When I started my column in the mid 1980s, I went overboard to try to be bratty and make waves, until quickly changing my tone and aiming mudballs only at the truly deserving.
Well, two of my early victims were Juliet Mills and Maxwell Caulfied, who were extremely visible together as a couple at many events in NYC, having married in 1980.
Juliet is part of a renowned acting dynasty (dad was Oscar winner John, sis is ex-child-star Hayley) and she was also known for her own projects on TV (Nanny and the Professor) and in movies (Billy Wilder’s bittersweet Avanti!).
Maxwell is the hunky guy who was very often shirtless in films like Grease 2 and plays like Salonika, in which he lay completely naked on the beach as Jessica Tandy got hot flashes.
And somehow I decided that since Juliet was 18 years older than Maxwell, their union was corrupt and unsavory. When I wrote them up, I often took a creepy, disapproving tone, as if they were indulging in something opportunistic that should not be paraded around in public. What a prude I was!
This was way before cougar consciousness, and I wasn’t sensitive enough to realize that two people who come together for whatever reasons should probably be celebrated, as long as they’re happy. (An exception is the Calvin/Nick thing, which was not love-based IMHO, and which I knew would implode in a disturbing manner. What an unfashionable mess.)
Well, the Caulfields have now been married 33 years, and I have to say I’m sorry, Juliet and Maxwell.
As I’ve noted before, it’s sometimes the couples who initially seem so wrong (Woody and Soon-Yi, Brad and Angelina) who turn out to be the keepers.