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Roger Smith

Only really good friends!

A couple of months ago, Ann-Margret and Eddie Fisher was inseparable. Then she started filming with Elvis Presley. Then Eddie met Renata Boeck, a German-born model, in Las Vegas. What happened?

"So I like him", Ann-Margret said to her close friend Martha Hyer. "I think Eddie is really great, and I can't remember when I last had so much fun with anyone, except when he does that 'Me Tarzan, you Jane' routine, like he was King of the Jungle or something.

"Lordy", Martha said and laughed, "are you serious? The whole world knows Eddie's like a lamb, the perfect gentleman, the woman is always no. 1 with him".

"That may well be true, I don't say he's not a gentleman. It's just that he can be so demanding, like a male animal. Maybe it's some sort of reaction to Liz, the way she used to boss him around. You know in those days he didn't mind what people thought of him, calling him Mr. Elizabeth taylor and all. Underneath I think he really took it quite hard. And when you think about it, he had quite a career as a singer going for him before he met her. Every girl was crazy about him, older women too.

After that he gave Liz all, and he took the consequences. Of course he heard what people said, how he was under her thumb, that she was like a mother to him. He could say things like: 'Honey, I think you've been in the sun too long', or 'I think you've had enough to drink now, you better switch to soft drinks', when they were at a party. He said things a man should say when he adores his wife, and maybe he thought that would make him keep her, but I bet it irritated the hell out of her".

"Well, different women want different things from their men", Martha said. "Eddie and Liz are history. The question is, what do you yourself expect from a man, or rather, from Eddie?"

"Good question", Ann-Margret said and smiled. "I'll try and explain, it's quite complicated. If I'm on a date with a man, I want him to be the one in command, not me. That doesn't mean I want to be the little woman, Japanese style, who waits for her husband to finish his meal before she eats herself. I'm much too independant for that.

When we were in New York together, and I flew back alone, this happened: Eddie was having great success with his show at the Winter Garden in NYC. He was quite nervous at the beginning, it was like an audition for him. He had to prove that his voice was better than ever, that he had more stage-presence than ever, and that he didn't need Liz by his side to make it.

It was great for Eddie to be there, but it wasn't enough. He wanted me to be there with him, backstage, doing errands for him before every show. I thought I could make my own decisions and make it on my own, but he treated me like I was born just to take care of him. And that wasn't all - he wanted me to give up my career! He said if we were going to get married, both of us couldn't have a career. He'd had enough of that with Liz. He thought it lessened the man's psition in a relationship, if both were working. That may well be so, but I have worked way too hard to get where I'm at now, and I won't throw it all away for Eddie, or for any other man either!

And by the way, he never really proposed to me. He said he wasn't sure if he wanted to get married again, after the affair with Liz. So I couldn't just follow him around like a sheep-dog, and I certainly didn't like his commanding. I was used to him being nice and sweet.

I can't help I lost my temper! I told him I couldn't stand a man bossing me around, and trying to run my life. I was willing to compromise, but he wanted the whole cake! So I left New York again.

Then there's this other thing, Eddie's mother never really liked me. She would rather that Eddie went back to Liz, patching up their marriage. In any case, he shouldn't rush into a new marriage, especially with someone as wild as me. So for all of those who thought we were engaged the whole time, they were wrong. We were never more than just really good friends".

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By Pete Handy

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