Home ] Up ] Next ]

Meeting the Fourth Mrs. Jason

I didn’t really know what I was going to feel not having the show. Strangely, it was a feeling of relief. The last shot went into the can toward the end of February. We were always eight to ten shows ahead when the season began airing, and since we took a week and a day, sometimes two days, to make a segment, by season’s end we were breathing down our own necks. Extra cutters were hired and the post production crew went on seven day workweeks.

I decided to take a long-needed vacation with my girlfriend Pat Nelson. I’d met her in the middle of divorcing Shirley, when I’d been living in my own guest house. It was on July 4th.

The Culver City fire department (where MGM was located) always had a fantastic fireworks display for the 4th of July on the high school football field. I was asked to be the Grand Marshall that year. They brought a huge trailer out to the edge of the field for me and my guests, and stocked it with a large buffet and a bar with bartender.

After the festivities and fireworks, we repaired to the trailer, as it was getting a little chilly out there in the dark. I was about to close the door and looked out to see, about fifty feet away, a very pretty, very slim red head, dressed in a light-weight, white lace frock, standing alone, and shivering to beat the band. I walked over to her and asked, "Date leave you flat?" Lovely as she looked, I couldn’t really believe anyone would leave her flat.

"N-n-nooo," she shivered through her teeth, "I was supposed to make an appearance here. They brought me out and I g-g-g-g-uesssss forgot about me."

I took Patricia by the hand. "You just come along with us and have a wee bit of the creature to warm you up."

By the third drink she was comfortable and having a good time with all the guys and gals around her. Everybody was coupled, so it fell to me to take her home. She had a good sense of humor, was very intelligent, and obviously well educated. She was in something called the MGM training program, which was a set of acting classes that went on for about three months, after which the students auditioned and there was a chance of a contract. It was MGM’s last quivering grasp at the old studio system.

I thought she was too young for me. She was twenty-two and I had recently passed my forty-third year. After a week or so of thinking it over, I decided age is only in the mind. I still felt like I was in my early thirties, was in excellent physical condition from four years of running up and down hills and jumping into all sorts of large excavations, plus my daily twenty laps in the pool. I telephoned her and we started seeing each other.

This is what caused Shirley to demand I get off my property; she realized the marriage was finally over. I was spending a few nights a week at Pat’s apartment in Beverly Hills, and I found out Shirley had a private detective tailing me. It was obvious where I was when I wasn’t at Benedict Canyon. My Jaguar was parked across the street from Pat’s apartment, or right outside the front entrance. Shirley filed a complaint with the Beverly Hills police that Pat was operating as a prostitute. It caused her a few problems until the department realized the whole thing had to do with a marriage on the rocks.

Home ] Up ] Next ]