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I Know The Taste Of Love, Says Tuesday Weld . . .

Tuesday Weld is teetering on the brink of marriage.

The irrepressible, unpredictable Tu Tu is in a dizzy spin over muscular six-foot Gary Lockwood. He’s a soft-talking but no-nonsense twenty-four-year-old, a former UCLA football star who got kicked out of college for a locker room fist fight which sent an offending teammate to the hospital.

“It’s his manliness!” Tuesday says when she tries to pinpoint what she likes most about the strapping, brown-eyed, brown-haired erstwhile campus hell raiser who induced her, without a whimper of protest, to forsake all other boy friends—including Elvis Presley!

Tuesday hasn’t come right out and said that she will marry Gary—but she has come awfully close. When she broke her silence on the romance to give me an exclusive interview, she repeatedly, almost coyly, dangled the possibility of wedlock. She didn’t even rule out the chance that she might celebrate turning eighteen by marrying Gary. She deliberately left that door wide open by saying teasingly, “One never knows.”

Tuesday, the non-committal, never was more committal. I pointed out that it was well known she and Gary weren’t dating others.

“And that’s rare!” she agreed with alacrity. “But I wouldn’t say going steady,” she added quickly, “because I don’t like to call it going steady. Going steady is too much of a meaningless thing. People go steady whether they like each other or not. I’d rather say that we’re in love! If you’re going steady, you get someone’s ring. If you get someone’s love, that means a lot more.”

It was the first time Tuesday ever said right out she was in love with anyone.

“It wasn’t love at first sight,” she said, almost blushing. “We fell in love gradually.” They met making “Wild in the Country,” where he had a minor role and she held hands, between takes with Elvis Presley. Gary was dating someone else in the cast—Joan Crawford’s daughter, Christina.

Anyway, nobody’d have picked him for Tuesday. He’s not hip, flip or flashy. True, he’s nice-looking, but not the type to send a teenager head over heels. One executive at 20th described him as “nice but plain.”

Tuesday began by warming to Gary’s smile—then gradually she flipped completely. By the time they were playing the Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray roles in the pilot film of “Bus Stop,” their lovemaking curled the asbestos. But they pretended this was pure acting talent, not love. They were keeping their romance under wraps.

When they dated—in offbeat places where Tuesday mightn’t be recognized—Gary wouldn’t even say her name out loud—in case anybody might overhear. It killed him. He loves the sound of “Tuesday.” And they both love the beach, so they’d get their sand and sun—and privacy—at the oceanside homes of Gary’s friends from his UCLA days. They hid out at Malibu or Venice, at Playa Del Rey or Portuguese Bend—and at his mother’s summer place in Lido.

“That way you can always run up and get a cold Coke out of the ice box,” Gary explains, “and there aren’t a lot of people to bother you.”

Nor curious onlookers to ogle when he held Tuesday in his arms, when he chased her into the surf, dunked her, and they came up laughing breathlessly and dissolved their laughter into an even more breathless kiss.

All these exciting months of love’s discovery, Hollywood had no idea that Tuesday and Gary had a four month head start on their romance. When she went into “Bachelor Flat” with her old boy friend, Richard Beymer, they played some hair-raising smooching scenes on the windy sands of Santa Monica beach. People began asking, would this new proximity rekindle the old flame? The rumors made a fine smokescreen for Tuesday and Gary. Until someone asked Dick right out—were he and Tuesday dating again?

“Gee no,” he said in surprise. “I thought everybody knew she goes steady with Gary Lockwood.”

If that wasn’t clue enough, Gary took to dropping in on the set, late afternoons. . . . And one day Tuesday played a difficult emotional scene with Dick, which didn’t go well on the first take. But the next time, she was so on fire that everyone applauded. When Gary heard about it, he beamed.

“Well,” he said happily,” I spent all Sunday rehearsing it with her.” Came the end-of-picture staff party, and Gary was the only outsider present. He and Tuesday shared a table with director Frank Tashlin and English actor Terry Thomas. But the two men found it so hard to get in on the conversation that they finally gave up and joined other people. The lovebirds sat on, unaware it wasn’t a party for two.

