I recently posted about the photos I have in my collection that match my grandmother Mitzi Cummings’ Photoplay articles. I also mentioned there are several I don’t have. Here’s one of them and it is a doozy – I absolutely adore this photo of Mitzi visiting with Myrna Loy and Bill Powell on the set of The Thin Man (1934).
And boy, does Mitzi drop some names! Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire but my favorite is her mention of the ‘head waiter’ at the Cocoanut Grove, Jimmy Manos, who presided over Hollywood’s favorite watering hole for 18 years from 1923 until 1941.
Can you imagine the stories he could have told? Can you imagine the sheer amount of potential blackmail he could have rolled out?
But that wasn’t Jimmy Manos – he was universally loved and respected by those he worked with, as well as by famous Hollywood types, including moguls, directors, producers and the biggest stars of the day. Somehow, considering the egos of the rich and famous that would’ve been at the ‘Grove’ night after night, he managed to make the place hum and keep everyone happy.
Born in 1893, Manos evidently emigrated from Greece with just the shirt on his back and later fought in WWI.
From what I can glean, he died after a long illness in 1941. The list of those who wanted to be pallbearers was as long as your arm. Everyone wanted to pay their respects. His death was even mentioned in the industry rag, Variety.