Saturday, October 18, 2008
‘FEUD’ OF GLORIA-CONSTANCE PROVIDES HOLLYWOOD GOSSIP
The most sophisticated drama of the film colony is being woven around the supposition that when two actresses contend for Hollywood’s queenly crown and have loved the same man, they automatically become friendly, polite enemies, according to a writer in Picture Play magazine. Persons in the drama are Gloria Swanson and Constance Bennett as the principal players with the Marquis Henri de la Falaise de la Coudraye the pivital player.
The Swanson-Bennett-Falaise triangle is Hollywood’s most subtle to date. It is smart, gay, flavored with intrigue. Its locales fluctuate between Paris, Cannes, Monte Carlo, St. Moritz, New York, Hollywood and Sylvia’s massage emporium.
It is as sophisticated as a Noel Coward drawing-room roundelay in which brittle, ultra-modern dialogue masks age-old emotions. It is destined to go down in Hollywood’s social history as the highlight of an otherwise dull season. The two queens have played their respective rolls with the finesse of chess players. And the young king of hearts has been as debonaire as any man could be who was divorced by filmdom’s erstwhile glamorous monarch, and before the decree was granted again found himself eager to offer his title to a newly reigning sovereign.
Hollywood has watched many romantic dramas, but none has been enacted with the wit, the cleverness, and the resourcefulness of the Bennett-Swanson-marquis threesome. By comparison, even the Negri-Chaplin and the Garbo-Gilbert amourettes become obvious, graceless interludes.
Now that Constance has married the marquis, do you suppose she ever contemplates the memory of Gloria as a specter in her new world of happiness? - asks the writer. And does Gloria ever contemplate the vision of Constance getting her former title as distinctly disturbing to her memories?
“The subject is too absurd,” Gloria exclaimed with considerable feeling. “I haven’t any interest in the affairs of others. I am not a gossip, and I haven’t the slightest emotion about what anyone else thinks or does. I believe in live and let live.”
Miss Swanson did not once mention Miss Bennett by name.
When approached on this subject Miss Bennett swung one pajamaed leg over the arm of a chair, slid into it, lit a cigarette, and after blowing the smoke high into the air said,
“Well, lets talk this over. Professional rivals – No! After all, Miss Swanson was a star many years before I entered the game. Personal rivals – you mean on account of Henri, I presume? I don’t think there is anything to that. Certainly I would not have had the wretched taste to announce my engagement while he was still Miss Swanson’s legal husband. If I had committed such a breach of propriety, I probably would have been accused of considering myself the victorious rival, and all that sort of thing.”
“Now, as far as my regarding the former marquise as a specter in my life with Henri, I can’t see any reason for it. So why should my ghost, so to speak, haunt Miss Swanson, or why should hers harass me? Oh, of course there are bound to be memories from any marriage for any one, but they shouldn’t become bothersome, should they?
Gloria’s love affair with the marquis started six years ago in Paris. She was then at the zenith of her career. Early in 1929 Falaise left Hollywood for Paris, and it was generally felt that he and Gloria had come to the parting of the ways. In the spring of the same year, also in Paris, Miss Bennett and the marquis met, and soon rumors were flying that she would become the second marquise, which became true last fall.