After a while you begin to catch on—they’re in love.

To Tuesday, Gary was like no other boy she had known—and she had known some. He was a take-charge guy without a chip on his shoulder. The taming of Tuesday Weld was a fairly painless process. She found herself catering to him without realizing it—and not resenting it when she did realize it. She spurned other dates—not because he asked, but because she preferred to be with him. She welcomed the novelty of a man who stood on his own feet, instead of falling at hers.

“It’s kind of hard to describe,” Tuesday told me, trying to locate the core of his manliness. “It has nothing to do with his big football muscles. You respect him for himself. A lot of guys will let you have too much latitude, let you have a lot of string. Let’s say that Gary’s string is very taut. He won’t stand for any nonsense.”

He’s not the type to beg

Like that time at the beach when Gary got moody, and Tuesday got mad and zoomed off.

“You just want to walk away like that?” Gary asked evenly. There was no answer. Tuesday kept walking.

Gary was not one to beg . . . or to crawl. If he had, she probably would not have come back.

“I let her go, figuring she knows the way I think,” Gary realls. “Later she came back and we talked. But we seldom have those differences. Sure we have minds of our own, we’re both independent as hell. And I have a temper that flares up at the drop of a hat. But we don’t play that game of testing to see who’s stronger. We both know it doesn’t work. And she understands me, she accepts me as I am.”

And he doesn’t try to change her. He likes her as she is—complex, unpredictable, mercurial and zany. And under it all—vulnerable.

When it’s Tuesday’s turn to have her moods, Gary doesn’t crawl off in a corner somewhere and wish he were dead. Tuesday made this discovery one afternoon at a friend’s beach house in Malibu. She became depressed and sulky and withdrawn. But Gary wasn’t scared off.

“I know you feel bad—and there’s nothing I can do,” he said, tilting her chin toward him under the gentle pressure of his cupped hand. “But either you’re going to sit here and mope, and we’ll have a terrible time, or you’re going to smile and forget it.”

Behind his grin was a tone that said he meant business. Tuesday studied him quizzically, petulance beginning to desert her.

“Life’s too short to have a terrible time,” Gary said pointedly.

She held him in her gaze for a long moment, turning it over in her mind. Then she bent down, sprayed a handful of sand at him, burst out laughing and cried, “Bet I beat you to the water!”

“That’s kind of our motto—life’s too short to have a terrible time,” Gary explains. “Anytime one of us gets down—boom, the other says it. Then we laugh, and that’s it.”

Nothing like this before!

If nothing like Gary ever happened to Tuesday before, it’s no less true of him. He dazedly admits she’s the only girl he’s known in the last five years whom he wanted to see again after three dates.

“I’m a floater,” he admits. “I can be attached for a couple of weeks and—boom! a girl does something wrong, she complains about my profane language or something, and we’ve had it!” He added, with amazement, “I never had a rapport with a woman like I have now with Tuesday.”

Could it be because she revels in his manliness, while the others felt threatened by it?

Whatever it is—Tuesday has fallen purring captive. She has become hopelessly enthralled by Gary’s masterful refusal to be upstaged by her. He is neither bothered nor dazzled by her overpowering public image. His people—particularly his old college buddies—have become her people. That’s an old social custom and she thrives on it.

“We don’t go where I think someone will be so happy to see Tuesday,” Gary says frankly. “I want them to be happy to see me. They open up to her because she’s with me. It works—she’s become friends with two or three couples—my buddies and their wives—and every three, four weeks we’ll all do something together.”

If this adds up to Gary being the bossy type, it equates equally to Tuesday being, of all things, the type that likes to be bossed. At least as long as it’s Gary who’s doing the bossing.

