From Show Biz to Sunday School
By Sharon Leann Wyatt aka Sharon Leigh
The Queen Annie Cottage….Part Three
Oh God! Was this Don Juan a sight to behold coming toward me with his hair in his hand. “Oh my darling,” he said, “it has come to an end!” “I’m certain you will survive,” I consoled him, trying not to notice what he was holding. I also realized he seemed a lot shorter, as he reached up with his free arm and put a death grip about my neck, and pulled me toward his anxiously awaiting lips, poised and ready to plan a hot kiss on mine. Before any connection was made, I managed to turn my head just enough to receive his big juicy smooch on my cheek, but still too near my lips for comfort. I bade him a very hasty goodnight, and the usual courtesy when you have worked with somebody for three days.
But I was still shaken about his having kissed me, and somewhat reviled at the thought, so I turned and exited out the closest door, even if it was a long ways from the front gate, where I was to meet mother. I walked down the hall disgusted at him, and all I could think was, “Sharon, just make believe it was Rock Hudson.” It is these situations that are the most difficult to be modest and pleasant, and yet avoid such pursuers. Oh where are those handsome protectors when you need them most! There are good guys in Hollywood. Those that are always pleasant, rarely seem to be cross, never on the make, and faithful to their wives, which is usually the subject that will come up first in friendly conversations; real men like John Gavin, Gary Collins, Bill Smith, John Saxon, and others like them, who never get the good press they deserve.
Having shaken off my last experience, I was ready to avail myself for more work where they needed me the most, and that was on the Desilu Culver lot working with Dennis Weaver in his first role since leaving Gunsmoke. It was difficult to look at him without thinking about the Chester character he had created for the show. No, Mr. Weaver did not have a limp, nor that thick drawl he used. However he does have a pleasant southern accent that is legitimate.
I wore my standby outfit, that in looking back, I wonder what ever possessed me. It must have looked fashionable for the day, and did photograph well. I know one reason I liked it was that it stayed neat all day, without any wrinkles. But in retrospect, why in the world I ever fancied it as chic is a wonder to me. This wonderful ensemble consisted of a houndstooth checked straight skirt, not in wool gabardine, as one would expect a fashion plate as myself to wear, but in the big fabric of the day, nylon stretched knit. The skirt did not fit tight or look cheap, but nevertheless it was a thick knit that just pulled on having an elastic waist. I had various tops that I would don depending upon the call and the weather. My favorite was a gold colored silk looking blouse, that was festooned with ruffles, that came around the neck and down the front in a double role, and as if that weren’t enough, ruffles demurely rimmed the cuff. A black jacket completed the ensemble. It was quite “mod” looking with no collar and double breasted that fastened with two nautical looking buttons side-by-side. When I would wear the black turtleneck, which too was that same nylon in a less bulky knit, with that I would wear an Evan Picone jacket in yellow felt. With this marvelous outfit I had several different ways that I would accessorize it depending upon the time of year the show was supposed to be filmed in. Not necessarily the time of year it actually was. Very typical of the studios was for us to have to dress in smart spring street clothes in the dead of winter. That would mean strutting out in lovely spring colors completely out of season. I became very used to these calls as it was the rule rather than the exception.
On the day I was on the Dennis Weaver show, which I believe was the TV version of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, I had on that spiffy number mentioned before, and I suppose it was flattering…..
(continued next month)