Source: Word of Mouth segment with Arlene Dahl, Turner Classic Movies channel
One night I noticed a big commotion and I looked at the door and there was this gorgeous blonde in a white satin, slinky gown and I knew who it was, it was Marilyn Monroe. And all conversation stopped and she, with her marvelous walk, walked over to the Mendles and said, “Hello,” and the conversation began again.
And I remember I was in a corner with Fred Astaire, Clark Gable and Reginald Gardner talking about Walt Whitman. And Marilyn happened to overhear the name “Whitman” so she slunk over to the three gentlemen standing there, and I was just standing there to one side, and she said, “Oh!,” she said, “Whitman! I just love his chocolates!”
Well, all conversation stopped in the room. And Fred, who is such a darling and such a gentleman, didn’t laugh. He said, “Oh, Marilyn, we all do.”
And I thought that was so brilliant of him and so nice of him to say that to Marilyn who never knew that she made a gaffe. At all.
Wasn’t Fred Astaire just grand in his graciousness? What would you have done?