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Archive for the ‘Modelling’ Category

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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After this incredible night on the town, we had to get up and go fishing at 6am!  I had no problem with that, but my friend from the cosmetic company had a very bad back and believe it or not, we had no coochie coochie the night before. Maybe because I was not really attracted to him, as you see I always had to have romance with sex, not just the sex alone. Not that he had no appetite for me, but many women at that time were nymphomaniacs I think. Hollywood was waking up to wild sex in the hippie era, and I had to have to be dope up to the gills! Like what happened with that black gentleman cocaine pusher who never sold me a gram, always giving me as much as wanted. Well now I can see very clearly why, but back then I did not think about it: I just did everything for fun. It was just there, or nothing better to do, or did not have any plans. I also did not have God as I know Him now.  Of course I was still a model but now it had no future.

Ludmila In the sixties it was a big scandal wen this bathing suit came out

Ludmila in the sixties it was a big scandal wen this bathing suit came out

So there we were fishing. I am not a specialist at fishing, but I love the water, the sun, boats, yachts and everything that is on or near the water.

My friend was supposed to be a good fishermen, and was showing me how to cast, though the fish simply would not bite his line. But I pulled in several good-sized fish, and the more I brought in the more pissed he got! With that bad mood , he managed to pull a muscle in his lower back and could barely stand up. So we had to stop fishing and go back to the hotel.

Ludmila a commercial for the blues

Ludmila a commercial for the blues

We had enough fish to invite 8 or 9 people to dinner. He went to bed and the fish went to the cook for tomorrow’s dinner with our friends. By then, we hoped he would be better, but since I am not an nurse and not very caring person, I was not really worried about him. In that time I think I was  on my early 30s, I was full of life and adventures. I left the room and the hotel, wishing him a good rest.

I put on my new  bathing suit and went to the beach, only carrying a sari around my waist,  dancing and happy to be alone. I went skipping through the waves It must have been 3 or 4 pm, it was just hot enough for me to enjoy getting and out of the water and walking along the water skipping over the little waves singing.

Ludmila in top of roof whit local children watching the parade

Ludmila in top of roof whit local children watching the parade

Then my sunglasses fell in the water, the waves will take them away! So I reached down and something held my hand, with my glasses against the palm. As I looked up, I saw these big blue eyes full of admiration and, I would dare say, with love. He had been watching me for a long time and following along, but I was too busy in the water to notice him. He had this young smile, with the most expressive eyes, as he gently introduced himself:  “Tom Gale…”  “I am Ludmila,” I replied. I suddenly felt alive and happier than before, with goose bumps on my skin and my heart accelerating. I knew something great was happening to me! When we stood up straight, I saw he was much taller than I (I was 5’8″) and in his early twenties.  So he was just right, taller than me but  after Jose also was 10 years younger (10 years then it seemed so much), I said to myself he is  too much  younger!. As I told him “thank you!” I realized I wanted to know more about this young man. But I did not know that one day this would change my life.

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Daud with Ludmila in one of the parties

Daud with Ludmila in one of the parties

( thoughts of the past, about Onda Nueva fiasco)
Preparing for the big party for New Years eve.and on…..

Somehow the toughest  part of writing is writing!!!!  It is been said by writers much better than I.
It has also been said by producers, film makers, and event publisher yes, that the STORY is the most important part, and that is exactly what I have.

My dear readers, life just happened to me, I had no plans, not a glue what I was doing next, not even plan  A

Keep reading it will surprise your even more.

Jack is helping me to organize our house for New Year party and, is getting  cold at nights, so we decided to bring in all our small animals as your all know I sale than to pet shop on Beverly Hills,  but, were to put them? O.K. in the dining room it can be close in, so we did that,  we got them out of the large garage and brought them in the house , the Finches ( small little birds all different colors that are in the garage will bring them  in their  cages,  and the baby guinea pigs too,  put them  in the formal dining room  table, which is happens to be  too small for our formal New Year  party  dinner for 40.
I can close the doors of the dining room  and it will be perfect,  so we finished  putting  them there , everywhere in  the dinning  room including on the table, in the chairs,  it was full of animalitos, now they all will  be warm here,  Jack  said,  ( just want to say something here,  with not discrimination, head enuf husbands of all the different religious two know the best . the Jews men makes the best husband , because the woman is a queen of his kingdom.)

Now lets go  to the next step, we have to set up a very large table  for 40,  in the living room where there’s a lot of space and is in front of that large rock fireplace which seen so many wild parties,  plus true the big sliding glass wall you can see the outdoor fireplace
and the almost ( for professional practice swimming pool), it was that large,  checking  everything for New Years bash night,  as we worked we talk to each other Jack and I were  reminiscing about Onda Nueva first World Music festival before the one in Chile, and remembering when those union communist man,  stole all our cameras from the hotel rooms  in the Tamanaco Hotel,  yes dear , and remember how Peter Graves spoke to them,  the night before the opening premier gala,  and joke, doing  with his fingers  like  a gun,  pointing at the bad guy had,  whistling the tune of Mission Impossible and later  then Reni talk to them, and  another very high ranking people.

