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Paul McCartney's First Girlfriend

Dorothy "Dot" Rhone, a quiet girl from Liverpool, England, grew up with an emotionally distant mother and an abusive father who drank. She was terribly shy, introverted, and withdrawn, and she thought her nose was too big, going so far as to sleep with a clothes pin hooked on it in the sad hope that it might make her nose smaller.

One person, though, did think she was pretty. His name was Paul McCartney.

In 1959, when she was 16, Dot attended a gig at the "Casbah Club" featuring a teenage group who called themselves "The Quarreymen." (It wasn't until the next year that the Quarreymen would change their name to the Beatles.) She struck up a conversation with Paul, the band's best-looking member, and eventually they began dating.

Because of Dot's shy, withdrawn personality, she was easily dominated by Paul, who set down his rules loud and clear.

Although Paul could (and would) see other girls, he forbade Dot from seeing any other guys. Paul was a chronic smoker, but no cigarettes were allowed for Dot. He made her dye her hair blond, a la his sexual fantasy girl, actress Brigitte Bardot, and made her wear short, tight miniskirts. He told her how to wear her makeup. Paul was so controlling, he even told her she had to drop her girl friends. Dot, in love and very malleable, agreed to Paul's authoritarian rules.

"We got Dot to go blonde and wear miniskirts. It's terrible really. But that's the way it was," recalled Paul.

It wasn't all bad with Paul. Dot also remembers a kind, caring side.

Dot, who often hung out at Paul's happier home, recalls watching him sing old-time Dixie-style songs with his brother. She told Paul of her sad childhood and life and found him to be very caring and compassionate. Paul opened up to her about his own worst tragedy, his mother's death in 1956. Dot recalls flipping through a religious book with Paul and coming upon a picture of Jesus. "Paul said it looked just like his mother," she remembered.

Dot was impressed by Paul's generosity, remembering him once shelling out several weeks wages to buy her a very expensive leather coat. For Valentine's Day, Paul gave her a special handmade card.

Sometime in 1961, Dot got pregnant.

Paul's very conservative father forbade them giving up the baby for adoption, and a wedding was planned. Paul bought his expectant girlfriend a gold engagement ring and was ready to "do the right thing." But fate intervened, and Dot miscarried after three months. The wedding was cancelled. (If Dot had given birth, the entire history of the Beatles would, of course, have been changed.)

Dot was never to forget the sight of Paul bringing her a batch of flowers and comforting her after he heard about the miscarriage.

Dot became good friends with John Lennon's girlfriend, Cynthia Powell. Cyn was to remember Dot as "a gentle soul who blushed frequently." The two would go incognito to watch their boyfriends play at local gigs around Liverpool.

When the band went off to play in Hamburg, Germany, Paul wrote to Dot almost every day. (The song "P.S. I Love You," the B-side of the first Beatles record, was written about Dot.)

Dot and Cynthia went to visit the boys in Hamburg, and both would recall the sight of their two boyfriends running madly to welcome them and show them the local Hamburg sights. Dot and Paul lived together in Hamburg in a cabin on a houseboat. About these happy days, Dot remembered the two of them being "very cuddly, lovely, close."

But still, in spite of the generally happy times, the young couple would sometimes have very furious fights.

By the summer of 1962, with the Beatles on the brink of national fame, Paul decided to call it quits with Dot.

Cynthia remembered the sad night -- a girls night hanging out, no guests expected, with Dot decked out in a baggy sweater with curlers in her hair. Out of the blue, Paul pounded on the door and informed Dot their three year relationship was over. He stalked off, leaving Dot in a state of shock.

The reason for Paul's abrupt severing of the relationship is a bit nebulous; some say Dot was pressing for marriage and Paul didn't want that. Dot was devastated, and it took her months to recover from the shock. She joined the civil service, hoping to escape Paul's memory, but unfortunately, the Beatles soon hit it big and "it was Beatles, Beatles, Beatles," said Dot.

Shortly thereafter, Dot decided to leave Liverpool and make a new life for herself.

She moved to Canada and met her future husband within four days.

Dot was to see Paul again briefly when the Beatles played a gig in Toronto in 1965. Many years later, when Paul's group Wings played the Maple Leaf Garden, Paul invited his ex-girlfriend to attend and sent a Rolls Royce to pick up Dot, her husband, and her daughter.

After the concert, Paul and Dot got a chance to talk, and Paul answered many questions Dot had about their time together. According to her friend Sandra, this meeting with Paul helped Dot tremendously and provided answers to questions she had carried for more than 40 years.

"When she met Paul again, the ghost was laid," said Sandra.

At last, Dot Rhone, Paul McCartney's first girlfriend, had achieved her own closure.

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Art
Get Crazy With the Official Bob Ross Coloring Book
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If you watched Bob Ross's classic series The Joy of Painting for hours on end but didn’t come away a terribly capable artist, you can still enjoy replicating the amazing public television personality’s work. You can now pretend you’re painting along with the late, great PBS star using a brand-new adult coloring book based on his art.

The Bob Ross Coloring Book (Universe) is the first authorized coloring book based on Ross’s artistic archive. Ross, who would have turned 75 later this year, was all about giving his fans the confidence to pursue art even without extensive training. “There’s an artist hidden at the bottom of every single one of us,” the gentle genius said. So what better way to honor his memory than to relax with his coloring book?

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the Ross landscapes you can recreate, all while flipping through some of his best quotes and timeless tidbits of wisdom.

