"Not Too Good"
Nils T. Granlund, 1950s TV personality and master of ceremonies at Hollywood's Florentine Gardens through most of the 1940s, was killed in a car accident on the Las Vegas Strip, ending a flamboyant career described in the 1957 book "Blondes, Brunettes and Bullets."
The man nicknamed "Granny" and "N.T.G." was taking a cab from the Riviera Hotel and died after the taxi was hit by a driver who refused a blood-alcohol test, The Times said. Granlund was 57.
His casket was covered with flowers and a ribbon that said "To Granny From the Girls," a tribute to a man responsible for the careers of Jean Wallace, Lili St. Cyr and especially Yvonne De Carlo, who claimed his body and arranged the funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in the Hollywood Hills
Here’s an interview I did years ago with the late studio publicist Bob Rains about N.T.G.
In 1946, International Pictures, that I had started with, released a movie called “Tomorrow Is Forever,” which starred Orson Welles, George Brent, Claudette Colbert, Natalie Wood, and a young kid called Richard Long.
NTG in those days had a radio show on the Mutual Network, KHJ, and somebody called the studio and said they’d love to do an interview with him because he had a great story about the way he was discovered.
He lived in the Valley and was a student at Hollywood High School, and he was hitchhiking from the Valley to Hollywood High.
And one day he was picked up by a man by the name of Jack Merton, who was a casting director for International Pictures. And they got to talking. He says, “What are you doing?” and he says “I want to be an actor.” He says “Great, call me some day, we may have something for you.”
Richard never called. About three or four months later, it was pouring rain, Merton picks up the same kid, it’s Richard Long. He says, “Call me!” He called him and that’s how Dick Long got started with International Pictures when I was there. This was in 1946.
Anyway, the picture’s coming out and NTG heard about it. He called the studio, and wanted to interview Dick on his radio show on KHJ. I think it was the whole network then.
We said fine. I was then involved in that. And he said well I’d like to meet him beforehand. In those days, 1946, it was live. I said fine, so we set up a meeting at NTG’s house on Fountain Avenue [Note: It was really Franklin--lrh]. It was east of Vine Street, a great big place. And we were supposed to be there at a certain time.
We got there a few minutes early and rang the door bell, and a very voluptuous, beautiful young lady opened the door. We introduced ourselves and she said “NTG isn’t here right now; come in and wait.”
So we went in. And I don’t remember—we didn’t drink; we had some soft drinks or something—and we waited for about half an hour.
During this time, one after another after another of the most beautiful young ladies walked through the room we were waiting in. All introduced themselves, all said they were his secretary.
Finally NTG comes and we do a nice interview, preliminary and all that. Somehow he says, “Do you want to see the house?”
I said yes, so we have a tour of the house. And we walk in one room, there is this immense bed. I don’t recall the size, maybe 10 by 20, it was the biggest bed I’ve ever seen, twice the size of a king size.
And I said to him, “How come you got this big bed?”
He said, “Well we all live here.”
I said, “who?”
He said, “My secretaries; we all live here.”
I says, “Well do you all sleep together?”
And he says yes!
And we went on a few days later on KHJ, which used to be on Melrose, and Dick did the interview.
It was an amazing… man with a
great appetite. But imagine … four, five, six of them of the most beautiful
broads you’ve ever seen … sleeping in the one bed. And every time they came
through the room, … I'm so and so, glad you’re here. Period. It was quite the
Note: Muzzy Marcellino, former bandleader at the Florentine Gardens, used to joke that N.T.G. stood for "Not Too Good."