Ludmila in her garden

Ludmila in her garden

While the negotiation been coming  down and we were needing more capital, I managed to get  another investor to  help us out, as  we had to hire couple of the Venezuelan union guys or else we’ll not let us shout the festival.
But as we were all busy with things , the cameras and all recording equipment disappear from the cameraman rooms, equipment all gone, now was my turn to go see every big important person in Caracas that I knew, it  pay off my life before on Venezuela, hoping a good result ,  meanwhile we head couple of days off,   Jack was not feeling good so I said lets go to The Island of Margarita Jack was happy for that,  he will see, where I grown up? And went to the boarding school Inmaculada Concepcion  love walking there with the memories of my dreams in one of the swing in the school that today they are realities,  the classrooms look so small now, and showing with Mother superior that was still there and remembering me,  visiting with my husband holding my hands that was very nice. , I had lived their for couple of years, on my one world, did not have but may be 3 friends on all that time. .
We driven and walk The  whole Island the beach and little park where I swing and swing so high trying to reach the unreachable stars, the cities of the Island then so old and primitive and now so knew!
In the evening after dinner we went for a walk where I used to live near the houses of the fishermen in front of the caribbean  sea, and remembering,  opening the oysters that they got with their bare hands from the bottom of the sea  and then they would open them  one by one looking for pearls and I was allow to open as many as I wanted and if I found any they allow me to keep them, so as walk we pass one of  those homes the next one,  had the doors  wide open into their living room and they were watching T.V you could hear and see it from the sidewalk, so we stop abruptly because Jack almost skimming of top of his lungs  said, stop look that is  you in the tube and everybody turn two looking at us, with their open mouse   they  recognise me, that was the opening scene of Mission Impossible with Peter Graves in T.V the whole family was around it watching Mission Impossible series of this show that where the very first ones .
What a thrilling moment that was, but we just say hello and we waved goodbye and prosite walking to our hotel,  very excited , small world we were laughing and happy…

Back in Caracas, as  we went  in the rooms of the cameraman  to ask and check what was the news? That we hear at the aeropuerto? That a helicopter came yesterday and lendent on the gardens of the Hotel and unload boxes, that went to the cameramans rooms, we’ll, when we arrived we went immediately to the rooms two find Jimmy Maddox laughing and telling us the story,  everything is back,  so we hired 2 of the union cameraman so they can  sit and learn the American way how to do an festival film, today you can see a documentary of it. We’ll we’ll Williams did not kept any of his promises,  not even a penny when one day I was on much  need,  and ask him for help, he ignored everything and later I hear he  mary, of cause someone else, but I did not need him now any more, God is making my dreams come through.

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Filming a movie

I am grateful for all the men in my life, and especially grateful for all the places they took me and the lessons that they taught me– solid gold and pure Fort Knox!

My life with Jack was an open marriage, but I did not understand that completely. In any case, I did what I wanted, regardless of my husband, so I was invited to incredible parties as a model, without my husband. Likes the one at Paul Newman’s  house, when I took my sister with me; of course, first that afternoon I went to the bank, opened the security box for jewelry, and got a little cocaine from my stash for that night. My sister had no idea I was using coke yet.

The house of Paul Newman was full of people, stars like Ali MAcGraw, but also hippies, motorcycle riders, and other types. Later on there was a big fight, I don’t remember if I provoked it or what?  My sister was singing Russian songs with the pianist, when I ran into the room grabbed her by the hand and said lets get out of here! Bottles were flying overhead , drunk and high people were screaming, and we just ran and ran until we reached where the  taxis, we could find the one we came on.. We were  laughing and bewildered, but I lost a beautiful brooch that William had given me on that mad dash. I don’t even know where we were in the Hollywood Hills? That was the craziest experience at a house of the rich and famous, but I did meet Ben Gazzara and we had a couple  of encounters, he love “poppers” very common at that time…. more of this in my book…..

Dancing whit Bernard Apteker

Dancing with Bernard Apteker

Christmas time came and we were invited to Dean Martin’s house in Beverly Hills for Noche Buena. Well, there was Lucille Ball, Shirley Maclaine and many big names– they were all there, but especially Rex Harrison! I was fascinated by him, he was wearing a dark blue tuxedo with velvet sandals , slippers,, and I just looked down at his feet. Of course I had seen him in My Fair Lady in London with William, so memories came back into my head. I was amazed, flabbergasted, speechless (well almost!) that here was the man I dreamed of meeting years ago, right in front of me, talking to me !!  He saw my look at his feet, as I was surprised by the dark blue slippers that he was wearing, and said with a beautiful Henry Higgins attitude, “A man of my age is allowed to be comfortable!”  I could not help but have a wicked smile when I heard him speak, as I looked up into his fantastic eyes, and heard him saying: “I can always be well-dressed but can’t  tolerate being uncomfortable on my feet! ” as he proceeded very elegantly to ask where I could be reached. Of course, I was always prepared and had a little gold pen (yes another present from William) and a little note book. This was part of my job, since I never knew when I would meet someone that could gave me a job. That was all part of show business, so I give him my number. He was so charming and well mannered, I loved that to no end!

