SHOW BUSINESS - ACTRESSES - 1930s-1940s
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS CONSPICUOUS COURTESAN:
Storyline: The merry mischiefmaker manages to write her name large in the mythology of intimacy, while presenting herself as the unapologetic doyenne of desire.
Xaviera Hollander (Vera de Vries) (1930) - Dutch sex-worker and writer. Outer: Father was Jewish and head of a hospital in a Japanese prison camp in Indonesia. Had a close attachment to her German mother. Her sire was a lothario, albeit quite gentle, and much of her later S&M expertise came from the brutal environs in which she was initially raised. Returned to Holland after WW II, although her father’s continual infidelities created a conflicted home atmosphere, while giving her a role model for her own sexual adventurism. Became editor of her high school literary magazine, then won the title of “Miss Tick” in a contest as Holland’s best secretary, before going to South Africa for 4 years where she was a secretary and copywriter for an international ad agency. Emigrated to the U.S. with her fiancee, and continued as a secretary, first with the Dutch consul and then the Belgian ambassador. Following the ending of her engagement, she became a call girl because of her low salary, and enjoyed the work so much that she embarked on a career as a fulltime sex-worker. Purchased a list of clients for $10,000 from a retiring madam, and went into business for herself. Limned her adventures in 1971 in “The Happy Hooker,” which became an international bestseller, ultimately vending some 16,000,000 copies, in its unapologetic view of the physically, not to mention emotionally, arduous life of the professional prostitute. Married John Drummond afterwards and tried to conceive, although her ecotopic pregnancy almost killed her, later divorced. The following year, she began writing a monthly sex advice column for “Penthouse,” and lived for a time with its publisher, Bob Guccione. Eventually asked to take her presence elsewhere by America’s vice and virtue police, she returned to Europe and became an international figure, appearing on TV and giving lectures around the world on intimacy. Ultimately settled on the south coast of Spain with her longtime paramour, and lived lavishly, while hosting Happy Cooker events, as well as creating a theatre production company, which was ultimately shut down by the unsympathetic authorities, as her weight ballooned. Suffered writer’s block, until the demise of her mother in 2000, then wrote “Child No More,” at the latter’s deathbed request to pen something other than sex-related material. Operates a bed’n’breakfast out of her Amsterdam home, Xaviera’s Happy House, and in 2007, she married her longtime boyfriend. Inner: Fascination with how people think and react. Strongly sexed and equally interested in teaching and opening up other people about their priapic urges. Provocateur lifetime of exploring her own power in the sexual realm, and, rather than being a martyr to it as in go-rounds past, exulting in the freedom of expression and notoriety it gave her. Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida Zelle) (1876-1917) Dutch dancer and spy. Outer: Eldest child of a wealthy Dutch hatter, who she teasingly called ‘the Baron,’ because of his posturing. Had three younger brothers, two of whom were twins. Spoiled and made to feel special by her sire, who later went bankrupt, causing his wife to leave him. The latter died when her daughter was 14, and she was sent off to live with an uncle. 5’10”, brunette, slim, with dark eyes and an olive complexion. Stunning and self-possessed, she was also vain and self-centered. Originally trained to be a teacher in Leiden, but she seduced the headmaster of her school and was sent home. Found her homelife so stultifying she answered the personnel ad of Rudolph MacLeod, a hard-drinking Dutch officer of Scots descent, who was 22 years her senior and serving in the Dutch Colonial army, in order to escape it. In 1895, she married him, and within months after their daughter was born, she shipped out to Indonesia. A son, who died at the age of 2, was added to the union, while the daughter mysteriously perished at 21. Both may have been victims of their father’s longterm illness, which at the time was ascribed to diabetes, but was probably syphilis. Her husband, a compulsive seducer, was jealous of her, while she showed little inclination towards normal domestic duties, and the relationship descended into endless petty quarrels. After living in Java and Sumatra from 1887 to 1902, and later in Europe, they separated amidst much rancor, and she reinvented herself. The duo sued one another respectively for battery and infidelity, although her extra-marital life did not begin until she returned to Europe, largely penniless. Proved herself promiscuous afterwards, with a fascination for military officers. In 1903, she became a professional dancer in Paris, first as Lady MacLeod, her married name. Reinvented herself afterwards as the daughter of an English lord, and then as Mata Hari, a Malaysian phrase meaning ‘sunrise’ or more specifically, ‘the eye of the day.’ Claimed she had been a sacred dancer in a Hindu temple on the Ganges. Totally uninhibited, she was willing to dance in the near-nude, wearing only a beaded metal bra, to cover her flat chest, since her terpsichorean skills were decidedly limited. Titillated her audiences with her combination of aristocratic birth and Oriental exhibitionism, and became a sensation of Belle Epoque France. Asserted she had been trained since birth to serve the lord of creation and destruction, Shiva, then peeled her veils, before collapsing into an embrace of the invisible God. WW I, however, put a crimp in her livelihood, and she accepted a sizable sum to spy for a German diplomat, although never did, having long been used to receiving large gifts from male admirers. In August of 1916, she presented herself to a French intelligence officer, claiming to be the lover of the Crown Prince of Germany. Several months later, she seduced a German military attache, and also represented herself as a spy against France, and wound up convincing both sides she was working for their opposition, while passing on worthless information to each. When she returned to Paris, she was arrested, tried and convicted of espionage for Germany, despite the probability that her claims were as specious as her earlier career inventions. Placed in front of a firing squad, she demanded a corset, wore a three-cornered hat at a jaunty angle, declined a blindfold and blew a kiss to her executioners before they killed her. Eleven officers hit their mark, and the 12th fainted. Inner: Persuasive fantasist with a great need to be who she was not. Highly sexual, with a love of intrigue. Mischief-making lifetime of truly serving the God Shiva by destroying herself through her need to continually recreate her own myths. Jeanne du Barry (Jeanne Becu, comtesse du Barry) (1743-1793) - French royal mistress. Outer: Illegitimate daughter of a dressmaker and a monk, initially taking her mother’s name. Given a convent education, she became a governess, then an apprentice dressmaker in a Parisian fashion house, using her father’s name of Vaubernier, before working as an inn-servant. Strikingly beautiful, she was made the mistress of Jean du Barry, a Gascon nobleman and gambler who had made his fortune as a war contractor. Introduced to Parisian society, she ascended a staircase of highborn lovers all the way up to the king, Louis XV (Mikhail Gorbachev), who procured her a nominal marriage to her first patron’s brother, so that she could become an official royal mistress in 1769, following the death of Mme de Pompadour (Raisa Gorbachev). Enjoyed immense influence in her role, and involved herself in activist factions that shaped the personality of the government. Given estates near Louveciennes, where she became a generous patron of the arts, particularly neo-classicism, which was her true interest, alongside accruing wealth, lavishing gifts on her favorites, and acting as if she were queen. Had a genuinely affectionate relationship with the king, nursing him through his final illness, but when Louis died in 1774, her brief run of favor was over, and she was banished to a nunnery, and then briefly exiled, before returning 2 years later to her estates with a duc, living in luxury, and becoming a symbol of the vulgarity of excess wealth of the court. After the French Revolution broke out, and her lover was assassinated, she fled to London and tried to smuggle some of her wealth out of the country. Imprudently returned in 1793 to try to personally grab as much as she could, and was denounced as a counter-revolutionary by one of her servants. Imprisoned, she wound up a victim of the Revolution’s excesses, and was tried, condemned and guillotined. Inner: Strong esthetic, and a lover of wealth and power, in particular, glittering jewelry, which would prove her undoing. Symbol of the wrong-headedness of the aristocracy, which would ultimately necessitate a separation of both head and body, in her inability to see the danger to her, because of her own greed. Self-inventing lifetime of riding to the highest level of society through her beauty and charm, and then being given brutal recompense for the short-sighted tunnel vision that went along with her ascent.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS STATUESQUE EMOTIONAL CHANNEL:
Storyline: The earthy amazon shows an equal propensity for drama and passion both on & off stage and screen, while making her a name a memorable one down through the annals of artificial entertainment.
Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone) (1934) - Italian actress. Outer: Illegitimate child of an actress, who projected her own frustrated goals upon her child. Suffered an impoverished upbringing, and was known as ‘the stick,’ as a skinny child. Began entering beauty contests at 14, then her mother took her to Rome, where she first appeared as an extra in Quo Vadis at 15. Grew into a large-eyed, statuesque, 5’8”, earthy screen goddess. Won the ‘Miss Elegance,’ consolation prize in an Italian beauty contest, then modeled for illustrations for pulp novels and also won modest prizes on the beauty circuit. Not quite 15 when she met her future husband, Carlo Ponti, a successful producer and nearly a quarter-century her senior, as well as a head shorter, who was on a panel of judges for one of her beauty pageants. Signed a contract with him, and he sent her to drama coaches and put her in bit roles in films. First played as Sofia Lazzaro, and after she was 18, under the name Sophia Loren. By 20, she had established herself as a star of Italian films, and over the next few years, appeared in English-language movies shot overseas. Married her mentor Ponti in 1957, and after many tries, two long-awaited sons were eventually produced from union, one becoming a conductor, the other a director, ultimately directing his mother in his first film Between Strangers. As a bosomy beauty with a strong sensual face, she arrived in Hollywood in her mid-20s with much fanfare, although was totally miscast as mere decoration in her opening salvo of made-in-America films. Went back to Italy in her late 20s, and gave a stunning emotional performance in Two Women, which brought her recognition as the passionate player she was, winning a Best Actress nod in 1961 for the role. Continued to work abroad in her English language films, while also starring in Italian-made vehicles, although was rarely given the chance to exhibit the full extent of her abilities. Her marriage to Ponti was viewed as bigamy under Italian law because they did not recognize his Mexican divorce from his first wife. Had to get an annulment 5 years into it, then they turned in their passports after 4 years of bureaucratic frustration and became citizens of France, marrying officially in her early 30s. Jailed in Rome for 17 days for income tax evasion in the early 1980s, after her husband threatened to leave her following an affair she had with a French doctor. Won a special Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1991, and wrote her autobiography, “Sophia - Living and Loving: Her Own Story.” Continued her career on the screen, although most of her later work was unmemorable, save for a few comedy turns with her fellow Italian international star, Marcello Mastroianni. Ponti died in 2007. Inner: Earthy, ambitious, but also domestic, and less focused on her career, once she had proven herself, preferring the role of wife and mother to screen star. Prioritized lifetime of preferring her role as domestic goddess to that of international cinematic deity, and gearing her life accordingly. Eleanora Duse (1859-1924) - Italian actress. Outer: From 2 generations of Italian strolling players, grandfather was a star of the commedia dell’arte. Kept his velvet waistcoat her entire life. Her mother arrived in the village of her birth only a day before she fashioned her entrance into the world. Made her debut at the age of 4, and by 12, was taking over her mother’s roles, while the family’s fortunes plummeted. Had no education other than the stage, and by 14 was a seasoned player. Made pregnant as a teen by a rich playboy, but the child died. After her family also passed on, she drifted from company to company without anchoring her talent. Finally scored her first big success at the age of 20 on the Italian stage, and then shortly afterwards, became an international star, touring as a leading lady. Visited Russia in her mid-20s, and in her late 20s, went to Latin America. Founded her own highly successful theatrical company with actor Cesare Rossi (Marcello Mastroianni), touring all over Europe and making 3 American pilgrimages. Particularly enjoyed her reception in Vienna, even though she was lionized everywhere for her emotional depth and psychological interpretations of tragic heroines. Rival of actress Sarah Bernhardt (Laurie Anderson), from whom she learned, doing contemporary French drama, when she saw that audiences tired easily of the stale traditional Italian model. Married Tebaldo Checchi, an Italian actor, divorced 3 years later, one daughter, whom she was physically repulsed by, because she reminded her of their unhappy union. Had numerous lovers, including librettist Arrigo Boito, but the most prominent was Gabriele D’Annunzio (Bernardo Bertolucci), a patriot/poet/ tragedian, in whose talent she ardently believed, playing his roles with a particular radiance. Also extremely effective in the works of