Friday, August 09, 2013
Fred MacMurray: Nice Guy On & Off Screen
In her autobiography, Dorothy Lamour pays tribute to Carole Lombard: "Not only a great star, Carole was a beautiful woman inside and out and a great humanitarian. From the lowest to the highest paid, everybody at Paramount loved her". During 'Swing High, Swing Low' Lombard took Lamour under her wing in much the same way she had Fred in 'Hands Across the Table." Lamour and Fred also got along well, remaining friends for the remainder of his life and making one more film together several years later: "Star Spangled Rhythm" (1942).
Marlene Dietrich was used to her leading men falling in love with her, so she was apparently displeased when Fred, who she did find attractive, didn't respond properly to her allure. Film publicist Sid Bloomberg said: "Marlene hit on everybody. She believed it helped a film's chemistry if she slept with her leading men. Fred was an exception and she never forgave him for it. He was too devoted to Lillian -it truly annoyed Marlene." Leisen would later say that Fred was 'embarrassed' by Marlene and her transparent attempts to get him in the sack.
Arlene Dahl recalls Negulesco as 'an authetic flirtatious Hungarian' who would 'flirt with each of us [Dahl, Bacall and Allyson] and take us out to lunch, separately.' Dahl believes that June Haver helped bring Fred 'out of his shell.' She recalls the courting couple as being 'very affectionate and sweet to one another, just very loving.' Dahl also observed that Fred, basically a shy man, would blush, especially in the presence of women. After Lily's death, Fred told a reporter he wasn't sure he would ever marry again. By the holidays of 1953 the loneliness he felt over the loss of Lily was as acute as ever. John Wayne was having a 'Gay Nineties' party a few days before Christmas and invited Fred to come.
In addition, please revisit my previous post: Memories of Fred MacMurray