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Close Harmony—Cyd Charisse & Tony Martin

Whether Cyd Charisse danced her way into Tony Martin’s life, or Tony sang his way into Cyd’s heart is of little consequence now. The important fact is that theirs is one of the few marriages in show business where the harmony and rhythm have gone on uninterruptedly.

This is not just one opinion of the happy personal life of the Tony Martins, but something that all Hollywood knows to be true. And here are some of the facts:

Says Cyd: “I am one of the luckiest of all women, because I’m married to a man who constantly demonstrates that I am always on his mind. A shopping addict from way hack, Tony feels that any day that he can’t bring something home to please me is a day lost.”

Says Tony: “I am one of the happiest of all husbands, because I’m married to an appreciative wife. Many men are content to remember anniversaries with flowers, a birthday with a suitable gift—but it’s much more exciting to do something about the days in between.”

The success of the Tony Martin-Cyd Charisse marriage, many Hollywoodites will tell you, is due to the thoughtfulness and generosity that exist between the two of them in emphasizing how much they think of one another. In the matter of day-in and day-out gifts, Tony is still the wooer, and Cyd, as a grateful and warm recipient, is still the wooed.

Not so long ago a reporter asked Tony, 3000 miles away on a singing appearance, what he did to keep the home fires burning. “I’m never anywhere but at the end of a long distance wire,” he grinned, “and Cyd knows where to find, me at every hour of the day and night. But she doesn’t have to look, because I grab the phone first.”

What makes Cyd Charisse so happy today is the utter completeness of Tony’s attention and devotion. He has three loves: his wife, his children, his home. He is often engaged in doing something for one—no matter how far away he is—more frequently for all three members of the Martin family.

In their handsome, sprawling ten-room California-Colonial style house, there’s a rich, overflowing evidence of a husband’s attentive appreciation of the woman he loves:

A Degas that Tony bought because it was painted in all the warm, sultry colors of Cyd herself; a handsome dining room set bought by Tony because he thought Cyd was working too hard in finishing the house they had bought; and loads of records that don’t particularly excite him but that he acquired because he thought they would thrill Cyd.

“Doing over a house, or adding to a feminine wardrobe is usually purely the woman’s job,” says Cyd, “but not at the Martin house. Tony is always part of everything, and he is just as thrilled at contributing a dozen unusual ash trays as getting himself a new suit. And he can pick a hat for me to wear with the same success that he picks a song hit to sing.”

Today, Cyd Charisse, with a happy married life to insure and inspire her, is making good strides as an actress too. Once a dancer with the Ballet Russe, Cyd had a slow start in the movies. She was beautiful, bewitching, but there was something lacking. She was still primarily the ballerina. And Hollywood had yet to see what else she had on the ball. Cyd had not yet proved to her producers she was star material.

In eighteen movies in ten years, from “Something To Shout About” to “The Band Wagon” and “Brigadoon,” Cyd has acquitted herself with merit. Tony, meanwhile, was climbing quicker and higher than ever before. But no studio was fighting for Cyd’s services. It is in the last year that Cyd Charisse is demonstrating that she can be a good actress, too. Certainly no one who saw Cyd in her dynamic role in “The Band Wagon” can have any doubts she faces an exciting future.

To a close friend one day, Tony said, “It won’t break Cyd’s heart if she never wins an Academy Award. She would rather have a complete life than be a success in one department. That’s probably why she is without temperament. She studies hard, is easy to work with, and her ambition is well proportioned. She neither wants nor asks too much of one thing.”

Why Cyd Charisse has proved such an ideal wife for Tony Martin is easy to understand. No doubt the problems she faced in her early marriage to her dance teacher, Nico Charisse, taught her much. Her handling of her second, successful union shows that she has gained in maturity and understanding without having any trace of bitter memories.

When Cyd toured in the Ballet Russe there was no time to see the world outside. It was traveling, rehearsals, performances all the time. But once married to Tony, and on their European honeymoon, Cyd had good opportunity to see something of the world outside of show business and the strict ballet regime.

In Hollywood, they manage to live as quietly as any two stars can. True, they go to night clubs and dance, but the know-it-alls, who gaze on a movie marriage and expect the worst, are dumbfounded. They don’t throw drinks at one another, are never seen having a spat, and neither ever dates someone else when the other is away.

Chances are it will always be that way, and the Tony Martin-Cyd Charisse marriage may well go down in Hollywood history as one of the best matched ones of all. The very fact that their union hasn’t the headline excitement or punches or publicity stunts of others may well make it dull for everyone but themselves.

Says Cyd, meant for one another when we found out that. we disliked Roquefort cheese, naps, sardines and hot baths.”

Says Tony, “It couldn’t fail when I also discovered that, like Cyd, I enjoy black coffee, shows, caviar and French poodles—and that, together, we’d always find time to eat a hot dog.”

In less humorous vein, Mrs. Tony Martin will acknowledge that she is one of the happiest married women in Hollywood today because her husband works hard at keeping it that way.

They both love Nicky Charisse, now twelve (Cyd’s son by her former marriage), Tony Martin, Jr., going on five; the lovely home they planned together; the number of friends they have in common; and being together as often and as long as they can.

And Mrs. Tony Martin sums it all up rather conclusively when she says, fervently, “It should have been Tony right from the beginning.”





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