A recent article on stars’ real-life love stories has prompted other film buffs to come up with “updates”—like a “reminder” from a fan of Demi Moore of her May-December liaison with the much younger Ashton Kutcher. They’ve moved on to other loves since then, but while it lasted, their romance resonated with fans who found it “reassuring,” because it proved that “age is just a number.”
Other moviegoers with “elephantine” memories recall the unusual “romantic biography” of iconic leading man Clark Gable, whose “animalistic appeal” was deemed unusually intense. Indeed, he was so “elementally attractive” that comedienne Joan Blondell was moved to gush, “Gable affected all women—unless they were dead!”
Like Kutcher, Gable appeared to favor women who were older than he was—his first two wives were 14 and 17 years his senior!
Much less frivolously, Gable never recovered from the death of his wife, Carole Lombard, in a 1942 plane crash. She was a vibrant and vital actress, and he tried to recapture her lost aura by later marrying women who looked like her!
For her part, Greta Garbo, an esteemed colleague reminds us, was a reclusive star who was famous for her unique beauty and lyrical screen portrayals in classic films like “Queen Christina,” “Anna Christie” and “Ninotchka.”
Although her projection in some of her starrers was rather “mannish,” she fell in love with popular leading man John Gilbert. They planned to get married a couple of times, but she got cold feet—and her frustrated beau abandoned the chase!
To console herself, Garbo formed other liaisons, with director Raoul Mamoulian, photographer Cecil Beaton—and with the famous conductor, Leopold Stokowski—who was 25 years her senior!
Adding considerably to Garbo’s mystique was the fact that, after she stopped acting at only 35 years old, she made it a point to “disappear” from public view. Thus did she live up to her famous movie line, “I want to be alone!” As she vowed, so did she become. —Be careful what you wish for!