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1956: Sands celebrates birthday with stars

Dec. 17, 1956

Happy Birthday the Hard Way: A contingent of Hollywoodites helped make the Sands’ fourth birthday party a huge success — in more ways than one. Lucille Ball, Betty Grable and Harry James, the Ritz Brothers, Nate Bluberg among others contributing at the tables … Jack Entratter’s “dream bill” for the Sands party, Jerry Lewis, Danny Thomas and Frank Sinatra, turned into a temporary nightmare for the producer. First came the billing battle on the ads and marquee. Next, Sinatra arrived at 11 p.m. and got in a beef with Entratter. Thomas injured his ailing leg. Lewis’ back started acting up and he sent for his L.A. medic, Dr. Marvin Levy. Sinatra’s throat was in such bad shape, Entratter said if he did another show he’d never make the 20th opening. So Lewis did a third show solo. But Saturday night, Jerry and Danny doubled for two more shows … At the end of the fun-filled weekend, Esther Williams, weary-eyed, bumped into Peter Lorre at the airport. “Is it really Peter Lorre?” she asked. Said Lorre: “I guess it’s not fair for anyone to meet me on an empty stomach.”

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