Latest Updates | This Month TV |
The movie set was a small one. It was a mere corner of a room, with
a desk and a chair in it. Behind the desk sat an incredibly handsome boy,
his famous face hidden in his hands. Behind him stood a girl, whose
beauty was no match for his. By the demands of the script she was
supposed to stroke the boy’s hair, murmur soothingly to him since he, in
turn, was supposed to be tired and discouraged.
The scene went through smoothly.
Outside the set, behind the cameras, the ring of watching
stenographers and women studio workers of every classification drew in
their breaths with excitement as the boy lifted his face. The director and
the cameramen grinned as they heard that sound. They knew it well.
Every man who ever worked on a Tyrone Power picture knew that sound,
for it always came from the women, drawn to this set as needles are
drawn to a magnet. Every eye present was on this million-dollar glamour
boy. No one looked at the girl.
"That’s fine," said the director. "Let’s do it just once more to be safe."
The couple before the camera went into action again. Ty Power
lowered his appealing face back into his hands. Annabella, the girl,
started to stroke his hair. Then suddenly her caressing fingers tightened
into a fist, tightened around that straight black hair, and yanked it.
Tyrone lost all his acting.
He jumped up. "Ouch," he cried. "What did you do that for?"
Annabella looked at him, her eyes impish. "That was a suppressed
desire," she said. And right then and there romance was born.
The watching women, the amused men looked at Annabella then, for
they observed the way the deep brown eyes of Tyrone Power were
looking at her. The women didn’t like what they saw. But visibly, Tyrone
Thus began a love story which has shaken and saddened Hollywood
ever since. Thus began a passion which may sweep a girl who seemed
about to fail to the heights; and which may either stop the boy who
seemed utterly triumphant, either stop him or sweep him on to the
For the climax of this story -- but not the ending, came less than a year
after this scene when Tyrone Power and Annabella, whose real name is
Suzanne Charpentier, were married on a Sunday afternoon this past
April, with Don Ameche and Pat Paterson Boyer, (Mrs. Charles Boyer)
as their attendants.
Now do not get the idea that Hollywood was disturbed and saddened
because it opposes romance. Hollywood loves a lover with as deep an
emotion, with as tender an interest as does all the rest of the world.
Hollywood quite doted on the Clark Gable-Carole Lombard courtship.
Hollywood beamed on Jean Harlow and Bill Powell and was deeply
touched when Jean’s untimely death broke Bill Powell’s heart so that he
has never been a well man since. Currently the whole town is rooting for
Bob Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck.
The thing is that these couples seem ideal for each other. In common
with the rest of the world, the movie village wants its favorite children to
make "a good match". And of all its children, Tyrone Power is distinctly
its favorite, and no wonder. Gable, who is absolutely adored around
Hollywood, does have his moments of being a very bad boy indeed. That
Gable does things in his own way and if, once in a while, they get in
somebody else’s way, that’s just too bad for somebody else. Once in a
blue moon he gets a bit stubborn and temperamental about roles.
He isn’t, you see, perfect.
Such thing you can say, too, about Spencer Tracy, a swell guy, but
moody and hard to handle now and then. Such things you can say about
Bob Montgomery, a witty young man, but he does talk too much. Jimmy
Cagney has an occasional tantrum. George Raft is a sulker. Oh, you can
go down the whole list of the people of Hollywood and find them having
their hard-to-handle days.
But not Tyrone. Child of four generations of actors, he accepted,
without one word of back talk, any orders given him. A thoroughly healthy,
thoroughly lively young man of twenty-two when he first clicked in
Hollywood, he still somehow and always, did just what he was told to do
with such suavity, such good manners, such fine grace, such
sensitiveness that the entire film colony couldn’t believe he could be true.
Without being any plaster saint, with, in fact, a wicked come-hither gleam
in his eye, he danced, he acted, he met the press, and did it with
the most devastating rightness.
