Saturday, February 26, 2005

The late George Eells, a close friend, was the entertainment editor of Look back in the 50s. It's a great source of regret that I didn't carry a tape recorder around with me when we were together. He had great stories. I never ceased begging him to write HIS memoirs, but George kept begging off. I think I was still after him to do this when he was practically on his deathbed in 1992.

One story I recall concerned Betty Hutton (who turns 84 today). In the early 1950s, George had finished editing an advance Look feature on her appearance at the Palace. The day following the opening, the reviews were so strong that a last minute cover shoot was arranged. But when George arrived at the appointed location (the day following Betty's smash opening) she was being taken away in an ambulance. Her publicist explained that his client felt that she'd given such a bad performance opening night that she'd suffered a breakdown and had to be temporarily hospitalized. THIS, after perhaps the best notices of her career. Hearing this, I couldn't help but recall Mort Sahl’s remark that Show Business is the only animal that eats its young. MORE

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3 comments:

Mr. H.K. said...

I LOVE that you have Anita O'day in the gallery on your site. I saw herform live in NYC at Michael's Pub in the 80's. LOVED her!

Anonymous said...

I LOVED GEORGE EELLS BOOKS "GINGER LORETTA AND IRENE WHO?" AND "HEDDA AND LOUELLA".TOO BAD HE NEVER DID WRITE HIS MEMOIRS!MY NAME IS EUGENE BY THE WAY.I READ THE BOOK "GINGER LORETTA AND IRENE WHO" WHEN I WAS 16 YEARS OLD.I READ IT IN 1991.MY LOCAL LIBRARY HAD IT.

Bill Reed said...

George Eells was a close friend and he was forever telling me wild tales about his years as a writer. Especially the Look Magazine years. Thus, I began to nag him about writing his OWN story and he really couldn't see why his own life was all that interesting. His photographer at the mag was Stanley Kubrick fer cryin' out loud. He had stories galore about him. Funny stuff. Betty Hutton tales, Lucille Ball, Mae West, Anita O'Day (stories that somewhat humanized her) Ethel Merman. When George asked the latter what she thought about Gordan McRae, she deemed him to be--her exact words---"the asshole of the unviverse." I recall his saying that Carol Burnett was the only truly nice, unscrewed up show biz personage that he had ever met. Of all the hundreds. I remember even bugging him on--and look back now and see that it was his--- death bed.