Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Showpeople: 1956: Royalty, MM, BB, Anita & Joan is not pleased ! + Belinda and the Rank girls.

What a glamorous night, at the 1956 Royal Film Performance, all in 90 seconds (below): this was the one Marilyn Monroe attended - I didn't know Brigitte Bardot and the recently departed Anita Ekberg were there as well, did the girls get to chat?. as - a decade later - Julie Christie, Catherine Deneuve and Ursula Andress did at the 1966 Royal Perf, as per my previous posts on that ... Showpeople label. 
Ekberg (next to Joan Crawford, below) was with her husband, the attractive British actor Anthony Steele. Bardot had not yet exploded on the scene with AND GOD CREATED WOMAN, this would have been about the time she appeared in Dirk's DOCTOR AT SEA. Sylvia Syms (in her MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER phase!) and Vic Mature were there and er, Norman Wisdom and John Gregson. The line-up is in alphabetical order, that should sort out any diva tantrums - so its Bardot, Ian Carmichael, Crawford, Ekberg,  Gregson - with Mature and Monroe further down the line ...
Joan Crawford was less than complimentary on the girls for being late and not attending rehearsals:
"If you want my opinion, far too many actresses today are little more than tramps and tarts. The Queen is a lady and expects to meet other ladies. Most of today's actresses can't even act politely. Arlene Dahl, Marilyn Monroe, and Anita Ekberg didn't even show up for rehearsals. And Monroe's hairdresser was still doing her hair while Her Majesty was on her way up the staircase. And when Monroe finally got there, she still didn't know how to curtsey. I felt so ashamed."
Below: more '50s glamour: some of the Rank Organisation girls at maybe another 1956 Royal Film event: Belinda Lee, Maureen Swanson, Shirley Eaton, Mary Ure and June Thorburn.
The James Bond golden girl Shirley Eaton is the only one still here, in her late 70s. Belinda was killed in a car accident in 1961 aged 25, and June Thorburn (tom thumb) in a airplane crash, aged 36 in 1967, Swanson married into the English nobility and died in 2011, Ure died in mysterious circumstances after the opening night of a play she was appearing in, in 1975, aged 42. Thanks to that fabulous site Poseidon's Underworld for the photograph. 
Pity these newsreels were not in colour, see the 1957 and 1966 Royal Film Performances and the London 1955 A STAR IS BORN premiere at Showpeople label.

1 comment:

  1. I found it! Glorious footage, and loved Miss Joan's catty remarks in your story!
    Wow, Miss Monroe's gown again leaves nothing to the imagination...love Her Majesty's expression as she looks the actress up and down rather incredulously...priceless!

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