So it wasn’t any wonder that, in three swift years, he climbed without a
single mis-step to the very height of his world, climbed so high that he
even went above Gable in personal popularity, which is the absolute
movie top. And there he was, at the pinnacle, the golden boy of the silver
screen, when he met Annabella, a little French actress who was about to
be let out of her Twentieth Century-Fox contract. He met Annabella, who
was older than he, and twice wed, and the mother of a little girl. He met
Annabella and she conquered. The moment the studio realized the
flirtation between Tyrone and Annabella was getting serious they tried to
stop it. Tyrone’s mother, the wise Mrs. Patia Power, tried to stop it. The
press, generally, tried to stop it.
But Annabella won him because she had two qualities to offer that
none of the other girls he had loved had to give him. She won him
because one of them was the one quality that he, himself, lacked. For up
until that moment when she pulled his hair, Tyrone Power had had a much
longer search for happiness than most people realized. It looked as
thought he had everything yet, actually, in him was a long, lonely search
for his ideal.
He had been born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the only son of theatrical
parents. He had one older sister. From the very moment he began to talk,
he had known that he, too, intended to be an actor. Yet the way wasn’t
any too easy for him.
He went to the Cincinnati public schools and flourished in his studies,
because he was an intelligent kid. He had great devotion for his sister,
Ann, and a vast fondness and respect for his parents. The talk of the
theater, of this engagement and that, of this manager and that, of the such
and such road company, of such and such a play, was the tongue that
was familiar to him always. He swam, he played ball, he dated girls, he
outgrew his suits. It was a good life. Outside of this, his life was very
much like that of any other growing American boy.
Yet while both his mother and father were excellent and respected
actors, they weren’t in those millionaire brackets that movie stars are in
today, which in fact Tyrone himself is in today. His mother and father
were merely stage actors, which usually adds up to in a good year and all too frequently shrinks to two or three in a
As long as Tyrone Power, Sr., was alive, however, the Powers always
lived pleasantly, with summers in Cincinnati or the quieter summer
resorts, and winters either in New York or on what actors call "the road" ,
which means touring almost any or all parts of the United States. Very
early, therefore, Tyrone formed two interests that were to affect his later
life very strongly. He got a love of travel, a deep need of getting away to
different places every so often. He got a feeling for work and the
satisfying need of it, so much so that in between the family’s
engagements he got himself jobs for the summer.
For a couple of seasons he was a soda jerker. One summer, when
he was sixteen, he acted as usher in a movie theater. Like many another
romantic youngster trailing up and down these dark aisles, he got a crush
on one particular star. She seemed to him to be all that was sweet and
feminine and desirable. Her name was Janet Gaynor. There in the
darkness Tyrone dreamed of speeches with which he would win such a
delightful creature. Six years later he was in Hollywood whispering those
speeches to Janet Gaynor in person, and, what is more important, she
was ardently listening to them.
Those six years that lay in between, however, were horrible. For
Tyrone Power, Sr., died suddenly, and there was almost no money left
after they paid for the funeral. Tyrone Power, Jr., aged about seventeen,
went to Broadway with his hat in his hand and a smile on
his handsome, sensitive boy’s face and called on the managers who had
known his father. He came out of the managers’ offices with his hat still in
his hand, but with his face white and his eyes frightened, and he tightened
up his belt another couple of notches.
For he had no one to help him. The managers were very cordial to
this heir to an honored name; they were amusing and kindly, but they
gave him no work. What little Power money there was left was needed to
help Patia Power and sister Ann to survive. Tyrone had to depend
entirely on himself. He would have taken any job, and did whenever he
got one. They were menial jobs. The only way he got most of his meals
was by going to restaurants and drearily washing dishes in exchange for
them. His shoes wore through with tramping the streets and his clothes
got shiny. He did not complain, however. If fate had, at seventeen, made
him the man of his family, he meant to act that way. It was a cruel
schooling in life, but somehow he lived through it.
