Cowboys and Blondes

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.

Young dancer Robert Fuller behind Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Young dancer Robert Fuller behind Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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!

Robert Fuller (Jess Harper) and Hoagy Carmichael (Jonsey) in Laramie

Robert Fuller (Jess Harper) and Hoagy Carmichael (Jonsey) in Laramie

(L to R) Hoagy Carmichael, Robert Fuller, and Robert Crawford Jr. in Laramie (with John Hoyt's back)

(L to R) Hoagy Carmichael, Robert Fuller, and Robert Crawford Jr. in Laramie (with John Hoyt’s back)

Marilyn Monroe in Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. I had to include this one just because I love pink.

Advertisements

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shay on June 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    You have solved the puzzle that many Robert Fuller fans have debated for years, to whit: where does he appear in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?

    Mad skillz, my child.

    Reply

  2. has driven me mad for years once thought that i recognised his hands but now i see it was obvious what a lovely babe thanks effie

    Reply

  3. Posted by Pauline Evans on March 31, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I don’t suppose anybody can tell me which of those dancers is Ralph Beaumont ?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: