Today, I am looking at one of Hedda’s columns that was written not long after the war had ended. This one was originally published by the Los Angeles Times on March 22, 1946. I thought it would be interesting to summarize the items she wrote during this time and add a bit of modern perspective:
Hedda is having dinner with MGM’s Robert Walker and his brother at the Cocoanut Grove. Walker’s brother is a major in the military who served several years in the war.
This is a publicity-related dinner, as most of Hedda’s meals with stars would be. The purpose is to introduce Miss Photo Flash of 1946, Shirley Molohon, to the Hollywood scene. Walker is Molohon’s favorite actor, and she personally requested that Hedda set up a date with him.
During dinner at the Grove, Hedda sees Howard Hughes on the dance floor. He has some new starlet on his arm. Miss Photo Flash has absolutely no idea who Howard Hughes is, which Hedda finds charming but naïve. On Sunday Miss Photo Flash will get a chance to tour MGM when she meets Robert Walker for another date. It doesn’t sound like Hedda will be part of that.
Speaking of MGM, Hedda says the studio has shelved something called ‘Frankie from Frisco’ due to objections over the subject matter.
Hedda also uses some space in her column to talk about the latest romantic business going on in town. She says she bumped into Sterling Hayden who insists he is not engaged to some unnamed actress. He just returned from skiing in Nevada, but he’s being tossed out of his hotel. Hedda thinks that it won’t be long before Hayden finds a new home and a new gal.
Meanwhile, Hedda takes pains to tell readers that Jane Withers is involved with John Dall. Dall recently went back east to do The Hasty Heart on Broadway. It is implied that he’s back to do the play in Los Angeles. Jane supposedly met Dall at the airport to resume relations with him, even though he was also dating some girls in New York. Of course, Dall is gay and Hedda mentions nary a word about that. Don’t you feel sorry for Jane Withers, though!
Hedda also has a few words to print about Lionel Barrymore. He is said to really want to play FDR in a film about the atomic bomb. Though Hedda doesn’t say it, this would THE BEGINNING OR THE END, which MGM would release almost a year later in 1947. Hedda says Barrymore just nabbed the part, but he’ll soon lose it. Godfrey Tearle wound up playing FDR, because Roosevelt’s family would not approve Barrymore’s casting and MGM had no choice but to find someone else more suitable.