Of course it looked like I was there alone, since no one realized that I was married and had a husband with me. Jack was off in the Martin library reading, then trying to wheel and deal with some gentleman I did not recognize him but anything to promote Jack’s music company. In fact, Jack rarely went to parties since he was not a drinker like all of the rest of us. Soon I was chatting with Ginny and Dean Martin; Dean was complaining that his bartender did not know how to do his scotch and soda drink. Of course I did because that is what I drank!,   I assumed he liked it the same way I did, so I went over to the bar and I told the bartender, “Please pour two shots of whisky over 3 cubes of ice with just a splash of soda!” Dean loved it, and we became friends! People at the party were smoking pot openly; I couldn’t believe my eyes– aren’t they worried about being seen?  Later I learned that  in Hollywood stars homes,, what goes on among than, stays among them. (just like Las Vegas: what happens in Las Vegas? Stays in Las Vegas!).

Dean Martin's house in the library Jack and Ludmila in Christmas party

Dean Martin’s Christmas party:  Jack and Ludmila in the library

The party went on, but most of big stars eventually left and as we were leaving (my dear hubby was still with this music biz man talking until we got in the car), two police cars arrived and parked outside Dean Martin’s door. We were parked a little ways away, looking at the show. They asked everyone in the house to leave. Later I heard that Dean had gone upstairs to his bedroom and called the police, so he could get some sleep, I guess it must be nice to be so important!

But now you see that each men that I met gave me something of themselves, and for that, I love them all.

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Halloween at Ludmila`s mansion in Northredge from left to right, Ludmila, Galina, and my niece Vera

Halloween at Ludmila’s house in Northridge

My tremendous appetite for life took me to places– wild adventures, romances, fantasies–that normal people only see in movies. I walked with a cane, smoked a pipe, rode a motorcycle. Later Bianca Jagger started doing this; of course she was very famous with a husband like Mick Jagger. But I was modeling, on my time I refuse to wear corsets  and also a bra on same dresses because it was very uncomfortable, in that time they did not have perfected the C cup,  (which was perfected  on my body, before it went two the world market, they pay me well,  and the picture came about later very discreet in that time we where not sexy, just mannequins,  a example of a lady a MODEL).
The Roughs,  Mission Impossible,  but nothing big enough to  put my face in every household so to speak ( in Spanish they say on every plate).

There were movies about the holocaust then, like Anne Frank’s Diary, that made me remember why William went to Auschwitz?  and send me straight to Frankfurt from Munich. It is so difficult to get rid of him and our memories together. It seems sometimes that they will stay with me forever, because,  even now I can’t stop thinking about the abortions and what might have been. So instead I went to the next party. Lets drink, meet new lovers and have a gay old time! Your would wonder how can she have so many men on her life, but what  I was wondered,  what was happening to me, to my mind and soul, at that time.? I did not know better, it became this is it, and like it.

The side of my Mansion it was more of a hacienda, the Orange grow east side  were at one time a had 300 and same domestic animal, Jack on top of a Nubian goat

The Hacienda in Northridge: Jack clowning around on a Nubian goat in the orange grove. At one time we had more than 300 domestic animals!

Then I met Ben Bennetia: What a wonderful, happy go lucky men, handsome , slim, tall with dark olive skin and big eyelashes that covered his great green eyes. He reminded me of that priest’s eyes!  “Aquellos Ojos verdes “ de mirada serena….. the 2 of us head a happy great time, living  it up, smoking pot and drinking white wine in my room at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood,  where I lived at that time. Once we awoke with the mattress on fire- yes, I did that! The worst part was I didn’t even like pot, but I would do anything to please the man I was with, I just wanted to be loved, which is not a crime- the crime was what I was doing to my soul.

Ben did not want to marry me, although he really loved me, because I was a white-skinned Russian Orthodox and he was dark Sephardic Jew, and he did not think this was good for any children to come. We talked and talked about it ,but he decided to take off hitchhiking all the way to Argentina from Los Angeles with a friend, and was gone for couple of years. So he had to forget about me and our plans– it would be a long time before I would see him again.

New Year at the entrance to the Hacienda Ilona Wilson ( great actress and friend), Ludmila

New Years at the entrance to the Hacienda: Ilona Wilson (a great actress and friend) with Ludmila

A long time passed and life took me to many places, places that I am not proud to describe. I was already married to Jack when one day I met Benn again at a big party, I still could see that love in his eyes’ he did not forget me, he still carried me in his heart, but I was a wife of another man now and he respected that. So we parted ways with a handshake, to never see each other again. Of course, I would love to hear from him again one day, some place, but we never know what the future holds? Life has many surprises for me every day…

After working and playing and drinking more and more, I began using benzedrine to keep weight off. I was drinking and eating so I needed speed, just to lose weight, right? Well, eventually Jack and I became more than lovers. One day he and I decided to get married, and marry we did, on the day the first men walked on the moon! It was not planned that way, but my church had scheduled it for that day, so we married three times: once by civil law, once by my church and once by the church of Scientology (Jack was into it because he had a good friend that was also in it, Stanley Stromfeld). The parties were everywhere, people were celebrating  the first man on the moon said “A small step for a man, but a giant step for mankind” The radio and TV were playing Frank Sinatra’s big hit “Fly me to the Moon“ It was just party party party all the time in 1969.  Work was now taking second place in my life.

