As requested in the Frank Sinatra thread, let's discuss the kinky Kennedy in-law.
I know he liked tit torture and voyeurism.
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As requested in the Frank Sinatra thread, let's discuss the kinky Kennedy in-law.
I know he liked tit torture and voyeurism.
|by Anonymous||reply 114||07/12/2010|
Here's the Nancy Reagan story: Widow Lawford recalls, "Peter was watching the news right after Reagan was elected. He went over to the set, laughing and calling Mrs. Reagan a vulgar name. I was shocked and wanted to know what was bothering him. He laughed again and said that when she was single, Nancy Davis was known for giving the best head in Hollywood. Then Peter told of driving to the Phoenix area with Nancy and Bob Walker . Nancy would visit her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Loyal Davis, while Peter and Walker picked up girls at Arizona State University in Tempe, a Phoenix suburb. He claimed that she entertained them orally on those trips, apparently playing with whichever man was not driving at the moment. I have no idea if Peter was telling the truth, though I have to assume he was because Peter was not one to gossip."
|by Anonymous||reply 1||06/26/2010|
tittie torture? Oooh fill us in.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||06/26/2010|
Well, those road trips happened when they were all young and pretty then, cuz Robert Walker died in 1951. Bob and Peter were under MGM contract and I think Nancy was, too. That is probably where they met.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||06/26/2010|
His son says he ended his days whacked out on coke and talking to sqirrels.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||06/26/2010|
The most interesting (and disturbing) thing I've ever heard about him is that he used to pay hookers to fuck his teenage son in front of him. He'd also do drugs with his kid.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||06/26/2010|
Everything I've ever read about him makes him out to be a thoroughly unpleasant person. Although a very good-looking one.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||06/26/2010|
He had an affair with Dorothy Dandridge before he became a Kennedy-in-law and some have speculated that she was the love of his life.
From BOLD DREAMS - The Dorothy Dandridge story:
In the 1950âs, Dorothy Dandridge was one of the few African-American women in this country to travel to Europe to view fashion collections. She dazzled the international jet set and billionaire Greek tycoon; Aristole Onassis couldnât take his eyes off her. Back in the states, a young British actor was in love with her.
Actor Peter Lawford was married to one of the Kennedy sisters but before the marriage, he only had eyes for Dorothy Dandridge, some say, she was the true love of his life. One evening, they almost went public with their relationship up until the last minute when they decided-it would be a bad career move for both of them. They arrived at a Cole Porter party separately.
When Dorothy walked in, every man in the room (including Richard Burton and William Holden) couldnât keep their eyes off her. Peter Lawford found her irresistible. Lawford was far more taken with her than she was with him. He even told her, he loved her. At Dandridgeâs funeral, Lawford was so devastated by grief; he was unable to deliver the eulogy.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||06/26/2010|
Who is credited with saying "wish I had a nickle for every Jew she's been under in Hollywood," referring to Nancy Reagan and the studio execs.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||06/26/2010|
His part in the death of Marilyn Monroe is still subject to conjecture - did he set her up with the Kennedys and try to calm her down when they discarded her, did he see her that last night, did he help clear away any evidence ......
|by Anonymous||reply 9||06/26/2010|
Here's some things I heard about him:
He was initiated into sex by a nanny when he was still a child.
He gave his son cocaine for his birthday.
He pimped for the Kennedys, fixing them up with actresses and other assorted bimbos and letting him use him home for their trysts.
During sex he liked to get his nipples bitten until they bled.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||06/26/2010|
He allowed himself to be used and then spent the rest of his life feeling like the human ashtray he had become.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||06/26/2010|
The beauty that was Peter Lawford
|by Anonymous||reply 12||06/26/2010|
My five year old daughter loves him.
We enjoyed his work in Good News, Little Women, Son of Lassie and Password, where she aptly observed "He got old."
|by Anonymous||reply 13||06/26/2010|
In 1961 Peter Lawford was a frequent and accomplished guest on the game show PASSWORD, Lawford was the all-time champion at the "lightning round", prompting 10 out of 10 correct guesses in only 16 seconds.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||06/26/2010|
r14, the lightning round had five words. But it's true that Peter was the champ. And very personable and hilariously funny on that show.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||06/26/2010|
Fun facts about Patricia and Peter Lawford:
- Pat made the sign of the cross each time before she engaged in intercourse with Peter Lawford.
- Pat and Peter killed a bottle of Scotch just hours after she gave birth to her first child and the first male grandchild born to a Kennedy daughter.