After he had visited every manager’s office on Broadway and found
not one week's work, he finally headed for the Coast, traveling on buses
and the cheapest trains. He hoped for what he might discover in the
movie capitol. He did land one engagement. His enthusiasm took fire.
He knew it would surely lead to vivid, wonderful things, what with the
acting blood he had inherited.
That first picture was Brown of Culver. He played a bit. Universal let
him out immediately thereafter. When he pleaded to know the reason,
they told him he wasn’t a screen type -- he, Tyrone Power, who five years
later was to be the box office King of the Movies.
That was brutal, but he learned something much more bitter during that
first official visit of his to Hollywood. Lots of boys go through the agony of
getting and losing jobs, and like other boys, Tyrone could have got over
this and not have been too hurt. The other thing was an equation no boy
would ever learn, except in Hollywood, and one which was to make him
older than his years. That was the realistic attitude toward romance of the
lovely ladies of the movies.
For there he was, just eighteen, handsome, distinguished,
unattached, a boy who quite naturally wanting to be ardent about beautiful
young girls. He discovered, however, despite all the appeal he
possessed, this lad who had been an usher and a soda jerker and a
hunting-for-work-actor, that these lovelies of Hollywood had no time for
him. It wasn’t that they didn’t like him. They definitely did. But he was
nobody with no money. They had their careers to think about, and they
told him, by way of their brutal refusals of his bids for dates, that it would
be a disadvantage for them to be seen with him. Later, when he returned
to Hollywood, the feted boy of the powerful Twentieth Century-Fox lot, they were
to pretend that they forgot those days. But Tyrone did not forget.
Meanwhile, he went back to Broadway after that first movie
engagement. 1932, 1933, 1934 went by, three years, three long,
miserable, unhappy years, while the depression lay on the world and
upon Broadway and upon his very soul. Came the fall of 1935 and he got
his first work -- a tiny role in a play with Katherine Cornell. On the very
opening night, a movie scout saw him and signed him for Twentieth
Century-Fox. Thus when April came, and the show ended, he re-entered
It was, for the first few weeks, still to be tough for him. His salary was
small, but at least he was eating regularly. He was not so naïve now, nor
so enthusiastic. Rather, humbly and sincerely he hoped that he could
justify the faith that his producers had in him. The first picture they cast
him in was Sing, Baby Sing, a picture starring Alice Faye. Tyrone didn’t
know Alice Faye, but a week later she was to become, through one
simple generous act, his dearest friend.
What happened was this. This handsome, shy, sensitive product of
four generations of actors went into the cast of Sing, Baby Sing literally
praying for success, for he is a religious boy who attends mass every
Sunday. He knew how fearfully much depended upon him, his own future,
his mother’s comfort, their mutual happiness. Even his sister, who was
now married, was not too happy and he felt whatever he did with his life
would have marked influence on hers. So he wanted terribly to make
He went into his first scenes and he gave them all he had, all the
hunger and the loneliness and the dreaming bitterness of him. He
believed he was pretty good, but he soon found out. He was not good.
He not only was not good, but he was definitely terrible. That was what
the director said. 1
The director did more than talk. He went to the studio
heads and got Tyrone taken out of the picture altogether. His parting shot
to the anxious boy was that he had better go into some other line of work,
as he simply never would be an actor.
It was then that Alice Faye stepped in. Not yet married to Tony
Martin, Alice was at that time the most dated girl in all Hollywood. She
had a definite lure for men, and she could choose just whom she wanted
at any time. But that night she showed the fearlessness and the real
generosity that are within her. Unlike the other cagey glamour girls, she
went to the defeated, discouraged boy and said he had to take her to
At dinner she told him that he was not licked, that he could act, that he
had only to keep on believing in himself to triumph. 2She restored enough
courage to him that next morning he went to Darryl Zanuck, the studio
boss, and explained his side of the story. He did it so well that Zanuck
was enough impressed with him to cast him in another and larger picture.
