. . she takes in the fights, the circus when it is in town, the amusement
parks, the dentist . . . she writes letters, signs autographs, repays
luncheons, teas, cocktail parties and just doesn't know what to do with
I was talking with Jeanette MacDonald the other day - just after
she had announced her engagment to Gene. You envision the joy-giving Jeanette,
no doubt, reclining in bed, leisurely, an exquisitely appointed breakfast
tray upon her knees, drapes drawn, home quiet. Ah, no! Jeanette never
breakfasts in bed. But never. Jeanette never properly breakfasts at all.
What happens is this: A tray with a pot of coffee, a glass of fruit juice
is brought to Jeanette each morning at seven. She sips coffee with one
hand, so to speak, and answers the telephone with the other. Just for
fun she counted the number of phone calls that came in one morning last
week between the hours of 7:30 and 8:30. There were forty-three of
them. And this, despite the fact that the stars change their phone
numbers on an average of once a week.
They now have a new and nifty little method of swapping telephone numbers.
In other words, what is Jeanette's telephone number this week may be
Greta Garbo's next week, and so on. Imagine dialing Clark Gable
and getting Hugh Herbert, for instance! But then, anything can
happen in Hollywood. Anyway, Jeanette had to answer the forty-three calls
herself. They were from the studio, from the director, from her
from radio agents, from her singing teacher, from Gene, from her attorney,
from friends . . . Immediately after breakfasting and telephoning and
dressing she rushes to her singing lesson which lasts two hours. Two hours
every day whether she is working or not.
She seldom has time for social luncheons, but on rare occasions and so
as not to lose the personal touch entirely, she does go to the Vendome,
to the Assistance League, to the Derby. And while she is lunching there,
radio agents buzz about, friends pause for a chat, invitations are given,
phones are plugged in at her table and Jeanette eats three mouthfuls of
expensive Vendome food.
After luncheon there is her French lesson. After her French lesson there
is, almost without fail, an interview. After the interview there is her
tennis lesson. After her tennis lesson there is her masseuse. After her
masseuse there is some practising to be done, sometimes with Nelson
After the practising there is dinner,
sometimes at home with her mother and Gene, sometimes Jimmy Stewart
comes over from next door.
and again they dine, Jeanette and Gene, at the Troc', at the Derby, go
on to the Cocoanut Grove, perhaps, for dancing. And after that there is
the shower, the cold creaming, a few relaxing exercises, ten or fifteen
telephone calls, lines to be learned for the next day and after that
the lazy, indolent girl hasn't a thing to do but turn over and go
Fred MacMurray tried to get married for months. The spirit was
willing but the schedule was weak, or something like that. It takes a
couple of hours to get married, and Fred could barely take time off to
convince his Lilian that he is flesh and bone instead of celluloid, a
man instead of a shadow she saw upon the film. He finally had to elope
to Las Vegas while they were still shooting it out on "The Texas
Rangers" - spliced between shots, as it were. . . . Fred didn't even
leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind him when he eloped lest the studio
get wise to the Hansel and Gretel motif and track him down.
And even now, a bridegroom, Fred arises at 6:30 a.m. of each working day.
Lilian cooks his breakfast for him and plenty of it. He rushes to the
studio. He is always late. Lilian stands by the phone at home to answer
the studio's frantic calls of "Where is Fred?" He takes half
an hour for makeup. He arrives on the set. He works. He dashes off again
between 9:30 and 10 a.m. for