Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 3, 1974 · Page 22
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 22

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 3, 1974
Page 22
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22 · Northwest Arkansas TIMES, Tliurs., Oct. 3, 1974 FAYETTEV1LLE, ARKANSAS Betty Ford's Ordeal Stirs Warm Response .WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bclty Ford's sudden ordeal with cancer has touched off a sympa- thetic reaction among women across the country and an awakening to the dangers they also face. Ten thousand letters, more than 500 phone calls, over 200 And Tougher Being An Actress Bette Davis: Tough As Ever Being A Woman NEW YORK (AP) -- It's as tough as ever to be a woman and it's getting tougher to be an actress, says Belle Davis, a veteran and voluble virtuoso at such matters. Despite the widely proclaimed lib movement, muses the film star. "I don't think it's any easier to be a woman today than it ever was." And for that inertia she blames faulty logic. "It's not enough for us to sit around and -say men must become different and think of us differently." runs the Davis manifesto. "It's up to us to make the men think of us differentls'. The male is the. way lie is and 1 don't think t h i s will e v e r change. I think women have got to change. "I'm not talking about assertion I'm talking about facing life more realistically, certainly as regards marriage and how it will not always be the same. Men arc much more wise about that than we are." Miss Davis, who has had a quartet of spouses and vows never again, projects a happy day when "woman no longer marries for security -- or insists on $10 million if she goes a w a y _ and shakes off that old,' old-fashioned romantic thing that a marriage must always be romantic." The dowager screen queen -46 years, 8'! films and numerous' stage roles ago -- feels there may be some kind of obscure, backlash link between the general struggle for feminine equality and diminishing opportunity for young hopefuls to become actresses. "With few exceptions, it's a completely man's script world today," Miss Davis says of the surge of movies centering on just heroes, buddies and gangs. She moves away from the general to the personal with "anyway, leading roles for someone like me will always be few and far 'oetween." Which is why at 66 Miss Davis is getting ready for an extended workout in a stage musical, "Miss Moffatt," even though legit runs a poor second to the screen, in her blunt opin- "I'm not enamored of the theater as opposed to film, which is the greatest medium for actors," she says. "You know Spencer Tracy said the theater is for children or idiots." After thinking about the project for a couple of months, Miss Davis opted for the assignment in preference to "a .lot of very bad TV scripts." Three of her four most recent films have ended up as not very spectacular "Movie of the Week" on ABC or NBC, and the fourth, made in Italy, has yet to be released in this country. "It was just fate that each TV script was increasingly blood, gore, murder and shooting,'* she says of alternative offers. "I've never done films like that, never, never, never. I played people, not violent characters. And the writers don't have time to write good words any more, so I said 'Well, I'm going to do some good words for a change. 1 " "Miss Moffatt" Is based on "The Corn Is Green." which the lady from Lowell, Mass., did on the screen in 1945. The story is about a teacher and a student she inspires to make the most of his abilities. The Welsh locale of the early 1900's plot was shifted in the new version to the U.S. South, and the pupil became a black youth instead of a miner's son. Then a musical score by Albert Hague and lyrics by Williams were added. When Miss Davis first read the revision "it was an enormous shock to me and I didn't believe in it at all." She now defends the change with equal vigor. Miss Davis has six numbers to sing in the show, and although she has never taken a vocal lesson in her life, "people keep forgetting I've done a lot of singing all through my career." Preparation of "Miss Moffatt," to which she is under contract through June 1976, with an option to do it later in London, has been complicated by a back injury she sustained during rehearsals. Miss Davis looks back with nostalgia, liberally diluted with realism, to the ood old days when Hollywood's big studios prodigally bought stories for i(s distaff supergalaxy including Bergman, Colbert, Crawford, Dietrich, Dunne, Garson and, very definitely. La Belle Bette. "I'm not bright enough to know why this has happened," she says of the now, then adds: "Well, we women had the industry for 20 years and so I always say when they talk about this sort of thing, we have no complaints." Some of that past rapture was reprised last spring when, to considerable box-office success, she went out on a personal appearance tour. Although her heart belongs to movies, Miss Davis voices no reservations about long indenture in this "really exhaust- ng profession" of stagecraft. Her three children ate now grown up, thereby easing pre- vious maternal concern. "Like it or not, one should get to love theater," she declares. "Because I must work some of the time. Everybody must for the good of their heads. I'll always be busy." telegrams and scores of flower arrangements have poured into lie White House and v Bethcsda, Md., Naval Hospital since word came of Mrs. Ford's breast cancer operation Saturday. Mrs. Ford was reported continuing -to make a good, recovery. A medical bulletin said she is on a regular diel and hud gained almost full mobility of her right arm. A spokesman for the American Cancer Society said telephones "have been ringing off the hook" with calls from thousands of women who want to make appointments with doctors and clinics for breast cancer examinations. "It's a tragedy for Mrs. Ford, but she may have saved an awful lot of women's lives," said a spokesman for the American Ciuiuer Crusade, which long sponsored an cduca- lional campaign to alert women to the need for' early detection and period check-ups. The outpouring of prayers, good wishes und hopeful advice from those who have recovered from breast cancer surgery like hers has been dramatic. In only-four days, the volume of mail at the White .House appears to have exceeded anything First Ladies in recent years have received. Wives of senators have been helping Mrs. Ford cope'. with the flood of messages. After more flowers arrived at the hospital than Mrs. Ford could possibly accommodate In the fivo-room presidential suite during an expected 10-day stay President Ford appealed to I hose who might want to sem flowers to contribute instead ~\ the American Cancer Society. It's still too early y e t ' t o Id hbw the donations to the cance society will be affected by th appeal, a spokesman said. Du even the White House is gettin donations, many of them smal although there was one checl for $5,000. "One though," thing is Ihe cancer ikesman noled. women around definite sociel "Thousand the conntr spo: of are asking the American Con cer Society, clinics, hospital and doctors about gettin ireast examinations. It has gal- anlzcd everyone into action." The letters to Mrs. Ford have omo from young and old, people In public life and women vho wont to encourage her. Some cured cancer patients oven sent their pictures. Alice Longworth, 30-year-old daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, sent this message to Mrs. Ford: "Just a line to wish you well from one who a number of years ago had the experience you just had." A nun, who is. a nurse in Tea neck, N.J., sent a "well, welcome lo our club," message reporting she celebrates her ninth anniversary of a ma's tectomy this month and has been encouraging others who have ' had them that they can live a normal life. "Your faith and courage wil be a great source of strength ti all the women facing this sur gery in the future," she wrote. Hughes Won't Be Extradited WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bil- ioniiirc Howard Hughes will not be extradited from the Ba- uunas to (ace trial in Lax Vegas, a Justice Department spokesman says. Spokesman Robert Stevenson said Wednesday that department lawyers decided against Tying to extradite Hughes to " a c e s t o c k manipulation charges because it would be'ex- pensive and chances of success were slim. Hughes is shedulcd to be arraigned Oct. 25 in federal court on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to manipulate the stock of Air West airlines. 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