“I went from covering Al Capone to covering Harry Cohn,” Bacon recalls. At the time, Le Pavillon was one of the most famous restaurants in the world: Through its doors, at 5 East 55th Street, came the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, the Cabots, and the Windsors.
When Cohn came in, however, the imperious Soulé seated him at the back, near the kitchen.
The studio had wanted a gimmick to distinguish its blonde from the many other new platinum blondes on the block: Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren, Diana Dors, Joi Lansing—all outsize girls signed to compete with Marilyn Monroe and built like the decade’s big Chevys and Buicks.
He was in the dark and suddenly the spotlight picked him up—he was electric, he was hot, it was almost a sexual thing.
He was singing to Kim Novak, sitting at a stageside table; she had just finished work on Alfred Hitchcock’s the most challenging film of her career.
Unfortunately for Soulé, Columbia owned the building, and Cohn retaliated by raising Le Pavilion’s rent.
The director George Sidney, who made all with Novak at Columbia Pictures, became one of Cohn’s most trusted intimates.