"PRIVACY is not something that I'm merely entitled to, it's an absolute prerequisite," said Marlon Brando.
Brando's quest for privacy is one that he never quite achieved (few of the very famous do.) But Brando did his best, and the star's most strenuous effort to keep fame and photographers at bay was his purchase of the Tahitian atoll Tetiaroa. He discovered his hidden jewel during the fraught two-year production of the 1962 version of Mutiny on the Bounty.
(The finished movie was just awful, it doesn't hold a candle to the Clark Gable/Charles Laughton original, or the Mel Gibson/Anthony Hopkins epic The Bounty. It was Brando's Mutiny and Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra that convinced Hollywood that the studio star system was bringing the business to its knees.)
•IN any case, a few years after finding Tetiaroa, Brando bought the entire atoll, for $270,000.
The story of Brando's retreat -- physically and spiritually -- is written in entertaining fashion in the new issue of Departures magazine by Ned Zeman. There are many details of what Brando managed to build on his atoll and some ambitious plans that never quite panned out. It was, as the author points out, "ecofriendly...long on good intentions, short on amenities and functionality."
The photos illustrating the story are marvelous, but not one can compare to the cover, an evocative black and white shot of an impossibly attractive Brando, during the filming of Mutiny. He is sitting on the grass with Tarita Teriipaia, the beautiful Tahitian whom he later married. The composition of the shot is so modern, I thought at first glance it was a pair of models.
Let's just say -- suitable for framing.
•WE must be on the verge of spring. Here comes Joan Jedell's Hampton Sheet with a cover of the adorable, sexy Sofia Vergara!
I see that Joan refers to Sofia as Va-Va Vergara on the cover and she is most certainly that -- the "stand-out" star of the popular Modern Family series on TV.
It's hard to find, or be, an enduring star these flighty changeable days. But Sofia has met the challenge with her sense of humor.
I saw Vergara recently on one of the home shopping channels, promoting her new fragrance, "Sofia." During a flood of compliments from the lady who was helping her sell the scent, Sofia said, "This is all good to hear but you know, I'm no spring chicken. I've been acting for 24 years." She paused, laughed and said, "Can you believe that? And now I finally have this!" And she smooshed the perfume bottle close to her gorgeous face.
Sofia is definitely somebody you invite to a party. Because she's fun!
•"Well, you can't f_____ a nun!" said the giant musical star Ethel Merman when told that Mary Martin had beat her out of the best actress for a Tony award.
We were reminded of this old "goodie" at the little Revue of a Lifetime, which just started running down memory lane in The Theater at St. Peter's at Lex & 54th Street in NYC. Here, they are always trying to make us remember something divinely forgotten. You nostalgia fans you will want to see their latest, Inventing Mary Martin, if only to deplore and explore theater phenomenon and history of the 50's, 60's, 70's. (This benevolent little theater also brings forth new talents and gives them a chance.)
Jason Graae is a comic actor with super gifts and his attractive female co-stars aren't quite up to his diverting brand of hosting when it comes to projecting and singing understandable classic lyrics. The audience wants to sing along and everyone gives it the old "try." Fans of Mary Martin, the girl from Weatherford, Texas who became Peter Pan onstage and TV, as well as the star of the epic South Pacific, was the darling face of theater on Broadway, in movies, early TV and all the rest of show biz for the years of yesterday. Host Graae reminds us that times change...people forget the big stars, now long gone. You can have a good time just recalling what the creators of this little revue forgot. Plus, it gives us a chance to see again what an out-dated politically incorrect Cole Porter song like "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" looks like in fur onstage. The whole revue was worth the ending.
• SHE "WENT to a fabulous party." I do mean my invaluable assistant Mary Jo McDonough. MJ (as we call her) attended her niece Caitlin Chiarello's nuptials with handsome Josh Seckel in Columbus, Ohio.
The couple's beloved pooch Rudy was supposed to escort Caitlin down the aisle, but that was a little too much for Caitlin's mother, Jeanie. So, Rudy had to content himself with being endlessly photographed with the newlyweds after they declared "I will."
Caitlin wore a gorgeous wedding gown, she was a real dream bride. I wish I could show you the photos. Divine! Rudy looked pretty content, too. (Even though he gave Jeanie the evil dog-eye a few times!)
Congrats to the bride and groom. And I am very happy to have MJ back. She says nobody else in her family is getting married anytime soon. That's a relief--no gift selection, travel, what to wear. Just togetherness.