Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,187 covers and 55,435 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Sarah Michelle Gellar's Daughter Inherited Her Mom's Buffy Strength, Freddie Prinze Jr. Reveals
- Read the Cover Story: Inside Blake & Miranda's Shocking Split
- Miranda Lambert Kicks Up Her Heels, Jokes and Sings Songs About Heartbreak at Nashville Fundraiser
- Orange Is the New Black's Selenis Levya on Growing Up with a Transgender Sister: I Fight for Her 'on a Daily Basis'
- Olivia Culpo Bares All in Her First Naked Shoot
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- October 22, 1979
- Vol. 12
- No. 17
Her Claws as Sharp as Ever, Pamela Mason Tells Her Old Family Firm to 'Stuff Its Stuffiness'
In a cooler moment some time ago, Mason demurely observed: "For years it's been said I'm a frightening woman. I've never known why." Perhaps because no one dared to tell her. The worst anyone said publicly about the acid-tongued author-actress—and ex-wife of actor James Mason—was Groucho Marx's comment that she was Hollywood's steadiest talker and that her main topic was sex. So the celebrity-dissecting 1960s talk show hostess found the employees of Illingworth, Morris easy game. In 1975, Pamela became executrix of her multimillionaire father's estate, which included 46 percent of the firm's voting stock. But she only took command of the company last month, after the six-month balance sheet turned up $2 million in the red. "I began to see another Leyland and Chrysler looming," she says, and she warned company executives that she wouldn't let the firm follow those troubled footsteps. "If they need a kick up the backside," she snapped in London, "I've got a sharp, pointed toe."
The kick was swift. Mason named Thomas Yeardye—a former Vidal Sassoon executive who figures prominently in the steamy memoirs of '50s sex goddess Diana Dors—as Illingworth's executive director. She then demanded that shareholders reelect her son Morgan to the board. Though 24-year-old Morgan is better known for his liaison with 45-year-old actress Louise Fletcher than as a diligent director—he hadn't been at a meeting in two years—Mom argues that his full-time job as a fund-raiser for the Reagan-for-President campaign will serve the company well. "If Reagan gets elected," she argues, "we can say we clothe the President. It will be a tremendous asset."
Perhaps. But synthetic fibers and cheaper labor abroad have made inroads on the antiquated, strike-plagued British textile industry, and some experts contend that Illingworth's problems may be intractable. On the other hand, Pamela has successfully run her own vitamin mail order company in L.A. and manages property in Los Angeles and Las Vegas—and she is convinced that some good old American moxie is just what the stodgy British need. "They believe you don't fly in the face of tradition, you just stay there and die," sniffs Mason, a naturalized American. "I want to stuff all those stuffy attitudes." She has ordered Yeardye to open up markets in the United States—and she plans to oversee operations from her mansion on the eponymous Pamela Drive in Beverly Hills. "Up to now I thought the people who ran the company were the experts," she declares. "Now I know they don't know any more than I do."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!