In honor (just one day early) of her July 3 birthday, here's What's My Line? stalwart Miss Dorothy Kilgallen in an unaccustomed role.
She makes a jolly if not particularly enigmatic Mystery Challenger, and if all the drama that surrounded the hospitalization from which she is emerging is omitted, well, it was 1961 and we didn't talk about that kind of thing in public.
Kilgallen is a bit of a polarizing figure, one whose posthumous reputation suffered from rumors, of variable reliability, of all kinds of skulduggery and supposed bitchery. When it comes to the former, I suppose it's possible she was on the verge of breaking the Kennedy assassination wide open, but I wouldn't bank the farm on it; when it comes to the latter, I would only go so far as to say that I bet she was no Hedda Hopper.
I certainly don't give all that much credence to the legend that she was secretly much loathed by her fellow WML?ers. The warmth of her welcome here and the genuine emotion shown on the episode taped the week after her sudden death in 1965 are both too genuine. I'm sure that at times she could be a bit of a pill, but she was a pro, and I think that John, Arlene, Bennett, et al, respected that. She was a troubled but charming woman, and if she had a bit of a thing for the bottle and Johnnie Ray, that was her business, don't you think?