miss april does the texas two-step
The child bride of 1973 had no idea she would be sitting in a chic Beverly Hills restaurant in 1988. "When I got married, at 15, I still had braces on my teeth," Eloise Broady recalls. The marriage didn't work; the divorce left her peering at an ex-housewife in the mirror. "It wasn't until then that I realized I was pretty," she says. "I thought, Maybe it's time to listen to all those people saying 'You ought to be a model' or 'You ought to be an actress.' " She went to a "cattle call" in Austin, two hours' drive from her native Houston, and won a part in the Kris Kristofferson-Willie Nelson film Songwriter. Next came a gig as Kim Basinger's double in Nadine. A year ago, Eloise took her ten-year-old son -- her older son attends a prep school in Alabama -- and went west to Los Angeles. That was step one. Step two begins now. This yellow-haired rose of Texas wants to make her mark on her adopted home and make the folks back home proud of her. "I have been a wife and a mother," she says, watching Merv Griffin shop in a tony haberdashery adjoining the restaurant where she sips cappuccino. "Now it's time for a little adventure." She steers clear of the fast lane -- "No craziness for Eloise" -- and keeps her sights set on her dream destination: Oscar night, 1993. "I know it's a lot to hope that a Texas girl could pack up and go west and one day win an Oscar," she says, "but you've got to have a dream, don't you?" This dream exacts a price. "I was flying over L.A. the other day," she says, a Lone Star lilt in her voice, "and it was beautiful -- it seemed to go on forever. But I had an overwhelming sense of missing Texas -- all the land, the wide sky, even the cows. Once a Texan, always a Texan, I guess." Eloise's Texas two-step continues -- in Hollywood.
Photography by Stephen Wayda, Richard Fegley