This was Lloyds of London, and from the very first glimpse of him in that
film, Tyrone Power was sensation.
As his career began to shape itself, his personal life began to take
For no sooner was he in Lloyds of London than the word spread
along the gossip grapevines of Hollywood that this lad over at Twentieth
Century was really something and that a smart girl should really get a load
of him. Immediately the invitations, and the warm languorous glances and
the quick pressure of feminine hands began to come his way. And here
the studio itself stepped in by introducing him to Sonja Henie and
suggesting that it might be good publicity for him to take this little
After Tyrone met Sonja, it wasn’t necessary to suggest that he take
her places. After their first date, he took her out for the sheer pleasure of
it, for that Norwegian champion is a vivacious, laughing, healthy pretty thing.
She really wasn’t so much more of a stranger in a strange land than he
was. They were both kids who had worked all their lives, who had always
known about audiences and applause and the demands of fame. They
danced beautifully together and they had a fine time.
There was only one thing that matter with it. As big as was the
impression Tyrone made in his first picture, the impression Sonja made
in her first picture was bigger. Where Lloyds of London established him
as somebody to be watched, 3One in a Million, Sonja’s first picture,
established her as a star. Where Tyrone made Lloyd’s for a very small
salary, Sonja got one hundred thousand dollars out of One in a Million,
and began discussing how she could get one hundred and fifty thousand,
at least, out of her next production. The call for personal appearances, for
personal endorsement, for radio for all the golden rewards of quick
success began coming upon her. As an athlete, she couldn’t stay up late
nights and dance. As an ambitious girl who stood to make several
millions if she garnered them quickly enough, she had no time to waste,
not even on romance. Thus, the mood between Tyrone and Sonja which
might have developed into something lasting and beautiful became more
chill than the ice on which Sonja was skating.
4For his second picture, Tyrone was cast in Ladies in Love. There were four leading women, all of them stars. He was of comparative
unimportance in the film. Three of the girls were Constance Bennett,
Loretta Young and Simone Simon. The other was Janet Gaynor.
Now the little Gaynor looks as though butter wouldn’t melt in her
mouth. She looks all weak and fragile and appealing. If Tyrone saw
those qualities in her, he was only seeing what dozens of men before him
have seen in her. Besides she had been his dream girl ever since those
ushering days in Cincinnati. He began courting her. Janet was all
warmth and sweetness in contrast to the brilliant Sonja Henie, whose
warmth was like that of dry ice rather than fire. For months, everywhere
you saw Tyrone Power you saw Janet Gaynor.
But Janet is a flirt. She always has been. And Janet Gaynor, even if
she doesn’t look it or act it, is at least ten years older than Tyrone Power.
Though she had married only once, there has been man after man in love
with her, and one or two of them have nearly died of longing for her, as all
For another thing, Janet, too, cares about her career, cares much
more than she would admit, particularly to a man. Oh she is fragile, all
right, but it is the fragility of thin steel, rather than the fragility of a flower.
5Right about this time Janet made A Star is Born, a terrific hit, and
Tyrone was cast in two pictures with Loretta Young.
Loretta Young is one of the most beautiful girls in all Hollywood, much
more beautiful than Henie or Gaynor will ever be. Loretta is a true
romantic, all dreams, all moods, all quick conflicting desires. You couldn’t
count up on the fingers of your hands, unless you had six arms like an
Eastern goddess, the number of men in her life.
6Tyrone dined and danced with her a few times -- just as he dined and
danced a bit with Norma Shearer, when they were making "Marie
Of Norma Shearer you have undoubtedly heard it said that she
always gets what she wants, that she knows exactly how to manager her
career. But you have never even heard it whispered that there is anything
about Norma, as lovely as she is, that is particularly yielding. Norma
Shearer was a widow, the executor of her husband’s estate that runs into
many millions, when Tyrone Power, who is sensitive and sincere, met her.
