Part Three: 1949 – 1959, Hollywood Studios
wpe1A2.jpg (9532 bytes)Stories of the Century
at Republic Studios

I’d 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 don’t 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 I’d misinterpreted her breast rubbing against my hand, on her turn back, there was no mistaking the look in her eyes.

Stories of the Century Newspaper Clipping - Juaquin MuriettaShe continued to her dressing room and I went over to my chair and sat down. Now, I’m not saying that I’ve always been a "goodie two shoes," it’s just that I’d 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 didn’t 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 wasn’t in the script.

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Text copyright 2000 by Rick Jason
Originally published by Argoe Publishing, July 2000.

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