Bobby Darin was making love to Stella Stevens. As he pulled her to him his hand slid slowly up her back to her neck and toyed with a tuft of blonde hair that had worked free. Then he crushed her to him with a kiss.
The camera moved in for a close-up of this scene for Too Late Blues.
On the sidelines, watching tight-lipped, stood Bobby Darin's young wife, Sandra Dee. Her face was an emotionless mask as director John Cassavetes shouted, "Cut and print it!"
Bobby disengaged himself from his co-star and walked over to Sandra.
"How'd I do, baby? How'd you like it?"
"I...I..." But words failed Sandy, and tears came to her eyes as she suddenly turned and raced for the exit of the sound stage.
"Sandy, baby, where are you going? Honey, wait..." Bobby shouted helplessly as he started after her.
"Hey Darin, where do you think you're going?" one of the assistants called out. "We've gotta get on with the next scene..."
But Bobby Darin was already out of sight.
One member of the production staff shook his head resignedly and said. "What those poor kids go through in the name of love. That girl's driving him nuts. When she's not here, she calls him a hundred times a day... And when she is here, she can't bear the sight of him doing a love scene with another woman.
"I really can sympathize with her, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to bar her from the lot if we're ever to get this picture finished."
The Darins were at it again -- another lovers' tiff.
Outside, Sandy was away in her car before Bobby could reach her. She raced home, dashed into the house and hauled a suitcase from the closet, and began filling it with her clothes. Then she half-pulled, half-shoved the suitcase into her car, wrestled it into the back seat and zoomed out of the driveway.
Sandra did not know where she was going, nor did she really care. Torn by a woman's emotions, she drove aimlessly through Bel Air and Westwood much of the afternoon. Yet, at one point, with child-like innocence she stopped at Wil Wright's ice cream parlor and treated herself to a soda.
When Bobby arrived home from the studio, he was frantic with worry. He had tried repeatedly to call her all that afternoon, but got no answer. Not even Nellie, their maid, knew where Sandy was. Nellie had been out shopping for dinner when Sandy made her tearful trip home and out again.
Bobby paced the house nervously, not sure what to do, yet knowing he must do something. His heart was beating fast now -- much faster than it should. He knew he should sit down and relax. His doctors had warned him about getting over-excited, since this always affected his heart. But he was like a caged tiger pacing back and forth.
It was late when he finally heard Sandy's Chrysler Imperial turning into the drive. He breathed a sigh of relief and was standing at the door when she shyly pushed it open.
"Bobby, I..." Sandy began tentatively.
"Don't say a word, honey," he said, folding her into his arms.
It was so wonderful to make up. They talked quietly that night, the anger forgotten. They discussed their insecurities and laughed over them, talked about their careers, and even discussed Sandy's flare-up over the love scene with Stella Stevens.
And once again, the Darin household was peaceful.
It was not the first stormy session they'd had, nor was it the worst.
As with all young lovers, sometimes things got out of hand and harsh words tumbled out that neither meant -- words that stung and left a bitter taste in the mouth after they'd been uttered.
On another occasion, a minor argument started over the phone as to whether they should spend the weekend at Palm Springs. It quickly built to more serious proportions and, almost simultaneously, they hung up on each other.
"I should have married Troy Donahue!" Sandy sobbed, "He understood me!" Naturally she didn't mean it, but the words were out before she could stop them.
Crying uncontrollably, she raced for her bedroom and started to pack her suitcases. But this time, she didn't actually leave the house. Instead, she sank down on her bed and sobbed.
Naturally, Bobby was hurt. Angry tears stung his eyes. Men aren't supposed to cry, but sometimes the biggest of men do. If the public and critics had seen him then, chances are they'd have thought the tears were just another trick of the Darin trade. After all, heartless Bobby Darin has no emotions... he's just a machine that barks and balks! But they would have been wrong.
Bobby wanted to right the situation then and there, but he couldn't leave the studio. He must have wondered why it was that petty problems of career -- both his and Sandy's -- always seemed to intervene in their lives at the worst possible moment. But he couldn't leave the studio. It would have held up the production.
Some time after, Nellie wandered by Sandy's room with an armful of clean laundry. She set it down on a hall table and stuck her head in.
"Miss Sandy, now you stop your crying. And what are these suitcases doing out? Why, I put them away only yesterday."
"I... don't know, Nellie... just looking for something." And Sandy sprang to her feet and ran toward the comfort of Nellie's bosom.
