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JessiLu

Lucy & Hank & Ginger & Jim

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Came across this excerpt from the book, "Jimmy Stewart: The Truth Behind the Legend" by Michael Munn: 

"Jim had a more enjoyable and less intense affair with Ginger Rogers. The union, according to Joshua Logan, was instigated by Ginger’s mother, Lela. Said Logan:

‘Lela Rogers worked in the RKO publicity office, and RKO was where Ginger was making all those fabulous musicals with Fred Astaire. RKO had a new starlet, Lucille Ball, and Lela was working hard to raise her profile. At the same time, Ginger had separated from her husband, Lew Ayres, and Lela wanted something–or someone–to take Ginger’s mind off her problems. So Lela hit on the idea of having Fonda and Stewart accompany Ginger and Lucille about town, which would certainly get some space in the papers for Lucille. Jim liked to dance, so he became the obvious choice of companion for Ginger, so Hank was stuck with Lucille.

‘It all went well for all for a while. They went dancing at the Trocadero and the Cocoanut Grove, and Ginger thought Jim was a great dancer–which he was. He could move that long, lanky body really well. Hank just didn’t have the same sense of rhythm.

‘One night they had dinner out, and then the boys took the girls back to their place. Ginger told me she and Lucille thought they were in for a night of exuberant love-making when the boys turned the lights down low. Suddenly, the boys hustled the girls into the kitchen to wash up a week’s worth of dirty dishes.’

Fonda had a different version of that event: ‘After dinner at a place called Barney’s Beanery, which was on Santa Monica Boulevard, we took the girls back to our apartment, and Jim and I were all set for a good time, but Jim and Ginger decided to dance in and out of every room. Before I could say, “Jim, for God’s sake, don’t take her into the kitchen . . they were in the kitchen. And we had piles of plates we hadn’t washed up for a week. That was too much for Ginger. She started washing up, and Lucille joined her. And we were very grateful. When they’d finished, we showed them how grateful we were.’

The pairing of Fonda and Ball was not to last. ‘Lucille always put on too much make-up,’ he said. ‘One night she came out of the bathroom after spending God knows how long in there putting on her paint, and when she came out, I couldn’t help but go, “Yuk! Oh Christ!” And Lucille walked out, and that was that. But Jim and Ginger–they had a good thing going.’

 

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I found this passage last year and it does lend itself to they had more that one date. I know Fonda always told the story of the first, this making it sound like it they never went out again.

Ginger and Jimmy were way more an item but he didn't want to marry an actress. Before he left on his military service in the 40s, he gave Ginger his wings. 

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I found the last part of the story to be especially amusing, as Lucy presumably had an even thicker layer of makeup when they were costars in “Yours, Mine and Ours” yet he was suppposedly “in love” and “very close” with her at that time. Would love to hear Jane elaborate on those comments.

And it’s cool that Lucy and Jimmy had a bit of an acquaintance before becoming neighbors, even if they never got to do much together creatively. (I’m a big fan of Jimmy’s films!)  Hollywood is indeed a small town. Anyone know when they became neighbors? I always wondered if Jimmy was living on Roxbury when Desi was still living there or if he moved in later.

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1 hour ago, JessiLu said:

I found the last part of the story to be especially amusing, as Lucy presumably had an even thicker layer of makeup when they were costars in “Yours, Mine and Ours” yet he was suppposedly “in love” and “very close” with her at that time. Would love to hear Jane elaborate on those comments.

And it’s cool that Lucy and Jimmy had a bit of an acquaintance before becoming neighbors, even if they never got to do much together creatively. (I’m a big fan of Jimmy’s films!)  Hollywood is indeed a small town. Anyone know when they became neighbors? I always wondered if Jimmy was living on Roxbury when Desi was still living there or if he moved in later.

I read the Jimmy and Henry duel bio this year and I'm trying to recall when the Stewarts moved in. Lucy doesn't get mentioned too much. The story about all the mice running over to Lucy's is in there, but nothing at all on YMO and just the brief double date story. 

Found an article saying 1949.

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