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What’s A Man Looking For? Charm? How Do You Rate In His Book?

Someone said it—and whoever it was, we bet it was a man: “Charm, if you think you got it, you don’t.” While beauty is skin deep, charm—according to the attractive men on these pages—has to be deep. Beauty is on the outside they insist; charm comes from within. Acharming woman doesn’t have to be pretty; in fact, she can be much less than perfect. Her charm is honest because she knows she’ll be loved more if she’s not perfect (and doesn’t insist that he be!). Charm has nothing to do with youth, for it seems to improve with age. To be charming, a woman must know her good points; recognize her faults and in both cases intend to do something about them. She must be curious about life; she must participate, then offer, give and extend and not be afraid, sometimes, of being hurt. A charming woman is more loving than loved; she is more giving than given. And above all she is, more than anything else (and she knows it), a woman. A woman, whose duty is to bring out the best in man. When she does this, she is charming. Since one man’s charm can be another’s despair, for the rest of the article we’ll let the men talk.

Van Williams, toweling off after a dunking on the “SurfSide 6” set, answered quickly, when we asked him about charm, as if he’d already given the matter a lot of thought: “The most charming thing a girl can have is an adaptable personality,” he said. “There are so many different situations that can form in one relationship with a girl, not only involving you and the girl but other individuals, as well. Any girl who can meet and make the most of any situation is above and beyond the so-called glamour girl by a long shot.”

Neil Sedaka, caught at a break in a recording session, sipped coffee—black—from a paper container, as he told us: “Ice belongs in a Coke, but not in a girl’s personality. Lots of these girls have the appeal of a mannequin in a store window—not alive. The missing secret ingredient in their make-up is warmth. My idea of the most charming thing a girl can do is to really listen when a guy speaks to her. There is nothing, but nothing, that makes a guy feel better than to believe the girl is listening to him like he’s the most important—and only—guy in the world.”

Marty Milner, his voice crackling over a long-distance connection from one of his “Route 66” locations, said: “It depends on the girl. If she’s blonde, I’d like her with blue eyes. If she’s brunette, I’d also like her with blue eyes.” Then, more seriously, he added, “I like girls who generally have chic-suave sophisticated looks and still possess good, friendly, easygoing social qualities.”

Be yourself”

Andy Williams, relaxed and not wearing one of his hats, grinned shyly from a couch in his night-club dressing room as he told us: “The way my mind works, charm mostly consists of being one’s self. I always find that I’m attracted to a woman who lets her inner-self show in her personality, and has none of the affected qualities that are phony. I think, too often, young women attempt to take on the personality of someone they admire, and this results in a mixed-up personality. They lose their charm and become a conglomeration of what they want to be and what they really are. Charm is being delightful and fresh and being an individual. It is appearing pleasant whether at a party or in a dark theater. It is not being cluttered with falseness.”

Rod Taylor paused while feeding the inner man at the commissary, between takes of “Hong Kong,” and considered our questions. “The most charming thing about girls,” he said, “to me, anyway, is that they are girls. This is interesting. You look at a girl you’re potentially interested in and it dawns: This is a person who at some time or another may be sharing half of a man’s life. But if you see that she works too hard at being a girl—if she isn’t interested in anything outside of herself—then the charm begins to go, and she’s only a girl.”

Horst Buchholz had only a minute for us as he hurried planeward for Berlin to make “One, Two, Three,” his next picture after “Fanny.” So when we asked what quality most endeared a woman to him, he answered in exactly one word:


Bob Mitchum. sleepy-eyed, was another one-word man. “Proximity,” he said.

Grant Williams chatted with us on the set of his latest movie, “The Couch.” “Charm,” he said, “is a combination of good grooming, good manners, a sincere interest in other people, a sense of love for the beauty in creation, a curious mind and a sense of humor.”

True beauty

Mark Goddard relaxed his keen-eyed look that goes with “The Detectives” but not with a discussion of womanly charm. “Great warmth,” he said, “is the true beauty of womanhood. It’s a radiant feeling that others can share, and it stems from a beautiful soul. And warmth itself comes from a number of things. Part of it is not being afraid to share it, part is being understanding—and even a way of listening attentively. If a woman has this warm personality, she attracts and allures everyone, whether she’s beautiful or not. If she hasn’t, what good is all her beauty and sex appeal?”

Lee Patterson, on location in Miami for “SurfSide 6,” stepped off the houseboat into ten foot of charm talk with our interviewer. “I’ll put it this way,” he said. “A woman should let a man make a gesture and light her cigarette—and not hand him the matches. If she’s out on a date and shows a little consideration for his wallet—that’s being gracious, too. To me graciousness is the first requirement. The rest of it, the beautiful figure and lovely face—are the least of it.”

Gardner McKay was just leaving the set of “Adventures in Paradise” when we caught up with him. He gladly stopped to answer our questions, and seemed to have some definite ideas on the subject of charm. “A charming woman is one who lives up to the lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein’s song ‘I Enjoy Being a Girl.’ To be truly charming, a woman must be aware that she’s a woman and enjoy being feminine and domestic and all the other wonderful things that make her what she is.”

Richard Beymer ate a quick lunch on the set of “Bachelor Flat” and thought about our questions. After a minute or two, he said, “A girl who has the ability to make a man think that she considers him the most interesting of all men is charming. She has a quality of softness and gentleness—this is what differentiates woman from man. A girl should make a man want to hold her close.”

