ARTWORK, PHOTOS

Baz and Livvy again

Another interesting – and also thought-provoking – photo-montage by I Love Ida Lupino on tumblr.

Sooo…what do we think about Baz and Livvy?

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132 Comments

  1. I’m closing comments in this thread as there’s over 100 of them already and it’s beginning to get cumbersome to load and hard to read. Feel free to continue on another post.

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  2. Hannah says

    I have a theory about who it might be, but I am just guessing or putting things together. Because this person’s husband was gay and there was that rumor that Basil had an affair with a girl whose husband was gay, and I just have a feeling it’s her. I don’t know if I should say though as I don’t want to mess anything up.

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    • Just FYI for everyone, I’m not going to confirm or deny any guesses you might make. I confirmed that the woman is deceased, so that eliminates a few women (Patricia Morison, Olivia deHavilland). That’s all you’re going to get. The woman that you are thinking of, Hannah, may have had an affair with Rathbone, and still not be the same woman who received these letters. I never said that the woman who received these letters was married.

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      • Hannah says

        lol I don’t think I should in case I am right πŸ˜€

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  3. Barb says

    Would it be possible for the admin of this ite to post a copy of the letter? It feels quite of having this protracted discussion about something that isn’t even on this site. Perhaps Marcia should open a discussion forum

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  4. Peg says

    I don’t understand what the need for secrecy is IF the lady in question is deceased. Unless there’s a child involved. Is that it? 😯

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    • Before she died, the lady in question stipulated that her relationship with Rathbone should not be made public as long her her daughter is alive. (Her daughter is not Rathbone’s daughter,) So we are honoring her wishes.

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      • Levasseur Fan says

        God this is amazing! I can only guess at why (and of course you shouldn’t feel under pressure from his fans to let stuff out of the bag) but it’s just so intriguing. Someone has to make this a book and tell all! If they can. Will they ever be allowed to?

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        • Once the daughter has passed away, there is no reason to keep the woman’s identity secret, so I imagine that all will be revealed in time.

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          • Jemma Wise says

            Thank you Marcia. Could you tell us how many letters there are and what kind of a time period they cover?

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            • I’ve seen about ten letters, but there may be more that I haven’t seen. Some are undated, but the ones that are dated are from the 1940s. I think that all but one are from the 1940s. One was written much later, 1963, I think. From what he writes, I think that the woman offered to send him money. (I am speculating. We don’t have her letter. Basil wrote: “But please trust I know the good and generous heart that made you do it and I could only ever be thankful for that. God bless you my darling. Do I need I to tell you how it felt to hear from you and see your so well-remembered handwriting or all the rest of everything it meant to this silly, sad, old man?”
              He refers to himself as a silly, sad old man! I feel like crying.

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              • GRETCHEN says

                Although he was no-longer her lover, it sounds like he was STILL quite attached to her emotionally— AND, sentimentally. “All the rest of everything it meant”, was his way of saying: “our past sexual and loving relationship, and my wonderful memories of it”. He must have felt TRAPPED in his marriage to Ouida…I’ll bet he would’ve JUMPED into bed with that woman again, if he’d had the chance, EVEN in his 70s! He probably felt spiritually and sexually DEAD inside…how very SAD. NO person should have to feel this way, ESPECIALLY in their last years of life. 😦

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              • Levasseur Fan says

                Wow….

                10 love letters from Baz.

                Wow. Lucky girl.

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              • Roberta says

                Oh my goodness, I know we can’t see them, but I wish we could! That last letter sounds so sad. Was he still in love with her?

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      • Sea Biscuit says

        So, was the lady quite famous? A movie star? Thanks so much for publishing this. Absolutely fascinating. I even got my hubbie interested enough to read the letter. I also like Claude Rains btw and in my mind the person who posts under that name looks just like him!

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      • Margaret G says

        It really is like the opening of a great novel by A.S. Byatt. πŸ™‚

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  5. Odette says

    Is there just the two letters? I am just thinking maybe the person isn’t really deceased and that is why her name is being held back. I’m just stuck on it being Olivia de Havilland, or perhaps her sister Joan Fontaine?

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    • Dolores says

      Did this question get an answer? I would also love to know how many letters there are. They are so revealing of him as a private person! And very beautiful. I think he really loves this woman.

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  6. rosebette says

    I think we need to withhold judgment on Basil’s character. While he may have had quite a few affairs in his youth, I don’t think I’d call him a “playboy.” Basil must have been fairly discreet, and unlike some men in Hollywood (Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power), he did not have a reputation as a philanderer or someone who brags about his exploits. If his marriage with Ouida was unhappy, it’s not surprising that he had affairs. Perhaps this was part of the “deal”, appearing the perfect couple in public, giving Ouida what she wanted materially, but dealing with his own needs elsewhere. B’s giving in to Ouida’s material demands may also have been the exchange for her allowing him a certain amount of freedom. About Marcia’s new page, not everything she’s posting “proves” he was promiscuous, just that there may have been other women. Some of the information is speculation; after all, lots of people told stories about Marlene Dietrich — her sexual proclivities were fairly well known. That doesn’t mean B had an affair with her. Like Marcia, I discount the rumors of relationships with men, which come from unreliable sources.

    The tone of the letter Marcia’s posted is more than that of someone just sleeping around; it sounds like a fairly serious affair, and that he is torn: “This is a kind of hell isn’t it. Not sure how its to be endured. God willing we will find some way.” If there were affairs before, but Ouida never attempted suicide, the suicide attempt probably indicates that this indeed was a deep love affair with the potential of ending their marriage.