- Pat and Peter moved out of the Malibu beach house once owned by Joe Kennedyâs mistress Gloria Swanson, and took their own digs, leaving the house to newborn Christopher and his baby nurse because they couldn't stand the smell of Christopher's stinky diapers.
- Peter said Pat took everything after their divorce, including precious mementos of JFKâs presidency. After Pat relocated to Manhattan just a few blocks away from Jackieâs penthouse on Fifth Avenue, Peter sent a truck packed with five-gallon containers of water and a note that said, âDear Pat, you forgot to drain the swimming pool.â
- Pat often got drunk on wine in front of her children, who would be confused by her sudden speech incapacity as she drilled them on geography at the dinner table.
- Pat never remarried or fully recovered from her divorce and brothersâ assassinations, settling for the company of gay male friends and dysfunctional drinking buddies.
- Peter Lawford brought a prostitute as his date to RFKâs funeral.
- Hugh Hefner, feeling sorry for Peter, let him stay for free in a small guest cottage on the grounds of Hefâs Playboy Mansion during the 1970s. While visiting Hef with a "female companion" at the height of his Jello Puddin' Pop fame, Bill Cosby described Peter as "pathetic" within earshot of Christopher Lawford.
- In his later years, Peter Lawford could not achieve orgasm without getting his nipples lacerated with razor blades.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||06/26/2010|
I'm sorry but all the gossip I ever heard about him was that he was deeply in the closet. Peter was gay. He used to go down to the beach and pick up guys when he was a young man and a very hot commodity with the studio. He had assignations in the middle of the afternoon with lots of young attractive beach bums.
You can tell all the stories you like about Nancy Reagan, or Pat Lawford, etc. But Peter was a closetted gay man and very much a drug addict/alcoholic. If he needed to feel pain to get off, maybe it was because he couldn't get off with women unless he did something he felt was extremely erotic.
He did procure for the Kennedys and for anyone else Joe and Jack wanted him to. IF there was a particular Senator or member of Congress who needed "sweetin'" Peter was always on bimbo duty.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||06/26/2010|
I doubt one postion/ sign of the cross Patricia was helping Lawford get off with tit torture.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||06/26/2010|
He really was a gorgeous young leading man in post WWII Hollywood and I never understood why MGM didn't take him more seriously and cast him in some of their better dramas instead of those light musicals in which he couldn't really sing or dance.
Wasn't there some crazy story about Peter's mother barging into LB Mayer's office and begging him to help her turn gay Peter straight?
Wait....perhaps I just answered my own question!
|by Anonymous||reply 19||06/26/2010|
[quote]"I have no idea if Peter was telling the truth, though I have to assume he was because Peter was not one to gossip."
OK, I suspect she said this to make the story about Nancy seem true, but Lawford in later years would tell nasty stories about anyone who would listen. A few years ago I saw a 1970s interview with him where he told a story about Judy Garland, saying that she had deliberately slashed her face a ton of times just to frame someone else for it, and he said "that's why she had all those scars." She had one scar on her eyebrow from an accident during "Girl Crazy", but even in later pics I just don't see a scarred-up face. I think he was just telling stories at that point.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||06/26/2010|
[quote]Wasn't there some crazy story about Peter's mother barging into LB Mayer's office and begging him to help her turn gay Peter straight?
"Once he signed with MGM, his mother, Lady May, insisted that studio head Louis B. Mayer pay her a salary as her son's personal assistant. Mayer declined. Lady Lawford responded by claiming her son to be "a bummer" and that he needed to be "supervised." When Lawford learned of his mother's actions their relationship was never the same."
|by Anonymous||reply 21||06/26/2010|
He posed nude for VIVA magazine before he died. Anyone got the pics?
|by Anonymous||reply 22||06/26/2010|
I remember a story told on the Bio channel's special on the Rat Pack. Apparently, by the time he was a teenager, Peter Lawford's parents had lost most of their money, and had moved to Florida, where he had to get a job. He worked at a country club in Palm Beach.
One day, a club members saw him eating lunch with a group of black co-workers and angrily complained to the manager that it looked bad for the club for a white boy to be seen hanging out with "coloreds" and Lawford was quickly reprimended.
The club member was his future father in law, Joseph P. Kennedy.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||06/26/2010|
How'd he get his job on "The Doris Day Show"? Wasn't he pretty messed up by that time?
|by Anonymous||reply 24||06/27/2010|
Peter was a party boy. He always had an alcohol problem. It eventually morphed into cocaine and prescription drugs. Smoking pot was the least of his problems.