Henrik Ibsen (Arthur Miller). Statuesque and highly expressive, she was particularly good in contemporary tragedy. Retired in her mid-40s for health reasons and spent 15 years as a demanding recluse in Asola, but financial reversals during the WW I period forced her into making a comeback, even though her stamina was not up to it. Collapsed and died while on tour in America, and her body was taken back to Italy. Loathed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who insisted on staging a state funeral for her as a national heroine, then reaped undue publicity for the event, in a double irony for her in death. Inner: Extremely fluent and expressive, extraordinarily self-confident. Acted from knowing her heroines both inside and out, with the ability to get so deeply into her characters that she never wore make-up on stage. Had intense friendships, although dropped them summarily when they were no longer useful to her. Temperamental, prone to headaches, showing a proclivity for hysterical overreacting in daily life, although never on stage. Extremely dualistic in her ability to be a completely disciplined actress, and totally self-involved away from the footlights. Prima donna lifetime of focusing on mastering her craft, while also finding the love and inspiration behind it in a series of reflective relationships. Adrienne Lecouvreur (1692-1730) - French actress. Outer: Father was a poor hatter. Began acting in amateur productions at the age of 14, and was taught by the French actor-manager Paul LeGrand, serving her apprenticeship in the provinces. Eventually joined the Comedie-Francaise, making her debut with them in her mid-20s, and spent 13 years with the company, where her natural style of emoting and demand for historically accurate costumes prevailed over her more artificially-inclined contemporaries. Beautiful, charming, with a simplicity and directness that endeared her to her audiences. Proficient in comedy but also excelled in tragic roles, doing contemporary French 18th century drama. Renowned throughout Europe with many lovers, including libidinous French Marshal Maurice Saxe, who eventually abandoned her. Was refused a Christian burial after she died, because she never renounced her profession of the stage. Poet/critic Voltaire (Michel Foucault) was with her when she made her exit. Her life inspired a tragic drama by French playwright Eugene Scribe (Sinead O’Connor) a century later. Inner: Fiercely independent lifetime of going against conventions, only to ultimately suffer abandonment for her talent, beauty and personal sense of liberty.
PATHWAY OF THE ACTRESS AS SEX KITTEN TURNED CLAWING CAT:
Storyline: The superficial symbol angrily denies her exploited past and scorches off her outer beauty to reveal the conservative socially committed activist beneath, while baring her nails and fangs to all who saw her as mere fodder for their libidinous imaginations.
Brigitte Bardot (1934) - French actress. Outer: From a wealthy Parisian family. Mother was 13 years younger than her husband, and encouraged her daughter’s career ambitions. Father was an engineer and worked for the family business, which manufactured liquid air and acetylene. Had a comfortable upbringing, along with a sister. Studied ballet from an early age onward, and at 15 posed for the cover of a leading French women’s magazine, Elle. Director Roger Vadim became interested in her possibilities as a sexy child-woman, and the 2 wed when she was 18, after earlier attempting suicide when her parents refused to give her permission to marry him. Divorced 5 years later. Even before her first movie, she was one of the most photographed women in the world, thanks to a natural radiance. Made her film debut at 18, playing a variety of secondary roles in totally forgettable fare, before soaring to international stardom in Vadim’s directorial debut, And God Created Woman, which was unsuccessful in her native country, but a sensation in America. Under her husband’s tutelage, she pursued a sex kitten image, appearing in little or no clothing in many of her subsequent films of the 1950s. 5’7”, 121 lbs, and curvaceous. After divorcing him, with both unfaithful to one another, she embarked on numerous affairs, always breaking them off herself, before marrying French actor Jacques Charrier in her mid-20s, which resulted in several nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts on her part, including slitting her wrists and emptying a bottle of sleeping pills, before the duo mercifully parted after a year, one son from the union, whom she abandoned, claiming she was not made to be a mother. Subsequently married and divorced Gunther Sachs, a German millionaire playboy, from 1966 to 1969. As an international star, whose figure flamed the lusty imaginations of her mostly male audience, she was denounced worldwide from pulpits and by moral groups. Reviled by ordinary Catholic French people, spat upon on the