Birth: November 13, 1923
Death: July 22, 2011
Linda Christian was born "Blanca Rosa Welter" on November 13, 1923, in Tampico, Mexico. Her father was Gerard Welter, a Dutch engineer who worked for Shell Oil Company and was stationed in Mexico at the time of Linda's birth. While living in Mexico, he met and married her mother, also Blanca Rosa, who was of German/Spanish/French descent. The Welters had two boys and two girls. Linda's sister, Ariadna Welter, became an actress and has appeared in many films made in Mexico. Ariadna made her debut in an uncredited part in 1949's Prince of Foxes, during the time Ty and Linda were engaged.
Linda was not only beautiful but well-educated and talented as well. She lived in many places, traveled the globe, and learned to speak several languages fluently. Among the places where she spent her youth were
Venezuela, the Middle East, Holland, and South Africa. She learned to speak fluently Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.
While in Mexico, she met actor, Errol Flynn. She confided to him her desires to go to medical school to become a doctor. He convinced her to go to Hollywood to pursue an acting career, even though she had no acting experience at the time. In time, Linda was able to get a seven-year contract with MGM, whereupon the studio gave her acting lessons. During the years 1944-1946, she had uncredited roles in three movies. In 1947, she had her first credited role, in Green Dolphin Street, which starred Lana Turner, Tyrone Power's romantic interest at the time. During the filming of that movie, Lana took four days off to fly down to Mexico, where Ty was filming Captain from Castile.
Shortly after appearing in Green Dolphin Street, Linda was cast in an RKO movie, Tarzan and the Mermaids, which would be filmed in Acapulco. The Captain from Castile company, which was in Mexico for five months, had moved from their previous location in Mexico to Acapulco, Mexico. It was then that Linda met Tyrone Power. Lana was back in Mexico, and she briefly introduced the two. During the introduction, Tyrone recalled having met her one time before, at a party at his home, given by his wife at the time, Annabella.
A few months later, in October 1947, Ty, a couple friends, and crew were on their 32,000 mile good-will trip through Europe. They stopped in Rome, where Linda happened to also be. At the hotel, she met Tyrone, as she was staying at the same hotel. He was pleasantly surprised to see her again, and a romance began. The visit in Rome was extended to three weeks, and, by the time Ty left Rome, he was sure that he was in love with Linda.
Ty and Linda were married on January 27, 1949, in the Church of Santa Francesca Romana in what was called the Wedding of the Century. They took a brief honeymoon, after which Ty began filming The Black Rose. During the filming, Linda discovered that she was pregnant. Ty was ecstatic. Months later, their joy turned to sorrow when Linda lost the baby, a boy, in Paris, a few hours after an extremely rough plane ride through a violent storm, with Ty as pilot. She made it to a hospital, and the doctor felt that the baby could be saved, but he was overly optimistic. Linda lost two more babies: another boy, then a girl while filming American Guerilla in the Philippines.
During the years that she was married to Ty, Linda appeared in several movies. Among them were 1952's Battle Zone, starring John Hodiak, 1952's The Happy Time, with Charles Boyer, and 1954's Athena, with Edmund Purdom, whom she would marry years later.
Linda visiting on the set of Mississippi Gambler
In 1951, they finally had a baby girl, Romina, and they were thrilled. As time went by, though, there was stress in the marriage. During the making of Mississippi Gambler, they quarreled over the fact that Linda understood that there would be a part in the movie for her. She felt that Ty didn't push hard enough to get her in the movie. There also were problems over his desire to do so much stage work, rather than stick to movie making. Various problems piled up, and both were unhappy. Ty was ready to ask her for a divorce when she told him that she was expecting another child. They stayed together, and in 1953, the birth of daughter, Taryn, brought joy to their lives. For a time, it seemed that all was well; however, the marriage eventually fell apart, and Linda announced their separation during the filming of Untamed. They divorced in 1955.
After their divorce, Ty would see his children as often as he could. According to the divorce decree, he was allowed two months custody. If his schedule would permit, and he and Linda could come to agreement, he would have them more than the two months.
Linda continued to make a few movies, mostly in small supporting roles. Among them were 1959's The House of the Seven Hawks, 1963's The V.I.P.s , and The Devil’s Hand, filmed in 1959 but released in 1962. In 1962, Linda married Edmund Purdom, but the marriage ended within a year.
Linda died from colon cancer on July 22, 2011.
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