For a quarter of a century Hollywood has been looking for a Latin lover to inherit the mantle of the great Rudolph Valentino. At long last the search is over. The winner by popular feminine demand is Rossano Brazzi, a stocky, handsome, gray-templed Italian of 38. Veteran of 63 Italian films and 211 plays, Brazzi was virtually unknown to U.S. moviegoers until he made The Barefoot Contessa with Ava Gardner, Three Coins in the Fountain with Jean Peters and Summertime with Katharine Hepburn. Now he has been "discovered" by Americans as the Great Lover. He has been auditioned for the lead in the movie version of South Pacific. He has a three-year contract with Universal-International and has been offered starring roles in eight American films.
"Of course," he told me in his apartment on the Via Sistina, "I am very happy about it. But somehow I wish all of this" he pointed to 40,000 fan letters stacked ceiling-high, "had happened to me 10 years ago. Then I was a gay young blade, very intense, very hopeful, very ambitious. Now I am on the way to 40, and the wine of success tastes just the slightest bit - how do you say it in English? - just the slightest bit worn."
Rossano Brazzi's love-making technique is more fully illustrated on these pages. Pictures were posed especially for PARADE, in the courtyard of the Grand Hotel in Venice by Brazzi and Miriam Bru, a visiting Paris model.
Brazzi explains: "First, I treat the girl as if no other woman existed. She is the object of my eyes, my heart, my worship. The approach is gentle, but done with feeling the feeling that you are giving yourself away. I kiss the hand, the cheek, the neck. I stop to drink in the beauty. Then I kiss the lips. It must all be done with ardor, with conviction, without fear.
Take your Gary Cooper. He pecks away at an actress's cheek, then pulls back as if he had just kissed a porcupine. It is very effective, the shyness of it all, but to my way of thinking it leaves the women in the audience empty. This should not be. "It is very important," says Brazzi, who should know, "for a screen lover to fully satisfy his audience."For those now yelling, "Hey!! Where are the illustrations of his love-making techniques??!!??" You'll forgive me if it took me a while to get them uploaded. I was ... er ... rather distracted by such lovely evidence of the skill and experience of a man who obviously knew exactly what he was doing. Personally, I think my knees would have buckled somewhere around Step 2.
For another demonstration on the fine art of kissing from the undisputed expert on reducing women to puddles, see ...and Three Degrees of Kissing., one of the earlier printed newsletter issues.