Sandra Dee

"She Lived Alone -- But Didn't Like it!"

This article, written by Mike Connolly, appeared in the
November 1963 issue of Screen Stories Magazine.

Sandra said: "I realized Bobby was the only one in the world for me when, shortly after our separation, some friends fixed up dates for me with other men. It just didn't work out. It was awful. I remember coming home from one of them and thinking to myself, "It won't do. I'll never be anything but an old maid, a wallflower!" And then I remember saying to myself, 'But you're not an old maid, you're not a wallflower; you're a married woman with a baby!' and then I thought how ridiculuous it all was, and that Bobby Darin was the one and only man in the world for me."

Bobby said: "This may seem silly but the stupidity of our split-up was brought home to me by an incident in New York. Sandra went to New York on a business trip shortly after our separation. I went to see her at her hotel. Sure, we were separated but we still had plenty of things to talk about--like our son and mutual business matters--so we were seeing each other or talking to each other every day on the phone. Anyway, on this particular day, I got into the elevator at her hotel and asked the operator, 'Which floor does my wife live on?'

"Well, the operator gave me a funny look, and then she told me which floor Sandy was on. Then, she gave me another funny look and started to giggle. It made me laugh, too"

"Sandy and I were back together not long after that. And if you ever happen into an elevator where I'm asking that kind of question again, five'll get you a thousand I'll be asking, 'What floor do my wife and I live on?"

Theses two statements by Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Darin are the best illustrations I can find to describe the new Mr. and Mrs. BD. Sandy--especially--is an entirely different person than she was before the split-up. Bobby, too, is more self-assured and positive about things, particularly business matters, than I've ever known him to be.

Sandy, to those who knew her best, was always in a shell before the break-up that brought her to her senses. She was afraid to discuss things with people. She had worked, as a model and actress, since she was six and had always been sheltered by her mother and other people. She had no close friends of her own age. As a result, she was withdrawn and insecure when she was with younger people, because she had become accustomed to being The Star with her elders who catered to her every desire.

Sandy couldn't take part in even a simple discussion with younger people because of her "cloistered" upbringing, let alone an argument about anything. And so, when she married the colorful, volatile Bobby, she clammed up and crawled into her shell, nursing things to herself that she should have brought out into the open, just as Bobby let off steam in that healthy get-it-off-your-chest Italian style.

Opposites, they say, attract each other and this was certainly true of Sandy and Bobby. But Sandy's withdrawn temperament was so far removed from Bobby's completely extroverted personality that she finally smothered it completely, to the detriment of her marriage.

It was never just a case of Sandy insisting on having her way. It was always a case, whenever a discussion came up (a simple discussion, mind you, and nothing so weighty as an argument!), of Sandy just keeping quiet. As a sample:

BOBBY: "I don't know whether to tend to the music business today or go fishing, Sandy. What do you think?"

SANDY: "I really don't know. Whatever you say, Bobby!"

And that's the way it went--until they actually bypassed the music business that day and went fishing up on the Kern River, where a slight incident brought up the fact that Sandy hadn't really wanted to go fishing at all but would much rather have gone to a movie.

Their closest friends insist that it was this business of not communicating with each other that broke up the Darins. Their friends must have been right, as evidenced by today's smooth-tracked status-quo of affairs in the Dee-Darin household, where there's a daily meeting-of-the-minds and discussion on every subject under the sun from what's-for-breakfast? to call-the-electrician!

"And call the electrician is very important, believe me," Sandy told me. "We want a baby sister for Doddie, who'll be two in December, because he's the joy of our life despite the scraped-knees agony he gives us. Which brings me to the electrician; the other day Doddie stuck a hairpin in an electric plug and the shock threw him clear across the room. I thought sure he was a goner but he turned up goo-gooing delightedly, like he'd found a new toy. So, where once I'd have said, 'Bobby, you call the electrician,' this time I took the matter into my own hands and called the electrician myself. Marriage has helped me, hasn't it?

"Another thing about Doddie. Since Bobby and I made up, the baby's got a whole new syndrome or whatever you call those things. He's jealous of his own father. He's getting over it, of course, but you can see what a mess that would have become if Bobby and I hadn't reconciled.

"I told Bobby the other day we'll have to have another baby soon--preferably right away!--so that Doddie won't be more spoiled than he is. Although he's so strong--Doddie is, I mean--sometimes I think if I do have another baby he'll kill it! I'm kidding. But I'm not kidding when I say we're going to have at least one more baby, after I make about two more pictures."

I asked what the new regime will be.

"Bobby's music business will keep him in New York several months out of each year, until he gets the business going good. We'll live in a hotel in New York and will buy another home here. We're selling this one because we need more room and because this house has so many unhappy memories.

