|In the post just prior to this one, I identified panelist Dorothy Kilgallen as Kitty Carlisle. |
Be it known that Kitty Carlisle was indeed also a frequent panelist on the show.
Sorry. I've simply GOT to stop relying on my memory banks so much... except, this time, on this one, I was fairly certain.
Wellll, as long as we're here already, here's the engrossing story of the tragic love between journalist Miss Kilgallen and the bisexual singing sensation Johnny Ray ~~
from Port Halcyon.com
He was ... enjoying a steady romance with celebrated news columnist Dorothy Kilgallen (which the media ate up like cotton candy) and the two became inseparable, despite the wrath incurred upon both of them by Frank Sinatra.
Sinatra had loathed Johnnie Ray from the moment the young musical upstart hit the scene. Ray's conquest of the pop charts in '51 (the top three spots all at once occupied by the same artist) had come at a time when the once (and soon to be again) successful Sinatra couldn't draw headlines unless it was for indulging in his penchant for punching paparazzi.
So in '51, Frank was outraged to see that his place in pop music's upper echelon had been replaced by a skinny, half-deaf, androgynous cry-baby who all the scandal sheets proclaimed as a raging homosexual, and he was further incensed by the fact that the love of his life Ava Gardner had a star-struck obsession with the singer. Frank harbored a lifelong grudge.
Dorothy Kilgallen had been less than flattering to Sinatra in her popular opinion columns, citing his violent behavior and brooding public persona. Frank responded virulently to Kilgallen, referring to her childishly as "The Chinless Wonder". Ridiculing her became a regular staple of his Vegas act.
But even with Frankie's ongoing nastiness directed toward both of them in the papers on a regular basis, Johnnie and Dorothy were a match made in Heaven. Sources close to the singer state emphatically that she was the only woman he had ever really loved, and the two seemed destined for happiness. But happiness had a bad habit of avoiding Johnnie Ray.
In 1965, Dorothy Kilgallen, the woman who had nurtured and supported Johnnie through some tempestuous ups and downs, was found dead in her apartment. There are many conflicting arguments surrounding her death, but the most prevalent theory holds that she was murdered by someone who thought that she was delving a little too deeply into the John F. Kennedy assassination. She had reportedly uncovered some very damning evidence that linked Jack Ruby to a criminal plot. But whatever she found, or how much she knew, she took her secrets to the grave.
The death of the only woman who could be called the love of his life sent Johnnie Ray into an emotional and personal tailspin. He began to dive ever deeper into a fruitless, manic-depressive lifestyle of booze, pills, and anonymous lovers of both genders. The performer was facing abject ruin and complete self-destruction. His recordings became fewer and farther between, and his stage performances suffered from a sharp decline in production values and in the enthusiasm of Ray himself.
If not for his friends in Great Britain, Johnnie may have remained a nameless, drifting anachronism for the rest of his life. As fate would have it, his fame in that part of the world had never diminished. He toured clubs, arenas, and theaters all over the UK living somewhat of a contented vagabond existence for the rest of his life. He was still fond of the drink however, and at fifty, his liver was already a serious concern. He was diagnosed with cirrhosis and for the first time ever, Johnnie Ray had a definite reason to fear for his life.
He changed his lifestyle as best as he knew how, and continued a rigorous, never-ending stream of tour dates. Even though he was no longer the Atomic Ray who made bobbysoxers swoon, you would never know it from his performing schedule. In Europe, he was still enjoying a modest level of notoriety and in 1974, Johnnie reveled in what was probably the sweetest comeback of his career. He played the London Palladium. Twenty years after he originally shook and wowed Palladium audiences, Ray came back to his old haunt. And this time, he killed! The standing ovation he received lasted fifteen minutes. It was a well-deserved victory. And for just a split second, Johnnie Ray was the "Cry Guy" again. He came back to the US on top of a cloud.
Sadly, Johnnie Ray was one of those performers who was born to destroy himself. When his doctor told him that he looked well enough to have an occasional glass of wine, Ray took it as an invitation to a twenty-four hour guzzle-fest. He had declared open season on his own obliterated liver, and the season would be over sooner than he thought. In early 1990, feeling a bit worse for the wear, Johnnie checked himself in to Cedars-Sinai hospital. The news was less than good. He had destroyed his liver. Worse yet, it was inoperable.
On February 24, 1990 in his room in Cedars-Sinai, surrounded by friends and loved ones, John Alvin Ray quietly passed away. No final words, no great speeches, he just laid in a coma until finally, he just slipped away. He was sixty-three years old. The world had lost one of the greatest entertainers in history, and they didn't even know it.
He was the most controversial performer alive in his day. He captured more imaginations and minds with his heartbreaking voice and tearful lyrics than anybody had before. And when you get right down to the heart and soul of the matter, he was a musical innovator of unparalleled potency who made teenaged girls scream and made grown men quake uncontrollably. Johnnie in his heyday probably broke more piano keys with his intense stage performance than anybody since Ludwig Van Beethoven. And also in much the same way as Beethoven had, Johnnie Ray had taken the formidable handicap of hearing impairment and not only learned to live with it, but utilized the personal pain and emotional grief that it had given him to translate his passion into music.
from whence this excerpt cometh ~
is here on ~ Port Halcyon.com
Dorothy Kilgallen at Find A Grave.com
Excerpt: "She was found in her apartmentSuspicious indeed, considering the circumstances.
sitting upright in bed, fully clothed, in the
morning, dead at 52."
Well, the government and Sinatra seemed to have
gotten away with Marilyn Monroe, so why not?
[Time once again to re-read false pattern recognition ...?]