Saturday, October 5, 2013

Edie Adams - gown by Galanos worn in "The Best Man" and on her show "Here's Edie"




Edie Adams wore this beautiful beaded Galanos gown in the 1964 drama "The Best Man" which starred Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson, with supporting roles from Edie, Ann Sothern, Margaret Leighton, Gene Raymond, Kevin McCarthy and Lee Tracy. Quite a cast... It was based on the play by Gore Vidal, and he wrote the screenplay for the movie. It's a great story about modern day politics, with two candidates (Fonda and Robertson) vying for the presidential nomination of their party. It's really well done... suspenseful, cynical, touching, and funny all at the same time. Edie plays Robertson's wife, helping him as much as she can and standing by him through the problems that he faces from opponent Fonda. It's such a well written, well acted movie and I highly recommend it. TCM plays it from time to time... 


 
Edie Adams, Cliff Robertson, and Gene Raymond




 
Cliff Robertson, Ann Sothern, Senator Mike Mansfield, Edie, and Henry Fonda



Edie with Gore Vidal at the movie's premiere in New York



Edie also wore the gown on her show "Here's Edie" which aired from 1962-64 and was also known as "The Edie Adams Show". She wore it a few times, like here on an episode with Terry-Thomas, her "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World" co-star, when they did a promo for the movie...



On another episode she wore it with guest star Zsa-Zsa Gabor... 


I can't even image what the scenario is, these two glamorous stars dressed to the nines with Zsa Zsa on a horse and sporting a gun! LOL. It's most likely part of whatever skit they were doing.


Below is the original Galanos label. Amelia Gray was a boutique that James Galanos sold through in the early 60's. He has been one of the most influential American designers over the last half century, and his pieces have been worn by many stars on and off screen, first ladies, socialites, etc. etc. He had the ability to create simply designed and beautifully tailored day wear as well as stunning gowns like the one featured here. Read more about Galanos on Voguepedia...







Edie's show is coming to DVD on November 19th. All of the episodes will be included featuring all of her many great guest stars. Also included will be bonus footage and her famous "Muriel Cigar" commercials... 



Here's a link to the "TV Shows on DVD" website with an article about the set. It mentions how groundbreaking Edie's show was, in that she basically constructed it all herself - the skits, music, guest stars, sets, wardrobe, etc. were all overseen by her. She gave the show a very artistic edge, which was also innovative for early 1960's TV... 



It's exciting to see the release of Edie's show and I hope it allows people to rediscover or discover for the first time how talented she was. She had an amazing career...  winning the Tony award for her role in "Lil' Abner" on Broadway, and also co-starring with Rosalind Russell in "Wonderful Town". She was named "Miss Television" in 1950, and guest starred on many shows throughout the 50's while she continued to work on Broadway. On one episode of "The Perry Como Show," as she's saying goodnight with Como she mentions that she's headed straight over to the theater where they're holding the curtain for her. This was during the run of "Lil' Abner" so she was definitely working quite a lot... It was during this time that she met her first husband, the TV pioneer and genius Ernie Kovacs and started to appear steadily on his shows as well, singing and doing comedy sketches and impressions. In 1957 she co-starred with Julie Andrews in the famous live TV broadcast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella", playing the fairy godmother. Here's a great candid of Edie with Julie Andrews, Janet Blair, and Shirley Jones from around that time... 



 And here she is clowning with Frank Sinatra on his show, also in 1957...


After Edie and Ernie Kovacs married in the late 50's, they moved to Hollywood for his movie career. Edie began one of her own after Billy Wilder asked Edie personally to play the role of Fred MacMurray's secretary in the Oscar winning classic "The Apartment". She then went on to make one hit movie after another during the 1960's, among them "Lover Come Back" with Rock Hudson and Doris Day in 1961, and "Call Me Bwana" with Bob Hope in 1963. This same year she also made "Under the Yum-Yum Tree" with Jack Lemmon, "Love With the Proper Stranger" with Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood, and perhaps her most famous movie, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World" alongside an all-star cast...

 
In 1966 she starred with Ann-Margret in "Made in Paris"...


She also made "The Oscar" in 1966 with an all-star cast. Later on I'll be posting a dress that she wore in that alongside Stephen Boyd, Elke Sommer, and Ernest Borgnine who played her husband. In 1967 she made one of her best movies, "The Honey Pot" with Rex Harrison, Susan Hayward, Maggie Smith, Capucine, and her former "Best Man" co-star, Cliff Robertson. It's an excellent movie, written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz who also made "All About Eve" and was one of the best writer-directors in Hollywood. "The Honey Pot" is full of great dialogue and wit the same way "All About Eve" was. 

Edie lost Ernie Kovacs to a car accident in 1962 which was a tragedy in and of itself, but another tragedy is that he left her with tremendous debt. She worked very hard to pay this off as well as raise their daughter together, along with Ernie's two daughters from his first marriage. It was during this time that Edie worked so extensively in movies, had her own show, and frequently guest starred on other TV shows and specials.


Edie with Dean Martin on his show in the mid 60's...



And here she is doing the "Munster - Dracula" weather report on "The Danny Kaye Show" in 1966, with Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster and Danny Kaye as Dracula. I guess Edie was imitating Vampira ... it's a fun skit and a great episode with the three of them. Later on I'll be posting a Helen Rose gown that Edie wore on this show while she sang with Kaye...


She also headlined in Vegas during the towns glory days of the 1960's. Here's a great candid of her at the Sands on stage with Corbett Monica, Sammy Davis Jr, Lionel Hampton, and Dick Martin... 


Around this time Edie also began doing the "Muriel Cigar" commercials which made her a household name and helped her attain financial security. In an interview on the Mike Douglas show in 1970, she mentioned how in a survey more people knew her name from these commercials then knew the name of the president! Pretty amazing. Later on I'll be posting a dress she wore in the "Adams Sisters" commercial for Muriel, one of the more well known ones from the early 60's. 

Edie continued to work in movies and on TV and also did many club and theater engagements throughout the rest of her career. She even had her own almond farm in the 1980's. In 1990 she released her autobiography "Sing a Pretty Song" which is a great read about the exciting, whirlwind life she had in show business...



Here's a link to Edie's site... It's run by Josh Mills, Edie's son from her second marriage to photographer Martin Mills. It's thanks to Josh that her show is being released onto DVD...


And here's a great clip of Edie singing "That's All" on "The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour" from 1959...






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