He began to get a reputation for being a flirt himself, this boy who
goes to church each Sunday morning, who had now established a
beautiful home for his mother, who had brought his sister, disillusioned by
divorce, out to live with him. People began to whisper that he didn’t know
his own heart, this boy whose manners were getting suaver and more
charming, but whose dark eyes were getting more troubled.
And then he was cast in Suez with Loretta Young -- and Annabella.
No one at the studio expected any romance out of that set-up. They
knew whatever slight interest Tyrone might once have had in Loretta and
calmed down to a quiet friendliness. As for Annabella, she was married.
Furthermore, this picture, her second for Twentieth Century was to be her
final one, since her initial picture, The Baroness and the Butler, was an
utter failure. The idea was that as soon as Suez was finished they would
send her packing back to Paris, presumably to join her husband, Jean
Murat. That was the studio’s idea. But after one look at Tyrone, it does not
seem to have ever been Annabella’s.
The Power pictures up to Suez had been almost unbelievably
successful with the immediate one before Suez that is Alexander’s
Ragtime Band being one of the most successful ever produced in the
entire motion picture business. The Power star, therefore, was incredibly
brilliant and the fact that Tyrone, Nelson Eddy, and Robert Taylor were
about the only eligible bachelors in all Hollywood was a tremendous
box-office spur. Even in the cases of Eddy and Taylor, their hearts were
known to be claimed, Nelson’s by Anne Frankly, whom he has since
married, and Bobby Taylor’s by Barbara Stanwyck. Only Power stood
quite free and unattached. The feminine response to this appeal was
Yet those few really intimate friends whom Tyrone had among the
mob of his very new acquaintances, people like Bill Gallagher, his loyal
secretary, Alice Faye and Don Ameche, knew that Ty himself was not as
happy as he should be, not nearly as happy as he had been two years
previously when he first saw that his success was to genuine and very
They tried to shrug it off and say that he was tired from so much long
and sustained work, but they knew actually that he was weary with a
disillusion that was almost a sickness. The trouble was that Tyrone was
truly romantic and the quick, easy conquests that women were offering
him he did not find exciting, but bitter, rather, and almost hateful. He was
no Gable, a mature man in his late thirties, who knew what life was all
about and knew, therefore, how to laugh at it. He was, rather, a boy of
twenty-four who still wanted life to live up to his dreams of it. He admitted
openly to Don Ameche that he envied him his simple life, his home, his
devoted wife, his handsome young sons.
And then, on the set of Suez he met Annabella, the French woman,
who was both worldly and simple, both cheerful and serious, who wasn’t too
pretty or too glamorous, but most important of all, who was the first
woman he had met in all Hollywood whom he might be able to help.
For there are no two ways about it: when a star hasn’t been a
success, when she hasn’t lived up to the promise that has been seen in
her, the studio does kick her around. So Annabella was being kicked
around, most politely to be sure, but kicked around nonetheless on the
set of Suez.
It was all "Mr. Power" and "Miss Young" on these sets. Annabella had
to get whatever she could out of it. So when she looked at Mr. Power
appealingly, almost humbly, he felt a sudden glow, a fine new, very manly
feeling of being needed. He looked at her and he remembered how
bruised he had felt when he was not wanted. He looked into her eyes and
he saw in them a very different light than he had seen in the eyes of Sonja
Henie, or Janet Gaynor, or Norma Shearer or even of Loretta Young; a
different light that was in those eyes of the lovely ladies who not only know
just how to get what they want but also the way to get it so as to waste no
time about it.
At first -- after that day on the set when she pulled his hair -- he and
Annabella did not talk of themselves. They talked of acting. Was it
shrewdness on her part, that made her know that acting was a passion
with him, and that he was most bored with discussing women’s souls? If
it was shrewdness, it was also understanding, and Tyrone responded to
her instinctive knowledge of him, just as any man always responds to it.
