Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rubinstein's romances

The other day after the post about Arthur Rubinstein and his late-in-life girlfriend, Annabelle Whitestone, we got the most interesting comment. The person said that he/she knew Miss Whitestone personally. Which I believe.

Isn't the Internet funny that way? Here we are just sitting around killing time, Prof. G and Larry C and I, and we do not know who is reading this stuff.

That is a picture above that I found of Rubinstein and Whitestone. It is a cute picture! Rubinstein and his cigar.

The other day we ran a picture of Rubinstein kissing Tallulah Bankhead. And now is where things get interesting. The comment writer suggested that Rubinstein was probably kissing Tallulah Bankhead reluctantly. The comment ran: "I don't find him looking very enthusiastic in your photograph; he was a very polite man and being offered a mouth he probably did his best."

That is a sentence I love! But it is also where this writer and I part ways.

I will tell you this right now, I think Rubinstein enjoyed kissing Tallulah Bankhead.

I do not think he minded kissing Tallulah Bankhead one bit!

Let us re-examine the picture of Rubinstein kissing Tallulah Bankhead. I am right, am I not?

No guy would mind kissing Tallulah Bankhead. My father would not have minded, I will say that. He loved her in "Lifeboat."

Besides which, Rubinstein's first book, "My Young Years," is full of amour. I mean, ridiculously so. I started reading it to my husband, Howard, one night, and we were laughing and laughing.

"My Many Years," the book that Annabelle Whitestone helped him write, is less so. Because, I mean, he could not dictate this sort of stuff to her.

But the old man sneaks in what he can. I am on page 146. "The owner of a department store and his lovely wife invited me for supper after the concert. During this meal at a small table, the beautiful leg of the lady and my own nervous one were drawn magnetically toward each other...." Ha, ha! It ends up with Rubinstein kissing the woman in a car the next day "It became evident that it was her first experience of this kind. She let go of the wheel and closed her eyes, and the car, with us inside, fell on its side into the thick snow."

That is great! It sounds like Buffalo!

Hmmm. Just now I was checking on Amazon for Rubinstein's memoirs, either book, and it seems both are out of print. That is a pity! You would think everyone would want to read them.

Speaking of which, I do want Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Commenter to know I meant no disrespect to Annabelle Whitestone. I was just quoting People magazine. I am grateful to her for seeing Rubinstein's book through and being around for him in his last years. There is the question of morality but from what I have read in Rubinstein's lengthy kiss-and-tell memoirs, he was hopeless in that department anyway. It is hard to see her as much of a homewrecker.

One thing about Rubinstein's memoirs: They can drive you crazy, but reading them, I get the idea I am hearing the real Rubinstein. From what I have heard about him and read about him, this sounds like what he was like.

There is an interesting interview by Norman Lebrecht with Annabelle Whitestone here.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about Tallulah, dahling. I've read some about her exploits. The stories are hilarious, but I think you would find them obscene. I will not reproduce any of them here, but my favorite involved Burgess Meredith. From what you've written about your father, I assume he was religious and morally strict, which would have made her exploits hard for him to accept. I agree she was fine in Lifeboat, and her name is immortal in theater history for creating (and performing magnificently) the role of Regina Giddens in The Little Foxes.