    About Basil “lying” in his autobiography, would you publish information about a painful episode in your marriage? And if Ouida had a hand in the autobiography, she wouldn’t be about to reveal this. I don’t think they were the type of people to air their dirty laundry in public.

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    • Have to say I agree with everything you say Rosebette. We don’t know the circumstances surrounding this relationship and so shouldn’t rush to conclusions.

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      • GRETCHEN says

        This is VERY TRUE, Rosebette! πŸ™‚

        I mentioned in a comment several weeks ago that the reason Basil would EVER “lie” about anything in writing which might pertain (negatively) to his life with Ouida, would be to PROTECT his family from any kind of BAD PUBLICITY. He was the kind of person who would NOT want to embarrass himself or his wife and children like that, in front of the WHOLE WORLD!! One must understand that when a person becomes “famous”, they LOSE their anonymity FOREVER. This is something most people are usually OBLIVIOUS to, and these “fans” clamor for the next big piece of JUICY GOSSIP. They have NO empathy for others. Celebrities must remain quite GUARDED because of this. I prefer to leave people ALONE. I’m not impressed by a person’s FAME or SOCIAL STATUS, only by their GOODNESS…and, it seems, Basil had an AWFUL-LOT of that! I also don’t judge someone BADLY based-upon the WRONGS they have committed— because we have ALL done wrong, and it isn’t OUR place to judge. I love Basil AND Ouida, and I’m SORRY things didn’t go well for them…they BOTH had troubles which led to their problems together.

        His autobiography was also written while his wife was still ALIVE, which meant he couldn’t throw dirt at her without HUGE repercussions at home!! (That would be a BIG OOPSY! :)) He wasn’t one to talk about people in a BAD way, and I DOUBT he’d ever purposely disclose the TRUTH of what went-on…we only know anything at ALL, because of what his friends, family, and acquaintances have said…along with slight “hints” in some of his writings. If he WAS a co-dependent, he would be VERY self-conscious of how others viewed him and his life, and would want to be SURE no-one thought things about him (OR his family) that reflected in a NEGATIVE way, even AFTER his death.

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        • GRETCHEN says

          I also wanted to say that Basil fell DEEPLY in love with many of the women he had affairs with…it wasn’t JUST for sexual gratification in EVERY case. As I’ve said in prior comments, he MAY have been a LOVE-ADDICT. He’s seemingly in LOVE with someone different ALL the time, going from one to the next quite RAPIDLY, so this would make SENSE.

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          • HRD says

            I think I know who this woman is, and if it is this woman then she was no casual fling that’s for sure

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            • Ken says

              Oh dear, with all this secrecy Claude will be starting to think it was a man!

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            • Claude Rains says

              Good God why is everyone being so desperately coy about this?

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          • Amomwholovesbasil says

            You can’t fsll “deeply” in love all the time. That’s just superficial. I would have thought Basil had more depth.

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    • Amomwholovesbasil says

      Well if it was a serious affair and a one-off I’d feel a lot more sympathetic. I’m a bit confused about how much is known and how much Marcia is assuming. Is there just the one letter? It’s hard for his fans to judge when we don’t know how muh we don’t know so to speak. It’s not my business of course but as a long term fan I care about the question. I don’t much like the picture of him as serially cheating on his wife and driving her to despair so she tries to kill herself. That’s cruel and selfish.

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      • You say you’re confused about how much is known. Of course there’s a difference between how much is known and how much can be proven. If your friend tells you that she knows her husband is having an affair, but she has no photos or texts as proof, does that make her statement untrue? The two letters posted on my website are proof of one extramarital affair. Based on what I’ve been told, I believe there were more affairs. But I have not found proof of other affairs. You may certainly choose to believe that there was only one affair. That particular relationship was the one that drove Ouida to attempt suicide. She may not have really been trying to kill herself, but rather crying out for attention. I don’t know the details, but I can imagine how she might have felt. She may have known that the maid would find her in time to save her. This is speculation, but I believe Ouida could control Basil by threatening suicide. He had to take her seriously because she had attempted it.

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        • Ken says

          I feel a little confused myself. Do you know the lady’s name? For once I agree with Claude – what’s all the coyness about? Is it possible the letter has another explanation? from everything I have read about Basil and Ouida it just seems so hard to picture so much melodrama as suicide and what not. Tea on the lawn seems more the sort of thing I associate with Basil’ home life. Not hanky panky of any kind.

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          • I don’t own the letters, but they were sent to me. In order to publish them on my website, I had to agree to not reveal the name of the woman who was involved with Basil. I’m not trying to be coy; I am abiding by the restrictions put in place by the owner of the letters, I don’t think that knowing the woman’s name is as important as knowing that Basil did in fact have at least one extramarital affair. It blows apart the image we all had of Basil’s and Ouida’s blissfully happy marriage. It proves that that image was “just for show”–the public image–and that privately, their marriage was not so blissful. I used to be like Alyssia, thinking that Basil and Ouida were soulmates, happily married, and he would NEVER have cheated on her. Though it’s sad to learn that they didn’t live “happily ever after,” I am fascinated to learn more about what Basil was really like. I want to know about the real Basil, not just the public image.

