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WILL ROGERS:
The Worst About These Titled
French Husbands is Their Upkeep

San Antonio Express, 19 Apr 1925


We have had quite an array of Movie Stars in to see us the last week or so. Gloria Swanson came in one night all diked out in a New Husband. French Model, the latest thing from Paris. You know if you wear a Nationís Dresses long enough you will naturally start in patronizing some of their other Industries. They both looked very (What do you call it?) CHIC. They sat very modestly back on a couple of Orchestra Seats.

The very next night in comes Pola Negri, the Polish Proletariat, (I think thatís what they call the big Bugs in Poland.) Pola had to sit in a Box. Her Ermine Tent wouldnít go into an Orchestra seat. She looked great and certainly was a poor advertisement for a Charity drive, "To assist starving Poland." I introduced her to the $5.50 Customers, the Ladies of which, viewing her raiment including Jewels, Wraps, Gown, Shoes, Sox and other minor necessary equipment (among which was a kind of a Halter arrangment on the Head) they ASSAYED her at the lowest estimate, at about $150,000. Just as she stood!

She of course is very jealous of Gloria and having heard what Gloria had accumulated in the way of Royalty, as a Helpmate through at least a portion of her struggles for existence through this dreary life, Pola was sailing the next day to look the foreign market over to see if she couldnít return with a higher priced Model than Gloriaís.

Europe is a kind of an Automobile sales room. You can pass around through the various Nations or Booths and select a husband according to what you think you are able to afford. One must always keep in mind that the initial cost is the lowest thing in connecting with one. Itís the Upkeep that will keep you made up and before the Camera at 9 oíclock every morning.

Of course the War has had a lot to do with prices in purchasing a Titled Husband. It used to take a Gould or a Vanderbilt or a Tin Plate Kingís daughter. But now they have them within the reach of all. It used to be very discouraging to the moderately rich, to feel that they were denied the companionship and prestige of a Title. But the War has so lowered the Morals and FINANCES of the titled classes that now they would loan their name to even a Bull Durham Ad, if three STEADY meals a day was offered in recompense. They have placed themselves even in reach of the working Girl.

Of course there are different Models. My old friend the Prince of Wales, is the Rolls Royce of the outfit. Nobody but a Daughter of Henry Ford could afford him, and as Uncle Henry has no daughter that lets the Prince out as far as America is concerned. So then we will have to go down among the Packards, Cadillacs, Buicks, and even Fords. Still when you get down among those small Titles they are really not worth paying the fare to bring them over here. Women are just beginning to realize we have íem in this country just as good as those cheaper grades.

To pay first-class fare on a Count, or a Sir, (or any of those Minor League Titles) to bring over here, would be just like entering an Automobile Parade in a Chevrolet. I know some of them over here waiting in Restaurants that are only two Revolutions removed from the Crown. I am sending Little Anne Pennington, (she who is so kneasy to look at) over to Europe to journey into the Marts of stranded Titles, and return with a couple of them, (bring two back; one donít last long.) She can pick out a couple of little ones.

Then who should pop into our Opera House after these two Notables from Hollywood but my old friend Tom Mix. He is on his way to Europe taking Tony the horse, over to show him the Country. Tom said he had read "Somewhere in history that some fellow over there had offered, A Kingdom, A Kingdom, for a Horse, and he was going over to try and make a deal with him."

It seemed sort of a co-incident that just exactly 20 years ago this week Tom Mix and I arrived in New York with Col. Zack Mulhallís Wild West Outfit to show in Madison Square Garden as a part of the Horse Show. It was not a regular Wild West Show; it was a bunch of Boys he had gathered together out on his ranch in Oklahoma, with his daughter Lucille Mulhall, who was the greatest Roper of any Girl before or since. That was Tom Mixís first start on his Wild West career. We didnít get much money; in fact our salary was supposed to be $20 a week. I told Tom in the Theater the other night, that was the only time we were ever paid just about what we were worth. That was one time we were not overpaid Actors, because we didnít even get the twenty.

But he was a great old fellow, Mulhall, a typical old time westerner. We would touch him so much at odd times we never had anything coming. He was a very liberal fellow and in those days of Bar Rooms would always order drinks for everybody in the place and hand the Bar Tender a Bill of perhaps $20 to pay for what was $5 or 6 Dollars check and my great habit was to edge in next to him when the man put the change back in front of him, and I would grab it and duck with it. Well he thought that was a great Joke, and so did I. In fact I think it was one of the best jokes I ever pulled. He would laugh and that would make a good fellow out of him with the crowd, and incidentally keep from making a Tramp out of me. I was perfectly willing that they could have the drinks as long as I got the change.

Our best Rider and principal Cowboy at that time was Jack Joyce who happened to be playing in New York last week. (He has been in Europe for 18 years and returned over here to Vaudeville with the greatest trained Horse act you ever saw.) So we all had a reunion. Tom arrived with a Wife and Child and 10 trunks. So I told him the first time we come to New York we didnít have a Suit case between us. Tom married his leading lady, Victoria Ford, several years ago. Lots of Movie Stars marry their Leading Lady but the trouble is they marry every one they make a Picture with. Tom had enough money to get back on after our Show that time but I had to stay in New York and get a job on the stage. So I have been annoying these Eastern people ever since, off and on.

Well, I didnít think any one could come into our Opera House who would surpass these Movie people but sure enough last night I looked down in the second row and who should be there but the best beloved Actor of our time, David Warfield. I introduced him and roped him and dragged him up on the stage. He got a real Ovation. So, I feel very proud, everybody has been trying to get Warfield to return to the stage and canít do it. But he come up last night under my management. I told the audience that the reason Warfield was not on the stage was that Mr. Belasco wanted him to play in ďThe Harem,Ē and that naturally Mr. Warfield would not play in that type Play (and the audience all applauded that). He wanted to play in "Ladies of the Evening," or nothing. He couldnít get a job in one of our modern Dramas. He canít cuss good enough. I donít know what we will have for excitement this coming week. Maybe Mr. Coolidge will be in to look us over. I see he has a new suit.

(Copyright, 1925, by the McNaught Syndicate, Inc.)






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