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Valentine's Day with 100 Stars

I was with Miss D when she attended "The Night of a Hundred Stars" in 1982. Miss D along with Alice Faye, Lilian Gish, June Allyson and Ginger Rogers had their own green room. However, some of the other stars couldn’t resist walking through there throughout the course of the event. Miss D recalled the evening best in This 'n That - and there was particular moment she and I always laughed at and remembered.

[The below passage appears in This 'n That (1987) by Bette Davis]

On February 14, 1982, I was asked to appear in a benefit show called “The Night of a Hundred Stars.” It was presented and taped in Radio City Music Hall in New York. The Hundred Stars turned out to be nearer a thousand, heaven help us. The rehearsal was more like a cocktail party, hugs and kisses by one and all to people all of us had not seen in years. Jimmy Cagney was one of the stars who participated. His first words to me were, “Bette, you still care! Acchh, you care! It’s written all over you.” True, I still do care about everything, and especially my career. The big things, little things and in-between things. Titles, casting, hair, clothes, makeup, scripts, directors, everything.

I shared a dressing room before the show with Alice Faye (who had flown all the way from Palm Springs to be part of the show), Lillian Gish, June Allyson, Ginger Rogers and Joan Collins. I had never met any of these famous people. I suppose it seems strange to all of you reading this that not all of us know each other. Unless you work with them, or are an avid party-goer in Hollywood, there really is little opportunity to meet other stars.

We were in the dressing room together for three or more hours before our appearance onstage. During that time Miss Collins never stopped brushing her hair or adjusting the dress she “barely” had on. At one point, she asked if she should wear a stole with it. I replied, “Well, if we suggested it, you wouldn’t think of wearing it, would you, Miss Collins?”

Alice Faye and I turned out to be people with the same approach to life. We were hysterical watching Lillian Gish, who is definitely from another world, looking at Joan Collins. Probably thinking, just bosoms and hair and no talent. Alice kept saying, over and over, “Why did I leave my barbecue pit to be tortured like this?”

From my scrapbook

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