A smattering of brains

Our next stop was the set of “Rawhide” to see Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood. The rehearsal had run overtime. Eric was late for a previous appointment, so his answer was brief, but right to the point: “Brains, no woman can be charming without at least a smattering of brains.” Clint told us, “A girl who makes a man feel like a man, who puts him at his best behavior and brings out all the chivalry in him is charming. She’s an ultra-feminine creature who enjoys being a woman. And. besides this, she should have a sense of humor. Men instinctively lean toward a woman who can be volatile and amusing, even if she isn’t beautiful, in preference to a beauty who’s a cold fish.”

Tony Eisley was watching Connie Stevens run through a song on the set of their “Hawaiian Eye” series, and it seemed the perfect time to ask him about charming women! “A charming woman.” he told us, “has a sense of humor and the ability to accept a man for what he is without trying to change him. A charming woman’s best asset is her ability to make a man realize he is a man. She is truly interested in his viewpoints and desires.”

Last stop was “77 Sunset Strip” to see Edd Byrnes and Roger Smith. We got caught in a traffic jam, and had kept them waiting so long they were just about ready to go home for dinner. But they stopped to give us their “quickie” answers. “What makes a woman charming?” thought Edd out loud. “Class, to put it in one word.” Roger’s reply was, “Warmth.”

Mystery flips men

When we asked our panel to try to pin charm down to just one trait, that’s when we really got our proof that one man’s charm is another’s despair:

Van Williams: “Femininity. Any girl without it is more or less a vegetable in my book. I don’t necessarily mean feminine in appearance, but a girl who is sure of her womanhood and doesn’t have to prove to anyone that she’s a woman.”

Neil Sedaka: “One thing that all girls have in common that really flips all men is mystery. If there is one fellow who says he can honestly figure out what makes a girl tick, he is one of two things: either a liar or a confused boy.”

Andy Williams: “Sex appeal. Every woman has it whether she realizes it or not. Some know how to channel it properly; others over-use it; others don’t know what to do with it; and, unfortunately, many make no effort to make men aware of it.”

Marty Milner: “Femininity—in a proper amount—is the most appealing thing.”

Lee Patterson: “Just being a woman, bless her for it! I think that’s the one universal trait that appeals to all men—her womanliness.”

Gardner McKay: “A sense of humor is what I look for.”

Richard Beymer: “Sex appeal in its broadest sense is the one ingredient women must have to be charming, to be appealing.”

Eric Fleming: “Wit!”

Clint Eastwood: “Intelligence. You can overlook a ton of faults if the woman can contribute her share to a conversation or situation. A woman who has everything but brains is a dumb bunny no matter how gorgeous she is.

Tony Eisley: “A happy outlook on life.”

Edd Byrnes: “The fact that she’s a female!”

Roger Smith: “Femininity.”

As a final question, we asked the men on our panel to name the most charming woman they know.

Van Williams: “Vicki, my wife, happens to be the most charming I know or have ever known. She has an adaptable personality plus femininity, and all the other attributes such as good looks, sex appeal, etc. You don’t hardly find that combination no more!”

Marty Milner: “My mother!”

Grant Williams: “The most charming girl I know is an eighteen-year-old who has a wisdom far beyond her years. Her charm and her real beauty comes from a big heart for her fellow man.”

The complete woman

Andy Williams: “Marlene Dietrich. She is the complete woman. She can talk about the arts and baseball without flinching. She disproves the theory that age can show on a woman. She is vital and vigorous. She is an exquisite fashion plate, but not a clothes horse. She is aware of every situation she is in. She respects a man and makes him feel he is with a woman. Not many gals can do that.”

Neil Sedaka: “The girl who gets my vote isn’t old enough to vote yet. She is an old-fashioned girl who remembers things like grace, warmth and poise. Although she’s not a beautiful gal, when she walks into a room, she outshines the beauties.”

Mark Goddard: “My wife Marcia is the most charming I ever met. She is thoughtful and considerate. It was these traits that attracted me to her when we first met. I kept remembering her charming concern and thoughtfulness, not only toward me, but to others. And that, to me, is the greatest charm a woman can possess.”

Rod Taylor: “Ingrid Bergman is the most charming woman I have met or seen. She carries her beauty and her femininity unconsciously.”

Lee Patterson: “My mother, because she’s proof that good grooming isn’t the business of constantly pulling out the mirror in public.”

Gardner McKay: “Brigitte Bardot.”

Richard Beymer: “Jennifer Jones is the most charming woman—except for my mother—I’ve ever known. I’m captivated by her talent, spirit and beauty.”

Eric Fleming: “Edith Piaf. She has a tremendously gracious charm which, after five minutes, makes you feel you are with the most charming woman in the world.”

Clint Eastwood: “My wife Maggie is the most charming woman I know. She has looks, she’s intelligent, she’s adaptable, she’s understanding and she has the patience of Job. And, most important, I’m the number one guy to her.”

Tony Eisley: “The most charming woman I know had, and still has, such belief in my future that she overlooked my faults and gave me a real belief in myself. Charm, to me, means my wife Indie.

Roger Smith: “My wife Vici.”

Edd Byrnes: “A girl I saw one beautiful morning while driving to the studio. I was so entranced by her classic beauty that I still search for her face in a crowd.”

Edd’s was my last interview for the day. Afterwards, I packed away my pencil, put a clip on my notebook and went home to a quiet supper alone! I wanted to concentrate. On what? On whether I could be charming!





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