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      H O W A R D  H U G H E S:
      T H E  W O M E N




      Ava Gardner Bette Davis Jean Peters Jean Peters Lana Turner



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      THE WOMEN IN HUGHES'S LIFE


      (A PARTIAL LIST OF FRIENDS/LOVERS/DISCOVERIES)


    • PHYLLIS APPLEGATE  Singer, dancer, Hughes starlet—and Hughes lover When he at last married, she told him, "Be happy." A resident of Los Angeles for many years, she worked for an ophthalmologist.

    • CARLA BALENDA
      (b.1925)   Real name Sally Bliss, she was a Hughes discovery who virtually grew up under his thumb, starring in films for RKO and later appearing on TV

    • PHYLLIS BROOKS
      (1915-95)
      phyllis brooks
      Lovely brunette actress of the thirties who dated Howard but preferred his friend Cary Grant, to whom she became engaged.

    • NANCY CARROLL
      (1903-65)
      nancy carroll
      Scarlet-haired star of early talkies, she was left waiting in Howard's bed.

    • CYD CHARISSE
      (1921-2008)
      cyd charisse
      Premier dancer of MGM musicals who was courted avidly by Hughes but eventually chose singer Tony Martin over the billionaire.

    • SALLILEE CONLON  Virginal Indiana co-ed who chanced to be on the cover of Life magazine; a week later, she was in Las Vegas with Hughes. Went on to work behind the scenes in TV news.

    • JOAN CRAWFORD
      (1906-77)
      joan crawford
      Though she was married, Hughes still pursued her. promising her a "big" gift in return for a date. The former flapper (who came to Hollywood after winning a Charleston contest) was famed for portraying strong, aggressive roles (like her Oscar-winning Mildred Pierce of 1945) and for her parenting skills, or lack thereof, according to her author-daughter Christina in the biographical Mommie Dearest (1978)...Joan Crawford Biog./Gallery

    • LINDA DARNELL
      (1923-65)
      linda darnell
      Naive, darkly sensual star of Forever Amber and The Mark of Zorro. She left her cameraman husband Peverell J. Marley and was ready to drop her career to order to marry Hughes. Then, he unceremoniously dropped her.

    • BETTE DAVIS
      (1908-89)
      Bette Davis
      Fiery Warner Brothers actress and two-time Oscar winner, she shared a summer of Malibu idylls with Hughes — until her husband, and a private eye, caught them together. It was not until her latter years that she admitted the depth other affair with Hughes...Bette Davis Biog.

    • YVONNE DE CARLO
      (1922-2007)
      linda darnell
      Perpetually cast as a saloon girl, the former dancer — who shimmied to fame in Salome, Where She Danced — trysted with Howard for two years in the mid-forties. Known to TV viewers for her role as Lily Munster in The Munsters.

    • OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND
      (b.1916)
      de havilland
      Warner Brothers actress who dated Hughes — until she learned he had no plans for marriage. She matured into a two-time Oscar-winning dramatic star (1946's To Each His Own and 1949's The Heiress) but will be forever known as Melanie in Gone With the Wind (1939). Counted herself lucky to have spurned Hughes's attention...Olivia De Havilland Biog./Gallery

    • FAITH DOMERGUE
      (1924-99)
      domergue
      Raven-haired, with haunting eyes, she was just a teenager when she caught Hughes's eye. He romanced her until she was twenty. Under Hughes she starred in the overwrought Vendetta (1950). After Hughes she starred in low-budget titles, including the science-fiction favorite This Island Earth (1955).

    • BILLIE DOVE
      (1903-97)
      dove
      "The most beautiful girl" in the history of the Ziegfeld Follies. Engaged to Hughes, with whom she had a lengthy relationship, she later married rancher-developer Robert Keniston and became a philanthropist and artist.

    • JOAN FONTAINE
      (b.1917)
      fontaine
      Olivia's younger sister, she was pursued by Hughes while he courted de Havilland. An Oscar winner for Suspicion (1941)...Joan Fontaine Biog./Gallery

    • BRENDA FRAZIER
      frazier
      The "Debutante of the Century," she was romanced by Hughes in Palm Beach and Manhattan.

    • GAIL GANLEY
      ganley
      The last starlet under contract to Hughes, who allowed her promising career to languish. Her ensuing lawsuit blew the lid off Hughes's bizarre lifestyle. After appearing in small roles in a spate of films she became an in-demand sound-effects artist.

