20 Tyrone Power (1914 – 58)
Cincinnati, Ohio’s most famous acting son, Tyrone Power, was not a chaser of women as such. They chased him. So did the men. Considered by many of the ‘oldies’ to be the most handsome man ever to grace the screen, his female colleagues were fascinated by him and, like any red-blooded guy, he surrendered to their beauty at every opportunity. It must have been common knowledge in the industry that he was bisexual, that he and Errol Flynn were an ‘item’ for some time, but it made little difference. Women swooned over him. Lana Turner aborted his child in 1947 when his wife, actress Annabella, refused to divorce him. His illicit affair with Judy Garland ended four years earlier when it was he that refused to divorce Annabella.
Women adored him so did men – TY & Cesar Romero
Ty & Annabella
His conquests in the thirties and forties read like a ‘Who’s Who?’ list. There were relationships of varying lengths with Loretta Young, Janet Gaynor, Jane Wyman, Sonja Henie and Madeleine Carroll prior to World War Two. In the forties, apart from the already mentioned Garland and Turner, he bedded Gene Tierney, Claudette Colbert, Rhonda Fleming, Paulette Goddard and Alice Faye. The wife of Argentina’s dictator Juan Peron, the fun-loving Eva Peron, also fell under his spell. In the fifties Anita Ekberg, Doris Day, Dorothy Dandridge, Marlene Dietrich, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Joan Crawford, Cyd Charisse and Barbara Stanwyck all came and went. And so did several male stars – Rock Hudson, Cesar Romero and Marlon Brando, to name but a few. A heart attack took him at 44. And no wonder.
19 Yul Brynner (1920 – 85)
Yul Brynner was born in Vladivostok, Russia in 1920, although he regularly told interviewers to, ‘just call me a nice, clean-cut Mongolian boy.’ According to classmates at the Michael Chekhov Theatre Studio in Ridgefield, Connecticut, he and actor Hurd Hatfield (1945’s The Picture of Dorian Gray) embarked upon an affair in 1941. In 1951 Yul won the lead in the Broadway production of The King and I opposite Gertrude Lawrence. They were soon lovers despite Gertrude being 17 years his senior. When she died during the running of the show he burst into tears when told the news. Not because of her death, according to Rodgers and Hammerstein, but because he now had top billing in the show!
Gertrude Lawrence & Yul in’The King & I’ Hurd Hatfield
with Anne Baxter in ‘The
He had four wives in his lifetime and among his numerous lovers during the fifties were Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Gina Lollobrigida, Anita Ekberg and Ingrid Bergman. There was also a two year affair with Anne Baxter, plus one night stands with Claire Bloom, Katy Jurado, Tallulah Bankhead and rumoured encounters with Marilyn Monroe and Nancy Davis (Reagan). Considering his monumental, almost uncontrollable ego and his irritating habit of forever talking about himself, Brynner surprisingly held some kind of hypnotic power over his women. And he was very aware of it.
18 BURT REYNOLDS (1936 – )
Burt Reynolds is a bit of an enigma. His popularity was such that he attracted women like a magnet for decades, yet he seemed to prefer lengthy relationships. He married and divorced actresses Judy Carne and Loni Anderson and was deeply involved with singer Dinah Shore who was in her fifties and 20 years his senior. There were serious relationships with Sally Field, Liza Minnelli’s half-sister Lorna Luft, and he was briefly engaged to Lori Nelson in 1960. He also dated tennis champ Chris Evert for over a year. There were briefer affairs with Miss America 1976, Tawny Little, Mamie Van Doren, Catherine Deneuve, singers Doris Day and Tammy Wynette, Faye Dunaway, his Cannonball Run co-star Adrienne Barbeau and Japanese star Miko Mayama.
with Dinah Shore with his wife Judy Carne with Sally Field
In 1970 actress Inger Stevens stressed over her romance with him and took her own life. 1972 he became involved with Sarah Miles when they made The Man who Loved Cat Dancing. For decades rumours have persisted that he is bisexual. For that matter, equally strong rumours that Dinah Shore was gay also persist to this day. I have found no evidence whatsoever to support either claim.
17 VICTOR MATURE (1913 – 99)
When I was a kid my mates and I used to laugh at Victor Mature. We could not believe he could be a movie star and highly desirable to the opposite sex. He was not your average male movie heartthrob. Not by a long shot. Boy, were we wrong? He had lovers coming out of his ears! In his early days in Hollywood he dated Carole Landis, Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth. One-night stands with Lana Turner, Alice Faye and newcomer Bella Darvi followed.
with Esther Williams in ‘Kiss of Death’
Esther Williams wrote of torrid sexual bouts with him in her trailer when her marriage hit the rocks. Liz Taylor, Debra Paget, Gene Tierney and Veronica Lake were more taciturn about his virility, but they all added to his impressive tally. So did June Haver, Anne Shirley, Virginia Field and literally hundreds of lesser lights. He even latched onto Bogart’s ex-wife Mayo Methot for a while. Victor Mature has since grown on me as an actor. I own a copy of Kiss of Death (1947), an excellent film noir of his that showcases his under-rated (especially by himself) ability in front of the cameras. By all accounts, he was a nice guy as well.
16 KIRK DOUGLAS (1916 – )
It would be reasonably safe to say that Kirk Douglas has never been known to the majority of his associates and colleagues as ‘a nice guy’. There has never been a shortage of massive egos in Tinsel Town and Kirk was one of those big stars possessed of an even bigger ego than most. The likes of Douglas, Burt Lancaster and Yul Brynner (to name just three) had little time for anyone or anything but their careers. Oh, and women. They all liked women.
with wife Diana & son Joel, 1947 and Pier Angeli
Douglas kicked off his screen career with The Strange Love of Martha Ivers in 1946 and by the early fifties he was a very hot property. His marriage to Diana Dill ended in 1951 (she was the mother of Michael), and with its end Kirk’s skirt-chasing entered a whole new phase. Not that he had been faithful to Diana anyway. Affairs with Marilyn Maxwell on the set of Champion in 1948, Linda Darnell that same year, and Patricia Neal in ’49, probably contributed to the breakdown of the marriage. According to his memoirs, he managed to squeeze in a rather clinical one night stand with Joan Crawford as well.
with second wife Anne Buydens and today
In 1952 Kirk and Pier Angeli fell in love and were briefly engaged to be married. At the same time he was involved (for two years) with Lana Turner. Incredibly, he was also sleeping with Rita Hayworth, Terry Moore, Patricia Knight and Mona Knox whenever the opportunity arose! He married German-American producer Anne Buydens in 1954 and they were still together 62 years later when Kirk celebrated his 100th birthday in December 2016.