Movies, Television and Broadway
1961 proved to be an uneasy mix for my career and personal life. I had lost the Oscar for "The Apartment" but had won the British Academy Award and The Venice film festival designation as Best Actress. My husband, Steve Parker, was having tremendous success with an international tour of "Holiday in Japan," which played over a three-year period in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and dozens of other American Cities.
I was still locked into Hal Wallis's contract, which eliminated any artistic freedom for my choice of films and roles. With the exception of "The Apartment," I continued to find myself starring in thin, sex-farce comedies. And "All In A Night's Work" was no exception.
The only excitement from "All In A Night's Work" was working with Dino once again. This was my fifth screen appearance with Dean Martin ("Artists And Models," "Some Came Running," "Career," and "Oceans Eleven") so Dino and I had become good friends and yes, I had a big crush on him as well. I would do a picture any time, any place with him. Films were fun with Dino. You were laughing and playing gin right until the camera rolled. There was only one Dino! God bless him.
While we were filming "All In A Night's Work," I developed a serous crush on Dean. By now I finally become a "girl" to him rather than a mascot. I didn't know what to do about it. So, one night after work I stopped by his house to talk. I didn't know what I was going to say when Jeanne, his wife, opened the door and ushered me into the living room where seven children who had just finished dinner were playing. It was mayhem. The air was thick with family interplay, as I waited on the couch while Jeanne called Dean.
He came down stairs, saw me, walked over, and embraced me. "Hi sweetheart" he said. "Wow. You came to see me? Hey kids, look who's here. Well, sweetheart, how can I help you?" He looked into my eyes. I swallowed hard wondering if he knew what I was feeling, but the reality of what I was doing hit me full force and I responded in a truly mundane manner. "Oh, I just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed working with you. I think you are brilliant." Dean held my hand and smiled "I feel the same about you, sweetheart. You're the best." I excused myself as gracefully as I could and left. I felt like an idiot. To this day I don't know if he knew what was on my mind, but he will always hold a special place in my heart.