An black-and-white outline of a Bob ross painting of a mountain valley

A black-and-white outline of a Bob Ross painting shows a house nestled among trees.

A black-and-white outline of a Bob Ross painting shows a farm scene.

And remember, even if you color outside the lines, it’s still a work of art. As Ross said, “We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.”

You can find The Bob Ross Coloring Book for about $14 on Amazon. Oh, and if you need even more Ross in your life, there’s now a Bob Ross wall calendar, too.

All images courtesy of Rizzoli.

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entertainment
8 Movies That Almost Starred Keanu Reeves
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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

He may not have the natural ease of Al Pacino, the classical training of Anthony Hopkins, the timeless cool of Jack Nicholson, or the raw versatility of Gary Oldman, but Keanu Reeves has been around long enough to have worked alongside each of those actors. Yet instead of Oscar nods, the actor whose first name means “cool breeze over the mountains” in Hawaiian has a handful of Razzie nominations.

While critical acclaim has mostly eluded Reeves during his 30-plus years in Hollywood, his movies have made nearly $2 billion at the box office. Whether because of his own choosiness or the decisions of studio powers-that-be, that tally could be much, much higher. To celebrate The Chosen One’s 53rd birthday, here are eight movies that almost starred Keanu Reeves.

1. X-MEN (2000)

In Hollywood’s version of the X-Men universe, Hugh Jackman is the definitive Wolverine. But Jackman himself was a last-minute replacement (for Dougray Scott) and other, bigger (in 2000) names were considered for the hirsute superhero—including Reeves. Ultimately, it was the studio that decided to go in a different direction, much to Reeves’ disappointment. “I always wanted to play Wolverine,” the actor told Moviefone in 2014. “But I didn't get that. And they have a great Wolverine now. I always wanted to play The Dark Knight. But I didn't get that one. They've had some great Batmans. So now I'm just enjoying them as an audience.”

2. PLATOON (1986)

For an action star, Reeves isn’t a huge fan of violence, which is why he passed on playing the lead in Oliver Stone’s Oscar-winning Vietnam classic. “Keanu turned it down because of the violence,” Stone told Entertainment Weekly in 2011. “He didn’t want to do violence.”

3. THE FLY II (1989)

Few people would likely mistake Reeves for the son of Jeff Goldblum, but producers were anxious to see him play the next generation of Goldblum’s insectile role in the sequel to The Fly. But Reeves wasn’t having any of it. Why? Simple: “I didn't like the script,” he told Movieline in 1990.

4. SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL (1997)

Speaking of sequels (and bad scripts): Reeves was ready to reprise his role as Jack Traven in Jan de Bont’s second go at the series … then he read it. “When I was offered Speed 2, Jan came to Chicago and so did Sandra, and they said, ‘You’ve got to do this,’” Reeves recalled to The Telegraph. “And I said, 'I read the script and I can’t. It’s called Speed, and it’s on a cruise ship.” (He's got a point.)

Even when the studio dangled a $12 million paycheck in front of him, Reeves said no. “I told [William Mechanic, then-head of Fox], ‘If I do this film, I will not come back up. You guys will send me to the bottom of the ocean and I will not make it back up again.’ I really felt like I was fighting for my life.”

5. HEAT (1995)

Reeves’ refusal to cave on Speed 2 didn’t sit well in Hollywood circles. And it didn't help that he also passed on playing Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer’s role) in Michael Mann’s Heat in order to spend a month playing Hamlet at Canada’s Manitoba Theatre Centre. From that point on, Reeves told The Telegraph that it’s been a struggle for him to book any studio movies. “That’s a good old Hollywood story! That was a whole, 'Hey, kid, this is what happens in Hollywood: I said no to the number two and I never worked with the studio again!’”

6. BOWFINGER (1999)

By the time Frank Oz’s Bowfinger rolled around, Eddie Murphy was pretty much the go-to guy for any dual role part, but the movie wasn’t always intended to play that way. Steve Martin, who both starred in and wrote the movie, had actually penned the part of Kit Ramsey for Reeves (whom he had worked with a decade earlier in Parenthood).

“When Steve gave me the script for Bowfinger, it wasn't written for Eddie Murphy,” producer Brian Grazer explained. “It was written for a white action star. It was written for Keanu Reeves, literally. I said, 'Why does it have to be an action star?' He said, 'That's the joke.' I said: 'What if it were Eddie Murphy, and Eddie Murphy played two characters? That could be really funny.' He said: 'You know, that'd be great—that'd be brilliant. Let's do that.' He processed it in about a minute, and he made a creative sea change.”

7. WATCHMEN (2009)

A year before Zack Snyder’s Watchmen hit theaters, Reeves confirmed to MTV what many had speculated: that he had turned down the chance to play Dr. Manhattan in the highly anticipated adaptation. But it wasn’t because of lack of interest on Reeves’ part; it just “didn't work out.” Still, he made it as far as a set visit: “They were shooting in Vancouver while we were filming so I went over to the set to say, 'hi.' They showed me some stuff and it looks amazing! I can’t wait. It’s going to be so killer, man!”

8. TROPIC THUNDER (2008)

By the time Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder made its way into theaters in the summer of 2008, the meta-comedy had been more than a decade in the making. So it’s understandable that the final product veered from Stiller’s original plan for the film, which included Reeves playing the role of Tugg Speedman (Stiller’s eventual part). Initially, Stiller had planned to cast himself as smarmy agent Rick Peck (Matthew McConaughey picked up the slack).

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