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In the Church they were holding communion. and of course being important people they had their reclinatorio which is a kneeling chair made of fine wood and covered in velvet, to kneel on. I was in the pew behind them with the rest of their family.  It seemed like they all where looking at me, wondering “What on earth is this prisoner doing with my parents?”  Of course I just kept praying and thinking “God let me be free of this nightmare,  I did not commit  any crime, why am I here?”

Now I need my 007

Now I need my 007

Wait a minute, did not commit any crime? Oh yes,  I had a half a roach in my pocket (it was not mine, it was my lovers, but nevertheless it was on my person) and seeds of Marijuana. It did not matter if I smoked it or not? I had them in my possession, but for 30 seeds, came on! Give me a break! It had been almost a month and a half and I was still a prisoner!

When the service was over, we walked over to the corner where there was a dinner place. The

rest of the family left, so the Licenciado, his wife and I sat down  in this restaurant “Maria’s” and between some food (glory be to God!), real food, we talked and I told them my story. They must have had a son who was on drugs or alcohol or something, because they were very sympathetic towards me and very gentle. I could read in her eyes tears wanting to come out, while he was concerned and gallantly containing his  emotions. Then he said I will try to help, and ask me don’t you have a lawyer?  Well, no and yes.. if you could give me permission to make some long distance calls to Caracas? I thought, maybe I can get someone to help me?…..

Smoking my dreams away

Smoking my dreams away

In  a few words, I understood that he would give me Monday the number of an abogado (Licenciado)  that was a very good friend of his– Lic. Lawyer Public Defender  Morales– to see if he could talk to the judge, they played golf together, to see about my case and when I would be going to court to finish this matter. The only thing I could say was GRACIAS, with tears in my eyes which I did not try to hide.

And when we were in the Cadillac,  I dared to ask if was also possible to allow me to use the phone with their permission to call my mother and my ex-husband? They said it would be OK.,  just that I have to ask his secretary for permission and not  to tell any other inmates,.

(I could spend many pages describing how moved they were  about my situation, but at the same time they could not show it, after all, I was their prisoner– yes, with some unheard of privileges).

They were holding back their laughter and smiles over this stupid incident, but the law is the law! They were so cute,  like seeing  that is exactly what they would havce been doing when they were younger, doing these crazy things that they never did, but would have  liked to have done!

Then when we got to the reten it was unusually quiet,  there were some men on the other side of the street, smoking and talking,  but my friendly cops were not there ,so  I went straight  to my hammock with my kitty and went to sleep with dreams of getting out of  Maracaibo and being back in the elegant parts of Caracas.

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That Saturday, after gambling until very late, for a change I lost some of may Bolivares, maybe because?– no,  I  am sure,  that the reason I is, I was  getting tire of playing with these guys, they were bad players and did not even knew the rank of cards well. So I drank and drank until I drank almost the hole of a litter bottle of rum by myself. There were several of than,  Saturday’s nights were  like this, ( thats not a surprise to any of you readers that know me).

Ludmila has been whit Peter in scary situations like THE ONDA NUEVA festival

Whit Peter Graves in Onda Nueva Festival in Caracas we had to confront almost Jail whit the mafia union to hired there grow of cameraman, in Onda Nueva festival that the close I ever became in prison ” (before this )…………….

Sunday I was tired but very excited: “I’m going out, out,!” Even if just to go to a Church  that is not mine, (Roman Catholic and I am Eastern Orthodox, you understand the difference?)+ I will see the streets and places; I was thinking that today there was also chance to talk  with Dona Magdalena and her husband the Jefe of this place,  and who knows what else es he? and of course beside being an: lawyer, lets not forget that, so let’s acknowledge that,  in fact he the and has wife may will be my ticket to ride out of here.

They arrived in a new black Cadillac parking  in front of the detention house main doors, Charlie call me out, escorting me too the car: “portate bien” he whispered in my ear.  We wink to each other with an smile.