His time as a matinee idol was comparatively short-lived. He thought Joe could help him he married Pat.Butoo many people in H'wood hated Joe and Joe was pretty much over in H'wood.
Peter managed to continue to work in Sinatra movies for a while, but Frank felt betrayed when JFK went to Crosby's house instead of his and he lacerated Peter then froze him out. Peter never made another movie with Sinatra again, and his career slowly and painfully sank into the toilet.
He and Sinatra were never that close to begin with, because Frank thought he was weak and phoney. Frank could be cutting and cruel to Peter, and Peter never stood up to him. He practically peed himself when he realized he'd been appointed the bearer of bad news to Sinatra from JFK's people.
Peter and Marilyn were close but he never had an affair with her. He was a kind of enabler and he was definitely a dangerous friend for her to have because of the drugging and drinking.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||06/27/2010|
I first saw him as a kid as Nick Charles on The Thin Man series with Phyllis Kirk as Nora.
And for the real oldies here, wasn't he also in a short-lived sit-com before that called Dear Phoebe as an advice-to-the-lovelorn columnist?
|by Anonymous||reply 26||06/27/2010|
I think you're right R26. I'm pretty old myself (60!) The Thin Man series was enjoyable. I liked Dear Phoebe too. If Peter'd dumped the Hollywood crowd and cleaned himself up, he'd have been fine.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||06/27/2010|
"He posed nude for VIVA magazine before he died. Anyone got the pics?"
I'm so glad he posed before he died. I truly love to see stiffies but I do have standards.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||06/27/2010|
He was gorgeous in his early MGM years, far more attractive and had more screen presence than Sinatra could ever hope for. No wonder Sinatra hated him so much.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||06/27/2010|
I read that when his great friend Elizabeth Taylor was in Betty Ford, detoxing, Peter got in touch with the National Enquirer and arranged, for a price, to have Elizabeth come outside so she could be photographed by the paper. Nice.
He is also credited with being the originator of the "Ocean's 11" story. Told it to Frank who then had it re-written by other screenwriters.
Liked using a device known as the Accu-Jac. Something used to enhance jerking off.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||06/27/2010|
He seems to have deserved that sleazy reputation but Monroe and Taylor both liked him ... but then he may have been telling them just what they wanted to hear ... and of course he was someone who knew the studio background and all the problems they were having.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||06/27/2010|
He really was remarkably handsome, especially in those three movies mentioned in r13.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||06/27/2010|
Lawford was pretty at MGM, but became unrecognizable as he got older...fat and bloated in his 40s (as he was on Password)then rail coked-out thin in the 1970s & 80s.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||06/27/2010|
He was such a great friend to Elizabeth that he introduced her to his druggie buddie the used car salesman Henry Winberg or something like that. They were all zoned out on pills and alcohol most of the time. Then Elizabeth decided to get "engaged" to Henry. It was a complete screwed up mess. Peter was trouble.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||06/27/2010|
I have a hard time believing he was remotely hetero. More homo leaning bi.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||06/27/2010|
Didn't he introduce Elizabeth to the used car salesman because she was fucking his son and wanted her to move along?
|by Anonymous||reply 36||06/27/2010|
I think his name was Wynberg and I remember a picture of him with Elizabeth, sitting in the back of a limo, that showed a mighty impressive bulge in his crotchal area.%0D %0D Wasn't Mizz Liz known to be somewhat of a size Cleopatra? Maybe Peter got to feel him up too.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||06/27/2010|
Though he was a few years older than Elizabeth, they and Roddy McDowell came to MGM from the UK and were all educated in that silly school that was often featured in MGM's publicity. %0D %0D I can remember formerly beautiful Peter looking pathetically "hipster" in That's Entertainment (1974), introducing a clip of teenage Elizabeth lip-synching her way through a song in A Date With Judy.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||06/27/2010|
In the 60's he produced the gay favorite "Billie" Starring Patty Duke...
