BIOGRAPHY

a closer look at the second mrs Rathbone…

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When you read Basil’s autobiography and various magazine interviews with him in the late 1930s, you get the impression of Ouida, his second wife, as a devoted and selfless woman who rescued him from failure, gave up a brilliant career as a thousand-dollar a week screenwriter to help him become a star, and was instrumental in reuniting him with his estranged son. Other sources allege she wrote for publications like the Herald-Tribune and ran a massively successful talent agency.

This is an impressive portrait. But it would be a good idea – as Alyssia has warned us – not to accept any of it without checking first.

- Though discovering what is and is not true about Ouida Rathbone/Fitzmaurice/Bergere/Berger/Burgess/Weadock/Branch doesn’t seem to be particularly easy.

Most people who knew her as mrs Basil Rathbone – possibly including Basil himself – seem to have believed the story that she was born somewhere in Europe. Sometimes the place is listed as France, sometimes Russia, sometimes Spain, or even quite specifically on a train bound for Madrid. IMBD and IBDB think the latter is true to this day.

But when we look more closely we find the second Mrs Rathbone was actually born in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Everyone during her lifetime believed she was four years younger than her most famous husband, and was born in 1896.

In fact she was born in 1886 and was six years his senior.

And her father’s name wasn’t Stephen Bergere

Or Stephen DuGaze

And her name wasn’t Ouida Bergere

or Ouida DuGaze.

Or even Ida Berger.

It was Branch. Eunie Branch.

Eunie Branch. Daughter of Stephen W. Branch and his wife Ida (nee Williams) of Little Rock AR.

In 1900 she was fourteen and living with her brother in Searcy. But by 1910, according to the census, 24-yr old Eunie Branch has inexplicably become ‘Eula Burgess‘ and is back with her parents in Little Rock, listing her marital status as “divorced.” Whether this was from an unknown “Mr Burgess” or from the husband listed as no. 1 on IMDB – “Louis Weadock” or both we don’t know. Her profession is stated to be “actress.”

That last bit at least seems to be true because according to Wiki in January of that year she appeared on stage in Indianopolis under the name by which we all know and love her – Ouida Bergere.
OUIDA_BERGERE_From_Who's_Who_on_the_Screen

Further details of her acting career are patchy. Or maybe that word belongs to the career itself. Either way, the credits are sparse. IBDB lists a single Broadway appearance at the Bijou theatre in 1911 in a show that ran for just 28 performances. IMDB lists just two movies she appeared in, both in 1912.

In 1915 she (possibly wisely) abandoned her acting ambitions and turned to screenwriting, where she was prolific for the next eight years. She wrote scenarios for stars like Mae Murray, Elsie Ferguson and Pola Negri. Many of the films she wrote were either produced or directed by George Fitzmaurice, who apparently became her second (or possibly third) husband at some date we haven’t currently determined.

In 1918 Eula/Eunie, now Ouida had a “niece” born to her, and also named Ouida (in case we’re not confused enough already). This niece’s parents are not easy to identify. In one place they are listed as being “William Branch and Ida Williams,” but those are the names of her own parents, which would make this “niece” her sister. In the 1940 census the parents are listed as Beine and Frances Branch and are resident in Texas. Rather strangely, this niece is said to have been raised by Ouida herself at least part of the time, and acquired the additional surname of “Wagner” somewhere along the way.
Ouida jr eventually married a younger brother of Aldous Huxley.
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In 1921 Ouida Fitzmaurice apparently saw young Basil Rathbone on stage in THE CZARINA and told the person she was with (presumably not her current husband unless he was super-cool) that “this was the man she was going to marry.” Her clairvoyance was indeed awesome. Four years later she had sloughed off husband no.2 (or possibly 3) and married the Baz on April 18 1926.

Just 8 weeks later, claiming debts of $9,000 (a fortune in 1926) and assets of $150, being basically the clothes she was standing up in, she declared bankruptcy and logged her occupation, not as screenwriter, actor, journalist or talent agent – but simply as “housewife.” Her list of unpaid creditors is a little snapshot of life as she lived it. $291.60 to the Daimler car Co in Knightstbridge, London; $542.42 to the Piccadilly Hotel, London; $600 to Miss Jenny, Champs-Elysees, Paris; and amongst all that evidence of high flying – $138.09 to the New York Telephone Company. She was driving Daimler cars and running up huge hotel bills, and buying Paris couture – and she couldn’t afford to pay her phone bill.
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And there we have it. The Life of Ouida before she became mrs Rathbone. Or as much of it as we can find to date.

I think it’s safe to say all of the above raises more questions than it answers.

Those changes of name and the fugitive personal history. I mean ok, actors and writers can often have stage names and noms de plume, and reinventing yourself to some extent goes with the territory.

But don’t her reinventions seem a little extreme even for that milieu?