    • AVA GARDNER
      (1922-90)
      Ava Gardner
      Smoky-voiced and blatantly sexy on screen and off, she was lured into a lusty relationship with Hughes when she was on the rebound from husband Mickey Rooney. (She was also married to band leader Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.) Her friend-lover union with Howard lasted twenty years. In her 1954 film The Barefoot Contessa, Humphrey Bogart played a Hughes-inspired character...Ava Gardner Biog./Gallery

    • KATHRYN GRAYSON
      (b.1922)
      grayson
      MGM's reigning soprano and one of the studio's beautiful, buxom stars (in titles including 1951's Show Boat and 1953's Kiss Me Kate), she was allied with Howard for eight years; she almost married him three times. Still active onstage in the 1990s, she remembers Hughes fondly continues to live in the Tudor-style mansion Howard loved.

    • JANE GREER
      (1924-2001)
      greer
      The sloe-eyed forties film noir femme fatale who was brought to Hughes for star-making. She married crooner Rudy Vallee instead, enraging the jealous Hughes. She occasionally appearED on television up until the 1990s.

    • JEAN HARLOW
      (1911-37)
      harlow
      The original blonde bombshell and a brief Hughes fling, she soared to fame as the star of his Hell's Angels. But Hughes unwisely sold her contract to MGM, which made her one of the immortals. Foilou her untimely death at age twenty-six, Hughes remained close to Harlow's mother...Jean Harlow Biog./Gallery

    • SUSAN HAYWARD
      (1917-75)
      hayward
      Oscar winner (1958's I Want to Live) and indestructable redhead who thought she might be the next Mrs. Hughes. He pursued her for seven years; she dropped him after his New Year's Eve caper in which he tried to wine and dine three different women at the same time.

    • RITA HAYWORTH
      (1918-87)
      hayworth
      She was still married to filmmaker Orson Welles she pursued a blazing affair with Hughes at Marion Davies's Santa Monica beach house. One of the great beauties of the 1940s — a Hayworth was attached to the A-bomb dropped on Bikini Island — she displayed sultry sexuality in such films as Gilda (1946). Her husbands included jet-setter Prince Aly Khan...Rita Hayworth Biog./Gallery

    • KATHARINE HEPBURN
      (1907-2003)
      Jean Peters
      The quintessential patrician actress; fiercely pendent and one of the most talented Hollywood has ever produced - a four-time Oscar winner. Hughes and Spencer Tracy were the great passions in her life. (Hughes kept her love letters in a safe deposit box, where they were found after his death.)...Katharine Hepburn Biog./Gallery

    • BARBARA HUTTON
      (1912-79)
      hutton
      The "Poor Little Rich Girl" who tumbled into bed with Hughes when he was engaged to Hepburn; their affair lasted just ten days. Hutton died like Hughes — wasting away and neglected in a hotel suite.

    • ZIZI JEANMAIRE
      (b.1924)
      zizi
      The willowy star of the Roland Petit ballet company who attracted Hughes's attention during a Hollywood Bowl revue. He paid the bills for the entire company to remain in Los Angeles while he sought her favours.

    • DOROTHY JORDAN
      (1906-88)
      jordan
      Briefly engaged to Hughes, the MGM star .of the thirties later married filmmaker Merian C. Cooper (King Kong).

    • TIMMIE LANSING  New York debutante who was wooed and virtually held prisoner by Hughes. She later married famed cartoonist Peter Arno (The New Yorker).

    • JANET LEIGH
      (1927-2004)
      leigh
      Fresh-faced MGM musical comedy star who spurned Howard's advances but ended up working for him at RKO. Famed as Alfred Hitchcock's leading lady in Psycho (1960)—and as the mother of actress Jamie Lee Curtis, she recounted her adventures with Hughes with great humor...Janet Leigh Biog./Gallery

    • GINA LOLLOBRIGIDA
      (b.1927)
      lollobrigida
      She was on her way to becoming an Italian sex symbol when Hughes imported her from her homeland. When she refused to become a conquest, he kept her from making American films for seven years, using an obscure provision in her contract...Gina Lollobrigida Biog./Gallery

    • IDA LUPINO
      (1914-95)
      lupino
      Known for playing tough, no-nonsense "broads," she was just sixteen when she dated Hughes. "My mum went along," she claimed. He was later instrumental in her move to directing...Ida Lupino Biog./Gallery

    • MARIAN MARSH
      (1913-2006)
      marsh
      Delicate leading lady of Hollywood melodramas, she saw Howard change as a result of the company he kept in the 1930s. Active in later life as a community leader in Palm Desert, the California city she and her late husband (aviation pioneer Cliff Henderson) co-founded.