|by Anonymous||reply 39||06/27/2010|
>>> they couldn't stand the smell of Christopher's stinky diapers%0D %0D %0D %0D %0D How ironic. Years and years ago I read an article about how far Lawford had sunk in his last years. It went on to say that he had problems controlling himself and that he always had some shit all over his pants
|by Anonymous||reply 40||06/27/2010|
"How'd he get his job on "The Doris Day Show"? Wasn't he pretty messed up by that time?'%0D %0D I remember him on that show. I thought he looked terrible; grey-haired, wrinkled, with huge grey eyebrows. He seemed like he was sleep-walking rather than acting. %0D %0D I never found him attractive. He was always so smarmy. And there was just something about him that seemed off-kilter. I suppose that's because he was very, very fucked up mentally. %0D %0D I never heard gay rumors, but he probably did do it with guys. He seemed like the kind of Hollywood creep who would fuck anything, male or female. %0D %0D He must have been very, very sleazy, because Marilyn Monroe, who would go to bed with just about any man, wouldn't let him fuck her. %0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 41||06/27/2010|
I think his life would make an interesting bio-pic.%0D %0D Who should play him?
|by Anonymous||reply 42||06/27/2010|
He seemed to enjoy the direction the country went in the late 60's. This is what "Mad Men" will look like in a few seasons -
|by Anonymous||reply 43||06/27/2010|
Nice big dick, according to his last wife's bio of him, THE PETER LAWFORD STORY, which also has Nancy Reagan "who gave the best head in Hollywood", servicing men in the backs of cars.
Of all people to fall in love with, Pat Kennedy Lawford found herself smitten with...Roger Edens! That's in the Stanley Donen book, I believe.
Yeah, those big bushy eyebrows Lawford had - have they ever been in style? Would have loved to have seen the act Lawford did with Judy Holliday though.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||06/27/2010|
....the act with Judy Holliday? Well, he acted with her in It Should Happen to You, anyway.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||06/27/2010|
Well,...he "pinged" my gayday back in the 60s before I even knew that I was gay!%0D %0D ...And I must admit; I rather did enjoy it when Bette Davis "sicced" her dog on him in "Dead Ringer". That was a real treat!
|by Anonymous||reply 46||06/27/2010|
I remember reading that he and Van Johnson were "very close friends."
|by Anonymous||reply 47||06/28/2010|
Why did Pat marry him?
|by Anonymous||reply 48||06/28/2010|
Who was Peter Lawford and what were some of his best films?
|by Anonymous||reply 49||06/28/2010|
[quote]Why did Pat marry him?
2 2 = Beard/Merkin
|by Anonymous||reply 50||06/28/2010|
His best movie was probably "Good News" with June Allyson when he was 24 years old. He sings, dances, speaks French and is just adorable. He also has a unique speaking voice -- slightly British with a little rasp.
He was very handsome in Son of Lassie (age 22) and he was also good in Little Women (again with June Allyson) when he was 26 and in Easter Parade with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire when he was 25.
In his later period I'd recommend Salt and Pepper with Sammy Davis Jr. He was 45 and his deterioration was under way, but he was still charming and likable.
IMDB has 117 acting credits for him and 66 mostly TV appearances as himself. His pictures are in regular rotation on TCM so you should be able to check him out for yourself.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||06/28/2010|
When Pat married him he was considered a catch. Pat was a party girl and a big drinker. I guess the family thought being in H'wood would suit her.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||06/28/2010|
I don't think Pat was a lesbian. I think Eunice was- Ethel too.
Like R52 said, Pat was a party girl and was drawn to Hollywood. I think her marriage to Lawford and her subsequent life in California were attempts to find her own identity outside of the Kennedy family.
She was thirty when she married and no doubt was feeling a lot of pressure for being unmarried at a time when women were meant to marry and have babies.
Joe hated Lawford, a Protestant actor, and sent Pat on a trip around the world to get him out of her system. It didn%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99t work.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||06/28/2010|
Lawford was another of the MGM stable who were pretty and popular but whose lives were never the same after the studio system ended and MGM cut them loose. The stars of that era, including Elizabeth Taylor, June Allyson, Judy Garland, Esther Williams and Van Johnson, all had successful careers to varying degrees post MGM. BUT, they all said in interviews over the years that the studio did EVERYTHING for them, including paying their bills, sometimes. They were coddled and controlled. They were never allowed to be fully functioning adults. The studio covered up their excesses and problems. When they were let go, they were set adrift in the vicious world of Hollywood. Many never really achieved that level of fame or success again. Many fell prey to drugs and excess. Lawford was one of those "rudderless" guys who had lots of "glamorous" acquaintances and events happen to him but never ever had the level of MGM fame again. If you look at the trajectory of his life, even though he married a Kennedy and had some more movies, the Rat Pack and so on, his whole life kind of went downhill after MGM.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||06/28/2010|
His face was so full and promise and hope in those early MGM years. It must have all been beyond his wildest dreams -- a leading man at MGM at the age of 22. And often in glorious technicolor.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||06/28/2010|
Wasn't Lawford rumored to be a sex addict? I read somewhere that he would attach himself to an auto-masturbation machine for hours on end.