I mean she’s Eunie Branch at fourteen, Eula Burgess at 24, Ouida DuGaze and Ida Berger at some indeterminate time, and Ouida Bergere thereafter. Only one of these is definable as a stage name or a nom de plume. What was the purpose of the others? To read some of what her husband was saying, it’s possible he too was unaware of her real identity. At various times he said she was born in France and once mentioned Virginia, but never, so far as I know, Little Rock, Arkansas. Was he just keeping her secrets, or did he truly not know the whole story of her past?

Did he – as someone recently pointed out – know about her massive debts before he married her? or was it sprung on him afterwards? – Wouldn’t it be good to know the answer to that?

How much of what she said about her career and achievements was any more real than her supposed European ancestry and exotic birth locations? Possibly it was all just as she presented it to the public, but currently we don’t know. Did she really write for the Herald-Tribune? Or run the scenario department at Paramount? or start a massively successful talent agency? Was she an intrepid actress/agent/journo/screenwriter? or more of a serial failure at all of them?

In 1923, when she finally met the younger man she’d decided to marry two years earlier, she was 37, and had just written her last screenplay. She was Eunie Branch from Arkansas, unemployed screenwriter, of moderate talent and looks, but an impressive capacity for self-promotion. Was she looking for a willing new protector to rescue her from her stalling career and encroaching financial meltdown?

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175 thoughts on “a closer look at the second mrs Rathbone…

    • Can you imagine if we’d ever had the opportunity to know her what we’d find.Why keep changing the story of your beginnings,if they were very humble,you’d inspire so many people.I agree with the post that maybe she was taking things too far to overcompensate for humbler origins.But at the expense of your husband’s well-being.Sounds like when he collapsed in Ohio and was hospitalized,whether he was worried about wife and daughter finding out about him in the paper,it was a well appreciated rest of bliss for him.He was well-treated he said by very caring nuns.Our boy deserved the best because he gave his best and was forever kind and sensitive to others,that could be why he was close to his brother John and never seemed to trash anyone else.Everyone knows a good thing when they see it,even if they just want to laugh in that person’s face for what they perceive as weakness,but is actually strength of conviction.

  1. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but Ouida was definitely not some white trash type. She was a gracious lady and Hollywood Hostess, and a very successful screenwriter. I advise you to read Basil’s autobiography

  2. Pingback: Love from a Stranger (1937) – [Public Domain Movie] « mostly music

  3. SADLY, BASIL RATHBONE, LIKE HIS GOOD FRIEND VINCENT PRICE, WAS A CO-DEPENDENT— THIS MEANS A PERSON WHO HAS EXTREMELY LOW SELF-ESTEEM, AND WHO FEELS DEEPLY OBLIGATED TO PLEASE OTHERS, EVEN AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE…AND ULTIMATE SELF-DESTRUCTION. THEY ENJOY BEING TREATED LIKE GARBAGE BY THEIR PARTERS, SO THEY CAN KEEP REMINDING THEMSELVES OF HOW LITTLE THEY MATTER. CO-DEPENDENT PEOPLE TEND TO SEEK-OUT AND MARRY THOSE WITH NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER (LIKE BOTH BASIL’S WIFE OUIDA, AND VINCENT’S WIFE, CORAL). THESE WOMEN WERE ALSO UNFULFILLED, AND HAD LITTLE TO NO SELF-WORTH. BUT, A NARCISSIST WILL DESTROY OTHERS TO MAKE THEMSELVES FEEL SUPERIOR, WHILST THEIR COUNTERPART (THE CO-DEPENDENT) WILL BE INWARDLY-DESTRUCTIVE. NO ONE HAS MENTIONED THIS, BUT IT IS PAINFULLY APPARENT HERE.

    THE REASON BASIL LEFT HIS FIRST WIFE, WAS BECAUSE HE’D RETURNED FROM WWI A DAMAGED SOUL WITH MAJOR PTSD SYMPTOMS. HE COULDN’T DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT HE’D LOST BOTH HIS MOM AND LITTLE BROTHER, AND HAD FELT LIKE A TOTAL FAILURE AS A HUMAN BEING FOR IRRATIONAL REASONS HE BELIEVED TO BE TRUE. HE CAME BACK TO A LIFE HE NO LONGER RECOGNIZED— HOW COULD HE POSSIBLY BE THE RESPONSIBLE HUSBAND AND FATHER HIS WIFE AND SON SO BADLY NEEDED, WHEN, LIKE A FRIGHTENED CHILD, HE DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO MANAGE HIS OWN EXISTENCE? HE JUST WANTED TO ESCAPE AND MAKE IT ALL GO AWAY. (I KNOW THE EFFECTS OF PTSD QUITE WELL— MY DAD WAS IN WWII AND HIS DAD WAS IN WWI…AND I’M ONLY IN MY 30′S, BUT I UNDERSTAND THESE THINGS.) BASIL SLEPT AROUND AND USED DRUGS AND ALCOHOL BECAUSE HE WAS DYING INSIDE. THIS IS WHAT MEN DO WHEN THEY ARE IN PAIN…IT WAS HIS WAY OF REINFORCING HIS WORTHLESSNESS, BY DESECRATING HIS OWN BODY. HE WANTED SO BADLY TO COMMIT SUICIDE DURING THE WAR, BY TRYING TO GET HIMSELF KILLED. BUT, NO ONE KILLED HIM…SO, HE MARRIED SOMEONE WHO DID IT REALLY SLOWLY. SHE STOLE FROM HIM, TOOK AWAY ANY CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MIGHT PREVENT HIM FROM WORSHIPPING HER COMPLETELY, AND SPENT HIM INTO HIS GRAVE. YES. I TRULY BELIEVE HIS WIFE’S SELFISHNESS DUE TO HER MENTAL DISORDER, AS WELL AS HIS CHOOSING HER DUE TO HIS OWN, KILLED BOTH HIS PRECIOUS SPIRIT, AND HIS WEARY BODY. ALL THAT WORRY OVER MONEY, HIS DAUGHTER’S ILLNESS, BEING AN AGING STAR NO LONGER ABLE TO FIND RESPECTABLE WORK, HIS UNTREATED PTSD, THE EXTREME DISAPPOINTMENT HE FELT IN HIMSELF, AND THE COMPOUNDING STRESS OF LIVING WITH A PERSON INCAPABLE OF FEELING EMPATHY (WHILST POURING HIS TRUE LOVE OUT TO HER AND GETTING NONE IN RETURN), IS WHAT ENDED THE TERRIBLY LONELY LIFE OF BASIL RATHBONE.

