Bridging The Generation Gap


I had never seen this ad before today, and I had to do a doubletake.  I saw the Paul Masson spokesman with a younger woman at his shoulder, and the words “generation gap,” and I cringed.  Are they getting drunk together?  Doesn’t he already get drunk off wine; is liquor even necessary at this point?  Oh, wait, he’s dead.  Did he die from drinking?  Was the point to show that old coots could pick up younger Janis Joplin wannabes by buying them a glass of smooth, light, mellow whiskey?  Ewwww.

So many thoughts ran through my head of this dirty old man and this disillusioned woman who was clearly too young to be sipping what old bankers drink in their dens, while wearing robes and smoking pipes.  But then I read the ad.  It’s his daughter.  His daughter with Rita Hayworth.  And she’s dead, too.  Technically, all three of them are dead.

MORE thoughts ran through my head.  Like the fact that Rita Hayworth, although Alzheimer’s-ravaged at the end, was once sane and gorgeous, so why ON EARTH would she ever consent to lie down beneath Orson Welles?  I had to investigate.

As it happened, he wooed her in his post-Citizen Kane, pre-morbidly obese era (he topped out just under 400 lbs or 180 kg).  Both had divorced prior spouses in 1942, and were ready to “walk the plank” again the following year.


Wasn’t baby Rebecca a cutie?


He does appear somewhat deranged in this pic:


The servant boy in the pic seems to rather enjoy these two Hollywood heavyweights simulating a cocktail-infused bullfight (she as bullfighter; he as bull) smack dab in the middle of the nursery.  Or is she simply folding a blanket, and he dancing a merry jig?  Either way, the union didn’t last long, due to alleged infidelities.  In 1948 Hayworth filed for divorce, saying, “I can’t take his genius any more.”  Apparently, alcohol + crazy + cheating + a touch of ego = recipe for disaster.

But don’t worry; they both married again.  And again.  And again.  However, five hours before his death, Welles paid Hayworth a compliment, telling Merv Griffin that he was “lucky enough to have been with her longer than any of the other men in her life.”   I guess they were pretty cute together, if only for a season.


14 thoughts on “Bridging The Generation Gap

      1. haa! yeah i can’t imagine he was the most, um, consistent of fathers.. total frickin genius tho, imo 🙂


  1. Kerbey, where do you get these ideas for your posts from! More to the point, where to you get these awesome pictures from! I love your posts. They are always so interesting. 😀


    1. I have too many yearbooks, I guess. But I don’t know how I stumbled upon Orson yesterday; it’s not as though I ever would go looking for HIM. It must have been in a vintage ad section. Those are always a hoot. Thanks!


  2. I remember seeing Wells on Merv Griffin. To say he was really out there was an understatement. By that time he was a full fledged weirdo savant. Always dressing like some kind of deranged mystical magical guru. I firmly predict we will be subjected to Leonardo DiCaprio doing his 3rd “historical figure” movie performance portraying both a young and older Orson Wells. Prepare yourself. Its coming


    1. You are making me pee my pants with the image you painted of the magical guru. I 100% agree in your prediction. Leo’s smug little round face could turn into Orson. And then he could pack on 100 lbs, get raving drunk, knock a supermodel up, and everyone would praise him for his dedication and give him an Oscar. You really must have a crystal ball.


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