street by women, and gleefully chronicled by the press, who considered her France’s number one export industry. Eventually gained more respectability as an actress by her mid-20s, and also had a successful recording career in the 1960s and 1970s, before retiring from the screen in 1973. Served as a sculptor’s muse for a while, but her real passion was as an animal right’s activist. Sold her home and jewels to establish an eponymous animal protection foundation in 1986, while becoming a vegetarian. Had a neighbor’s donkey castrated for harassing her own animals, in an act-out display of her own internal anger against her earlier exploitation. Married Bernard d’Ormale, a conservative industrialist and Front National politician in 1992, and became a supporter of extreme right-wing positions, including a very public xenophobic stance against Muslims. A breast cancer survivor, she also came out strongly against homophiles, despite their longtime support of her, as well as mixed race marriages. From 1997 to 2008, she was convicted and fined four times for inciting racial hatred with her anti-Muslim statements. Has written two books, including “A Cry in the Silence,” and has been fined twice for the sentiments expressed within them. In 2008, she was given her largest fine yet, some 15,000 euros, for claiming in a well-publicized letter that Muslims were destroying France. Suffering from arthritis, she can barely walk, and absolutely refuses plastic surgery, insisting on looking like who she really is. Inner: Prone to depression her entire life, with a great deal of internal anger that finally found expression once she was freed of her career. Claimed to have given her beauty and youth to men, and purposefully entered older age with a sun-scorched face and unlifted features. Completely denied her earlier career in later life, in a state of great ire for having been used for her superficial physicality. Estimated she had 100 lovers, including numerous well-known personalities. Exploited lifetime of trying to come to grips with surfaces and surface appeals, while pursuing her own agenda about what is ultimately important to her, and allowing her rage more and more uninhibited expression, no matter the consequence. Renee Adoree (Jeanne de la Fonte) (1898-1933) - French actress. Outer: Parents were circus artists. Her beginnings are somewhat obscured, although she had a normal childhood. Began her career as a circus performer at the age of 5, before becoming a chorine in Paris with the Folies-Bergere as a teenager. 5’1”, 117 lbs., with black, curly hair. In Russia when WW I broke out, forcing her to flee to London. Made her screen debut at 20 in an Australian film and 2 years later went to Hollywood, where she was given a more exotic name. After several years of unmemorable roles, she had her breakthrough in her mid-20s, playing opposite John Gilbert (Tom Selleck) in The Big Parade. Married actor Tom Moore (Anthony Michael Hall), who was 15 years her senior, in her early 20s, divorced 3 years later. Had a second marriage in 1925. Able to make the transition to sound, but ended her film career in her early 30s because of tuberculosis, after 45 appearances. Retired and spent two years flat on her back in a sanitarium trying to recover from the disease. Died six months after being released. Inner: Abbreviated lifetime of getting a taste of living stage-center as an international star, before returning in far more unconventional and angry manner to try to plumb her greater humanity, and the anger at the core of her being. Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin (1646-1699) - Italian noble and royal mistress. Outer: Father was an Italian count, mother was the sister of Cardinal Mazarin (Francois Mitterand). One of 6 sister, along with a brother. Tall with waist-length black hair and eyes which changed color with the light. Also skilled with guns and swords, and an adept athlete, with a propensity on occasion for dressing in men’s clothing. In 1661, she married Armand-Charles de la Porte, an extremely wealthy duc, 3 children from the unhappy union. Her uncle, Cardinal Mazarin, elevated her husband to Duke of Mazarin. He, however, was a religious fanatic, who forced her to perform all sorts of penance for both real and imagined sins, and she eventually left him. When Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle) refused her petition that her husband return the property she had brought to the union, she became an implacable foe of the French crown. After a brief ducal dalliance, she turned up on English shores, replete with her black page and pet parrot. Her striking looks came to the attention of the randy king, Charles II (Peter O’Toole), and she became his mistress, although her unstable character soon brought that liaison to an end. A compulsive gambler, as well as insatiably bisexual, she earned the king’s opprobrium in 1677, with a blatant flirtation with the prince