    I CRY FOR HIM AND HIS NOW DECEASED, SWEET LITTLE FAMILY…I IMAGINE THEM TOGETHER, WAVING HAPPILY AT ME, SAYING “DON’T WORRY, KID…WE’RE ALL FINE, NOW”. I’D LIKE TO THINK THIS IS TRUE.

    • Hi Gretchen welcome to the blog discussion, I agree with your post totally. You seem like you have some kind of connection or inside information, are you connected to the wonderful Mr Rathbone or his family?

    • That is totally untrue. Ouida loved her husband dearly. Why insult Basil by saying he would stay with someone who was so cruel? There is no evidence for that and he did not have PSTD he was proud to serve his country!

    • So appreciate your observations.PTSD is a devastating condition.Do agree Vinnie & Baz were close as brothers.The Sun Never Sets was originally to have Vin & Baz as the brothersSad anyone has to put up with spousal abuse such as this narcissitic personality type.Must’ve taken everything he had to maintain composure in some film roles with tragic characters.

  4. The letter, which Basil wrote in the early 40s, that was posted on one of her other threads provides clear evidence that Basil indeed was suffering from PTSD. I don’t know whether Ouida can be paralleled with Vincent Price’s wife, Coral Brown, whom I believe was a successful British stage actress who occasionally did some films.

    • Gretchen,I beg to differ. I met Vincent and he was quite normal.And Funny, and likeable.I agree Coral wasnt good for Vincent,but he did seem happy with her.Even if nobody else liked her.She did not ‘ruin’him or drive him into the poor house,she did not spend all of his money. Nor would I call Coral some big famous star. And I realy dont see much of a comparison in the 2 cases.If Basil was still suffering from PTSD in the 1940s and the war[ww1] was over in 1918 he’d be pretty darn disfunctnal.Which he wasnt.Not every soilder comes back with PSTD. My father was in WW2 also.He did not suffer from PTSD and he came home wounded. I also had 2 step Grandpas in WW1.Also very normal. I also, like Alyssia,belive Basil was proud of his service to his country,or he would never have been involved in as much war work as he was in WW2.Dont mistake his being humbal for his being ashamed. I did read someplace he tried to join up but they wouldnt have him he was to old.I’m not saying he didnt go thru some sort of PTSD I think he did.He had a right to what with the war and 2 deaths in the family so close togather..but it lasting all of his life? I belive thats a bit far fetched.And please recant that statement about Achole and drugs there is NO evidence that Basil was either a drunk or a druggie. Those 2 things are all but imposible to hide in Hollyweird. NO one EVER said he was either of them.Alyssia IMHO I still dont think Ouida loved Basil not ever not at all not even a itty bitty bit!I think she ‘hitched her wagon to a star’.I’m sure she found him kind likeable and drop dead handsome.But from everything I’ve read I dont think she was capabale of love.There are people like that.Oh and I am not insulting Basil,I would never do that.I would love to have a conversation with you to try and understand just why you find Weedy so’golly gee wizz bang wonderfull’?I have never found a reason for Ouidas lies only PROOF that they are lies.

