Marriages make in-laws of legions of show-biz celebrities. It’s the . . . : Hollywood Shuffle
So Woody and Mia have split and now Woody, once wed to Louise (“Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”) Lasser, is in love with Mia’s daughter, and Woody’s former flame, Diane Keaton, we’re told, is being wooed by Woody to replace Mia in Woody’s next movie. . . .
Where just about everyone, it seems, is related by marriage or, this being the ‘90s, by long-term live-in arrangements. It’s almost incestuous.
In Hollywood, one can’t be too careful in setting out the place cards.
Or as Sheilah Graham wrote in “Confessions of a Hollywood Columnist”:
“Film stars, as is well known, are changeable. What is true today can be wrong tomorrow. I ask indulgence for new marriages, new divorces or anything that changes between the time of finishing this book and publication.”
Take former “L.A. Law” star Harry Hamlin.
Once wed to Laura Johnson (“Falcon Crest”), he seemed to be blissfully married to Nicollette Sheridan of “Knots Landing” at the time this story was assigned. But, before it was written, they were divorcing--after only a year and a half.
As Mrs. Hamlin, both Johnson and Sheridan have been sort of stepmothers to the son Hamlin had in 1980 with then 44-year-old Ursula Andress, the original James Bond girl.
And, as Andress was once married to John Derek, they’re all related to him and to Linda Evans, another ex-Mrs. Derek, as well as to his current wife, Bo (“10") Derek.
Goldie Hawn now lives with Kurt Russell but was once married to Bill Hudson of the rock/comedy group The Hudson Brothers. Hudson later married Cindy Williams of “Laverne and Shirley.”
Cybill Shepherd teamed with Bruce Willis on “Moonlighting” but in real life with director Peter Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”). He later fell for 1980 “Playmate of the Year” Dorothy Stratten, who was murdered that year by her estranged husband. Eight years later, Bogdanovich wed her younger sister, Louise.
Remember Gloria Grahame, the sultry blonde who pouted through “The Bad and the Beautiful” and other epics of the ‘40s and ‘50s? Gloria’s four husbands included director Nick Ray (“Rebel Without a Cause”), with whom she had a son. She then married Nick’s son from another marriage, Tony. They had a son and a daughter, making Gloria the sister-in-law of her oldest son. . . .
Bandleader Artie Shaw’s eight marriages tie him to a Who’s Who of Hollywood. His wives included Ava Gardner, Lana Turner and Evelyn Keyes who, collectively, also made the trip to the altar with Frank Sinatra, Lex (Tarzan) Barker, director John Huston and Mickey Rooney.
Sinatra, of course, also wed Mia Farrow, who also married composer-conductor Andre Previn before embarking on an 12-year relationship with Woody Allen. Sinatra is 30 years older than Mia; Allen’s new amour, Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, is 35 years his junior.
Eddie Fisher was best man when Liz Taylor wed showman Mike Todd. Then Eddie dumped Debbie Reynolds to marry the widow Liz, who then dumped him to marry Richard Burton.
That family tree includes Connie Stevens, another ex-Mrs. Fisher, and Eddie and Debbie’s actress daughter, Carrie Fisher, who was married to singer Paul Simon.
Then there are the Gabor sisters. Zsa Zsa was once married to Conrad Hilton, Nicky’s daddy (and once Taylor’s father-in-law), as well as to actor George Sanders. Sanders also married Zsa Zsa’s sister, Magda.
And the Bennett sisters--Constance, Joan and Barbara--fabulous ‘40s stars, had 12 husbands, including actor Gilbert Roland, singer Morton Downey (father of Morton Jr.) and writer Gene Markey, who also married Hedy Lamarr and Myrna Loy. Lamarr’s five other husbands included oilman W. Howard Lee, who also married Gene Tierney, who was also married to designer Oleg Cassini, who later was betrothed to Grace Kelly.
The legendary Joan Crawford numbered actor Franchot Tone among her four husbands. That made her a kissing cousin to actresses Jean Wallace and Barbara Payton (both of whom did a stint as Mrs. Tone) and to Cornel Wilde, who also wed Wallace.
Arlene Dahl, the Rheingold beer girl who went on to stardom at MGM in the ‘40s, had five husbands, including Lex Barker and Fernando Lamas. That means she shares at least a twig on the Hollywood family tree with Lana Turner (another ex-Mrs. Barker) and mermaid Esther Williams, who also married Lamas.
Broadcasting magnate Ted Turner, by marrying Jane Fonda, has ties not only to Fonda ex Tom Hayden but to director Roger Vadim, actress Catherine Deneuve and one-time sex kitten Brigitte Bardot. Vadim was married to Fonda and Bardot and had a child with Deneuve, who also had a child with Marcello Mastroianni.
Jane’s father, Henry, was at one time married to actress Margaret Sullavan, who later married triple-Oscar-winning director William Wyler (“Ben-Hur”).
Tennis star John McEnroe married Tatum O’ Neal, which makes Ryan O’Neal’s steady, Farrah Fawcett, his sort-of stepmother-in-law and gives him a tie to Fawcett’s ex, Lee Majors. (Tatum’s mother is actress Joanna Moore.)
The McEnroes are also linked to KABC talk-show host Michael Jackson, who is married to Alana Ladd, daughter of Alan Ladd. Alan Ladd’s son, David, was married to Cheryl Ladd (who replaced Fawcett on “Charlie’s Angels”), and later married Dey Young, sister of former “Peyton Place” star Leigh Taylor Young, who was once wed to Ryan O’Neal.
In his 1986 book, “Debrett Goes to Hollywood,” Charles Kidd, the London-based editor of Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage, explains it all:
“The astonishing incidence of divorce in the movie colony, and the stars’ propensity for attracting mates from the upper echelons of society, make it possible to link up the most unlikely names. . . .”
Like Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and J.F.K. and R.F.K.
The improbable linkups Kidd traced include Sir Winston Churchill and Groucho Marx (connected by marriage). He also discovered that the aforementioned Gloria Grahame was a descendant of King Edward III of England.
And, Kidd tells us, Princess Diana is a distant cousin of Humphrey Bogart. That would link her to Bogart’s widow, Lauren Bacall, as well as to Jason Robards Jr., who was Bacall’s second husband.
As for Mia and Woody and Woody and Louise and Woody and Diane. . . .
It was Louise Lasser (the ex-Mrs. Allen) with Woody in “Bananas” in 1971. The next year, he appeared with Diane Keaton in “Play It Again, Sam,” the story of a neurotic film critic abandoned by his wife and seeking new female companionship. That same year, Louise and Woody starred in “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask.”
Keaton and Allen teamed for “Annie Hall,” “Interiors” and “Manhattan.” But then along came Mia, the new woman in his life, on-screen and off. Their films together include “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “The Purple Rose of Cairo” and “Broadway Danny Rose.” They also include “Radio Days.”
Diane was in that one, too.