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Cannes Canards

May 11, 1997

I was surprised to read in "Cannes Heat" (by John-Thor Dahlburg, May 4): "With a shock, [Gina Lollobrigida and Elizabeth Taylor] discover they are wearing the same white lace gown sewn by Paris couturier Christian Dior" at the closing gala of the 1954 festival.

In fact, this amusing, highly publicized "fashion catastrophe" actually took place at the Moscow Film Festival in 1961, as described in my biography of Taylor (Doubleday, 1984).

CHRISTOPHER NICKENS

Los Angeles

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Simone Sylva did indeed doff her top at Cannes and ask a "startled Robert Mitchum to replace it with his hands" in 1955, but she did not commit suicide in Ohio "at the end of the summer."

I was definitely dating and going out with a very alive Simone Sylva until she did commit suicide two years after that incident. The Cannes publicity did not help her longed-for film career. Further, it was my understanding that she committed suicide in London.

BOB WEISS

Granada Hills

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