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            • Kaitlyn says

              Couldn’t agree more and thanks for doing such amazing research

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            • Amomwholovesbasil says

              I appreciate what you say Marcia but I think it would help to know who it was. There would be a world of difference between it being Joan Crawford or Jane Bryan (just to give two random examples). Who she was would help us, or me anyway, get some idea of how to put it in perspective and to understand what Basil was looking for (apart from the obvious). Was the girl an innocent who hoped he would leave his wife or was she a more experienced woman who was in it for what he was in it for. I am making the assumption he was being quite cynical and wasn’t in love with her from what you have said.

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              • rosebette says

                AMOMWHOLOVESBASIL, what you need to think about is to whom does Marcia “owe” this information? While it might “help” you and others on this blog to know exactly who the woman is, Marcia is also obliged to protect the privacy of that person, if that was one of the conditions of the letters being released to her. I wouldn’t make any assumptions that Basil was being quite cynical — that’s not the tone of those letters. Also, sometimes people are not “looking for” something in an affair — sometimes, things just happen, people connect, and an affair results.

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                • Amomwholovesbasil says

                  I didn’t mean to express that I or anyone had a right to know. I am just saying I don’t agree with Marcia that who it is doesn’t matter. I think who it is matters a lot as it tells us also who Basil was. I do understand why Marcia can’t say anything more.

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                  • rosebette says

                    For me, what matters is that Basil was deeply in love with someone, and that his marriage to Ouida was not what it seemed. Whether this woman was famous or not does not take away from the poignance of the situation. For whatever reason, he ultimately sacrificed this relationship and “saved” his marriage. I also believe that B. had survivor’s guilt because he lived through WWI and his brother died, and that for some reason he didn’t “deserve” complete happiness. This may have been his own nature, and also something related to the British sense of honor — when one is called upon, one sacrifices oneself, whatever the cost.

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            • Ken says

              Good grief. It all sounds very film noir. Did you meet the chap in shadowy alley? πŸ˜€

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        • GRETCHEN says

          WOW, this whole “affair” thing is turning into it’s OWN movie-plot!! πŸ™‚

          However many chicks (OR dudes) he slept-with in his lifetime is completely IRRELEVANT to how well he could ACT, or how SWEET a guy he was! Is the value of a person’s worth solely based-upon the quality of their SEX-LIFE?? Whether he banged 5 or 500 people, it DOESN’T influence how I feel about him!! I STILL think Basil’s COOL, no matter WHAT. πŸ™‚

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          • Hally says

            Funny you should say its turning into a movie bec I think it should be made into a movie!!! I also want to say I shared the scan of the letter on Tumblr and ask Marcia Jessen if that is ok to do? I didnt think about it at the time! If its not ok I will take it down!

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            • GRETCHEN says

              I too, think Basil’s life-story would make an AMAZING film…but, WHO would look-like (and have the SAME athletic abilities as) him?? NO one can COPY Basil, only honor him with a SIMILAR actor to play his role. I’m sure there’s a handsome young Brit out there SOMEWHERE looking for a break, who’s been on the stage for YEARS without any major recognition. However, he’d have to possess that VOICE, that STATURE, those EYES, those MOVES— alas, there will NEVER be another BAZ!! πŸ™‚

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              • Caroline Panthers Fan says

                It would be almost impossible to find anyone as charismatic AND handsome. I’m racking my brains right now

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  7. FELIX THE CAT says

    Does anyone know why Ouida tried to kill herself?

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    • She found out that her husband was having an affair! Her world was crumbling and she feared Basil would leave her for the other woman. See Gretchen’s comment above. She hit the nail on the head.

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      • Glenys says

        So the fault wasn’t all one way. If he was cheating on her with other women it might explain some of her resentment and why she thought nothing of spending all his money.

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        • Yes, she may have been punishing him by spending his money. And perhaps the reason he put up with it was that he felt he deserved to be punished.

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          • Margaret G says

            Hmmm from your position of knowing the whole story do YOU think he deserved to be punished?

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            • I don’t know the whole story. In fact, from what I’ve learned about Ouida, I can’t understand why Basil stayed with her. The fact that he did suggests to me that there must be more about her and him that we don’t know. It’s intriguing to me that their relationship is such a mystery! And no, I don’t think he deserved to be punished, but Basil may have felt he deserved it. It seems that Basil couldn’t forgive himself for surviving WWI when his brother John did not, and I don’t understand it. There’s a lot about him that I don’t understand.

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              • Margaret G says

                I’m glad you think he wasn’t just being a rat.

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  8. Amomwholovesbasil says

    I’m slightly dismayed that Basil was apparently a serial adulterer who put his wife trough such hell she tried to top herself. He doesn’t seem very worried or concerned about her in the letter,spends all his time drooling over Miss X whoever she was.And he lied completely in his autobiography. Didn’t mention he was jus like all the rest and boffing starlets left right and center. Hope none of them were dumb enough to fall for him. I feel very disappointed in him, but will always love him, much like his poor long suffering wife. 😦

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  9. rosebette says

    Since Marcia stated that the person involved is no longer living, I think Olivia would not be the woman, since she’s still alive.

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    • Caroline Panthers Fan says

      Linda Darnell? Someone already said that didn’t they. Does Marcia Jessen know who it was? Ooh this is so intriguing.

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      • I do know who the recipient of the letters was, but she was only ONE of Basil’s many extramarital dalliances. It just happens that we have proof of only the one affair.

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        • Glenys says

          If you only have proof of one how do you know there were many?

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          • Hearsay. You’re right, i don’t KNOW for a fact that there were many affairs, but I believe that there were based on reports I’ve received or read from several different people. It’s unlikely that they would all be lying.