      • HI, COUNTESS! It’s nice to see people are actually READING my comments…YAY!! I’ve read some of yours, and they can be quite fun, witty, and enjoyable. :)

        I believe Basil was VERY PROUD to be British, and he never became a U.S. citizen for that reason. The Brits are some of the toughest fighters in war, and they don’t back-down or give-up…they kick-BUTT! In fact, the reason Baz chose Ferncliff Cemetery for his burial place, was because the landscape and gardens reminded him so much of his dear England. HOWEVER, he did try to put-off signing-up for as long as possible, since he wasn’t all that gung-ho about killing people and getting shot. He WAS able to get-out of battlefield service for the first 2 years…all-right, Baz! My dad HAD to go, ’cause he was drafted…and my grandpa was REQUIRED to serve, even though he was almost 30, ’cause he was in the German army. (SUPER-UNLUCKY!!) :(

        Now, as for the PTSD thing— Basil DID have it his ENTIRE life after the war. (If you haven’t studied psychological disorders, you might not know this, so I can understand.) A person with PTSD does not necessarily SHOW extreme symptoms, if they are high-functioning. My grandpa was DEEPLY depressed and withdrawn until he died at 63 from stomach cancer, due to years of stress. He hardly ever talked about his experiences in the war, it bothered him SO much. My dad, however, lived a fairly normal life and SEEMED alright…but, he wasn’t. From 1945 until his death in 2008, my dad spent EVERY SINGLE DAY thinking about WWII. (And, he was only on the front the last 6 months of the war…my grandpa was on the front for 4 straight YEARS, in WWI. Neither was wounded, at least not PHYSICALLY.) My dad OBSESSIVELY watched EVERY war documentary you can think of, from “Victory At Sea” in the ’50s to whatever was on the History Channel, at the time of his death…plus, reruns and videotapes of old episodes; and I mean CONSTANTLY. I’ve sat through SO many shows with him about other wars, as well (WWI, Korea, Vietnam, the Civil War, you name it). He never wanted anyone to “forget” what causes war, and the effects of it on guys like him— so it WON’T happen again. He’d sit there crying, watching these shows, and telling me stories…like how it was to see his friend blown-up right next to him, and all the meat lying around. He could still see it in his head, as if he was there. Stuff like that NEVER leaves a person…EVER. My dad died 2 days after his 83rd birthday. The war ended on his 20th birthday. HE SUFFERED FOR 63 STRAIGHT YEARS…that’s how many years my grandpa HAD LIVED…he died in 1950.

        Did you know that Basil had to shoot and KILL a person while on a mission? Who knows, there may have been others he didn’t talk about. Can you see how that would eat-at his gentle soul FOREVER? (If I even ACCIDENTALLY caused someone’s death, I COULDN’T forgive myself.) He wrote about this in one of his war-letters.

        PTSD DOES NOT GO AWAY…IT HAS TO BE TREATED WITH YEARS OF COUNSELING, POSSIBLY DRUGS SUCH AS ANTI-DEPRESSANTS, AND A NEW PROCESS WHICH USES RAPID-EYE-MOVEMENT TO HELP ALLEVIATE THE SYMPTOMS. BASIL DID NOT HAVE THIS AVAILABLE TO HIM, THEREFORE HE NEVER GOT BETTER…HE ONLY LEARNED TO MANAGE LIFE THE BEST HE COULD. IN THE ’60S, HE WENT INTO PANIC-MODE AND WAS INSTANTLY BACK IN WWI MENTALLY, WHEN THAT AIR-RAID SIREN WENT OFF AND WOKE HIM UP AT HIS HOTEL DURING ONE OF HIS LECTURE-TOURS. THIS WAS THE EFFECT OF PTSD— ALMOST 50 YEARS AFTER THE WAR HAD ENDED. IT NEVER GOES AWAY ON IT’S OWN. IT MAY DISSIPATE OVER TIME, BUT IT’S STILL ALWAYS THERE. EVEN IF A PERSON CHOOSES NOT TO TALK ABOUT IT, IT REMAINS WITH THEM. JUST ASK SOMEONE WHO WAS RAPED, MOLESTED AS A CHILD, OR WHO SURVIVED A HORRENDOUS PLANE-CRASH…YEARS LATER, THEY’RE STILL DEALING WITH THE NIGHTMARES.

        I CANNOT recant the statement about Basil using drugs and alcohol, because I read about it in his BIO on either this site, or one of the others. He probably WAS NOT a drug-addict or alcoholic, but he DID ABUSE pills and alcohol in order to function, at some point after returning home from war. This may have passed with time, as I don’t believe he continued this behavior.

        (SORRY THIS IS SOOO LONG, BUT I HAVE A LOT TO SAY!)

        Okay, so now I’ll get to Vincent and Coral. The reason I mentioned Coral in comparison to Ouida, was because both women most likely suffered from narcissistic personality disorder, and their husbands were very close friends. (I’ve always felt that Basil thought of Vincent like a little brother, he loved him SO much.) I know just about EVERYTHING one can possibly know about Vincent and his life, since I’ve read his daughter Victoria’s and his friend Lucy Chase Williams’ books about him, as well as ANYTHING I could find written online, for over 15 years, now. (I’ve also been pen-pals with his buddy Boris Karloff’s daughter Sara, and his friend Lucy C.W.) He was a SUPER-AWESOME dude, and I’ve deeply cared for and about him since I was a toddler…NOT KIDDING! Anyhow, so Vincent had some complex personality issues. He was deeply depressed, and was always searching for happiness…yet with all his wonderful adventures and talents and friends, seemed lost— and very lonely. He acted FINE on the outside…hiding how he felt from even his own family, because he always worried what others would think of him, and wanted to make everyone happy all the time (due to his co-dependency).