(God bless  Dona Magdalena and her husband and her husband, at  times I think in retrospect it may have been her nagging her husband to set me free; she became my angel).

" In this photo, I was before in jail but was only a theater play"

” In this photo, I was before in jail but was only a theater play”

I was  dressed with my indian black dress and I did my long hair  on a Grace Kelly bun twist, nice and simple but elegant, very light lipstick very presentable  for Church ,  of course I still had my make up with me, being a model, what do you expect? not overly made up, just very presentable as I said before  for Church.

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I  notice that , I must say one thing,  that  in different civilisations women from tropical or latin countries tend to overdo their make up going to church, and the young dressed unprohibited for Church where I came from, of course that was my upbringing from my adored mama.

The smell of this new Cadillac reminded me of the good life, that I all of the sudden became too much, memories came back to my mind, my beloved William dancing in the private clubs, sunbathing in the Tamanaco pool, eating in great elegant restaurants, drinking out of crystal classes, real cloth napkins, etc,. men lighting may cigarettes, pulling my chair, opening the doors, where is all this gone? This was so rough, almost cruel, have to go back, I  miss it!.

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Oh yes I missed that life, seeing my mother dress  up for Church,or going to a Russian Ball. All this was spinning  in my mind,  I felt  so weak in my present  nightmare. When is it going to be over?  I want get out of this situation and out of Maracaibo! It is a long and incredible story!

In Church on my knees I prayed and prayed and my tears just roll on by themselves; I could not stop them! Why  am I here?

There was an answer, but I did not know that yet, I was a alcoholic and I did no know at, and  that was that.

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We walked hand in hand, we talked, and we heard some far away music very Mexican and Romantic. Of all the composers of course one I knew one very well- Agustin Lara! They were  playing “ Mujer Mujer Divina”  that he composed for all of the women he loved. But at that time Maria Felix was his great love, as I once was and like every women  he ever loved.

In Puerto Vallarta Ludmila after swimming.....

In Puerto Vallarta Ludmila after swimming…..

Then he got a bottle of good wine and we drank it sitting in the sand and watching the sunset. We did not speak much as we walked  to my hotel  and said good night in front of my hotel room door, with the most innocent but passionate kiss I ever had. I went straight to the table where a bottle of Scotch was sitting, and I poured myself a stiff drink or two, and then went to bed .

Next morning when I walked in our bathroom there on the floor were many papers and restaurant napkins folded. I sat on the john and started reading them  , with my heart throbbing and goose pimples all over my skin. this starts the process of being in love, how did they get here? I looked up behind me the wall up ahead and saw a little window  that was very high up, facing  the corridor and the interior of our bathroom, so, at read  that  he had  to see me again and again   please …

Ludmila coing to the river area whit local woman..

Ludmila coing to the river area whit local woman..

My friend was still in bad and very uncomfortable so I went downstairs to the desk  to ask for a massage or acupuncture or doctor. And there in the lobby he was sitting riding some magazine!  We said hello and I invited him to the fish dinner that evening; we already invited a full table but I asked the chef to make one more space.  The was still there ( I had a terrible night because of the pain of the poor John his back was killing him and had to wait until now to get someone to ask for a Dr. , this is Sunday not one works not even the emergency rooms they are open but there is no Doctors their,  I went upstairs saying too Tad Gail that I was too talk to him now see him later,  tonight, can’t talk now,  I must help my friend and business associate, he is not very well.  He stared in my eyes holding my hand and said, “I will be there– may be will talk  after dinner?”

Modeling for a cover of a magazine

Modeling for a cover of a magazine

Today I know very well that I always needed to be in love, always, and especially when pain, distress or any crisis comes along that I cannot cope with.  So  when I am  feeling that indescribable thing called love?  Anyone who was willing to give me attention and show of concern or care, I converted it in a love.  Today I begin now to understand that which at that time I was blind to Alcohol un auer that  was  an serious alcoholism on full bloom, , you will say, drugs you will say!,  I think I agree now that it was the pain in my subconscious, from my childhood and youth.  By drinking using  which appeared being love? I found the only emotion to cover pain was love or did I really ever love anyone?

