The Panther's Pinked, Strangelove Estranged: Peter Sellers Gives Up on Wife No. 4, Lynne Frederick
Then there was a problem about having children (he has three by his first two marriages, including a son the same age as Lynne). "A psychiatrist she went to actually suggested that because I loved my mother, I was still looking for a mother figure," puzzles Sellers. "He was bonkers enough to think that incestuous feeling prevented us from having children. But that's the way psychoanalysts talk." It was Lynne who wanted to live in Hollywood and Peter who catapulted her career (and possibly set back his own) starring with her in the upcoming third remake of The Prisoner of Zenda.
Before jetting off to ride out the Cannes Film Festival aboard the $4,000-a-day charter yacht Berengaria, Sellers ticked off explanations for his first three marital failures. No. 1, actress Anne Hayes: "I was reponsible. If you fall in love with Sophia Loren and chase around Europe for six months, you can't expect your wife not to get upset." No. 2, Ekland: "Well, she's a professional girlfriend, so there's no more to be said." No. 3, socialite Miranda Quarry: "She was my intellectual superior. It was difficult."
Sellers was not unmindful of age differences and the medical consequences. He suffered a coronary shortly after honeymooning with the 16-years-younger Ekland, and Frederick had to nurse him through intensive care and implantation of a pacemaker after a second attack. Sellers is not ungrateful, observing, "Lynne is the sweetest, kindest girl in the world." So what went wrong? "Hollywood," Sellers has decided, "sets out to destroy those people like Lynne and me who were happy. Hollywood hates happiness."