The Big Rumor—They’re Married!
Suzanne Pleshette ran her finger along the delicate lace negligee. She held up the lingerie and scrutinized it with great care, peering intently at the material for defects, studying the seams to make sure that they were absolutely perfect.
“You’ll look lovely in that,” the salesgirl commented. “I hope that new husband of yours appreciates the time and trouble you’ve taken to please him on the honeymoon. I hope you don’t mind my asking—but when is the wedding?”
Suzanne stared at the clerk, half-amused, half-puzzled. “New husband? Wedding? Honeymoon? What do you mean?”
Slightly embarrassed, the salesgirl blushed and said, “But you are Suzanne Pleshette, the movie actress, aren’t you?”
Suzanne nodded. “Yes, I am, but I still don’t understand . . .”
“And you are going steady with Troy Donahue, aren’t you?”
Again Suzanne nodded. “Close to steady, but not—’ Suzanne’s pretty face lit up in sudden comprehension. “Oh, now I understand what you’re trying to say. You think that we—Troy and I—are getting married!”
“Well, you must be going to marry somebody,” the salesclerk insisted. “No girl ever took as much care as you do to pick out lingerie unless she was going to get married.”
“Sorry,” said Suzanne, “I guess i m a new first for you. I always take this much time with lingerie.” She added, “I’m just going over to Hawaii to visit Troy.”
To understand Suzanne Pleshette. it is absolutely necessary to accept the fact that she is one of the sexiest, most intelligent and most artfully capricious young actresses to hit Hollywood in a decade.
Her attitude toward love and romance is unfixed. She told me that she was “in a dedication of love” to one man. A few days later her concern for this man might be shown as “Who? . . . Oh, him. There was nothing there, really.”
Suzanne’s dizzying changes in attitudes is not because she doesn’t take love seriously. She does.
But . . . “I am vacillating about these things, I am uncertain about love because I am uncertain. at this time, about myself and about life in general. Let’s look at it this way. Love and life are pretty uncertain about me, too.
“People insist on asking if I love Troy. Of course I do. How can a woman be as close to a man as I’ve been to Troy without loving him in some degree?
“But if you ask do I love Troy enough to marry him, enough to take him in preference to every other man I’ve ever known, or ever will know, you are asking a question I cannot answer. If I do answer, I will either be lying or sounding like a fool.
“One hour from now I might decide that only with Troy can I find happiness, a woman’s happiness. If I act on that at that time, if Troy were to feel the same way, well—we’d elope or make plans— or whatever.
“I know, I know, a girl has to decide, I understand all that. But it’s up to the girl to decide when. My when hasn’t happened yet. I think when it does, I’ll be ready.”
As much as Suzanne hopes for something like this, however, the concensus is, that if love ever really crystallizes between Suzanne and Troy, it will be no slice of cake for either of them.
The experts say no
The reasons for this are simple. Troy and Suzanne are, according to all the “experts,” so “unsuited to each other that to think of them as married is incredible.”
What are the differences between Troy and Suzanne that make it incredible? And why are those exact differences the only things that can really cause the marriage!!!!
Troy Donahue’s personality and character are well known by now. As an actor he has won remarkably quick success with millions of movie goers. He has worked reasonably hard at his profession—although not nearly enough, according to the standards of high Ilama drama critics.
Troy’s background is not wealth. His parents were in a high income bracket, but any suggestion that Troy was reared in opulence is unfounded. But he has never been “poor” nor hungry nor without shoes. He has never known a really great grief nor a truly significant joy in his life.
Some Donahue intimates say that “Old TD just hasn’t ever had a rough time with anything. He gets in scrapes and then just lucks out of them. Look at the Kardell thing. He’s accused of walloping a girl. Doesn’t matter whether he did or didn’t. But with any other actor the stigma of the incident alone would have meant—out-of-the-business. It didn’t even dent Troy’s standing with the public. Today he’s bigger than ever.
“I think he needs a little seasoning, a rough time emotionally with someone to whom he’s genuinely devoted. He’s been with a lot of girls and really liked them. But never devoted. From what I’ve seen, I think that he is devoted to Suzanne. Now here’s a girl who could really give him a bad time, emotionally.”
Recently, while having a talk with Troy, we asked just what was the truth with himself and the vivacious Suzanne.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I honest-to-God don’t know. Sometimes it’s like a dream that every man has of being with the most beautiful girl in the world. Look, in my mind a man can only know, really know, what he is experiencing at the moment.
“The other evening, for example. I hadn’t seen Suzanne for a couple of days. We had a date for 7 P.M. For dinner and then a private party given by one of Suzanne’s friends. The morning of that date I went to work and I knew that it would be a good day for me because, knowing I was going to be with Suzanne that night. put me in a great frame of mind. I guess you could say I was happy. About noon I realized it was now only seven hours away. I was like a kid anticipating Christmas—there I was actually beginning to count the hours. Hell, I’m a grown man, I said to myself. Do adult males do things like this? I’ve never really had this sort of thing happen to me before.
