Tyrone Power & Linda Christian
at their colorful
wedding ceremony.

Ty signes the marriage
register as Linda and
Msgr. William Hemmick look on.

Following the ceremony
in the church of Santa Francesca
Romana in Rome, Ty & Linda cut their
wedding cake at a breakfast
given by U.S. Ambassador,
James C. Dunn in the Embassy.
Ty has just completed
"Prince of Foxes" adn will now
do "The Black Rose" in England
and North Africa. Linda has
given up her career.

No romance in which either Linda Christian or Tyrone Power have played on the screen, can approach the real-life love story which finally brought them together in marriage in Rome last January 27th.

In fact, if Hollywood, itself, had planned it as a production they couldn’t have “dreamed up” a more ideal situation fro a motion picture; and their wedding, of course, exceeded even the most fantastic flights of a screen writer’s imagination.

Not since the days of the “triumphs” of the Caesars has there been such a mob scene as when Linda and Ty, who are two of the happiest people I know today, walked arm-in-arm out of the church of Santa Francesca Romana on that sunny Winter morning!

The medieval church, which is near the famous coliseum, was such a mass of white flowers that it almost kept the counts and countesses, the princes and the princesses who attended, from witnessing the ceremony. Linda told me that she and Ty picked this particular church because it was so like St. Peter’s which they visited together on their first sightseeing tour of the ancient city in 1947. The church has a sunken sanctum with forty steps leading up to the altar rail before which Linda and Ty knelt on white lilacs as Monsignor William Hemmick, of Washington, D.C. made them man and wife.

Linda was a vision in a gown by Madame Fontana, one of Italy’s top designers, who put fifty yards of satin, seventy yards of lace, two thousand pearls and countless hours of work into the creation. In fact, she put so much time in this one nuptial robe that Linda had the new Roman couturier, Shuberth, do most of the rest of her $12,000 trousseau.

Meanwhile, outside the church, thousands of “Tifosi” (the Italian equivalent of bobby-soxers) were having a real Roman Holiday, screaming “Leenda,” “Leenda” and “Ty, il magnifico!” which Romans, like the rest of the world that loves a lover, have dubbed the handsome young actor.

Actually, the only time Linda was really nervous was after the ceremony. She said, when she saw that horde of excited faces break through the police lines and swarm over the limousine which was taking them to a special audience with the Pope, she became really frightened and Tyrone had to hold both her cold hands to keep them from shaking.

Ty was only nervous before the wedding because Linda was one half-hour late getting to the church. This was due to the traffic snarl and not to a last minute delay about the legal procedure which he said he had feared. Just like a movie plot there was almost a before-the-hour hitch, due to the time change which didn’t make his divorce from Annabella legal in California until that morning. But as the scenario would have had it, the villainous legal papers were foiled, and Mr. And Mrs. Power could stand before his Papal Majesty and receive his blessing!

The Pope gave Linda a special rosary and a booklet of “Instructions about the Good Christian Family,” while he presented Tyrone with a rare pontifical medallion.

Following the wedding reception and breakfast, it was with a sigh of relief over all the threatened obstacles, that the lovers took off for that honeymoon which was to carry them to Switzerland, Austria, North Africa, Scotland and finally to London where Tyrone is making “The Black Rose,” before returning to the United States.

This was the climax to a romance which, as I said before, was a fanciful as any film story, and one I think you would enjoy knowing about.

Actually, it was a case of love at second sight, because Linda and Ty had met before that star-crossed day of November 6, 1947, in Rome. The fabled Rome meeting took place on that date, which was the day that Linda and her little sister, Ariadne, checked into the same hotel where Tyrone Power was staying. Linda and Ariadne were en route to visit their father who is in the Dutch oil business in Palestine. When they signed the register, the clerk looked up and said, “Oh, are you from Hollywood? We have another California visitor here with us.”

“Who is it?” asked Linda.

“His name is Mr. Tyrone Power,” replied the clerk.

“Not rally!” screamed Ariadne, who is a teenage film fan. “Oh Linda, let’s call him, please!”

Linda frowned impatiently. “Now Ariadne, behave yourself. Don’t act like such a bobby-soxer. At least wait until we get into our suite!”

Ariadne heaved a sigh of disappointment “Oh, al right, but I thin that older sisters (Linda was al of 22) never want a girl to have any fun.”

With that the two of them were escorted upstairs and started to unpack. But if you think Ariadne was a chastened girl, you’re sadly mistaken. She’s just as impulsive as Linda and just as headstrong. Linda stepped out of the room for a minute and when she returned, she found Ariadne on the phone.

“Whom are you calling?” demanded Linda, knowing that her little sister didn’t know anyone in Rome.

“I’m calling Tyrone Power,” timidly, said Ariadne who was becoming a little frightened now. “What shall I say to him?”

“Oh, Ariadne,” wailed Linda, “won’t you ever learn? Here give me the phone!”

So when Tyrone Power said “hello” from his room, he got a very apologetic response from the girl who was to play such an important part in his life. Sensing that she was embarrassed, he asked her to join him downstairs for a cocktail and to bring her autograph-hungry sister for a lime water.

Tyrone was fascinated right from the start, although they had met before. As Linda said, “You undoubtedly don’t recall, but we have met before, Mr. Power.”

“Where?” asked Ty. “I’m sure I would remember.”

“It was at a party in Hollywood,” replied Linda.

“At what party?” demanded Ty.

“One at your house,” said Linda impishly. “I even signed your guest register!”

Tyrone insisted that this was impossible, but had to confess that they later found it, only Linda had signed her real name-Bianca Welter!

But if that first chance encounter didn’t do the trick, the second one certainly did. After that first cocktails-for-two in Rome, Tyrone couldn’t wait to see Linda again. Her laughter, her love for living, which she inherits from her Mexican mother, and her almost childlike naiveté fascinated him, while Linda was equally overwhelmed by the attentions of such a dashing man-of-the-world as the popular Power.

For over a year they traveled Italy together and, with the chaperonage of Count and Countess Crespi, they spent a long holiday at Capri.

The Count, who married one of the famous O’Connor twins, is an old buddy of Tyrone’s and it was he who agreed to be best man at the wedding as early as June of 1947

 

Linda and Ty had planned to be married on November 6th 1948, the anniversary of their meeting in Rome, but the legal complications of the California state laws, which didn’t make Ty’s divorce valid until after January 26 of this year, along with movie contract difficulties, prevented them from keeping that anniversary date at the altar. Perhaps it’s just as wise that they waited and didn’t take an impetuous step such as Laraine Day and Leo Durocher did. The proof of it is that today Linda and Ty are truly one of the happiest couples I know.

How long do I think this happiness will last? I can’t say, but I will say that I believe that this will be one marriage that will continue-principally because both Linda and Ty have grown up.

I first knew Linda when Tony Martin brought her to my house and I thought she was charming, but a little on the madcap side.

Linda is a much more mature girl today. She’s still vivacious and active, but she has a serious interest in promoting her husband’s career. As she says, “Two actors in one family won’t work. Besides, I want to have a real family of my own!”

So the lovely Linda is abandoning all ideas about facing a camera and is ready to face all household tasks and domestic chores.

Ty, too, has changed. He still is just as dashing, but in a more reserved manner. His rash and roving days, like those he experience in the four years of service in the United States Marines are over and he’s come home to stay-with Linda!

Screenland


Cobina Wright’s Party Gossip

May 1949

By Cobina Wright