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post Beautiful Paradox

January 15th, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:16 pm

Beautiful Paradox

Vintage Article, January 1970

Linda Cristal is a paradox, a complex of extremes

She loves being a woman, and devotedly labors at retaining her femininity.

She also loves putting on dungarees, hopping on a horse and heading into the Arizona plains where she hunts quail, and can hit a small bottle of beer from 100 feet with a .22 rifle.

She gave up her acting career when she married businessman Yale Wexler, whose brother Haskell directed “Medium Cool” and became a wife and mother. Her two sons are now 6 and 8 years old But when the marriage ended, she returned, landed the role on “High Chaparral” as Leif Erickson’s young wife.

However, when she remarries some day – and Linda insists she will, “When the right man comes along” – she insist she will give up her career again.

Until that longed-for day arrives, Linda Cristal will concentrate on the other careers, being an actress, a mother and a woman.

The Career is flying high, from mistress of High Chaparral to personal appearances. It will reach a new high next month when she travels to Germany to receive the Bambi Award there as Best Actress in a series on German television. High Chaparral is one of the highest rated shows in Germany, and 67 other countries around the world where it also is seen weekly.

Recently, Linda opened a new facet of her career, singing. She began taking lessons, as a matter of fact, so she could take advantage of offers to make personal appearances at rodeos and fairs.

She has been accepting these highly lucrative engagements with Mark Slade, who plays Blue on High Chaparral, and four background musicians.

“I love to sing country-Western,” explained Linda. She also emphasized that her personal appearances would be restricted to rodeos and fairs. “I don’t want to do nightclubs. That would take up too much time. But I will continue to do the rodeos. The people on “Bonanza” used to make many rodeos during the year, but they got rich and lazy. Only Michael Landon still goes out, I understand.”

One of the fringe benefits of being in the series, Linda ecstatically says, it the fact that when they are on location – which is roughly half o the shooting schedule – everyone lives in Tucson, Ariz.

“I adore it there,” Linda exclaimed. “It is so peaceful, I can count the stars at night. Living in Tucson is going from one extreme to the other, from the solitude to the tumult  of Hollywood. My boys stay with me whenever they are not in school, and we have ponies there for all of us.”

Linda keeps a year-around apartment in Tucson, and has a home in Beverly Hills. “I don’t like to carry much luggage when I travel. We are the only television series with our own jet, exclusively available to us, and we fly back and forth so quickly.”

At the moment, High Chaparral shooting is between seasons. They have done 80 shows in three years and, if picked up again – as is likely – will resume for next season in April.

Linda plans to spend much of her time off on a shopping spree. “I’m devoted to shopping, especially for antiques,” she declared.

Although born in Agentina, Linda grew up in Europe. Her father, a magazine publisher, fled Argentina to escape political persecution when Linda was only six, and took his family to Europe.  When she was in her teens, the beautiful young girl began a movie career and, by the time she was married, she had appeared in more than 30 films. She has lived in the United States since 1958, and is a naturalized citizen.

I recall in Argentina that another little girl who looked very much like me was kidnapped and killed and my father said that the kidnappers actually wanted to take me,”  Linda revealed.  “so he packed up what he could and we very quickly left the country.”

Despite her many movies, Linda never felt satisfied with her acting So, when her marriage broke up, she decided to study acting.

When her agent called to tell her about the series, and the part, she showed up for an audition fully prepared. She did 12 ideas of improvisational acting in an hour and 15 minutes, including: love, hate, passion, frustration, regret and pain. She had no sooner finished the last one when producer David Dortort told her she was hired. Her only previous television experience had been a single guest shot on “Rawhide.”

The popularity of the show, Linda feels is that it is strong drama, rather than simply a Western drama. Also, it is doing exceptionally well in Latin America because of the treatment of Mexican relationships. “I think we have helped Latin American relationships by elevating the Mexicans,” Linda declared.

“It is funny. We had a feeling of success for the show right from the start.  It is tedious work – up at 5a.m. and we work sometimes until midnight, when we are on location – six days a week. At the studio, we only work five days, but the hours are long, too. We don’t mind because we have wonderful spirit. We are still ambitious. “

“I would like to have time to find the right man,” she said somewhat ruefully. “As far as career is concerned, my ambition is strange. More than a career, I seek quality of work.”

“Career? First being a woman. It takes time just being a woman, like reading material for the mind, and body exercises, and keeping the nails clean. I have two boys, and I want to be an imaginable woman in the house. I still think the woman should look up to the man.  I like to have the chair pulled out for me when I rise or sit down. Femininity is the salvation of marriage. Unless the woman becomes feminine again, marriage is on the way out.”
“Marriage can be stubborn. It’s like pushing a mule.”

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