Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Selene Walters (b.1924), Former Model and Actress, At Jewpers of IAJF, Los Angeles; Report by Payman Akhlaghi

Selene Walters (b. 1924), Former
Model Actress, January 29, 2013,
Jewpers of IAJF, Los Angeles

Selene Walters (b. 1924)
Former Model and Actress
Special Guest of Jewpers of IAJF
January 29th, 2013, Los Angeles

An Original Report by Payman Akhlaghi 
First published at
Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.

On Tuesday night, January the 29th, 2013, Jewpers of IAJF, Los Angeles, was host to the 89-year young Ms. Selene Walters, born Elizabeth Florence Walker, a former American model and actress, who, as we were told, had once been in a romantic relationship with the young Shah of Iran.

The program began with a succinct audio-visual introduction to the life and times of the Shah, presented by Ms. Deborah Zakariaei, the organizer and host of the event. Thereafter, Ms. Walters spoke of her childhood and education, her life as a beautiful model and rising actress, her times as a young divorcee mother among the famous names in Hollywood and New York, and of course, how she had met the Shah. An eloquent speaker, an absorbing story-teller, with a reassuring, trustworthy and attractive tone, she recounted with youthful energy the lively story of how through a hint from Aristotle Onassis, the billionaire, she made it on time to Nice and Riviera, in Southern France, and soon enough ended up dancing with a recently divorced Shah. A short while later, she was cordially invited to visit the royal palace, in Tehran.

Ms. Walters remembered the Shah as a kind and polite gentleman, modest in demeanor, who communicated most courteously with her with his developing English skills. She recalled both the interiors of the palace, the Peacock Throne, as well as the pistol Shah carried with him in their tours of Tehran, something he felt necessary, having survived a recent assassination attempt. Once, she even let the Shah, a self-described skilled shooter, to aim a rifle at an apple placed on her head, and splatter it into "thousand of pieces". And yet, as soon as the rumors of the romance began to leak into Tehran tabloids through Hollywood press, the Shah quickly asked her to leave back for America, for the Iranian public was not yet ready to absorb an affair between their king and a foreign actress.

Ms. Walters' memory was impressively precise, even as she was clearly trying "to get her facts straight," as she put it. Her answers to the questions presented to her by the audience were equally candid and devoid of any exaggeration.

This author, for one, had the clear feeling of having been offered an intimate chunk of history, both that of the earlier decades of Hollywood, as well as the private side of the Royal family. The program justly ended by celebrating the birthday of this most kind and vibrant lady.

(*) Selene Walters on IMDB

© 2013, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.
Photo: © 2013, Payman Akhlaghi. Cropped and digitally modified. All rights reserved.

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