of Monaco. Despite being dismissed from court, she remained in England for the last two decades of her life. Inner: Totally uninhibited and willful, as well as willing to match wills with the crowns of Europe of her time. Wild woman lifetime of acting out her irrepressible nature, no matter the consequence, and no matter who she offended, even royal heads, who did not take kindly to her audacious ways. Antonina (c484-after 565) - Byzantine circus performer and general’s spouse. Outer: From a family of charioteers. Mother was a performer of dubious reputation, and may have been an ecdysiast. Pursued a similar connection to the theater, leading a dissolute life, which produced a number of children, as well as, perhaps, an early marriage or two. Became close friends with the future empress Theodora (India Gandhi) who had a similar background to hers. Through her, she met the general Belisarius (V. Lenin), who was much taken with her beauty, even though she was at least a dozen years older according to some sources. After the two were wed around 531, she made no attempt to reform, and remained outrageously flirtatious, causing her straitlaced spouse no end of embarrassment and pain. Nevertheless, he remained deeply in love with her, taking her on most of his campaigns. At least one daughter from the union, who married the grandson of the empress, although she would interfere with their relationship following the death of the latter. Conspired with Theodora against her most hated enemy, John of Cappadocia, in 541, giving ear to his secret plans while spies listened, which fed directly into his downfall. Acted as her agent on other occasions, as well, cementing their close ties, through her skill at manipulations. Also served as an able assistant to her husband, successfully completing assigned missions for him. Became involved with his godson, Theodosius, only to be betrayed and arrested. Appealed to the empress for help, which she did, and she reconciled with her spouse, while her hidden paramour passed on from dysentery, and his betrayer was tortured and dungeoned for three years. Remained a champion of her husband through his various falls from favor and restorations with the emperor Justinian I (Joseph Stalin), and eventually enjoyed his retirement with him, outliving him by several years into great age. Inner: Shrewd and courageous, proving an able assistant to her mate, but also indiscreet in her own continuing need to exert her seductive power. Much of the record of her comes from a source with a heavy prejudice against her gender, so that she probably comes across in the official records as far darker than she was. Circus maximus lifetime of rising from extremely peripheral circumstances to the highest levels of the empire, proving herself in all the demands made of her, while still retaining her own independence of insouciance.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS HOMELESS STAR:
Storyline: The hard luck loser feels a far great draw towards the lower depths than the heights, although winds up serially experiencing both, in an ongoing attempt at expunging herself of an ineluctable pull towards breakneck dancing with her own demons.
Margot Kidder (1948) (Margaret Kidder) - Canadian/American actress. Outer: Father was a mining engineer, mother was a teacher. Raised in the cold Northwest Territories, but took an interest in acting when her family moved to Toronto. Attempted suicide at 14, and was told by her parents to ignore her problems. Educated at the Univ. of British Columbia. Suffered from manic depression her entire life, but was able to maintain relationships through a quick wit and great personal charm, and kept her numerous breakdowns hidden from friends and the public. 5’6 1/2”. Began her film career in her early 20s, playing unglamorous leads, until she landed the role of Lois Lane in the hit Superman in 1978 and its various sequels. Although her career never moved past that multiple triumph, she continued to star in 2nd rate films, until an injury on a Canadian movie set in her late 30s, sent her into recovery for several years, where she continued to battle her own inner turmoil. Married writer Thomas McGuane in 1975, one daughter from union, divorced the following year, and briefly married and divorced actor John Heard in 1979, before uniting with French director Philippe de Broca in 1983, only to disunite the following year, in her ongoing pattern of brief unions. Also had an affair with Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, as well as Richard Pryor. Suffered a serious neck injury in an auto accident in 1990 and was forced to declare bankruptcy because of medical expenses. Once went down to skid row in Los Angeles for a stay, unconsciously repeating a pattern of her earlier life in this series. As her career languished, she turned to teaching an acting class in Arizona. In 1996, she was found disheveled and hiding in the