• U.S.

Business: Personal File: Aug. 18, 1961

2 minute read

»”They say that people like me—people with drive and ambition —that we’ll never quit. Bunk. I’m getting out. I’m tired of supporting lawyers and tax collectors.” With that, Charles Rolley, 58, stepped down last week as president of Reno’s Rolley Co., the nation’s biggest maker of suntan lotion (its dollar-green Sea and Ski grosses some $12 million a year). A kinetic promoter, Rolley moved into lotions in 1947 on borrowed money, sold out to Botany Industries, Inc., for $2,000,000 in 1955, stayed on as boss. Now rich and seeking relaxation, Rolley has turned over the presidency to his assistant, Bill Randall, 41. To avoid boredom, Rolley has lined up a job that will support fewer lawyers and tax collectors: Rolley Co. sales chief in California.

»For the carriage trade there are two Manhattan hotels where an effort at Edwardian elegance reigns: the Stanhope (a favorite of Princess Grace Kelly) and the Gotham. Their handsome owner, Mrs. Evelyn Sharp, 58, runs them as her home, e.g., desk clerks wear evening clothes after 6 p.m., coffee is ground just before brewing. Shrewd Businesswoman Sharp (who took over Sharp Ltd. Hotels on the death of her husband in 1941) last week sold the Gotham, the Stanhope and California’s Beverly Wilshire to William Zeckendorf’s Webb & Knapp for $25 million. As replacements, Mrs. Sharp plans to put up in Manhattan and Beverly Hills a pair of new luxury hotels, as posh as ever but with modern details, such as refrigerators disguised as antiques.

»Up in arms over the $25 million in losses that 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. has shown on its movie productions in the past two years and the $10 million more expected this year, Wall Street investors last week tried to oust Fox’s President Spyros P. Skouras, 68. But the wily movie magnate outfoxed his foes with a “compromise” settlement that put in, as executive committee chairman, Skouras’ “very, very close associate” William Michel. Fingering a chain of yellow amber beads (which he uses to allay his craving for cigars), Skouras attributed his company’s losses to “bad breaks,” among them Elizabeth Taylor’s illness, which halted the filming of Cleopatra. Moaned one investor: “We needed surgery, and we’ve gotten an aspirin.”

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