Did you remember the star who once replaced Mario Lanza and Marlon Brando?
Yup, that’s our man Edmund Purdom embracing his third and most famous wife, Linda Christian, in happier days. The two began a steamy affair WHILE she was married to Tyrone Power. (What did Edmund have that Ty didn’t?)
Linda and Ty divorced in 1956 (they had two daughters, Romina and Taryn). Christian blamed Power’s infidelities while he claimed that she had became much too friendly with Purdom — Christian’s second and last husband for all of 10 months (March 1962 to January 1963). Like his career, their union was short and bittersweet.
Purdom’s busy life presented many distractions including a brawl between Christian and the actor’s second wife, presumably over money the actor was not earning. Purdom married for the final time in 2000, and the union stuck. He finished out his acting career in Italy ; he passed away in Rome in 2009.
OK, on the answer to our Edmund Purdom Quiz:
1) Question: Purdom was for a time known as ‘the replacement star’ because he more than once took over for other leading actors in big pictures. Who did he replace in the 1954 production of The Student Prince? a) Bing Crosby; b) Errol Flynn; c) Tyrone Power; or d) Mario Lanza.
Answer: d) Mario Lanza, who was dropped from the production for losing the battle of the bulge, among other problems. However, his voice was used on the film’s soundtrack.
2) Question: Who did Purdom replace in perhaps his most famous film role as The Egyptian? a) John Derek; b) John Cassavetes; c) Cameron Mitchell; or d) Marlon Brando.
Answer: d) Marlon Brando, who turned down the leading part to play Napoleon 1954’s Desiree.
3) Question: Purdom did not receive a warm reception in Hollywood initially, and his auditions at which of these studios went over like a wet blanket? a) MGM; b) Universal; c) Warner Bros.; or d) 20th Century Fox.
Answer: All except for (a) MGM, at least initially. A role in the studio’s 1953’s Titanic brought Purdom to the attention of studio brass.
4) Question: Purdom’s tangled personal life led to multiple marriages. Who was the most famous of his four spouses, and what has this to do with Tyrone Power? (Hint: She was a notorious playgirl.)
Answer: As noted above, she’s Linda Christian, a stylish woman who got around in her day.
5) Question: Before he landed a big studio contract in Hollywood, Purdom claimed that despite his glittering stage resume he was dead broke and couldn’t afford to go back to his native England. a) True; or b) False.
Answer: a) True, and we believe him. Purdom did not have an easy time of breaking into Hollywood. But break he did, finally.
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