This article is from a movie magazine from the early 1950s. I think it’s mostly a lot of baloney but it’s a fun read. It has the following subtitle: “The smart money has been on Barbara Stanwyck in the Taylor Sweepstakes until recently. Now it looks like it’s Ursula Thiess to win–and for good reasons.” The author is Leone Matthews.
On the heels of what appears to be more than an idle rumor–that Robert Taylor is planning to get married this Summer in Rome–all Hollywood is asking the same question, “Has Barbara Stanwyck waited too long?”
As the grapevine has it, the filly most likely to romp home is foreign born and bred Ursula Thiess, hardly a dark horse in the race for Bob’s hand and heart.
Nevertheless, for a long while the betting was on Barbara, who, in a waiting game that she hoped would prove her the all-time winner, never got around to making her move.
The race between the two women to reach the winning post first actually was never a race at all. Barbara, like the thoroughbred she is, has kept well back all the way –knowing perhaps with a last, wholehearted spurt she could make it.
But she never made that final supreme effort. Not that she didn’t have the stamina, the staying power. What she had perhaps, in too large a quantity, was her pride. Just before Bob left for Europe and after a grand, glorious and rather mysterious party attended by many of the elite of Hollywood’s paddock of celebrities, it seemed as if the two favorites in the Taylor Sweepstakes were on their last way ’round.
“Ursula’s in the stretch,” quipped a columnist, who was one of the last to leave. “Nothing can stop her now.”
Perhaps no, perhaps yes. It is still to soon to know positively. Bob went to Europe. Ursula followed. It’s an interesting pattern, but it still needs more than that to start wedding bells ringing. And, what’s more, no one knows it better than the European lady who went after her American man.
Lovely Ursula Thiess herself would be the first to tell you that beauty alone isn’t enough, these days, to get a beau to the altar. And Bob Taylor–handsome, sought-after, used to beauty and flattery–hasn’t been an easy man for any woman to land since his divorce from Barbara Stanwyck.
But, for a long while Bob was seeing Barbara on those dates which set Hollywood wondering and hoping. Only, somewhere along the line, one or the other may have found out something rather important–that when the flame of romance goes out and you try to light it again, you sometimes find the wick is too small. And you don’t always get the same flame!
In the years Barbara Stanwyck and Bob Taylor have been apart, she has made no secret of her regret that the marriage didn’t last. It’s well known that she prefers Bob to any other man, and in her social conduct Barbara has always behaved as if she were still Mrs. Robert Taylor–with an almost fierce dignity.
On the other hand, Ursula Thiess has appeared in his life at the very moment when may have finally freed himself, mentally, from his ex-wife. Being European, and more aggressive in her reactions to Bob, Ursula Thiess has gotten farther than Barbara, who has been content to play a waiting game. And who–for reasons she alone can explain differently–hasn’t wanted to throw open the door to Bob’s return the whole way!
In the eyes of some, the mistake Barbara made is not being able to disguise a flavor of smugness about her silent patience–as though she were waiting for Bob to stop sowing his mild wild oats about Europe and come home to mother.
Well, Bob Taylor may be ready to stop sowing wild oats–and it seems that he will come home–but it will be to another woman.
Still, why Ursula Thiess?
The answer? Because she appreciates him. Foreign-born Ursula Thiess is unused to the American man, whose first thought is to make a woman happy. “Bob’s so considerate,” she ways. “He thinks of the woman first and what will please her. Not at all like the men of my country.”
To be thought of, to be considered, has made Ursula Thiess unbelivably happy–and that happiness has translated itself into a genuine belief that Bob Taylor is the most wonderful man in the world and an equal wish to do everything to show him how much she appreciates him.
There is nothing more successful or powerful in getting a man to the altar than a woman’s sincere desire to think only of him! Undoubtedly Barbara also wished to please Bob–but no matter how deeply an American woman loves her husband, she is so used to masculine consideration that she always takes some of it for granted.
Ursula takes nothing for granted about Bob Taylor. In even the tiniest details she tries to please. In the beginning she asked his advice because she wanted to be American, to fit herself into the Hollywood pattern, to larn English and to adopt American ways.
Did Ursula know that Bob was reputed to “measure all women by Barbara?”
If so, she has certainly met the challenge successfully. Like many European women, Ursula. An excellent cook, she scores a point over Barbara who confesses amusedly that she cannot boil an egg.
Is there a new charm in finding a woman of great beauty and a career (Ursula is soon to start work in RKO’s “Gambler’s Moon”) who can also run a house, prepare and serve delicious dinners for her man, instead of having always to be taken out? The answer could easily be yes.
Ursula scores another point over Barbara in that she has two small children in Germany. Barbara and Bob unfortunately never had children and the plan to adopt twins when she and Bob were married came to nothing.
Yet perhaps the time has come when Bob Taylor is thinking seriously of settling down to a home and family. Hollywood, and Barbara Stanwyck have been waiting for this moment, but they have only just awakened to the fact that Bob may settle for a bright new flame which has been burning steadily just for him,while everyone was trying to bring a spark out of old embers.