Well, it turns out that at least some of you know a lot about Tyrone Power. We also suspect a lot more of you do but just aren’t saying.
In any case, lets get to the answers to our TP Quix:
1) Question: Power began his movie career at this prominent Hollywood studio, and was considered the protege of the studio’s mogul. Identify from the following the studio and its boss: 1) Monogram Pictures, Herbert Yates; 2) MGM, Louis B.Mayer; 3) Warner Bros., Jack Warner; or 4) 20th Century Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck.
1) Answer: 4) Zanuck and Fox. It almost didn’t turn out that way. While viewing the screen test of a 23-year-old Power, then a $60-per-week aspiring stage actor, Zanuck barked: “Take it off. He looks like a monkey.” The actor sported long eyebrows and hair that grew low on his forehead. Zanuck’s then wife, Virginia, made a suggestion: “shave his eyebrows.” They did and the “monkey” was converted into a star. True story.
2) Question: Which of Power’s movies was later remade by Bill Murray? 1) 1936’s Ladies in Love; 2) 1940’s The Mark of Zorro; 3) 1948’s The Luck of the Irish; or 4) 1946’s The Razor’s Edge?
2) Answer: 4) The Razor’s Edge. Yup, hard as it is to believe today, Bill Murray recreated Power’s role, as Larry Darrell, the young man who goes off to find himself, in 1984’s version of the film based on the Somerset Maugham novel. Both Power and Murray were in their thirties when taking on the role. Murray was fresh off the huge Columbia Pictures sci-fi comedy hit, Ghostbusters, and was hot at the time. Columbia couldn’t say “no” to his decision to go in a different direction. Perhaps they should have.
3) Question: Power married three times. His first wife went professionally by just one name. Who was she? 1) Cher; 2) Annabella; 3) Charo; 4) Bjork; or 5) Falconetti.
3) Answer: 2) Annabella. She was seven years older than Power, born in Paris in 1907 as Suzanne Georgette Charpentier. She married three times. Power was her last husband, from 1939 to 1948. It was felt that she qualified for the short list of European actresses who could make Hollywood films, a list that more notably included Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Marlene Dietrich. Although she never achieved comparable fame, Annabella did appear in some 50 titles in Hollywood and Europe. She remained friends with Power after their divorce, and visited him while he was making his final film. She died in her late 80’s, nearly double the years allotted to Power. She’s pictured below with Power and his frequent co-star Loretta Young.
4) Question: In which branch of the military did Power serve in World War II? 1) the Navy as a sailor; 2) Marines as a pilot; 3) Army as an infantryman; 4) or the Coast Guard as a customs inspector?
4) Answer: 2) Marines as a pilot. Power was genuinely courageous, flying in the Pacific Theater including transporting supplies into and the wounded from Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
5) Question: Which of the following did NOT have an affair with Power? 1) Joan Blondell; 2) Judy Garland; 3) Lana Turner (seen in the photo atop this blog) ; 4) Loretta Young?
5) Answer: Certainly 1) Joan Blondell and, we believe, 4) Loretta Young. Some suspect Young may have been involved in the action, but we believe she saved her offscreen hijinks for Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. By the way, Blondell was Power’s costar in his most interesting outing, the 1947 film noir Nightmare Alley.
6) Answer: True. In January of 1949, Power and second wife Linda Christian were married in the Church of Santa Francesca Romana in the Eternal City, not far from the Colosseum. Power’s international fame drew thousands of fans outside the church. The event was fulsomely described as ‘the wedding of the century.’ The newly married couple was even received by Pope Pius XII, who blessed the union. Such grandly launched unions often turn out badly, and this one was no exception. The couple divorced in 1956. (A photo of the happy couple is above.)
7) Question: Who was Power’s second wife (clue, she was an international playgirl) and where did he meet her? 1) Barbara Payton in a Santa Monica bar; 2) Christina Onassis while swimming off the Greek Islands; 3) Linda Christian in a hotel in Europe; or 4) Deborah Ann Smith in New York City.
7) Answer: Ok, ok, we know we just gave away the answer above. But here’s more. In 1948, Power was having an affair with Lana Turner after separating from his first wife Annabella. The actor and international playgirl and sometime actress Linda Christian met in a hotel they just happened to be sharing in Rome. Romantically speaking, Turner suddenly was history.Yes, 3) Linda Christian is correct.
8) Question: How old was Power when he died? 1) 37; 2) 54; 3) 44; or 4) 61?
8) Answer: 3) 44. George Sanders was a Power costar in director King Vidor’s biblical epic, Solomon and Sheba, filmed in Spain and released in 1959. After several strenuous sword-fight scenes with Sanders, Power — who also co-produced the picture — collapsed complaining of pains in his chest and arms. The end came on Nov. 15, 1958, before the movie was completed. Sanders later wrote: (Power) spent his money freely. He had a yacht, a private aeroplane, and gave lavish parties. And women, who are usually more expensive than yachts and aeroplanes, found ways of spending his money when he ran out of ideas. Ty didn’t seem to mind. Perhaps he had some premonition that he did not need to save for his old age.
9) Question: Who was the actor who took over the leading role in Power’s last movie? 1) Yul Brynner; 2) Steve McQueen; 3) George Sanders; or 4) Maximilian Schell?
9) Answer: 1) Yul Brynner.
10) Question: Which actor was considered Power’s closest competition at the beginning of his movie career? 1) William Powell; 2) Mickey Rooney; 3) Robert Taylor; or 4) Ronald Colman?
10) Answer: 3) Robert Taylor. Power was hired as Fox’s answer to MGM’s Taylor (below with, you guessed it, LanaTurner).