• U.S.

People, Sep. 12, 1955

5 minute read

Names make news. Last week these names made this news:

No stickler for the till-death-do-us-part bit, Cinemactress Rita Hayworth played the fourth matrimonial walkout of her career as she left Crooner Dick Haymes. A violent quarrel about their careers and previous marriages—he, too, was trying marriage for the fourth time—split their two-year-old union. The parting left Rita in shock, Dick in tears. To intimates, and to almost any reporter who would listen, Dick confided: “I love Rita. A man is only in love once, and she has been my idol for 18 years.” That same night, with Hollywood’s Cocoanut Grove packed by all the garish publicity, the bereaved husband fulfilled his engagement there, dedicated Come Rain or Come Shine “to my wife, Rita,” feelingly crooned Love Me or Leave Me to thunderous applause.

In Louisville, the local press found a modest hero who for six months had seemed to be no more to his neighbors than just another fellow with five kids. Charles Edward (“Commando”) Kelly, who killed 40 Germans in World War II and won the Congressional Medal of Honor, explained: “I just don’t go around telling people who I am.” The $40,000 he earned from magazine, book and movie rights for his wartime story has all been spent. He now makes $60 to $100 a week driving a power roller over blacktop being laid at a nearby airport.

Showing utterly no signs of portliness, at 40, Group Captain Peter Townsend, R.A.F. exiled suitor of Princess Margaret, donned his racing togs before a news camera, hopped onto Ponthieu, the favorite in Deauville’s big race for gentle men riders, came in 14th in a field of 29. But Airman Townsend needed police protection anyway from a horde of maids and matrons who charged upon him, panting with romantic admiration.

In Rome, Cinemactress Gloria Swanson, 567 became a member of the working press, supplying United Press with continent twice a week on “the international scene in general.” For her first piece, Newshen Swanson sewed a new patch on a frayed theme: the U.S. male is a lousy lover. “Nobody can say I’m too young to know what I’m talking about,” wrote Columnist Swanson, whose five marriages (three Americans, one Frenchman, one Irishman) all ended in divorce. The trouble with American men, said she, is that they have been so busy making money that they have lost “that precious something . . . called time—time in which to live the role of lover, husband, father.”

Strollers in Venice, where the international set flocked for the annual September season, noted a familiar figure ambling slowly along palace-lined canals wearing unfamiliar sports clothes, recognized the Duke of Windsor, browsing around and getting a breath of air.

In a suit filed in Los Angeles, Millionaire George Huntington Hartford II, 44, was charged with being the unacknowledged father of 17-year-old Edward Barton Colt. The boy was not after the Hartford A. & P. grocery millions, but claimed that he needed to establish his true identity so that he may enter the armed forces and obtain a passport for travel abroad. When Colt was eight months old, the suit declared, Hartford set aside a $295,000 trust fund that has been paying the boy’s maternal grandmother and guardian $800 a month ever since. The boy’s mother was Mary Barton, nightclub dancer who died 14 years ago from an overdose of sleeping pills.

The Union of South Africa banned Frankenstein, the horror classic written 137 years ago by Mary Shelley, wife of Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Any South African owning the book is liable to a fine of $2,800, or up to five years in prison.

Winging around the world under State Department auspices, Nobel-Prizewinning Novelist William Faulkner alighted in Rome with fond memories of someone he had met in Japan who never read Faulkner and didn’t give “one single damn what I think of Ernest Hemingway.” In Japan the Mississippi novelist had cast a practiced eye on a geisha, jotted down a few impressions: “Behind that painted and lifeless mask is something quick and alive and elfin; or more than elfin: puckish: or more than puckish even: sardonic and quizzical, a gift for comedy, and more: for burlesque and caricature: for a sly and vicious revenge on the race of men. Kimono. It covers her from throat to ankles [in] one unbroken chalice-shape of modesty proclaiming her femininity where nudity would merely parade her mammalian femaleness. A modesty which flaunts its own immodestness . . . modes ty than which there is nothing more immodest and which therefore is a woman’s dearest possession.”

On the French Riviera, Artist Pablo Picasso, 73, answered a newsman’s question : he had no intention of visiting the U.S. in the near future. Murmured the world’s No. 1 off-again-on-again Communist: “I know the United States fully—from the films.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com