It is not without compassion that Elizabeth Harrison is about to become Rex’s fourth ex. “Such a gloriously eccentric Englishman,” she says. “Rex is the only man in the world who would disdainfully send back the wine in his own home, complaining to the butler about its quality—as if he had nothing to do with its purchase. He behaved in the house in exactly the same way he would in a hotel, expecting the same sort of service. If he didn’t get it, he’d complain and ask to see the manager, which was me!” Was is the operative word.
As the unofficial representative of Hollywood at the recent Moscow Film Festival, producer Bert Schneider seemed the perfect choice. There was no authorized U.S. delegation, but Schneider, who won an Oscar for producing the anti-Establishment Vietnam documentary Hearts and Minds and then enraged Hollywood conservatives by making a pro-Vietcong acceptance speech, seemed certain to be grata there. Actually, he proved to be almost as much of a wavemaker on the other side of the Iron Curtain. He sharply criticized a Polish prizewinning film for its anti-Semitism. And when he showed Hearts and Minds to a gathering of influential Soviet filmmakers, Schneider noted their perplexed reaction. “They couldn’t understand,” Schneider says, “why I was not shot.”
The one thing the movement can’t accuse French director Roger Vadim of is giving lip service to women’s lib. “What point is there in thinking you’re free,” he asks, “if society doesn’t believe you are?” Over the years Vadim, 47, has been the husband of Brigitte Bardot, Annette Stroyberg and Jane Fonda. Not to mention the father of illegitimate children by Catherine Deneuve and his current lady, Catherine Schneider. Vadim is not opposed to wedlock—in theory. “When you think you’re going to live all your life with a woman,” he grants, “it is good to marry and certainly better for the children, who become victims of talk at school.” But in other circumstances, including his present situation with Schneider, Vadim finds the institution an annoyance. “You bring a mistress flowers, and she accepts them as a lovely present,” he observes. “A wife only notices when you don’t bring her flowers.”
Passage to India
She is a descendant of Queen Victoria, a granddaughter of the Kaiser and the consort the Greeks called “The Iron Queen.” Some blame her counsel of intransigence for the exile of her son, King Constantine, and the at least temporary end of the monarchy in Greece. Now ex-Queen Frederika, 58, has sold off some family jewels (a snuffbox fetched $206,400), left the Greek Orthodox Church and moved to Madras, India where she has entrusted her spiritual life to an 87-year-old Hindu guru and resides in a four-room bungalow costing $15 a month.
Rots of Ruck
Actress Britt Ekland, who had children by Peter Sellers and U.S. record impresario Lou Adler (but was married only to Sellers), declares that she and her new rock romance, Rod Stewart of the Faces, are “probably the most beautiful couple in the world. We are the last of the great lovers, a contemporary Burton and Taylor, with all the glamour, but none of those diamond-buying dramas.”
•Intimates of Stavros Niarchos have caught the Greek shipping mogul giving a new lady the sort of attention he has historically reserved for the women he eventually marries, of which there have been five. Latest interest of the 66-year-old Niarchos: Sicilian-born Pia Giancaro, a former Miss Italy, now 24.
•At the Cafe Bohemia, an exotic food spot in Chicago, MacDonald’s boss Ray Kroc abstemiously passed up the lion and antelope in favor of Long Island duckling. But, as a gag, he was served a burger anyway that turned out to be chopped buffalo. “Tasty,” he observed gamely but was noncommittal about his chain laying on MacBuff.
•Apologizing for being late for an appointment, eternal matinee idol Cary Grant, 71, explained that he was detained fitting his false teeth.