In fact, the first clue Hollywood had that Tyrone was really interested in
Annabella was when he started telling people what a fine actress he
thought her. He went on at great length about how she understood
technique, the way in which she discussed her performances, the
intelligent way in which she read criticisms of her work, particularly in the
French press. He even revealed that he was brushing up on his French,
so that he, too, could read those newspapers.
Hollywood marveled just a bit at this, since the town itself didn’t
consider Annabella much of a star, and it probably would have
speculated more expect that the Gaynor-Power dating was still going on.
It was true that the two of them were seen together less often than they
had been, but still they did go about somewhat, and there was also that
fact of Annabella’s marriage, which completely threw everybody off the
However, as the filming of Suez went forward, it was observed that
Annabella and the handsome star of the proceedings were seen together
more and more frequently. Many evenings they dined together in Ty’s
favorite eating place, The Tropics, a simple restaurant where you eat
out of doors under the stars. There you could see them, quietly dining,
and ardently talking, Annabella’s smooth blond head close to his sleek,
dark one. And presumably there she told him of her life, which had not
been a happy one.
For while Hollywood had generally believed that Annabella’s first and
only husband was Jean Murat, that is not true. There was one other
husband before him, the man who was the father of Annabella’s young
daughter. Who he was, when he died, has not been revealed. But you can
figure for yourself how different and how poignant Tyrone must have found
this story of lost love as compared to the "career" stories all his other
Hollywood women friends had told him. Here was a lonely, brave girl,
quietly bringing up her daughter. Here was a girl who loved acting and
was about to lose out on her contract. Here she was, planning to go back
to Paris and get the divorce that would mark the ending of her second
As she told Tyrone these things, he noted the clean, sweet look of her
and her gently femininity. Hers was not the continual chatter of directors,
and camera angles, and agent troubles and income taxes. Her
conversation, rather, was of life and death and love, of the ageless things
from which men’s dreams continually spring, those ageless things of
which Tyrone Power, the romantic, was always dreaming.
Then Suez finished. Annabella packed up and went back to Paris.
Tyrone took a hasty trip to New York, just for the fun of it, and then headed
out for the Middle West to make Jesse James. On the surface, it
looked at though the steadily more popular Mr. Power was just what he
had been for the last two years, handsome young man.
The summer passed, and the autumn, and in November Ty went on a
flying tour of South America. And then the storm broke.
For technically, that South American trip was Tyrone’s vacation from
his studio, but actually it was nothing of the sort. True, he was away from
the camera but he was doing a job, just the same, the job of being a
good-will ambassador for Hollywood in the South American countries.
He did it magnificently. He flew to every capitol. He met all the
ambassadors and what was more persuasive, their wives and their
daughters. He stood smiling in airports and let mobs of eager Latin
senoritas get autographs. He lavished all that natural charm of his, all that
instinctive courtesy of his on everyone he came across. The result was
that the crowds adored him and the feeling of affection toward everything
Hollywood was enormously increased. He was, you see, right in his old
role of doing just what his studio told him to do, and doing it with the
greatest grace possible. He was, once again, being the best-behaved
star who had ever hit the movie business. He was, that is, until he came
to Rio de Janeiro. After that, things were different. For Annabella was in
They have never admitted, those two, that they met there by
prearrangement but it seems logical to conclude that. For Annabella was
now free, and Brazil is one of the most romantic countries on earth. They
were blessed, too, by having a whole, private tropical island on which to
meet again. Originally they had planned to meet at the Santos Dumont
airport, just outside of Rio. In fact, Annabella lunched there along the day
Ty’s plane was to arrive, but when she noted the throng of women
gathering all waiting there to see the very same gentleman she wanted to
see, she left quietly and headed for the island of Paqueta, which is owned
by Darke de Mattos, who had invited her and Tyrone to be his guests.
This lovely dot of land is fifteen miles off the mainland and the only
way it can be reached is by Mr. De Mattos’ private launch. So there in
languorous, luxurious setting those two met again. They stayed at Paqueta
for a day and then returned together to Rio to spend days in sightseeing.
