On a sadder note, the Daily Telegraph’s obituary section also features Colin Clark, younger son of Lord (‘Civilization’) Clark and the brother of Alan Clark, the author of the finest political diaries seen in Britain since, well, who knows when.
Alan Clark, of course, was a famous Lothario. His brother does not seem to have been cut from the same cloth. In 1956 Colin found himself working as a ‘third assistant director’ (a title so lowly that it makes one of my earlier job descriptions – ‘articled clerk’ – seem positively titan-like) on a movie starring Marilyn Monroe. Prompted by concerns that Marilyn had taken too many sleeping pills, Clark climbed in through her bedroom window to find her sleepy, but welcoming. He joined her in bed and then, well, the story does not end in the way you might expect. I’ll let the Daily Telegraph take up the tale.
“”You are like a beautiful force of nature, Marilyn,” he told her, forever out of reach.”But Colin,” she protested, “I don’t want to be out of reach. I want to be touched. I want to be hugged. I want to feel strong arms around me. I want to be loved like an ordinary girl, in an ordinary bed. What’s wrong with that?”
Clark did not take the hint, and after a pious lecture on how she had “Mr. Miller” to take care of her, he went to sleep.”
Other delights from this obituary (which proves, yet again, that this section always has the potential to be the most entertaining part of any newspaper) include the revelation that his mother was prescribed a nasal spray mixture of morphine and cocaine (“for hysteria”), which she inhaled from a ‘puffer’.
The late Queen Mother, on the other hand, had more conventional tastes. When young Clark offered her a choice of “dry martinis in long fluted glasses or iced Champagne”, the Queen Mum simply replied, “Oh, they look so delicious. I think I’ll have both.”
And so she did.