I was married to one of the great storytellers of all time. My late husband, Aaron Spelling, rewrote pop culture with his shows. The Mod Squad and Dynasty dictated fashion trends. (Nolan Miller’s fashions from Dynasty became instantly recognizable.) It was all about the hair in Charlie’s Angels. Fantasy Island and The Love Boat are still synonyms for vacations. Who doesn’t know where 90210 is or who lives there? Melrose Place started showing up on tourist maps. His movie Mr. Mom redefined spousal roles. Everyone wanted a Starsky & Hutch car. The “fight” between Linda Evans and Joan Collins, dragging each other around in the water, became instant camp; and we laughed when we heard stories about how fans were re-creating the scene at parties.
I want to share a few stories and anecdotes during my magical time married to Aaron:
- While Aaron and I were dating, I visited the set of The Mod Squad. I had a brand-new car I could barely afford – a four-day old silver 1966 Corvette – and I couldn’t wait to drive it onto the studio lot. I parked the car carefully and went to find Aaron. Just as I was greeting him, I heard a crash. Out of nowhere, a small studio crane had dropped its load and punched a hole into the fiberglass hood of my brand-new sports car! Aaron said “Everybody, meet Candy Marer. This is the girl I’m going to marry!”
- Of all of my husband’s shows – and yes, I dutifully watched every episode of every series, often multiple times, even though I had read the scripts already – my favorite was Fantasy Island. Aaron really l liked that one too. The title was deceiving because people expected a wish-granting scenario where their wish would be Mr. Roarke’s command.
- Aaron got the most joy from casting the older stars on The Love Boat. He saw himself as a guardian of Hollywood’s legacy and tradition, and realized there were very few jobs for these stars in young, hip, happening Hollywood. Aaron used to say, “if my legacy is that I gave some of our most cherished stars a place to work, that’s enough for me.”
Tour buses came by our house every three minutes starting in the early morning until the wee hours of the night. One night, Aaron hopped onto a big red double-decker. He made his way down the aisle, smiling, shaking everybody’s hands and of course talking. He told me he thanked everyone for watching his shows over the years. The fans on that bus represented almost every one of his shows: Fantasy Island, Dynasty, Beverly Hills 90210, Starsky & Hutch, Melrose Place and many more.
Thank you to all of you who have watched Aaron’s television shows over the years. I am so glad that he was able to bring his entertaining shows into your home for you to enjoy.
(Excerpted from “Stories from Candy-Land”)