They found that wouldn’t work however. Ty, who was traveling with
Bill Gallagher, his secretary, was on constant demand for charity dinners,
ambassador’s dinners, personal appearances at movie theaters and
what not. Then came the crowds of autograph seekers who tagged them
around everywhere. Added to that there was the press. For the cables
were burning, the wires were humming, the long distance phones were
ringing and the photographers were flashing their bulbs, and each and
every one of them wanted the answer to the same question: were Tyrone
and Annabella going to marry.
They both tried to laugh it off; while out in Hollywood, the studio tried
to laugh it off, too, amid its attack of jitters. For the studio well knew that
Power married was undoubtedly a million dollars less valuable to them
than Power unmarried.
Tyrone and Annabella stood it a week, and then she departed for the
United States by plane, while he came back, more slowly, by boat.
In New York, where they met again to fly back together to the Coast,
they denied any formal engagement, but once back in Hollywood they
became constant companions. Whereupon all the ambition ridden ladies
of movie town looked at Annabella, and muttered, remembering how they
had not captured Mr. Power, "What has she got that I haven’t got?"
Yet while they would rather have died than have admitted it, in a way
they knew. For there is that slim, trim figure of Annabella’s and her neat
scrubbed look, to begin with. She wears casual tailored suits most of the
time and never a hat. Her short blonde hair flutters about her head.
There is a quality about her of sunlight and fresh air that is very much in
contrast to the other movie girls who have their hair set daily, who are
everlastingly overdressing, and who guard their skins as they would the
gold of the Indies.
Those things can be faked or acquired, if need be, but the two great
qualities Annabella had to win Tyrone Power cannot be purchased. The
quality that was to hold him was first of all, the feminine defenselessness
of her. There she was in Hollywood, without a contract, a gallant
foreigner, preparing to support her child. She didn’t have any great
crowd of friends or relatives about her. In other words, she needed him.
He could make life sweeter for her He could protect her. That is still the
way to reach any man’s heart.
That was the one thing, and the second was this; she could give him
knowledge in living. He had everything but age. He had fame, he had
talent, he had physical beauty, he had money. But just the number of
years of living, of being more mature, of having suffered pain, he did not
have. Annabella, however, 7 though not so much older than he, had lived more completely. She had known marriage, the death of a loved one,
divorce and motherhood. These things gave her wisdom and
compassion, and her French heritage gave her an understanding of men
and the sweet wiles of allure.
Patia Power invited Annabella to live with her, while the studio swung
into action. They told Tyrone how adversely marriage would affect his
career. Many friends came to Tyrone and told him the same thing.
Literally thousands of letters poured in to him from his fans, begging him
not to marry. He got hundreds of telephone calls too, some of them from
But all the warnings, all the little plots to kill his love came to nothing.
The winter disappeared and spring came and as the sun grew stronger,
so did the love of Tyrone Power strengthen.
One night he came in to his mother’s house and, in her presence, he
put a great single diamond on Annabella’s finger. In his mother’s
presence, he kissed her and asked her to be his wife. It was pure
defiance of his studio. It was inviting a challenge to his popularity. Close
observers say it seemed like a very great disappointment to his mother.
Loves are frequently made greater by opposition to them. And
certainly no one could look at Tyrone Power this spring and not see that
he was a man deeply in love, almost love-sick, in fact.
For it was and it is for him, you see, that first great love. It is the
first time he has ever wanted to unite a woman’s life with his, so that they
could go down their days, hand in hand, and heart to heart. The danger
his friends have foreseen is that while it is this first passion for him, it is
Annabella’s third wedding.
