Patricia Neal's Affair With Gary Cooper

Posted: March 14, 1988

Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal became attracted to each other while acting in the 1949 film The Fountainhead and began a love affair once the film was completed, Neal discloses in her autobiography, Patricia Neal: As I Am.

They conceived a child but, because Cooper was married, they had the fetus aborted, the actress writes in excerpts from the book published in the April issue of Good Housekeeping.

Neal was 24 at the time of the affair; Cooper was twice her age.

"I did not allow myself then to consider the possibility of a permanent relationship," Neal writes. "We were not building a future together. We were seizing moments."

The affair ended when Cooper's wife, Ricky, confronted him and he admitted everything.

Neal's memory of the lost child has not faded with the years. "For over 30 years, alone, in the night, I cried," she writes. "For years and years I cried over that baby. If I had only one thing to do over in my life, I would have that baby." Neal went on to have five children.

DON'T KICK DALLAS

Down near Dallas, you don't kick another man's horse and you don't cozy up to another woman's man - and you sure don't mock another man's home.

Some out-of-towners tried. They offered $2 million for a lavish ranch that has been a location for the television series Dallas.

Loose change, pardner.

"I think people look at the condition of real estate in Texas and think that ranches are a dime a dozen," said Timothy W. Bell, chief executive officer of Ewing Oil Co. of Dallas, the other day.

They're wrong, he said.

The 445-acre Southern Cross Ranch, about 20 miles east of Dallas, was put on the auction block Saturday by Ewing, which has no connection to the fictional J. R. Ewing and his family of the television series. Southern Cross was the ranch owned in the series by Clayton Farlow, played by Howard Keel. The key ranch in the series, South Fork, is in the Dallas suburb of Plano.

Southern Cross had been appraised at $6.1 million, but only a dozen potential buyers placed bids at the auction. Real estate agent William Thompson of San Antonio, Texas, made the $2 million bid on behalf of California investors. Ewing Oil officials sent him packing with an undisclosed counteroffer. Bell said, "We do expect a higher price."

And maybe a little respect, too.

A REAGAN SON'S BOOK

President and Mrs. Reagan were doing some serious reading during the weekend, a White House aide said.

The President's adopted son, Michael Reagan, has written a newly published work, On the Outside Looking In, excerpts of which were published in weekend newspapers. Michael sent a copy to his father and the Reagans read it at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., said Elaine Crispin, press secretary to Nancy Reagan.

Crispin had no immediate comment on the book from the Reagans.

Michael, now 43, was adopted when he was 3 days old, during Ronald Reagan's marriage to actress Jane Wyman. But it was Nancy Reagan who revealed to him that he was the illegitimate son of a World War II soldier and his wartime girlfriend, a Kentucky farm girl and would-be Hollywood actress.

"My adoptive parents were actors, skilled in the art of communication," Michael writes. "But when I look back on my life, the episodes I remember most vividly have to do with failure to communicate."

CARTER IN NIGERIA

On a private business trip to Nigeria, former President Jimmy Carter said that his Democratic Party had a good chance of winning the presidency this year.

"The Republican nominee is almost certainly to be (Vice President) George Bush, but he has not been very successful in past elections," Carter said.

"Although President Reagan is highly popular, his basic policies are not so popular," Carter said, and it is those policies on which Bush will have to run.

Carter signed an agreement with Nigeria on behalf of his Global 2000 organization to help fight guinea-worm infection in the West African country. Guinea worms, common in rural settlements lacking safe drinking water, breed in streams and ponds and strike people of all ages, crippling victims if not quickly extracted.

Carter was to travel today to Accra, Ghana, for the World Health Organization's regional conference on guinea worms.

AWARDS AND A RETURN

Joan Baez, who lent her voice to the civil-rights and peace movements, has received the Medal of Peace from Mayor Jacques Barat-Dupont of Verdun, France. . . . Country singer Larry Gatlin is to receive the distinguished alumnus award of the University of Houston on May 12. Gatlin majored in English at Houston, which he attended on a football scholarhsip in the late 1960s. After undergoing treatment for cocaine use, Gatlin has sung the praises of a drug- free life. . . . Phyllis George, former co-host of the CBS Morning News, is to return to television with a one-hour special on babies, to be broadcast in April. George left CBS 2 1/2 years ago. "I enjoy television. I enjoy people," she said. "It was good for me to get back out and do something."

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