Fade Out: Eventually, a number of years later---maybe six or seven---Carl and Ava separated and then divorced and then, Ava remarried.....After the initial 'bad times' that often come with a lot of divorces, Carl and Ava were able to be good close friends once again, as they had been at the beginning, and they remained good close friends for the rest of Carl's life.....Fade Out, Once Again: Many years later, sometime in the mid to late 70's, Carl and his partner had a lovely Easter Brunch in the garden of their house on Almont Drive and Ava and her talented Artist husband Richard Mackenzie were there, along with some other people, including me.....It was a lovely gathering and this time many of the ladies wore very very pretty hats..... That is Ava at that particular table, wearing a very fetching hat......Carl knew how to entertain and it was always gracious and abundant and yet comfortable, in every way......The gentleman in the center of the picture below with the prematurely white hair is Ava's husband Richard.>And that is Carl over on the left and that very pretty lady facing us in the very pretty hat right there in the center of the picture, was the lovely Mary Frann. Sad to say, both Mary and Carl are gone now.....And below, here is a closer look at dear Mary.... And Carl right behind her....I believe Mary was still on the Soap Opera "Days Of Our Lives" at that point...And this was quite a few years before she played Bob Newhart's wife "Joanna", for eight years on his second series.....And here below, a closer look at Ava..... Ava looks very beautiful in these little snapshot-pictures that I took that afternoon, and she still was absolutely lovely the last time I saw here in Los Angeles the evening she gave me those two little snapshots up above of that long ago 1963-64 Easter Party......She is a very happy women and has a lovely life with her Artist husband Richard..... Behind Ava in the picture above was Carl's partner Robert....He too, is gone now......! And the gentleman in the foreground who's name I just cannot think of...(Oh, dear)...he too, has passed on. This is what happens, I'm sorry to say.....The losses are painful and they certainly do pile up as each year passes. And as I get older, I am more and more aware of that, I'm afraid....But, that is the cycle of life.....Below, a recent picture of Ava and Richard taken this past summer at The Fred Astaire Conference in Oxford, England. Ava, here in 2008, is still a very beautiful presence...... And I actually only met Fred Astaire twice during those years. Both times at his home on San Ysidro Drive. The first time was the Easter Party and the second time was at another gathering of Carl and Ava's at Daddy Astaire's home. And I must tell you, to meet Fred Astaire was a great great thrill, both times!
More To Come.......
Naomi....what great photos and wonderful memories. LOVE the Easter hat.
Interesting comment on dressing up too.....it was so much more expected to be dressed up when one went to parties etc. Remember how people would dress up to fly? I have a picture of my parents in the early 60's just before they were getting on a plane to go to Bermuda....they were dressed like they were going to a wedding!
The last time I was on a plane (last month) the person across the aisle from me was dressed in pyjama pants for God's sake!
I love your stories..........Ava is stunning.
I didn't realize Mary Frann had died.
Oh, I SO enjoyed this post! I just loved your sunglasses....Hollywood chic! But your hat...it was priceless! Loved it.
What wonderful photos of the gatherings. I loved the style of clothes and of course, the hats. The women look so classy and the men so dashing.
I loved Mary Frann on both Days, years ago and Newhart. I didn't realize she had passed away.
Thanks so much for sharing all of this with us. Once again, I almost felt like I was there.
Fascinating! I've been reading your blog for a little while now. I live in the Springfield, MA, area, where, sadly, I recall, you spent some rather unpleasant time early in your career. Does this mean I am now only a few degrees separated from Fred Astaire and Robert Wagner?????
That was very interesting. I also enjoy reading the autobiographies or biographies of creative people and these three certainly all qualify. I had heard about Wagner having one out and of course the big question was about him with Natalie always.
I loved all of Fred Astaire's movies, have probably seen them all and some of the less popular ones many times (like The Sky's the Limit my own personal favorite of his many great ones). He was always exceptional, so sexy, a real man with a sense of self in the most positive way. And his dancing... oh my :)
Did his daughter accept his second marriage to Robyn? Sometimes that leads to conflicts sadly.
Great photographs and stories of days gone by. I wonder what Ava thought of Epstein's book on her father. When you talk to her again, please ask her. Children of stars often have a much much different take than authors do. I'm sure she does too. Hmm, two mentions in the book - sad.
You know, we often hear in passing about the death of an actor/actress and file it away in our memories. Then a blog or newspaper article will mention their name and all of a sudden we will remember that that person died awhile back.
I loved Mary Frann and she was such a giving person, from what I've read about her short life. I remember earlier this year that Bob Newhart mentioned her dying nearly 10 years ago, when he was asked for a sound byte after Suzanne Pleshette died.
A bright light put out much too soon.
My, my, you have certainly been in nice circles of friends!
Daddy Longlegs could dance with the best of them !!
I enjoyed this post very much. It is interesting that you've rubbed shoulders with so many known people in the entertainment business, and if you didn't actually rub shoulders with them, you had that "one of degree of separation" thing with them.
What lovely photos. I love how chic and "Mad Men" like everyone is dressed.
That hat was a FUN addition to your Easter outfit.
I agree with you that leaving out Ava and her recollections in the Astaire biography seems like a mistake. But, as you said, Ava may not have wanted to participate in the book.
It is absolutely wonderful that you got to meet Fred Astaire in person. That was a true honor... for you AND for him!!
Robert Wagner sure was handsome, and he still is!
He's always seemed like a very sauve gentleman.
I hope that's how he is in real life.
I wrote a comment for this post, but I'm not sure if it went through or not.
Usually it gives a message saying something about blog owner approval... but it did not say that this time when I published my comment.
Well, if it didn't go through, I wrote several things, one of which was how wonderful it is that you got to meet Fred Astaire. And what a FUN addition that hat was to your Easter outfit!
