If These Walls Could Talk

Marilyn certainly gave it her all.

What comings and goings at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

Marilyn Monroe preferred bungalows numbers 1 and 7 when she stayed there.  However, when she was prepping for her role in Let’s Make Love, a 1960 musical satire about a show within a show, she and her husband, Arthur Miller, resided next to her French co-star, Yves Montand, and his wife, actress Simone Signoret, in Bungalows 20 and 21.  Although the four were friends, it wasn’t a very good idea.

Monroe and Montand began an affair when Miller went to Reno to put finishing touches on his script The Misfits, to star Monroe, which would begin shooting in a few months.  Monroe, as usual, was feeling insecure and despondent.  Miller, in her mind, didn’t care, more concerned about his career than her welfare.  When he returned to Los Angeles and crossed a writer’s strike to rework scenes for Let’s Make Love, already considered a stinker, their marriage was unraveling.

Montand, for his part, was hoping to use his role, a role, by the way, turned down by such leading men as Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Rock Hudson, James Stewart, and Yul Brynner, to break into American films.  Once production began, he soon learned what the others already knew: he was simply a foil for Marilyn.   His star would rise or fall with her performance, and he readily succumbed to her advances.

Word of their between-the-sheets activities was uncovered in the usual matter: by the press lurking and skulking about, buying inside information from hotel personnel, only too happy to earn an easy buck.   Neither Monroe nor Montand seemed at all concerned.

Neither was the studio.   Hoping a scandal would save the movie, they contributed to the gossip, sending columnist Hedda Hopper to interview Montand.  And he talked.

“I did everything I could to make things easier for her when I realized that mine was a very small part,” Montand told Hopper.  “The only thing that could stand out in my performance was my love scenes, so naturally I did everything I could to make them realistic.”

With these words, Montand might have saved his marriage, but Let’s Make Love is remembered as a flop.  Monroe, however, singing “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” was sensational.

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


Watch Yves Montand watching Marilyn Monroe sing “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.”


Cameron & Justin Together Again

Eat Me! Photo by: Quick Free Recipes

In Bad Teacher Cameron Diaz looks great.  And she never stumbles in her six-inch, red-soled Christian Louboutin heels.  “I don’t need a blackboard or a classroom to set an example,” she proclaims, letting it all hang out at the car wash.  Lecturing one of her twelve-year old students on being too full of herself, she informs the girl that she’s not sexy.  Now, when I was your age, I was sexy.  I bet she was.

On the other hand, Justin Timberlake looks dorky.  He acts dorky, too. He’s ready, willing, and able to chaperon the class trip, and he eagerly plays with the Period 5 teacher’s band, soulfully singing off-key, if that’s possible.

If Diaz’s character is inappropriately suited to her chosen career, her colleague is inanely satisfied about his vocation.  Both actors, however, seem to be enjoying themselves and each other in the R-rated summer comedy, even when she’s bored to tears as he dry humps her in a hotel room on a school trip.  That’s chemistry!

Still, Cameron looks like the older woman.  She always has.  I guess that’s something no cougar can change, even with Botox.

Diaz is now 38; Timberlake is 30.  When they were dating, the press often referred to the difference in their ages, much to her annoyance.  She told W magazine in 2004, “It’s not like this is the first time in the history of human relationships that people were drawn to one another because of who they are, not what age they are.”  Good point.

Throughout their four-year relationship, rumors continuously circulated that the couple was arguing, making up, getting married, arguing, and cheating on each other.  They made good copy.

The tabloids attributed their break-up to Timberlake hiring Scarlett Johansson as a femme fatale in his video “What Goes Around.”  This was years before Johansson found out that much older men, like Sean Penn, twenty-six years her senior, were more to her liking.

Of course, the issue of Cameron and Justin having dated came up while promoting Bad Teacher.   When asked how it was working together, Diaz responded, “We had a great time.”  She also noted, “Any worry that we had was like what the media was going to turn it into.  Because we all know what they can turn it into.”

To the same question, Timberlake replied, “It’s fine.  We have to believe there’s somebody out there who dated and who are still friends.”   He continued, “We are also both really awesome.”

Jason Segel, 31, also in the flick, thinks so, too.  Of Justin, he says, “He’s supremely talented.  It’s almost frustrating how talented he is.”  Of his older female co-star he relates,  “I constantly hit on Cameron Diaz, and she constantly tells me she has no interest.”

Diaz must still be seeing Alex Rodriquez because I think Segel is as cute as a teddy bear.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


You Go, Girls — Part Two

“I’m certainly not the first person to be in a relationship with a younger man,” Demi Moore said in response to the press coverage of her relationship with Ashton Kutcher, fifteen years her junior. “But somehow I was plucked out as a bit of a poster girl.”

She’s right about that!  Among certain Tinseltown types these May to December relationships go way back.

Is anyone familiar with the passionate affair between femme fatale Marlene Dietrich and actor Yul Brynner?  She met him back stage at the original production of The King and I in 1951.  He was a thirty-year-old hairless hunk, and she wanted him.  Despite his being married and her being nineteen years his senior, she had him.  Their obsessive relationship lasted four years before he tired of her possessive jealousy.

