TYRONE THE GOOD AND LINDA THE BEAUTIFUL
Tyrone Power has married for the second time. The first was certainly less complicated, one of those ones where you say "yes" before a judge, according to several Hollywood film magazines. Linda Christian this time wanted to do it up serious. The most beautiful and ancient church in Rome was the site of this extraordinary “movie scene” one of the great cinema studios of the world assumed the task of "producing" this event for real.
They said that Tyrone rebelled at first at the idea that his dream of love would be crowned in a kind of theatrical spectacle: "I don't want my marriage to be transformed into an equestrian circus," he said with the ingenuous sincerity that had been his since he was a boy. But the film interests little by little imposed on his desire for intimacy, and the two photographers became a legion, the reflectors, the lamps, the microphones are overflowing behind the columns [more that I can’t translate right now]
At the beginning of the ceremony nothing lacked because the church of Saint Francesca Romana resembled a Hollywood studo. Generators made their dull, dark noises, huge cables snaked among the golden seats, neon lights gave a livid glow to the frescos in the apse, and hidden among the white lilacs at the prie-dieu, two microphones wereready to relate, to the delight of the Italian, French, Swiss and American radio audience, the fateful "I do" of Linda and Tyrone.
The "take" was studied in all its details. Because the main altar was not visible to all the audience, a temporary altar was improvised at the feet of the statue of Saint Francesca; the church's little organ was judged insufficient for musical accompaniment and another, bigger organ, was substituted.
From the entrance to the altar, Cardella Florists had constructed a pathway of "Esther" carnations, an extraordinary variation of the flower, produced barely three years ago and inaugurated at the wedding of Queen Elizabeth of English: two thousand carnations were ordered which cost eighty lire each. Maestro Barberis, the composer of "Munasterio 'e santa Chiara," had chosen, on Tyrone’s behalf, the musical program, alternating a string quartet with organ musica and "treble voices" [children's choir? female choir??]: but at the last moment Linda, asked to substitute a Bach andate with the "Largo" of Handel. The couple desired that a genuine cardinal would bless their marriage and [something about making their wishes known to many Roman nobility, the Department of State and even the Vatican.] The name of Cardinal Todeschini circulated at the last moment as that of the celebrant, but it was known that the Pope had listened to his religious advisors, who advised against exposing the splendor of a "purple" (a cardinal) in a ceremony which had all the characteristic trappings of a spectacle. Linda and Ty had to make do with Monsignor William Hemmick, an American high prelate resident in the Roman Curia, with the assistance of Monsignor John Mix, a popular priest who Ty had met on board a steamer during his honeymoon trip with Annabella.
The curious and noisy Roman crowd had massed, doing a balancing act clinging to the ruins that surrounded the church, on the arcades of the Colosseum, on the crumbling capitals of the temple of Venus and Rome. An entire flying squad of police, carabinieri on white horses, twirling their truncheons, had labored to prevent the thousands of uninvited spectators knocking over the couple and their small group of official guests. A shrill, strident, almost hysterical howl from the thousands of women seated behind the gate, was the "clapperboard" that began the "take." For the entire ceremony the priest’s voice, the solemn organ music, were drowned out by the far away screaming of the crowd and by the closer buzz of the press’ equipment.
Tyrone was moved when he descended the flight of stairs accompanied by his wedding party. For the first time in his life he appeared embarrassed before the lights and his objective seemed to be to look at the ground, expressionless, like a boy who has not learned his lesson. Linda entered from the opposite door, smiling; some noted that her smile was a little forced. She gave her arm to Signor Miglievitch, an older gentleman whose hair, mustache and snow white goatee looked false. The betrothed found themselves together before the fragrant lilacs at the prie-dieu. At their left stood Count Miani and Countess Dentice de Frasso, who were the spiritual "managers" of the marriage. At the right were aligned, in their severe and identical dress, Count Rudy Crespi, Mr. Ornstein, husband of Mary Pickford's favorite niece, and Mr. Schragen, the American ambassador’s assigned pilot [?]. Behind the bride stood the bridesmaids, Ariadna Welter, Linda's sister, Miss Luisa Costera, Linda's friend at the Collegio di Poggio Imperiale. The groomsmen were Claudio Gora, Dado Ruspoli, the actor Alan Curtis and Tyrone's stand-in, Mr. Nightingale, who came and went among the chairs, accompanying the most conspicuous guests and bowing from time to time with feminine grace. Everything was perfect. Any producer would have ordered, without doubt, "Action!"