“At about 4 P.M. I became restless. I kept my eye on the watch. And then j someone said we might have to work overtime on the scenes we were doing. Inside I was outraged. How could they do a thing like that to me? Didn’t they know I had a date at 7 P.M.?
“Well, we didn’t work overtime, but I think I would have had a fit if we did.
“At 7 I called for Suzanne. I’m keyed I up. Excited. Expectant. The picture of her has been building up all day. I straighten my tie, check for specks on my jacket, wonder if my hair is combed. How much more of the high school boy can l get?
“So I ring the bell of her apartment and the door opens.
“There she is.
“Lovely, beautiful. smiling. eyes aglow. At a moment like that, all I can say is that I felt weightless, heady, giddy, joy-sick, happy. Every damn thing in the world was right because Suzanne was standing there in the doorway just as I had hoped she would.
“Is it any wonder, then, that for me, that evening, there just wasn’t any other woman in the world but Suzanne?”
Was it that way every time Troy has met Suzanne?
He nodded. “So far,” he said.
The elusive Suzanne
He stared at the table for a moment. “But you know,” he continued, “for all the excitement, for all the highs I have with Suzanne, I can’t, even right now, say that she is mine. I always get the feeling that she is a loan-out, a wonderful woman who doesn’t belong to me permanently, a woman who may never belong to any man.”
Troy considered what he had said for a few seconds and then: “Maybe that is the secret of her attraction for me.” He smiled. “Maybe Suzanne knows it. Maybe every woman knows it.”
Troy laughed. “Now go ahead,” he said, “ask me if I look forward to seeing Suzanne. You tell me. Am I in love?”
Troy apparently didn’t realize it, but he had just revealed the very side of his nature which many of his friends consider his real weakness, where women and love are concerned. For what attracted him to Suzanne the most, his yearnings to possess her, would, say his friends, be the undoing of the love affair, once it was accomplished.
“You see,” says a Donahue buddy, “Troy doesn’t understand himself enough to perceive that he is a man of conquest. It is so instinctive in some men that they aren’t aware that it is the driving force of their nature. the motive for nearly everything they do. It is not the normal sense of prideful superiority that most men are born with. It’s more than that. It is almost a desperate need. To win, to emerge victorious, to meet the challenge, to deal with it and dispose of it. I think the best way to say it is that Troy strives to have, but never to hold. He is seething passion toward something he must conquer. But once conquered, he may lose all feeling for the loser.
“Consider Suzanne’s position in relation to a man like that.”
Since it’s been suggested, let’s consider Suzanne’s point of view. As we mentioned before, Suzanne is an intelligent girl. She realizes, as only a woman can, what kind of man she is romancing.
“If I withhold my love for him,” she might say to herself, “I keep him. If I give him my love, if I let him know I belong to him, I lose him.”
The reluctance to give herself up to any man is strong in every woman, particularly an American woman. The reason is simple. Most men are like Troy. It is no unfavorable reflection on a man’s character to speak of what is the nature of his sex. But it does cause serious predicaments in love affairs between two strong-willed individuals.
“These are the things that deter me from committing myself to a man at this time in my life,” Suzanne pointed out. “Troy is a marvelous person, all man—and maybe that’s the trouble.
“So many times when we’re on a date I see it in him. I mean the side of a man that must be tough, hard, relentless, even ruthless. Women want tenderness and gentleness, to be treated as though we are fragile, as though we would break if mishandled. And yet we deny it. We insist we’re indestructible, we can take it.
“Perhaps I’m not sure that Troy, the man, can really deal with Suzanne, the complicated woman. As Troy the lover and Suzanne the loved, nothing could be sweeter. But I can feel no sense of permanency with Troy. I want to. I hope I will and sometimes I find myself looking forward with great fervency to the moment when I know that there is so much between us that I will not care that I never wanted to belong completely to any man. I suppose if I knew what was going to happen between Troy and me after that moment I might be able to make a decision. Maybe we both need a few more years of living, a little more experience to help us predict. But right now, this minute, I’m not ready to marry Troy.
“I confess that I told a columnist that Troy and I might get married. But again, I reserve the right to decide when. And I didn’t say positively.
“But I also admit, somewhat sheepishly, too, that I’m tempted to become Troy’s wife.”
So it stands at the moment.
The love affair that’s afraid of marriage. Two people, inexorably drawn to each other and at the same time almost irrevocably opposed.
“Maybe,” Suzanne said in conclusion, “the real answer is the fact that as of now, whatever happens is my decision. once I belong to Troy, once any woman belongs to any man, the decisions are no longer ours.”
Suzanne gave us the piquant smile.
“Keep an eye on us, will you?” she said. “You never can tell when we just might go ahead and do something like— getting married?”
See Troy in “Palm Springs Week-End,” Warners, and “Hawaiian Eye,” WABC-TV, Tuesdays, 8:30 P.M., EST. Suzanne Pleshette is in “40 Pounds of Trouble,” U-I.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE MARCH 1963