Glossy Time Capsules #8
Modern Screen's Hollywood Yearbook
Price: 35 cents
Today's Glossy Time Capsule is a little bit different. It isn't a monthly magazine, nor does it have a plethora of those delightful ads I've come to love.
Modern Screen's Hollywood Yearbook detailed all the juicy Hollywood details of the year before. So this one, dated 1959, refers to events that happened in 1958. Yearbook was put together by publishers from various silver screen magazines, and was published by Dell. This was the second-ever issue. (The latest issue I could find online was from 1974.)
Now, the big question: Do you really think I care what Hollywood's elite were up to 60 years ago?
Don't be silly. Of course I care.
I love that I'm able to read this magazine through a lens of futuristic knowledge... a lens of, "Oh yes... I know what's around the corner for these people."
For instance, it's mildly interesting to hear about entertainers having kids (especially when they give them fantastic names like Starburst Waldo Rocketship III), but when I know that said baby is going to be famous someday? Now that's really cool.
Take Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, for example...
They already had one daughter, and were expecting another baby in 1958....
Surprise! That baby turned out to be Jamie Lee Curtis!
Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones were also expecting their first child together...
... who'd turn out to be singer/teen idol/producer Shaun Cassidy!
Actress Mariska Hargitay wouldn't be born for a few more years, but her parents -- Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay -- wed in 1958...
Bed of roses? Alas, no... their marriage lasted only 6 years.
Yeah, I know. Hollywood marriages aren't really known for their longevity.
Marlon Brando's first marriage was on its last legs at the time...
Marlon and Anna divorced in 1959 after only a couple years together.
John Wayne and Pilar Palette?
They lasted until 1973.
Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood's "forever" claim, here, was a bit too optimistic...
Sure, their first marriage lasted until 1962... and their second from 1972 until Natalie Wood's death in 1981... but between 1962 and 1972, he had another wife and she had another husband! And then there's her mysterious death....
I doubt anyone expected much from Rita Hayworth's fifth marriage. Aye, those "trouble rumors" must have been true, because she and Jim Hill were divorced by 1961.
Richard Egan (Dr. Chilton!) and Pat Hardy, on the other hand, had a long union -- they were married from 1958 until Richard's death in 1987.
James Garner and his wife ended up having a long marriage, too...
The two spent nearly 58 years together before his death in 2014.
So yes, happiness and longevity are possible, even in Hollywood.
Try telling that to these people, though....
So I know some of you are going, Oh, yeah... Elizabeth Taylor, Eddie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds... I know all about that. Maybe you even remember when it all went down. But it was before my time, and when I first got this magazine about 10 years ago, I was like WHAAAAA? I mean, I'd heard about Elizabeth Taylor's many marriages, but this... THIS!
So the short of it is: Debbie Reynolds was married to Eddie Fisher. They wed in 1955, and a year later had a baby, Carrie. In 1958, they had a son, Todd, whom they named after Mike Todd, Eddie's best friend and the then-third husband of Elizabeth Taylor.
Then Mike Todd died tragically, and Elizabeth was rightfully devastated for a while...
But, you know, The Oscars got to happen anyway. Yay.
Then, after a short period of mourning, Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher ran off together, leaving Debbie in the dust.
IT WAS LOVE, they said. EDDIE NEVER REALLY LOVED DEBBIE, they declared. THIS IS THE REAL THING, they swore.
They'd last all of 5 years.
WAS he worth it?
This sad, unwanted portrait, says, "Hmmm... no."
Then-toddler Carrie Fisher may have been standing on the front passenger seat unrestrained in this picture, but hey... she turned out okay.
Debbie Reynolds would be okay, too. She remarried twice... she was with Harry Karl from 1960 to 1973 and with Richard Hamlett from 1984 to 1996.
As for Eddie Fisher, after his divorce from Elizabeth Taylor in 1964, he would marry three more times.
Elizabeth would have not two, not three, but FOUR marriages after her union to Fisher... although two were to the same guy, so does it count as three or four? Never mind. I give up.
As cool as I think Debbie Reynolds was (she made this list, after all!), I really don't envy any of these people.
But enough about marriages and divorces, already! Surely some pleasant things were happening around Hollywood in 1958...?!
Okay... um, next?
D'aw! Shirley always makes things better!
I had never heard of Sal Mineo, but I looked him up, and encountered these two interesting facts:
Nickname: The Switchblade Kid
Cause Of Death: Murder By Stabbing
Meanwhile, Sal's fellow teen heartthrob Ricky Nelson was soon to be challenged by Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka, Johnny Mathis and other handsome crooners....
And, in a few years, these guys.
And so it ends. But before we go, let's take a look at THE MOST POPULAR entertainers of 1958, voted on by YOU, the reader. Or, more likely, your ancestors.
But where are they now?
Rock Hudson - died in 1985
Ricky Nelson - died in 1985
Elvis Presley - died in 1977
Pat Boone - ALIVE!
Tony Curtis - died in 2010
Kim Novak - ALIVE!
Janet Leigh - died in 2004
Natalie Wood - died in 1981
Elizabeth Taylor - died in 2011
Debbie Reynolds - died in 2016
Until next time....
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