Those Were The Days

Celebrity Parties Of The Seventies: Part 1

THOSE were the glitter and glamor of the 1970s when the superstars of Hollywood and Broadway partied the night away after every thrilling opening of a film premiere and a stage show.

Those were the days my friend

We thought they’d never end

We’d sing and dance forever and a day

On any given night, there was a party celebrating something or other where you’d find such luminaries as Ethel MermanBurt ReynoldsAlan AldaSteve AllenRobert AltmanPearl BaileyStanley BakerMikhail BaryshnikovShirley BasseyRichard BenjaminTony BennettIngrid BergmanTony Lo BiancoVictor BorgeSonny BonoGeorge BurnsSid CaesarBarbara CarreraGeraldine ChaplinCarol ChanningPeter CookDaniel DarrieuxArlene DahlYvonne DeCarloFarrah FawcettBarbara FeldonJose FerrerHenry FondaFrank SinatraTeri GarrJohn GielgudJoanna GleasonElliott GouldCary GrantHuntington HartfordJill HaworthJoey HeathertonHelen HayesBurl IvesGeorge JesselBianca JaggerLouise LasserCarol Lynley…well, you get the picture.

I could go on, listing all the celebs until the end of the alphabet. Instead, I’ll show you their happy faces as they dined and danced into the wee hours. I was there to capture the glorious moments night after night.

Elton John and Ann-Margret danced together at the premiere party for Tommy on March 18, 1975. The party for the movie was held in the subway station at 57th Street and Avenue of the Americas. Among the revelers were Edgar and Johnny Winter, Tina Turner, and Frankie Valli. Party in the subway? Yes, those were the days!
Allen Ginsburg congratulates poet Ed Sanders on the release of his book, Tales of Beatnik Glory (Stonehill Publishing). Sanders, The Fugs lead singer/poet, autographes a copy for the Beat poet on October 23, 1975, at The Locale, a restaurant in Greenwich Village.
Tony Perkins took over the starring role in Equus on June 30, 1975, making his first New York stage appearance in a decade. He came with his wife, photographer Berry Berenson, to the afterparty at producer Kermit Bloomgarden’s Central Park West apartment.
Dudley Moore and Peter Cook celebrate their opening in Good Evening on November 14, 1973. At the party at Ma Bell’s restaurant, Moore is accompanied by Alyce Hasting; Cook is with his fiancée Judy Huxtable. She’s cool with hot pants “to please Peter. He finds them sexy on me.”
Liza Minnelli checked in on Sammy Davis following his opening at the Uris Theater on April 23, 1974. He had a 104-degree temperature that day but refused to cancel the show. Columnist Earl Wilson noted that, as he had 150 guests expected at his party at Danny’s Hideaway, “he was persuaded to carry on all the way to Chase Manhattan come what may.”
Isabella Rossellini with ice cream and mom Ingrid Bergman with booze enjoyed producer Edgar Lansbury’s party at the gala premiere of his film Godspell on March 20, 1973, at Philharmonic Hall in Lincoln Center.
Ray Bolger, who created the title role of Charley’s Aunt in 1948, popped onstage at the Circle in the Square Theater to hail Raul Julia in another production of the musical on February 9, 1975. The revival was renamed Where’s Charley? Bolger’s wife produced the original Frank Loesser-George Abbott musical in which Bolger sang, danced and romped 1,000 times on Broadway. Bolger joined Julia and cast onstage and led the audience in singing the show’s hit song, Once in Love with Amy.
Carol Channing and George Burns entertained close friends at dinner at Regine’s nightspot on August 16, 1976, the night before opening at the Westbury Music Fair. Following a gourmet feast, the two stars slipped into the disco room and danced to the wild beat like youngsters. Then Burns took a seat and relaxed by puffing on a large cigar.
Ann Miller and Ethel Merman celebrate at a party for the Broadway hit I Love My Wife. The day investors got their money back, producers Terry Allen Kramer and Harry Rigby threw a party on December 5, 1977, at the Markey Diner to fete the stars, Lenny Baker, James Naughton, Ilene Graff and Joanna Gleason.
Alfred Hitchcock arrives as the guest of honor of a gala homage by the Film Society of Lincoln Center on April 29, 1974. He is accompanied by Francois Truffaut and Princess Grace. Truffaut, one of the outstanding filmmakers and critics of the French New Wave, said of Hitchcock’s technique: “It was impossible not to see that the love scenes were filmed like murder scenes and the murder scenes like love scenes. It occurred to me that in Hitchcock’s cinema, to make love and to die are one and the same.” Sad to say, Hitchcock never received an Academy Award for best director.