Floppy and the Beast

Julius LaRosa Hollywood walk of fame

Julius LaRosa’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame can be found on the south side of the 6200 block of Hollywood Blvd.



From Bill Diehl’s magazine rack

Julius LaRosa (WNEW 60’s-70’s) twice made the cover of Radio-TV Mirror in 1953 (Radio still came first then) a solo picture in September and a cover shared with Lou Ann Simms the previous March.

larosa-simms radio TV march 53The story in the March issue concerned cast members of Arthur Godfrey’s radio and TV shows, and a trip they took to Miami to christen TV station WTVJ’s new studios, and do a show there.  They flew down in a charter National DC-6 from Idlewild,  (now JFK International.)  As the plane approached Miami, the article quotes Lou Ann (19 from Rochester)  as saying, “It doesn’t look very big.”  Julius (22, Navy vet from Brooklyn) at her elbow laughed and said “There’s more than meets the eye, believe me.”  

A red plush carpet was rolled out on arrival and “when Julius walked down the steps a sea of Miami girls were there yelling his name and waving autograph books.  He signed his name over and over, grinning and happy.  Lou Ann waited, beginning to see what Julius meant.”  

There was a reception at WTVJ and then the drive up fabulous Biscayne Boulevard and across the causeway to Miami Beach and the Kenilworth Hotel.  Again quoting from the article:  “And now the kids could let go.  They had each asked for a Cadillac convertible apiece to drive while they were here. But incredibly, the demand for rented Cadillac convertibles that weekend was overwhelming, and most of the available supply was already taken.  Eventually the Godfrey troupe got theirs, but for tonight Julius had to make do with a Buick.”

Oh yes, and there was Floppy, the Night-club Doll, a large doll, says the article, that Lou Ann was given at the Clover Club.  “What Floppy needs,” said the irrepressible Julius, ‘is a little excitement.’   The article goes on “…Julius the sadistic kidnapper, if you judged by his fiendish laughter and her blood-curdling shrieks of dismay…stood on the highest diving board, holding Floppy out over the drink. Floppy fell into the pool, ‘poor Floppy’ said Julius, sadly. ‘Beast, beast,’ Lou Ann cried. With that Julius dived into the pool, came up with Floppy in his mouth and paddled ashore like any brave dog rescuing a drowning baby.”

The article concluded with the flight home. “Julius slept. Lou Ann held Floppy under the air-conditioner above her seat.” It sure was another time, wasn’t it!  B.D.

The caption beneath the photo above, reads: A host of little Godfreys—both newcomers and veterans, beaming in the Florida sunshine: Left to right, Julius LaRosa, Janette Davis, organist Lee Erwin, Lou Ann Simms, Marian Marlowe, frank Parker, and Haleloke.