Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” is an ongoing drama of a scandalous group of ladies who for the most part (there are a few exceptions) couldn’t hold the water of REAL Hollywood housewives, according to the top wife herself, Grace Robbins.
Grace was the third wife of the late American novelist Harold Robbins, and was his longest marriage, and in her words “true love.” Together they lived it up in decadent decades of the 1960s through the early 1980s.
Notably in the roaring sixties and seventies, Harold Robbins’ fiction was more widely read than the Bible. His steamy, potboiler novels sold more than 750 million copies, and created the sex-power-glamour genre of popular literature that would go on to influence everyone and everything from Jackie Collins and Jacqueline Susann to TV’s “Dallas” and “Dynasty.” Most of his novels were turned into hit movies.
What many did not know was his fiction was more often than not based on fact and experiences from their lives as a power couple in Beverly Hills.
Grace chronicles their steamy escapes and dishes all in her tell all memoir that could be the stuff of a Harold Robbins novel, but it is real and even more scintillating. Both Harold and Grace were at the forefront of the sexual revolution movement and were the iconic couple of that era.
What you notice immediately when you meet Grace Robbins is that she is still quite beautiful, and she was the original Beverly Hills trophy housewife who rubbed shoulders at the Bistro Garden, Trader Vics, The Luau, L’Escoffier, Jimmy’s, La Scala, L’Orangerie and the other time period hot spots with other equally well-paired ladies who ruled the 90210.
Grace’s revealing tell-all, “Cinderella and the Carpetbagger: My Life as the Wife of ‘World’s Best-Selling Author” is published by Bettie Youngs Books
Harold and Grace Robbins were at the center of a globetrotting jet set, with mansions in Beverly Hills, and villas and yachts on the French Riviera and Acapulco. Their life together rivaled – and often surpassed – the characters’ adventures in his books. Champagne flowed, cocaine was inhaled and sex in this pre-AIDS era was embraced with abandon.
Along the way the couple agreed to a “modern marriage,” that Harold insisted upon. Grace counted among her stable of lovers studs Sean Connery and Roger Moore (interested but rejected). When asked who was the better lover, she replied, “Sean because with him she was ‘shaken and stirred.'”
Monsters and Critics chatted with Grace briefly about the REAL Beverly Hills ladies who were part of her group. They incuded Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor, Rosemary Stack (wife of Robert Stack), Shirley Fonda (wife of Henry), Ruth Berle (wife of Milton), Betsy Bloomingdale and Gini Mancini (wife of Henry).
When we asked her who threw the best parties, Grace said no one through parties like she and Harold!
We asked her take on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” on Bravo, the network headed by one of her favorite TV executives, Andy Cohen.
“Andy Cohen, I am crazy about him. He is a composite of all the best men I have ever known. He does everything right on his show. I would love to be hanging out in the club house with him,” says Grace.
The sultry brunette of the series, Lisa Vanderpump, has become one of her favorites. “I think Lisa is very hard working and an absolute knock-out. I can’t wait for my book launch party in April at her restaurant, the SUR Lounge.”
The troubled former wife of Eddie Cibrian, Brandi Glanville, was a mixed bag. “Brandi would have never survived in real Beverly Hills society in my day. But Harold would have loved her!”
The current cougar slayer Adrienne Maloof (currently dating Rod Stewart’s son Sean) made Grace smile. “When I was 52 I had dalliance with a little number younger than 32 years old…It’s in my book.”
On Kyle Richards, “She know what she wants and doesn’t want. I wish I had her hair!”
And her troubled sister Kim Richards, “I salute her for staying sober….stop feeling sorry for yourself and start listening to your sister!”
Newcomer Yolanda Foster, “David Foster is a lucky guy. And boy does he know it!”
Last but not least Taylor Armstrong, “I like her and I really feel for her. That said I think if she drank less she would be more liked!”