Up until the very eve of their wedding, however, the film colony hoped
it might not happen. Even when they filed their intention to wed, the bets
were still on that it wouldn’t take place. But it did, on Sunday afternoon,
April 23rd, and very simple. There, as we have already said, was Don
Ameche, whose marriage has been so successful, as Ty's best man. Pat
Paterson, the little English girl whose marriage to Charles Boyer, has
been a lasting love too, was Annabella’s matron-of-honor. Perhaps Don
and Pat were chosen by the defiant lovers as the good omens for their
Thus were two glamour people united. The greatest lovers have been
those that were the most opposed -- Romeo and Juliet, Abelard and
Heloise, Pyramus and Thisbie. This may be such a love, such a love as
may grow through marriage steadily into beauty, steadily into inspiration
and happiness and ecstasy.
8It will be the greatest triumph of gallant and triumphant boy if it is. For
Tyrone Power is too intelligent not to know the risk his career is running
by his marrying. But he is also too romantic to deny his heart when it
began experiencing its greatest emotion. Time may prove, however, that
his heart and his head were not in conflict, but united in the highest bond,
united in that final knowledge that love given and shared is more
important than careers or fame or any amount of money, more important
in fact than any other thing this side of paradise.
1 The director was Sidney Lanfield. Despite his assessment of Ty's ability, he did find himself as Ty's director in two future movies - 1937's Thin Ice and 1939's Second Fiddle.
2 This account of Ty staying on at the studio is slightly inaccurate. Alice Faye went to Zanuck and asked him to give Ty another chance. Zanuck put him in
another couple pictures - Girls Dormitory and Ladies in Love. He did get some notice from the
fans in these pictures, but Zanuck was still not convinced that he was "star" material. Ty then went to Henry King (not Zanuck) and asked him to consider him for a role in one of his movies. King was then working on Lloyds of London, and he arranged with Zanuck to test Ty for the part of Jonathan Blake in the movie. Don Ameche's name had been penciled in for the role, but Zanuck agreed to the test. Ty won the role, and,
once the movie was released, he quickly climbed the heights of stardom.
3 Sonja's film career was rather brief. Her films were light comedies, featuring her skating talents, rather than relying on her acting talents, which were minimal. She made a total of twelve films, with her film career taking a nosedive in the late 40's.
4The article is referring to the second film that Ty made for 20th Century-Fox. This film, Ladies in Love, was released about one month (Oct 29, 1936) before Ty's breakout movie, Lloyds of London was released (Nov 27, 1936).
5 Janet Gaynor was nominated for an Oscar for A Star is Born. Ty escorted her to the Oscars that year.
6 It was widely reported that Norma Shearer had quite a yen for Tyrone and that was one of the reasons she asked him to be her leading man in Marie Antoinette. Ty was apparently pleasant and friendly with Norma, yet he didn't return her romantic interest. According to a still photographer on the set of the movie, she was unhappy at his lack of interest in her. The way in which MGM handled Ty's role in Marie Antoinette caused Darryl F. Zanuck to refuse to loan him out again.
7 Just how much older Annabella was than Ty is debatable. Some sources have said just a year or two; more often stated difference is five years; and
a couple sources have stated as much as ten years difference. The Internet Broadway Database says that she was born July 14, 1904, in La Varenne Saint Hilaire, Val-de-Marne, France. Since Ty was born May 5, 1914, this would make her
ten years older. So.... take your choice!
8 The happiness did not last. The two of them had apparently drifted apart by the time Ty was ready to leave for military service in 1942. They were considering divorce at the time, but they decided to stay together, at least until the war was over. Reportedly, Ty was hopeful that the marriage would work out; and he did try to work things out with Annabella after he returned from service in November 1945. Within a few months, though, Annabella had left Ty to go to New York to pursue her career on stage. She formally announced their separation in October 1946; she delayed giving him a divorce for years. In 1949, as he was marrying Linda Christian in a Catholic ceremony in Rome, Italy, his divorce from Annabella was being finalized. (The Catholic church did not recognize his marriage to Annabella, since she was divorced when they married... Thus he was eligible to be married in the Catholic church).
© 2004-2011 tyrone-power.com
all rights reserved