        PEOPLE WITH DEPRESSION USUALLY “APPEAR” NORMAL, BUT THEY AREN’T OKAY INSIDE…I KNOW. I’VE HAD DEPRESSION SINCE I WAS 12.

        Coral was just as much of a MONSTER to Vincent as Ouida was to Basil. Like Ouida, she changed her last name to sound more “posh”— from Brown to Browne. She was also ASHAMED of being from Australia, and even tried to disguise her accent to sound more English. After being Vincent’s secret mistress for some time, she wanted him to get an ANNULMENT from his 24-year (mostly happy) marriage to his 2nd wife Mary, so they could get married in the Catholic Church. This would have ALSO made his 11 year-old daughter Victoria illegitimate, and was a disgusting thing to even consider. His wife of course refused, and they got a divorce instead. (Vincent, being smitten with Coral, had actually asked his wife to go ALONG with her scheme!) Boy, she wasn’t much of a “Christian” now, was she? When he proposed, she didn’t think the diamond in the ring was “big” enough! EXCUSE me?? I’d die of JOY if he gave me a CIGAR-BAND…I mean, it’s VINCENT PRICE— The HUGEST sweetheart in the WORLD!! Then, if that wasn’t enough, she wouldn’t ALLOW Vincent to see his kids or grandkids, ’cause they came BETWEEN her and her man…especially his beloved daughter, whom he was extremely close to, and whom she was horribly JEALOUS of. So, during her adolescence, when she needed her daddy most, poor Tori hardly saw him for more than a few days at a time, months apart. Coral disliked his son Barrett, as well as most of his friends, and only invited HER FRIENDS over to the house, loving always to be the center of attention at every gathering. She was terribly vain, and wore only the BEST designer clothes and jewelry. She needed to have constant plastic surgeries to feel pretty (because of her insecurity), and even talked GORGEOUS Vincent into getting them as well, saying he had ugly bags under his eyes that needed “fixing”. (He was insecure about his image too, so he again went ALONG with it, and that makes me cry.) She HATED Christmas (most narcissists do, because they are unable to stand how very happy everyone is during this giving season of love, since they don’t know how to feel love or empathy), but Vincent was a total Christmas-fanatic (like me!)…she made him take her on a CRUISE each year during the holiday season, so she could forego the decorating, celebrating, and such. She even picked-out her OWN gifts for him to wrap, instead of letting HIM surprise her!! When invited out to dinner by friends, she NEVER let Vincent offer to pay the tab— something he’d ALWAYS done in the past, prior to meeting her (he was very gracious). She’d make him order the MOST EXPENSIVE item on the menu, saying “they’re RICH, they can AFFORD it”. She got him to cut-off 20-year friendships that were VERY dear to him, because she didn’t happen to “like” the people, or they interfered with her closeness to him…isolating him more and more. None of his friends could understand how he allowed her to alienate him from them, and talk him into doing things that went against his very nature. She was possessive and controlling of EVERY move he made— in the ’80s, when he’d befriended a man who shared his passion for art, and they began spending time together at museums and stuff, Coral accused Vincent of CHEATING on her, believing that just because he was bisexual that meant this man HAD to be his lover, even though Vincent would never THINK to cheat on someone he was so passionately in-love with. He ended his friendship, and never saw the man again, to please her. (How SAD.) Her extreme jealousy toward anyone or anything he loved RUINED his life, and broke his poor heart. She beat him down in any way she could, to keep him “in line”. There came a point in his marriage to her that he actually began to FEAR her. This relationship was VERY emotionally abusive, and quite DANGEROUS for Vincent. It worried me to know this…I wish I could have helped him; but being a co-dependent, he would have denied there was a problem, and actually DEFENDED his abuser. The SADDEST kick-in-the-crotch Coral left him with in the end, was after her death from breast cancer, in 1991. During the ENTIRE time he’d known her, she’d proclaimed how “poor” she was, spending HIS money more than her own, on her extravagant lifestyle. (Vincent was irrationally fearful of running-out of money most of his life, which was strange, since he was from a very wealthy family, and this disorder usually occurs in those raised in poverty. He also had amassed quite a small fortune in collectible art, as well as from his successful acting career, and the inheritance from his parents.) When he read Coral’s will, he was both astonished and sickened to discover that she had a HUGE estate of both properties AND monies, worth SEVERAL MILLION dollars— all UNKNOWN to him! Not only that, but she wasn’t leaving ANY of it to him, except the INTEREST on a small portion of it…the rest, she donated to various charities and foundations. It was like a total slap in the face to Vincent. Had he ever really KNOWN who this person WAS after 18 years?…and she did it with FULL knowledge of his fears about money. That really gets me. Basically, while she stashed-away her fortune secretly during her acting career, she spent HIS money so she wouldn’t have to spend her OWN. What hurt him the most had nothing to do with the MONEY…it was the realization that the TRUST he had placed in his marriage to her had been BROKEN. A married couple is meant to SHARE their income with one-another, and not keep SECRETS from each other, to be a HEALTHY relationship. Vincent was deeply angered and felt BETRAYED. Even his friends couldn’t believe she had done this. Perhaps now, you can better understand why I compared Ouida and Basil with Coral and Vincent. THE SIMILARITIES ARE UNQUESTIONABLE.

