Thursday, May 3, 2012

More Tim Holt -- and Linda Douglas

According to an RKO press release in 1952,

Linda Douglas, from Portland, Oregon, has earned a long contract with RKO Radio Pictures. The young beauty, from whom the company expects great things, makes her debut with a large role in Trail Guide.”

She did, indeed, but the “great things” failed to appear. In reality, Linda Douglas was Mary Jo Tarola, a former beauty queen, and she was always more famous for her off-screen assignations than anything she would do or say on. Following Trail Guide, she was in Target (1952), also with Tim Holt and, although par for course for the Holt series, par for the course was better than almost anything the competition could come up with, and that included the newfangled, and free, television Westerns. Linda was Mary Jo Tarola, though, in Affairs with a Stranger (1953), a turgid marital melodrama in which she was overshadowed by British import Jean Simmons and blonde sex-pot songstress Monica Lewis. And that was it for Mary Jo/Linda's screen career. But not of her name appearing in the headlines.

In December of 1952, after a whirlwind romance, Mary Jo married Pasquale “Pat” DiCicco, a notable man-about-Hollywood, whose former wives were the ill-fated Thelma Todd and Gloria Vanderbilt. DiCicco, who was always operating under a cloud of being “connected,” if you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge, nudge, had been on the periphery of the movie business for decades and, if nothing else, was noted for launching the film career of Cubby Broccoli. But with the much-married Dan Topping, of the much-married Topping brothers, as a guest of honor at the nuptials, the DiCicco-Tarola union was doomed to fail. In his 1960 divorce hearing, Pat explained their estrangement with his wishes to resettling permanently in the Bahamas and refusal to have children.

Then in 1962, Mary Jo met baseball legend Hank Greenberg and was reportedly all set up to embark on a double date with Marilyn Monroe and her ex-husband baseball legend Joe DiMaggio when Marilyn overdosed. Perhaps this tragedy cooled Greenberg's and/or Mary Jo's ardor, but Hank didn't marry Mary Jo for another four years. But then it was for good and Mary Jo Tarola Greenberg was widowed in September of 1986. As Mary J. Greenberg, the former RKO starlet at last report still resides on Miradero Rd. in Beverly Hills.

1 comment:

  1. Mary J. Greenburg was the lovely starlett who played the Marshall in 'Target' with Tim Holt, in 1952. Her stage name was Linda Douglas at the time.

    I miss the earlier actresses who gave a strong feminine portrayal of the America I was so fond of. The actresses then had a style that was mesmerizing and classy.