Jack bought a great mansion in the Northridge near Busch Haezer beer Gardens,  with three bedrooms, a huge kitchen, formal dining room and living room with a big stone fireplace. It even had an office library room all wood with a fireplace (smaller than the other),  and a window out to the service hall for drinks and snacks. The patio went into an outdoor open fireplace next to a big swimming pool; we even had  a trampoline! All this was very private because it  enclosed with a bamboo wall fence from the back neighbors. On one side of the house was a two car garage and green grass lawn, and on the other side was a big orange grove, with a gate for the truck to get in . We were so very happy there; this was really a beautiful big private place. It was exciting for me, because I never had a home  like this mansion, of my own : a dream come true! Now I was a lady with a mansion, a  long black Cadillac convertible in my garage! All this was mine, but I did not let the fumes go to my head! I was the same Ludmila, all parties, all smiles. I worked on my farm with rabbits, goats, a little bull and Emily, my prize New Hampshire pig. She was so intelligent!

It was a great life,  especially when my mamochka Palina my sister and my dear niece  came and we had a family party.
But slowly and surely in time, my modeling career was being replaced for  more and more  drugs and alcohol.
The parties for every holiday seemed to have no end! I just loved giving parties, enjoying life “to the max,” parties for Halloween, even Easter egg hunts for the children in the neighborhood.
The class of people on my list were movie stars, hippies, bohemians, screenwriters, and businessmen. But I kept my family separate from all but a few special guests. Of course I did not want to mix  my family with the druggies and orgy people, so I went from one extreme to another.
I  simply loved life, some Easter hunts  I had mama with me giving presents and colored eggs to the kids,  all the unhappy memories seemed to vanish at that time.
I guess it was the  physical remoteness of my Father that made me hungry for a human touch, and that gave way to my tremendous appetite for life. This may be? Was what led me to my adventures an unimaginable style life and energy that normal people don’t have.

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Ludmilas husband Jack Millman famous jazz trumpet player

Ludmila`s husband, the famous jazz trumpeter Jack Millman

Before the great New York blackout, I was working as a model for Oleg Cassini, a very famous designer of royal blood. He was the wardrobe designer for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the wife of President J. F. Kennedy. Cassini hired me for a big show, but said before the show (two days away!), “You cannot eat, you can only have 3 glasses of Metrecal a day!”, At 115 pounds, I was the skinniest I had ever been as a model, but in the 1960s you could never be too thin!

By now my love for William was fading,  into a memory of a beautiful painful dream, and for obvious reasons I tried not to think of him any more. But I couldn’t help hearing the music from “My Fair Lady” music, or “South Pacific” or “Gigi”– all those musicals that we went to together. Their soundtracks were famous and they were playing everywhere; the tunes haunted me and tears would roll down my cheeks with a discreet silence I wept  and kept on going, on to more dreams and the life that is await ahead! I still had so much to go through, but deep inside there a small torch of hope is  still burning for him: one day maybe one day………?

While I was married to Tom, he went to Las Vegas with some friends and Bud had come by my house. The nosy neighbors had said to U.S. immigration investigators that I had a man visitor, and his car was there overnight. This was the report that the nice neighbors gave to the immigration officers! True or not, it did not matter, that was the way it was back in those days! True, when Tommy was still alive Bud came by several times and left me his car. Tom was off in Vegas doing his thing, but after he died I went ahead with my immigration application, and they sat me down and ask if I had committed any crimes while in this country?

Ludmila on the magazine cover, advertising for the Hotel Tropicana,  Las Vegas

Ludmila on the magazine cover, advertising for the Hotel Tropicana, Las Vegas

This was the day for my swearing in to become a U.S. citizen, and I was thinking  of the stuff that had happened in Florida, so I said, “Well I was arrested in Miami for driving intoxicated with no license…”  They said “We know all about that! What else?”  We are talking 1965, when there were no computers like today. What did they think?  I couldn’t think of anything more to say, then the man said, “What about being an adulteress on Kings Road?”. I almost fell out of my chair!  What?  “You’re married and had men visitors in your home, so that makes your an adulteress. You have to prove to the contrary!” I explained that Bud was a friend who left his Cadillac overnight while we flew to Las Vegas to do a layout for a magazine of his clothes. “So he slept overnight in your home, that’s what the neighbors said! You  were with another man and been seen with him a lot, while you husband was not home with you!”.– Oh my Lord, I could only say nada! “So I cannot become a US citizen?” “No, not until you’re proven guilty or innocent or you prove what you are saying is true.”

