From Movie Stars, May 1967
While his divorce was still in the courts, David McCallum took off for Southeast Asia. By his side was beautiful Kathy Carpenter, who now reveals, without shame, the truth about their love.
At last the long ride was over and the plane touched safely on the ground in Sydney, Australia. If Kathy Carpenter, beautiful 23-year-old model, had been nervous during the flight, she was even more fidgety now. It wasn't that she minded airplanes. What really worried her was what would happen as soon as she got off the plane. It would be a test, she knew - a test of whether she could make it as David McCallum's wife. Kathy glanced outside and saw the mobs of people. She was noticeably pale, and, as they got up to debark, she clutched David's arm nervously. She took a deep breath and they emerged from the plane. Suddenly the crowd roared, pushed and frantically waved placards saying, "All the way with Illya". Kathy tightened her grip on David, and as he acknowledged the crowd's welcome, she smiled in best model fashion.
Kathy Carpenter was determined to prove a point, that she was and would continue to be a part of David McCallum's life. She accompanied David on his recent trip to Southeast Asia where he promoted both The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and his new MGM movie Three Bites Of The Apple. They traveled openly and not once did David suggest she pretend to be his secretary. They braved the crowds together and they braved the press conferences together. It was a test of strength for Kathy, for she knew she would have to answer embarrassingly personal questions about why they were traveling together when they weren't married.
But one of the reasons she had come along was to clear up the questions, to stop the gossip. Despite David's usual distaste for talking intimately to the press, he seemed perfectly happy to have Kathy talk so openly. In fact, David's whole purpose in having her along seemed to be to show the world that he lived and loved honestly.
The first question at the press conference in Sydney was the hardest for Kathy to answer. "Are you in love with David McCallum and will you marry him?" a reporter challenged. Kathy hesitated for a moment, glanced at David and replied: "Yes, but it would be indiscreet of me to say anything more about love and marriage at this stage. In six months' time it will be different - David will be divorced. Ask me more about it then".
The reporter quickly turned to David and asked why Kathy was traveling with him if he didn't intend to marry her. David seemed a bit surprised at the question but answered softly, "I'm not in a position to discuss marrying Kathy. My divorce won't come through for six months, so how can I talk about remarrying until then?"
But Kathy seemed to be gaining more courage and she cut in, "David and I are very, very close. We are both extremely sensitive people and are both vulnerable".
Yet perhaps the most vulnerable and sensitive person at that moment was Jill Ireland, David's soon to ex-wife. Although Kathy has never been married before, she can well imagine what it's like to see your husband gallivanting around the world with another woman and hear him talk about marrying her. So, for Jill's sake, Kathy explained, "David and I never went out publicly until he announced his separation from Jill. I certainly don't regard myself as the type of girl who would ever wreck another woman's marriage. At first, I was surprised that people showed so much interest in the fact that I was seeing David".
Kathy learned in Sydney, and everywhere else they went, that everyone is dying to know the intimacies of his life, and that she'd better get used to it. "Now I have come to understand", she admitted, "that a star of David's stature and appeal is bound to be in the limelight". Of course, that very limelight is bound to make life difficult for her and David until they do become man and wife. Kathy's not kidding herself, though. She knows perfectly well that "we are insecure in certain directions, but we have a mutual understanding about most aspects of life".
Her biggest problem now, although she's trying to overcome it, is seeing David as his fans see him - as a sex symbol. Another woman had found it somewhat of a mystery too. "Yes", added David, "I've asked my mother about it and she can't explain it either".
"Still," said Kathy, "it's very strange to see David on the screen. It's a bit of a shock to me, and I must say I don't like it. It's as though it isn't really the David I know, but someone who reminds me of him".
Before, during and after the press conference - in fact, throughout the whole tour - Kathy acted somewhat like a latter day Jackie Kennedy or wife of a presidential candidate. She always had that Jackie Kennedy crisp linen look and was always at David's side should he need her. In fact, they were such a picture of togetherness that it was estimated by journalists that for only three minutes during their 31 1/2hour stop in Sydney was Kathy not by his side when he appeared in public. Their three minutes of separation came in Sydney when David had to step forward to address an audience in Pitt Street. But even then, Kathy was not far away.
And, although at times when David was being mobbed one would expect Kathy to have shown signs of strain, she remained perfectly composed. When asked what her reaction to David's Sydney welcome had been, Kathy answered softly, "It has been wonderful". And with almost White House dignity, she added, "I am terribly thrilled and gratified for David". Although she didn't say a word, Kathy looked rather frightened when hundreds of fans mobbed their car as it turned into Druitt Street in downtown Sydney. But Kathy reminded herself that this was supposed to be holiday time, and David need not have gone on the tour to publicize his career had he not wanted to. And after all, since she is probably to become Mrs. David McCallum, she will have to get used to the uncertainties of the real life role she will be playing.
On one occasion, when David had been on a similar tour in Dallas, his wife Jill had been by his side, and they had both been mobbed by fans. Jill had had to put up with the discomfort of one of the teenage girls turning to her and asking, "Do you mind?" and then planting a big kiss on David's face, while others fought for the privilege. But unlike Dallas, Australia was full of memories for David. It was the setting of his first starring role in a film nine years before, when he got his break by playing the romantic young lead in Robbery Under Arms opposite the then established British actress Jill Ireland. However, Jill had not accompanied him to Australia. He had fallen in love with her three weeks before in London, after being entranced by a newspaper photograph of her. On his first Australian trip, he had been torn apart at the thought of separation from her, but all of Jill's scenes were being shot later in a London studio.
Love supposedly can be lovelier the second time around, and David McCallum seems more demonstrative this time, if Sydney was any indication. He was openly affectionate to the beautiful model so often by his side, and they walked around hand-in-hand wherever and whenever possible.
They spent some of their time listening to twelve-year-old Helen Anderson playing the bagpipes on the roof of the Chevron Hotel, a gesture to the young Scotsman from his countrymen in Australia. David and Kathy also strolled through a park together to watch construction of the new Sydney music bowl and opera house. They wandered down to Mrs. McQuarie's Point on the shores of Sydney harbor, and David showed Kathy the exact spot where he had done some of the filming on Robbery Under Arms.
He looked across to the Sydney harbor bridge which had been constructed, when he was a baby, by the Scottish Lang-Dorman Construction Company, Dorman being a cousin of David's on his mother's side of the family. They wandered back to their hotel through Rushcutters Bay carnival grounds, and with Kathy towering slightly over him, David laughed gaily when a small boy asked him for his autograph, confusion him with Sean Connery.
Just before flying out of Sydney, David lost his visa and, when an aide wanted to search his baggage for it, David lost his temper as well. "I won't have anyone rummaging through my luggage", he fumed. He was soon, however, comforted and soothed by Kathy's presence. Later, as David and Kathy (and a toy koala bear between them) sat hand in hand in the V.I.P. lounge, David cast a long glance at his new love and sighed, "Man, it's wonderful what's happened to me."
Kathy opened her mouth to say something, suddenly changed her mind. She'd done quite enough talking for one day. So she just settled back and smiled, for she had a lifetime ahead of her to talk about her David.
By WILLIAM COX