Tuesday 25 December 2012

A Hollywood Kid Christmas

What did you get for Christmas? A toy horse for just under $200 perhaps?

Well, you might have if this was 1952. And you were the child of a Hollywood star.

It’d be really trite to say Christmas is a time for children. Because it’s not. Christmas has a little something for everyone, though I’m not really a Christmas person. But I don’t need to tell you how you felt about Christmas as a child. After all, you were there.

And children of the stars no doubt felt the same way. It’s just that their parents could afford more expensive gifts, though a child’s fun can’t be measured in dollars and cents.

Here’s Aline Mosby with our final dig through the archives of old newsprint, revealing what kids of Hollywood’s celebrities got for Christmas 60 years ago. To your right you see a photo from 1949 of the toy store mentioned in the article owned by Bernie Sher. It was at 309 North Rodeo Drive and was noted for having a tree that dispensed free lemonade. There’s a Christian Dior store at the address now. We doubt it has a lemonade tree.

Movie Queens Get Minks, Small Fry Also Score
United Press Hollywood Correspondent

HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 25 (UP) — Many a movie queen found cellophane-wrapped mink coats under their Christmas trees, but the small fry of Hollywood got just as fabulous presents.
Movietown moppets this morning tore the wrappings off such glamorous gifts as junior size four-poster beds and a huge toy lion who blinks his eyes and yawns, or roars, depending on your sound effects.
Jungle Feline
Eve Arden’s offspring got the jungle feline from Uncle Bernie’s fancy top shop in Beverly Hills. Uncle Bernie also delivered a big bear, four feet high on all fours, to the children of radio-TV star Ralph Edwards.
“But our biggest sellers were space helmets that you can see out of but not into,” chuckled Uncle Bernie.
Maureen O’Sullivan’s seven children unwrapped seven of those, as did the small fry of Jane Wyman, Jerry Lewis and Red Skelton. Mrs. Skelton also purchased a space helmet for her biggest “child,” Skelton himself. Skelton, who recently had a major operation, opened his gilt in the hospital.
Suit of Armor
A suit of armor, just like in “Ivanhoe,” now adorns Charles Beyer’s child. Gloria de Haven’s little girl whirled about in a grown-upish ballet costume this morning, while the blonde actress gave her boy a frontier gun.
Other lucky children got a five-foot gorilla, at $260; horses, at $195, and playhouses, at $199, from Uncle Bernie’s. One society belle bought a $29.25 tiny four-poster bed — as a Christmas present for her cat.
The “Enchanted Cottage” children’s shop, run by ex-movie queen Gail Patrick, sold lunch boxes to Laraine Day for her children. Ex-football hero Tom Harmon and wife, Elyse Knox, gifted their boy with a bathrobe printed with the colors and number of Harmon’s football suit at Michigan.
Space Patrol Outfit
Dorothy Lamour's son got a space patrol outfit; Joan Crawford’s twin girls found painting smocks and paints in their Christmas stockings, and Lana Turner’s daughter unwrapped a be-jeweled party sweater just like mama’s.
The grownups got quite a haul today, too. Jane Wyman’s new husband gave her a $15,000 mink coat from designer Don Loper’s shop. Loper also sent a cellophane-wrapped white ermine cape and black broadcloth coat to June Allyson, gifts from husband Dick Powell.
“It’s the Republican election. I think,” shrugged Loper. “Spending was quite heavy this year.”
The most luxurious gift was claimed by Jeanne Crain. Producer Len Goldstein gave her a jewelled fly sweater after she complained about the insects on her movie set.

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