So I was denied citizenship the first time I applied. Nothing could stop the party, though!  It was the 1960s, and I was living it up and doing everything I wanted. Life was full of surprises and crazy, wonderful times. The flower children were parading under my balcony in Sunset Strip.. Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Club was on the other side of the street– I could see the whole building from my balcony. The Beatles were on television and the radio, psychedelic sitar where the prefer music of the hippies was playing everywhere, Bob Dylan was in the news with the song that was forbidden in some countries “Lay Lady Lay.”  It was the best of times…

I met jazz trumpeter Jack  and we went to a movie premier together. (That’s another story that will be in my book!).
To celebrate my birthday  we went to Disneyland in full high class formal attire, and in my big modeling bag I head on, on dry ice, 2 bottles of Dom Perignon champagne and a small bag of cocaine. We wanted to have fun at night riding the rides and then sit on the beautiful gazebo in front of the stage, where Louis Armstrong was playing his great trumpet. Jack told me that when he played the last time, he had reached the highest notes that were possible for him, and that was the end of his trumpet playing days! After that he threw his trumpet from a cliff in Malibu into the Ocean and never played again.  He told me this in this gorgeous setting full of the smell of roses and  under the California sky full of stars, in that time this place was sairaudet by orange grows so the skies were clean and very little pollution.. That was the type of  quality time, that Jack and I had together, besides going to red carpet openings of new films and hot nightclubs and lots of private parties….

One night we were invited to Hugh Hefner’s party, so we dressed up to the nines and went across the street to the Playboy Building. The Bunny Club was on the first floor; up on the top floor was Hugh’s living quarters, until his Playboy mansion was built. His Penthouse was very private: no one without an invitation would be able to go up to his top floor. When we arrived at the club, there were bunnies everywhere serving drinks, and pictures of his black playboy jet were hung on every wall. Apparently it was a flying orgy club! Marisa, a very cute Bunnie, was his lover at that time. A waitress bunny asked what I wanted, and  I simply said “Coca!” in Spanish, wanting to get high. She came back with a tray and a glass of Pepsi! “Mr. Hefner only serves Pepsi!”: Jack and I laughed and looked at each other: “It most have been the loud music obviously that’s why you didn’t hear me well.” But we ignored her and the soft drinks, because at that moment everybody was heading in to see Hugh on a round rotating bed, fornicating with Marisa! Everybody was watching them and some even started undressing and jumping into the action! After a few minutes I said to Jack “You’re welcome to stay, but I am going home.”

I was not so much into sex, I was more into love. :Love me, caress me, cherish me, accept me–  that was what I was hungry for!

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Alejandro's Penthouse. He is in the center, Ludmila next to him in one of the parties.

Alejandro’s Penthouse. He is in the center, Ludmila next to him in one of the parties.

Now we were headed to New York again, for the big Fashion Week, staying in a luxury penthouse by the East River across from the United Nations Building,–a gorgeous little apartment for Bud and me. I heard this Willie Nelson song “On the Road Again” some time ago– this song matches my life: in the road all the time, even to this day, I’ve led a gypsy life. But now I had a beautiful home and my mother to come back to, and I has William and many other friends. What started with William as antipathy had become a burning love which was  so full of admiration and respect, but as the saying goes, there is no light without dark. Inside my heart there is still a light keeping my love for him alive,
Now in New York everywhere I go reminds me of us together, happy and enjoying life-  living, loving having fun. Sometimes the work  makes me forget him by going here and there keeps me very busy. Today as  every day after worked I go for a drink or 2, or 3, after living my modeling things with my enormous bag in our apartment where we are staying, on the same building  there is a great bar, overlooking Manhattan so I go there,  while Bud gets ready  to go out, or if I am very tired than I make dinner in our penthouse, but is so tempting to go out,  have same cocaine, dance, drink all night,  especially in that famous discotheque that belongs to the wife of Richard Burton before they got a divorce. After a  few sniffs and dances we inevitably we start talking about how was our day, and constantly have two here from my boss Bud, way can your train the other models two walk like your ??  (Will, now you know? Way they don’t like me.) Then he will go home and I still have La Vida Loca until morning,  and walk two our place  with a glass full in one hand  ( not coffee) and on the other my shows, my poor feet head enough activity so did I, Bud was such a nice person,  then at work he let me sleep until the show stars and everybody is ready, in the private little dressing room of my owned (this only happens when the designer needs you body for his or hers creations and your are a great model in the cat walk or photography, and  you sale every piece of garment you’re showing, than than and only then, your will  get away with a lot). Then finally  modeling again, all day long and then maybe go out to dinner at some really good place. Next day its the same routine all over again, for the entire week, and discotheques at night!. Modeling all day.

Ludmilas birthday party in her house. Daud  proposing her in front of all her quest and mama.

Ludmila`s birthday party, 1964:  Daud proposing to her in front of mama and all the guests.

