It was nice catching up with classic Hollywood star Terry Moore recently. The glamorous Santa Monica resident keeps in shape by attending Sonki Fitness Boot Camp three times a week which is run by a former West Pointe captain. Terry recently spoke at the 55th Marilyn Monroe Memorial in Westwood where the eternally beautiful Marilyn Monroe is laid to rest. Terry and Marilyn met while under contract to Columbia Studios very early in their careers. They shared the same acting coach – the infamous Natasha Lytess, had the same agent – Johnny Hyde, and both went to 20th Century Fox on the same day.
It’s always nice to hear Terry’s tales – she was once married to billionaire Howard Hughes and was nominated for an Oscar for “Come Back Little Sheba.” Following the memorial Terry attended the private reception I co-hosted with celebrity interior designer Kimberly Schmidt at Mae West’s glamorous apartment at the Ravenswood in Hollywood – what a great day it was.
A few days later I attended the electrical opening of “Rebel With A Cause – The Sal Mineo Story” at the Promenade Playhouse located on the 3rd Street Promenade starring a very talented young actor named Dean Ghaffari. Terry Moore starred with Sal Mineo in the 1950’s movie “A Private’s Affair,” and recalled what a nice young guy he was and what a great actor he was.
“He was always trying to impress me in a macho way and told me that he lived next to Elvis Presley and after Elvis’s girlfriends had made love with the “King” they came over to his place where he really made them feel satisfied,” Terry said. She also recalled seeing Sal on stage in the very shocking play “Fortune in Men’s Eyes.”
“I felt so badly after he was senselessly killed,” she went on, “he was such a great guy.”
The new play “Rebel With A Cause – The Sal Mineo Story” delves deep into the life and psyche of the legendary “Rebel Without A Cause” star and is definitely worth seeing!
Dean Ghaffari is really terrific in the part with endless energy and passion as he tells us about his humble beginnings in the Bronx area of New York as a gang member turned child actor mentored by Yul Brenner on Broadway in “The King and I” and his transition to teen star and household name when he was cast opposite James Dean and Natalie Wood in the ground breaking “Rebel.”
Classic Hollywood lovers will relish every minute of this powerful true story well directed by Tom Waters. Dean Ghaffari is an excellent story teller. Sal Mineo’s life was an endless roller coaster full of artistic growth, angst, stagnation, happiness, depression, euphoria, parties, Oscar nominations, falling from grace, comebacks and personal discovery of his true sexuality.
“Sal Mineo was a little naïve” recalled Terry Moore, “and he was such a sweet guy.”
Dean Ghaffari captures all this and much more in this fine production from Promenade Playhouse artistic director Natalia Lazarus which plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. until Aug. 26. Visit promenadeplayhouse.com/online-store for more information. Enjoy! HH