Playhouse 90: The Hostess with the Mostess (1957)

Run Time - 90 min.  |  
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This live Playhouse 90 episode dramatizes the life of celebrated Washington party-giver Perle Mesta, who had earlier served as the inspiration for the 1950 Irving Berlin Broadway musical Call Me Madam. The wife of prominent steel manufacturer and political adviser George Mesta (Robert Lowery, Perle (played as an adult by Shirley Booth) rises to prominence in the WW2 years by throwing lavish parties in which people who otherwise wouldn't have given one another the time of day were gently forced to commisserate like ladies and gentlemen. In recognition of her social achievements, Perle is ultimately appointed Minister to Luxembourg by President Harry Truman. Prominent in the supporting cast is gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, in rare dramatic role as Maizie Weldon. The real Perle Mesta makes an appearance in the closing segment.