Forever and a day ago my best blogger buddy (Rianna of Frankly, My Dear) asked me to do a tribute post for the Taylors of Hollywood (that's Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor) because apparently she knew nothing about them and I've fooled everyone into thinking I know a lot (I don't really, if you pay attention I'm always saying the same thing - "Missy is perfect. All hail the queen of Hollywood"). Anyway, I told her I'd write the darned article/post on their anniversary which is May 14th, but, after waiting two or three months, I missed it. I had it on my calendar and everything, but I missed it. So, forgive me for being a day late - Rianna, here's your post. Oh, and forgive my questioning my own statements. I'm sure I've got it all close to accurate.
Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck met at the Trocadero in 1936 - mutual friends introduced them I think. They started going together soon after that. In '36 and '37, respectively, Missy and Bob did two movies, His Brother's Wife and This is my Affair. Both of the movies, I've read, are technically very bad movies; but I can't help loving them. In December of 1938 Photoplay magazine published an article called "Hollywood's Unmarried Husbands and Wives", which talked about Paulette Goddard and Charlie Chaplin, and Carole Lombard and Clark Gable in addition to Bob and Missy. That was, apparently, too scandalous for MGM who made them get married a few months later. May 14, 1939 to be exact - but Bob spent their wedding night with his mother and, as I read one person put it, "her heart palpitations". At some point, Bob started calling Missy "The Queen" and Missy called Bob "Junior" (I reckon that was after she said "The boy's got a lot to learn and I've got a lot to teach." in reference to the fact that he was four years younger than she). For a couple of years, they were married, as far as I know, happily. In 1941, during the making of Johnny Eager, Bob had an affair with his costar Lana Turner (hence my apparently unreasonable dislike for her). Bob was planning to leave the Miss for Lana, but Turner called it all off when she found out (I think that's what happened anyway, either that or Missy went and told Lana to back off. Maybe both). Then, in 1943, despite much opposition from the Stanwyck, Bob joined the Navy. I've heard he joined the Navy to get a break from Missy, my personal opinion is that he knew he would look like an unpatriotic, draft-dodger if he didn't join up. War ended in 1945 and Bob came home. In 1949 Bob had an affair with another costar, Ava Gardner this time (hence my apparently unreasonable dislike for her as well). Finally, in 1950-'51, somewhere around there, Bob went to Italy and Missy followed when she heard he was messing around with a lot of the girls there. At that point, Missy gave Bob a choice, her or his affairs - he chose his affairs. They were divorced on February 25, 1952.
"He wanted [the divorce] and I'm not the kind of person who wants somebody if he doesn't want me. I just say, 'There's the door, you can open it. You've got a good right hand, just turn the knob, that's all you have to do. If you can't open it, I'll do it for you.'"
-- Barbara Stanwyck
-- Barbara Stanwyck
Despite everything, Bob and Missy are my favorite couple. They're such a good looking couple, if nothing else. I think they're absolutely adorable - I also think they get a bad rap for no reason. I mean, they aren't as beloved as other couples (Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn for instance - and they weren't even married!).
I've read various people say that Missy loved Bob more than Bob loved Missy, which I believe somewhat, although I do believe he loved her. I love this link.
I've read that Missy didn't love Bob, not really, that she only liked the stability being married to him brought, RIDICULOUS. Please, people, have you ever seen the way she looked at/around him? Apparently not because if you had ever you would see how happy she looks around him.
I've also read that they divorced because Missy was too controlling (Bob had at least three affairs, but we should obviously blame the Miss because that makes sense). I don't understand where people get this stuff? If she was, as I've read, 'controlling', this should be the part where I start humming I Love You Much Too Much "perhaps I hold your heart too tightly, but who am I to say? If I should hold it lightly, it might slip away..."
I honestly believe that Barbara Stanwyck loved Bob Taylor. Despite the affairs, I think she always loved him, and I don't think she ever got over their divorce. In the 80s she said "I worked hard at the marriage because I wanted it." I don't know, I can't imagine someone working for a marriage to someone they didn't love - maybe that's the idealist in me. But she was broken up over love letters from Bob that were lost in a fire, and people said she looked funny not caring around a cigarette case that Bob had given her after it was stolen in the 80s. Around the same time, she was asked to re-do her hand prints in Grauman's Chinese Theater, but she wouldn't...maybe because Bob wouldn't have been represented then? Not to mention, when Bob died, Missy not only attended the funeral, but wept and how. I actually don't think you could do anything that would convince me she didn't love him, whether it was or was not completely unrequited.
Maybe I'm biased. Maybe the fact that two of my favorite celebrities were married just makes me happy. But I can't help loving the Taylors. They were beautiful. After the divorce Missy said "There will be no other man in my life" and there never was. They'll always be my favorite couple.
Until Later On~
Note: Pretty sure these pics came from either Signorelli-girl or StanwyckandTaylor, 'cause my big sis posts flawless things.
Note Note: She's not really my sister. It's a long story. And Missy and Bob are our parents. Deal with it. ;)