Aside from John Cullum, my husband, there's Cary Grant ... ah, what an actor. He could do everything.
Also, I very much like the two Richards -- Richard Burton and Richard Harris -- their looks and sound -- both had extraordinarily full range voices and exceptionally clear diction. When they were in a scene, no matter how noisy, angry, wild -- I'd get every word.
Both Richards drank too much, and both of them were womanizers.
Burton's brilliant mind and intuition were fascinating. Was my fascination with him because he flirted outrageously with me? Yes. When I met him, he was already a famous movie actor and stage actor. I knew his wife, Sybil; I knew Elizabeth Taylor; I knew he was also sleeping with two chorus girls I'd met in dance classes -- both beautiful girls, who were rehearsing scenes with my husband in "Camelot."
It's complicated, being married to a great-looking leading man. The very things about the man that I love, that make me proud to be his wife, are the very things that attract the other women who work with him.
People in show biz -- performers, creators, directors, choreographers, as well as stage crew, have a childlike something within them -- a let's pretend spirit, a very strong -- what shall we call it -- that sexual predilection for one another?
They can't help it. Working on a show is a special magic time when you share the fun, and the fears --will the show be a hit, is it a good show? It creates wonderful rapport based on sharing a time of creativity where YOU are at your best.
Anyhow, Richard Harris was handsomer, taller than Burton. Groupies congregated around him. What was it? He often was angry, raging, wild. He seemed to treat women casually -- didn't introduce them at parties -- it seemed as if there was a different girl at every party.
I can't help thinking that both Richards, with their huge passion for acting, affirmed themselves by seducing women. I think women sense that, and some women find that very attractive, dangerous, and sexually exciting.
That both these men drank excessively is not appealing to me, but maybe the drinking freed them, and enabled them to fall in love for a night, a week or so, with a partner. My husband drank a lot for quite a while -- until I demanded that he stop. His friend, and drinking buddy, George C. Scott, (with whom my husband had a great acting rapport), could not stop drinking, even after Scott was told it was killing him. And yes, Scott was also a womanizer. And yes, there was certainly a period in my husband's life where I worried about other women.
I'm tossing hits thought into the air -- maybe part of the indefinable something that makes a man a leading man, is his sexuality. Does the shoe fit Cary Grant? What about the rumors about his homosexuality?
Perhaps "sex appeal" in a man has to do with the man's preening peacock self -- my term for the inner need to show off, be admired by others. Perhaps the peacock self is part of the gift.
So what about Brad Pitt and Georg Clooney?
Look at their eyes, the focus that comes from the picture, and seems to be directly looking into your eyes.
Are they preening peacocks? Oh, yes, in my opinion, yes, they are.
What about drinking and womanizing? Well, Brad and George are another generation. I'm not formulating a theory about any of this ... I'm just reporting what I've noticed and experienced about favorite star actors from the sidelines.