backyard of a home in Glendale, Ca, with her hair shorn, the caps of her teeth missing and in a highly confused state. Claimed she was being stalked by would-be killers. She would be the second tragedy of Superman, after its star, Christopher Reeve, suffered a paralyzing spinal injury. Whisked off to Canada by her family, she has since worked on trying to get her sense of self back, while becoming an advocate for mental health. Resumed her film career in Canada, got back into physical shape, and successfully reclaimed herself, thanks to acupuncture and herbal remedies, although still remains prone to accidents, suffering a broken pelvis in 2002 in yet another auto mishap. Inner: Charming, intelligent and dualistic, with a drive for success, but an equal susceptibility to disaster, thanks to an unintegrated personality that was finally addressed through dramatic exposure. Healing lifetime of experiencing the full sweep of celebrity and anonymity, with more of a support system to work through her ongoing artistic draw towards self-destruction. Olive Borden (1906-1947) - American actress. Outer: An only child of Irish parents, her father died when she was 14 months old. Sent by her mother to Catholic boarding schools in Baltimore, she convinced the former to take her to Hollywood when she was 16. Slim and dark-eyed with jet black hair, and a knockout figure. Together they opened a candy store there, but were forced to close it after 6 months, but she was discovered in the interim by a casting agent. Entered films in her late teens as one of Mack Sennett’s (Quentin Tarantino) bathing beauties, and made her debut in 1924 in Neck and Neck. Became a star two years later with Three Bad Men. Had a string of hits playing sophisticated types, and at her peak was making $1500 a week. Lived extravagantly with her mother in a Beverly Hills manse, replete with servants, fancy cars and closets heaping with designer clothes. Her studio, however, found her far too temperamental for their tastes, and cut her salary, despite her being one of their most prominent stars. Promptly walked out on her contract, took a break from filmmaking and signed a lesser one with Columbia, while moving to a far more modest home. Could not make the transition into sound, however, and her career continued to suffer. In 1931, she married Thomas Spector, a stockbroker who wanted her to quit acting, but she refused, and then discovered her husband was still married to someone else and had the union annulled. Moved to NYC and appeared in a couple of plays before making her final movie appearance in 1934. The same year she married an electrician, and the couple wound up living with her husband’s father in a tiny apartment on Long Island. No children from either of her unions. By WW II, the marriage was over, and she was bankrupt, as well as an alcoholic. Became a nurse’s aid, and enlisted in the WAAC’s, making $12.50 a week at their training center. After the war, she returned to Los Angeles and lived in a mission home for destitute women. Her mother worked in the mission’s commissary, while she labored as a housekeeper. Ran away from all of it, and was discovered several months later in a cheap motel. Returned to the mission, but died soon afterwards from double pneumonia and a stomach ailment brought on by years of alcohol abuse. Inner: Pleasure-loving and pain-filled, with a completely distorted view of herself and the world around her. Lower depths lifetime of experiencing both the highs of celebrity and lows of anonymity, and ultimately opting for the latter, thanks to continually bad choices. Jennie Worrell (1850-1899) - American actress. Outer: Father was a circus clown. The youngest of three sisters who began their careers as children, singing and dancing for venues in both California and Australia, under their sire’s management, before coming to NYC in 1866, where they managed their own theater, the Worrell sisters’ NY Theater. They did musical burlesques, where she shone sufficiently to also do other works separate from her siblings, while also serving as producer of their productions. Forced to give up the theater in 1868, despite the continued popularity of burlesque, while continuing to work on Broadway until 1873, both separately and together, until marriages ended the act. Married A. T. ‘Mike Murray’, a rich and handsome roué and the manager of a gambling establishment in a rocky union that ultimately saw them separate and then reconcile, before he finally left her prior to dying in his office of heart disease in 1895. Long estranged from her sisters because they didn’t approve of her drinking and cavorting, she wound up destitute and living on the streets of Coney Island following the demise of her husband. Arrested a number of times for vagrancy, she eventually died in a hospital of burns she incurred while sleeping in the grass. Inner: Ultimately dissolute and unable to handle disconnection after her