Impertinent Interview—Rory and Lita Calhoun
“WHAT ABOUT the double life you lead?” I asked Rory Calhoun. “Does your wife approve?”
“Approve? She helps me lead it! Matter of fact, we’ve been leading a double life together ever since we were married seven years ago.
“When Lita and I were married on August 29, 1948, we faced the same problem all actors face: How to combine a career with marriage. Except that ours was even tougher. Lita, you see, was a night-club singer and dancer. I was a movie actor—mostly in Westerns. Our hours were completely different: I would be getting up when she was retiring and when it was time for her to go to work I was ready to hit the hay.”
I asked Rory how they worked out the big problem—separation.
“Most of the credit must go to Lita,” he said. “This girl is terrific. Show business is in her blood just as it is in mine, but she made up her mind when we were married that being Mrs. Rory Calhoun was to her much more important than being the famous Lita Baron, night-club star. So she decided that unless I am busy making a movie or unless I can accompany her, out-of-town engagements are out. And if I’m working, this gal of mine won’t accept a booking for longer than two weeks at a stretch. When we are apart, we spend most of our free time talking to each other over the long-distance telephone!”
I recalled Lita’s successful Las Vegas and New York singing engagements while Rory was on location in Wyoming, and all the good-natured banter of friends about how she and her handsome husband chattered away their earnings. It was immediately after the completion of this film Rory flew East to meet his wife and took her up to Canada for a fishing trip.
Lita knew nothing about sports when she first met Rory. But.she did know if their marriage was to be happy she would have to develop an interest in the fishing, skiing, archery and golf which play such an important part in Rory’s off-screen life.
“Lita didn’t enjoy any of it at first,” Rory recalled, “but she was game and kept trying. Now she has a whale of a time—and she’s good, too! I remember that at David Selznick’s Arrowhead lodge I gave Lita a gun and taught her how to aim at a sycamore leaf. I told her not to shoot till she sighted the middle of the leaf. It was simple for her. She has the wonderful coordination of a dancer. She took six shots and hit it dead center.
“My pal Guy Madison and I took her fishing on the Colorado River and she caught her first fish. In fact, it got” to the point where Guy manned the boat, Lita caught all the fish and I did nothing but take the fish off her line!”
Seven happy years of married life—in Hollywood! Rory and Lita Calhoun’s double life together is paying off.
—BY MIKE CONNOLLY
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE DECEMBER 1955