3 November 1956


Victor in slippers

Mature's latest film over here is Interpol-in which Trevor Howard stars with him.

VICTOR MATURE, Hollywood's swashbuckling Baron of Beef-cake, put down the harmless cup of milkless tea he was drinking and looked at me-almost ferociously, I thought. He said: "I've never ever been mixed up in a scandal! Check the files, there's nothing at all!"

We were discussing the newspaper stories that have been written about him recently, stories both panning and praising him.

For, since he started making films, for Warwick-Safari, Zarak and Interpol-now being filmed-he has been regularly stepping off boats and planes on to our shores. And the press have made note of his arrivals-in many ways!

But it is more than likely that almost every newspaper story about him has been "directed and manoeuvred" by Mr. M. in person.

"All my friends are press boys. I've grown up with them and I've cultivated friendships, not because I've wanted to assure myself of good write-ups, but because I like press guys. And they have a job to do."

Whenever he is in England, he makes a point of seeing every newspaperman who seeks an interview. I've heard him say many times: "If the boys want a story, they gotta have one!"

Substituting Scotch and ice for his milkless tea, he continued:

"So a press guy rings up and says he's coming round to see me. I know what he expects. He expects a roomful of girls and a mad party."

"So I call up a lot of girls and we have a party and the guy has his story. And anyway he's happy because there are girls and a party."

"Another guy asks me about my clothes and I show him the label inside my sports jacket. It says Twentieth Century-Fox or the name of some other studio."

I explain that I never buy clothes. All my clothes are from the films I've made.

"So he writes a story about my clothes and adds a tag line that I'm broke. Well, my last divorce cost me a lot of money!"

Mature believes that publicity is part of showbusiness. If there is nothing worth writing about him at the particular time, he soon sees that a story develops.

He even admits that the time he flew to New York, because he couldn't get the hotel room he wanted in London, he was prompted by publicity as well as personal reasons.

But, when it is anything of importance in his life, Mature can be as reticent as a clam. For instance, his three divorces have been conducted without the furore of publicity some stars demand.

In fact, the only declaration of a personal nature that has been written up dates back to 1943.

Then he is quoted as saying to Louella Parsons: "Rita Hayworth is the only girl I ever felt I truly loved." This was after Rita jilted him and married Orson Welles while Mature was in the navy.

All the socializing, parties and ballyhoo probably spring from the fact that he likes to be liked by everyone. As an old friend of his, Jules Seltzer of Twentieth Century-Fox, told me:

"The only trouble with Vic is that he's the sort of guy who can't say 'No' to anyone."

Which may be the reason why he always has a big Hello for newspaper men who think they have panned him. For, as far as he's concerned, there's never been a story written that didn't have Mature backing.