Today we went to work to our showroom, on the 30th floor. As usual when we finished work it was dark already, and the last buyer had left. All of a sudden the lights started going out; we stood by the big window and watched as area after area of Manhattan and greater New York were shutting down the brilliant lights and everything turned pitch black!  People were just coming out of the showrooms and boutiques, the ones like us that had stayed late where all coming out from everywhere, what a commotion, half panic started. None of us knew what was going on? Maybe an atomic bomb attack from the Russians? There was no radio transmitting, no electric power, so now people started walking down the escalators but it was not easy it is a long way down, besides we were in fear  not knowing, it was very scary to say the least.
Thank God Bud and I were healthy and strong, so down we went, all 30 some floors expecting the worst,  when we finally arrived two the  main floor, Bud went immediately stood on line with another maybe 50 people or so wanting something from   the lobby desk manager of the building hotel. The hotel management was trying to accommodate us with what they had, just some snack and drinks (the showrooms for fashion week generally are in big  plash  hotels). People everywhere were playing cards, drinking and talking, not in a real panic anymore, but anxious because no one knew for certain what was going on? The people of New York behaved amazingly well, actually, with no robberies or vandalism. Somehow Bud got help from the lobby manager and put us up in the basement on some cots. In  among all this we meet this color men, who became our suppliers, even offer us some for free, how nice of him, free cocaine and wish as a good trip back and that soon we will see him back in L.A. Later back in Hollywood he did contact us.

The Great New York Blackout …What an experience! But now I had to go back to Caracas again,  although this time I was going on my own business. I flew down with my portfolio, my composites and my ideas for a show of models in Venezuela. I don’t really know how or when this came about, but there I went with mamachka Palina. We stayed in El Hotel Tamanaco, so familiar to me– thoughts of William suffocate me! With so much going on in my life I had almost banished that memory, but now here I am confronted with all our past, reminding me that I was not cured of his spell, and the pain and anger and sadness came to me so strong, that horrible awareness of what I had done. I killed those innocents souls, and I will have to live with it the rest of my life, paying for my sin– can I ever forgive myself?

Renee called me and asked if I could come to an interview? Everyone wants to know how this girl from Venezuela made it in Hollywood? On his show was the men who played in the French film “Papillon”, and the men from the hit film “Asphalt Jungle”!
I have forgotten their names today,  but before the book is out I will have their names, I promise. This was really fantastic, I really felt like a star in Caracas! I was someone people recognized and saw on the cover of magazines, with my pictures larger than the President of Venezuela (I believe it was Larrazabal?). I was invited to many fancy places, one of them was a very private penthouse party for Mr Rodriquez.
Anyone who was anybody in the society of Venezuelan was there! One way or the other, they were there, and some of the prettiest ladies too- Miss Venezuela Susanna Duin and Miss Universe and Miss Mundo!

Of course the party included a very formal dinner under a bougainvillea tree that must been there since the building was built! It covered the whole outdoor terrace like an umbrella of deep red flowers, and seemed to bloom all year round. The table was laid with exotic seafood dishes, but then I went to the bar, after having wine and champagne with dinner, like this was not enough!  I had to drink some more and I took a couple of pills, pep pills  were there under the bar top behind the bottles. The bar was next to the terrace, with the living room  next to the bar, a very cozy, warm room with soft pillows in chairs, full of new music and wide open French doors and windows. It was just right, with the fragrance of the flowers and the moon peeking in, in this wonderful semi tropical nights of Caracas (it was never hot at night!).

Sitting in the big comfortable seats, with albums of pictures of famous faces of past visitors on the tables, one of them that comes to mind is Natalie Wood. I thought, that was my favorite bar room in the world, this cozy bar usually attended by Alejandro himself, when he wasn’t busy in his boudoir making love to one, two or three ladies. Once I “brought a sandwich to a party” on one of my flights down to Caracas. I was picked up at the airport by Alejandro who never goes anywhere, but for me he made a real gesture of friendship and showed up in a black limousine. Once inside the limo, I told him I had cocaine with me, He almost jumped out of his skin, here he is picking me up, can you imagine the scandal! He was a very prominent socialite and from a good family, with a good name to protect. I laughed and told him  nothing could happen.  Well that is how nonchalant I was about life at that time. After that we became even better friends when he realized what a silly worrier I really I was, so innocent, in so many ways and naive and gullible, and we became the best of friends. Ever since that day I was invited every night two his Penthouse  parties, and I met so many people there — very important politicians, film and TV stars, and spies, people from all over the world. There I meet the grand Venezuela maestro composer Aldemaro Romero and Luis Felipe Herrera my dear friend, his father Reynaldo the one marry two a very lovely dear lady, tried to take my virginity a long time, but I love that family too much, pure class  (too bad it was not him, probably would’ve  much better), this family probably is the most aristocratic  and old money family besides the Lord Boulton’s family…

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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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From left: Pavlina Vasilevna, Kim Novak, Sydney, Ludmila, Dale Garric

 

Mind you, Wilshire Blvd. is a very busy area around Beverly Hills, so I looked at the car and with a smile gave back the keys to the sales person, and  I said in my broken English, “Please just deliver this car to this address!” and handed them my home address  . They didn’t ask if I had a driver’s license, and just assumed it was a present for somebody else. (I did not volunteer any information and they did not ask!)  The insurance was still in their name since the car was not mine until I finished paying for it. Then I went  home by bus and when I got home it was already there! mamachka was so excited, asking “whose car is that in our garage? These people came I don’t understand what they said but they seemed to know what they were doing. I thought maybe the landlord’s car?”, “No mamachka it is mine– ours!”, “What?” “Yes, ours!” She was so surprised but she said, “Luda go to the garage and open the door,!” and there it was. I was very happy, but then I realized it was a 5 gear manual with a gear shift- how could I get it out? That was a job, but  finally I drove and I only made right turn from the right lane of course, until Daud come to visit us in our new place on Kings Rd. where mama and I lived alone now , (Gala got married and Vera went to a private nuns boarding school in Anaheim), and he showed me how to change gears, and couple of lessons how to turn left from the left lane, and shift smoothly.