It’s said that Tyrone didn't sleep the entire night. News from his agent [?] had surprised him at the Crespo home, telling him that the marriage would not be civilly valid as he had not finalized his divorce from Annabella, but he knew he had verified it only the following day [?] at 6 p.m. A little later, he found among the bunches of telegrams, one from his gracious ex-wife. Few words: "Good luck, Ty." Ty is a sentimental young man, almost shy; when he is in a confiding mood he may say terrible thing about the people that pester him, but as a professional he must bear them. He longs not to be an actor anymore, to live without the madness that greet him and the straps and buttons of the jacket. [literal translation, not sure of the exact meaning in English… straitjacket maybe?] "Linda is not planning to be an actress," he has explicitly stated, "she will only be Mrs. Power."
When Tyrone saw her for the first time, Linda Christian was dressed in an Indian costume, in order to recite two or three lines in Green Dolphin Street, and Lana Turner, the movie's lead and Tyrone's lover, introduced her during a break in the work. They saw each other again at a party held at the Bel Air Hotel in Hollywood, then, for many months, they lost sight of each other. They met again in Italy. In November 1947, during breakfast [or lunch], the director of MGM's Italian office said to Linda, “You know who is in Rome? Tyrone Power." The girl wasn't particularily impressed, but her sister Ariadna insisted suddenly, "Why don’t we call him? I want his autograph." Almost unwillingly Linda telephoned Ty, "Do you remember me?" Tyrone made some effort to remember the little Hollywood type. "We're annoying you so much," said Linda and he broke out laughing, "And you?" They arranged immediately a meeting at the bar and the following day they saw each other at lunch. Linda, who had studied for three years at the Collegio di Poggio Imperiale and who knew Italian well enough, proposed to Ty that she become his teacher. He agreed with pleasure because – he would later say – Linda resembled a little Annabella, who had divorced him a few months earlier. But Lana was then in his heart and he bought for her the marvelous presents he had bought during his European travels.
Lana abandoned him, because Tyrone was becoming intensely interested in the girl from Green Dolphin Street. He returned to America to salvage the insalvageable, but the blonde actress was already about to marry a rich industrialist. Bitter, disillusioned, he returned to Europe and Linda appeared to him a sympathetic surrogate for Lana and Annabella, tangible proof that his his lover’s star had not set. Linda thus entered Ty's life and took possession of him, as if he were a weak and spoiled boy.
The real celebrity at the event that concluded at the altar of Saint Francesca Romana was not the famous actor Tyrone Power, but the girl Linda Christian, born Rosa Blanca Welter. Linda had all the qualities to capture men. She was born in Mexico, of a Dutch father, had lived in Palestine when Mr. Welter was agent for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, had traveled the world from Swizerland to South America, and finally ended up in Italy, where she had completed her education in a school attended by the children of kings and princes. She had studied medicine, had been an assistant in a plastic surgery clinic, had modeled in a fashion house. She spoke seven languages, Spanish, Italian, French, English, German, Dutch and Arabic, and sang with a sweet and agreeable voice in any of these languages. She is not an actress and perhaps never will be. She has had bit parts without making any impression in Holiday in Mexico, Tamerlane the Judge, Tarzan and the Mermaids; [not sure about the rest of this sentence]. It seems that Henry King gave her the role of Angela in the film Prince of Foxes, but to her great annoyance, he substituted Marina Berti for her at the last moment.
[This is where it gets really nasty..]
She obtained her most resounding success when a semi-pornographic magazine was seized, where, among the other women, was her photograph, in a lowcut outfit; a caption described her as a Hollywood type of “Grecian beauty.” A few days later she appeared a movie premiere at a Roman cinema wearing jewels and furs worth five million and the magazines reminded readers that five lovers had committed suicide with her name on their lips. The same night the house detective of the Excelsior Hotel discovered a youth from Roman high society trying to jump over the window sill of Linda’s room and only the youth's extremely important papa succeeded in preventing a scandal.
Although she doesn't have a direct relationship with the Venus de Milo, Linda Christian is certainly the type. She combines the unscrupulous American with the Latin shy malice. She is beautiful, not a showy beauty, but simple, attractive, mischevious. Tyrone couldn’t help but bite into this beauty. It is rumored that he has entrusted his earnings to her and that he must go to her day after day for spending money, like a little bourgeous husband.
With Ty she uses all the arts that characterize the dominating female. At times very sweet, sugary, she calls him "darling;" and she is even more enchanting when she speaks Italian, with her Spanish accent, with a little drawl. She resolves bickering with a knowing caress, with a smile that has all the trappings of a great affection. At times she plays the jealous wife: there’s a story about a scene in the house of Countess Dentice di Frasso, and smirks at the suspicious attention with which she followed the love scene between Tyrone and Marina Berti during the shoot of Prince of Foxes. At times she is vexing, capable of ignoring her future husband all evening and dancing the samba, rhumba and...