After competing my two years of active Navy duty recall in the Korean War as a chief journalist, I got a job at the now-long-gone Beverly Hills Citizen daily newspaper. Now, 60 years later I recall my sneaky way to get into the Academy Awards ceremonies at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre.
The owner of the newspaper, Will Rogers Jr., received several tickets to the event, and passed all but one on to his movie biz friends. As a reporter, I snagged it, telling my boss that I would cover it. So, on the night of March 27, all dressed in my best suit and tie, I marched with all the other famous people into the theater.
When I took my seat, I noted a very familiar face next to me. It was one of my all-time favorite stars, Bing Crosby. I smiled, and he looked annoyed but grimaced back at me. Next to him was a beautiful girl, and as I found out, to become his second wife later that year. Bing was 55, and his Kathryn was 28. Make your own comment.
Another old guy-young girl marriage was also happening at that moment in movie history. The award for best picture went to the first production of Around The World In 80 Days. The producer, Mike Todd, 48, had just married glamorous Elizabeth Taylor, 25. Todd died in a plane crash a year later, and Liz went on to Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton and another four or five marriages.
Incidentally, the best actor award in 1957 went to Yul Brynner in The King And I, and best actress to Ingrid Bergman in Anastasia. I won’t go into Ingrid’s 1950s marriage scandal here, but you can look up the juicy facts on the internet.