Obviously, I don't know if there's any truth to that.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||06/28/2010|
Why did Pat marry him? He was gorgeous and fun and wanted to marry her.%0D %0D If he was Elizabeth Taylor's friend, isn't it obvious that he was gay?
|by Anonymous||reply 57||06/28/2010|
Who would play him in the movie? If Keanu would get a tan, he could play him.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||06/28/2010|
I've only watched Peter Lawford in It Should Happen to You and Ocean's 11, he had a nice, sophisticated and charming quality to him. I knew he was friends with Dorothy Dandridge, but I didn't realize that he was in love with her as someone mentioned earlier.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||06/28/2010|
R51 - I'd definitely add "The Picture of Dorian Gray" to that list. Lawford plays the young leading man in love witn Donna Reed, who finally realizes how debauched Gray and his friends are, and discovers the painting in the attic.%0D %0D The irony that Lawford himself was wickedly debauched in later life is not lost on viewers who know his story.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||06/28/2010|
Perhaps it's because most of the films he made for MGM were light comedies and musicals, but he struck me as an actor who was never very ambitious, never fought for better roles. %0D %0D And it's surprising that MGM didn't have a bigger musical talent to play the roles Peter did in those classic musicals. Not a Gene Kelly or a Frank Sinatra or even a Howard Keel, just a handsome young guy who could play opposite Judy, June, Jane or Esther who could actually carry a tune and dance a few real steps.%0D %0D But Peter made up for it with his looks, I suppose.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||06/28/2010|
[quote] And it's surprising that MGM didn't have a bigger musical talent to play the roles Peter did in those classic musicals. Not a Gene Kelly or a Frank Sinatra or even a Howard Keel, just a handsome young guy who could play opposite Judy, June, Jane or Esther who could actually carry a tune and dance a few real steps.%0D %0D %0D %0D They did - his name was VAN JOHNSON.%0D %0D Both Van and Peter were pushed on teenage girls as "bobbysox idols" during the 40s (because they were both ineligible to serve in WWII - because they were gay), so MGM used Peter as a younger leading man.%0D %0D As soon as Gable, Jimmy Stewart, and others who were better actors who had served came home, Lawford's contract wasn't renewed - started in 1943, ended in 1951 with ROYAL WEDDING. Typical 7-year Metro contract.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||06/28/2010|
Liz and PL snorted coke on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland.%0D %0D His widow tried to get him sober and made plans for him to to go the Betty Ford Center.%0D PL was wasted and they poured him into a car for the trip. He asked where they were going and the widow said to Betty Ford. PL said, "Oh, good. I always liked Betty Ford."%0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 63||06/28/2010|
So r62, why didn't Van make Easter Parade, Good News or Royal Wedding, 3 of MGM's biggest musicals of the early post-WWII years, if he could sing and dance better than Peter? That was my point.%0D %0D As a matter of fact Van, didn't make many musicals at all.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||06/28/2010|
Blind item from "Crazy Days and Nights"
Four people involved in this. #1 and #2 were actors who made their fame in films, but both got their only real serious award nomination for television. Any movie lover will know who #2 is. #1, maybe not. #3 was an actress but gave it up when she married #1. Eventually she married #2 as well although the marriage to #2 was as a cover for #2 being gay. The twist to this story involves #4. #4 was an actor who also married into a really wild family. Everyone will know #4. #4 also tended to go both ways as well which must have made it fun when prior to #4's marriage, #1,#2,#3 and #4 used to periodically share one bed.
#1 - Kennan Wynn, #2 - Van Johnson, #3 - Evie Wynn, #4 - Peter Lawford
What a show Van Johnson and Peter Lawford together would have been.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||06/28/2010|
Sorry for the misplaced comma, everyone.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||06/28/2010|
I remember from reading his bio years ago that he married the much younger daughter of one of the Laugh In hosts. All his later marriages were train wrecks.