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  10. roberta says

    Wow thanks for the update.I’m a bit stunned by the letter from the 1940’s! It looks obvious from it that Basil was having an affair with someone. Was it a big star? Why did it end? The letter is so tender and passionate and reads like a man very much in lve. I’m so fascinated and intrigued.

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    • Why did it end? Perhaps because Basil had decided to stay with Ouida and Cynthia, and therefore it was painful to keep seeing a woman he couldn’t really be with. The solution? Move to New York. Put some distance between them. That’s my theory.

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      • Margaret G says

        I notice you posted this on the page about Basil and Livvy even though its not the latest post. It’s not intended as a hint is it? I would very much not be surprised if it was Olivia, but oh my goodness what a shock turnaround for her biography as well as Basil’s.

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        • Oh, I didn’t think it fit under the category of “Kind Lady” or “Happy Birthday to the Baz.” This seemed to be the appropriate place for a discussion of relationships. I didn’t mean it as a hint, although perhaps my subconscious mind led me in this direction. Olivia is certainly a possibility.

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      • Baker Street Babe says

        Are u just guessing or do u have additional info u r holding back? Not being rude or pushy, just asking lol is there going 2 b a big reveal?

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        • I wrote “That’s my theory” above to make it clear that it’s a theory. I don’t have all the answers. And no, there isn’t going to be a big reveal. This is it, I think.

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      • Roberta says

        Was it a love affair or a casual fling? Did he truly want to be with her? I think he may have been quite a lad!

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    • Elaine Drury says

      Goodness this is quite hard to take in. How much is public knowledge about the affair? This letter (following) suggests a lot of pain and angst. Ouida attempted suicide? Is the person the same one who was interviewed in the segment published on here? Is she still living?

      Well darling, Mrs (unclear, H?) & I have finished a wonderful evening going round locking away all sharp objects and all the medications. It’s 2.30am. Everyone is asleep. C was awake a while ago with a nightmare and soaking wet. We lost her rabbit (the little brown one) and I had to hunt him up before she would settle. She’s fast asleep in my bed now. Such a small sad little thing she looks all curled up.

      This is a kind of hell isn’t it. Not sure how its to be endured. God willing we will find some way. β€”

      I’m so desperately sorry my darling [NAME] β€” for this awful wretchedness when your little cup is already so full. I can’t bear to see you so pale & jumping at every little sound, and worst of all knowing I am only bringing more pain. Don’t fret about me, all is quiet now, promise me you will eat & sleep. β€”

      I’ll call you but not tonight β€” reach me via the Bruces.

      All my love is with you dearest girl

      B

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      • Peg says

        So who was Mrs H and who was the woman? He writes to her very protectively as if she was maybe a lot younger than he was. Someone he worked with? Anyone suggested Linda Darnell?

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        • Mrs. H was the housekeeper. I don’t know what her name was. (Mrs. Hudson?) Maybe those census records that the Countess found have the housekeeper’s name on them. I can’t reveal who the woman was. She was one of many extramarital relationships that Basil had.

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      • Judy D. says

        OMG, what letters. Sure look genuine. Poor Baz and Cynthia. “My bed.” Not the first reference I’ve seen to separate bedrooms. I feel so sorry for poor Cynthia–adopted at 8 months after having been “recently obtained from an adoption home,” according to Variety 10/25/39 (if pretty recent, there must have been trust and commitment problems from being taken from familiar surroundings). Maybe Baz stayed simply to protect the child. I don’t blame OB for her tantrum/hysterics at finding out that BR apparently was involved with someone else, but to involve a child by her carrying on within earshot is unforgivable. If BR had tried for a divorce, she would probably have gotten the kid and that would really have finished Cynthia. And what with community property (if the law then) and his having “driven OB to hysteria”–he’d have been chopped liver. (The confiscated sharp objects may have been meant to harm not only OB, but Bazz, or Cynthia.)
        His morality? He was European–folks there aren’t so prudish. He was in Hollywood and the theatrical world–need I say more. He was handsome, educated, sexy, humorous–a magnet. And his home life was probably cold and demanding–a person needs a place to relax and feel wanted. Smart folks today avoid marriage if they possibly can.
        So the girlfriend was someone no longer living…is the page with all the photos a hint that we have to figure out which ones are no longer alive and choose from them?
        We can’t help but look forward to further steamy letters. Perhaps we can date these two by the Vancouver visit, as well as Cyn’s obvious young age. All to the same woman, mebbe. Maybe she was married too. Well, we shall love our Bazz just the same. In my opinion his best screen role (never mind script) was as Holmes; but he is more human than Holmes.

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    • Alyssiabasilone says

      Those letters were not written by Basil. The handwriting is not his. The emotion are not his. I’ve written about this on my blog -therealbasilrathbone.wordpress.com

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      • Jenny says

        Disagree. The writing looks just like his. But you can’t judge until you know the back story, and we don’t.

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          • Alyssia, you really do need to stop this. Please go to historyforsale.com and search on “Basil Rathbone”. The entire first page of results is correspondence handwritten by Basil. These are all “his real writing”. In particular, open and read his letters to Mary Sandmann (complete with the original envelopes) that cover a span of more than two decades. Actually, I recommend them to anyone who hasn’t read them – some interesting glimpses of what Basil was doing at the time he wrote them.

