The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Voices – Evelyn Rudie

Nov. 4, 1959, Mirror Cover  
Above, Evelyn Rudie, 9, who played Eloise on TV, makes the front page of the Mirror with a story about vanishing from home to go see Mamie Eisenhower.

Paul Coates’ Nov. 10, 1959, column (“Evelyn Is a Real Old Hand at Drum Beating”) brought a response from Rudie, who is now co-artistic director at the Santa Monica Playhouse:

Evelyn Rudie here. Wow - what a blast from the past. But you know - Leo was wrong. Although he was a good friend of mine, he was also notorious for getting himself in the midst of exaggerated gossip. I never asked him to be my Valentine. True, I sent lots of Valentine's (and St. Patrick’s Day cards, and Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving and Christmas) - everybody did that in those days. You bought little boxes of holiday notes, passed them out to everyone in your class, teachers, friends, relatives. But when I was six, and seven, and eight, my heart truly belonged to Paul Coates and in 1959 he was the only person I actually asked to be my Valentine. Paul - if you're up there looking down, or down there, looking up, I hope you hear that. :)  And Leo, shame on you for making me out to be a “loose” woman at age 7.

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Comments (1)

Even back then how did this far-fetched publicity stunt ever get off ground? Ink-savvy child star who's looking for TV series secretly makes and pays for plane reservation, someone gets to airport on own steam and *somehow* boards commercial flight w/o guardian or accompaning adult, flies across country w/o being recognized, is shrewd enough to tie event into White House. . .Even with sketchiest of details, has more holes than Balloon Boy saga. Evelyn was certainly ahead of her time--alas, she didn't land a TV deal either.


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