The reason he didn't serve in WW2 was a hand injury from childhood.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||06/28/2010|
Dan Rowan's daughter, Mary Rowan, was the 2nd Mrs. Lawford. What happened to his last wife, Pat Seaton? She seemed like a real piece of work. %0D %0D Considering what a sleazy person he was, it is amazing that he never wrote a tell-all about the Kennedys and Marilyn.%0D
|by Anonymous||reply 68||06/28/2010|
How much of Pat Seaton's book do you think is true, and how much is over-the-top stories to sell book?
|by Anonymous||reply 69||06/28/2010|
You didn't have to exaggerate with Lawford. He was drunk and stoned for years and he new everyone.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||06/28/2010|
Was he good fuck? Was he hung? What are his stats?
|by Anonymous||reply 71||06/28/2010|
A lot of the stories about Peter Lawford aren't just from Pat Seaton-his long time manager, Milt Ebbins, is the source for a lot of them.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||06/28/2010|
Lawford's mother completely screwed him up. Until he was 11, she dressed him as a girl. She also never educated him, and he never went to school, and was self-taught (causing him a great degree of shame).
|by Anonymous||reply 73||06/28/2010|
But oh, that speaking voice.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||06/28/2010|
Peter Lawford was George Hamilton before there was a George Hamilton.%0D %0D Both men were a couple of swells. They were suave, funny, good-looking and perfected the art of doing nothing...and doing it so well.%0D %0D An admirable quality if I do say so myself.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||06/28/2010|
Except that Lawford was a drunk, a drug addict and a desperately unhappy man. Is that what you want from your life, R75?
|by Anonymous||reply 76||06/28/2010|
Lawford was close friends with JFK. Hamilton dated LBJ's ugly daughter. A bit of a difference.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||06/28/2010|
|by Anonymous||reply 78||06/28/2010|
|by Anonymous||reply 79||06/28/2010|
Van Johnson was kept busy in other films during the time he and Peter were at MGM. Peter was under contract and HAD to appear in musicals, much to his frustration. They kept casting him! He was not a singer but could hold a tune well enough. They did that with lots of stars, put non-singers in musicals. They usually dubbed them, though.%0D %0D I think he kept getting put in musicals because he was so handsome and sexy and was a good match for Judy and June and others. He was "serviceable." And musicals were the studio's bread and butter in the late 40's. Van could not be in EVERY movie. It does seem odd, though, that Peter, basically a non-musical performer, is known for a few classic musicals!
|by Anonymous||reply 80||06/28/2010|
Sometimes they cast someone who is not a threat to bigger stars. Maybe that's why they used Lawford in musicals. He certainly didn't detract from the main star in the movie! %0D %0D I've always felt as if someone or something kept Van Johnson from really emerging as a first rate leading man. Lawford too. They were always second tier and in Lawford's case, second leads. Couldn't carry a film. Never would be in the Clark Gable category. But always someone reliable for the leading lady to fall for. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire weren't going to play second fiddle to anyone.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||06/29/2010|
Most of MGM's output after WWII was lightweight fluff, even the dramas. I guess it was simply the audience's tastes that were changing combined with LB Mayer's lack of interest. Was it really still the most powerful studio during this period?
|by Anonymous||reply 82||06/29/2010|
r82, The Freed Unit's musicals were the biggest moneymaker for MGM in the postwar 1940's. As the 40's waned, though, and Mayer was inched out the door and Dore Schary was ushered IN, the studio began to focus more on gritty realism films and a "new sensibility." Mayer balked at this and wanted to keep films as family pictures with a happy ending. He had ruled the studio with an iron fist, mandating that all movies adhered to his Jewish immigrant's view of America as some sort of "utopian Andy Hardy paradise." That, in fact, is what ALL the Jewish studio heads believed during those earlier Hollywood golden years. They, and the financial backers, (i.e. Loews, Inc. for MGM) had the final say on the film output of the studio and "message" pictures simply were not made. But the world had changed after the war. The "old" way of thinking did not appeal to modern audiences as much. %0D %0D Schary was not as interested in musicals and was more interested in the postwar cynicism and dealing with "issues" that were finding their way into movies. Examples are Gentleman's Agreement and The Snake Pit. Neither was an MGM production, but you get the drift. By the way, L.B. Mayer HATED Sunset Boulevard with a passion, calling Billy Wilder a "goddamn traitor" to the industry because the film put Hollywood in a "bad light." That was how the old man thought. He was considered old fashioned and a relic by the late 1940's and was forced into retirement. He had lost his relevance in a modern world.%0D %0D MGM continued to make golden age musicals through the mid 50's but ONLY because they made the studio money. It is ironic that those films were so good only because Schary wasn't interested and pretty much left the Freed Unit to it's own devices. They had their own "playground" in which to produce.%0D %0D If the studio remained the "most powerful" it was based upon it's profits from musicals. It was the "glossy, glamour" studio known for the visual element of it's films. MGM was never a Paramount or a Warner Brothers with more of a reputation for gritty realism and tackling social issues. It made some but it did not gain momentum as "that" kind of studio.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||06/29/2010|
Oh, and Peter Lawford rose to fame as one of the "stand in" leading men around MGM during the war years since he was 4F, like Van Johnson. They were suitable bobby soxer idols. Once the war ended and stars like Clark Gable came back to the studio ("Gable's back and Garson's got him!") people like Peter Lawford got relegated to second tier status. He got roles, yes, but was never in the same league with the studion's top male stars.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||06/29/2010|
Why was he 4f?
