Part Three: 1949
1959, Hollywood Studios
of the Century
at Republic Studios
Id heard a lot of stories, some of them hilarious, about sexual
encounters in Hollywood and about this time I found myself on the receiving end of my
first overt invitation.
I was guest starring in a segment of Stories of the Century, a
series being made at Republic (which is now the CBS studios in Studio City). It starred a
very good actor, Jim Davis, and a tall, statuesque blonde named Mary Castle. The two
played Southwestern railroad detectives in the 1880s. I played the bandit, Juaquin
Murietta, with my old Mexican accent. Rather than portray him as a scowling, sneering
heavy, as did every heavy at Republic, I did it all a little lazily, with a smile, even
when shooting somebody. After all, I reasoned, a guy is bad because he wants to be bad, so
why should he not enjoy his work? Murietta was also considered (in this version, anyway)
something of a lover.
In one scene, I ask Mary to go away with me to Sonora, then kiss her. I
dont know how seriously she took it, but when the director called, "Cut,
print," on the closeup, as she turned away from me she held onto my left hand and
brushed it across her bosom, as she headed for her dressing room. I stood transfixed. She
turned back to look over her shoulder. If Id misinterpreted her breast rubbing
against my hand, on her turn back, there was no mistaking the look in her eyes.
She continued to her dressing room and I went over to my chair and sat down.
Now, Im not saying that Ive always been a "goodie two shoes,"
its just that Id grown up in a household where my mother and father adored one
another. The idea of infidelity had never crossed my mind. Marriage was something you just
didnt play around with, even as unfulfilled as mine was. The result was that for the
next three days we worked together, she avoided me when off the set, and we never spoke
another word to each other that wasnt in the script.