            Now, if the handwriting in the “diary” or whatever else you allege to have doesn’t look like these letters, then what YOU have are fakes or forgeries (or do not exist at all). Since you refuse to produce ANYTHING for inspection, I suspect the latter may be the case. I do not mean to be unkind, but the facts are what they are. If an accurate picture of Basil is to be pieced together, and I assume that is what most of the people here are interested in, then we have to deal with verifiable evidence, not conjecture and hearsay.

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            • GRETCHEN says

              THANK YOU!!! πŸ™‚

              (Note my MANY comments below arguing the SAME POINT…I suppose if a person’s mind is CLOSED to REALITY, we just can’t get THROUGH to them. Oh, well— at least we TRIED.) 😦

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              • GRETCHEN says

                Actually, I checked the letters on historyforsale.com and ALL of them look IDENTICAL to the writing on the (handwritten) love-letter…he writes quite NERVOULSLY (you can understand WHY), but it’s DEFINITELY HIS WRITING.

                Basil made a habit of connecting 2-3 words together into ONE WORD often, as I’ve made mention-of before— ALSO, if you look at the initial “B” he signs in place of his name, it’s THE SAME as the “B” in the AUTHENTIC letters. πŸ™‚

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      • Alyssia – unlike those WW1 letters, there’s no doubt about the provenance of these and no doubt that Basil wrote them. The handwriting is definitely his and they came from the estate of the woman they were written to.

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        • GRETCHEN says

          Once AGAIN, these letters totally DISPROVE Alyssia’s many statements that she has Basil’s personal papers…OBVIOUSLY this is his handwriting, and therefore the documents SHE supposedly obtained must THEMSELVES be forgeries!! It seems to ME that so far she’s been proven WRONG in EVERY thing she says. Hmmm…coincidence? I think NOT!

          How much MORE proof does she NEED?? And, we STILL HAVE NOT SEEN ONE PHOTO OF HER “PAPERS”, YET! Like I stated in a previous comment, she’s got NOTHING, and will NEVER show us ANYTHING…she may have written them HERSELF, if they even EXIST at all, or she cut-and-pasted them into what she’d WANT others to believe about Basil.

          I visited her blog, and noticed she not ONLY denies that these are his letters, but also STILL CAN’T SPELL!! If I had a blog and wanted to be taken SERIOUSLY, I’d at LEAST make it appear as though someone older than 10 was running it!

          Just DEAL with the fact that Basil was a PLAYBOY…probably POLYAMOROUS. He either couldn’t handle the emotional CLOSENESS of monogamy, or just fell in love (AND LUST) quite easily, unable to control himself. His wife may not have made him happy sexually, or drove him AWAY and into the arms of OTHERS with her cruel and selfish behavior. He was a MAN…men are just LIKE this. It’s NATURAL for them to play-around while young, and sometimes they NEVER outgrow it. I don’t love him (or anyone else) LESS for being this way. A person’s sex-life is their OWN, and belongs solely to THEM. Whether or NOT he did these things would make NO difference to someone who truly LOVED him. This doesn’t make him a BAD person— just a HUMAN one! I personally find the FLAWS in someone to be the MOST attractive and REAL part of who they ACTUALLY are. He would NOT, however, be a good choice for a HUSBAND, in this case…more like a “friend with BENEFITS”. As for Ouida, her attempting suicide is EXACTLY what a narcissist would do when finding-out about an affair. They LOVE and LIVE FOR attention, and when their ability to CONTROL someone else is compromised, they throw an hysterical FIT, or threaten suicide to get SYMPATHY. In THIS case, it WORKED…he felt the “guilt-trip”, and had to LEAVE his affair to make peace with his wife.

          A SIMPLE RULE TO FOLLOW: When dealing with a narcissist, NEVER give-in to their tantrums or other displays of selfish control…THIS way, they learn (just like a toddler) that they can’t get their way when the ADULT is in-charge!! πŸ™‚

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          • Alyssia says

            I can prove everything I have said and I will. My spelling is nothing to do with it. I write in a hurry but I can spell perfectly fine thank you. I dont know why you call yourself a fan of Basil when you think of him in those terms. Do you like such men? Basil was a kind, respectful, decent person with a deep spiritual side and he and Ouida were bonded totally by love. He had no understanding of lust. He did not work that way. After he knew he could not love his first wife he refused to be intimate with her even though she begged him. He was so strong emotionally that physical passions meant little to him except through love and he only used it to express love. Ouida was his true love. Accept it. Its only petty jealuosy that stops women from accepting it because they know thy would not be good enough for him and she was.

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            • GRETCHEN says

              It’s completely IRRELEVANT whether I’d “like a man” such as Basil— the TRULY IMPORTANT thing is knowing WHO HE REALLY WAS, even if this means he was NOT the greatest person when it came to his LOVE-LIFE.

              Also, ANY OTHER woman on EARTH he was dating at the time would have been WAY- BETTER for his happiness and SANITY than Ouida!! But then, YOU wouldn’t know much about SANITY, would you?? πŸ™‚

              Seeing him ONLY in the way YOU would wish for him to have been is VERY UNHEALTHY. You can’t MOLD him into your IDEAL LOVER by MAKING-UP stories about what a “CHASTE” and “HOLY” guy he was…that’s being quite UNFAIR to him, and to GOD, who created him AND his faults (and who ACCEPTS them, and loves him ANYWAY— something YOU need to learn to do).

              I choose to see the ACTUAL person for who they ARE…if he turned-out NOT to be monogamous, I’d be CAUTIOUS in my decision to possibly date him. We might have been incompatible in OTHER ways, too. You must review ALL these things BEFORE making the choice to date or LOVE someone, however WONDERFUL they may seem. He was a religious, compassionate, empathic human soul—
              for THESE reasons he was attractive, and I would give him a TRY.

