Before I met Bobby Darin, a phone call came from his publicity office. "No questions about Sandra Dee," hissed somebody. "Strict orders. He positively will not discuss it. Please don't cross us . He'll think we put you up to it"... The Darin reign of terror has already begun, I thought.
When he arrived to do publicity for his forth coming U-I picture, "If A Man Answers", we finally met and it seemed to me the only one who doesn't further the "cocky, opinionated Darin image" is Darin himself.
"Basically I'm a whole person. An entity," Bobby said gently. "So is Sandy. Actually my name's Cassotto. So's hers. The public is entitled to the professional part of our lives. When we switch to the Cassotto part-- with our son and our home-- the public has no more right to us."
"The people are entitled to our best performance. To our autographs if they wish them. To friendly, civilized answers if they approach us. Even to sticking the cameras down out tonsils if they want to when we're in public. But they're not entitled to come into my house. To eat and sleep with me. John Q. will stop seeing me when he wants to and information about my favorite breakfast food will not help. My wife's among the 10 top box office stars. She's the most brilliant comedienne since Carol Lombard. Photographs of our baby won't make Sandy a better actress."
Somewhere in the jammed restaurant a radio blared the National Anthem. Good looking, gentlemanly Bobby in spiffy striped blazer and white tie, stood up-- all alone. 600 eyes blinked, 300 tongues clucked. But Bobby didn't look left to right. Didn't condemn those who remained seated. Didn't make a fat fuss about it. It's just that he's strong, true to his principles and a fella who stands up for what he believes.
"Obviously these actor-husband- wife relationships are tough. But if your love is strong--and ours is-- you can work anything out. Since our wedding 2 years ago there's nothing more important than my wife and me. Our marriage. Our relationship. Our son. That's why we protect our homelife.
"Basically we're loners. Only 4 people have our phone number-- Sandy's mom, mine, my manager, her studio. It's not because we're anti-social. It's pure and simple because we enjoy one another's company and don't have much time together."
He flagged a waiter with "A pair of eggs, turn 'em over easy, some crisp bacon and coffee right away" before the waiter even grabbed the order pad out of his pocket.
"We're not party throwers. Not party-goers. When we do socialize, it's only 4 or 5 dearest friends who happen to be business associates like my manager, my conductor."
The last of the old-time studio buildup system, Sandy's friends are her hairdresser and makeup man.
" What is really boils down to--though columnists refuse to accept it--is we're divinely happy, love each other dearly and want to protect what we have--doesn't everybody ?"
Of course I voted for Nixon, so what do I know, but I figure well-mannered , friendly Bobby Darin's about as "belligerent" and "cocky" as a high school principal on graduation day. Me, I dig him !
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