“Actor Doesn’t Like Beauty” – Stephen Boyd interview 1962

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Jimmy Durante, Martha Raye and Stephen Boyd during the filming of “Billy Roses’s Jumbo” in early 1962

Cincinnati Enquirer, Dec 17, 1962

by Arlene Dahl

I asked Stephen Boyd one question: “What is your concept of beauty?”

The answer he gave me, as we sipped coffee together in the Hollywood Brown Derby, amounted to an entire interview–and a fascinating one at that!

“I don’t like beauty,” was his startling reply, “in itself,” he qualified.

The never-to-be-forgotten ‘Messala’ in ‘Ben Hur’ and Doris Day’s current co-star in M-G-M’s ‘Jumbo’ explained.

“I prefer women who are attractive to women who are merely beautiful. Beauty is not enough. I believe that women with imperfect features can be attractive, and even beautiful. The difference is in the confident, positive feeling that comes from within.”

Stephen spoke in a deep, resonant voice that one doesn’t soon forget. I noticed, too, his dark, unruly hair and penetrating Irish blue eyes, as he went on to define this ‘feeling.’

“It’s not something you put on, like make-up. but if wearing make-up gives a women a feeling of beauty, she will be attractive. We all need something to give us confidence. When you go into something new–applying for a job, for instance – to cope with the situation better don’t you wear something that has always made you feel comfortable?

“Everything that you have experienced, if you use it to you benefit, makes you more attractive. This applies especially to women, who have a deeper sense of experience. Both women and men, from the time they are formed into life until they are informed out of life, can be attractive. The whole thing of living in this positive approach. With it you can make yourself and your life as attractive as you want them to be.”

Stephen agreed that both inner and outer attractiveness take work. Testimony to the latter is his marvelous physique.

“The movies I do keep me fit,” he said, “I got more exercise playing a trapeze artist in ‘Jumbo’ than I’d gotten all my life. I spent two months learning to do trapeze work and tightrope walking. As a result, I have never felt better.”

An I’m certain that Stephen has never looked better!

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