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Ludmila working as a top make up artist in Beverly Hills

Ludmila working as a top make up artist in Beverly Hills

Jose just forgot about me. He wrote a few letters to me in LA,  that he would soon be there, and as time went on I suffered like a mad beast, my pride and my imaginary love for him!  Leaving my dear Jack did not leave me too much peace of mind, and in the meantime Joy had got Jack closer and closer to herself,  When I had invited them to a Mexican party,  I had by now an Mexican house boy helping me. But Jack seemed  uninterested in me anymore, or maybe it was his pride. I didn’t  blame him, or I did not notice he did not desire anything to do with me romantically, much less wanting me back

The cane and the pipe became one with me. Daud had big parties some families like the Saturdays with Baba and some orgies I went to, I drank at home I drank at the party I drank in the car driving: I drank and drank and drank.  I remember that I was restless; unhappy which is not in my nature, but I was missing something that I did not know or understand. I felt that there had to be more to my life, something greater, that I could be doing with my mind and life.  But the time went by, the clock did not stop ticking.  I was on a baguan for a long time ,  I did not know that their were held, like  A.A.

The two hair artist and Ludmila in the salon of Robinson on Beverly Hills

The two hair artist and Ludmila in the salon of Robinson on Beverly Hills

Than  this great Idea  came to my mind:  why not worked in cosmetics, since I knew almost everything there was  to know about it, and modeling and acting  were disappointing to me. Without realizing that the trouble was with me, not my profession, I went and got a job at one of the most prestigious  Beverly Hills salons. Suddenly I was a “world-famous makeup artist!” I don’t know  how I managed to get that title! since I had always been  a customer on the receiving end,  massages ,facials, make ups, hair………and now I am telling these very rich women what to use and the more they bought the more I would get. I was even invited to La Jolla to a large mansion with our famous hair artist to work at this incredible wedding– he was doing the hair  and me the makeup. They put us up at the fabulous  La Jolla Hotel, all  expenses paid.

At the wedding  I met Jaclyn Smith (for the second time) who kept  staring  at me and said, “Do I know you?  Are you’re sure we didn’t meet some place?” I denied it,  gently like the lady I was, but strongly.

Mexican style party in Ludmilas home.

Mexican style party in Ludmilas home.

Of course I knew her, when my dear aristocratic friend Octavio Senoret after not being very successful financially with his  paintings, which were really good he had a incredible style–unique, like every good creative artist. He was from a great family in Chile and in those times Mexico did not want any Russians like me!  I had to pay a bond when I came to see Agustin Lara, guaranteeing my return to Venezuela. See how things have changed now, when the Mexicans want every right without paying!  I don’t say that bitterly, just pointing out how history changes and we in Mexico gladly obey their rules as it is their country, just like the U.S. is another people’s country, with one big difference: do we have the Statue of Liberty standing high and mighty?  We ought not to hurt and abuse her,  but together to make even more glorious this free land of milk and honey for pursuit of happiness and freedom for  all. Who is willing to respect and love this beautiful land,   I guess I am too old fashioned and so what?  in any  case they did not allow Octavio to even enter Mexico, even to see his children that lived in Yelapa (Acapulco), supposedly because Chile was communist.

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In the period after I left Jack, my life was one big quest for love, drugs, and an imaginary happiness. The source of happiness seemed to be getting high, so I developed a more and more unquenchable thirst for drugs, alcohol and selfish pleasures. This quest took all the sanity out of my mind.

