An interesting visitor to Hollywood

Mr and Mrs Krushchev, the Russian leader visited the 20th Century Fox Film Studios. The date was 21 September 1959.

I remember this new being in all the Newspapers in England as well as the TV channels – there were only two

ABOVE – Mrs Krushchev with Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra

Twentieth Century Fox had invited Khrushchev to watch the filming of Can-Can, a Broadway musical set among the dance hall girls of fin de siècle Paris, and he had accepted. It was an astounding feat – a Hollywood studio had persuaded the communist leader of the world’s largest nation to appear in a a publicity opportunity which also included luncheon at its elegant commissary, the Café de Paris, where the Mr Krushchev and his wife could dine with the biggest stars in Hollywood.

Mr Krushchev on the set of ‘Can Can’ 1959

Only 400 people could fit into the room, and nearly everybody in Hollywood wanted to be there.

The demand for invitations to the Khrushchev lunch was so strong that it overpowered the fear of communism that had reigned in Hollywood since 1947

A handful of stars—Bing Crosby, Ward Bond, Adolphe Menjou and Ronald Reagan—turned down their invitations as a protest against Khrushchev.

The only husband-and-wife teams invited were those in which both members were stars—Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh; Dick Powell and June Allyson; Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher. Marilyn Monroe’s husband, the playwright Arthur Miller, might have qualified as a star, but he was urged to stay home because he was a leftist who’d been investigated by the House committee and therefore was considered too radical to dine with a communist leader.

However, the studio was determined that Marilyn Monroe attended and she did

“At first, Marilyn, who never read the papers or listened to the news, had to be told who Khrushchev was,” Lena Pepitone, Monroe’s maid, recalled in her memoirs. “However, the studio kept insisting. They told Marilyn that in Russia, America meant two things, Coca-Cola and Marilyn Monroe. She loved hearing that and agreed to go….She told me that the studio wanted her to wear the tightest, sexiest dress she had for the premier.”

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Place your comment

Please fill your data and comment below.
Your comment