Pittsburgh - October 5, 1944 - The Daily Times

Handsome 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 of Indianapolis.

"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.

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