I was leaving  a husband who took care of me the best he knew how, brought me coffee in bed in the morning, put up with my  hangovers ( which were getting to be every day), and really did  everything for me.  I wanted animals? Well, okay, Jack would go to farms to pick up hay and other food for the animals out in the middle of the countryside, bring it back to Hollywood and all just to please me. We took trips together, or he let me go off by myself,  to Tahiti (that is a whole another story),  to Bora Bora , Moorea , Raiatea,Papaiety, Venezuela. He let me go to Mexico whenever I wanted, which I did frequently so I could escape into more drink and drugs and adventures, like Buck Rogers  where I did  had many friends of  and the x wife of Ron Lavender  who owned a very famous Gallery she introduced me to so many people among which an incredible lover hansom told black azabache hair, but this part of the my adventure goes on in another blog.

Ludmila going to the Polo field to ride the horse

Ludmila going to the Polo field to ride the horse

Jack now says that he didn’t realize how badly I was strung out on drugs, which shows how deceptive addiction can be. He thought I was just having fun, but I hid my worst behavior and made believe I was okay. Of course, at that time everybody I knew in Hollywood seemed to be strung out on something. I thought it was okay flirting and even going to bed with other man, because that is what I learn from my first beloved man. My fantasy of selfish, make-believe happiness was really just to camouflage my own inner pain and the sickness of addiction.

There were parties at Sammy Davis Jr.s place in Beverly Hills, with lots of cars parked in front of his house. Sammy loved collecting expensive new cars, like many nouveau riche people. He was born Catholic but converted to Judaism, probably for the convenience that  it offered in Hollywood on those years,  and the movie business. You got more work if you were friends with the Jewish directors, investors and agents, We’ll I must say in another think they make great husbands , I was mary to 2 of them Tom and Jack and let not forget my first, the real love Williams also Jews Who was not so good, promising the ski and gave me nothing,  only took from my youth the innocence , but made me dream of better tomorrow.

Daniel Rio Lobos and me and others in a crazy party in Venezuela in Alejandro's Penthouse

Daniel Rio Lobos, Ludmila and others in a crazy party in Venezuela in Alejandro’s Penthouse

I don’t know what he really believed.  I had a photograph of him swearing an oath to Satan, some Cult of 666 that was popular, especially for the sex. I have one photo of me , taken for a magazine, posing at a dark castle on the Hollywood Hills. I went there and saw caskets in the rooms, weird things; as I was leaving the photo shoot, people were arriving dressed in strange black costumes, so that gives you an idea what was going on. But he was a great singer and dancer, one of the best in that period, or maybe the best ever, but the parties were wild and full of drugs and liquor. I personally only can say about him that he was a gracious host and very lively, nice person to me and Jose, so let God be the Judge. I liked him very much as an performer.

There were so many parties and stories, so I wi’ll keep writing but not all of them here in my  blog,  you wi’ll have to read my book. ..

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Charlton Heston   scratching his shoulder and Jessica Walters in front of Ludmila

Ludmila on the set with Charlton Heston and Jessica Walters: “Ready for your closeup, Miss Alexanova?”

In Caracas, once upon a time, I remember seeing a film with Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg called “La Dolce Vita.” Well, that movie exactly portrayed my life back then, even when I was working: In and out of love, a life of romance, sex, cocaine, alcohol, even orgies– just like that movie. It was not a dream: The modeling jobs, parties, commercials, shows and more parties, photographers and yet more parties. My life was “La Dolce Vita” back and forth from New York to Hawaii and Europe—my life was not boring for a second. I did not know what boredom was, nor do I know it to this day. Life was just a big non-stop PARTY.

My dreams in that Porlamar swing, where I spent hours when I was allowed, sometimes until the night, inventing the world, touching the skies with the height of the swing, higher and higher–creating and shaping my dream into reality. My inquisitive eyes drew the world of my desires, bringing thousands of questions into my mind—I was sure the answers were there in Hollywood, so far away that it seemed my dreams were hiding from me, too far to reach from there in my swing, but inside me the dreams were real.

Bill Cosby and Ludmila

I dreamed that someday, with a hidden treasure inside of me, I will be there, I will show them that I am a star, so brilliant, because I was born with the Grace that God gave me, that I will reach the other stars of Hollywood.

