I'm sorry about the lack of update, I'm sure you all know how busy it is to make movies. Everyone must think it's a real great time, we just get pampered, get to wear lovely clothes and work with such interesting people, and then we go home to our lovely family, kiss our perfect children and get dressed to go out with our perfect spouse. It's not like that, you all know that, you go under the same, if not more, presure as I do. It is hard to try and keep up with family and work and try to make it look so easy. I'll be finished filming my movie soon and hopefully have a week or two to myself to spend with my little boy and to relax.
Forgive me for being so absent. I've just been so busy with filming and appearances, the new baby...
I'm living the American dream, glamorous movie star, wife, mother... Inside I'm cracking, all this stress, all the lies, my husband spending his days golfing, drinking and gambling passing out in the car and sleeping there because I can't carry him up stairs, much less wake him up. He doesn't even want to get a job, he dallies his days away while I work, while I take care of the baby, while I stay glamorous and pretty for nights on the town. I do everything and he can't even stay sober for my sake.
Today we filmed the night club scene for "Duchess of Idaho" and it features the very lovely Eleanor Powell. She's got a special star billing, since she has been in retirement since 1943, she's a tap legend. But I met Eleanor in wardrobe today, her feet were bleeding terribly, she had really been rehearsing hard for her number. I asked her if it was really worth it, and she said, "If they're filming it, it has to be better than good. It must be perfect." I've always known that one day there wouldn't be an audience for a swimming movie, but Eleanor really brought it to the front of my mind. I need to start to take the steps to insure that I'll have something to do, so money, when I'm gone from the pictures. Leaving the business doesn't scare me but knowing to to leave is what scares me, I don't want to be a has-been.
Well Van(Johnson) and I have come to the conclusion that this movie, Duchess of Idaho, has been done before, By US! Why do I get the strangest feeling of Deja vu? Because Van and I have filmed a movie like this three times before! I can't believe that MGM could recycle and recycle plots like this! It's an outrage, but the audience likes it, and what the audience likes, the audience will pay for. I know I'm no great actress, I'll never be Ingrid Bergman, but I'd really like to try something different. MGM's Acting teachers won't even let me study anything different. I remember when I wanted to learn a speech from Shakespeare, What a joke that was, Lillian Burns (my acting coach) was throwing one of her legendary Tantrums. She's is much more interested in working with Greer Garson then some little swimmer like me. I love working in the pictures, but sometimes I wonder how long it will be before my audience looses interest in me.
My, I'm so sorry that I haven't updated in a while, Benjie has been a handful for me. The studio has sent many reporters and photographers to the house for pictures of mother and son, so I've had to gain my figure back quickly, by swimming of course! I love being a mother it is the best thing I've ever done. I love my little son so much, I don't want to go back to work so soon, but I have already been assigned a new picture something called "Duchess of Idaho." I really couldn't tell you what it's about I have yet to read the script. Well I should be going Benjie will be up soon and will need to be fed before my interview with Louella Parsons.
Today we were finishing up the last number of Neptunes Daughter, and I discovered that I was spotting. I immediately called my doctor and he asked me to go on bed rest. I am still able to swim and I have begun to teach blind children to swim. It's a very gratifying experience. I know that I will be fine and my baby will be healthy.
Well remember how I had all that time to rest up before my next picture Neptune's Daughter? Well I've been cast in for a picture between that, I'll be playing K.C. Higgins in Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Originally the part was meant for Judy Garland, but she was removed from
the picture because of her dependecy on pills. Then they cast
June Allyson but Junie became pregnant and opted not to work during her
pregnancy. So then there I was on there list, so here I am.
I do have a chance for a real strong leading man, Gene
Kelly and Frank Sinatra! Plus the lovely Betty Garret Co-stars,
she is also cast in Neptune's Daughter.
The movie is about a baseball team in the 1900's,
which is problematic because there probably won't be a swimming scene,
as we know the bathing suit was, well, something else.
Maybe this won't be the worst thing I've done, it
could possible be the escape I need, Ben is driving me up the wall, he
needs a job.
I'll keep you posted.
On an Island with you is going okay considering, I've sprained my ankle but in all I'm actually starting to enjoy myself. Tony and Cyd were marvelous, we three had a nice time after shooting one night. Cyd is really lucky to have Tony, he is really head over heels for her. I wish Ben was like that for me, I wish he were enthusiastic about anything! I'm using this time to think things over about Ben and Myself. I know that there is a problem, but I can't give up on him like that, men have their faults god knows... I'm just not the kind to throw in the towel right away. I want to stay with Ben and I want to have his child. I really do. I'm told that my next project is Neptune's Daughter, we start to film in late 1948 which gives me plenty of time to rest and sort out my personal life.
I want to thank you all for your support and well wishes in this terible time.
My friends have told me that it might help if I commit my experience to paper and then move forward with my life. It has taken a while for me to bring myself to write it down but I think that it is for the best.
After I finished filming This Time Of Keeps I was five months along and I hadn't felt the baby kick yet, I thought this was strange considering most of my girlfriends who have had babies told me that they had already felt their's kick by this time. So I went to see my Obstetrician, he seemed unconcerned and allowed me to travel with Ben and our friends Janet Blair and Louis Busch for Ben's Birthday. When I stepped out of the car my water broke, I went up to my room with Janny and called my doctor. The men went to the bar, they couldn't possibly understand the seriousness of my situation. I can't believe the conversation I had with my doctor. He seemed not to be effected by the fact that a five months pregnant woman has gone into labor! Janny took me to the hospital with they gave me a caudal block, everything from my neck down was numb. I watched as they removed what had been a girl from my body, in pieces. My baby had been dead inside me for over a month, my doctor didn't even know when I went to see him! There was a very dangerous possibility for infection and infertility, but luckily I managed to come out considerably healthy. Ben didn't even get to the hospital until much later into the night, he had been playing golf with lou and had been drinking, of course. He seemed not to have a sensitive bone in his body, he was just glowing about the golf and the drinks but the fact that our baby was dead didn't seem to faze him. I've been resting up and I've found a new doctor, I'm even going to start a new film in a week, On an Island with you. I just hope that work can help me keep my mind off of my marriage for now.
Well I've gotten the details for my next picture, This Time For Keeps, and that Bastard Dick Thorpe is directing. Luckly we'll be filming in Michigan at a posh resort instead of Mexico, at least we can drink the water here. I've made sure that all my swiming scenes are done first so that my pregnancy won't show through my suit. Ben is staying home this time, partly because he is recovering from an operation for peritonitis. He is doing alright now but I was very worried about him, when we were at the hospital Howard Hughes was suddenly rushed in, he had been in a terrible plane accident and was vey lucky to be alive. Unfortuantly Ben has ben very content to do nothing while I work, I know he just had an operation but even before that he had no interest in persuing his own career, I guess he has no problem being mr. Esther Williams. I guess I'm the one who has a problem with it.
Well We are in Mexico fliming Fiesta. Ben and are still on our honeymoon, we basically left the church for the filming of this movie. So far filming on location has been hell, starting with the food and water, everyone has gotten sick from the water and now we have a doctor assigned to the crew at all times. Our Director is a real terror, Dick Thorpe, he was a terror on Thrill of a romance and he's worse now, he hates Ricardo and I for being so cheerful, and it's just torture. I must say though, cyd has been a real good friend in a time of need, she;s always there to listen, I really am glad that there is someone like her here to help take the stress off a little.
On top of everything, my husband is in jail! He and George had a little misunderstanding with the boy at the front desk of our hotle and to make a long story short he's spending the night in jail!