All posts tagged: Ouida Rathbone

“Fight Your Husband & Win Success!” – 1922

This article first appeared in THE DANVILLE BEE, JULY 20 1922. Ouida Bergere was married to her second (or third) husband, George FitzMaurice. Click on pdf button to download a copy of the original article Well, those who have been following the eventful career of Basil’s second wife, the incomparable Ouida, will probably not be too surprised that this was a concept she stood by. But for the record, we now have it in writing. “Fight your husband and win success” says Ouida. Indeed. Click on the button above to download a pdf of the original article from 1922. She wouldn’t meet Basil for another year and wouldn’t marry him him for another four years, but we can guess her philosophy didn’t change too much over time. ***

A Closer Look at the 2nd Mrs Rathbone

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?….

Ouida in photos

I apologise to The Baz’s loyal followers for the unprecedented hiatus. Moving is a nightmare. You lose things. Including your mind. I never want to do it again. But anyhow. In my absence, it seems the nice lady relative of Ouida’s who promised to get back to us but never did has begun selling her Ouida-wares on Ebay. By which I mean photos, mostly of O herself, some of Basil. As various people have been sending in copies, I thought I’d post some of them here. The photos seem to date from c.1915 onward. Many are snapshots of Ouida’s psyche as much as of her sturdy little form. Aspirational. Romantic. Tinged with the unreal. This one alleges to have been taken in Connecticut, probably around 1920, possibly when Ouida was married to George Fitzmaurice, certainly before she knew Rathbone. She seems to be standing in a field wearing a kimono and carrying a Japanese umbrella. As you do. And here she is, again c. 1920, this time wearing nothing but a fur wrap. This one …

Best Comments 2012-2013 #1

There have been some terrifically insightful discussions on THE BAZ over the last year, and some great individual comments. I think they can tend to get lost in the crush of the comments section, which is not the best layout for following a discussion. So as part of marking our upcoming First Birthday, I’ll be featuring some of the best and most interesting contributions. They won’t be in any order, but will reflect the amazing variety of perspectives and analysis I’ve been fortunate to receive. The first dates from January this year and is from a reader named Megan ho offeren an analysis of the photo below…. “…I’m a life enhancement coach, and one thing I have to be aware of is body language. My reading of that photo and their body language is that physicality is not a normal part of their interaction. They are awkward with each other, not just the social setting, as might be the case with people who don’t like to express affection in public for example. It’s particularly significant …

update: basilrathbone.net on Ouida Bergere

Basilrathbone.net has just unveiled a new page dedicated to Rathbone’s troubling second wife, Ouida Bergere (or whatever he real name was). basilrathbone.net/biography/ouida.htm Go and check it out. Lots of info. I focused on this pic of Ouida in 1919, sitting in a huge car: She would have been married to George Fitzmaurice at the time I think, and had just launched her short-lived multi-functional uber-agency for just about everything. That giant car is so Ouida isn’t it. Wonder if she ever actually managed to pay for it 😉

A Life Divided

I think BR’s life can be divided roughly into (slightly uneven) quarters. “Before the war” (1892-1914), “after the war” (1919-23), “The Ouida years”),1923-46, and the “post-Hollywood years” (1946-67). Each one of these segments or chapters is divided by a crucial event that shaped him, made him the man he was, for good or bad, gave him his successes and failures, his joys and his pain. The first of these crucial events, I think, was (unsurprisingly) the Great War. The second was meeting Ouida. The third was….well the thing that culminated in him quitting Hollywood so abruptly in 1946. We’ve talked about Ouida already, and we’ll certainly do so again. I’ll come to the whole “Leaving Los Angeles” thing later on. It’s a big subject, and a sensitive one. Today I’m going to talk about World War One, the “war to end all wars.” Of course war is always crucial in people’s lives, it always defines moments and experiences, and it always leaves scars. The Great War in particular cut a huge and bloody gash across …

IN & OUT OF CHARACTER: an attempt at analysis Part III

I think all the oddness of everything we have read between the leaves of IN & OUT OF CHARACTER pales to nothing beside the extract I’m sharing with you today: “…[Ouida]was both my secretary and my banker; and it was certainly not her fault that on two consecutive weeks in Texas my week’s salary was stolen, putting a considerable crimp in Ouida’s well-thought-out and carefully guarded budget. On the first occasion our hotel suite was entered in the dead of night and my week’s salary stolen, while Ouida and I and Moritz all slept soundly! This was unquestionably an inside job. The following week was on her way to the post office – my salary was in her handbag. She stopped at the hotel newsstand and put her bag don as she turned over the pages of the latest Vogue or Vanity Fair. In a flash a hand grabbed her bag and as she turned and shouted “stop that man,” he was through the revolving doors and out into the street. This moment of the …

IN & OUT OF CHARACTER: an attempt at analysis Part II

The second part of this series is going to look a bit more closely at the claim that portions of this book, maybe even the majority of it, were written, not by Rathbone, but by Ouida Bergere, his somewhat “controversial” second wife. The claim was actually made to me quite recently in an email from a reader who has provided pretty good evidence of having known the Rathbone family fairly well (I don’t want to say any more about this at present as I believe this person is not keen on being publicly identified). This is what she said to me: “By the way, Basil didn’t write In An Out of Character. According to his son Rodion, most of it was concocted by Ouida. I’ve read Basil’s letters and know his writing style and believe me, she wrote that book. He only gave her a few details and she heavily embroidered the rest…” It certainly wouldn’t seem out of character for the second Mrs Rathbone to have felt compelled to meddle in the creation of …

Michael B. Druxman talks to us about his new play

Today the Baz is talking to Michael B.Druxman, author of Basil Rathbone, His Life & His Films, about his new one-person play Rathbone. Michael B. Druxman is a veteran Hollywood screenwriter whose credits include Cheyenne Warrior with Kelly Preston; Dillinger and Capone starring Martin Sheen and F. Murray Abraham; and The Doorway with Roy Scheider, which he also directed. His one-person play, Jolson, has had numerous productions around the country. Other produced stage credits include one-person plays about Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Spencer Tracy and Orson Welles. These and plays about Errol Flynn, Maurice Chevalier and Clara Bow have been individually published under the collective title of The Hollywood Legends. Additionally, Mr. Druxman is the author of more than fifteen published books, including several nonfiction works about Hollywood, its movies, and the people who make them. TB: Michael, can you tell me why you decide to revisit BR at this time? DRUXMAN: A major influence was your website, THE BAZ, Your research and the comments from some of your readers intrigued me. A lot of …