              For the REST of the audience:
              Since he’s been DEAD for 46 YEARS, what does it matter now, ANYWAYS??? We’ll be BEST-BUDS in heaven someday, but that’s about IT!!
              (He’s my SPIRIT-PAL now, even though we didn’t get to be friends in REAL life…air-high-five, Baz— RIGHT-ON, GOOD-BUDDY!) πŸ™‚

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              • GRETCHEN says

                I ALSO wanted to say that spelling and grammar DOES have something to do with it, Alyssia. If you TRULY love and care for Basil, don’t do him the complete DISSERVICE of not even taking a few minutes of time to PROOFREAD your work before putting it out to the world online FOREVER. At LEAST give him THAT much respect!! If you are running a LEGITIMATE blog-site, your writing should REFLECT how much you actually CARE about what you’re doing…otherwise, it looks quite UNPROFESSIONAL and CHEAPLY-DONE— as if it were written in a HURRY, with NO interest in sounding intelligent or well-thought-out. Just my ADVICE.

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                • I agree! Too many people don’t bother to proofread (or just read through) what they’ve written before they click “Send” or “Submit.” A little mistake (such as omitting the word “not”) can mean you said the exact opposite of what you intended.

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        • Alyssia says

          Then the woman made it up. There is no way those letters could be real. It’s just not possible so someone is lying. I have the true facts written down. I can prove it all. I’ve dedicated msyelf to finding the truth and I have. I know Basil’s life and his heart and you don’t, period. I can tell you his thoughts day to day. He would never have thought like that or talked like that about his beloved wife. The person writing that was depraved. Its disgusting someone alledgs it to be Basil.

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          • GRETCHEN says

            Well, Alyssia…let’s just SEE these “TRUE FACTS” you have! Where ARE they?? It’s been MONTHS, and still NOTHING— it is YOU who is LYING.

            EVERY human being feels LUST, LOVE, and SEXUAL DESIRE when they care-about or are attracted-to someone. It’s called “NATURE”. Even PRIESTS and NUNS have these needs, which they must live-with and endure ALL their lives…JESUS HIMSELF had to deal-with these feelings, and he was GOD incarnate!! Perhaps you aren’t an actual HUMAN, then?? Or, maybe you’re ASEXUAL, incapable of feeling ANY form of sexuality within yourself; OR you think anyone who’s horny is EVIL…either way, there’s something WRONG with a person who doesn’t feel these things, or believes Basil didn’t. He OBVIOUSLY was imperfect, and made NO claims otherwise…but, being sexual is NOT being sinful. If it was, NO one would procreate, for fear of going to HELL!! For your information, MOST men sleep-around until they are READY to stop…it’s possible that Basil had difficulty with this because he had issues with closeness, and NEVER found that complete happiness with ANY one person. This makes him NO LESS beautiful, loveable, OR precious…or his soul ANY less caring, or decent. It worries me that you could JUDGE HIM so harshly, based-upon him being NORMAL! He loved Ouida VERY MUCH, even to the point of an UNHEALTHY OBSESSION, but you are doing him (AND her) a disservice by not understanding HUMAN NATURE…sexual need and giving-in to temptation exists in us ALL, despite what we SHOULD be doing, unless someone is born with an ABNORMALITY. One must EMBRACE this within oneself, and Basil DID— most WONDERFULLY! I’m SORRY he made BAD CHOICES in his lifetime, but we are ALL given free-choice. This is a GREAT GIFT, but can also lead us to HARM, and Basil is NO EXCEPTION.

            Also, EVERY SINGLE letter, autographed photo, AND legal document known to MANKIND on this PLANET that Basil EVER wrote or filled-out was written in THIS SAME, EXACT HANDWRITING— so, don’t tell ME you think it’s FAKE…like I’ve stated before, YOURS IS THE FAKE! You’ve been DUPED by whomever gave you these “papers”…IF anyone gave them to you in the FIRST place. You ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT know his heart better than HE HIMSELF, or our CREATOR. I’m spiritually VERY connected to people AND their souls (Basil included), but NO ONE can say for sure HOW or WHY he did ANYTHING, in good-conscience…only to SPECULATE based upon their behaviors, the reasons for his (and his wife’s) actions. If he DID write any wonderful things in a “diary” or letters about Ouida, it would ONLY be during the FIRST years he knew and was married to her…after THAT, he found-out what she was REALLY like! (Let’s see some from the 1930s and BEYOND.)

            I’m NOT trying to be disrespectful of your OPINION…but, when you disregard
            100% PROVEN FACTS, that deserves CORRECTING!

            One MORE thing (as “Columbo” would say)— I’m not a “FAN” of Basil’s…I’m a FRIEND. I’m defending his TRUE self, NOT the IDEALIZED one you wish him to be portrayed as. In case you didn’t know, IDOLIZING a person IS NOT LOVING THEM, it is WORSHIPPING them. This behavior results in an UNREAL vision of whom the person ACTUALLY is, causing one to feel DISGUSTED when they find-out that this “vision” is NOT truth. Accepting that Basil was merely an AVERAGE HUMAN should NOT make you feel ANY LESS LOVING or RESPECTFUL towards him…unless of course, you ARE IDOLIZING him, as I have said.

