Welch admits she had a huge crush on the Ben Hur star, who was among the actors in the running to play James Bond in Dr. No, and she did everything in her power to seduce him.
But while walking her back to her hotel room in New York after a dinner with movie mogul Darryl Zanuck, the Irishman made it clear he wasn’t interested in a romance.
Speaking at a weekend (11-12Feb12) film retrospective at New York’s Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater, the movie beauty said, “He was so hot with his cleft chin and he was so not interested in me. I tried to seduce him one time. I was so smitten with him and I was so excited every time I would come on the set I would see Stephen, and think, ‘Oh God, he’s so cute.’ He had what sounded like a Welsh (sic) brogue that was so charming.
“For my first trip to New York, when we opened the movie, we were both staying at the Plaza Hotel, so I thought, ‘Here’s my chance!’ So Darryl Zanuck took us all out to dinner at 21 and on the way back to the hotel we shared a cab. I said to him as we were going up in the lift, ‘So Stephen, would you like to come in for a drink?’
“We got out of the lift and he walked me to my room and he said, ‘I’d like to tell you a little story that was told to me by John Gielgud when I was working with the National Theatre (in London). You’ll have to think about it for a moment but I hope you get my drift: An actress is a little bit more than a woman, but an actor is a little bit less than a man.’
“I thought, ‘Oh! He’s not interested in me; I am the wrong sex!’
“Honestly, he was such a love and he’s not here anymore. Of course I’m sure a lot of people in the National Theater knew!”
Boyd, who died in 1977, was married twice and never ‘came out’ as a gay man.