MATURE ARRIVES TO VISIT GIRL WHO UNDERWENT OPERATION
- October 5, 1944 - The Daily Times
Victor Mature arrived here today for a "personal appearance"
at the bedside of 11 year old Eunice Kinzer, who yesterday underwent
a 1,000-to-1 operation for the removal of a brain tumor.
The movie actor, now a chief boatswain's mate in the Coast Guard,
traveled 360 miles by train from Indianapolis where he is appearing
in the Coast Guard production, "Tars and Spars," to
be with his young admirer.
As Mature prepared to go to the hospital, Eunice, who was described
as "resting easy but still at the crisis stage," called
for him as she recovered gradually from the operation, which was
called a tentative success.
Mature, who conferred with the girl's father, John Kinzer, before
going to the hospital, reported that he was suffering "from
my first cold in years," but hoped to get permission to go
to Eunice's bedside, wearing a surgical mask, if necessary.
The film star planned to remain with the girl for several hours
before leaving by plane at 1:50 p.m. in order to return to Indianapolis
for a matinee performance of the Coast Guard production. One show
was cancelled today because of his trip.
The friendship of Mature and Eunice began last August in Atlantic
City, where they met while the girl was gaining strength for the
operation. Since then he has telephoned her many times, encouraging
her to "keep your chin up honey," and sending her flowers.
Mature, unable to get here yesterday because of poor weather which
grounded planes out of Indianapolis, talked to Eunice by phone
a short time before she underwent the operation, and told her
he would be here today.
The brain tumor removed yesterday was blamed for the girl's lack
of muscular coordination in her arms and legs. She has been suffering
from the condition for several years.
Mature Rushes From Indianapolis To Keep Date At Bedside; Finds
Lou Costello Is His Rival
Eleven year old Eunice Kinzer's condition was reported "unchanged"
at Allegheny General Hospital last night but thanks to a visit
from her idol, Coast Guardsman Victor Mature - she went to sleep
a much happier little girl.
Eunice, recovering from a delicate brain operation, was minus
her long curls when Mature, wearing a gauze mask over his face
because of a cold, tiptoed into her flower-banked room yesterday
morning and asked:
"Is Eunice Kinzer here?"
Smiling as she looked up at him, Eunice said, "I've been
waiting a long time." She had been disappointed because Mature
was prevented by weather conditions from flying here to see her
before the operation.
Spying flowers from Lou Costello, who also has taken an interest
in the child who has been ill with a brain tumor that caused partial
paralysis of her legs and arms, Mature said, "I'm jealous."
No Need For Jealousy
"You don't have to be," said Eunice. "Your flowers
are here too, and they're nice and fresh."
The card with the two dozen roses Mature had sent said, "To
the best little girl ever. Love and kisses, Vic."
With him Mature brought a box of Eunice's favorite cookies and
an envelope with pictures of the cast of "Tars and Spars"
coast guard production with which he is appearing in Indianapolis.
He promised Eunice he will try to return in 10 days.
She gave him an autographed photo of herself looking at his picture.
The friendship between the film star and Eunice began last August
when she watched from a wheel chair every performance of the show
in Atlantic City.
Routine Delays Visit
Mature, who had phoned Eunice Wednesday when he learned he could
not fly here, called her mother to inquire about the child's condition
after the operation. He was held up 45 minutes yesterday morning
while hospital authorities contacted the surgeon who operated
in order to obtain permission for the actor to see the child.
Specialist First Class Ronald E. Brooks of Elkins Park, business
manager of the coast guard show, who accompanied Mature, said
the star was up half the night Tuesday trying to get a plane out
"If it weren't a service show he's with, he said he'd stay
right here," said Brooks.
Father Meets Mature
The coast guardsmen arrived yesterday morning by train and were
met by Eunice's father, John Kinzer, 26 Iola Avenue, Glenshaw,
with whom they breakfasted and drove to the hospital.
Mr. Kinzer had given a pint of blood for a transfusion to help
his daughter fight the shock of the operation.
With only a few minutes to spare before he had to catch his plane
at County Airport, Mature signed autographs for a few other children
and stopped to greet Carmen DiGuilio, 9, of 210 Fleet Street,
Rankin, who has a broken arm, and Donna Lynn Higgins, 4.