            HEY, everybody— I just had an IDEA…maybe OUIDA wrote that so-called “diary” Alyssia has! That would EXPLAIN why it’s in different handwriting, and why it’s full of LIES about how AMAZING she was!! I wouldn’t put it PAST her to do something like that, just to make her LOOK good to anyone who got their hands on it after she and Basil’s deaths. Makes SENSE to ME!! πŸ™‚

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            • Claude Rains says

              I think Alyssia wrote it (or is possibly busy writing it as we speak) But then apparently she is Ouida, so – πŸ˜›

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              • GRETCHEN says

                TOTALLY!!! πŸ™‚

                I’ve been thinking the SAME thing…like maybe she’s got a SPLIT-PERSONALITY and actually BELIEVES Basil wrote all that stuff, when it was really HER!! Or, perhaps she’s got that disorder where you LIE about stuff, and believe your OWN lies, and she therefore HAD to write the “diary” and everything to MAKE IT TRUE!!

                I don’t know…it’s a MYSTERY even Sherlock Holmes HIMSELF couldn’t solve! Too BAD we can’t ask OL’ BAZ to come down here and PERSONALLY deliver the message to her that she’s “A NUT” (as “Deputy Fife” would say)! He’s probably WISHING he COULD, ’cause she’s buggin’ HIM with all this NONSENSE, too!! πŸ™‚

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          • mandy says

            Its not depraved its a beautiful letter, look how much you get to see about the way he thinks and feels. What a proactive father he was at a time when most men were not involved like that. I agree that attempts at suicide are about controlling people. If you want to kill yourself you succeed. ‘Trying to kill yourself’ is most often about putting on a show and scaring people into doing what you want them to do. I feel very sorry for this man.

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            • GRETCHEN says

              I AGREE!!

              Poor Basil… 😦

              Sometimes people fall in LOVE while in a relationship with someone ELSE— it just HAPPENS. There’s nothing “DEPRAVED” about it. I guess Alyssia can’t STAND the fact that Basil cared for OTHER women besides Ouida. Now THAT’S sad…sounds like another jealous CONTROL-FREAK, to me.

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      • Claude Rains says

        So, your user name is Alyssiabasilone?

        …? πŸ™„

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            • Alyssia says

              Yes I do but a person of your kind would not understand and can only mock.

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              • GRETCHEN says

                ALL SOULS in existence are as ONE BEING, in the eyes of GOD. πŸ™‚

                So, in a way, Alyssia’s RIGHT…we’re ALL ONE with Basil!!

                I’ve ALWAYS been spiritually, emotionally, and empathically connected to CERTAIN souls for some WEIRD reason, since I was about a YEAR old; ESPECIALLY Baz and his buddy Vincent Price. Don’t know WHY, but I’ll be sure to ask GOD when I’m dead— HE’LL know the answer to THAT one! πŸ™‚

                Oh, and…HAVE A HAP-HAP-HAPPY “INDEPENDENCE-DAY”, EVERYBODY!!! YAY— FIREWORKS!!!!!! πŸ™‚ (On TV.) 😦

                Like

  11. Ellen Foley says

    Oberon was a maneater,just like Crawford,they wanted Dana Andrews when they starred with him.Forget who he invited to go sailing with his family,but nearly died laughing when one of Dana’s daughters fell or spilled something on actress,believe it might’ve been Miss Priss,Merle.As for Niven,wonder if story of being asked who his best lover was (Asked by Prince Rainier) he muttered “Grace”,then said “Gracie Field” to cover.Think he was trying to rival Flynn in the lover dept.Still don’t doubt he and Flynn did it,at least ala Bill Clinton’s didn’t have sex dept.Think anything involving 2 consenting individuals counts,no matter how caddish the man,Mr Ex-President.Those who say,”After all…”are deluded,like someone I know,who raves when she is convinced her casual male strays cuz she gives him nothing,hear Mrs R?Spending his bread doesn’t show ya luv him,nor throwing it out the winder like ye did.Shoulda hired your relagives to put on the parties instead of trucking snow to a warm H’wood for Christmas scene,why not just have party at Big Bear itself?Hire a hall,use fake snow,hire a circus,paint yer face,swing on trapeze,H’weird she belongs to

    Like

  12. rosebette says

    Really! Those biographies certainly made good reading. Of course, stating he was a friend of Flynn’s does make for some colorful inventions. Did Morely make any assertion about Niven’s sexual orientation. My understanding was that he was hetero (not just from his own autobiography), but from other sources (some of the bios on the Kordas state he was quite a ladies’ man and had an affair with Merle).

    Like

    • So far as I remember Morley didn’t say anything controversial about Niven’s sexuality. He just basically revealed his multiple plagiarisms. And then a reviewer discovered that even the short story Niven claimed to have written in school was actually authored by some other guy! It was a bit humiliating as I recall. And sad, because you get the impression Niven meant no one any harm.

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  13. Ellen Foley says

    Maybe Niven went to same school as OR,seeking attention cuz I don’t get enough from my family.Sad about his 2nd marriage,too,being cuckolded.Niven and Flynn seemed such buddies for real in Dawn Patrol,maybe since Flynn wasn’t around to disprove,Niven lied about living together.Glad Cagney never gave in to having affair w/Oberon.Also glad she wasn’t in Garden Of Allah,may not have been as good as it should,but I like it for chem between Baz and Marlene.