    • VIRGINIA MAYO
      (1920-2005)
      mayo
      Blonde bombshell (she was Dana Andrews's philandering wife in 1946's The Best Years of Our Lives) who resisted a wild fling with Hughes in New York—because she got airsick.

    • MARILYN MONROE
      (1926-62)
      monroe
      Hughes was enthralled with her when he saw one of her earliest films, Don't Bother to Knock...Marilyn Monroe Biog./Gallery

    • TERRY MOORE
      (b.1929)
      moore
      Pert perpetual starlet, she co-starred with a gorilla in Mighty Joe Young (1949) before going on to solid dramas such as Come Back Little Sheba (1952) and Peyton Place (1957). During the battle for the Hughes estate she claimed to have married Howard at sea. She received a settlement. Detailed her alleged Hughes exploits in the 1984 memoir The Beauty and the Billionaire; then work on Hughes's "autobiography.

    • JEAN PETERS
      (1926-2000)
      Jean Peters
      Homespun but gorgeous 20th Century-Fox star who lived with Hughes off and on for a decade before he finally married her in 1957. Among her best-known films are Captain from Castile (1947) with Tyrone Power, Viva Zapata! (1952) opposite Marlon Brando, and Niagara (1953), which starred Marilyn Monroe. After divorcing Hughes in 1971 she married film executive Stanley Hough; their marriage lasted until his death in 1992. Active in later life in charity work, Peters declined to give interviews about her years with Hughes.

    • GINGER ROGERS
      (1911-95)
      rogers
      Graceful leading lady of the thirties and forties; partnered with Fred Astaire onscreen; with Hughes, off. When she left Howard he wept. I

    • JANE RUSSELL
      (b.1921)
      russell
      Though he never succeeded in getting her into bed, Hughes loved her for her down-to-earth demeanor, her independence, and her fabulous figure, especially the breasts he enshrined in The Outlaw. Star of numerous fifties films, she credits Hughes with her stardom, which endures today.

    • YVONNE SHUBERT  Just fifteen and an aspiring singer when she caught the eye of the fifty-year-old Hughes, she was his last hurrah and, she says, the only one of the many "Hughes girls" who truly loved him. She gave Jean Peters her toughest competition. Pursued an intermittent singing career that continues today.

    • JEAN SIMMONS
      (1929-2010)
      simmons
      Genteel leading lady of films including Guys and Dolls (1955) and Spartacus (1960), she saw her early career stall when Hughes bought her contract, "and put me in the toilet." She retaliated with a law-suit. She now considers her Hughes histrionics as "part of a silly period."...Jean Simmons Biog./Gallery

    • ELIZABETH TAYLOR
      (b.1932)
      taylor
      Just a teenager when she caught Hughes's eye as she strode through the Beverly Hills Hotel, she and her parents were quickly whisked off to Las Vegas for a weekend with the millionaire...Elizabeth Taylor Biog./Gallery

    • JOYCE TAYLOR (b.1932)  Teenage songstress who looked and acted older than she was. Hughes put her under contract in the fifties, then put her contract on hold. She resurfaced, starring in science fiction and horror titles such as Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1961) and Beauty and the Beast (1963). Now makes her home in Colorado where she writes poetry. "I used to hate Howard. In retrospect, I feel sorry for him."

    • GENE TIERNEY
      (1920-91)
      tierney
      One of the screens most spectacular beauties and star of the classics Laura (1944) and Leave Her to Heaven (1945), she dated Hughes before and during her marriage to fashion designer Oleg Cassini. Though Hughes clearly had an agenda during his pursuit of her, Tierney remained ever grateful to him because of the medical attention he provided for her mentally retarded daughter...Gene Tierney Biog./Gallery

    • LANA TURNER
      (1921-95)
      Lana Turner
      The "Sweater Girl" who became Howard's fiancee until he stood her up at the altar. Her icy blonde beauty and smoldering sexuality were especially effective when she teamed with John Garfield to murder her spouse in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). In her 1988 autobiography she tried to minimize her liaison with Hughes. (Turner's many ex-husbands include band leader Artie Shaw, whose many wives also included Hughes's paramour Ava Gardner.)

    • GLORIA VANDERBILT
      (b.1924)
      vanderbilt
      Delicate, wistful debutante from one of America's most famous families. Briefly engaged to Hughes, who dropped her when she began dating his friend Pat De Cicco. After she became a queen of the fashion industry she wrote about Hughes in her memoirs.



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    • Source: the best book on Hughes, Howard Hughes - The Untold Story (The life that inspired Martin Scorsese's The Aviator) gallery









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