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Jean Negulesco

Jean Negulesco

One of the most feared of all mallet wielders on the West Coast during the glamor days of the Goldwyn and Zanuck croquet lawns, Jean Negulesco was truly the Big Boomer of the game. Cigar planted firmly between his teeth, his brown hair full of some sort of bear grease which the California sun would bake into his scalp, the indomitable "Johnny" was always a terror to his opponents, guaranteed to make the long hit when needed.

The myth which has been associated with Hollywood competition: "Let the boss win," was never part of the Roumanian Negulesco's attitude. He did not have to, because this talent in croquet, in film direction and in art was sought by all the major studio barons. His art often featured delicate, sensitive line drawings, with themes of fantasy, occasionally mildly erotic. Had he not been compelled by the seduction that is movie-making, Negulesco might have become one of our famous artists.

However, we sould be thankful that Negulesco has given us his talents as a director, guiding Jane Wyman (once Mrs. Ronald Reagan) to an Academy Award for Johnny Belinda, helping Marilyn Monroe on her way with How to Marry a Millionaire, showing Sophia Loren in a wet shirt in Boy on a Dolphin and, best of all, creating the marvelously beautiful Three Coins in the Fountain.

Finally, to prove that our honored player is indeed a favorite of the gods, Negulesco once had his three-ball-dead ball rolled into position on Zanuck's court by a Palm Springs earthquake!

Jean Negulesco and his wife Dusty have come from Marbella for this honor tonight and we welcome this dynamic man of the mallet, the pallette, not to mention over 100 sweater vests, to the Croquet Hall of Fame.

Jean Negulesco was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1982.

Articles

Jean Negulesco in Wikipedia

Pictures

Louis Jourdan in Maui Croquet Club Gallery

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