"Now listen here, baby. You go call Bobby and tell him you're sorry for being so stubborn. That poor boy'll be half out of his mind. You tell him you'll be glad to go with him to the Springs later this evening. I swear... seems like such a silly nonsense to be carryin' on over. What's gonna happen when you got a really big problem to face -- like maybe having children some day?"
"Oh, Nellie, I love him so ... I really, really love him. I want to speak to him so badly, but..."
"Call him, honey," Nellie pressed.
Sandy picked up the receiver. "There's no dial tone... it's dead. Hello, hello... Bobby?" She was taken aback. "Nellie, it's Bobby ... he was calling me." In the background, she could hear an assistant calling to Bobby from the set that they were ready for the next shot. She heard Bobby snap, "Later, I'm busy." When the guy said they couldn't wait, that it was costing money, Bobby told him he didn't care how much it cost, he was talking to his wife, and then there he was telling her how much he loved her and how sorry he was about their quarrel, and that he'd be home as soon as he finished and they'd talk everything over then. And there was the assistant in the background again, saying it was now or never, and Bobby said okay, he was coming, and told her he loved her again. And all of a sudden it was over. She stood there holding the phone against her cheek and grinning sillily at Nellie and saying, "He loves me, Nellie... I truly think he love me."
Another fight in the Darin household had come to an end.
That weekend, like every weekend since they'd been back from New York, they went to Palm Springs. Bobby liked going down there. It was his hideaway. It was peaceful, with no phones in the house, no one to bother him -- only Sandy to talk with -- and that's all he wanted.
In essence, this is one of the major problems. In some ways, Bobby is the most self-sufficient person on earth, perhaps too much so. He finds all the excitement, contentment and satisfaction he requires from life in just being alone with Sandy, seeing friends only occasionally. He claims there is much they still have to learn about each other, and that it's hard for them to do this when they're constantly surrounded with people. Affection is something they both crave, yet Sandra finds it difficult to accept. It took Bobby many months to convince her that there was nothing wrong in kissing him in public if she felt like it or vice-versa.
The weekend in Palm Springs started off very well. They behaved like two people very much in love -- until Bobby invited some friends over for a barbecue, which he thought would please Sandy.
Instead, when their guests arrived, Sandy said hello, then curled up on the couch and got very quiet. Throughout the evening, she left it up to Bobby to keep the conversation rolling, and the friends began to feel the tension.
After a while, she excused herself and went to her bedroom. Moments later, the friends thanked Bobby and left.
When Bobby went to Sandy in the bedroom, she indicated she didn't like his friends and that she'd rather not see them anymore. Bobby protested that he couldn't do that, that they were good friends, but Sandy was adamant and wouldn't leave the bedroom.
Reluctantly, Bobby had to give in to his bride. He gave up two friends because she asked him to. Sandy had won another round -- but it was a dangerous one. If she was trying to have Bobby all to herself, she had finally succeeded. The boy with the bark bigger than his bite had succumbed to the tears of his wife.
In addition to everything else, there were persistent rumors that Sandy was going to have a baby. These rumors started almost the day after they were married -- and even though the Darins made no secret of the fact they wanted a baby, the untrue rumors that circulated for months were a source of constant irritation and tension.
Now, of course, it is true -- and rumor has turned into fact. Sandy is pregnant, the baby is due in December, and they are thrilled about it.
One thing is agreed: Bobby and Sandy genuinely want a baby. They spend a great deal of time talking about how they'll decorate the nursery, what they'll name their first baby, and the million and one things other happy parents think about.
For Bobby, a child will be the beginning for a dream come true. All his life, he has loved children. As for Sandy, she once said, "A baby is the only thing that'll really be mine. I want one so badly!" But Sandy's moods are flexible.
A baby for the Darins at this time could mean many things. If they are truly happy with each other, the baby can only add to their happiness. Close friends are sure that Sandy and Bobby will solve their problems.
One thing could cause friction: if Sandy doesn't stay home to play wife and mother, but works instead and leaves the raising of her children to nurses, look out! Bobby's already on record as saying that Sandy can have all the help she needs, but he will not have his children raised in typical "movie star" fashion -- lots of nurses, but little parental supervision.
As one friend put it: "For them both, I wish only the very best. I pray that they will solve the problems which have bothered them so far in their marriage, and I know that their baby will be the happy product of a happy marriage.
"To Sandy, I would say this: banish your fears! Dry your tears and become the woman you can be. Marriage is a two-way proposition which requires much patience from both partners. You've got a great guy there, Sandy, who wants only the best for you and your marriage. Meet him half-way and you'll find your marriage and your happiness can never be threatened."
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