All posts tagged: Biography Project

a closer look at the second Mrs Rathbone 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…

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more about Ouida

Halloween is coming up and typing is still a nightmare, so just to keep the biography thing ticking over, I’ve decided to post extracts from a transcript the Project was given. It’s an interview with an actress who knew Basil well, and who left this record with her executors with certain restrictions about its publication. We have presently got permission to use it within specific limits, which of course I’m observing here. I’ve chosen the extracts because they answer, or at least address, some of the questions people have been asking here about Basil’s marriage. I’ll say more about this when my wrist is good enough to permit real typing! In the meantime, people are welcome to take from this as much as they choose: “Madam X” remembers Basil & Ouida Rathbone “…He was there because Ouida wanted to be the wife of a movie star. Yes. He’d have been happy spending his life just drifting along doing theatre for no money. And it’s where he belonged really in his heart. England. He was so …

Michael Druxman answers a few of your questions

We’re welcoming back Michael B Druxman, author of Basil Rathbone: His Life & His Films, to answer some of the questions put to him by our readers following his recent Q&A The Baz: We’d like to thank you Michael for taking the time to come back and do this. DRUXMAN: No trouble, and I want to thank your readers for all their kind words. It’s always great to know that your work is appreciated. THE BAZ: OK let’s begin… Bryony asks – I’d like to ask Michael Druxman if he ever met Basil DRUXMAN: Unfortunately, no. Winnie the Pooh asks – I have a question. Why does Mr Druxman think those like Cukor stipulated they wouldn’t talk gossip about Rathbone but not about Muni? Was it a tribute to him as a man? DRUXMAN: I didn’t interview Cukor about Muni. However, some people, like producer Henry Blanke, I did interview for both books.Perhaps the truth is very simple: Rathbone was a nice, gentle man who did his job and didn’t create waves, and Muni, the …

Biography Week: Two Unidentified WW1 Letters

Frank has informed us about the provenance of the letters in more detail. Apparently he bought them in a sale in London in 1980 and had no idea they might be by Rathbone until he read the book Famous 1914-18 which features Rathbone and gives details of his family. Initial feedback from a WW1 author suggests additional grounds for thinking the letters might be genuine. Apparently, Rathbone’s brother John was injured at the Somme in 1916 – and this fits with the comments made about “Johnny” in letter 1. All in all it does look distinctly possible these letters might be the real deal, and if so they are pretty significant, particularly the second one. If “July 26” refers to 1918 then it was written on the morning of Rathbone’s heroic action in No Man’s Land that won him his MC. We continue to want to hear from anyone who knows anything more about the origin of these letters. Email the Project (basilrathboneproject@gmail.com) or post a comment here. Sunday 15th Dear all, Bea’s letter arrived …

Interview with Michael B. Druxman

Basil Rathbone, His Life & His Films, is not just the only biography of the Baz yet written, it’s also an exhaustive and essential filmography, detailing the plot and background information for every one of Rathbone’s movies. It’s basically the essential reference work on the subject of Bazology. Anyone who has admired the man has probably at least glanced inside this book, and many movie freaks and/or hardcore Baz addicts have, like me kept a copy by their bed for constant reference until a visiting aunt spilled cough syrup all over it and stuck the pages together indelibly, so that trying to pry them apart with tweezers only made things worse and there was nothing to do but cry owned a copy at some time. So, we’re very excited here at The Baz that the author of this bible, Michael B. Druxman, has agreed to be the subject (or object?) of our first Q&A! He very graciously, over several days, put up with being bombarded with email and Word files as we compiled this interview. …