        Like I’ve mentioned prior, the co-dependent and narcissist relationship is a VERY dangerous one. It strips the co-dependent of his individuality and makes him SUBSERVIENT to his spouse, rather than an equal. The narcissist is always in the foreground, taking-in all the attention and praise they so desperately thrive-on, while the co-dependent quietly steps-back from the spotlight, handing-over the glory, giving the narcissist whatever they want that makes them happy— always having to please, in order to keep the peace and prevent any conflict. Why? Because the co-dependent feels he DESERVES it. He’s NOT WORTHY of more. He PUNISHES HIMSELF. Vincent and Basil were non-confrontational. They didn’t like upsetting anyone, and even did things they weren’t proud of, just to pacify a situation, or a person. This sounds like irrational behavior, because it IS…these were VERY damaged people— and that INCLUDES their wives, who couldn’t help the way THEY were, either. Basil’s co-dependency was actually a DIRECT result of his war-experiences, and the SELF-DEPRECATING THOUGHTS brought-on by them. Otherwise, he would’ve married into a HEALTHY relationship. Poor Baz!!

        OKAY, THIS HAS GONE-ON LONG ENOUGH!!
        (SUPER-EMPHASIS ON THE “LONG”!)
        THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A BASIL-BLOG, NOT A VINCENT ONE! I TOLD YOU I HAD A LOT TO SAY…I TALK TOO MUCH, ANYHOW. IF YOU HAVEN’T FALLEN ASLEEP WHILE READING THIS YET, I HOPE YOU LIKED IT. (BOY, MY FINGERS ARE TIRED!) :)

        • Wow Gretchen I’m so glad you are posting here! Don’t worry about people reading your post. I read ALL of them. They are fascinating. Ignore Alyssia she’s just the resident nutball :razz:

        • Hi Gretchen. I’d never heard anything about Coral and Vincent before, but it sure sounds like you are describing Ouida! And Vincent defending C and going along with her insane suggestions! It’s just like Basil and Ouida! I keep asking myself why he let her do the things she did. wow.

        • Once worked privately w/retired surgeon whose live-in companion was master manipulator,couldn’t get on w/his son,wouldn’t allow his grandkids over when she was there.Always wondered why he always told me “Gee,it’s always so good to see you”.Made her blood boil.I tried to crawl into woodwork when she flew around on her broomstick.And she was so sweet to housekeeper’s face,but critical when she left as being worthless.Had always thought Coral sounded okay,now I know otherwise.Maybe Vinnie was one of few who reallyknew Baz,or few he confided real truth too,not H’wood bs.After all,image was everything,and OR seemed to make out as a Saint.And who ever said she was white trash?Don’t think the H’wood prior to 60s-70s anyone acted like they were,maybe fabricated bios,but to call anyone White Trash?Poorer beginnings don’t necessarily mean someone doesn’t know how to be a lady or gentleman.Acting up gets the headlines,but not necessarily a career boost.For all the womanizers in H’wood heyday,very few seemed to enjoy inflicting pain on anyone.And let’s face it,some H’wood excesses were due to emotional/psych probs,as Bipolar disorder,past abusive relationships.I know it couldn’t be easy living with a user/narcissist,but Vinnie & Baz had class.Sad for the kids,tho that a step-mom had to interfere.

      • I also think I remember reading something about Basil using drugs and alcohol to excess (but I can’t remember where I read it!). But that was describing his behavior after the war and in the early 1920s, not while he was in Hollywood. Basil credited Ouida with saving him from his destructive lifestyle. I’m sure it was an interview for a magazine in which Basil said that if he hadn’t met Ouida, he would have been dead before he was forty.

        • As was said about his later performances as AH,after Spider woman?how his eyes seemed to be dead,he appeared unhealthy,wonder what or who the cause was.He was not all he could’ve been in his career,for whatever reason,and that can never be corrected.Maybe related to S Greenstreet’s relating tale of affairs w/a husband and then his wife,maybe OR made his life hell for having whatever joy in life he could w/o her permiso.Life is too short to have to deal w/a b-on-wheels.

  5. THE REASON I USE CAPS LOCK IS ‘CAUSE I’M LAZY WHEN IT COMES TO CONSTANTLY USING THE SHIFT BUTTON TO CAPITALIZE AND PUNCTUATE STUFF…TEE-HEE! SORRY IF IT BUGS EVERYBODY, BUT THAT’S JUST ME. PLUS, IT GETS MY THOUGHTS NOTICED, AND I CAN FIND MY POSTS EASIER— THAT, AND THE LITTLE ORANGE ALIEN-GUY I GOT AS MY AVATAR…YAY!!
    (I MIGHT TRY NOT TO USE IT SO MUCH WHEN WRITING LONGER PASSAGES, IN THE FUTURE.)