“We get along so well,” he says contentedly. “We laugh and giggle over silly things that seem ludicrous to others. We’ll be sitting with some people, talking, and she’ll look over and say, “Ding, ding, and I’ll make a face and go, ‘Ahhh, ahhh!’ and they look and say ‘What’s going on?’ ”

What’s going on is chemistry. Tuesday and Gary fracture each other in mysterious and kookie languages known only to two previously untamed young lovers.

They won’t allow pretense to rear its stuffy head. The first time Tuesday danced with Gary was when friends came over to his house and someone turned on the hi-fi.

They glided, cheek-to-cheek, around the room, and Gary said, “I don’t dance very well.”

“You’re right,” Tuesday agreed.

Months later he took her to the opening of his uncle’s restaurant, the Doric Inn, in San Fernando Valley. Gary was in a particularly gay mood that night. A bunch of the guests adjourned to his one-bedroom house in Hollywood, and they celebrated until two in the morning. That night he felt like dancing, and he was very light and graceful on his feet.

Out of a blue sky, as if there had been no time lapse, Tuesday said, “You’re wrong. You dance very well.”

Romance in the open

Now that their romance is out in the open, they’re often seen riding in Tuesday’s silver Thunderbird. The top is down, and Wolf, her majestic white German shepherd dog, stands guard in the back seat. Gary is at the wheel. Tuesday, wearing sun glasses, her hair gathered up in a lavender babushka, turns attentively to hear his every word . . . Or she goes to visit him on the set of “Follow the Sun,” the much ballyhooed new TV series in which he shares top billing with Barry Coe when it bows this fall over ABC. The obscure newcomer for whom Tuesday flipped has become one of 20th’s hottest new prospects for stardom—all thanks to the campus fight that stumbled him into acting.

“I didn’t start the fight,” Gary says simply, “but I wouldn’t back down before the disciplinary council, because I thought I was right. Well, they held that no student should hurt another enough to send him to the hospital for a couple of weeks—whatever the provocation.”

And so John Yurosek—son of a former onion farmer who now operates a successful motel and restaurant —went job hunting. His brawn got him on as a movie stunt man. While he was doubling for Tony Perkins in basketball sequences of “Tall Story,” Joshua Logan took a liking to him and gave him a part. Basketball player. Russian. Logan also gave him the use of his middle name—Lockwood. From then on he’s moved up and up. But long before that, Tuesday fell in love with the boy, not the credits.

I’ve seen Tuesday go through all her romances since she was a fourteen-year-old femme fatale in the making. There is something different about her feeling for Gary Lockwood. She passed up an opportunity for a long overdue vacation so she could be with him. When he had to go to Honolulu for background shooting on the “Sun” series, she drove him to the airport. They held long conversations on the overseas phone. And when his plane touched down, ten days later, they ran towards each other, threw their arms around each other, smothered one another with kisses—and picked up the conversation right where they left off on the last phone call.

Tuesday’s attractive widowed mother—the wise, watchful and sometimes nervously permissive Jo Aileen Weld—concedes that what Tuesday feels for Gary she has never felt for any other boy.

Or as she puts it—“Sure it’s the real thing. It is every time.”

Asked whether this wasn’t different, she said smiling, “Oh I think everyone is different. Or it wouldn’t be interesting.”

But with Gary wasn’t it very different?

“Well,” she hedged, smiling, “Tuesday has already known quite a variety of boys. That’s the way to do it—so many girls go steady with one boy for years, and then break off, and where are they? They haven’t learned a thing. They’ve only stunted their experience.

“Of course,” she added approvingly, “that can’t be said about Tuesday. And there is such a thing as falling in love eventually. Then the various people you’ve known throughout life can only help you.”

Did Mrs. Weld’s remarks presage a marriage in the offing? In this instance she is being even more cagey than her cagey daughter. For Tuesday has admitted openly that she is in love with Gary. And has agreed that love like theirs could lead to matrimony.

Or as she murmurs, with a tantalizing smile, “Who knows?”



Tuesday is in “Bachelor Flat” for 20th. Gary’s in “Follow the Sun,” ABC-TV, Sundays, 7:30 P.M. EDT.



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