Names make news. Last week these names made this news:
An independent Hollywood producer spotted a hot property in a politician’s life story, bought rights to make a screen biography of South Dakota’s modest, cigar-puffing Republican Governor Joe Foss, 40. The script will need no embroidery. As ringmaster of “Joe’s Flying Circus” on Guadalcanal in World War II. Marine Air Force Captain Foss led a hell-for-baling-wire fighter squadron, became a top U.S. ace by downing 26 Japanese planes, for his hazards later was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor. Added touch for Hollywood scenarists : Foss’s yen to fly began when he was a farm boy of twelve, awesomely saw Charles A. Lindbergh, then touring the U.S. as the lionized conqueror of the Atlantic. Film’s tentative title: Brave Eagle.
Told that she had a recurrence of cancer (she underwent surgery in 1953 for a malignancy, and last June for a ruptured spinal disc), Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the world’s greatest woman athlete (track and field, basketball, golf), forced a smile and said: “Well, that’s the rub of the green.”
At Rome’s Ciampino airport, beaming Cinemactress Linda (The Happy Time) Christian welcomed her No. 1 boy friend, British Cinemactor Edmund (The Student Prince) Purdom, dreamily pinned a flower on his lapel when he flew in from Spain. Both Linda and Purdom are in the toils of divorce, she from Cinemactor Tyrone Power, formerly one of Purdom’s closest pals. But Linda squelched tattle that a classic Hollywood swap is in the works. Purred she: “I hope to have a lasting affection for Edmund, but that’s as far as it goes.” Less than a month after the birth of her second child, Rhett (TIME, July 18), Metropolitan Opera Soprano Patrice Munsel cut a lissome figure in Bermuda, where she was gathering strength for an October stint in a Las Vegas pleasure dome. Asked if the Nevada jaunt augurs a nightclub career, Singer Munsel piff-poofed: “No! Las Vegas will mean only a onetime excursion into another field so that I can get some of the innate ham out of my system.”
Steaming back into the U.S. after a 4½-month European crusade, Evangelist Billy Graham immediately fired a shot heard across the Atlantic. Said he: “Morals in Scandinavia are very low — particularly sexual morals.” His fire was promptly returned. Snapped one of Denmark’s own moral crusaders, Lutheran Pastor Boerge Hjerl-Hansen : “Before throwing stones, Graham ought to think twice. After all, he is a citizen of the country where the Kinsey Report was published.” ∙∙∙Discharged from suburban Washing ton’s Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he was laid up after his heart attack (TIME, July n), Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, once a fast-moving workhorse but now slowed to a walk, went with wife Lady Bird to his home in the capital, where he was greeted by neighbors and his dog, “Little Beagle Johnson.” He planned to go back to Texas later this month, to the Mayo Clinic in December for checkups.
In London, Britain’s dagger-eyed, razor-brained Poetess Edith (Facade) Sitwell, baptized an Anglican, decided at a ripe 67 on a change of church. Kneeling in London’s (Jesuit) Immaculate Conception Church, Dame Edith was received into the Roman Catholic Church. Said Convert Sitwell humbly: “I have taken this step because I want the discipline, the fire and the authority of the church. I am hopelessly unworthy of it, but I hope to become worthy.”
∙∙∙Fortifying himself against Tokyo’s 95° heat with gin and tonics, Nobel Prize-winning Author William (A Fable) Faulkner, on his first visit to Japan as a star attraction of the State Department’s Cultural Exchange Program, candidly entertained Japanese and U.S. newsmen at a one-hour pressoiree. Asked if he is now penciling a novel. Mississippi Squire Faulkner harrumphed: “No. I have reached the age now (57) when I work only when the weather is bad.” Why did he write Sanctuary? ‘I wanted a horse, and I heard that people were making money by writing novels.” After the formal conference, the newsmen hung around for more Faulknerisms and free-flowing heat-chasers. Any comment on Henry James? “One of the nicest old ladies I ever knew.”How much had Gertrude Stein influenced his writing? “Very little,” drawled Bill Faulkner affably. “I didn’t meet her until I was 50.* Next day, some 175 diplomats, newsmen and Japanese educators waited for the author to appear atTokyo’s Foreign Correspondents Club. But they had to satisfy themselvesinstead with a filet mignon lunch. Attended by a doctor and nurse.Tourist Faulkner was bedded down at International House, laid low bythe heat, lack of nourishment (he abstained from food during his entiretranspacific flight), and too many toasts of welcome.
Mexico’s bittersweet, May-and-December romance between famed,four-times-married Artist Diego Rivera, 68, and sultry, four-times-married Cinemactress Maria Felix, 37, flaredfitfully. Recently, when Maria returned by plane to Mexico from Havana,she was clutched in a passionate deathlock by the panting master, waswhisked through Lover Rivera’s standard regimen of courtship: a dailybouquet of red roses, frenzied cha-cha-cha dancing in flossy nightclubs,morning excursions to the lady’s balcony with laired serenaders. Butone day last week Diego Rivera landed in a hospital. Mexico Cityeditors began readying obituaries, but as suddenly as he had checkedin, Rivera checked out of the hospital and headed for parts unknown.Searching for an explanation of his illness, Mexicans could not but bestruck by the daily newspaper photos showing Maria whooping it up withyounger beaux. A visitor to Rivera’s deserted studio found it barren asDecember. On his easel stood an unfinished portrait of Maria, thesecond he has painted (the first: a startling full-length study in adiaphanous gown). Beside the easel reposed a photograph of mercurialVlaria, her eyes daring and teasing; flanking her taunting imagedrooped two wilted bouquets.
* Author Faulkner was no older than 48 when Literary Lioness Stein died in 1946.