September 01, 1997 12:00 PM

TALK ABOUT ARTISTIC LICENSE. ON Aug. 18, as Anthony Quinn faced his estranged wife Iolanda in Manhattan’s state supreme court, the 82-year-old actor began to sketch a portrait of a woman. Showing reporters the unflattering drawing, he said, “There’s an angry mouth with spikes coming out.”

The barbs, it appears, had found their mark. After a dramatic day in court during which the couple’s middle son Danny, 33 (Lauren Holly’s first husband), accused Quinn of beating Iolanda, 62, the two-time Oscar winner agreed to fork over about half of his reported $15 million estate: Though Iolanda says she is satisfied with her cut, she adds, “I don’t believe in divorce. I didn’t marry my husband for money, I married for love.”

Not that togetherness was ever the best measure of Quinn’s nuptial happiness. Meeting on the set of Barabbas in 1961—he was on his first marriage, she was a wardrobe assistant—he and Iolanda wed five years later when she was pregnant with their third son. But over the years, when the Italian-born Iolanda griped about her husband’s philandering (he has sired 13 children with his two wives and three mistresses), Quinn “would bang the table or throw a plate or a glass,” said Danny, adding that after some fights his mother would have “dark bruises on her arms and legs.”

Though Quinn—who was met outside court by Kathy Benvin, 35, his former secretary and the mother of his two youngest children—says the divorce has given him “nothing but pain,” his faith in matrimony remains unsullied. The actor “is now shopping for a tuxedo,” said his lawyer Barry Slotnick. “His next event will probably be at a chapel.”

You May Like