Stephen and Dolores became very good friends during the filming of Lisa in 1961. They had also previously worked together for a TV drama in 1960 called “The Sound of Trumpets”. Dolores wrote about Stephen in her recent biography, “The Ear of the Heart”. According to the biographer, this was the only working relationship which became a romantic one for Dolores.
Stephen was an amazingly gentle man for his brawn and size. He wasn’t tall but had substantial bulk- which I was gratefully aware of when he had to carry me. Most of my scenes were with Stephen, and we were frequently together for publicity interviews and photo layouts. But we also seemed to seek out each other’s company in private time. When I was working, I usually didn’t date, but on LISA, I saw Stephen for supper almost every night.
At first, Stephen found it difficult to open up, but gradually he became willing to speak about his private life. When I was agonizing over Mom’s fall off the wagon, he told me I shouldn’t waste my time shaking my fist at her. He admitted that he had also had a problem with alcohol and bluntly said that I couldn’t help my mother, that only she could help herself. He had stopped drinking only when he wanted to.
I found him deeply spiritual. We had many discussions about religion, in a general way, but occasionally we spoke of Catholicism. Stephen was adamant that although he was genuinely interested in the broad spectrum of religion, he was not attracted to any specific church. He would come to change that stand.
Our dinners grew to two and a half hours of soul-searching and reaching out, which Stephen acknowledged as a gift of understanding. Most men are dominant and directive. They’re threatened by a woman’s inner sense of authority. Stephen could expose his vulnerability. He let me show my authority. It didn’t make him feel less masculine. They are threatened by a woman’s inner sense of authority. Stephen could expose his vulnerability. He let me show my authority. It didn’t make him feel less masculine. I was grateful for his trust and began to feel that our relationship has a potential future.
By the time we got to London, I knew my feelings for Stephen had gone as far as they could go on a friendship level. I felt I had an obligation to indicate I was ready to move to a more personal one. Up to this point, there hadn’t even been a kiss. Not that I had never kissed Stephen, but it had never been that kind of a kiss.
One evening, returning from one of our walks in Saint James’ Park, we stopped at the front door as we had so many evenings, and I suddenly said, “Stephen, would you like to come in?” He looked at me and said, “Yes.” He leaned forward to kiss me, but the kiss was placed on my forehead. “Yes,” he repeated, “but you’re marked. Don’t you know that?” I was confused. I felt hurt. Had I exposed my vulnerability, my trust, only to be rejected? I wondered what he had meant by saying I was ‘marked’, but I didn’t ask for an explanation then. I never did. Our dinners and talks continued, but we never mentioned that evening. When the film was over, our lives moved apart. But I heard his voice–“You’re marked”- often.
Dolores would go on to become a nun at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut in 1963.
I walked in the woods and sat in the sunny green fields watching lazy clouds overhead and wondering whether I would be able to come to grips with my life….I pondered a strange new awakening in my heart that cried for explanation…Yet I couldn’t get Stephen’s words out of my head: “You’re marked.” He had spoken softly but with such sureness….I was allowed to take two called that just happened to come in during my period of free time. Neither was monitored. One was from Elvis..the other call was from Stephen Boyd, who tried to sound supportive but, I could tell, was not thrilled with my move. He promised to visit as soon as it was permitted.
Stephen did indeed come to visit Dolores at the Abbey in early 1966, after he attend the premiere of The Oscar in New York City.
It was not a comfortable reunion. It was obvious that Stephen had a difficult time dealing with the grille (http://abbeyofreginalaudis.org/visit-enclosure.html). He later admitted it was like seeing me in prison. He told me he had become interested in Scientology. Remembering his distaste for organized religions, I cautioned him to think twice before getting too involved. He left the parlor quite abruptly, but instead of going to his apartment in the guesthouse, he drove right back to New York. He did not visit again, but we continued to correspond…(In 1970) he announced his plans to become an active member of the organization (Church of Scientology) and said that his life and mine could never find a crossing point, which saddened me. Stephen died of a heart attack in 1977.
After Boyd and Hart had starred in the TV Program “To The Sound of Trumpets” 1960, their press agents got them together for two separate magazine layouts to push their career visibility. This took place a year and a half before they filmed “Lisa” together. Below are pictures from these two photo shoots. One was labeled “Boyd Meets Girl” from Movie Life Magazine June 1960, and the other was called “Romance on the Run” from Movie Mirror Magazine in September of 1960.
Screenland Movie Magazine, November 1960 with more Dolores Hart pictures.