All posts tagged: Eva Le Gallienne

“Basil Rathbone Eulogizes the American Actress” – 1923

This article first appeared in THE BILLBOARD, November 1923. Just a few weeks later Rathbone would be taken to a party by Clifton Webb, where he would meet unemployed screenwriter “Ouida Bergere” (as she called herself). Click on pdf button to download a copy of the original article Basil Rathbone Eulogizes the American Actress The Billboard, November 24 1923 When our dramatic critic, in his review of “The Swan” defined Mr Basil Rathbone as “the leading man par excellence with the looks, bearing and acting capacity which should go with the genius” we decided that we had a clue worth following in our search for interesting personalities. But getting a seat for a performance of “The Swan” was like getting poor Humpty up a again. It was only due to the cancellation of a third balcony box reservation that we succeeded in viewing that ideal couple, the fair LeGallienne(sic) and the stalwart Rathbone. We gazed so long from our dizzy heights thru the lenses of an opera glass that we became dizzy and were obliged …

a closer look at the second Mrs Rathbone 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. For example he said in one magazine interview that he’d been unsure when he first got to know her whether Ouida believed in divorce or if she would be willing to dissolve her marriage to Fitzmaurice in order to wed him – (True Story, 1940) which makes pretty much no sense if he’d known she’d been married and divorced at least once previously. So, it may be he never knew about Mr Burgess in Little Rock. Or about Little Rock at all. Or about Mr Weadock – if indeed she ever married a man by that name. Or even about Eula/Eunie Branch. He generally puts over the image of Ouida as a very morally upright woman with strong religious convictions, who was keen to be married in a church and even refused to stay in the same hotel with him until they were …

Photo Week: the Baz 1923

Basil Rathbone Tribute posted this photo on Tumblr. He’s incredibly young and innocent-looking. But it’s the date that FF draws attention to. 1923, the year THE SWAN opened on Broadway, and things changed forever in his life. The year he met Ouida Bergere. And of course Eva Le Gallienne. Where was he when he signed this? “Yours sincerely” is a rather quaint and awkward thing to put on a fan photo. Maybe he wasn’t used to autograph protocol yet. Here’s the link to the tumbr post: forlornfaghag.tumblr.com/post/33702054065/digitalhoarder-basil-rathbone-in-1923-i

RATHBONE & LE GALLIENNE

The Q&A with Helen Sheehy about the Baz’s relationship, professional and otherwise, with Eva Le Gallienne continues to get a lot of feedback and there have been several interesting points raised in the comments. Opinion seems scattered over a wide spectrum between those who refuse to believe Rathbone would sleep with a lesbian and those who think he and Eva were lost loves for one another. I’m inclined to agree with Helen that the truth lies somewhere in the murky middle ground between. I think it’s probably pointless to refuse to believe Rathbone had a physical affair with Le Gallienne, when Le Gallienne herself and her friends all said he did. Likewise I think the chance they were ever in serious danger of marrying each other seems remote. Their affair only lasted for something like five or six months. Le Gallienne moved fairly swiftly on to other lovers, and Rathbone was already involved with Ouida Bergere when it began. So it’s important to remember this in order to keep it in proportion alongside other events …

Interview with Helen Sheehy

Today The Baz is talking to Helen Sheehy, author of Eva Le Gallienne: a Biography. Le Gallienne was Rathbone’s lover and Broadway co-star, yet her name is not even mentioned in his autobiography, and in consequence her role in his private life and artistic development will be entirely new to many of his admirers and indeed his past and future biographers! The Baz is very grateful to Helen for taking the time to talk about this neglected subject. It will certainly be a surprise to numbers of his longterm fans. TB: Let’s begin with you telling me a little bit about your book “Eva Le Gallienne: a Biography.” How you came to write it and what drew you to your subject. SHEEHY: When I finished my first biography, Margo: The Life and Theatre of Margo Jones, I looked around for another subject. Margo had single-handedly pioneered the resident theatre movement in this country – her legacy lives in the hundreds of non-profit theatres from coast to coast. So when I finished the book, I looked …