The answer: they’re both in this month’s Playboy. Only, mercifully, Wallace has his clothes on.
The FOX News Sunday host is the focus of the Playboy Interview, a quite revealing Q&A about Wallace’s role at Fox News, his move from network to cable, his headline-making interview with Jon Stewart, and news about the health of his father, TV news icon Mike Wallace, now 93 years old:
He’s in a facility in Connecticut. Physically, he’s okay. Mentally, he’s not. He still recognizes me and knows who I am, but he’s uneven. The interesting thing is, he never mentions 60 Minutes. It’s as if it didn’t exist. It’s as if that part of his memory is completely gone. The only thing he really talks about is family— me, my kids, my grandkids, his great-grandchildren. There’s a lesson there. This is a man who had a fabulous career and for whom work always came first. Now he can’t even remember it.
Wallace also talks about his first girlfriend, whose last name happened to be Cronkite:
PLAYBOY: What do you remember most about working with Cronkite?
WALLACE: What I remember most is his daughter Nancy, to tell you the truth. I fell madly in love with her. She was my first girlfriend. She didn’t look at all like Walter, thankfully. She was this beautiful 15-year-old blonde. That was when my dad was anchoring The CBS Morning News and Walter, of course, was doing the
evening news. The correspondents all loved seeing Nancy and me together. They said it was like a merging of the two divisions.
PLAYBOY: Are you implying that Walter Cronkite’s daughter was your first sexual conquest?
WALLACE: I know this is Playboy, but you’ve got to be kidding!
PLAYBOY: We are merely interested in chronicling this untold story from media history.
WALLACE: Right, sure. She was my first girlfriend. That’s all you’re going to get.
PLAYBOY: Okay, fine. Let’s talk about your dad. You didn’t have much of a relationship with Mike Wallace until you were 14. What brought him back into your life?
WALLACE: I had an older brother, Peter, who died in the early 1960s in a mountain-climbing accident. In the years before that, Peter had been putting pressure on my father to see me. My brother had carved out his own relationship, but I hadn’t. In the beginning it was pretty awkward for me. My father was a stranger, and he used to sort of force me to go for the weekend to his house out in Snedens Landing, across the Hudson from New York. I never wanted to go. At a certain point he tried winning me over by taking me to this watering hole in New York called Toots Shor. It was a big roast-beef place where famous athletes would hang out. My dad knew I was a huge sports fan. I still am. Frank Gifford would be there, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Arcaro, Howard Cosell. I loved seeing these people. And slowly my dad and I got to know each other over slabs of meat. He really became my father after that.
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