Ronee Blakley Goes Up to the Mountain—and Returns with a Husband, Director Wim Wenders
The witnesses were newlyweds themselves, Kurt Russell and Season Hubley (who played Elvis and Priscilla Presley in the recent ABC dramatization), but so much for showbiz. The 30 other guests were townsfolk, and the minister was the Rev. Dr. Larry Crist of the Treasure Valley Christian Church, where Ronee used to sing solos with the choir. Blakley had often visited the site before her traditional 10-minute nuptials: It's where the community holds its annual Easter sunrise service.
Not present was the couple's unlikely matchmaker: Dennis Hopper, the old Easy Rider who had starred in Wenders' intricate 1977 thriller, The American Friend. At a 1978 New Year's Eve party, Hopper whispered to Blakley that Wenders had been impressed by her work in Bob Dylan's ponderous epic Renaldo and Clara. Six months later he instigated the couple's first tête-à-tête—dinner at Tana's in L.A. "We have been together ever since," confides Blakley, adding. "I never planned to marry until I met Wim. He is the most attractive man I've ever met." The only remaining detail was Wenders' filing for divorce (after a seven-year separation) from the German girl he had married in college.
The first fruit of the romance will arrive next spring—it's a film, a drama called Lightning over Water that's just wrapped, with Ronee before the camera and Wim behind. His love affair with American culture unabated, Wenders is about to direct a biography of mystery master Dashiell Hammett, to be produced by Francis Ford Coppola, no less. Blakley, after an indifferently received album and nightclub act, has just completed Baltimore Bullet with James Coburn and Omar Sharif.
As they settle into married life in a Point Dumé, Calif. beach house, the couple professes all the usual uncertainties of newlyweds. "It's a change to share your life with someone after being independent so many years," says Ronee. "It's a big change, but it's wonderful."