Anita Ekberg’s Unusual Ideas On Love And Marriage
ANITA’S PRE-MARITAL ANTICS
We couldn’t believe our ears when we heard what she had to say.
MODERN SCREEN finds Miss Ekberg’s views at once shocking and stimulating. We disagree with what she says, but are presenting her controversial notions to you, unexpurgated, in Anita’s own words, so that you can make up your own mind about them.
Independent and unorthodox Anita delivered her latest unconventional opinions about love just a few weeks before her marriage, when she announced that “It’s nobody’s business but my own if I had twelve affairs up until the day I’m married.” Until this unusual attitude, Anita was amazed at Hollywood’s reaction to her friendship with Michael Rennie in the last weeks before her marriage to Anthony Steel. To her it seemed laughable that anyone paid any special attention to the quiet dinners for two they had. She also saw no reason why anyone should question the propriety of Michael visiting her at home. However Rennie was captivated, Hollywood was gossiping, and we think Anita was secretly pleased by it all.
Her story on Rennie is this: “I met Michael two years ago. I’d always had a crush on him since I saw him in The Day The Earth Stood Still. He’s so handsome, so smart. I think if I’d really gotten to know him before I met and fell in love with Tony, something interesting between us might have developed . . . But I never actually knew him until I came on the Paramount lot. I was in Hollywood Or Bust; he was in The Loves Of Omar Khayyam. He came on the set to visit me. You know how people can embrace and kiss on a movie set. It was so with us, but before you know it, some extras are calling columnists.” (Again we wonder if Anita was displeased). “They called me and I said, ‘Ridiculous. We are simply friends.’ Can’t people be friends without everyone making something out of it? Why can’t I admire and like someone else just because I am engaged to be married?”
Anita has been linked romantically with many men from Ty Power to Frank Sinatra. But she insists she had only one previous serious love affair before Steel—and that broke up for the daffiest reason!
For more than a year Anita and the gentleman dated steadily. According to Anita, he refused to buy her a $12,000 mink coat which she believed she badly needed to further her career.
“It wasn’t as if he didn’t have the money,” Anita said petulantly. “He has lots of money. The furrier even promised to let me have the coat for less than half price just for the promotion he would get from my wearing it. But he wouldn’t buy it. In other ways he was a gracious, charming host. But not when it came to the coat.
I said I would make the money up to him, pay it all back. No, I didn’t get the coat, It burned me up. You should be able to depend on someone who is supposed to love you.
After I broke up with him, he a calling me out here from New York every day, right up until the time to go to Italy. Now he sees his mistake. He’s willing to buy me not only the coat but anything else. But it’s too late.
It will be some other girl who will benefit by my experience with him in the future. When she asks him for a fur coat, he will not be so reluctant to give it to her.
In the meantime, I shall be divinely happy as Mrs. Steel.”
ON LOVING ANTHONY STEEL
“I fell in love with Tony the night I met him. I’d seen him in English pictures in Sweden. Oh God, he’s handsome.
I was winding up work on Zarak with Victor Mature and Michael Wilding in London. The publicity man on the picture called me up. He said that Mr. Steel (whom he knew) wanted very much for me to go to a premiére with him in three weeks.
‘I do not go on blind dates. Tell him no’, I said.
Instead, he connived with the publicist and the night of the premiére I was invited to an informal little party in the Savoy Hotel. I had arrived and was in the middle of my first drink when in he walked, wearing a tuxedo.
‘Oh, oh,’ I thought. ‘What’s this.’
I soon found out. After introductions and a couple of drinks together, I went to the premiére with him.
I liked what I met and saw. He was very sweet at the picture. It was The Conqueror. He grabbed my hand through half of the picture. Afterwards, we went to one night club after another. He didn’t bring me home until four. By then I was so much in love.
We saw each other constantly after that. We were always together, everywhere, even when I was working at the studio.
Anthony flew home with me to Malmo, Sweden to meet my. parents and brothers and sisters. My visit, my first in four years, was cut short after two days when I was called back to London for retakes.
Then I returned to Hollywood to start Back From Eternity at RKO. Anthony followed in ten days. He stayed as long as he could. Before he left he proposed and I accepted. Then he flew to Italy to begin his own picture. It was there that I joined him for the wedding when my own pictures were finished.
We have our future pretty well blue-printed. It calls for a Hollywood home for now. Eventually we may live in Italy because we both love it there.
To me, marriage is more than just the physical, the mutual attractiveness to each other. I think it would be pretty poor if Tony married me for only my physical appeal. There must be a meeting of the minds. Tony does not act like an actor when he is away from his work. When we’re together, we never talk about acting. We talk about everything else. Travel, life, people.”
ON KEEPING TONY SATISFIED
“After six months, the honeymoon is probably over. We may go to a party. Perhaps my husband is attracted to another beautiful girl. Let him flirt. I don’t care.
I would want Tony to appear interesting to other women. It was his attractiveness that first drew me to him. I wouldn’t want him to lose it.
If he really loves me, then I can be very sure of him. He may go around the corner or out on the porch and neck with her. But that’s about it.
You try and lock him away from others and you remove the fascination that made him attractive to you in the first place.
If Tony had to be away from me many months where there were no other women, I could understand if he saw a lot of his leading lady. It would not mean they were in love or that Tony did not love me anymore.
In my opinion, most American women hold on too tightly to their husbands.
A wife has no reason to take her husband’s freedom away from him. And he has no reason to answer to her for his freedom. If he loves her, he will be back. His time is not hers to take away from him.
Here husbands have to have permission to go out of the house. Why should they? And why should they have to explain where they are going? It’s none of the wife’s business where they are going.
If you give a husband a long rope, he will hang himself sooner or later, if that is his intent. Otherwise, he will come back of his own accord. Whereas, if you hold the leash too tightly, he will cut the rope.”
ON LIKING OTHER MEN
“Just because I am marrying him does not mean that I shall never look at another man again. Why should all your attraction for the opposite sex be over when you are engaged or married?
I have an admiration for all men. Like that Cary Grant. I adore him. If that admiration dies, you might as well kill yourself.
In fact, I don’t see why your husband would want you if you did not appear attractive in the eyes of other men or if you did not note that other men were also attractive.
I hate anyone trying to tell me I can’t do this, I can’t do that.”
It is a quote. MODERN SCREEN MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 1956