By Jane Sanderson
Updated February 05, 1979 12:00 PM

It could have been the title of Cybill Shepherd’s memoirs, but, happily, The Lady Vanishes is just the movie remake she was cavorting through on European location. Cybill’s career hasn’t exactly highballed in recent years—what with flops like At Long Last Love with her recently shed director-mentor-lover Peter Bogdanovich—so she was doubly delighted to land, at 28, “the best role of my career.”

Her colleagues for the updating of the Alfred Hitchcock classic were perhaps the most interesting since Taxi Driver, and her own part might be the most apt since she began acting in The Last Picture Show in 1971. Cybill plays Margaret Lockwood’s madcap-heiress role as the lady who leads Elliott Gould, Angela Lansbury and a trainload of fugitives in a prewar dash to flee the Nazis. A competitive diver and gymnast at East High in Memphis, Cybill did all her own stunts, like jumping onto moving trains. Even so, it was tough to upstage the vintage steam engine the company rented which, the producer announced, “cost just a little less than Elliott Gould and a little more than Cybill Shepherd.”

Cybill’s euphoria continued off-camera with her new man from back home, David Ford, 26. After they met last spring in a Memphis blues club, he quit his job as a parts manager for a foreign car agency to follow her on location in Austria and Britain. The day after the film wrapped Cybill and David were wed in a 13th-century Gloucestershire church with her director and producer standing in as best man and “father of the bride.”

Shepherd, who resided with Bogdanovich in the Bel Air mansion once owned by Clark Gable’s widow, is now settled with Ford in a Memphis loft overlooking the Mississippi. They’ve just bought a beige stucco bungalow (on impulse, when she fell for the porch swing) and, while waiting to move in, she’s working on a singing career. Two albums of show and jazz tunes are already completed (one was recorded at the studio of Elvis discoverer Sam Phillips), and Cybill is rehearsing a nightclub act she hopes to take to New York and then Vegas. What about returning to Hollywood? “People here are wonderful, the music is wonderful, Memphis is wonderful,” coos Cybill. “I don’t ever want to leave.”