Classic Hollywood #115 – Tyrone Power “No Good Reason To Get Married”

Tyrone Power Escorts Marlene Dietrich and Annabella To A Premiere

Love or a Hollywood beard? Beard is the old term for a man covering his preference for male companionship by being seen with or escorting women in public.

Deanna Durbin Charms In Preview
Hollywood, Calif. – Deanna Durbin previewed her new picture at the Panteges Theater in Hollywood, last night before an enthusiastic  crowd which witnessed her picture “Three Smart Girls Grow Up” by Universal.
Photo shows (left to right) Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power and Annabella arriving at the Theater. Photo: Acme 3/17/39

In 1938 Tyrone Power placed second in receiving fan mail, right behind Shirley Temple.  Power was a major film star form the late 1930s until his death on November 15, 1958 at age 44 from a massive heart attack. Power reportedly smoked three packs of cigarettes a day.

Biographer Hector Arce in his book The Secret Life of Tyrone Power (William Morrow) 1979, claimed Power was bisexual.

A newspaper article by Lucie Neville in 1938 asked a bevy of Hollywood actor-bachelors why they were not married. Among those Neville queried were James Stewart, Edgar Bergen and Tyrone Power. When read today, the responses Neville received are almost comical for the reasons the actors gave for averting matrimony.

Cesar Romero (later The Joker in the Batman TV series) was seen around Hollywood “accompanying” Sonja Henie and Ethel Merman. He replied, “My preference is for a non-professional wife, but it really doesn’t matter. But I haven’t been able to afford marriage yet. I have had a great many responsibilities, and I want to see my mother and sister comfortably provided for. I’ll need an income that will take care of them and a wife equally well.” Romero never married.

Edward Everett Horton approaching 50 and still single said, “I don’t talk about romance any more. I used to go for those interviews but people expected me to give silly reasons and never believed me when I gave the real one, that when I was of marriageable age I was too busy and too interested in working to take the time for finding a wife. Now I’m past the marrying age.”

Michael Whalen co-star of Shirley Temple in Poor Little Rich Girl and Wee Willie Winkle was also concerned with the fiscal part of marriage. “I have $25 a week to spend on myself. That’s all my business manager allows me for clothes and incidentals. You can’t ask a woman to share that!” Whalen went on, “I’m buying a house and my mother and two sisters are here with me. In another year I can seriously think about marriage, but not until then. I have only a two-year contract here you know and I won’t ask any woman to marry me until I can offer her some security.”

Whalen described an unnamed woman he was dating. “She’s Spansish. I don’t know how that would mix with Irish blood. It sometimes makes interesting combinations. She has all the qualifications I expect and some some I hadn’t more than hoped for,”

Whalen was later engaged to actress Ilona Massey, but did not marry. Whalen lived with his mother until her death in the 1960s. He died a bachelor in 1974 at age 71.

Tyrone Power said, “I just don’t want to get married – now. I’ve often wished I had a good answer to the question, ‘Why haven’t you married?’ But I can’t name any one reason except I don’t want to.”

Five weeks after this photograph was taken, Power married actress Annabella (b. 1907 Suzanne Georgette Charpentier) on April 23, 1939. They remained together until 1948, Power then married film star Linda Christian in 1949. They had two daughters and divorced in 1956. Power’s third marriage to Deborah Minardos in 1958 was short-lived due to Power’s death on location in Madrid while filming Solomon and Sheba. His son Tyrone Power Jr. was born two months after his death.

If he was indeed bisexual, Power certainly was busy with women throughout his life having torrid sexual affairs with many stars including Judy Garland and Lana Turner.

Tyrone Power is interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A memorial service is still held every year on the anniversary of his death.

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