What I Like About Women By Victor Mature
What do I like about women? That's a pretty enormous order. You've apparently heard the often-repeated rumor that I do like them, and I admit it. Frankly, the main thing I like about women is that they're women.
I've had lots of publicity linking my name with this gal and that one about town. Most of the time, these light and serious romance rumors are simply due to the fact that the news guys and gals in Hollywood are pretty nice to me. They like to give me space in their publications. Maybe I just meet a girl this afternoon and take her out to show her the Mocambo etchings. And boom! A guy comes along, shoots a picture of us, and tomorrow we're on the front page, and engaged according to the gossip columns.
This is fine treatment for a guy in my business. But it's pretty difficult to do an analysis of a girl you've known only over a cocktail, despite the fact the press has you in the throes of an impassioned romance with her.
So for this "lineup" I'll stick to the girls I've really known well and liked a lot. I'll pick an all-time all-Hollywood "team" and tell why - like the coaches do with their all-American choices.
As I said before, the main thing I like about women is that they're women. That's no gag - it's very important. Any girl who appeals to me must be strictly feminine. None of this tailored, short-haired, low-heeled, strong handshake department. I want my females female. So let's travel on to the individual assets of my nominees (and maybe a few of their liabilities, which sometimes appeal to me more.) Some of these I've been in love with, and some of them were just friends. But all of them were pretty wonderful. At least I think so.
Since I have to start somewhere it might as well be with Lana. Lana Turner's not only good-looking and clever, but she can "take it." She had the patience and fortitude to hang onto the fringes of her career, and come up smiling every time she got knocked down, till finally she won out. That's a great quality. But the nicest thing about Lana, I think, is the way she treats you when you're her date. If Lana's with you, you're the only guy in the room. She's interested in you, she's worried about you, wants to know if you're all right, what your troubles are, what will make you happy. She's engrossed in you. And that's a wonderful character trait to attract the male of the species. In other words, Lana makes you think you're the only one - no table hopping with the eyes for her. You're the one. Of course it may be you only for the evening, but that's all right, too. It's still flattering. Essentially, Lana's a friendly type, and this isn't an act, it's sincere. She's really interested in people, concerned about their welfare and happiness. That's her greatest feature.
Betty Grable has the greatest laugh in the world. It comes from way down inside her, and you can hear it a block away. It bubbles. She and Lana are a toss-up as to "cleverest," on my list. I'd say they'd share the billing. But it's Betty's laugh I'd note down as tops on the list of things to remember.
Cleatus Caldwell is hands down the most beautiful girl I've ever dated. She's out of this world. When we've gone out for dinner, I always got a terrific bang out of just looking across the table at her. Or walking into a place with her. She's got that kind of beauty.
The most fun I've ever had in my life was with a girl named Helen. Can't even remember her last name. By rights, maybe she shouldn't belong on the Hollywood lineup, but if I'm naming "the gals with the bestest and the mostest," I've got to have Helen on that list. I met her up in Las Vegas recently while I was there taking a short vacation, waiting for 20th Century Fox to call me to start working in "My Darling Clementine." I went there for some fun and some laughs, and I'd hardly checked into the hotel when I found myself in front of a row of nickel machines. (That's all my business manager will let me play.) Helen was at the next machine and we started comparing our luck. She was terrific! All women should have her ability to enjoy life. Too many girls take themselves too seriously.
I think Michele Morgan has the most depth, warmth, and understanding. She has insight and honesty and a wonderful capacity for friendship. I guess she had me pegged pretty well. She always seemed instinctively to know things about me. I thought I kept fairly well hidden - like, when I was lonely or worried or something had gone wrong. She was the kind of girl you could call up on the phone and tell your troubles to and before you knew it you hadn't any more troubles. Just talking to her helped smooth them out. I guess sympathy is her greatest quality. Strictly "simpatico."
Buff Cobb is the maddest character on the list. She's pixillated. There was a magazine layout on her in which she did a screwball take-off of the typical day of a Hollywood star. That's right down her alley-spot-lighting the phonies. And she has a flair for relating commonplace incidents, embellishing them and making them amusing. Most gals start to tell a story, go off on tangents, finally wind up telling you what a divine hat they saw in a window. Buff tells a wonderful story. Inherited the talent, no doubt, from her Grandpa, Irvin S. Cobb.
Gene Tierney is light, airy, breezy, and fascinating. For me, she was a "different" kind of a girl. She didn't conform, and that, I think is the secret of her fascination. She has dozens of different facets to her personality, and is changeable as a chameleon.
With Anne Shirley, it's hard to decide whether her tremendous sense of humor (the greatest in Hollywood, believe me), or her wonderful quality of honesty, is her greatest asset. Ann has something else, too. She's the type of girl you tag as "lovely." Not a physical quality, necessarily, but some kind of inner appeal.
Dolly O'Brien is the most charming women I've ever known. She has true poise, culture and charm. She's tremendously thoughtful, and what a great conversationalist! I'd rather sit and talk to Dolly than any woman I know. She has a wonderful sense of humor, and she's always so beautifully groomed!
June Haver has a quality that's almost unique, it's that young and refreshing. When you get out of the service and come back and see a girl like her walk toward you, you think "that's just what I've been waiting to come home to." She's the epitome of the "girl next door." Cute and sweet and wholesome as an apple pie.
There's a lady I know named Mary Lombardi, who has a combination of practically every good quality in the book. She's middle-aged, but for my football team, she'll play quarterback! She's fun, generous, understanding and has a knock-out sense of humor. I can't think of any place I'd rather visit than Mary's home. Mary's a living example of that Spanish proverb, "Mi casa es tu casa" - my house is thy house."
For "most unpredictable" on my list, let's put down that inimitable member of the "royal family" - Di Barrymore. You're never sure what's going to happen with her. Di's a great verbal sharpshooter! She can cut anyone down to her size in nothing flat! Too, her house is fun to visit. Her parties are fine, swarming with interesting people. As I say, she's strictly unpredictable!
Looking back over my favorite women, there are some wonderful girls, right? There are others, too, but there isn't room to tell about all of them. There's Carole Landis who was a wonderful girl and "regular fellow." And Liz Whitney who was the most sophisticated woman of the bunch. She knew how to live. Suave, and possessed of great self-sufficiency. There was Jean Parker whom I met when I was living in a tent. I guess Jean would classify as "least mercenary." Lord knows I had no dough in those days. But we went out together and had a wonderful time. There was Virginia Maples, a lovely blonde Fox contract player. She has one of Hollywood loveliest figures. Virginia is my sole "outdoor girl" candidate. Most of the other girls were pretty much hothouse flowers. There's Vera Ellen who's one of the most wonderful human beings I've ever known. And there's Gina Hunter, a young contract player out at Fox who has a fresh quality that's like a breath of spring. A corny line, but it's a mighty apt comparison.
As I said before, so-called liabilities often appeal to me as much as assets. I like women with temper, and women with minds of their own. I like to be talked back to, and I like independence and self-assertion. A gal who sits back and just looks beautiful, isn't for me. Headstrong, spoiled - fine. A women should be spoiled, and a woman must have spirit. Almost all my "lineup" had to some degree all the qualities that each one had to a marked degree. I've tried to point out the most outstanding quality I found in each one. They were all lovely and interesting and appealing. They all dressed well, were intelligent, and talented. They all were women.
And that's what I like about them!