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This page consists of interesting little incidents involving Ty, as told by those who knew him.
Please note: These anecdotes were derived from many sources. None of the quotes were taken from other web pages. Please do not use the anecdotes on another web page without citing this web page as your source.
(speaking of filming Johnny Apollo)
“…Ty came into my portable dressing room to ask for a cigarette. I was fixing my makeup, so I absent mindedly handed him the pack. He held it in his hands for a few seconds until someone called him for his closeup, whereupon he left the cigarettes behind on my dressing room table. One loose cigarette was lying beside the pack, so I picked it up and lit it. It gave off a terrible odor, and my dressing room began to roll and pitch as if floating out to sea. I though I was in an earthquake, or had lit a reefer by mistake. But it was just my friend Ty. He had put a trick sliver of wood in my cigarette to cause that awful smell and had some of the crew outside to shake my dressing room back and forth. Had anyone else done that, I might have shot him, but Ty’s devilish grin always won me over.”
(speaking of a trip to Washington, D.C., with Ty and a number of other stars)
“Like millions of other woman, my hairdresser Elaine Ramsey, was madly in love with Ty, so at the end of the evening I asked him to take me upstairs to my suite at the Shoreham. Together we sneaked into Elaine’s room, where she was fast asleep, her hair up in curlers. Ty leaned over and kissed her gently. When Elaine opened her eyes and saw who it was, the trip to Washington became a big moment for her, too.”
(speaking of filming The Razor’s Edge)
“Ty had an impish streak of his own. For a nightclub scene , he persuaded the prop man to fill our glasses with champagne, instead of the usual plain or colored water used in such scenes. After a few takes, we felt quite happy and relaxed. This was the silent sequence, with music over it, showing us doing the town in Paris. We had little if any dialogue, while Russian gypsies played enchanting music. The scene had a special glow that came out of our champagne glasses.”
(as told by Lee Israel in Kilgallen, a biography)
They met, probably in a publicity-related arrangement, just prior to his sensational appearance in Lloyds of London. They continued to see each other, lunching, nightclubbing, laughing a good deal. She bought a cherry-red hat for their day at Santa Anita. He wore a pork-pie hat and camel’s-hair coat. Dorothy taught him a bit about picking horses. He tried to teach her to drive a car. They were neither very successful. Tyrone lost more than he could afford during their day at the races. Dorothy shook like a leaf behind the wheel and finally had to give it up as a lost cause. They had a nice friendship, which Dorothy took too seriously.
(pictured at right - Ty and Dorothy Kilgallen)
One Christmas I gave a party for my two small sons, and Tyrone Power offered to play Santa Claus. He lived a few blocks from me, and I went over to help him dress and brief him on the impending operation.
He was extremely nervous.
"This is worse than a first night on Broadway," he said, helping himself liberally to the scotch bottle. "I've never performed for a bunch of kids before."
I pushed and pulled him into the padded stomach, bulky red outfit, and high black boots rented from Western Costume Company and helped him fasten on a black belt, a huge white beard, and little red cap.
"Don't worry about it," I said. "It's all fixed. I've left the gate open at the bottom of the garden. I've rigged up some sleigh bells down there and stashed away the presents, and at exactly six o'clock we'll give 'em the bells; then you pick up the sack and make it up the lawn to the house -- they're all expecting you."
"Oh, God!" Ty groaned. "Why the hell did I suggest this? Hand me that bottle."
Another hefty swig passed through the cotton wool beard.
"Whose kids are they, anyway?" he asked.
"Two of mine, Maria Cooper, Roz Russell's kid, the Fairbanks' and Deborah's, Loretta's and Jerry Lewis', Michael Boyer, and Edgar Bergen's little girl Candy, about fifty altogether. You'll know a lot of them; the rest are neighbors."
"Fifty!" yelled Ty. "Hand me that bottle."
"Don't worry," I said, "I've written all the names clearly on each present. Just read 'em out, ad-lib a little, and don't forget to go HO! HO! HO!"
"Jesus!" said Ty. "Let's go . . . I can't stand all this waiting around."
One last nip, and we were off: we took the bottle along.
During the five-minute drive to my house Ty begged me to let him off the hook. "Why don't you do it? he asked. "It's your party."
"You suggested it," I said firmly.
By six o'clock Santa Claus was loaded in every sense of the word and, sack on shoulder, was hidden in some bushes at the bottom of my garden.
I tugged the string and pealed the sleigh bells.
Immediately excited cries broke out from the house, and little heads appeared at every window.
"Off you go," I said to my quivering companion. "Lots of luck!"
"Son of a ...!" hissed Father Christmas, and he lurched off up the lawn.
When his shadowy form was spotted by the excited children, shrill shrieks and applause broke out. At that point I had intended to turn on the garden lights to illuminate the scene, but for some reason I missed the switch and turned on the sprinklers. With a crack like a pistol shot, geysers of spray shot out of the grass all around him, and Ty fell down. I readjusted the situation; Ty picked himself up, gave me a marked look, and squelched on toward the shining, expectant faces in the windows.
Like all actors, once the curtain was up and the adrenaline had started pumping, Ty was relaxed and happy in his work. "HO! HO! HO!" he boomed. "And who is this lovely woolly lamb for, eh?" -- fumbling at the card -- "Aha! I remember now. Candace Bergen . . . . Come here, little girl . . . HO! HO! HO!"
He was doing beautifully by the time I had sneaked in by the back door, seated in a big chair in the hall with excited children climbing all over him.
"And who is this gentleman?" he asked my eldest son, indicating me.
"That's my daddy," the little boy piped up.
"Well, now, I wonder if your daddy could spare old Santa a glass of lemonade. I've come a long way tonight." A sizeable bolt of scotch disappeared into the white foliage, and Ty became too sure of himself.
"Maria Cooper! My, what a pretty girl! HO! HO! HO! You tell your daddy that old Santa thought he was just dandy in High Noon . . . and ask him for Grace Kelly's phone number while you're about it. HO! HO! HO!"
Maria Cooper was a little more sophisticated than the other children. "Where did you see the picture, Santa?" she asked sweetly.
"Oh," said Ty, pointing vaguely above him, "up there!"
After a while Santa made his good-byes and staggered off down the lawn. Some of the children cried when he left.
Back at the bottom of the garden, I helped him out of his outfit. He was as excited as if he had just given a triumphant Broadway performance of King Lear. "I really enjoyed that!" he said. "Weren't the kids a great audience!"
Up at the house he mingled unnoticed with arriving parents and was beside me when my youngest son emerged from a bedroom flushed with embarrassment.
"Daddy, Daddy! Guess what? That Candy Bergen has been trying to kiss me."
Some Hollywood children never knew when they were well off.
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