|by Anonymous||reply 85||06/29/2010|
Why did Hollywood make so many war films? World War II was so awful, you would thing the audience would want to see anything BUT a war film.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||06/29/2010|
I'm a sucker for a pretty face. I loved both Gerorge Hamilton and Lawford.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||06/29/2010|
The young Lawford was cast in musicals, even though he couldn't sing, because he came across as so lightweight. Handsome and very charming, of course, but not enough depth or charisma to appear in grittier material or to carry films on his own. He seemed a part of the never-never-land shown in MGM musicals, not the real world.%0D %0D He was a poor man's David Niven, really, and IMHO he only got got those roles because Niven was off fighting during WWII. When Niven came back, he got all the good roles available to a British man with a light touch.
|by Anonymous||reply 88||06/29/2010|
r85, per imdb: As a young child, the young Peter injured his arm by in his own words, "attempt to run through a glass door." Lawford's arm was badly injured. However, doctors could saved it. The injury was so bad, it was slightly deformed and bothered him throughout life. But such was his luck, the injury kept him off the draft for World War II, which became the biggest boon of his acting career.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||06/29/2010|
Those who are saying Lawford replaced Gable or even Niven during the war years make no sense. %0D %0D He was too young then for those parts. What roles did he ever do during or even after the war that might have been played by Gable, Niven, James Stewart or whoever? %0D %0D I don't think he was ever a substitute for those older leading men. I'm not sure that even Van was.
|by Anonymous||reply 90||06/29/2010|
|by Anonymous||reply 91||06/29/2010|
Mia @ R42, if they ever made a biopic of his life the perfect casting of him would be his son Christopher Kennedy Lawson. Looks a lot like him
|by Anonymous||reply 92||06/29/2010|
r90, Van and Peter did not LITERALLY take the "same" roles that would have been played by Clark Gable and others, dimwit. They just got OTHER roles in pictures that were greenlit for production that were more along the lines of what they could play. No, they were not rugged manly types, either one, although Van was a big guy. The studio was without several major stars during the war, including the mighty mite Mickey Rooney (who NEVER recovered HIS career) and had to make do with who they had. MGM used James Craig for the EXACT same roles that went to Gable. And then there was Sonny Tufts. And Guy Madison. And...
|by Anonymous||reply 93||06/29/2010|
Lady Lawford's autobiography is available on Google Books for free. It's hilariously awful.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||06/29/2010|
Thanks R94, I've got to read that.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||06/30/2010|
Peter in Good News
|by Anonymous||reply 96||06/30/2010|
He was really good looking.
|by Anonymous||reply 97||06/30/2010|
Gosh, that clip reminded me how emotional "joyful" those big MGM Technicolor musical numbers were. Simply infectuous. The interesting part is that there was nine kinds of shit going down in the personal lives of those people at the time. The films were "perfection" and brought such joy to millions (and still can, really) but, boy, they were doing all sorts of dysfunctional and naughty things when the cameras stopped rolling. Judy and her drugs. The racetrack gambling the stars did. The pills the studio doctors were cramming down EVERYONE'S throat. The closeted gay sex going on with Van Johnson and Tom Drake and Roger Edens and Charles Walters and George Cukor and probably even Peter and lord knows WHO else. The cheating and the affairs. The mafia influence, including Lana Turner's lovers and Frank Sinatra's connections. There were lots of unhappy people who were tethered to their seven year contracts, too. They looked at it as involuntary servitude, the price for being a studio star.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||06/30/2010|
[quote]"message" pictures simply were not made.%0D %0D That's not strictly true. Message pictures were made in the early 1930s, I guess mostly the pre-code era. You'd get morals films about gangsters, bootlegging, unions, prostitution, even a few films about minorities and their struggle. I don't mean the social-slash-exploitation films like "Tell Your Children," but A list films.%0D %0D It is true, however, that the more adult fare about the evils of Hollywood and alcoholism and drug use didn't show up much in film until the 1950s.
