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Two Worlds I Know—William Holden

Please tell William Holden to come back to us soon again,” ended a letter to Photoplay from a fan in Ceylon. American stars, moviemaking in every corner of the globe these days, are winning new friends for themselves—and for America, too. Bill Holden is no exception. Probably the most traveled actor of all (twenty-six countries to date), he recently completed almost a year’s stay in the exotic jungles of Kitulgala in Ceylon, where Columbia filmed “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” a hard-hitting story of World War II. The temperature hovered in the high 80’s during the cool winter season and home away from jungle locations was a tiny bungalow shared by Bill and wife Ardis (the former Brenda Marshall). Bill loves the Orient. There many times since he made “The Bridges at Toko-Ri,” he has done much as a sort of roving, unofficial ambassador of American good will. In Japan, he and the Crown Prince became fast friends and Bill regularly sends him favorite American show-tune albums, while Japan’s famed Kabuki players recently gifted Bill with a hand-painted wall panel “for my office back home.” Happiest just living the life of the country he’s in, Bill took to sarongs (worn by Singhalese men), made friends (?) with a cobra, played straight man for a talented trick elephant. Wife Ardis doesn’t mind his “traveling fever” but some of his enthusiasms can be a little upsetting—like the time they were leaving Ceylon and Bill said he was going to take home a cobra for the Griffith Park Zoo. Ardis drew the line at baby-sitting for a cobra on the plane and Bill dropped it. So now the mobile Holdens are back in Hollywood (after a side-trip to England) but only long enough for Bill to figure out his next route back to—The Orient!



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