Ludmila dancing whit the belly dancer The party in my house

Ludmila dancing whit the belly dancer

Well,  after some lessons and couple of days driving, I felt less nervous. No police stopping me, no accidents, so now I guess I better get a Driver’s License! It had been almost a month since I bought my Renault and I still didn’t  know nada about cars! Going to work in it, I had to learn driving on the freeway, since my teaching modeling classes were at night. In the day I would go for interviews for commercials, television shows,.or movies. Mostly I worked modeling and with the shots with the different photographers I managed  to put together a good portfolio.  With that, I got an interview for Mission Impossible (the original T.V.show with Peter Graves). I got the part in it! What a glorious moment when the call me from Nina’s to tell me I srimet I know I got it, right?  yes,  be at the studio at 6am,,  I jumped up and down like a little girl. There was only one woman in this T.V. series then, Barbara Bain ,  what an honor two worked with than, my part was impressive but very small: they put me in front, at the opening of  the credits of the show, just my face , full screen, pivoting my head throwing my hair back, blown by the air.  It was just an opening credit, that was all, but I could not describe what it meant to me. All my dreams in that old swing in the  Island of Margarita  were coming true: the friends , the car, the house , the photographers taking my pictures, people with real love and real interest in me and now, is only  the real beginning of that  mine  DREAM IN A SWING. So yes, it was a small part, but to me was just the first step to what I thought was a new reality on my life,. What I did not realize was I was still dreaming a fantasy. That show’s plot was something about a model, and I had no speaking part, but   my image was beautiful and very impressive. After that came many more television series and films.

Pelagea Vasilivna and Sydney

Pelagea Vasilivna and Sydney

Thanksgiving was coming up and I was working on a Fashion show with Maria, a 100 percent American girl. She asked me, “Where are you going for Thanksgiving?“ I said I”I don’t know , what is it?” She explained to me that it was a very important holiday to thank God for bringing the Pilgrims to America and for the food they harvested . It was probably the  fourth biggest important Holiday in America, after Christmas , New Year, Easter, then  was Thanksgiving, with pumpkin  pies and things that  we could not  imagine: ham with all different recipes, meat and pork  stews,  mashed potatoes   cranberries, and more pumpkins,. So much  food, and of course lots of drinking too!  Mama and I ,we ate and ate and drank — well, mama didn’t drink a lot maybe couple of glasses of wine. I drank til I could not walk, and that night I paid for it,I was sick to my stomach and gave back the food to the toilet bowl! I was not accustomed to eat so much, but mama was O.K..  The holiday was a little pagan and the masquerade balls  and   Halloween, became part of Thanksgiving. The children’s  games, and the knocks at the doors saying “trick or treat!” all the parades and the big holiday football games, were all new to us!

This was the late 1964s, watching the TV shows like I Spy and  Mission Impossible, you could imagine living in this beautiful home, wrapping presents to take too the children,  with Bud and mama,  to Tijuana. (memories come back to mind of my last holidays with William, now it seems so far away!  Venezuela was already  almost five years ago , and  after five years in America it was already ten years that I have been in a relationship with him especially in Christmas Time!,  I just love December with the twinkling lights and the happy people everybody become so nice and happy. There were many  good memories with my lover William, (I should say fiance) since on my last birthday on Venezuela under the glass of champagne was the most beautiful ring I ever seen like a belt with a buckle of diamants , and after  Christmas,  we went  I remember which was the first time we celebrated New Years together, in the Humboldt Hotel up in the clouds above Caracas, where the cable car went up so high that you could see the other side of the mountain  and the beach at Macuto. The next working day,  we went to the shipping department at the port of Macuto (he had some shipment coming  from U.K.). I was just 16, and his last child was about to be born  any day. After that, he promised  we could make plans for our future, either in England on that gorgeous estate that we went to see on the outskirts of London, it was gorgeous,I believe he said it belong on in time two Churchill,  or on the island of Grenada where he had property. He said it was in my name,  so that I would have something when I got to be 20 years old; it would be my life security, but I must have the abortion  now, he insisted.

How it has been three Christmases ago that we hadn’t celebrated together. Maybe we could celebrate new year together  if I could go to San Francisco?