|by Anonymous||reply 99||06/30/2010|
A little gossip:%0D %0D Seems like Lana's pincushion boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, rivaled Frank Sinatra in the huge, uncut cock arena.%0D %0D Judy Garland complained that Frank loved getting head so much that sometimes there would be no penetration. She used to get so horny for some Frank lovin' that she would go to his house, find Frank, unzip his pants, shove her hand inside and haul it out in the hopes of getting some Italian salami for herself.
|by Anonymous||reply 100||06/30/2010|
Lady May Lawford "had once informed Louis B. Mayer that she should be placed on his MGM payroll to 'supervise' her 'homosexual' son."
"1960," by David Pietrusza, p. 243.
|by Anonymous||reply 101||06/30/2010|
Were Peter and Dominick Dunne lovers in the late 50s/early 60s? Is that mentioned in any of the books? I know they were Malibu neighbors back then. And their kids were about the same ages.
|by Anonymous||reply 102||06/30/2010|
Peter Dunne Dominick?
|by Anonymous||reply 103||06/30/2010|
Only 6 pages? A thread about Peter Lawford's kinks and fetishes I thought would hit double digits.
|by Anonymous||reply 104||07/06/2010|
I guess we'll just have to await the 2094 publication of Roddy McDowell's memoirs to hear the full story.
|by Anonymous||reply 105||07/06/2010|
2094? That's so unfair.
|by Anonymous||reply 106||07/06/2010|
Recently I watched the Caroll Baker film "Sylvia" in which he plays a wealthy man who hires a private detective to do a background check on his fiancee. He's sort of the villain of the film. At first I thought it was strange casting, but he gives off a sleazy vibe that's very effective.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||07/06/2010|
Peter had an undeniably sleazy thing going after he turned 35 or so but when he was a young MGM ingenue he seemed just the opposite..incredibly classy and debonair.
|by Anonymous||reply 108||07/06/2010|
Posted on a previous thread. Wow. Just...wow:
|by Anonymous||reply 109||07/10/2010|
R94 Did you notice the customer review%0D %0D %0D %0D Lady Lawford, snob, socialite, and mother of Rat Packer Peter Lawford. Lady L has one genuinely interesting trait, which is that she is entirely disgusted by sex, and hit on the brilliant trick of wiping bloody meat on her nightie so she could pretend to be having her period. %0D %0D %0D %0D oh dear!
|by Anonymous||reply 110||07/12/2010|
"Bitch! The Autobiography of Lady Lawford" was turned into a play:
|by Anonymous||reply 111||07/12/2010|
Dominick Dunne is hated here but I enjoyed "The Way We Lived Then." He writes the following about being invited as a last minute, substitute extra man at elite Hollywood parties: %0D %0D "I realized I was there only because someone had backed out at the last minute and she'd needed a man to sit on a gold chair between two women.%0D %0D ....A year or so earlier I had seen Peter Lawford play this same scene at a party at...Lazar's house...in the Trousdale Estates.%0D %0D ...Peter was a last minute substitute after somebody backed out, and he was reeking of failure and knew it. It wasn't that people didn't treat him nicely, but it was the old Hi-darling-and-run routine: "Don't get stuck talking with the loser."%0D %0D Man, Hollywood is a cruel place that is perpetually stuck in adolescence. I felt sorry for both Dunne and Lawford after reading that.%0D %0D %0D %0D
|by Anonymous||reply 112||07/12/2010|
[quote]Both Van and Peter were pushed on teenage girls as "bobbysox idols" during the 40s (because they were both ineligible to serve in WWII - because they were gay), so MGM used Peter as a younger leading man.
Regardless of their indulgence in the homosex, both were 4F due to physical problems. R89 already covered what happened to Lawford. Van Johnson had a motorcycle accident during the filming of "A Guy Named Joe" that left him with a steel plate in his head and some serious scars on his forehead which are visible only in his macho films like "The Caine Mutiny".
|by Anonymous||reply 113||07/12/2010|
Thank you all. I had no idea. This is fascinating.
|by Anonymous||reply 114||07/12/2010|
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