Brangelina, Meet Tybell and Linrone
Before Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and before Taylor and Burton, there was the Golden Age of Hollywood. Magazines, newsreels, and newspapers covered the private lives of the stars, to a limited extent. Before talk shows, reality shows, and the Internet, celebrities enjoyed a tad more privacy than they do today. They could also lie and get away with it. The public was told what the studio or publicist wanted to tell them.
There have always been golden couples dogged by the media, though, and Tyrone Power, who turns 100 in 2014, was one person hounded by photographers and reporters everywhere he went. In the 2006 film, Fade to Black, Orson Welles is nearly knocked over by reporters at the Rome airport as they race to get to Power. Later, Welles arrives to do his magic show at an event and is told, “We’ve had some big stars here. BIG stars. Tyrone Power.”
Tyrone Power and Annabella = Tybell
Back in 1938, Tyrone Power was one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. His boss, Darryl F. Zanuck, was not interested in his star getting married. When he brought the French star, Annabella, over to the United States to make her a star in American movies, he didn’t count on Tyrone and Annabella falling in love.
The couple was discreet at first, since Annabella was still married to her second husband, Jean Murat, and had a young daughter. When Power escorted Norma Shearer to the premiere of their film, Marie Antoinette, Annabella arrived late and sat beside him. On July 8, 1938, they appeared together at the Trocadero. The next day, Power proposed. Annabella took off for Paris to begin divorce proceedings against Murat.
So far, this romance was not public knowledge, but Zanuck knew about it. He was aggravated and disturbed. So when Tyrone said he was going on a vacation to South and Central America, Zanuck was gleeful. A separation was just what Tyrone and his lady love needed.
Just one problem: By coincidence, Annabella was in Rio at the same time as Tyrone. They both denied to the press that they were there together. Meanwhile, Fox had paid for Power’s trip. Had he not been worth so much to the studio, the cigar-chomping studio head would have taken a contract out on him rather than give him one.
After denying any romance, Tyrone and Annabella two boarded separate planes headed for the same destination: New York City. Another strange thing occurred. Imagine — with all the hotels in New York, they were both registered at the Pierre. Power again told reporters he was surprised to learn Annabella was there.
Zanuck tried, but he couldn’t get rid of the gamine star, even with a lucrative offer in Europe.
Annabella was blacklisted. She didn’t care. She and Power married on April 23, 1939. The civil ceremony made the front of the Los Angeles Times and broke hearts worldwide. For the next eight years, the two were photographed constantly and were at the top of the Hollywood social set.
Linda Christian and Tyrone Power = Linrone
In 1947, Tyrone Power was seeing Lana Turner. Poor Lana soon found herself dumped when Tyrone met the curvy, sexy Linda Christian, who hailed from Mexico. She was quite the femme fatale, and Power again fell hopelessly in love.
He and Annabella had been unable to have children. Some feel it ruined their marriage, but the story is more complicated. It’s true that Annabella did write to him, “Our little baby. Why didn’t it come?” She perhaps saw a baby as solving some of their problems. However, Power had numerous affairs during their marriage. The Powers were separated for much of the war; she was distracted and worried about her country throughout. She ultimately drifted into an affair with writer Roald Dahl. Power’s scandalous dalliances with Turner and later with Christian crushed her.
Annabella and Power attempted to hammer out a divorce agreement, and Power, anxious to get on with things, told her to “take everything.” The day his divorce became final, January 27, 1949, was the day he married Linda Christian in Rome.
The event was covered in Life magazine and in newsreels; 10,000 people stood outside the church of Francesca Romana. When Tom Cruise married in Rome, 1,000 people waited outside.
Linda and Tyrone traveled throughout the world, truly jet-setters before the term was coined, spending time for Power’s work in London, Italy, Los Angeles, Morocco, and the Philippines. They moved into a beautiful home in L.A. and, after several miscarriages and a stillborn child, Linda gave birth to two daughters, Taryn and Romina.
It was, as their daughter Taryn says, “a great passion,” and one that burned out quickly.
Two glamorous couples, two sad stories. Some people just look as though they have it all.