Mitzi Gaynor, dressed by Orry-Kelly, in LES GIRLS (1957).
Director George Cukor had not really wanted the actress in LES GIRLS, Mitzi Gaynor told me, “but I was already signed with Gene Kelly, so he had to take me. He wanted to give somebody a hard time, but it couldn’t be me, because I was a Hungarian pain the ass, just like him, and I’d sock him. It couldn’t be Gene Kelly, because Gene would just roll his eyes and say, “Oh, get over yourself, Mary!” And it couldn’t be Kay Kendall, because she was going with Rex Harrison at the time – excuse me! So, poor Taina Elg got it – he’d slap her hand and say, “You silly girl!” But Taina was Nordic and very cool and she’d just say, “Oh, George….”
Movies never captured the naughty, bawdy, funny quality that the talented, stupendously energetic Mitzi Gaynor displays so lavishly in real life. Read my interview in this week’s GAY CITY NEWS with her, along with a description of Renee Fleming’s glamorous opening in the Metropolitan Opera’s RUSALKA, and an appreciation of Petula Clark in FINIAN’S RAINBOW, the film.
Renee Fleming, as Rusalka
Petula Clark and Fred Astaire in FINIAN’S RAINBOW
Mitzi, washing that man outta her hair in SOUTH PACIFIC
And catch Mitzi at Barnes & Noble, Lincoln Triangle, 1972 Broadway at 66th Street on March 31, at 5:30 where she’ll sign copies of the new 50th anniversary Blu-ray DVD release of her film SOUTH PACIFIC, as well as her own must-have DVD documentary, MITZI GAYNOR – RAZZLE DAZZLE! THE SPECIAL YEARS (City Lights). In it, she joyously pokes fun at herself, especially in one TV number, Bob Mackie-gowned to the hilt, singing “Love is Blue” against a campy, “classical” background set. “Oh, I was just having myself!” she remembers. “And then Marlene Dietrich called me up and said, “You know, dahwing, you’re much better when you don’t twy to be dwamatic!”
with Rossano Brazzi, on location on the island of Kauai
with John Kerr