"My Marriage Was Like Living In Sin!...but that was yesterday", says Sandra Dee. Today love has taken the place of selfishness, and that has made the difference. Now her married life is merely sensational!
If stillwaters run deep, must bubbling waters, therefore be shallow? Don't you believe it!
The bubbliest, most efferverscent personality we know in Hollywood is lovely Sandra Dee. She has a depth of personality that remains a constant surprise. Interviews too frequently picture her as a glib, giddily humorous, beautiful scatterbrain.
Only on the surface is this true. It's high time that the more serious and equally interesting, facets of Sandy's personality were brought to the surface. This thought occured to us as we sat talking to the star in the pink -decor comfort of her Universal Studio bungalow. It would of been logical and simple to report only the frivlous , humorous highlights of our conversation.
But something rather profound was to be detected as Sandra talked about her more serious convictions. And this was not easy to ignore.
"I believe," declared she, "One of the most satisfying changes in our (Hollywood) way of life is the swing back to being married- to an interest in family life. To me, it's just the greatest change our social mores have experienced in a long, long time.
"Years ago, during the early days of Mary Pickford , Doug Fairbanks, Harold Lloyd, and the stars of that era, matrimony was the accepted standard. But, regrettably, this did an abrupt about--face. And for too many years stars have either stayed single, or tried to hush up about their married status. It's wrong for prominent people in any field to treat marriage abjectly," emphasized Sandy, with an intent expression. "It sets a precedent for others to consider as an acceptable standard. And there's no way of telling just how far-reaching . . . how harmful . . . such an anti-marriage attitude can be.
"For me, I say thank heavens the circle is swinging back to marriages . . . to good marriages. It's now considered very chic in Hollywood to be married," beamed the pleased Mrs. Bobby Darin.
Now such sentiments coming from the young star—considering her own matrimonial history of trouble and strife—might sound like hypocrisy. But Sandy, as though in anticipation of such thoughts, quickly added, "I know just what you'll be thinking next. Just who am I to talk about good marriages, after the ups and downs Bobby and I have experienced?
"Well, I'll have you know, my second marriage to Mr. Darin is just that . . . a good marriage. Our first marriage (Sandy always refers to their hectic first two married years in this manner), I would just as soon forget about!"
And though Sandy was poking fun at this ironical reference to the past, the smiles faded, as she recalled, "Those first two years were like living in sin. Even having my baby seemed wrong . . . seemed out of place.
"Legally, we were man and wife. As properly married as any couple. We were even in love. Perhaps too much in love. Everything we said, or did, moved so fast and furiously. It was either all a gay lark, set to music and surrounded by roses, or we were fighting like tigers. However, most of the time, it was so romantically lush it actually felt unreal, as though we were having some sort of a wild fling together that would someday end.
"Naturally, this established a false relationship between us. It was all take ... with no give, one from the other. It soon became the challenging problem in our marriage . . . each was vying to see just how much we could take from the other . . . when it should have been, how much we could give. And no marriage can continue happily with an approach that is basically selfish. Something just had to get out of wack . . . and it did.
"This is true, despite the fact that we had everything going for us, including a very deep love for each other. A love, incidentally, that has never changed from the beginning. And to set the record straight, we have never been out of love. Not for one tiny moment!
"Even during our short separation, the idea of not loving each other just didn't enter the picture. We both recognized that something was very wrong, but we were too close to our troubles . . . it was like being so close to the trees, one couldn't see the forest. That's a trite quotation. I'm sorry but it fits.
"Those first few months were just like one continuous date . . . interspersed with squabbles. It never calmed down enough to make it seem like we were completely married. Everything was strictly-for-fun. And trying to hold serious thoughts under such circumstances is next to impossible. It didn't seem like there was the time, or place, or need for anything that wasn't gay, or for laughs.
"This is why, in looking back, I keep saying my first marriage was a false marriage . . . at least a false period in our married life. Most of it was all very delicious. And I was very much in love with my very, very romantic husband."
Sandra paused, in reflection of these thoughts that were tumbling free from her mind; then continued. "It was during our separation, or at least from that point on, that reality finally caught up with me. Although I'm not certain just when the truth of matters actually hit me. But today, I realize it wasn't until I discovered that I liked my husband, as well as loved him, that my marriage began to come into a true perspective.
"And that's the truth. During those first two years, I never took time even to consider whether I actually liked Bobby. It never entered my mind to consider liking, or disliking him as a person. We were just swept up with being in love . . . and nothing else mattered."