"Bobby figures it'll take about a year to get the music company in good shape. And, this fall, he'll play his last nightclub date, at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. I'll go up to visit him, but I will never stay there for a month or more, as I did before. I can't stand that night life. Neither can Bobby. That's why he's giving up the clubs after this last engagement.

"I think Bobby plans working on the music end of his career--I mean his music company --until he becomes independently wealthy, so that he won't have to take acting or singing jobs unless he wants to do them," Sandy said. "And I think he'll accomplish it because he usually achieves what he sets out to do."

"After that, he'll work only when he wants to. What kind of work? Acting, of course. And he loves writing more than most other kinds of work, especially songwriting. He loves being with writers."

"There's no great rush about buying the house here in Hollywood, as there was the last time. It was as if we had to have a house in a hurry--to prove that we were married! It taught us a lesson. This time we'll take it slow and easy."

I asked Sandy why she hadn't made an official announcement of the reconciliation.

"We were never really separated, for one thing," she said, "and we had never gotten divorced, so we felt it would be kind of redundant to make an announcement."

I asked if the reconciliation hadn't come about primarily because Sandy felt sorry for Bobby, following the heart attack that laid him low during his singing engagement at Freedomland.

"No truth to that at all," came the answer. "Bobby and I are back together because we have always loved each other and because we never should have broken up in the first place."

Bobby's heart will be okay, Sandy said, as long as he takes care of himself and doesnt let himself get run down. He has to be particularly careful to avoid getting a strep throat, which could play holy ned with his heart. Physically, he's in good shape, and will remain so as long as he follows his doctor's counsel.

They'll be separated again part of this fall and winter--but only by a continent, not by their temperaments! --while she's shooting The Richest Girl in the World at Universal and he's winding up his nightclub and music company commitments. And after that?

"Well, Bobby has so many interests, you know. He isn't just a singer. He's an actor-singer and he runs his own recording firm and music publishing company, writes songs for others as well as for himself; so there'll be plenty for him to do. And when I say things for him to do I mean for me, too, because I am his wife!"

Spoken, I thought, like the new Sandy. And that's just what she is. The pre-breakup Sandy would never have said that. Since Bobby was her first and only beau, and since she'd never had any experience in handling young beaux, as do most girls, the "old Sandy" would make Bobby jealous by pouting. It was a little-girl way of getting his attention. The "new Sandy" knows how to handle things properly, as I'm sure her remarks in this interview have indicated.

I remember, when Bobby first became a star, how the female customers in the nightclubs used to throw themselves at him. He seemed to revel in it at the time. But it palled, as such things often do; and Bobby was ready, by the time he met Sandy, to settle down. Sandy, I'm sure, knew how attractive her husband was to other women. Did she know how to handle it? In view of her immaturity, I doubt it. And it may have been her very lack of skill in this area that made her all the more endearing to Bobby. At any rate, Bobby by now was too much involved in his marriage and his work to pay any attention to the dames who still threw themselves at him.

"We've grown up," Sandy said. "We're perfectly content to leave the nightclub-and-Hollywood-party routine to those who want that kind of life. We're not children any more, we're happily married, adult parents, and our idea of a happy evening is to stay home and listen to records or play cards or watch TV."

Bobby, it developed, went out for fishing and skeet shooting in a big way with his pal Jackie Cooper during the separation. He also loves horseback riding, and boats. And, says Sandy, "I love fishing and skeet shooting and horseback riding and boats, too!"

Now about that story, in a national magazine, that Bobby had "used" Sandy to further his own career.

Not true, said Sandy. "Bobby's career has shot ahead tremendously during the past year. He has done it strictly on his own. He turns in a fabulous acting job in "Captain Newman, M.D."

I remembered, when they were married, that Bobby had said he wouldn't make any pictures with Sandy. He knew, apparently, that there were a lot of people who were just waiting for the chance to say he married Sandy because he wanted to get into pictures through her.

"And he didn't make one picture with me, as you know," Sandy said, "until he had made five on his own. His biggest, before he and I made If a Man Answers, together, was Pressure Point.

"And let me tell you that there was nobody in the world---but nobody!--happier than Bobby when an exhibitor poll showed that I was the No. Two female star at the boxoffice."

I said, "I don't think Bobby could be jealous of anybody."

"You can also say," said Sandy, "that nobody's a bigger Bobby Darin fan than Sandra Dee."

"And--anything else ?"

"Yes," said Sandy. "Just say that Bobby Darin and his wife, Sandra Dee, are back together and that they're leading a very happy life and that that's the way it's going to be from this day forward!"


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