Gloria Vanderbilt's Many Loves

Gloria Vanderbilt CBS/The Early Show

A "romance memoir" is what Gloria Vanderbilt calls her latest book, and it certainly is one, but it is also a glimpse into her unique world as a wealthy heiress of the Vanderbilt family.

In a story first reported on Nov. 7, 2004 on CBS News Sunday Morning, Vanderbilt tells Erin Moriarty of 48 Hours she's been married four times, but has had an "uncountable" number of romances.

There are 13 outlined in her latest book, "It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir." But the 80-year-old heiress says she has enough material to fill "maybe 10 more."

She grew up in the '40s, a time when the moneyed set of New York mingled with the glittering stars of Hollywood. And Gloria did mingle.

She had an affair with the dashing Howard Hughes when she was still a teenager. "I would have married him in a minute," she says.

And the charming Frank Sinatra. "Oh, Frank Sinatra was a great friend," she says, "'cause he came along and ring-dinged his way into my heart... and he just - you know - was a lot of fun, very romantic. I never saw him ever involved in any - you know - violence or anything that actually friends warned me about, you know."

There was a one-night stand with Marlon Brando, whom she says kept a large portrait of himself in the bedroom. And there was a date - arranged by her old friend Truman Capote - with the very married chairman of CBS - William Paley.

"Well, Truman said that Bill Paley was interested in me and would I be interested in having a romance with him, and he tried to set that up, you know."

Vanderbilt met with him even though she knew he was married.

"I was thinking of it because I told myself I was a very ambitious actress," she says. But the date went sour and she changed her mind.

"I met him and he sort of chased me around the sofa. That kind of thing," she says.

It wasn't funny at the time, but seemed so later on, she says.
  • Brian Dakss

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