Recently I ran across this anecdote from Audrey Meadows book, “Love Alice, My Life As a Honeymooner.” (1995). It seemed worth passing on. Ms. Meadows’ book is available from Amazon and other online retailers.
Ladies will recall that not so very long ago, any man compared with Robert Taylor would qualify for Super Hunk, virile, charming with demanding eyes and a voice with muscles. He was not only a splendid actor in a wide variety of roles but one of he most handsome men in the western world.
Bob Taylor was one of the few people who didn’t accept that judgement and remained friendly, no-airs nice guy known and liked by a lot of people, including Jackie Gleason.
And Jackie had a favor to ask of his friend Robert Taylor.
It seemed that one of Jackie’s top sponsors had a niece who was entranced with Robert Taylor. She was a shy, fragile young woman but if Bob could meet with her at Jackie’s place just for a few minutes of small talk, her world would wear wings, the sponsor would be beholden and Jackie would be most grateful.
Anything for a pal. Taylor arrived to meet the timid but anxious young lady at Jackie’s and did his best in stilted but enthusiastic banter as she positively piped inanities while smoothing the folds of her prim floor length evening gown
Abruptly, she decided that she must leave. Taylor and Gleason rose in gentlemanly fashion and the lady turned and made her exit. The dress had a prim front, but the back was missing from the waist down and Robert Taylor was thoroughly mooned by Jackie’s paid performer.
Jackie said Bob Taylor wanted to kill him but they were both laughing too hard for him to be a decent target, and Taylor to throw a punch.