Frank Vaughan in Hollywood

Frankie Vaughan went to Hollywood in the late Fifties after he had made a couple of films in England, the first of which was ‘These Dangerous Years’ where he got rave reviews and that was followed up by ‘The Heart of a Man’ which I remember seeing during our St Albans holidays at the time.

He had earlier appeared in Arthur Askey’s comedy Ramsbottom Rides Again (1956) and a musical, The Lady Is A Square, with Anna Neagle.

I had not realised but he was booked to appear in Cabaret at the Dunes in Las Vegas in 1959 where he was to do 28 shows instead of which, he went down so well that the contract was extended to 56 nights

From there he flew to New York to guest star on The Perry Como Show then way back to Los Angeles for the Dinah Shore Christmas Show.

20th Century Fox talent scout Bert Gordon flew in from Hollywood to Las Vegas to watch him in cabaret – and came back raving. The first result of this was that Marilyn Monroe wanted Frankie to star in ‘The Misfits’ written by her then husband Arthur Miller

In the picture ABOVE he appears to be having some coaching on Westerns from a gun slinging expert. He looks the part here.

Well as we look back, we all know that he did not get a part in The Misfits but he did succeed in starring along with Marilyn Monroe in ‘Lets Make Love’ with Yves Montand a year or so later.

Marilyn looks so lovely in the picture BELOW

Marilyn and Frankie

In 1960, Vaughan went to Hollywood to make the film ‘Let’s Make Love’ with Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn, it is said, tried to entice him into an affair, but he maintained that he loved his wife, Stella, whom he had met at the Locarno ballroom, Leeds, after the war, and that they needed to live in London. He must be one of very few men that had or would turn down Marilyn

Back home and a bit later, he filled the Talk of the Town theatre restaurant for weeks, and became a sort of statesman among British performers. He returned to the venue for years afterwards. In 1965, he was awarded an OBE, and in 1997 a CBE.

In 1985, Vaughan had one of his most notable successes – starring in what turned out to be his swansong role, the lead in the musical 42nd Street at Drury Lane. He left the cast after a year at the start of what turned out to be a terminal series of illnesses. He was always sure of his epitaph. “I am lucky to have a talent, lucky to have met such a wonderful girl as my wife Stella, lucky to have such a wonderful family, and lucky to have a job I adore.”

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