TV Movie Scene, March 1972

He's a total turn-on! She's enough to make a man's heart beat a mile a minute. Together they can only be utterly terrific!

He is Ben Murphy. Star of Alias Smith and Jones. He is single.

She is Claudine Longet. Star of television and records. She is very much married.

No one is quite sure how they met but everyone is sure that their meeting was like a fireworks display on the Fourth of July. Claudine is a dark-haired beauty. Ben is a blond, blue-eyed Paul Newman look-alike. When he is with a woman, he is totally hers. There are no career hang-ups.. he is a woman's man...all the way.

Several times Claudine Longet separated from her husband, singer Andy Williams. Several times she seemed to get tied up with the wrong men. First there was Herb Alpert. Their meetings were reportedly always secret.. out at the beach.. where they each have homes. Finally the word was out.

As each one had children they decided to cool their romance. For Claudine it worked...she and Andy patched things up and even became the parents of another child. For Herb Alpert it didn't.. he and his wife separated and finally divorced. He is married to someone else now.

Claudine and Andy seemed content for many months when, out of the blue, they separated once again. And, once again she chose the wrong man. Steve Peyton was a tennis pro who, so friends have said, was only interested in Steve Peyton. "He dug being on the cover of all those movie magazines," one Hollywood insider told us. "The price to study tennis with him skyrocketed. He enjoyed his sudden fame . . . maybe too much. Claudine is no dope, she caught on quickly. From where we sat," our Hollywood friend continued, "he was using her to gain fame and fortune for himself."

For weeks she walked around with a cloud above her head. Then, she met Ben Murphy and seemed to find the man of her dreams. Dynamite couldn't pry these two apart. It looked like love . . . love . . . love.

Ben is so very handsome and much the same coloring as Andy Williams. His temperament is also the same. He is a soft speaker and a gentle man. Yet unlike Andy Williams, his career comes second to the woman he is with. "A woman makes my whole life go around," Ben once said. "I will do anything to please her. And, if I love her . . . look out. I'm not sure that I want to get married now . . . or ever," he admitted, "but who is to say what tomorrow holds?"

Ben, like Claudine, adores the outdoor way of life. He'd rather walk around in a pair of jeans and sandals than a tux. "But," he confessed, "I chose a way of life and I'll follow through. I spend my free time to please me and my woman. When I have to do something for my craft, I do it . .. no problems."

He isn't after Claudine for what she can get for him. He is a star in his own right. Although Ben Murphy doesn't have a press agent, he gets coverage he is due. "That's all nonsense," he complained. "Press agents. For what? The studio and station sees to it that I get my fair share. All I should be worried about is giving a great performance, paying my taxes and my health." Ben happens to be a health food addict.

For Claudine Longet he is the ideal man. He wants nothing from her but love. He is single so there is no need to worry about bad press.

Their dates are quiet and simple. They have dinner at each other's apartments and then go for a drive out to the beach. They walk the sands for hours discussing not only show biz, but the problems of the world.

They are two people who have found each other . . . and love. Yet, Claudine is still married and Andy doesn't seem to be making a move for a divorce. "It seems to mean that she will have to make the move," a friend of Claudine's told us. "She really digs Ben and wants to be free to see him without having to worry. She recently went to Europe to think alone. But, Ben couldn't stand being away from her. He would call her two or three times a day and finally told her that he missed her so much that he was going to fly over.

"Claudine didn't fight him," the friend added. "In fact, Ben told me that he could feel her smile right over the phone!"

Where will the Ben Murphy and Claudine Longet romance lead? Only time will tell . . . but from where we sit it looks like a wedding in the near future. They are that much in love!

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