My hope was fed by those dreams that seemed so real to me, in a secret compartment of my heart, knowing that my destiny was closer than those stars shining over my head. When I finally traced my destiny to Hollywood, I was given a role in a film called “Number One,” starring Charlton Heston, my dear! He was a big big star! How many times I had seen him on the big screen, playing Biblical roles and other parts! He flirted with me, but that was all, he seemed to be faithful to his wife, even though she was not there in the studio spying on him, like some of the other actors’ wives did.
And as we were shooting, in came the great actress, Jessica Walters. She played a big role in the film. Later, Bill Cosby, the comedian, came on to the set, but I did not like him too much. He was pretentious and very arrogant, not funny at all, but at that time he was very good looking and had good manners.
I did not have to name the stars in the sky anymore, and I did not need to sit on a swing to try to reach them and give them names: They were all here in Hollywood! The unreachable stars were within the reach of my hand! I don’t remember exactly what went through my mind, but I know that I felt my wings stretch out and that I flew like a bird again.  It’s true that my part was small, but my star was growing bigger and bigger, as I had always known it would.

I was in and out of the Beverly Hills Hotel for cocktails, dancing at the Halloween balls in great costumes that some of the studios were kind enough to lend or rent to us. These costume parties were almost as good as the Oscars parties at that time, I imagine.

I had lunch at the Brown Derby with Peter and Joan Graves: Well, to be honest, I don’t remember if we even ate, but I know that we drank and drank until we ended up at his trailer in the studio where all three of us had fun together, and of course more drinks. Now, looking back all those fantastic different men, there are only two that I remember as having been good lovers.

The next Christmas, I was invited to Dean Martin’s house. I  just loved him ever since he and Jerry Lewis made all those great road trip movies, like  I fargate they names but their like musters and mommies , very funny films,  Dean was a straight men and Jerry the real damie funny indeed, something like  Bob Hope did on “The Road to Hong Kong” with Dorothy Lamour.  I had always dreamt of meeting all  of them, and eventually I did,  sooner or later, close friends  or only  acquaintances from parties,  but I think Dorothy was already gone by the 1960st when I arrived two Hollywood.

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Teaching Gala how to do manicure

Teaching Gala how to do manicure

My  own apartment! I walked into this empty three bedroom place with amazement, There was all the basic furniture, a refrigerator and stove–that’s all I need!    I must call and tell mama and Gala where life has taken me! I am here now,  I live in Hollywood, to be exact in Beverly Hills 3 blocks from Rodeo Drive, 4 blocks from the Wilshire Hotel where many stars stay, near   Beverly Hill Hotel and  Bel Air Hotel.  There are the beautiful people, going for cocktails and to play Tennis and to meet other people.

Outside my door was a newspaper I could barely understand. But I saw an ad, “Models Wanted, so I wrote down the address and there I went! I am in Jocelyn Ryans studios and the receptionist wanted to sell me a modeling course! This  place was more a school than agency  So indignantly I get up and head for the door, when a lady in the far office opened the door and said: “Please wait a minute and do come into my office.” Jocelyn offered me a job as the top teacher for her students!  I needed a job and money so I said  okay, but I never taught before! She said, Your etiquette and manners are perfect, and you walk fantastically!  That is what I want you to teach!”  Later I trained her other teachers.
When I was leaving I had no idea how to go back to my apartment, but  there was another young lady, Cathy, and she said, “Can I give you a lift,?”  The Americans seems so kind and graceful,  simple like children!  She said she was friends with Bob Denver, the star of Gilligan’s Island TV show. On our way she somehow conveyed  to me that she had a date with two brothers for dinner, would I like to go?  I agreed, and that night a white big Lincoln town car, came for me, with Daud  at the wheel and his brother in the back. With my new friend Cathy. Daud  opened the door for me in front and I sat next to him. I soon found he was a Muslim, born in Baghdad. I thought, how romantic! I had read “The Arab” and was fascinated by that novel, where the Arab steals the girl and takes her to the desert to a passionate romance! Daud was very attractive, but a little short and kind of  round,  divorced with  a ten year old son Douglas who was away in school someplace, and he did not see his ex wife.