She continued, "Another big difference today is, Bobby and I accept the fact that we love each other. We aren't constantly testing our love. To put it very mundanely, if Bobby is late for dinner, I no longer wonder if it's because he doesn't love me. And I can truthfully say, during all our troubles, another woman or another man never entered the situation.
"Which is quite contrary to implications some people have attached to our troubles. In short, the idea of a divorce never once entered our minds. Even though we both firmly believe that a marriage union is not a contract which states you own me. What's more, I feel safe in speaking for Bobby on this subject, as well as myself," concluded Sandy, with quick nod of her pert head.
Considering this firm statement by Sandy, it seemed a reasonable point in our conversation to bring up the subject of her rumored affair with Warren Beatty—a very hot gossip item that had been circulating for some weeks. (Along with others, Beatty had been prominently mentioned as Sandra's leading man in her up-coming Ross Hunter production. That Funny Feeling)
At first. Sandy didn't seem to know whether she should be amused, or annoyed at our inquiry; she settled for a sort of patient smile. She replied, "Every three months . . . as regular as clockwork . . . rumors of domestic troubles between Bobby and me spring up. I guess they can wait just so long, and then they figure it's time to stir up the rumor-pot.
"Strangely enough, most of these rumors seem to start back in New York. Just like this latest nonsense of my having some sort of a secret affair with Warren Beatty. And what a laugh that is," grinned the actress, impishly. "I hardly know the man. I met him just once, quite casually. I doubt that I'd recognize him from across the room.
"So how could they possibly say I'm carrying on a mysterious intrigue with him —or anyone else? It's preposterous! There are two very dominating males already claiming the major interest in my life . . . with no possible room for more. I'm speaking of Bobby and our son, Dodd.
"Happily, they are both competing desperately for my attention," grinned the pleased star. "Bobby has just gifted me with a new Rolls-Royce and a lovely gold necklace. Dodd gives me all the smeary kisses I could ask for."
Lacking photos. Sandy gave us a verbal description of "2-years-old-going-on -3" Mr. Dodd Darin, and of his "normal" actions and reactions. Proudly claiming, "Even if he is my child, Dodd has a wonderful sense of humor. He's a real pleasure to be with.>
"Of course, he's as mischievous as any child . . . like tossing whole handfulls of my jewelry down the heater . . . washing the johns with my most expensive perfume . . . taking the kitchen faucet apart in order, as Dodd put it, 'to wash the dishes,' but he only managed to flood the whole place," grinned Sandy, as though this was the fate all parents should expect.
"I did learn one very good lesson from my first marriage to Bobby," continued Sandy, again referring to those two hectic first years as though they were unrelated to her present happy bliss. "Every time we fought, it had a very bad effect on the baby . . even as young as he was at the time. You can't fool kids. Dodd would sense our troubles even before they erupted. He'd just crawl off and sit in a corner by himself.
"It was even more pronounced when Bobby and I were apart. Dodd would get cranky . . . wouldn't eat . . . was almost anemic," recalled Sandy, her lovely features furrowed with a troubled frown, "I'm only thankful it was for such a short period of time. Now, if we feel like blowing our tops . . . and we do . . . we make certain the baby is out of hearing."
While still on the subject of youngsters, we discreetly inquired of their future plans in this direction. And her answers were right to the point. "We want to plan for the next baby, as I've said so often. With Dodd, there was no chance to plan anything. But it'll be at least a year before we have another addition.
"I don't believe Dodd should have the added competition of another child around the house at this particular stage of his development. It just wouldn't be wise. No, we'll wait another year," firmly concluded our young mother, as though talking to convince herself, as much as to answering us.
Our discourse was suddenly interrupted by the phone ringing—it was for Sandy. She answered. We couldn't avoid noticing that the news she was receiving thrilled her. And concluding the call, she turned to announce, "Bobby's going to be my leading man in That Funny Feeling! It's official!"
Thus, we were the first to hear the good news. Just who would win this role—Warren Beatty and Gene Kelly were just a couple of eligibles in the running—had been up in the air for some weeks. There had even been talk of shelving the movie until a suitable lead could be found to play opposite Sandy. It appears the answer was right under Sandy's roof and all the time. And just by looking at her expression— an expression of sheer delight—you could tell Sandra Dee's troubles were made of flimsy fabrication, and that she is living in a world of happy contentment—surrounded with nothing but love.
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