The fabulous 19-year-old British
beauty tells SIR KNIGHT's readers how she goes about having a ball.
Wilkinson Goes to a Party"
have been old enough to know about parties, I have been crazy about them.
Curiously enough, I believe that I enjoy them more than most people for
the very reason that I do not smoke or drink. At any rate, I do seem to
have a far better time at these affairs than the people who over indulge.
Vol. 1 No. 7, February 1959
Before I came to America last
year, when I was still a hard-working teenager playing the clubs in London
and on the Continent, it seems to me there were parties every night. A
group of show-people was always tossing a wing ding or being invited to
some swank after-theater party and taking me along.
Perhaps the fact I like parties
so much makes my going out at night much trickier than it is for most girls
my age. At any rate, I seem to have to do a lot more preparation, even
when I am not listed among the performers for the occasion. As you can
see by the accompanying pictures, party-going, for me, is no small thing.
It's an odd thing--because,
in Europe, everybody thinks of Hollywood as being an incredibly gay place--but
there seem to be far fewer parties here than in London. At any rate, I
don't get asked to as many. When show-people work in the U.S., they don't
seem to go to parties as much as we do back home.
When I got over here, I went
right into a leading role in "Thunder in the Sun" opposite Jeff Chandler--and
since then, I've been out on the road with Spike Jones and his mob of musical
maniacs. Right now negotiating for some big-time nightclub work the sort
I did in England and Europe, and there may be more movies eventually.
Being out with the Jones orchestra
was an experience I shan't forget in a hurry, let me tell you. Not long
ago; a reporter asked me if I had had any, screwball experiences with Spike
and the boys. All I could tell him was that I didn't really have any other
kind. It was just one goofy thing after another, but it was a great bunch
and great experience. It was certainly new for me, and I've played just
about every kind of show there is, ever since I was 12 years old.
One thing bothered me when
we played Reno. They had my picture plastered all over town and somebody
put my age on it. Since I was still eighteen, I was too young legally to
visit any of the casinos. This meant that, while I could do my act every
night, I couldn't even visit any of the hotel lounges or gambling rooms
to see the other stars entertaining there.
So most of the time, I stayed
at Lake Tahoe, where our hotel was, and looked at the snow while the men
had all the fun. We even had snowball fights during the afternoons. One
thing about Spike and the boys--they certainly are all young at heart.
Then we did the Automobile Show at Phoenix, Arizona, in a huge tent. That,
too, was something new to me.
But don't get me wrong--I
love America. It's so big and so friendly, and Hollywood, like New York,
is a most exciting place for an entertainer. I must say one thing--when
they do throw a party in Hollywood, it's a bang-up, all-out affair. I did
a dance at the annual Publicity Men's Ballyhoo Ball and had a great deal
of fun there. My only complaint is that things like that don't come along
When I do go out to a party,
it's a real operation--but an operation I love. Sometimes things go wrong,
though, no matter how careful you are. There was one time in London, for
instance when I was dancing before whole crowd of theatrical big wigs,
doing a bit with a chair and wearing skin-tight black tights laced up the
sides. Because there was nothing but me under the lace, I could no wear
panties, and you can imagine how I felt when I heard a ripping noise, right
in the middle of the dance.
There was only one thing todo
if I didn't want to cause national scandal or have the curtain rung down.
That wa to reverse the dance so the audience wouldn't see me from the rear.
I made it all right but the musicians in the orchestra got a good view
of the damage. They kept whispering, "Psst, Junie--you've split your pants!"
And I kept saying, "I know it, darling." But when you've been in show-business
as long as I have, you don't panic easily. Nobody out front knew what had
Still and all, it does seem
a pity that Hollywood, with its so-wonderful climate, doesn't manage to
get out more at night. I understand that, in the old days, when things
were easier out here, they had some grand affairs. I think it's a pity
they haven't kept them up, if only from the selfish reason of having to
miss them myself. But until there are more parties in Hollywood again,
I'll try to make the most of those I do get invited to. I really don't
think I'll be in for anything but a wonderful time.