By Nara Schoenberg, Tribune Newspapers
October 16, 2013
For some of us, the appeal of celebrity gossip is the big scoop, the eye-popping scandal.
Harvey Solomon, the author of the day-by-day guide to high-profile marital unions, "Weddings/365" (365 Edge), is drawn to the details: the suitor who arranged to have a helicopter drop hundreds of red roses on his beloved's estate, the engagement ring that flew out the window of a hotel in what may or may not have been a fit of pique.
"From the beginning of time, forever, people have always hung on the details of celebrities," Solomon says. "It's a touch of glamour. I think it's even escapism — you get to look at something that's intriguing and entertaining."
We asked Solomon to share his favorite pieces of celebrity wedding trivia.
Michael Caine and Shakira Baksh (Jan. 8, 1973): Have you ever seen a TV ad with a stunning actor or actress and thought, "Wow, I'd like to meet that person"? Funny, same thing happened to Michael Caine. After seeing a Maxwell House coffee commercial, he called his agent. A few phone calls later, they'd tracked down Shakira Baksh.
"As he described it later, she walked into his apartment and into his life," Solomon says. "They were married, and they celebrated their 40th anniversary this year."
Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis (March 4, 1952): Which future American president walked down the aisle with a pregnant bride? "Nancy was three months pregnant when she and Ronnie walked down the aisle," says Solomon. The MGM movie studio didn't mention that detail — in the staid 1950s, Reagan's previous divorce was scandal enough. "There's no way to hide it. (Less than eight) months after they were married, she gave birth and the baby definitely wasn't premature," he says.
Sarah Roth and Daniel Iles (April 22, 1912): In the aftermath of the Titanic disaster, newspaper headlines offered a rare reprieve from sorrow and suffering: While still recuperating in the hospital, survivor Sarah Roth had married her childhood sweetheart, an immigrant who worked as a department store clerk. The bride wore a donated blue silk gown and guests included many other survivors, some still in wheelchairs.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills (June 11, 2002): When the engagement ring went flying out the window of a posh Miami resort, only a month before their multimillion-dollar Irish wedding, the couple claimed that they'd been engaged in an innocent game of ring toss. The ring was recovered days later; the marriage lasted six years.
Brigitte Bardot and Gunther Sachs (July 14, 1966): When the German industrialist was wooing the French actress, he had a helicopter shower her Saint-Tropez estate with hundreds of red roses.
Julia McWilliams and Paul Child (Sept. 1, 1946): The bride wore a large white bandage on her forehead. The groom used a cane. A car accident the day before the ceremony had left the plucky couple bruised but unbowed.
Maria Eva Duarte and Juan Peron (Oct. 22, 1945): As first lady of Argentina, Evita Peron showed a talent for spectacle. But her wedding in a small Buenos Aires apartment was surprisingly modest.
Shirley Temple and John Agar (Sept. 19, 1945): When America's princess married a square-jawed American soldier, a crowd of 12,000 gathered outside the church. A policeman inadvertently locked the car keys inside the limo, and someone had to tear the car door off its hinges so that the couple could escape their eager fans.
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