There’s an interesting connection between the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and the TV western Laramie (1959-63). Actually, two connections.
Laramie star Robert Fuller grew up dancing, which isn’t surprising, since his mother and stepfather were both dancers and instructors. Fuller danced in the chorus of several movies, including the famous number “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. With his sideburns dyed grey and a grey mustache, I spotted young Fuller (age 19 or 20) just once, in this shot behind Marilyn Monroe.
Soon after Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Robert Fuller was drafted. He served for two years in Korea before returning to LA in 1955. He spent several years working as an extra and a stuntman. He took acting lessons from Richard Boone, guest-starred in many TV series, and went on to play Jess Harper in Laramie, his first starring role. Retired now and ranching in Texas, he appears at various western festivals, talking to fans about his fifty years of work. I’d love to hear him tell about this particular shoot!
The other Laramie connection? Hoagy Carmichael wrote the music for two of the songs performed in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: “Is Anyone Here for Love?” and “When Love Goes Wrong.” Carmichael later played Jonsey in season one of Laramie, with Robert Fuller, John Smith and Robert Crawford, Jr. Hollywood was once a place where chorus boys and songwriters could grow up to be cowboys!