“White Swan” Love Affairs…The Celebrated Kind…

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Some of us are born to be “white swans”.
We mate for life, and when that particular partner is gone, although we may love again, we are never really ever the same, our white downy feathers just not as happily plump.
Some are and some aren’t. This is a post about eight, who were…
Liz & Dick
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There were many I could have chosen on whom to write. But for me, and because of their stormy on-again, off-again 60s and 70s passionate love affair, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton have to be at the head of the pond.
If you notice any similarity in intensely passionate couples, it must be how very similar they are as soul mates. Basically the female and male counter-part of each other. As if to find oneself again, by merely looking into a mirror. Liz and Dick were each other’s mirror.
Tempestuous, fiery, moody, addictive, obsessed, perfectionists, gloriously beautiful and horrendously damaging.
Their fights were legendary. if only to be a drunken fly on their walls! And their bickering knew no global bounds. From California to England, from Wales to Mexico, these two you only hoped had as intense love-making sessions afterwards as their fighting sessions were before.
Vicious tongues on the pair of them, we’re led to believe. The movie Celebrities-LoveAffairs-WhiteSwans 2a “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” a piece of artful fiction…but who could have played in it any better?
Oh, and by the way, IF you’ve been living under a rock, inside a cave, and have NOT seen this movie, rent it, grab a tumbler of hard booze, sit down and hold on, you will NOT forget the ride!
Theirs, of course, like so many tumultuous affairs, usually do end in divorce, and for them, more than one reconciliation and split were needed, not so that torture could wield its ugly head, just because neither ever stopped loving the other, the final split saddened them both, saddened Richard ‘til the day he died, but was a reality they both knew had to be, if either one would have any emotional peace.
Stephanie & Bill
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This attachment may not be as well known to most, but its intensity never diminished because of it.
Stephanie Powers and William Holden…quite an unlikely pair.
No one could deny what Bill saw in her, at least visually, for Stephanie was, and is, most definitely, a classic beauty.
But, I think, it was her gutsy personality and raw laughter that may have held Bill’s grasp upon her longer.
For her, in him, there was a quiet kind of inner strength, marred only by his weakness for alcohol, a monkey on his back that led him to an early grave and for her, to an early life of loneliness, without him.
They travelled the world, primarily Africa, went on safari after safari and through them, raised funds to protect the wildlife they so both dearly cherished.
Their affair was never consummated into marriage and their trials never publicly aired but I do believe there were many trials and tribulations as the effects of alcoholism wore down and then eroded all the good Bill had so offered to her personally, and, of course, to us, publicly, through his great acting talent.
The movie-going world did lose a great actor when Bill died, and Stephanie, the love of her life. Others have sought her since and she would begin a whole entirely new romantic life. But we all know she remains a virtual widow in her heart, even to this day.
Hepburn & Tracy
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Much more well known, for the good and the bad that it caused.
Spencer was already married, and a devoted Catholic to boot. And, back in the day, a Catholic marriage may never have been any more perfect but damn if it wasn’t more fiercely permanent, to most.
Katharine had been wooed by the best. Howard Hughes springs to mind. She dallied with his advances but never really took them, or others, very seriously. Hell, she was a strong, independent woman in her own right, the affections of a man were nice, but not needed.
Then came Tracy. Irish. Strong. Stronger than her.
She was a kid compared to him and at the first, I do believe that was how he looked upon and treated her. No drooling affections for her, from him, no, not this time. This life-long love affair could have started out as an enjoyable challenge to her, but the last laugh was on herself, because she fell, forever, Irish Catholic hook, line and sinker.
Their courtship was publicly scorned in those days. Hepburn became looked upon as a Home Wrecker. Tracy asked for a divorce, eventually. None was in the offing. They would stay together, unwed, sinful, in some eyes, an affair that was natural and beautiful, but an affair nonetheless.
There was alcoholic problems with Spencer too. Talk of belligerent rants, possibly Katharine being hit on occasion. She kept stoic and kept being kept. He felt awful, deep down inside, never voicing his feelings publicly, one way or another, possibly never revealing even his weak side, to her. But loved her for staying with him, right up until the end.
After his death, she publicly spoke little of the man but even at the mention of his name, you could see, washing over her, a feminine weakness that the world rarely saw from her any other way.
“E” & Ann
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No alcoholic forays. No public scandals, per se. No lengthy time attached either, but white hot when it “was”.
Ann-Margaret was touted as the “Female Elvis Presley”. If this motto was made before they met, it was divine deliverance just the same.
Purely physical, sexual, to begin with. Even in their first meeting, in preparation for the silly little B-rated movie, “Viva Las Vegas”,  it was said the room was filled with electricity.
If Pricilla had been in his mind before they met that day, doubtful if she was thought about much after.
He in his signature black slacks with no underwear. Her in an A-line skirt. His “Mafia” were there and possibly agents for her but the room could have been empty for all they cared.
The filming must have been a sight to behold, for the movie itself, we all forget the silly little plot, but never do we miss the hold they had on each other on that Big Silver Screen.
She introduced her family to him. He even had her meet his relatives and friends. They would ride motorcycles together (hers specially designed by Steve McQueen, with the world’s first push-button engine start, because she was just too tiny to use a kick start) and be together in E’s Hollywood home when JFK’s assassination came on the TV one fine November day.
When Priscilla wasn’t there, Ann would visit Graceland. It was only Priscilla’s well documented fight with E that brought the whole house of cards falling down, that, and the Hollywood gossips mags touting an eminent marriage. E didn’t liked to be forced into anything, with any woman.
They would soon split but never quite completely. She would see his Vegas shows or visit him in his suite afterwards. He would send her, like clockwork, a guitar-shaped floral arrangement for her opening Vegas gigs. The last to come a day after Elvis died, no one thinking to stop the order.
Many, many years later, Ann-Margaret was interviewed on The Charlie Rose Show, and revealed more than before, her feelings toward The Man That Got Away…

If there is one over-riding thread through all of these affairs of the heart, it is the magnetic pull these people had on each other, that even time or circumstances never seemed to erase.
We are not all “white swans” and maybe that’s a good thing.
Because if you happen to be, and you per chance find your match, your life, although bursting with atomic passion, will be leaking eventually with abysmal pain.


Sarah said…
My...with all that booze, infidelities and divorces, you'd think they're a bunch of wild geese, no?

I've never seen that "Virginia..." movie so I'll look for it next time I'm in a rental place. Yes, I've been living under a rock.
B.J. Thompson said…
Another rock/cave dweller, huh?...sigh...giggle..:D

Okay, I'll forgive ya Sarah...THIS time, as long as you DO rent that movie...

x MsBurb