And what about Cher?  She’s almost as famous for dating younger guys as she is for being a gay icon.  For a brief time she went out with Tom Cruise, sixteen years her junior, and Richie Sambora, thirteen years younger than her, among others.  Just a few years ago at 62, she was dating a 38-year old biker dude named Tim Medvetz.  His claim to fame, besides hooking up with Cher, was to climb Mount Everest after recuperating from a bad motorcycle accident.

The most legendary of Cher’s live-in love interests was Ron Camilletti.  When they met  on her birthday in 1986, she was turning forty and presumably felt like giving herself a present.  He was a 22-year old bagel baker.  They were together for three years.

In 1991 Elizabeth Taylor, 59, took Larry Fortensky, a 39-year old construction worker, to be her eighth and last husband in a reported two million dollar wedding ceremony at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.  She playfully called him “Larry the Lion” because of his blonde shag.  When he tired of being called “Mr. Elizabeth Taylor,” they divorced after four years.  They remained friends until her death.

And Madonna has always had her “toy boys”.  In fact, wasn’t the expression coined with her in mind? (Well, it should have been!) Carlos Leon, her personal trainer and the father of her daughter Lourdes, was eight years younger than she, and her husband Guy Ritchie, with whom she had a son and adopted two more children, was ten years younger.  We’ll give her credit: these were serious relationships, and the age differences can even be categorized within normal boundaries.

But then it went over-the-top.  A month after getting her divorce from Ritchie, Madonna met Jesus Luz, a Brazilian underwear model, on a fashion shoot. He was 22; his mother was 37, and Madge was 51.  It was apparent the young man was brought up well.  In interviews he refused to talk about his girlfriend.  After a year, he called it quits, citing their lack of common interests. Within months Madonna was dating a 24-year old French break dancer.

Being fit and thin aren’t necessarily requirements for being in the club, but these characteristics inspire a certain level of confidence, even among the well-known and popular.  After losing weight while appearing on this season’s “Dancing with the Stars,” Kirstie Alley, 60, was ready for romance.  She found it, too, with 21-year old rapper Shanice Boyd.  Unfortunately, Boyd was a Momma’s boy, literally, still living at home.

A good sense of humor helps, too.


© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved


You Go, Girls — Ellen Barkin Et Al

I’m still thinking about the news, okay gossip, from the other day concerning Ellen Barkin.

Barkin, now 57, has hooked up with a twenty-six year old.  They’ve been living together for two years.

Her boyfriend, Sam Levinson, is the son of Barry Levinson, the director of her 1982 movie Diner.  He’s apparently following in his dad’s footsteps, having directed Barkin in his feature debut. In fact, that’s how they met: he had sent her a script that she agreed to produce and star in.  They apparently worked well together.

What’s the surprise?  Surveys show that a third of women over forty are dating younger men.  But does younger mean a few years, like two or three, or do they mean a decade or two or, in this case, three?

These May to December romances are becoming more common or, at least, more visible in Hollywood and its East Coast counterpart.  Some twosomes even make it down the aisle.

Demi Moore, 48, whose twitter handle is mrskutcher, just celebrated her fifth anniversary with Ashton, fifteen years her junior.  The difference in their ages has been wagging tongues since they were dating.  Poking fun at herself, Moore appeared on Saturday Night Live when Kutcher was host.  Made up to look really old, like 82, Moore went on stage using a walker, complaining that her support stockings were killing her.  In the last few months, the chitchat has been that he’s having an affair.  At the moment, they’re holding on.

Other high-profile pairs have not been able to keep it together. Courtney Cox and David Arquette were married eleven years.  Their seven-year age difference had less to do with their breakup than did their disparate personalities.  He has a childish side; she does not.  “I don’t want to be your mother anymore,” she told him.  Cox, now 47, stars in Cougar Town.  Her character, recently divorced, is trying to come to terms with getting older.

In 2009 Susan Sarandon, then 63, broke up with Tim Robbins, 51, her partner of twenty-three years.  He might have been seeing Meg Ryan, or maybe he was suffering from a mid-life crisis.  To occupy herself post split Sarandon invested in a ping pong (also known as table-tennis) club in NYC.  Rumors have been circulating ever since that she’s going out with 31-year old Jonathan Bricklin, a partner in the club.  Well, she does have a history.

Sandra Bullock’s relationship with Jesse G. James was always considered offbeat for reasons that had nothing to do with her being five years older than he was.  The girl-next-door involved with a tattooed biker with his own cable television show?  Come on!  And, yes, there was another women involved who had her own body markings.  The five-year marriage ended in 2010.

Eva Longoria filed for divorce from basketball player Tony Parker in 2010. Neither her being seven years older than him nor a foot shorter had anything to do with it.  She discovered he was having an affair with the wife of one of his former teammates in 2010.

Halle Berry split from her boyfriend, supermodel Gabriel Aubry, after four years and a baby daughter. Despite his being handsomely compensated for his work on the runway, she paid all the bills.  Ten years younger than Berry he hadn’t yet learned to carry his own weight, and she was tired of it.  They’re still arguing over custody.

As far as Ellen Barkin is concerned, she’s undaunted as to the future of her relationship with Levinson. She’s been overheard saying she’ll part ways with him when “they roll me out in a wheelchair.”  Given her age let’s hope that’s not sooner than she thinks.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved