BIOGRAPHY, Relationships
Comments 132

X Part II

Continuing the transcribed interview with Madame X from PART 1

“…[so then…you were in [NAME OF MOVIE REDACTED]

I was nervous on that film. You know because I’d bought my ticket home. My career was clinically dead…. I wasn’t cute any more. Wasn’t blonde. I was just this funny-looking…broad and no one in Hollywood wanted to employ me. I’d been doing radio in New York and just basically marking time before calling it quits. My mum didn’t want to leave was one reason I was still there. She liked the States, and she was saying “oh X darling leave it just another six months…otherwise I might have been in England already. Which is a weird thought…

Then I got this job. This great job. An A picture. Great part. I remember telling Mary [her mother, name changed] they wanted me and we were so excited. I was just so glad of the work. And it was a challenge. I remember thinking, oh God, Basil Rathbone, he is a real actor, I am going to be exposed, I am going to have to work hard to come off as anything. I was so nervous I was trembling. But they were so lovely and kind and lovely…

[and Basil…]

At the time…it was…I was just so grateful for the kindness, all these sweet people making me welcome. That’s all it was. Kind people, wonderful opportunity. He and [NAME REDACTED] and [NAME REDACTED] took lunch with me that day. I was so damn nervous, you don’t get a good performance out of a nervous kid, so they took a little trouble for me. They talked theatre…they’d all come from the theatre. They were so educated and so intelligent. It was one of the great lunch hours of my life. After that…I just loved them all…all these lovely kind, clever men, and…I was the only girl – or most of the time I was. So they all kind of petted me and were all fatherly about me. I don’t even remember when…. It just somehow some day… I remember…the thing I remember first is looking forward to seeing him. Hoping he’d take his coffee break beside my chair, or share a joke or a remark with me. I had a crush on him; a huge embarrassing crush. I was always getting crushes. I thought he was incredible and beautiful and an extraordinary actor and I was constantly gazing at him in awe. Vacant awe.

Mr Z [the director] took me aside one day and said to me “honey, for Christ’s sake could you get through one take without looking at [CHARACTER NAME REDACTED] as if you want to fuck his brains out.” He was not a genteel man Mr Z. But he was right. My God, I saw that movie not long ago and the big cow eyes I’m making at him. It’s too obvious what little fantasies were going round in my head. Sometimes the camera does that. It just reaches in and grabs your most private thoughts and shows them to the world. It’s embarrassing. I don’t know why not one reviewer ever noticed it. But he was just impeccable and none of that came from him.

[and he was married]

Well…yeah. That wasn’t an issue. Not like that. They…You…I didn’t know it then, but I got to know it later. All part of the rich and weird pageantry chez Rathbone.

[know what?]

Their marriage wasn’t about sex darling. Not any more any how. You know, it was all about show and sex isn’t for show. Usually. They had an understanding. He dallied discreetly and she pretended not to notice. You understand I didn’t get to know that until much later. I mean I picked up some things. Everyone did. It was sort of in the air that he did…dally discreetly. But no one talked about it. David said once he thought she was frigid. That was before I even met Basil, and there were just some friends sitting round dishing dirt. Turned out he was quite a lot right.

[she didn’t like sex]

Oh…There was a whole back story. Her first husband had been abusive. The story was she’d been married before and the husband had basically raped her serially and she’d lost a child because of it. And he’d knocked her about too. So. She had trust problems. And…that was part of the thing you know because Basil was her protector. The way she’d told it she’d never trust anyone, so he had won her trust and when she married him it was on the promise he’d always be there for her. Never desert her. Never scare her like this guy had.

Anyhow, she put up with his attentions while she thought she could get pregnant. But then she just had a string of miscarriages and she was depressed…and they didn’t…she drifted out of it, and it was given to understand he was free to find other outlets. It was all good provided she was sacrosanct wifey at home and all the decencies were preserved. So. You know, she lived in her part of the house and he lived in his part of the house. And…well, she was happy. And he was…in it for the duration. He’d taken an oath you know. He was protecting her.

[what about their daughter?]

Cynthia. She was a sweet kid. She was adopted. Ouida wanted to have a child, but she just had miscarriages. And then she was too old. He told me he hadn’t really wanted a child but Ouida was desperate for one. So, they found Cynthia. But…I never got that because Ouida was no one’s idea of maternal. Cynthia always had a nurse and she never seemed to have much of a bond with her mother. But…I could never get that. Why adopt this child and then keep her at a distance? The way Basil described it just didn’t fit with what I saw.

[did he find other outlets?]

What do you think? I don’t know who they were or anything, so forget that. Like I said he was English and discreet…well I know about a few of them. But I’m not…It was just anonymous girls mostly. Girls from the lot[?], that kind of thing. No shortage in Hollywood honey. Most of those little bitches would fuck any name that asked them.

[so, were you in love with him?]

I don’t know. That’s a movie sentiment. Real life is too messy for that kind of summation

[but he…]

I was just this little weird chick. He liked me…protective and avuncular. Ouida came to the studio. She had lunch with us and he told her about this silly word game we all used to play…and I remember he said “X is the best and always wins,” and he was a little bit proud, like “our girl is smart,” and so open about it I knew there was nothing happening for him. He was very flirtatious, and women adored him. He was always you know playing it a little with every good looking woman around. But not me. Never me. I was just little X. Little tom boy who could share a beer with the guys.

[what was he like?]

Basil. You could feel his intelligence and his energy.…he could be a moody son-of-a-bitch…he absolutely had no time for idiots or for stupid conversation. And he was smarter than most people in any room. And he could be an awful snob. And he’d take immediate aversions to things that you could never shift him on. But I never saw him do anything truly mean-spirited, I never saw him be ungenerous or unforgiving. And he was honest. And real. And unique. He hated formality and grand parties. That was all Ouida. He was so gifted, so quick and sure.[laughs] He could be kind of fizzy and bright and hectic but then also incredibly gentle and quiet, almost shy. He was wonderful. That’s how he was then. Later it was different.

[so, how did things progress?]

…I became really close with Willie [Nigel] Bruce and his family. I loved them all. Bunny was like a second mother. A different kind of mother. My mum never cooked or cleaned or mended stuff. Mary was…Mary. She was a theatre mother. She could tell great stories and dance and sing and be enormous fun but she couldn’t cook an egg and if you lost a button then hell, just buy a new outfit darling. Bunny was like the archetypal nuturing mother. She was a wonderful, kind person. I miss her so much. She cooked great food, and she always seemed to have cake and pies and things. And her kitchen was warm and friendly. They both took to me. I think they saw me as their little stray. They’d invite me over for meals. Sunday lunch, that kind of thing. David and me sometimes…but often it would be just me or just my mum and sister and me. Because you know…I think the David thing was one reason they adopted me. Everyone kinda knew, even though we…I never ever talked about it. It would have been betraying him to talk about it. I never would, never will say anything about that in public. But, everyone kinda knew.

——-

Sunday was a big thing for the British Raj out there at that time. Through Willie and Reggie [Gardiner] I used to go to the cricket club some weeks. You know C Aubrey Smith? Willie was a huge cricket fan and a real player and he played most Sundays. They all did. Ronnie Colman, Basil Rathbone, David Niven, Olivier, Flynn, Reggie Gardiner…They all looked so lordly in their whites. There’d be Sunday lunch or cricket and tea. And if I was there we…I would sort of tag along as cockney riffraff.

[laughter]

…..

[and Basil]

He was there…he’d play most Sundays…and then if Ouida was throwing one of her uber-parties David and I might be invited and David would end up with the little gang of Basil’s unwelcome friends in the library or somewhere. And I’d be there too, because I was this honorary boy and could drink beer out of a bottle. I was just X. Good old X.

[so he liked you]

Yes, he did. In that little sis way. He’d tease me and we had fun together. We just hit it off and we could talk for…. We had the same kind of humor. I could always make him laugh. I got into a thing where I’d borrow from his library. And I liked having his books because it was like having a piece of him with me. He’d send me little notes and things at work and when he was abroad he wrote me these great letters. And he was always bad at sleeping and you know I come alive at night. So, when he was in a bad patch 4am he could call and know I was awake. And he just would do that. It wasn’t anything. It was just “are you awake? “ Uh-huh. Ok. We’d talk about all kinds of everything. David would be asleep upstairs. He was not a night person. He needed his eight hours. I think Basil was just gravitating to someone else who was crazy enough to be wide awake at 4 in the morning. When he was really restless he’d go out driving or walking. A couple of times I’d go with him and we’d go driving out into the hills in his old station wagon. I’d like to say he was smitten…but he really wasn’t. He just liked me, was fond of me. I think when something else happened, it took him totally by surprise. I think feeling like that about me just didn’t happen until I kissed him. And then it did.

David used to…he’d tease me, but…You know David was troubled. He had his demons. And this was a time when he couldn’t just be what he was. And you know he was seeing [NAME REDACTED]. And there was a British actor he’d been working with. And that’s something else – I could talk to Basil about that because he didn’t judge it like most people did back then. He could understand it like I could understand it. And he was fond of David and admired him as an actor. So I could talk to him without having to defend my husband from cruel things being said. Like my mum and sister were cruel about him once they knew. They didn’t mean to be, but they didn’t understand. He was what he was. He was still David. I should never have told Mary. She’d adored David before she knew. The only thing Basil ever said was he ought to have told me before we were married. And he’d worry because we fought sometimes, and he was worried David might get physical. But…but he wouldn’t ever. It wasn’t in him. He’d get verbal and very very scathing and mean, but he never would hit a woman.

David was a dear wonderful man. I loved him. He was the brother I should have had. Dear dear David. And no one knows what a hero he was for me.

——-

I had a crush on [Basil], and he probably knew but pretended he didn’t. That was all. I was willing for anything to happen but he never gave any sign of it. For a long time he didn’t think of me like that. I wasn’t his type. He liked beautiful brunettes and dark eyes. And I was this mousy blue-eyed thing. Good old X. It would have been about a year this all went on. It was a blessed year looking back. Everything was pretty calm. Daddy was well. Everything else was rolling along ok.

Christmas Eve. I was at his house in Bel Air. David was there. Other close friends, and there was a lot of booze and egg nog. And at some point there were just the two of us in the library. Basil and me. We were talking about The Bridge of San Luis Rey…you know? Wilder. He was sitting next to me and we were very close and…and he was talking away, going off on one of his flights of theorizing. And I kissed him. Just like that. I just kissed him. And he kissed me back. Oh, did he. It was, you know, a kiss. It stopped, someone came in the room. We didn’t really get the chance to talk alone again. I think maybe actually he was avoiding me. Next day, Christmas, I didn’t hear anything from him. Everyone’s having Christmas all around me, and I’m watching the phone and just don’t care about anything else. Day after, nothing. Nothing for about four or five days. I was in misery thinking I’d wrecked something.

Then he called and said he needed to talk to me. We sat on the steps in the garden of my house. It’s getting dark. It’s getting cold. He’s stony faced, not talking. I think he’s mad at what I did. I don’t talk either, just sit there and huddle with cold and wait for what’s coming. He tells me not to interrupt until he’s done and he tells me about his marriage. I can see he’s kind of ashamed. The deal between them. Well, like I said I half knew he was…that there were discreet liaisons, but it, like we all did. But not…I didn’t know the whole thing, and I really still didn’t know when he finished. I was young and stupid and I didn’t think anything to a conclusion. I didn’t see what he was trying to tell me. He says he can’t let this thing happen because he cares too much about me. But I didn’t understand what he was saying. The meaning of flouting that. I just sit and shiver and say ok, because I don’t know what else to say. And he goes home.

And it’s not the same after that. It’s not the same. Because it’s there now in the open. I kissed him and he kissed me back and it was very hot, and when I look at him I think about it, and I think when he looks at me he thinks about it. So, it’s in the way. He doesn’t call me late at night any more. I wait. I’m awake at night and it feels so alone. No one to talk to. No night drives. I don’t go to the house like I used to. You know I’d drop by the house just…well, ok, just so I could see him, but also to borrow books and stuff, and it was very precious to me to have that place to go to. I liked being in the library there because it was his space and it felt like him. So I missed that.

[how long did that go on?]

I don’t remember now. In my memory it’s a long time. But it can’t have been. I was making [NAME OF MOVIE REDACTED] when the kiss happened, and I was doing [NAME OF MOVIE REDACTED] by the time anything else happened. I remember driving home one night, from my girlfriend’s, only when I got to Sunset Boulevard I turned, you know, left instead of right. And I drove to his house without even knowing why and the door is answered by oh, one of their army of flunkeys. And I am thinking what the fuck am I doing? It’s about 11pm. And I am shown in to the library and Basil is there. And I try to make up some half-brained story about why I’m there, and I am so embarrassed I am bright flaming red and. And he takes my hands and says “angel, go home.” Oh. That was humiliating.

[what did you do?]

I went home darling. And I got myself an incredibly stiff drink and went to bed and cried into my pillow. Or my dog actually. He’d always just cuddle right up when I was upset. I thought I’d lost him, his friendship. All those little moments of days that meant so much. I only realized how much you know when…I just. I wanted it back. Being able to talk on the phone. And just…it felt so alone to not have that.

[so how did things change?]

He called me that night. Late that night. I was fairly drunk and you know sodden with crying. We talked around and around. He was saying he doesn’t want to wreck things with me, I was saying they’re wrecked. We don’t even talk. I miss you. He said it might be better to miss each other. But that was…no…no. I say I don’t know if I can stand that.

[it sounds like you were completely in love with him]

I say please come see me, please, please. There’s a silence. He’s struggling with things you know. Then he says all right angel. I met him at the door in my old robe and my face swollen with all that crying. And I wasn’t even thinking about any of that. I just wanted him to be there. And he dried my tears and made me a cup of tea and we sat together. I didn’t want him to leave. I just didn’t ever want to be away from him. And we kissed. And…

[you went to bed]

Oh yeah.

——-

It was joy for a while. Just…I was 23 and finally getting laid properly

[laughter]

You know he…he knew a lot of things about women that David didn’t know. Or want to know.

[laughter].

God, so this is what all the fuss is about. Yeah that makes sense. But you know we were hiding…it was. I mean…you know there were rules. He could fuck anyone he liked, but it wasn’t supposed to threaten anything. And we had this unspoken agreement we weren’t crossing some line. But we were. We’d been good friends and when you bring sex into that it can get very intense very fast. And it got harder and harder to pretend we weren’t. It was exactly what he knew…why he’d stayed away. Of course. Maybe…maybe he was right to.

Things with David…he knew about Basil. That was the thing. No secrets. I didn’t want secrets. He didn’t. In theory. In theory he knew he had no right to mind. He tried so hard not to mind. But you know he was a man and men have things programed into them and one of those is the territorial imperative. It was an attack on his territory. On his sense of himself as a man. And no matter how much he tried not to give in to that feeling it was there. When he’d encounter Basil he’d be struggling to find how to be. He liked him, and he knew he had no basis for objection, but still part of him wanted to challenge him…you know, do the male thing. And he felt inadequate because he didn’t do it. But it was anything but inadequate. It was very brave.

With me there was always an edge now. We weren’t all right any more. We couldn’t have fun like we used to, making up plays and stuff, and being like kids. It was…we didn’t know how to be ok any more. So, in the summer. This would be ’41. [David] left. It wasn’t a bust up. He just thought he would be able to be better about everything if he wasn’t living with me. We tried to keep it quiet. But…somehow Hedda found out and called me. And she was all over it. Was there anyone else. What was going on. And oh God, there were so many skeletons. I mean, for David you know. And also for Basil. But in a way it was lucky it was Hedda and not Louella. Louella didn’t like the British. Hedda said to me “so what’s this about Sherlock Holmes?” So, she knew about it somehow. So I said to her Hedda darling, please don’t do this. And she said “for you dear and because of what he’s doing for the war, it’s safe with me.” And she meant it. She respected him. She let it go. So, I can’t say all bad things about Hedda. She would do that. She had a conscience of sorts. Couldn’t say that about Louella. Louella was a whore. Hearst’s whore. He used her to destroy people he hated. Hearst hated anyone he thought was a communist. He thought most of the British colony were communists. He was a lunatic. Everyone feared Hedda but they were fucking terrified of Louella. When she got on the case after David and I divorced. That was unpleasant. But by that time David was a war hero and an American citizen. So he was safe at least.

I didn’t tell Basil about Hedda calling. Because…you know it coming out would have hurt his wife and the promise between them. She didn’t sign up for that. So, I just kept that to myself. There was enough of a mess already by that time…”

PART III

The image at the top of the page is a still from “Madame X” (1920)

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132 Comments

  1. When have I been unfriendly? If airing an opinion, and standing by it, is confrontational, they yes, I am confrontational.

    Perhaps I would have an easier life on here if I conformed.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/conform
    You have a choice of twenty on here, which one would be ok?

    I respond to what is thrown at me.

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    • Let it go JT please. I don’t like to censor people and rarely do it, but this is over and has to stop. Please feel free to post any opinion you like on any topic under discussion here, but no more of this, ok?

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  2. From reading all these comments, and the obvious lack of knowledge I have about his life. Why not tell me to leave? Look at all the peace you will all have. It’s very easy. Just say “Leave”

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    • I don’t think anyone wants you to leave, but I think they’d appreciate you being a bit friendlier and less confrontational 🙂

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  3. Ellen Foley says

    Well,OR had enough years to acquire the upper crust accent.And the upper crust taste for the finer things.If you’re in dire financial straits,I can’t see ordering “21”.I’d sell some of the fancy furniture/paintings/tapestries for something more practical.Didn’t realize Vincent Price had so many of same concerns as Baz,no wonder they were friends.Think Vince said to X why didn’t she fight for Baz,paraphrasing,he thought she should stop torturing herself about something unwinable (spell?) in 1st place,namely them as married.His goose was hooked (vs cooked) the minute a lavendar marriage agreement reached.Lavendar I thought was more if both parties were gay/bi,but think it canapplied to any that is not strictly for love.

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  4. Ellen Foley says

    Please continue,it gives us an even clearer picture of the man Basil really was.After all,his family’s not being harassed.It shows how well thought of he was for human feelings,concern for others,wanting to be fair and do right by all even at loss of his own happiness.He was classic oldest sibling.I for one don’t know why he didn’t stick with his first wife,seems she sacrificed plenty as his wife,even with his cheating.I’m pretty sure she really cared about him.Still fail to see their marriage as a mistake in my eyes.WWI was a cause of that separation.But to get into his 2nd marriage,IMHO the jury is still out on.While SH series was ok,great source of income and fun,think all the off-screen stressors prob had some play in criticism of the later SH films.He was unfairly called indefatigable party-thrower,he even is said to consider it boring.Once someone knocks off at time camera stops rolling,who wants to have to go to so many parties.Joan Fontaine related how people kept cancelling out on one of OR’s soirees,and when she called to cancel after Greer Garson did,she got a good telling off No(Bed Of Roses book,I believe).Well,in a way,when fancy place cards and all the trimmings are paid for,it is mean to cancel at last minute.OR,credit to her,relented and just asked to put in short appearance.Maybe she (OR) said it to Greer,no longer have the book to clarify.Please continue this great series.

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  5. I hope Madam X will always be just that. Having my private life and the judgements I made in life thrown out to public opinion, is abhorrent. Whatever happened to Rest In Peace.
    Leave him alone

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    • But if we take that POV no one would ever write or read a biography would they? “Rest in Peace” has never meant – so far as I am aware – “don’t ever talk about this person again”. If a person was famous in life they will be talked about and remembered after their death. Having the “judgements you made in life thrown out to public opinion” goes with the territory I’m afraid. It’s inevitable. I think the best tribute to pay them is to make sure they are remembered as truthfully and honestly possible. IMO the fake knighthood that was being claimed for him, and the ridiculous stories about being good at disguises that trivialize his war time experiences are far more insulting than anything being said here.

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      • He is not here to answer any of this. How does any of this relate to a legitimate biography? Why are we compulsed to remove all mystery and secrets from life, and in death. Let him have his mystique, leave the mystery with him in his resting place. Let him rest in peace.
        I understand all your points. It’s like “lets get to the bottom of this” but you never will, unless he can answer all this “news”
        “Having the “judgements you made in life thrown out to public opinion” goes with the territory I’m afraid.”………….. Only if you allow and accept this easy option.
        The hard one is “No one is perfect” Who am I to judge you, and who am I to judge Basil?

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        • I didn’t say we had a right to judge him I said people inevitably would. It’s human nature and unavoidable. It happens to us all. You don’t avoid that by withholding information, you just ensure the person is judged on false terms. But it’s pretty obvious no one commenting here is thinking any less of BR because of this. So no need to reprimand us 🙂

          As to how it relates to a legitimate biography – well how could you possibly think it doesn’t? It’s a first hand account of one of the most crucial and formative experiences of his life. In fact I would say a biography would make no sense without it.

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          • “I didn’t say we had a right to judge him ” neither did I.
            ” It’s human nature and unavoidable” What?
            “It happens to us all.” no it does not.
            ” But it’s pretty obvious no one commenting here is thinking any less of BR because of this. So no need to reprimand us ” Reprimand? This is only my opinion, and carries no weight.

            With regards to your comment about biography, tell him this, not me.

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            • I really don’t get your point JT, sorry.

              1. People judge other people all the time. They shouldn’t but they do. You can’t stop that by withholding the truth about someone’s life.

              2. What people are doing here is not “judging” it’s discussing. And they are doing that because they care. Is that a bad thing? Is being forgotten after death better than being the subject of discussion and debate?

              3. Your last para simply bewilders me. Are you saying biographies shouldn’t be written because if the subject was still alive it would upset them? If so I don’t agree. Privacy laws apply only to the living for very good reason. If they applied to the dead also we would have no history, and no insight into our own past.

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            • Brad says

              JT – do you read biography? Your argument would suggest not as it seems to be a moral statement against the very legitimacy of biography as a form, which seems very sweeping.

              I agree with NeveR that the worst fate to befall us after death must be oblivion and after that it must be to be remembered falsely. I would imagine that if BR’s fine spirit lives on then it cherishes his love for X as something he would most wish to live on and be celebrated. He evidently loved her very very much and sacrificed quite a lot for her. Is his memory in any way tarnished by us knowing that after his death?

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              • Go back on the posts. I did not bring up biography. This is only my opinion on BR. I detest what I can only see as events that the man cannot defend hiself on. Badgering me into a biography thing is easy.

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                  • the countess says

                    Neve’s never twisted any of my words,never changed anything I’ve posted not even my horribal spelling.I also will defend her by saying she debated IF she ought to post this series..None of us want to hurt him or his memory or his grandkids.I’ll be the 1st one here to stand and defend him.Nor have I ever posted a lie or an untruth on this fourm,as i said unless the info I found was mistaken.But never intentinaly..and this statement “With regards to your comment about biography, tell him this, not me.” dont we wish we could.! Hello centeral give me Heaven.

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                    • the countess says

                      JT I only copyed and parted your own words. What I copyed: “With regards to your comment about biography, tell him this, not me.” the prenthes[sp?] are mine of course

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        • If you believe in letting Basil “rest in peace, and leaving him alone, why are you reading this blog? Presumably, you read the blog to learn about Basil’s life. You can’t learn anything if the blog owner “leaves him alone” and doesn’t post anything. You can’t have it both ways.

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          • If posting an opinion…. is some form of attack on the originator of this site, then this should have been made clear from the start. It may surprise you that I have respect for for this site and how it highlights BR. And the person who put it together.
            Just because my view is different does not automatically mean disrespect. What do you want me to do? Bow my head to all that is said here, or maybe allow the community to see that some people might see all this in a different perspective.
            I have respect for BR. And this site.

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            • I don’t think you were disrespecting me JT, and I always try to let every shade of opinion free expression, so please feel welcome to speak freely. I want everyone who admires Mr R to feel at home here whether they agree with my POV or not

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              • Thank you. And please understand that my opionions are only that. And just because I might disagree, really means nothing. Your site is wonderful. And thank you for putting it together.
                Just because we clash swords, does not mean anything.

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            • Fervent Researcher says

              @JT but the only reason you know about his life is because people put the information out there. If they did what you say they should do then you wouldn’t know about his life because there would be no biographies and no websites. And if you think he should be left in peace, why are you here and why did you read his life story?

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              • Stewie Griffin says

                I think what JT means is he wants to believe in some version of Rathbone that makes him happy and this transcript doesn’t fit with that. When he says people should leave Rathbone alone, he means they should leave his IMAGE of Rathbone alone. That’s just my guess. Apologies if I’ve misconceived.

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                • Just so you all know……. my replies have not appeared under yourquestions.
                  I have answered all this stuff you are throwing at me.
                  And please carry on.

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                  • The reason your replies didn’t appear is that I wasn’t online to approve them. Sorry but I can ‘t spend every minute checking for comments, I do have other things to do.

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  6. Ellen Foley says

    Be interesting if this abusive ex-hubby’s kin puts in their 2 cents now.Wouldn’t want the Weeder channeling thru me,either,I’d be afraid of absorbing some of her personality,have her taking over my life.Wouldn’t mind my Yankee accent taking on a little drawl,make me feel more in tune with cousins in Ala and Fla.She shoulda (OR) cont to write in all her spare non-spending moments of her younger days for a future movie project,at least to help defray costs of psych counselling.Curious now about the Cricket Sundays with Hollywood Cricket Club.Guess now I have the question of who Niv was talking about when he mentioned all the girlfriends/mistresses,wives in one of his early books.Niv and Baz seemed in some similar territory with 2nd wives,Niv ran around,but was hurt when 2nd wife flaunted her affairs.Baz was discreet,stood by OR thru everything she did,OR didn’t want X at funeral,couldn’t she at least allowed her private time to see him,like my 25 years+ life partner,his family had to be asked permission for me to view him because I was going to Ireland for his funeral and couldn’t make public wake over here.They ignored him for 20 years after he was seriously injured in fall at construction site,and admitted “having little as possible to do with him since we didn’t know how to talk to him since he was in a wheelchair”.Well,beam me up Scotty,give me strength to not punch these sainted Irish kin back to the piggery.

    Like

    • the countess says

      Back to the question DID Weedy have a southeren accent? And Why would anyone belive she was from Spain via Russia or which ever way around it is, if she did? Not realy up on ARK accents but the south in general is pretty easy to dif from spain.Or CT for that matter.

      Like

      • Are there any contemporary accounts of her that mention her speech pattern? I suspect that once Ouida figured out her game plan, she would have taken some elocution lessons to change her AK accent to something along the lines of “light generic upper-class european” At least that’s what I would have done.

        Like

        • There’s a TV show that features B and his family (what’s it called, anyone? I’ve completely forgotten), and Ouida can be heard in that. Her accent is pretty much as you describe. Educated northeast-coast/European mix

          Like

          • Speaking of Ouida on film, am I the only one who spotted her in the background of the voice of terror? 😀
            She turns up in the scene when Kitty starts shouting at the people in the bar about the Christopher dock, it shows the people in the bars reactions and I’m sure I saw Ouida sat there!

            Like

        • GRETCHEN says

          In a post on another page on this site (CAN’T remember where I saw it), there was part of a quote taken from a man who’d known Ouida and Basil (as a neighbor of theirs), when he was a teen. He talked about how lonely she was after Baz died, and that she spoke to him occasionally—and was always so “kind”, “polite” and “respectful”, etc…doesn’t SOUND like her! 🙂

          Anyhow, to answer Countess and KMC; this guy mentioned that Ouida had a “dignified English accent”. I’m guessing that all the years she’d spent living-with and hearing Basil MIGHT have caused her to unconsciously develop one over time……obviously she originally had an Arkansas accent, if she’d grown-up there, so this is why it may have changed. It’s also possible she was FAKING her “English” accent to sound more “distinguished” or something, the WHOLE time she was married to him—being a narcissist who was ashamed of her “lowly” upbringing, and all…with that whole: “I’m from Europe” GARBAGE she’d conned everyone into believing. You never KNOW!!

          Like

  7. Elaine says

    Do we buy that story of the abusive first husband, or do we put it down to more of Ouida’s fertile imagining? I mean it certainly did the trick of imprisoning by playing on his over-developed sense of guilt and responsibility

    Like

    • It would be nice if we could find some evidence to verify it. And we’re not getting the story first-hand. It’s something that Ouida told Basil, and Basil told X, and X told the interviewer. It might be true, or only partly true. So far we haven’t got any evidence on Ouida’s ex-husbands that suggests any of them were abusive.

      Like

      • the countess says

        Knowing Weedys record for telling the truth. Just saying. Are we talking about Fitz or R.H.? Did Basil even know about him? He did know she was from Ark. or somebody in the house did. could have been her telling the censes taker. But the censes lists her birthplace as Ark.I can see her draging the poor censes taker away by the arm now..”Dont wory Basssssil I’ll handelit! Darlllhhhing.” Her marriage to R.H. was short. Mabey thats why? Mabey he was a wife beater.Hes Mr. obscure for sure. But the one thing we forsure know about Weedy shes a boldfaced lyer.

        Like

        • the countess says

          And just an after thought mabey Madam X is too.? With so many chances you’d thought he’d have picked at least 1 winner.

          Like

      • I guess you could say that the short duration of her first marriage to Burgess (isn’t it five years max?) is at least consistent with possible abuse, though it’s not really any kind of evidence. I wonder if the Ebay relative who was selling all those family pics might have some info.

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        • the countess says

          Well shes single in the one censes and 10 years later divorced. The relitive might know lots,then again she might know nothing. But she didnt you say she promised to get back to you but didnt? I wish R.H. would have put a name insted of inatials.I’d have probly netted him by now,slippery lil ell.Thats why I was checking out City directrys. Hopeing to pick him out of a crowd.

          Like

  8. Just did a little research on IMDB…think I figured it out. Humm. If he and Ouida did have an “arrangement”, then they were no different than many Hollywood couples. How many marriages were arranged by the studios as “beards” to protect their romantic leads from gossip that would have killed their careers? If I’m right…at least she got on with her life and career after what she had with BR ended. Unfortunately, the same can’t really be said for BR.

    Like

    • Hmmm interesting, because if it’s who _I_ think it is then she was an alcoholic and a pill popper by age 30 which prematurely ended her career. I was wondering if her unhappy affair with Rathbone had anything to do with that.

      Like

    • Claude Rains says

      I think beards were being worn pretty extensively during the Golden Era of `Hollywood. Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, Randolph Scott, Laird Cregar, Charles Laughton, Louis Hayward, Spencer Tracey – just a few of the gay men forced to live a lie. Tracey’s relationship with Hepburn was basically a front to protect both of them, as Hepburn was a lesbian. Hayward had been Noel Coward’s lover (Noel called him Sugar and wrote “Mad About the Boy” for him according to some), but he too ended up in a mariage de convenance.

      Like

  9. GRETCHEN says

    Everything about the “whys” in Basil’s relationship with Ouida is pretty-much ANSWERED in this lady’s statement, isn’t it?

    So, he’d promised to stay-with and “be there” for Ouida no matter WHAT, because of her past abuse and her inability to trust people—she was VERY insecure, as most narcissists are, and had low self-esteem. (At least she didn’t pick another ABUSER!) They weren’t having sex much anymore (which I guessed a LONG time ago), because a woman who’s been through that kind of abuse CANNOT completely surrender herself sexually with someone, without feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable…she’d be too vulnerable, and unable to feel “in-control”. Having a child with him would give her a “purpose” in life, to make her feel BETTER about herself…but, when that didn’t occur, the sex dried-up. She knew she couldn’t expect him to live without “IT” forever, so she put-up with his affairs.

    Makes SENSE.

    As for “X”……she had a SIMILAR situation, in that her husband was GAY, and their limited sex-life was pretty dull—she was also young and sexually-inexperienced. She was BEST-BUDDIES with Basil (which can always lead to MORE), and he began to trust her as someone he could talk-to about his troubles and worries. At first, he didn’t REALIZE that he was becoming attracted to her, because she was HEALTHY for him—and he usually chose the ones that weren’t, since HE had low self-esteem, TOO. As soon as she took the initiative and bravely planted that (SUPER-HOT) kiss on him, he DOVE-IN…which ended the once sweet, wonderful, FUN friendship they’d shared. She may have later regretted that kiss because of it, but I think it’s an amazingly SEXY story, and she should be grateful it was allowed to happen to her…and, that it became part of her lifelong memory of a special person she’d loved.

    (LUCKY!!) 🙂

    You know………I’M a shy, fairly-attractive brunette AND a tomboy, I would’ve done ANYTHING to hang-out in that kitchen and library with Baz and Vinnie and their non-snooty guy-pals, I’m a night-owl who’s up ’til 4 or 5 AM EVERY day, and I goof-around and act (and look) like a KID, all the TIME—hmmm…she’s totally my TWIN!! Maybe…just MAYBE, Basil really could’ve liked ME, after-all. And, the CUTEST thing—he had a STATION-WAGON! Awww……

    We’re a match made in HEAVEN!!! 😉

    Like

    • Hee, I think we’d all like to have been at one of those parties, cozying up on a sofa with Basil, listening to him talk about “The Bridge of SanLuis Rey”, (wonderful book; great taste mr R).

      Like

      • the countess says

        Ok I also belive in reincarnation.But I’m not saying I belive Alyssia is Weedy..But honstly,how sad to be the reincarnation of Weedy. Weedy just blew it totaly.Look at what she had. Regardless of how she got him by love or by blackmail or by sympthy of if even by dumb luck.SHE HAD HIM! What did she do with that .She mistreated him she cheated on him.She treated him as if he was a slot machine put in a kiss pull the handle get another millon bucks to spend on dresses and partys.Bad enough to be that person in one life time but to be the rencarnation of her..you dont get the good parts. All you can say is I was the wife of a movie star in a past life. SAD.

        Like

        • Alyssia says

          I have never said I was a reincarnation of Ouida, but if I was I would be proud and happy. She was the love of Basil’s life. Anyone who loves him would be proud to be her. This X is simply deluded. I believe I know who she was. Basil wrote about her and her sad obsession and delusions. The only part of the story that is true is the part where she drove to his house and he told her gently to go home. She stalked him. She was known for being unstable and eccentric and she dramed her relationship with Basil to make her lonely life more bearable.

          Like

          • Claude Rains says

            Did you get all that from his diary? 🙄 And you absolutely did say or at least imply you are a reincarnation of Ouida.

            Like

          • Cinegeek says

            “She was known for being unstable and eccentric and she dramed her relationship with Basil to make her lonely life more bearable.”

            Wow, talk about pot and kettle

            Like

          • the countess says

            I would not be proud to be her..But if I had been I’d make far better use of what I had then she did’And take way better care of him.

            Like

          • Ellen Foley says

            I’m with you,manipulating someone to get what you demand vs IMHO being sincere,loving an “unavail man” who seemed avail somehow cuz his wife was uninterested/unable/unwilling to perform.I’d have still been with my partner/hubby even if I had deep-seated psych damage in the past cuz of my duty to my man.Many a wiman I’ve worked with was upset when hubby no longer found her “desirable” cuz of his prob,not her,and he didn’t have permission to look elsewhere as long as discreet,but I don’t see Baz unlike lots of other H’wood actors setting out to hurt his wife or anyone else.My point is I’m trying to make is,next time a hubby tells his wife “you repulse me”,maybe take a cue (I know it’s diff with OR/BR,but her overspending is really not from disrespect from hubby,unlike my former co-worker,and his telling her she made him sick to look at her,again my friend relating these remarks to me from her hubby’s mouth-her hubby had psych issues,and not PTSD like Baz,this hubby was a bully,and I know my friend Annie could spend it like a drunken sailor).Maybe leaving H’wood made Baz think the wasting money would stop.Maybe I shouldn’t have said leaving cowardly,but from a similar personal experience,of leaving my job cuz I was devastated by senseless death of my man due to gross negligence was deemed cowardly and condemned by others,yes I’ve always had very harsh know-it-all critics,who’ve huniliated me in a room full of co-worker nurses due to the “you don’t count” school of bullying they attended-still waiting to turn the supervisor in to Medicare for fudging charge sheets for visits she never did worth over $50,ooo.What comes around-OR lonely after his death,but that was karma iIMHO.And Cyn’s death,too tragic for words,she def loved the only dad she ever knew,no doubt.

            Like

    • Ellen Foley says

      Let’s both lift a parting glass to him,we deserve it,esp if it’s his best whiskey!X can come,too.

      Like

    • I’m a sort of tomboy, but I have gold-ish hair and blue eyes. *Plonks head on table* I would have stood no chance whatsoever. *Sniffles*

      Like

    • Ellen Foley says

      Think I agree that she was lucky he came her way,even if it didn’t work out well for the loving couple who shared love and intimacy.He was honorable,she really had to swallow her pride and humiliation,but he wasn’t a casual no-strings attached like his other affairs and I respect him more for wading into deeper water with someone who cared a great deal for him in return and seems to have had little bitterness toward him,even tho’ he explained his predicament.It’s just too bad every party involved suffered some way,marriage endured,she had a true love that she lost,he saw love as it was ment to be for one of the few times in his life and he deserved happiness,a child was affected,a brilliant H’wood career lost at its peak.Maybe X was a little rough around edges with her lingo,but she cared for our man.And we learn so much more with each posting about Baz,even if he’s shown to have cheated on his idealized marriage.He still is deserving of our love and I’d love to see us all able to give him a group hug.With his life as it comes out,what he lived thru from WWI on is more the reason why he was lucky to’ve lived past 40,look at Errol & Tyrone around that age,both looking worn,and Baz looked good wel past 60.Think the matinee idol image was a killer.Baz always earned his stripes,on stage,movies,real life.And speaking up for LBGT life,esp now with killer diseases having taken so many,tolerance is necessary.

      Like

    • the countess says

      Everone is intitled to there own oppnion.I also read her book and threw it at a wall.I’d have torched it but it belonged to the libary.Sometimes it amazes me that book about clebertys sold for years with out the authour “disin”[ to use the venacular]the star. Not to upset you Gretchen becaues I truly think we are more “incomon” then we are ” unalike”. But used klenex is STILL MY oppnion!

      Like

  10. Margaret G says

    So as I understand it X is saying the arrangement was that Ouida and Basil stay married but that he was free to have sex with other women? And this was Ouida’s instigation?

    If that’s true then it’s not fair of us to talk as if Basil was cheating on his wife when he had affairs. Ouida basically told him to look for sex elsewhere. She knew he was doing it and was happy for it to be that way so long as she kept her status as his wife.

    He was NOT cheating on her, he was living by her rules.

    Like

          • the countess says

            Yes truly if we know anything about her we know that.Weedy IS the orignal spin Dr. But in truth what we are reading is some starlets side of the story. IF big If it’s actuly not a fake. If we can belive her.We are only hearing 1 side of a story.There are 2 sides to every story and sometines they can be very very dif.I’m wondering if by 1st hubby [for Weedy] shes talking about Fitz of Burgess? We are back to did Basil even know about H.R.?whos name I still havent been able to locate.

            Like

          • The way I see it, she had nothing to gain by lying. If someone is publishing a “tell-all” book, he or she will want to expose some sensational news to increase sales of the book. But here, Mme X was talking with someone close to her. It doesn’t seem that she would need to embellish facts to impress this person, and she wasn’t trying to sell a book, so what reason would she have to make all this up? I personally believe every word.

            Like

            • the countess says

              But what I wonder is why this person who ever he was was inertviewing her if he didnt have some kind of plan to use it? Like I want to interview you for no reason at all. Thats not an interwiew thats a personal conversation.

              Like

              • Well we surmise the taped conversation was done as part of a friend’s plan to write her biography. We know there was such a plan on the go for a while. But because some bits of the conversation sound so informal it’s also possible she didn’t fully know she was being taped at the time. TBH our understanding is limited and the entire situation is confused and ambiguous. Which is one reason why I have angsted so long about publishing this and am angsting now about whether to continue.

                Like

                • the countess says

                  I say D*mn the presses and publish..You cant lible the dead. Let all of us come to our own conclusions.You havent taken sides by posting.And your not anti-Basil.And anyone who says says so is just mistaken.You havent claimed that Madam X is telling the truth for sure.We all know or I hope we do. That what we are hearing[or reading] is only 1 side of a story.Only you know whats in the rest of it.It wont hurt Basil to post it.I wont change the minds of those who love him. I’d caution you about continuing IF you could or will hurt his family,by that I mean of course his Grand kids.

                  Like

                  • the countess says

                    cut off.. I dont think ANY of us want them hurt. But unless it could do that as they say about finding a skeleton in your family closet if you cant hide it teach it to dance. Rereading this I feel I was 1 sided,in my desire to protect Basil’s family. I would also caution if someone in HER family could be hurt also.

                    Like

      • Ellen Foley says

        I can’t believe how much love there is on your blog for Baz who so deserves it.What wonderful insight provided,and dedication for finding out the facts.I am so honored to get on this site and read the truth of this great actor,maybe very flawed man,but incredibly caring human being.Thank you,Neve,Marcia,Countess,Gretchen and everyone else for loving that man and wherever he is,I’m sure he’s taking great care even now for family,friends,lovers and anyone else deserving,cuz I know he’s gone to heaven.Glad he couldn’t go thru with suicide wishes.Just too bad he didn’t seem to have real peace for long in life.

        Like

        • the countess says

          Thank you.And thank you for including me with Marcia and Neve I’m not worthy. “Just too bad he didn’t seem to have real peace for long in life.” well thats what Heaven’s for isnt it?!

          Like

          • Ellen Foley says

            Yes,you are worthy.Love the Scotty from Trek allusion.I want to be beamed up,too.Maybe ask Jack Miltern himself what he was to OR.Think “he’s old enough to be my grandfather” a little too harsh.He must’ve been her protector before and during meeting Baz,and do hope he had a winning personality to deserve Baz’s dedication/friendship.Don’t know how you had the patience to do your searches which have contributed so much to this blog.A lesser person,like this ‘umble person would’ve said sayonara,like I did researching Irish great-granparents as my granny considered it offensive asking where our family was from (she was bipolar,and loved to cut me down for trying).She considered “Roots” only about anyone but her,she just bragged boutbeing Irish,was suspicious of my “need/want to know” where we came from.Baz,like my father,was a hero in the home for enduring some pretty painful times,surviving with a wife with depression issues (my father because of my mother’s near death by accident when she was 35,Baz for WWI/1st & 2nd marriages,estrangement from family/H’wood gossip/movie studio games,himself feeling unworthy).The love for him here is inspiring,even with having it hammered into us how happily dismarried they were.They OR/BR should’ve just been friends.Like Vince Vaughn said his dad told him,don’t get involved with anyone with more probs than you.His sister must really have been a wreck after John not to be there for her other brother.He was def a classic “oldest” child,as my older bro,who’s only technically older (3 minutes older).But,I won’t take glory from him (my Bro),as he really is all family-1st and forever.I rant no more today,unless otherwise inspired.

            Like

            • the countess says

              Neat your a twin. Twins run in my Dads family,actuly they run in my Dads moms family to be more specfice,every gen as far back as I can find thats to about 1620s.I’m sorry your family was so disfuntual.Sometimes I hate saying My parents realy werent. Untill near the end of her life when my Mom went a bit bats.But Daddy stayed stuck it out and as far as I know never cheated.They were a love story. some times it’s hard to come out of that type of family.Because you see what life and marriage “ought” to be like.and whe you cant find a man like that,well its depressing.

              Like

              • the countess says

                Oh and the “Star Trek” quote,is from “The Trouble With Tribbles” when Kirk ask’s Scotty what started the bar fight. Yea I’m a Treker/or is that /Trekie?More like how I spent my misplaced youth,by not being miss placed at all. You could always find me parked in front of the TV sucking up 1960s pop. Or on my horse.Or reading. Or at the lib. Yea I led a boring childhood.

                Like

                • Ellen Foley says

                  Trek was a great escape from the day spent being bullied at school.Loved Baz in Director’s Guild (?) An Affair In Sumatra,he played a great drunk scene,and those shorts,fantastic legs,even in 1950s.Now many shows like RCun For Your Life,Name Of The Game,I Spy,The Bold Ones are on to see shows never saw when I was younger.My mother’s accident prevented her from doing much intimantly after her recovery,she was a trial at times cuz of severe head injury/TBI (traumatic brain injury).But she and my father did kiss convincingly,he was 25 years older than her.I guess it could be said he sublimated lack of intimacy by reading sexy novels,buying some of THOSE magazines,putting up with my mother’s moods,but he always stuck by my mother.Seemed to forget about the kids,actually said in front of me for some strange reason when I was in early teens “I never wanted to have kids”,thank you very much,but as you both got older and needed physical care,the daughter you said that in front of came in dang handy,and I’m sure Cynthia had to for OR after Baz was gone.Don’t ask what my point was,I just hope the message came thru at dedication of family can come thru,and how much I’m glad we can see these old TV shows which were my only friends at times.

                  Like

                  • Sort of unrelated but…..
                    Somehow heaps of the people I have classes with at school know about my Baz Crush, so I’m constantly being asked questions like:
                    “Why are you in love with a dead guy?”
                    Sorry little One direction fans, I actually have taste in guys! (Although One direction are more like women.)

                    Like

                    • I used to get that in High School, but then at uni nerd cool kicked in and even some of the airhead main streamers were wearing cardigans and Buddy Holly specs and pretending to be totally in to old movies and dead actors – so what goes around comes around :

                      Like

                    • Ellen Foley says

                      Basil,this is not unrelted.I never share my love for Baz cuz of fault finders who object to any of my likes.It’s your privelege,and no one has a right to say “Boo!” about it to you.It’s not like you dug him up,positioned him in library and introduce him to everyone who walks by.Crush on forever,Baz fans.

                      Like

                    • GRETCHEN says

                      I’ve never told ANYONE about my “love-feelings” for Basil or Vincent, because NOBODY would “get it”. To ME—dead or alive, Baz and Vinnie are STILL existing in some way, spiritually…so, they’re NOT really “dead”. I tell them how much they matter EVERY day, and think-of (and include) them whenever I’m enjoying doing something fun, which I know THEY would have liked, too. 🙂

                      HERE’S A SAD (somewhat-irrelevant) STORY:

                      I was SOOO shy and embarrassed that my family might find-out I cared TONS about Vincent Price, I DIDN’T write to him when I was in high-school, and had the chance (just prior to his death). Not knowing HOW to obtain his address, and too self-conscious and afraid to ask my parents to HELP me find-out how I could write to “my favorite actor”, I gave-up the idea. WHY was I so DUMB??? I wish I’d been BRAVER…I’ll always regret not sending him that letter, and some happy, colorful drawings to cheer him-up, when he was DYING from lung-cancer and Parkinson’s Disease.

                      I just wanted to say “HI” (and in a way, “goodbye”) to someone I’ve always considered to be my “BUDDY”.

                      I miss you, Vincent……you were the BEST friend I NEVER had. 😦

                      Like

                    • the countess says

                      I know this will sound like “when I was your age I had to walk 50miles to school up hill all the way barefoot and in a snowstorm even in June..” but realy. High School is ONLY 4 years of your life they may be the most misrable 4years of your life but when you walk out that door the last time.what those people who dont like you now,think of you ..will never matter to you again! They’ll go there way and you will go yours and years later you may find to your delight that they have made a total wreck of there lives and you..Youll think “couldnt have happend to a nicer guy/girl.” and get on with your life.

                      Like

                • GRETCHEN says

                  GREETINGS, fellow nerd!! 🙂

                  I, TOO spent my childhood watching HOURS of TV per day. (I watch even MORE, now.) I’ve seen pretty-much EVERY show made since the 1950’s, in either re-runs, or when they were new (I’m a ’70s kid). I’ve also watched MOST of the “classic” films made (since the silent-era), and I’m REALLY into the old actors and movies.

                  Other kids thought I was WEIRD, ’cause I didn’t know much about my OWN time…I grew-up like a child from another GENERATION. My parents were born in the ’20s and ’30s, and my brothers were born in the ’50s, so most of what I knew was the stuff from THEIR time. (But, we ALSO enjoyed some modern music, movies, and TV shows, as well.) My dad built our house in the ’40s. When I was living there, ALL the furniture, electronics, AND appliances were from the ’50s-’60s—which lasted into the ’80s, ’90s, and up-to the present. We even had a “General-Electric” fridge from my GRANDPARENTS that we kept drinks in, out in the garage…it was from 1941, and it NEVER stopped running until recently, when it was about 70 years-old!! (Boy, they sure knew how to BUILD stuff, in those days!)

                  My parents filmed me as a baby/toddler with a ’40s reel-to-reel movie-camera, which they also used to film my BROTHERS as babies and kids. I call a record-player a “phonograph”, sometimes. I usually know MORE about stuff that happened 60+ years-ago than those who LIVED back then!!

                  I’m the SQUAREST person around…but, I wear that “label” with PRIDE!!! Plus, as an EXTRA-BONUS, growing-up with all this knowledge makes me MUCH more compatible with the OLDER guys I’m attracted-to! 🙂

                  Like

                  • Wow that is a cool upbringing to have had. I love fifties appliances. My aunt had one of those voluminous old white and chrome fifties fridges until about ten years ago. They hadn’t figured out planned obsolescence yet 🙂

                    Like

                    • the countess says

                      Yes and when it went bad you could get it fixed! Everthing had serviable working parts, that could be FIXED.There were repair shops for that..And have you noticed a big fridge isnt big inside anymore? It’s all padding,if thats the correct word.We had the same TV from the time I was like 5. till like 1983.When it messed up you called the co. [Sears in our case} and the repair man came out and fixed it. A warrenty covered repairs.My Dad bought one of the 1st colour TV [around here] and he got the warenty for belive it or not. Life time repairs.

                      Like

                  • Ellen Foley says

                    I was a big fan of original “Dark Shadows” TV soap,love Johnny Depp/Michele Pfeiffer (sorry,Michele)/Chloe Grace/Helena.Look forward to Helena Bonham Carter/Dominic West as Taylor/Burton,Lindsay couldn’t hold a candle to LaLiz,or Helena IMHO.Read vampire/Dracula/Frankenstone/werewolf books before and after Dark Shadows,loved Joan Bennett/David Selby/loved Joel Crothers (RIP,he would’ve appreciated your tolerance for gays,Baz).And those showings of Baz’s Sherlock Holmes films awoke that new dedication in me.And I like Jonny Lee Miller/Lucy in ELEMENTARY,and last nite with my fav Sean Pertwee,what an unexpected treat,and Rhys Ifans as Mycroft.Last season with Vinnie Jones was a treasure.They sure did know how to build it then,and TV was something special before so many began needing to have mouths washed out with soap with too permissive censors today.Makes me proud to be a nerd,even if I was never in the band,I love any music as long as it isn’t a poor excuse/assault on my senses.

                    Like

                    • the countess says

                      Barnabas Collins[Jonathen Frid] can bite my neck any night! I’ll take Quinten in a pinch.What a good looking cast.If the shows were bad[sometimes very bad] who cared. They had the best looking male cast on daytime TV. Try to get your hands on the bloopers tape from Dark Shadows it’s a scream.Barnabas accdintly set fire to the set one time by knocking over a candle..Watching him trying to put it out while being filmed LIVE is so funny.

                      Like

                    • Ellen Foley says

                      I remember the time Jon Frid got caught walking out while credits rolling.Remember thinking “Mustget to the drive-in blood bank”.The remake series wasn’t the same magic to me.And I love Ben Cross.Sad to see Jon Frid in the movie Dark Shadows,he was quite aged,but David Selby just as gracious.They were in a group entering Collinwood for the big party,before they showed Alice Cooper,”The ugliest Woman”,per Johnny’s Barnabas.Liked Jackie Earle Haley as Willie,too.Came to understand some of the characters from orig sop story after seeing movie,lie Caroline Collins and David.Don’t remember seeing Kate Jackson in original,but remember classmates saying they remembered her.LOL bloopers,I gotta find that.

                      Like

                  • the countess says

                    Gretchen.I met Vinny twice and wrote to him and he back.but not on a reg.basies..Let me assure you.He was as nice as you think.And as cute.And he liked kids.

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                    • the countess says

                      Kate was late to the series.And I dont recall her very well either.Met the org. Josett/Maggie.at a si-fi convention she was nice and funny.

                      Like

                    • GRETCHEN says

                      Countess…

                      Vincent sure was a SWEETHEART and a CUTIE-PIE, all right!! I’m SO glad Basil had him as a friend, ’cause Baz DESERVED a friend like that. 🙂

                      Gee, it sure is LONELY being in-love with all these DEAD people! Hopefully, an ALIVE one will come-along for me to DROOL over, someday. 😦

                      I recently found Vincent’s daughter Victoria’s e-mail and business-address online (she now owns an art-gallery…her dad would be SO PROUD). Since the 20th anniversary of his death is this October 25th, perhaps I’ll get-up the nerve to write to HER, and her brother, Barrett. I’m STILL kind-of shy…but, maybe I’ll make some NEW friends, and connect with Vincent in a SPECIAL way through his wonderful family. I think he’d LIKE that. 🙂

                      At the time he died, I’d JUST started college a few months before, and was excited to dress-up as “ELMO” (from “Sesame Street”) for the upcoming Halloween-party my church youth-group was having at one member’s house. The night of his death, I was happily making the sugar-cookie dough for the pumpkin and ghost-shaped cookies I was going to bring to the party later in the week—when I heard he’d passed, on the news. On Halloween, I included Vincent in our celebration (in my heart), but was SOOO bummed-out and felt disconnected the WHOLE time, thinking of how my “friend” was now GONE……while we all played games, ate hamburgers and candy, and watched horror-movies, at the party. Thankfully, none of them were HIS movies, ’cause that would’ve been WAY TOO MUCH for me to deal-with, SO soon—boy, Vincent sure did pick one HECK of a “perfect” time to die! How STRANGE was THAT??? And, his BIO just “happened” to be on A&E the day after he died, ’cause it was Halloween-week…TOTALLY-CREEPY!!! 😮

                      (But then, I guess it was NO weirder than when Gary Cooper died at “high-noon”, or when Jimmy Stewart died the week AMC was having a “Jimmy Stewart Movie-Marathon”!!)

                      Like

              • Ellen Foley says

                It is extremely difficult watching a prent,in my case both at same time,dad from long-standing heart issues leading to cirrhosis of liver/effects of multiple medications,my mom from “dialysis psychosis”after years of dealing with an alcoholic doctor who when you discussed health issues ignored symptoms and wrote prescriptions for anti-depressants, which if he’d attended class that day would know about diabetics and what has been known to happen.She didn’t have much of a life after car accident at 35,him,he was there for her until the end.They were both trying,unreasonable,but I’m not sure,Countess if that’s same as you experienced.What some of us endure and come out with our sanity intact while casual observers stand back and laugh,”put ’em in nursing home,I would” with self-satisfied grins ya just want to wipe off their smirking faces,or the idiot after my friend’s suicide,”HaHa,I know what it means to youHaha!”If you can survive that with any sanity,You,Are A Hero IMHO,and survivor.And when a co-worker said “Why didn’t you say something?” I answered,”You mean one of many times you told me I don’t count,or who cares what you think,you don’t have kids.”

                Like

                • Ellen Foley says

                  Vincent was such a pleasure to watch as host of Masterpiece Mystery,even talked about the Baz one time.Prob when showing Jeremy as SH.And Vinnie doing “Thriller” rap,”Y’all’s neighborhood”,he supposedly did the moonwalk for reporter.I’d say his family would deeply appreciate your kind words,no matter how shy you are.His daughter seems pretty classy from what I see.Never heard anything regarding his son,but sure he’s prob like his dad,and pretty cool,too.Yes,Baz was lucky to find a friend wih Vince,too like-minded artists,maybe different specialties,as Vince was an artist in that he was someone with Degrees in Art from University.And a collector.Always respected Vince embracing horror movie genre instead of looking down his nose at it,like many nurse co-workers did at private duty nursing,but in nursing it was all about what you put into it.I had patients who thought of us as slaves,some who treated you like family cuz you were their only companions,nurses who used other staff and patients for their own personal gain.Treat people with decency and respect and you can’t lose.Vince and Baz were sort of like brothers in a way.And genuinely cared about each other.

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                  • the countess says

                    Barret seems cool I rember watching a doucmentry Vinny and Barret did on rollercoasters.Both realy dug them.Have NO use for the dau. wrote a “Mommy Dearest” book about Vinny. The daddy who addored her. ONLY AFTER HE WAS DEAD AND COULDNT REFUTE THE CONTENTS! I belive becaues she was unhappy about his marriage to Coral-[ Weedy clone]Browne. Dau has about as mutch class as a used klenex in my book. IMHO!

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                    • GRETCHEN says

                      FUN-FACT:
                      Vincent used-to call them: “rollycoasters”! How CUTE!! 🙂

                      Don’t be dissin’ Tori, now! She loved her dad more than ANYBODY…that’s why Coral was so JEALOUS of her. She came “between” her dad and his wife; because of his CLOSENESS to his daughter.

                      I happen to HAVE that book you’re speaking-of…”Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography”. I ALSO have the book: “The Complete Films of Vincent Price”, written by his friend Lucy Chase Williams (who I was pen-pals with for several years).

                      There’s nothing “Mommie Dearest” about what’s written in EITHER book (Both of which I’ve read MANY times). I don’t know where you got that idea from…unless you have a problem with someone who tells the TRUTH when they write a biography! These books mention the details of a successful but hurting man’s life, filled with wonderful AND sorrowful memories. Interviews with many of Vincent’s friends and family-members were conducted for an accurate portrayal of him, by each of these authors. There wasn’t ANYTHING disrespectful said about him, that I can recall.

                      Vincent married 3 women he had negative issues with. He had an affair which led to his 3rd marriage. ADMITTEDLY, he was bi-sexual, and so was Coral. He was wrought with DEEP depression and LOW self-esteem for most of his life, which caused him to make poor decisions, and even to question HIMSELF. There was his PUBLIC façade of: “the perfectly-happy, polite, and gracious gentleman”, which he’d “put-on” for the cameras and the interviewers and the fans—he was TERRIFIED that people wouldn’t “LIKE” him anymore, if he showed them his bad-temper, HIGH level of insecurity, and other personality-problems and weaknesses. Although he’d inherited (and earned) MILLIONS of dollars, his unfounded fear that he might “run-out” of money someday, plagued-him throughout his life. He could be selfish and immature, occasionally abused alcohol, and was argumentative and cruel, at times—to the point that even his own SON feared him……in other words, he was very HUMAN, and very DAMAGED.

                      In Victoria’s book in particular, she comes to his DEFENSE when talking about how he’d suffered for years with his own personal “demons”, as WELL as at the hands of his final wife (Coral, the narcissist). And, when telling the stories of his sometimes reckless and self-destructive behaviors, she is SINCERELY concerned for her father’s emotional and physical well-being. She utterly WORSHIPPED her dad, and it crushed her when he went through things she was powerless to protect him against…ESPECIALLY the horrible diseases that finally ended his life. 😦

                      Tori gave a LOVING memorial-speech about her dad when she visited his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri in 2011, to celebrate his 100th birthday: “The Vincentennial”. She had her brother Barrett record a video-interview for the presentation, as well. It made me CRY, it was so sweetly-done! If anyone would like to see it, you can find it on YOUTUBE…it was also on Tori’s business website, but she’s re-constructing it right now. (It’s at: http://victoriaprice.com/) 🙂

                      Like

  11. Ellen Foley says

    So true what she said about Hearst.Read same about how he lambasted the British actors each way he could,esp when some gave money to “starving lettuce pickers” who supposedly turned out Commies.X certainly filled in holes with info that makes sense.Even if their affair was wrong or not,still can’t blame them (I can’t) for pursuing this relationship.Certainly confirmation of Ms Chatterton’s (think it was her) who indicated that her British male costars were alleycats (my words,not hers) and went for anything that’d say yes.A man denied loving at home would certainly go elsewhere,and maybe he should’ve gone to brothels,but to me that was worse than his having a deep relationship with X.He could’ve been more considerate,reminds me of the “I would never mislead a younger woman” talk I once got,but felt ashamed when I knew what existed was mutual,he was just justifying me in his own mind.But he still never said no.With OR/BR,she always seemed to win.If her 1st was abusive,she should’ve gotten annulment.Baz def couldn’t have known the entire truth of OR,she hid behind her Catholicism.And I deon’t buy the long,happy marriage,that was just for show.He was human with complications,X threw him a lifeline of sorts when he needed it,he left H’wood as a coward in my eyes thinking he was being honorable,I think it was running away as a guilty little boy and 1947-1967 was the aftermath/result with a slow,drawn out career/personal suicide.I agree with everyone who said he had PTSD,untreated no less.Booze,pills,ciggies to kill the pain.This couple needed intense counselling to deal with their issues,esp with Cyn involved.God only knows what she must’ve perceived going on.