Daud fell in love with me, but being of two different religions ‘ Baba’  the chief of this group of Hollywood Arabs was okay with him loving me,  but marriage was not a sure thing.  Of course we talked about other Arabs with children born in America and with a very open mind, but marriage was the furthest  thing from my mind at that time.  So we went out, the four of us, again and again. One night we went to a belly dancing cabaret, very sexy, until the wee hours of the night, with lots of champagne for me and Cathy. Daud (in his way he was a very religious man, he read the Quran all the time in his house) did not drink. But his younger brother Ali did, yes, and so we all wound up at their beautiful newly constructed house  in  the Hollywood Hills. There was a large Arabic rug in the floor where were making love! Soon he became almost like my shadow, a good person to have as a friend  very helpful and generous when  a need would arise.

I still had no money to pay the rent, because I hadn’t received my first check yet,  but he helped with the rent, and then he helped me to call my sister and invite her to live with me and  bring mama too! He took me to interviews and to photographers, and was a good person like a Godsend. Every time I was lonesome or wanted to go out, I  just came to one of the  houses that he bought and fixed and resold.  I always knew where the keys where.

Then I worked in a Boutique as a mistress assistant to pin the dresses on the customers and of course I was fired! But I still taught a few times a week and then later in  November when all the family was together, I was teaching almost every day.

Then of course came the one of so many communication with William, when he asked me to go to be with him for few days? Off I ran to Caracas, just like the saying,  just whistle and I’ll be there. William was saying yes I will marry you, but after I sell the business (another promise he was making that he didn’t keep). How stupid but I thought that I really loved him. Then I saw Oscar and told him how I missed him and where I lived now,  and gave him my address ….

You probably wondering,  what was going on in my mind? Did I think I could have as many husbands as I wanted? I read about a place where the woman had a husband for every day!
if I only can explain that to myself?  I  was supposed to be a decent girl who believed in God , Was I alright? Well, no, I don’t think so. I was a sick puppy in a sick world.  I was  already an alcoholic, but of course I did not know of such a sickness. Nobody ever told me that I was drinking too much, and I had no parents smart or rich enough to send me to a psychiatrist.  I never thought that there was something wrong with me, I was just living life, the way it came, moving with the breeze like a feather, with no rhyme or reason, only enjoying it day by day.
I honestly enjoyed my  life back then, just like always, creating my own reality, but the fantasies and dreams were soon evaporating like water on the sand.

I was worn down, so I went to a doctor for Benzedrine so I wouldn’t eat . I thought I was heavy and wanted to lose a miserable five pounds. No one  ever told me that I was not going on the right direction…..
Now I had some modeling jobs. One of them was with Johnny Mathis, as the announcer to a big party in Bel Air. When he introduced me he said something like,  “I present to you Ludmila,  the top High Fashion Model of Hollywood!”

I start going to beauty salons, one of  the very famous Paganos,  which was later sold to  John Peters, the boy friend of Barbra Streisand. Soon an idea came to me – why not tell my sister to  become a manicurist; after all she had that beauty salon on Porlamar? So I did, and we started practicing at home. Then she had to get a cosmetology license to work at Paganos  where I had introduced her.

So  away we went to the city hall to the board of cosmetology !  She  would   not go unless I took the exam with her! Okay, we did the paperwork and took the exam and of course we flunked! So the person in charge said you can stay and do it again, you have  another chance.

We ended up three in the room, after everybody left including the examiner. But when she checked the paper she had put a cardboard template with holes on it, that told her which answers were correct. So, very smart of me I said to  Gala, you look at the door  to warn us if the lady is coming. I will get that paper and mark our exams and also for this little Italian guy that wanted to work as a beautician. So we sent back after I had copied all the correct answers for all 3 of us, and guess what? We passed!

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