chuck Connors, Madlyn Rhue (so pretty in a black velvet cocktail suit) with husband, Tony Young, Mrs. Edgar Bergen, Mervyn Le Roy, Joan Blondell, Jimmy Shigeta, Gene Raymond, the Norman Taurogs--oh, what a party.
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