Wednesday, March 28, 2012


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.


Maureen Jacobs said...

George Clooney
George Zaharoff (fashion designer)
George Clooney
Bobby D
George Clooney
John Cusack
George Clooney


Unknown said...

Oh EM, 'juicy' blog today! WOW! I've been transfixed to my seat by many an actor on screen and I've met a few in-person.
* * *
I agree there is particularly something about the film, movie, theatre perhaps even television industry where people work in such close proximity - they get the urge to efff like bunnies with each other and often do. It's a hazard of the business. It's hard on marriages and significant personal partners.
* * *
Perhaps I will write about the time I had dinner with John Wayne and Patricia (she was not introduced as Pat, she may have told me to call her Pat later on in the dinner.) They invited my husband, me and our pilot to eat with them.
John Wayne ~ there was a complicated man, a hard drinker, and I could tangibly feel his pain. Not the pain of his cancer, but the cut in his spirit that may have brought him to drinking in the first place. Though outwardly gracious, charming and generous the sadness I felt coming from within that man was almost too overwhelming for me. Just an impression of a man who had HIGH public profile who had the need to also be intensely private and all this was 'at war' inside him.

Patrica ~ she was nervous, she maintained an outwardly calm presence, but the woman was nervous. She may have been suspicious of me (shrugging my shoulders, who knows?)

Bless me, for having just lived through an emergency landing on a tiny band aid size resort airstrip because of a freak storm and iced wings ~ I was low key even with my vodka gimlets. John and Pat did laugh loud and hearty when I did choose to interject into the conversation. They both relaxed, it all turned out to be a wonderful dinner.
* * *
Meeting James Garner was my biggest disappointment. What a schlub, a jaded, arrogant, Hollywood tainted schlub.
* * *
Meeting Don Knotts of all the so not Hollywood beautiful leading men was one of the best meetings of my life. What beautiful qualities he had as a man. Authentic, genuine, endearing... I could have been very tempted, very!
* * *
Thanks for writing this EM! Eeee, I had a blast dredging up some of my own memories to add in your comments section.
* * *
I say for all women who love their husbands and hope they don't what it takes 'to protect your plow' (serious & a wink both go here).

Much love to you EM & YOUR John Cullum and FAMILY (JD are you listenin'? I'm @grammakaye on twitter.

Anonymous said...

Great blog today Em! My male list does include the 2 Richards-I remember them well. And Cary Grant and Rock Hudson, Brad, and George to name a few. These male stars sure know how to strut their stuff! kam

Carola said...

I have never liked Cary Grant. Too fake. I loved Richard Burton. I enjoy both Brad Pitt and George Clooney, but my reaction to them is pretty moderate. The actor I loved was Christopher Lambert (the star of Greystoke). I went back to see that movie quite a few times. And I loved Steve McQueen.

Linda Phillips said...

I was madly in love with Richard Burton. I adored his voice and thought he was as sexy as hell. I saw Camelot twice (the second time was the matinee of his final day in the show).

I adored Cary Grant. He was the ultimate sophisticate. Another hunk, although I have reason to believe that he was either Gay or Bi. I don't care.

George Clooney, oh yes! Charm, charm, charm and looks!

I was never attracted to Richard Harris and to me Brad Pitt looks dirty, although cute, but not a turn on for me.

Ameer S. Washington said...

Haven't you hit the nail on the head. Attractive men always find women in their bed, even those who aren't famous with great regularity. So add on the big screen, money and fame, and even more women will flock. The womanizing that may have already been there but it becomes magnified when he no longer has to work at bedding beautiful women. There's no courtship, being Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Richard Harris, etc is simply enough. Do they want attention? Maybe not, but by the time their celebrity grows to the point of the A-List, they'll get it regardless to how they feel about it. So if you can't deflect the attention, why not bask in it.

I enjoyed your honesty about how you worried about other women with John. I'll go so far as to put my foot in my mouth and say you'd have worried about it even if he weren't an actor. I've found in my own relationship that women, regardless of how confident in professional life are the most insecure beast once they've fallen in love. Self reflection often tells even the most beautiful that for some reason, they're not good enough. What you felt is only natural, and was made worse because of John's status. I'm glad you weren't naive enough to think there wasn't a possibility.

My biggest problem with the wives and maybe even the husbands of celebrities, and especially the big A-Listers is; you should probably expect that most likely someone else had what you thought was yours. The temptation is often too great even for the men who are strongest of will. And all one can do is be happy and thankful if that man does not stray. I'm happy to count myself among the strongest of wills. What would I do if I were famous? I don't know. :)

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I can say my favotites actors r Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, Boris Karloff, Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Roberto de Niro.