    IN REPLY TO ROBERTA— NO, I DON’T HAVE ANY CONNECTION TO BASIL’S FAMILY…I’M JUST REALLY INSIGHTFUL, AND I’VE ALWAYS BEEN GOOD AT PSYCHOLOGICALLY EVALUATING PEOPLE AND THEIR ISSUES. I HAVE, HOWEVER, WRITTEN TO AND RECIEVED A LETTER FROM THE NOW LATE EDWARD HARDWICKE, WHO PLAYED WATSON ON PBS’ SHERLOCK HOLMES SERIES IN THE ’80S-’90S, ALONGSIDE JEREMY BRETT. (I LOVE JEREMY, TOO!) EDWARD TOLD ME HE THOUGHT BASIL, BORIS KARLOFF, AS WELL AS MY OTHER FAVE, VINCENT PRICE, AND JEREMY, WERE ALL CLASS-ACTS. ED’S DAD, OF COURSE, WAS ALSO THEIR DEAR FRIEND, SIR CEDRIC HARDWICKE— ANOTHER SUPER-AWESOME GUY!

    I HAVE SEEN SOME OF ALYSSIA’S PREVIOUS COMMENTS…AND ALTHOUGH I BELIEVE SHE LOVES, RESPECTS, AND ENJOYS BASIL AND HIS WORK, SHE ISN’T FAMILIAR WITH THE FACTS OF HIS SAD LIFE, AND THE PROBLEMS OF HIS SECOND MARRIAGE. PERHAPS SHE IS UNAWARE BECAUSE SHE HASN’T STUDIED HIM IN DEPTH.

    ANYWAY, SO AS TO HER COMMENT ON PTSD— SADLY, HE DID SUFFER TERRIBLY WITH POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. MOST PEOPLE ARE UNAWARE OF HOW IT EFFECTS THE HUMAN PSYCHE. HIS SYMPTOMS WERE OBVIOUS…EMOTIONAL AGITATION AND A DEEPLY- DEPRESSIVE MENTAL STATE, IRRATIONAL ANGER AT HIS BROTHER FOR DYING— AND AT HIMSELF FOR LIVING, SUICIDAL TENDANCIES, DEBILITATING GUILT AND SHAME, LETTING OTHERS MAKE HIS DECISIONS FOR HIM BECAUSE LIFE BECAME TOO OVERWHELMING, DENYING HIS OWN WONDERFULLY APPARENT ATTRIBUTES, THE CHOICE OF AN UNHEALTHY PARTNERSHIP, AND WORST OF ALL, THE FEELING THAT HE DIDN’T DESERVE BETTER. YOU MUST REMEMBER, HE SPENT 2 YEARS IN A LIVING HELL ON EARTH. THIS CREATES A SHOCK TO THE BODY AND BRAIN, WHICH CAUSES A COMPLETE CHANGE IN THE PERSONALITY AND WAY OF THINKING. (MY GRANDPA WAS ON THE WESTERN FRONT THE ENTIRE 4 YEARS OF WWI— WITH NO RELIEF. HE LOST A BROTHER TO A BAYONET ATTACK, AND ANOTHER TO TUBERCULOSIS…ONLY ONE OF HIS 3 BROTHERS CAME HOME. THE ONCE GENTLE PERSON MY GRANDMA MARRIED RETURNED AS AN ABUSIVE AND DAMAGED MAN…AND HIS DARK BROWN HAIR HAD TURNED SNOW-WHITE.) BASIL LIVED WITH THE FILTH OF MUD AND THE STENCH OF DEATH EVERY DAY, AND WADED THROUGH THE VOMITOUS REMNANTS OF BLOODY FLESH THAT WERE ONCE HIS FRIENDS…HE HEARD DEAFENING GUNFIRE AND EXPLOSIONS 24 HOURS A DAY, NONSTOP. HE CONSTANTLY FEARED BEING KILLED, UNABLE TO SLEEP OR EAT PROPERLY, OR EVEN BATHE REGULARLY; NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT HE WAS FORCED TO SHOOT AND KILL SOMEONE DURING A MISSION. I CAN’T IMAGINE HOW THIS TAKING OF A YOUNG LIFE MUST HAVE ALSO AFFECTED HIM. (HE MAY HAVE KNOWINGLY KILLED OTHERS IN BATTLE, BUT ONLY THE ONE INCIDENT WAS MENTIONED IN HIS LETTER.) HIS BODY AND MIND WERE ON HIGH-ALERT AT ALL TIMES— NO REST. YES HE SURVIVED, BUT HE WAS DEAD, NONTHELESS. NO ONE CAN UNDERSTAND THE EXTREME DEVISTATION OF A HUMAN BEING BY THESE STRESSFUL CIRCUMSTANCES, UNLESS THEY THEMSELVES ARE A SOLDIER, OR HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER WHO IS. I’M NOT “INSULTING” BASIL BY ADMITTING HE SUFFERED UNNECCISSARILY BECAUSE OF A WAR HE DIDN’T WANT TO BE IN. ALSO, HAVING PTSD DID NOT MAKE HIM LESS PATRIOTIC AS A BRITISH CITIZEN…THIS PERSON IS EITHER MISINFORMED, OR JUST DOESN’T CHOOSE TO MAKE AN EFFORT TO READ ONE LETTER BASIL EVER WROTE WHILE ON THE FRONT, OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT HIS LIFE, WHATSOEVER…CURIOUS.