    Like

    • Melvin says

      From what I read so far I tend to agree, he may have been a coward to leave Hollywood like that in 1946. He should have stuck with X who seems to have been worth a million of him

      Like

      • Claude Rains says

        @MELVIN – I think that is a harsh judgement in fact I am tempted to wonder if you really read this material before commenting

        Like

        • Ellen Foley says

          To be fair to Melvin,based on my own personal experience of having been called a coward for handling a situation,I myself called our man a coward for running away,so put the blame on me,not someone else,and I did read very thoroughly every single blog posting.I defend my right to comment on said things due to my own experiences with PTSD,family dearest situations,personal relationships,a friend’s suicide and my attempts to provide comfort and first aid as he was dying in front of me and my blaming myself for not tru\ying to intervene,when truth is it was his psychiatrist who failed this boy,not me,he got what little empathy outside of his immed family from me,an older acquaintance.And it’s not easy living with the guilt even 33 years later.Others only see what they want to here and try to shoot down what those with the foresight/personal experience know for fact.Hence,the reason why some gut wrenching sharing from some of those who are brave enough to share their personal stories to clarify what similar experiences of the OR/BR/X story and many other insights on Baz’s life.So if you want to humiliate me in front of a room full of people who laugh behind their hands as I get a literal thrashing,cuz I’ve taken many,go ahead,but I am not always wrong and I do have a right to be heard,as George VI said in The King’s Speech.

          Like

    • Ellen Foley says

      As for more of my remarks,think ORs family should’ve saved her a divorce from abusive husband,whichever # he was,took him out to the woodshed and rid the world of him.It wasn’t up to Baz to “protect her from her past” but to provide for their lives together.She needed intense therapy after that 1st or whichever abusive marriage,and she should’ve gone to a priest,that’s what we RCs are brought up to do.X still has my support,she was an onlooker who got involved in a difficult scenario all arond,he was entitled to be happy,he had a clinging,jealous wife,a dependent youngster who also deserved a father who was around,like Rodion when he saw his parents separate.OR does get a little empathy from me,but if she lived thru some of what I did,she would understand why it isn’t much of my concern.It explains why she may have been frigid,but don’t punish man’s carnal needs with your right to throw money away.Baz should’ve walked away,if he ever cared about himself.I was thinking today that he would’ve been better off rescuing his sister and both of them working together to ease John’s loss.Now I def say his musing on whether he & Norma Shearer could’ve made a go of it if they,meaning only Norma wasn’t so happily married.I know the remarks are going to start soon attacking X as being full of it,but the only thing she was full of is insight,concern,caring,and I like to believe love for Baz.

      Like

    • the countess says

      To quote some unknown Klingon .Hurst was[useing my best Montgomery Scott accent] “A tinplated dictaater wuth delusions of Godhood” But honstly,I find Hurst to be a very sad human being.Who all to often missused his money and power for evil insted of good. Felling overwehlemed with the need to say “Rosebud”. Ellen Men who frequent Cat Houses in Hollywood land get caught at it eventuly.Back then TOO!Thats a surefire carrer killer.Safer to tangel the sheets with a willing starlet, in her case VERY willing..[especily if shes not the kiss and tell type]

      Like

      • Ellen Foley says

        Like Hitch said about after 6 pm and trysts on-set.Wonder if Hedda felt it her duty to rat out what she knew to OR.To me that’s the lowest of the low,and I’ve worked with that kind many times,anything to score brownie points.Hearst was a hypocrite,what with his years with Marion Davies.At least Baz did a lot of maturing from the 1st “I do” to his getting involved with X.Just too bad the maturing cost his improved relationship with his son/son’s family,and for that no sympathy for the serial Mrs.Her shooting for the stars/Stars cost more than Baz’s paychecks.She seemed downright in same league as the woman I saw at doctors office last Fri with 2 med attendants talking about when “the spaceship took me”,sad,pitiful in a way,but def give a wide berth.Lose potential friends and offend people seemed to be what OR accomplished.And humiliate the one person you need to rely on when your world crashes in.I’d like to hop on that spaceship with Scotty and tell the heathens I’ll dropthem anywhere they want,preferably on their eggheads.No transporter to aid easy landing,they go head 1st without a net.

        Like

    • Ellen Foley says

      As has been pointed out prev,Baz was in position to get better films,scripts.Many others before and after him demanded as such,risking a lot going to court.When I had diff coping w/loss of love of my life,I ran away from a long-time job and got fired.He got a “you’ll never work in H’weird again”I’m sure in his mind the best all-around solution at the time.For my situation,ostracism,cut-off from income sources.For their lifestyle,H’wood was where they needed to be.And if Rodion was in the East,and cut off from seeing his dad,what was point of being in NYC?He should’ve tested the waters in NYC for a few months,cooled off,come to his senses and gone back to OR & Calif.And if the lady is who I believe her to be,wish it did workout better in her favor.Peace at that cost for all involved was not peace.OR sanctioned affairs,so she needed to grow up and accept what she wrought.She went after Baz,got him so she could expect nothing else from any other man.Doubt too many men would’ve lived his life as a “Why I’m a Happy Man”Sorry,just can’t let this go-X may have been “other woman” but I see her as in her right to be happy,as him,he was honest all-around,and she pulled the suicide card!

      Like

      • You wrote,”X may have been “other woman” but I see her as in her right to be happy,as him,he was honest all-around,and she pulled the suicide card!” This sentence suggests that X threatened to commit suicide. But it was Ouida who tried to commit suicide, not X.

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        • Ellen Foley says

          Yes,the suicide card I referred to was OR,not X.Sorry if I didn’t come across clearly in that.

          Like

        • GRETCHEN says

          I’ve been thinking……the reason Ouida “attempted” suicide over Basil’s affair with “X”, and NOT over the countless OTHERS he’d been sleeping-with during their “agreement”, was probably because she knew he’d LOVED “X”. That made ALL the difference—it was “okay” for him to screw a bunch of “slutty” Hollywood femme-fatales whom he could care LESS about; but, when he fell in LOVE with someone (who was to him SWEET and innocent, and a good-buddy he really CARED for in a special way), it was NOT “okay”.

          MANY women who’ve silently “put-up-with” husbands that cheat, OR who’ve had a similar “agreement” with them because of an aversion to sex for some reason, are “fine” with their men sleeping-around…until LOVE comes into play. It seems that as long as the guy loves ONLY his wife, she doesn’t “mind” him putting his penis inside another person. But, if he begins to care in a DEEP way for that other person, WATCH-OUT…that’s crossing a line!! Sounds CRAZY, because it IS…these women already have some serious mental-issues in the FIRST place, to feel the way they do about sex, marriage, AND the meaning of “love”.

          So, I figure when Ouida found-out about the FEELINGS he had for “X”, that drove her over the edge (you know how JEALOUS and POSESSIVE she was). And, she HAD to do something really DRAMATIC to “keep” him all to herself……TA-DA—fake suicide-attempt—yup, THAT’LL do the trick!

          She SHOULD’VE been named: “Weirda”!!! 😉

          Like

          • Ellen Foley says

            That is so true,everything you said.My friend Annie who’s husband “was repulsed by her”,when she had an emotional affair withanother man,this husband,too was very threatened,but he became more verbally abusive.And she’s still with this SOB.She had to throw herself at every male in a 20 mile radius on a daily basis,came across as so sweet,but she was bittermand more than once came on to my boyfriend at the time.And her husband prob was bipolar or borderline personality.Why sleep with Baz for a few years and then this “arrangement”.I suspect the arrangement was the reason for the proposal,if he didn’t ask right away.To look the other way,like Marion had to while he cheated on her,before and after separation if my recall is correct.

            Like

          • rosebette says

            Many wives will tolerate a purely physical affair but not an emotional affair. Clearly, the affair with X is both, the development into a physical relationship of two people with an emotional connection. Ouida rightly recognized what a threat this was to her marriage; she may have felt so desperate that the suicide card was the only one she felt she could play.

            On another note, from the transcript, it’s clear throughout that X is the initiator and pursuer of the affair, and Basil warns her off at least twice, and then ultimately succumbs. It’s interesting that in both of the emotionally significant relationships with women in his life, the woman is the pursuer. Not that X is a manipulator like O., but simply that B. was vulnerable to strong women.

            I actually believe that B. was courageous (if perhaps self-destructively noble and misguided) in leaving Hollywood and trying to break it off. He was trying to do the morally right thing. Whether it was the emotionally and psychologically right thing for him and X is another question entirely.

            Like

            • Ellen Foley says

              Rosebette,you stated it far better than I could.I just take longer to process.Will eventually see it as his situation really was,but called it cowardly due to my own personal experience in a dire situation.The one’s calling me a coward have yet to experience in middle age what I experienced from late childhood to middle age,and I coped the only way I could,totally withdrawing,hence the coward tag.Maybe leaving H’wood was always what Baz wanted and he finally said to h— with it.Others always can judge very harshly,I have been unjustly criticized,and I’m sure his life (Baz) truth be told was never as rosy as we’ve been led to believe.I just think the public was seriously deprived of great entertainment when he chose to return to his roots in stage,esp since he dragged major spender along who felt whatever she did for him entitled unchecked spending.Living H’wood life on McDonald’s wages,IMHO.

              Like

  12. Claude Rains says

    It’s pretty obvious who “David” is. Which makes it equally obvious who X is. 🙂

    Like

    • If people figure out who X was then that’s fine with me. My remit isn’t to prevent people knowing – it’s simply to not tell them or make it too easy to guess.

      And just a reminder to everyone – I am not posting any comments that suggest possible identities, so if your comment hasn’t appeared that is probably why.

      Like

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