BIOGRAPHY, essay series

A Closer Look at the 2nd Mrs Rathbone

A series of articles about Ouida Bergere (as she called herself), Basil Rathbone’s second wife, whose extravagance bankrupted him and whose lifestory may have been more invention than reality.
4069-6925PART I
When you read Basil’s autobiography you get the impression of Ouida, his second wife, as a devoted and selfless woman who rescued him from failure, gave up a brilliant career as a thousand-dollar a week screenwriter to help him become a star, and was instrumental in reuniting him with his estranged son… Is this impressive portrait the true story?….

George GitzMaurice PART II:
in 1915 Ouida quit her acting career (which doesn’t seem to have been going too well as we have no record so far of her appearing on stage or screen after 1912), and became a screenwriter…but this was to prove no more successful than her previous venture…

Ouida-Burgess marriage licence 1905 PART III
Thanks to Countess we now know Ouida/Eunie/Eula was indeed married, briefly, to a mr RH Burgess in 1905. She was 19, he was 24, and the marriage lasted no longer than five years. Presumably Burgess is husband no. 1…

278968 PART IV
How much Basil Rathbone knew about his second wife’s past is debatable. Some of the things he said about her in public suggest she might have been keeping certain things from him…

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