“I worry about nothing except doing work that I like and that I look at as quality work. I don’t think of legacies or what people think. They are bold moves because I’ve found I can get the most attention with doing things that people don’t expect of me. It’s just the way it is.”
Rita murmured in that, silky, sultry voice from so very long ago, “Enough crap, big boy. Let’s get out of here!” She slid off her stool and thrust her arm under mine. I heard whispered words somewhere inside my head, O, heart, be still! The best I could manage was a stammer, “Miss Hayworth, I came with my wife. That’s her there, with Margo and Eddie.”
At the airport, customs agents discovered a bag of marijuana and a handgun inside his baggage. After surrendering to the authorities, Curtis writes that he thought, “Whatever happens, it won’t be as bad as my childhood.” At age 50 – after he had been a movie star for a quarter of a century – he got to the door of the hospital room where his mother was dying from heart disease. He heard her calling his name, but could not bring himself to go inside.
Again, it took an intervention, this time by Moss Hart, to point her in the right direction. She doesn’t say much about what he did in the 48 hours of rehearsal that he devoted to her, but she does include one of his most memorable lines. When asked by his wife how the session had gone, he replied, “Oh she’ll be fine. She has that terrible British strength that makes you wonder how they ever lost India.” My Fair Lady was a hit and she belted it, day in, day out, both on Broadway and in London, fitting in her twenty-first birthday and a marriage to Tony Walton in the meantime.
She smoked a lot, but she laughed a lot too. I could easily support her, I was at thirteen, a good two heads taller — she even looked like Betty Boop! And when her lady partner went ahead or loitered poking through the rough in search of another lost ball, Miss Rothschild would walk on with me, linking my elbow gaily, helping me along. “My poor caddie has to carry my clubs!” she’d wail. And there, at 11 in the morning under that bright, glancing sunlight, facing into the brisk mountain breeze, I’d get a whiff of lipstick and whiskey-tainted breath, mingled with her flossy perfume, her laughter enveloping me in a mist of genial, confusing sensuality. She liked to tease: she set anyone and everyone up, her friends male and female alike; she even set me up. Pixyish, it seemed that was the word for it … yet that “it” always eluded me.
The universe appears to have cheated Rupert Everett. By rights, he belongs to the Edwardian age, the gay with a capital “G” nineties, Oscar Wilde and the pursuit of beauty, art for arts sake, and to hell with propriety.
Imagine 32 famous actors looking you straight in the eye and flirting with you. (Marlee Matlin! Natasha Richardson! Swoon!)