So it is my fiesta  in my beautiful Beverly Hills home only 2 blocks  off of Wilshire Blvd. and the
Wilshire Hotel 3 Blocks away! I  invited  many famous people (and some not so famous) with plenty of cocaine. I didn’t have to put that much effort into getting coke (now that I think about it, I never paid a penny for any of the drugs They were everywhere , they were  free por me and some of  the models and actors and everyone was using  them openly, it was not like in Caracas it was  not discreet and jash jash  and most of it discreet privacy. Sometimes the coke was just on the table to take as much as you please!  I went to the Hollywood producers and directors parties.   I still had some coke that I got from William and I put it in the medicine cabinet, that is how  stupidly naive I was and of course it  got stolen,! but I did not care.    Richard Dawson arrived at the party with another famous lady, and Daud and his brother and Kim Novak and so many you could not hear a word music , belly dancers etc.. Soon I was dancing a solo, and then I danced with two belly dancers, and then  I danced flamenco, and again I had too much to drink, and soon my head was spinning wuuuu! I  think I had too much  fun in those days.   The next day mama head coffee made , very early and orange juice , I woke up two gave her a kiss and with intention to go back immediately back two bed ,  when we open the door to our surprise, behind the door in the entryway there was a big beautiful Birthday card and a bottle of  ice cold Dom Perignon Champagne from Richard !   said good by two mama and closed the door and read the lovely note,. What a gentleman to think of apologizing for coming to  my party empty handed, because he did not know he was going to a birthday party.  He was just being driven home by one of his leading ladies from the set where they were shooting a film,, and she took him here! How very beautiful of him! I proceeded to open the bottle and thought, how nice it is to drink something really good.  I just love my mama for not saying  anything, not a word, about my  dancing and drinking. That day I did not think about all my obligations or responsibilities, and I honestly don’t remember the rest of the day.!

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Aboard the ship,Farewell to Hawaii. In the background one of the best photographs in Hollywood  "Martin"

Aboard the ship,Farewell to Hawaii. In the background one of the best photographs in Hollywood “Martin”

As I am writing this story of my life, I have had to come face to face with myself. Of course, it is fifty years and a lifetime later. Half a century to become who I finally was meant to be! How sad, you might say, but I know it is not said or too late for me! I only started living seven years ago, when Phil and some other friends convinced me to just sit down and write my story. I had so many excuses! I am not a writer…. I was never educated.. My spelling is not good. But in the end, my survival instinct took over, and God commanded me to just SIT DOWN AND DO IT. I had many thoughts, some uncomfortable. My unquenchable desire to be loved… I have come to see it was really a purely selfish love, which came with two more painful realizations: that was really a fear of not being loved, which was resulting from my weakness of faith! What seemed like promiscuity to others, to me was as natural as breathing the air around me. To make love to 1, 2 or 3 different men– not at the same time of course, but in the same period of life, with all those different men were having the expectations of me two really be love by me, most of them not aware of my goings. Mine was a selfish love that would not share a man with any other woman, no! That was intolerable and unspeakable. But in my mad mind, I wanted everything for myself, and thought nothing of my own infidelity.

My work with Nina Blanchard, next, took me to Hawaii, and of course poor Richard was there at the docks in San Francisco to say goodbye, terrified that he was losing me. I was obviously way past the teaching of Professor Higgins school, but then hadn’t he always said he was too old for me, that I should find a good husband while I was young? He reminded me that Eliza Doolittle did not actually marry the good professor in the play.

Even in Hawaii, film stars were all around us, sometimes shooting along with me for magazine covers and newspaper ads. It was a glorious week that went by incredibly fast; we would work all day and party all night. Finally it was time to go back on the ship, and of course you also would celebrate your departure from Hawaii– what a party! They put leis around our necks, and told us that if you threw them overboard when the ship start moving , they would tell our fortune; if your lei floated back toward the island, or toward the ship you would be back to Hawaii, but if it floated away.. you don’t come back….. Either way, the occasion was good enough to fill our champagne glasses and celebrate some more! I did not need any special occasion to drink, every occasion was good enough to celebrate, usually by drinking a lot.

That last night, the captain and first mate gave a formal dinner, which naturally meant more drinking, dancing and celebrating. The second on command was single and tall and very good looking the Captain was older married and not good looking, so when the second in command invited me to dance I was very flattered because he was supposed to dance only with the old lonesome lady’s, who had no partners I had partners the photographers for the magazine we were working for.. Later that night found me with the handsome second in command up on the deck, kissing and dancing under the stars, then drinking more champagne and going to his cabin–where we became lovers instantly and later very good friends..

Of course it was all over by the time we reached San Francisco, where Richard’s control took over, again like witchcraft (a Spingaly). We went to the “No name Bar” is Sausalito, while he was talking, I remember the pain that he has inflicted on me, I was not yet realizing all the consequences of the drugs, alcohol, abortions, two the full extent, not yet, I was still was living the moment, and not mature etol, and after few drinks again the promises and love for ever came from him repeatedly, my hope went up again now he is divorce starting a business on S.F. Maybe this time, was for real! (Maybe he sensed that things were going out of his control,) So that why the knew promises and to take care of me, which he never did.

He drove me back to Los Angeles, then he took me out shopping for groceries for the apartment, a shopping cart full of all kinds of food, he must seen our fridge. Not very full, How nice of him, my family thought, but then as always he was gone again. And I wanted to survive and smile and be happy.

Back to work in LA, I decided I had to have a car. It barely mattered that I didn’t know how to drive, and had no driver’s license! I just headed to a dealership on Wilshire Boulevard, where they showed me Renault a small two seater, It was tiny, but the price was right. Of course I bought it because it was French… how chic!

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