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  14. Judy D. says

    I know zero about Olivia (tattooed lady or otherwise) but she looks like a nice person as yet unspoiled by Hollywood. Read recently that Niven was gay. If so, any date with him may have been arranged for publicity by the studio; then she must have known Errol’s rep and didn’t want to go in that direction; and that would have left our Baz as the knight in shining armor, hardly a costume stretch for him. (Speaking of which, where were lycra tights when you wanted ’em.) A second’s semiprofessional pose caught on a camera doesn’t amount to much, but there is a relaxed happiness and friendliness between them, so it it seems. Hey, those movies yesterday–couldn’t TMC have picked a choicer batch?? But I do love “Confession,” so rarely seen. So glad TCM, our treasure, made the effort.

    Like

    • rosebette says

      I don’t know what your source is about David Niven, but he was definitely not gay. He actually had an affair with Merle Oberon during the making of Wuthering Heights. If you read Niven’s autobiographies, you would gather he was quite a ladies’ man, and he admits that after the tragic death of his first wife he went on bit of a sex binge.

      Regarding Flynn and deHavilland, in Matzen’s Errol and Olivia, Flynn arranged the “double date” and then switched partners and it became apparent that Olivia was supposed to be his, not Niven’s date. About Olivia, she was more than a “nice person”, and even as early as 1938, and extremely ambitious and independent young woman intent on furthering her career as an actress, so much so that she auditioned for the part of Melanie behind Jack Warner’s back. I think that she realized that becoming emotionally involved with Flynn might be more than she wanted to handle at the time, since her primary focus was her career. As an intelligent young woman with roots in the theater, she probably would have found Basil very appealing, if not for an affair, at least for friendship and good conversation. I’m sure he was more than happy to engage in some interesting rapport and mild flirtation with his lovely and smart young co-star.

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      • Judy D. says

        Thanks, Rosbette, so much for your enlightening comments. So much misinformation around. Thanks for giving me what sounds like the real, common-sense story about this quartette. I do have a Niven autobiography in the cellar, I think–must give it a dekko if it can be found in the great dusty pile.

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      • Ellen Foley says

        There was quite a lot of speculation of he & Flynn sharing more than just girlfriends while roomates at” Cirrhosis-by-the-sea” while Flynn separated from Lily,not making him gay,but experimental,and Niven said in a bio about someone (male) luring him as a schoolboy.Flynn,in a bio,was confirmed to go down to Mexico on weekends to be “serviced” by boys.A bio on Powers said he,too had certain minor male encounters,i.e. what Bill Clinton doesn’t define as sex.And none of those bios mentioned Baz with any of the above,no matter what “Satan’s Angel” quotes Flynn as ranting when Baz was ordered by Curtiz to taunt Flynn to complete the duel scene between them and Flynn’s inappropriate retort after Baz’s salary taunt.

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        • According to Sheridan Morley, Niven’s biographer, Niven made up the entire story of sharing a house with Flynn. And he borrowed the name of the house “Cirrhosis by the Sea” from Randolph Scott’s beach house (I think). Niven never lived with Flynn. And his memoirs were apparently mostly lies or stories borrowed from others. Makes you sad to think of why he felt the need to do that. 😦

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          • Alyssia says

            So now you are discrediting mr `Niven as well as Basil!

            Like

            • Sheridan Morley is the person making this claim. Is it wrong to report what others have written? I, for one, prefer to have as much information as possible, so I can reach educated conclusions.

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  15. rosebette says

    I was of the opinion that there may have been something, but Robert Matzen cautioned a while back not to conclude too much from candids. Since Olivia herself said she refused to be involved with Flynn because he said he was separated from his wife, and when she showed up on the set of TARH, it obviously wasn’t the case, it seems unlikely that she would have become involved with the very married Basil. That being said, I think Basil did have one heck of a crush on her.

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  16. Ellen Foley says

    I just hope whatever was the true nature of their time together it made them both happy,as they are 2 people I both admired.They really look great together,he does look genuinely happy around Liv,Baz that is.Think Errol wasn’t fair,making promises he never could keep.Love all the Baz/Livvy pics.Him kissing her hand in AORH is priceless

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    • Ellen Foley says

      Regardless of how they got along,they look happy,Niven looks “Why am I here?”,Flynn trying to not acknowledge his real intentions (at least imho) of having his way w/someone way out of his class and deserving of more consideration.Think she was treated the way she deserved by Baz,with respect and friendship,seeing the noose he had around his neck (at home) w/garden Weedy.At least they are close in fav pic of formal occ,unlike teases of them in Adv Robin or Capt Blood,where they really had nothing but one real scene in her chambers (love that kiss of the hand,he looked so sweet,wish it was my hand).Lucky Liv!

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  17. Baker Street Babe says

    They completely were an item. It’s so obvious. Did Ouida know?

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  18. Fred Singer says

    I think these are just photographs of people being sociable

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  19. Margaret G says

    When you view the montage like this it really seems irresistibly obvious they were a couple in some sense. I suppose photos do lie, but this consistently?

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  20. Elaine Drury says

    Top right – is that not the occasion when Robert Matzen claims Olivia was on a date with Flynn while officially being Niven’s date? It absolutely does look as if she is “with” Rathbone in this photograph. The way she is leaning against him and the energy captured in the moment. Niven does not look like her date. Flynn is right over on the other side of the group and does not look involved with her at all.

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  21. Judy D. says

    Nice to see him actually looking HAPPY with a woman (having our “five-pronged garden ‘Ouida'” as the legal, dismal template).

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  22. Yolande Myers says

    I think I know why Flynn was jealous of Basil on the set of Robin Hood!

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