Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Such has been my screams of misery the past few days since a tragedy beyond my imagination occurred!

Early Sunday morning, a fire broke out in the Universal backlot, the home of the classic monsters, Baron Frankenstein, Count Dracula, The Phantom of the Civic Light Opera, Deanna Durbin, The Wolfman, and The Mummy, and the place where I shot my immortal classic films, the western Johnny Horndog, and the fantasy-adventure-romance Abbott & Costello Meet She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Backlot sets were set ablaze. Soundstages were devastated. The Backdraft Fire Exhibit was severely upstaged. People on the tour thought it was just part of the show.

When the smoke cleared, this is all that was left of Castle Dracula, Frankenstein Village, and The Bates Motel. But when they inspected the damage, they discovered this unthinkable tragedy has transpired: the King Kong exhibit, in which tram tourists were brought face-to-face with the biggest star in Hollywood, King Kong himself, was destroyed! KING KONG IS DEAD!

No! No! It can NOT be true! Not my Kong! Noooooooooo!

I have been sobbing and keening and drinking all week. You haven't heard keening until you've heard me keen. I keen every bit as well as I drink, and I've drunk my way through all of my birthday vodka trying to take the pain of this loss away.

For over 70 years, through career highs and lows, through marriages and murders, through hits, bombs, and comebacks, he was my boyfriend! Kong was the BIGGEST Love of My Life, and by far, my most generously-endowed lover. My God; it was a big as ME!

Kong and I first met in 1933, at RKO. He had just shot his film debut, King Kong, and it hadn't come out yet, so he was still humble and just grateful for the break Merian C. Cooper had given the enormous unknown ape. Fay Wray used to give him the cold shoulder away from the set. I was on the lot playing the title role in HER! also for Cooper. One day Willis O'Brien, Kong's trainer, introduced us. One glance upward at the gigantic Rod of Eros dangling 15 feet in the air above me and I was in LOVE!

Here we are engaged in a sexual three-way with Terry Dactyl, a bird-brained friend of Kong's who could make me feel like I was flying! Judge us as you will, when we got together, we were animals!

Alas, we were never able to wed. Kong's religion forbade him from marrying outside his species; just another of the cruel deprivations visited on man-and/or-ape-kind by ignorant superstition. But though I married again and again, and Kong's career went through highs and lows (Jessica Lange), we never lost touch, and never stopped being together whenever we could steal away to our tiny love nest on Skull Island.

Although big in the 1930s, Kong's star faded fast. Here he is in 1942, in an army training film shown to our troops, demonstrating proper oral hygiene, by showing this tyrannosaur how to brush his razor-sharp teeth, while I watch and enjoy a libation.

By the 1960s, Kong was considered a washed-up old has-been. A new monster on the block, Godzilla, was the reigning king of Smash-and-Roll movies. Kong was working the summer stock and county fair circuit, appearing in Charley's Ape with Martha Raye (She was all-lips backstage!), when the offer came for Kong to travel to Japan and face-off with Godzilla in a big comeback venture, King Kong vs Godzilla.

I happened to be in Tokyo in 1962, while King Kong vs Godzilla was in production. I was shooting my never-released-in-the-United-States Japanese musical A World of Woozy Song in the same studio, and it was a relief and a joy to hook-up with the supersized Kong while I was stranded for several months in a country full of men who were all hung like Japanese men.

You can see from this shot of Kong conferring with the director, Inoshiro Honda, and Godzilla, while I wnjoy a social beverage, Kong was no longer as big a star as he had been, and was now really no larger a star than I. You can also see how, in person, Godzilla looks much shorter than he does in the movies. When he's eating Tokyo, he's standing on a box. He's like an Asian Alan Ladd, or even Tom Cruise, though certainly better looking than Tom.

Deeper depths were to come, with the ghastly 1976 King Kong with Jessica Lange, as well as the, believe it or not, even worse sequel King Kong Lives!, a title that seems all the more bitterly ironic now. It was the worst trash he ever appeared in. Even Godzilla had shown more chemistry with Kong than Linda Hamilton managed.

But Kong and I remained Friends-With-Benefits. Here we are out together for just a fun afternoon in the Magic Kingdom around 1978. By this time, the period of his stardom was so far in the past that in public like this, we drew no second glances, and neither of us were bothered for autographs.

Of course, inveterate would-be star fucker Little Dougie is such a huge Size Queen that when he found out Kong and I were "Friends," he insisted on my introducing him to Kong. What can I say? On jungle vines, Kong swung both ways, like so many of my men. Dougie retains fond memories of Kong, but after six weeks in the hospital recovering from their first date, he decided to limit himself to the One Perfect Encounter, and not risk sullying that memory with a less than perfect, or less-survivable, second date. Meanwhile, Kong and I stayed close.

As my long-time readers know from my posting last year, Tolkien Resistance, in the Peter Jackson movies of The Lord of the Rings, I played Gàlæƒêllåthéöñ, the Elvish-camp follower who travels with The Fellowship of the Rings to satisfy their manly needs and take their loads from them when they were weary, which they were a lot, especially Sean Astin. For no sensible reason, I was entirely cut from the theatrical-release version, even though what happened with Peter's son and I was completely consensual. I am in the ultra-long, mega-extended, 48-hour DVD edtion. During the shoot, I had a passionate love affair with the wildest of my all lovers, the indescribably sexy Gollum. He was truly My Precious.

After the shoot was over though, Gollum disappeared on me as completely as if he'd fallen into a volcano. Suddenly he was "Too busy" to take my calls. Meanwhile, an odd little British actor named Andy Sirkis, whom I had never even met before, tried to get familiar with me, and when I put him off, while pining for my Gollum, he began giving me the oddest looks.

Anyway, during the shoot, Peter Jackson, before The Cub Scouts Incident that is, mentioned to me that his next project was to be a remake of King Kong. Naturally, I recommended Kongy to play himself, and the result was one of the most amazing comebacks in show business history For several years, Kong had been working at Universal Studios, California, playing himself in the King Kong Exhibit. Jackson, a real fan, was delighted, and Kong was brought down to New Zealand for the shoot.

I traveled with Kong's co-stars to meet with Kong for the first day of the shoot, and give him a good-luck-shag. Kong himself snapped this shot of us all as we arrived.

I might add that Andy Sirkis was in this film too, playing Lumpy, Beaver Cleaver's brother Wally's friend, and he was still giving me these odd looks.

After the shoot, Kong had semi-retired back to Universal, where his terrible end came this past weekend. The biggest stud I have ever had is dead forever.

But I like to think that, in an Enchanted Place at the top of The Empire State Building, a girl and her giant, mega-hung ape will always be laying.

Cheers darlings.


Anonymous said...

You forgot to show pictures of Deanna Durbin who is much better looking than KING KONG!!!

Ms. Hollywood said...

Your post is just preciousssss!

Tallulah Morehead said...

Well Tex darling,

There are two schools of thought on that point. Butch as Deanna was, she just wasn't hung anywhere near as well as Kongy.

The google vanity search is a beautiful thing.

Ms Hollywood, love to have you aboard too.

Cheers darlings.

RMS said...

So sorry for your loss. No more monkey business.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Thank you RMS darling. Poor Kong. He made me go ape!