Hello, everybody.  Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, here to catch up with our email.  It’s a great pleasure to hear from you, our very knowledgeable readers, who always keep us on our toes.

First up is Vincent, who weighs in about the time-honored subject of how many movie actresses Howard Hughes bedded.

We covered some of this in our Howard Hughes: The World’s Greatest Womanizer (Nov. 23), but Vincent has an interesting addition.  She was a superb and very sexy comedienne (her last movie was the 1942 classic, To Be Or Not To Be) and left Clark Gable a widower.

Writes Vincent: Not many are aware of it, but apparently one of Hughes’ bedroom conquests was Carole Lombard, around 1929; in fact, it’s believed she lost her virginity to him. In “Screwball,” Lombard biographer Larry Swindell wrote as such, but had to dance around it a bit, describing Hughes but not mentioning him by name. (“Screwball” was issued in the fall of 1975, about half a year before Hughes’ passing, and I’m guessing the publisher, remembering the Clifford Irving hoax of a few years earlier, didn’t want to take any chances.)

For more on the Lombard-Hughes relationship, go to http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/11206.html and http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/57165.html.

In response to the second of our blogs about classic movie ‘cougars’ (women who bed and/or marry younger men), specifically Joan Crawford’s fling with a teenage Jackie Cooper (Was Joan Crawford A Cougar? Nov. 18), we received this comment from Page:

I enjoyed your post and observations. I don’t think I’ll pass judgment though since my fiancee is almost 11 yrs younger than I am. : )   I always assumed Joan (Crawford’s) husbands were around her own age but I suspect her affairs were with much younger men, like Lana Turner’s for example. The stars did have their fun.

That they did, Page.

Also weighing in on the subject of older women-younger men pairings was our pal Mark, who recalled that actor Robert Wolders – the ‘younger man’ who was Merle Oberon’s last husband, and who subsequently bedded Audrey Hepburn until she died – once appeared as the ski instructor who drew the attentions of Mary on an episode of tv’s The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

We asked Mark if Mary Richard’s feelings for Wolders’ character were strictly physical. Here’s his response:

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the episode, but, from what I remember of it, the answer is: “Yes”…and “No”:

As her friends all comment on how good looking and allegedly “superficial” the Wolders’ character is, “Mary” (who admits to neighbor Phyllis Lindstrom that she was the one who “picked Wolders up” when she saw him in the sporting good department of her local department store) begins to worry that the only reason she’s dating him is because he’s so attractive. (Flaky Phyllis “helpfully” points out that the only thing the two could have in common is a physical attraction, since Wolders is a skiing instructor and Mary hates skiing.)

After some reflection, Mary decides to end the relationship and, at dinner that evening asks Wolders : “What would you say if I told you the reason I was going out with you is because you’re so attractive?”

Wolders’ response (“So what? That’s why I’m going out with you.”) momentarily floors and delights Mary, but she quickly gets back on point by asking him whether that makes their relationship, superficial…

Wolders denies they have a superficial relationship, because, as he says, “I really like you, Mary.” Mary confesses that she “really likes” Wolders, too, He asks, “So what’s the problem?” and, in a classic MTM line she replies : “D****d if I know!” and they continue their dinner date.

On the other hand, like so many of “Mary Richards’ ” dates, I don’t think the Wolders character ever makes another appearance on MTM, so maybe their relationship was too superficial to last? Thanks, Mark.

From Taci, this public service in response to our Dec. 2 Why Old Movie Fashions Really Do Matter blog, in which we discussed Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding outfits.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a link to Taylor’s »real life« wedding gowns:

http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20475651_20475707_20927504,00.html(though the pictures are mostly in black and white which is a shame, because the yellow dress for 1st try with Burton looks gorgeous in color – see herehttp://www.thewellappointedcatwalk.com/2011/03/style-icon-elizabeth-taylor.html – must be that a color pictures says even more, say 2000 words?)

Thanks all and folks, keep those cards and letters coming. 

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