Monday, March 7, 2011
Tailwagger's Party Hosted by Bette Davis
In 1938 a party was held by President of the Tailwagger's, a charity that raises money for stray dogs, Bette Davis at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Many stars that Bette never socialized were in attendance. I've always loved photos from this party for one reason or another. Photos of Norma Shearer working the room and having a good time can be seen. She spent a great deal of the time with Jimmy Stewart. Co-star Henry Fonda was there playing musical chairs. And Gary Cooper attended but stayed at his table for the most part. A surprising guest was Miriam Hopkins who Bette had a dislike for and vice versa. They were photographed chatting, smiling, and actually walking hand in hand at one point. Bette said of the party 'I was president of the Tailwaggers, and we gave a big party in 1939 at the Beverly Hills Hotel to raise money for the dogs. People were there that I usually don’t socialize with—Norma Shearer, Mary Pickford, and even that bitch Miriam Hopkins. It was a fabulous evening.'
Raffle tickets were being sold, the winner walked about with a cute dog. This party was the first time Bette met Howard Hughes. He purchased quite a few tickets from Bette. 'I was wearing a low cut, pink lace gown and when Howard was introduced to me he looked right into my eyes and not my bosom. I won’t say there was magic, but there was warmth. He bought scads of raffle tickets from me and asked for a date. He was so debonair and handsome that I was flattered.'
Hughes and Bette went on to have an affair, Bette was married to Ham Nelson at the time but at this point she was 'not getting along with him and was bored' So she saw Hughes. There affair took place at 'odd hours of the night' Bette later in life said that her husband came about knowing of their affair and actually put a tape recorder under the bed.
It looks like it was an interesting and fun party. I wish I could have been there!
(all photos edited by me, please credit if taking)