    NARCISSISTS ARE GOOD CON-ARTISTS. THEY USE CHARM, WIT, AND THE IDEA OF “LOVE” TO WIN PEOPLE OVER. OUIDA EQUATED LOVE AND HAPPINESS WITH POPULARITY, SUCCESS, BEAUTY, AND LIFESTYLE, BECAUSE HER BRAIN WAS INCAPABLE OF GIVING OR RECEIVING ACTUAL LOVE. SHE WAS A DAMAGED, UNHAPPY PERSON. I TOO WANT TO BELIEVE SHE TRULY LOVED HIM, BUT HER OWN ACTIONS DISPROVE THIS— YES, SHE “LOVED” BASIL; BY CONTROLLING, OWNING AND POSSESSING EVERY ASPECT OF HIM, BECAUSE OF HER UNDERLYING FEAR OF LOSS AND ABANDONMENT. THIS IS A DANGEROUS AND EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY FORM OF LOVING SOMEONE. I FEEL VERY SORRY FOR HER, BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T REALLY EVER ENJOY BASIL AS A BEST FRIEND, A LOVER, A COMPANION— SHE WAS TOO BUSY SPENDING HIS MONEY ON HERSELF TO IMPRESS OTHERS. HE WAS WILLING TO LIVE WITH LESS TO GIVE HER MORE, ALL OUT OF LOVE THAT COULD NEVER BE RETURNED…THIS IS SO TERRIBLY SAD. :(

  6. Wow I’m tired reading your post,you must have typers cramps by now, 1st let me say Hi and say I’m not tryiong to be your enemy. Realy! I simply took ofence at the drugs and drink part. I too have been crazy over Vinny for probly longer then you have been on this earth,I’m sorry your father went through such a bad time during and after the war.I realy dont have time tonight to go ito a full answer of your posts ,I have read them all compleatly and yes I will coment but not tonight. I have to work tomorrow and am leaving for a weekend renactment tomorrow evening,so I want time to digest ,before I answer. But no I’m not a psyc Dr. And the closet I could bost to that is I took Socoligy in highschool. I dont mine your CAPS.if you wont mind my miss spellings. Oh and just i more thing..I think we agree on more points then we differ..I also dont dislike Alyssia I just like to poke her a bit and remind her that she has repededly prommised us things she cant or wont follow through on.

    • VINCENT LOVERS, UNITE!! :)

      Countess, thanks for answering my SUPER-LONG post! I’m not a psychologist, EITHER…if you can believe it, I’m SELF-TAUGHT. I’ve just always been intrigued by human behavior and mental disorders, as well as criminal psychology. It’s pretty NEAT stuff. So, I’ve read books about it, looked-it-up online, as well as watched programs on the various subjects I find most interesting. (Also, I’ve learned a LOT from listening to Dr. Drew on “LOVELINE” over the years…he’s one SMART guy!)

      I JUST completed one more LONG post under “a closer look at the 2nd Mrs. Rathbone, III” blog. It explains in great detail the REASONS behind narcissistic personality disorder. I find it quite FASCINATING how the human mind works.

      OH…and I wrote a FUNNY story about me and my brother seeing John Inman in PERSON in 1997, under your comment that mentioned him briefly. Just thought you might like to read it, even if it’s NOT Basil-related!

  7. The 2nd Mrs R reminds me of the season ending “Elementary” SH TV show.Irene Adler is really Moriarty.OR is Eula/Eunie born or was it conceived on train to Madrid,was Russian,no French/Brit/Spanish,no wait,from the USA,Clinton country.Clinton a smart man,and nothing gainst anyone born anywhere in our fine country,love it or be danged any USA-haters.Think Miltern fed her ego,so he was fun to have around.Friend to both Baz & Eunie,maybe served as her gofer until Baz came along nd was gofer to both,placing bets,maybe helped get over her marriage to George before he got smart and found another after she glommed onto Baz and started wrecking his life.Wonder what she pulled on Marion while supposedly befriending her to orchestrate father and child reunion.Did Jack get to know Rodion?Looked like OR had a single bed in pics from H’wood home.Must’ve shared w her only friend.

  8. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long
    comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway,
    just wanted to say great blog!

  9. Yup…that sure sounds like Ouida, alright—only I’d replace the word “dogs” with “husbands”.

    (She’d NEVER hit her dogs!) ;)

  10. I love it when you look at the pics taken in there houses and thers almost always a dog sleeping on the couch a chair under a table at dog here a dog there.dont it make Basils house look comfy and homey..Like pull up a chair sit down..wait kick the dog off 1st.

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