Shelley Winters had one of the longest and most varied of film careers. She could play a sweet, innocent or a ….(your description here).
A former model, she had a spicy offscreen love life that was extraordinarily busy, even by Hollywood standards. There was Ronald Coleman, Lawrence Tierney and Errol Flynn. Don’t forget the inevitable Howard Hughes. And that’s just the prelude.
Despite the shrill, overweight yenta image she projected late in her career, Winters was early on in her time sexual catnip drawing some of the most famous males cats in classic Hollywood.
We know this because Winters told us so in her autobiography, Shelley Also Known As Shirley, published in 1980 and taking us from her St. Louis beginnings as Shirley Schrift through her disastrous second marriage to Italian actor Vittorio Gassman.
Over the course of a very long career — comprising more than a 100 movie and TV titles (including a stint on tv’s Roseanne as “Nana Mary”) from the early Forties through 1999, seven years before she died at age 86 — she acquired several husbands. And there were many lovers.
Herewith a Quiz about all this. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: Which of the following actors were NOT among Winters’ many off-screen paramours? a) Ernest Borgnine; b) James Mason; c) William Holden and d) Marlon Brando.
2) Question: Which two of the following actors WERE among the reasonably select group of Winters lovers? a) Nelson Eddy; b) Burt Lancaster; c) Burt Lahr; or d) James Cagney.
3) Question: Winters fell in love and had a lengthy affair with with Alan Ladd, an early leading man despite his unusually diminutive stature? a) True; or b) False?
4) Question: During the 1950’s, Winters was professionally and personally very close to a leading actor who turned out to be bi-sexual. Who is he? a) Farley Granger; b) John Dall; c) Tyrone Power; or d) Danny Kaye.
5) Question: Exactly how many husbands did Winters marry during her lifetime? a) six; b) two; c) five; or d) four.