I hope my full comment went through.
Dear Naomi - what an exciting life you have led - it is such a joy and a pleasure to "relive" it with you through your stories and photos. Love the hats!!
I love reading through your memories and looking at your photos. Thanks for sharing.
Marvelous stuff, as always. Thanks for sharing.
BTW, its uncanny that you always seem to post photos of women I've had a crush on, in this case Mary Frann.
Wow, you still have the invitation? Cool beans. The flower hat suited you :)
I sure love "snooping through your pictures" via the internet!
and your book will be out when?
To meet Fred Astaire...what a thrill!
Naomi, you've had many wonderful adventures in and out of show biz and I wouldn't be surprised to find myself reading your book one of these days.
I love the photos of the hats and how well dressed "casual" was back then. I love my jeans, but I wouldn't mind wearing a dress and a funky hat every now and then. You wore yours well, btw. ;)
I LOVED this post!
quite a festive hat you were wearing on that Easter long ago.....
lovely memories--thanks so much for sharing them. I am so glad that there is more to come :-)
That was a fun commentary, like reading a magazine article and it made me want to put on a hat! We used to wear the most gawd awful hats for Easter. Bonnets I should say. I'm looking forward to hearing about Diane Carrol and Robert Wagner who looks like the Rob Lowe of his time (as far as looks go).
I enjoyed your post this evening. I have just started reading Robert Wagner's book and am enjoying it. I am now looking forward to reading the other two, after reading your review of them.
I have watched most of the Fred Astaire movies and a few of them more then once. TCM shows them a few times each year, and I always watch one or two of them when they run them.
I love looking at the pictures of the way we use to dress. I loved that large peach colored hat that was provided for you. It protected you from the sun. Hee,hee!
Thanks for writing your entertaining stories for us to enjoy.
I would have been positively jelly-legged at meeting Fred! Ava is/was lovely. I remember Mary Frann very well from the early years of "Days". I love looking at your photos, Naomi!
I loved the style of clothes and of course, the hats. The women look so classy and the men so dashing. I loved Mary Frann on both Days, years ago and Newhart.
Your blog is so amazing, there are always surprises!! loved reading this post and looking at the snapshots, lovely brunch parties and gatherings, great stories! Of course I can't wait for more!
I remember Mary Frann. She is or was so pretty. Everyone looks lovely in these photos. And so elegant. That hat! I love your HAT!!!
from the very tip top - the cartoon - this post is delightful
I love the hue of the photos, all pinkish with memories :)
Mary is gorgeous. Loved her on Newhart's show. She brought a new meaning to statuesque!!
I can't decide if I want to read the Wagner book. I have this odd viseral aversion to him. I wish I could explain it - part of it is (fair or not) I always thought he was abusive to Natalie Wood.
Boy howdy, Young Lady, you have done some high living. Pretty fascinating stuff, for which I thank you berry mudge.
Love the hats, and now I have this running through my head.
LOL, loved this post. I just adore all your old pictures and memories.
In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.
I'll be all in clover and when they look you over,
I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter Parade.
On the avenue, Fifth Avenue, the photographers will snap us,
And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure.
Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet,
And of the girl I'm taking to the Easter Parade
My goodness Naomi, you always come up with such surprises!! I loved this post - what great memories you have...
That hat was fabulous - I imagine how you must have laughed when that hat was produced for you to wear.
How gorgeous were you all? And how handsome was Robert Wagner ?
Thank you again for sharing your memories...
God Robert Wagner was gorgeous! I loved your photos Naomi - amazing people, clothes and places.
This was fun to read.
Fred Astaire --I watched so many of his movies when I was a kid. They were on TV back then. Not too long ago, I picked up Top Hat on DVD. The dialog was so good, and timing ...perfect.
I knew Robt. Wagner had a book out and was doing the rounds. I hope he makes a bundle! The cover shot is really quite gorgeous.
I so enjoyed the movie musical heyday and Fred Astaire's dancing. My mother allowed me to see matinees when I was still in grade school. The first musical I recall didn't include Astaire but was unique in its own way -- Cabin In The Sky.
I remember well the days of wearing hats and gloves, dresses or skirts for women -- certainly no jeans.
Hello Naomi! It was mesmerizing reading this post. Ava is stunning and so is you Naomi. I definitely agree that Robert Wagner is the bomb! He looks so handsome in that photo
What great pictures and amazing memories, Naomi! Love your hat and your glasses too! Looks you had a great time in this party!
How beautiful was Robert Wagner! I would love to read his biography!
What great photos and memories Naomi! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! You write so well that I feel like I'm almost there with the group! Mary Frann was such a pretty lady. I always liked her. Sad to know she has passed on. I'm glad you are reading some good books! They do sound interesting and I'm sure they take you back in so many ways and reading them would be pure joy for you. I'm so glad!
Love the hat and the sunglasses!! Such delightful memories!!!
What wonderful memories to have. I love all your show biz memories. You should collect all these and put them in a book, they are all so interesting.
I love autobiographies. There is nothing more interesting than a life well lived. It must be strange reading them when you have inside knowledge though :)
Sorry I haven't been visiting much. I have popped by and read but have been unable to comment as I have been at work. I hope things will calm down soon!
Thanks dear Naomi for your nice words on my blog.
My new PC is schedule to arrive next week... I am looking forward to got it!
I am glad you like the Ken Mac's blog Greenwich Village. I agree with you it's a great blog with gorgeous photos indeed!
There is also another blog about NY I like, it is
Ming's New York City Daily Photo. With both blogs I have been dreaming with NY City! LOL!
LOVE the Easter hat. Love it!
Great stories, as usual.
In the last photo I think Ava looks so like her father. To me Fred always epitomised 'class'.
Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
Location: Los Angeles, California