earlier years of adulation. Sad-eyed lifetime of beginning a series of show business flameouts that ultimately saw her real stage as the destitute street. Harriet Westbrook (1795-1816) - English suicide. Outer: Father did extremely well as a coffee shop owner and hotel keeper, and was very interested in his children’s subsequent success in the material world. Sent to an excellent girls’ school in Clapham, where she befriended the 12 year old sister of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Tim Buckley). Obsessed by feelings of paranoidal persecution, she threatened suicide several times, despite being a good student and superficially well-socialized. Nevertheless, she allowed herself to be pushed into a relationship with Shelley by her social-climbing much older sister and father, since the budding poet was due to inherit a handsome fortune. Shelley felt sorry for her and wanted to rescue her from herself, and in an impulsive act which he would later profoundly regret, the duo ran off to Scotland in 1811 to be married just weeks after her 16th birthday. While her family was surprised, his was outraged. Despite being intelligent, charming and well-read, she was extremely immature emotionally. Involved herself in her spouse’s literary and political projects, and promptly became pregnant with a daughter, while Shelley began disappearing from home for longer and longer stretches. In 1814, they were remarried in a London church so as to legitimatize their offspring, since she was now pregnant again, with what would be a son later on in the year. Shelley, however, soon met Mary Wollstonecraft (Lynda Barry) and the marriage was now doomed. The latter duo soon eloped, feeding into her ongoing paranoia and estrangement. Her father gave her some money to live on, while Shelley also gave her some guilt money, which was doubled the following year, after the death of his grandfather. Despite being covered financially, her sense of abandonment was all-pervading. Briefly returned to her father’s house in Bath, although she found it far too constraining. Took on a lover, who may have been part of the military establishment, then in the late summer of 1816, she took lodgings in Chelsea, so as to protect her family from neighborly gossip about having an out-of-wedlock baby by her lover. In the late fall, she penned a farewell note to her father, sister and husband, and then jumped into the Serpentine River. Not found until 12/10/1816, several weeks later, in an advanced state of pregnancy. Inner: Good-humored and good-mannered on the surface, but roiling underneath. Confused lifetime of allowing her darkside to overwhelm her positive traits, before deliberately and literally drowning in her own abysmal sense of alienation.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS PERENNIAL INGENUE:
Storyline: The unsinkable star faces a series of personal crises surrounding her unstable mates and manages to remain afloat through sheer perky persistence, after a relatively easy go-round of sticking to one role and playing it for all it was worth to her.
Debbie Reynolds (Mary Frances Reynolds) (1932) - American actress. Outer: Father was a carpenter for the Southern Pacific RR. Close to parents, although her sire never saw any of her movies. One older brother. Won the Miss Burbank beauty contest at the age of 16 and signed with Warner Bros. the same year, making her film debut in June Bride. Moved to MGM 2 years later and became a mainstay in musicals and light comedy with them, while showing a willingness to work hard to perfect her craft. 5’1”, 100 lbs. In her early 20s she married singer Eddie Fisher, and the duo went on to become an extremely popular Hollywood couple, representing the wholesome innocence of the 1950s. Daughter Carrie Fisher became an actress/author, son became a TV director. Fisher left her 4 years later for actress Elizabeth Taylor, and fan support for her as the abandoned wife increased her popularity, as she continued her prolific movie career, although remained in shock for 2 years over her abandonment. In her late 20s, she married Harry Karl, the wealthy owner of a chain of shoe-stores, while her career continued to blossom both in films and on TV, including The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Son from union became a TV director. By her early 40s, her ingenue image no longer lit up the screen, and she turned to Broadway, playing in a hit revival and then an eponymous revue. Her husband’s business began to fail and she suddenly found herself responsible for $2 million of his debts. The duo divorced in her mid-40s. In her early 50s, she married Richard Hamlett, a real-estate developer and contractor and then put out two aerobic videos and published an autobiography, “Debbie: My Life.” In her early 60s, she opened a Las Vegas casino hotel, where she performed and gave tours of her vast collection of vintage Hollywood costumes and memorabilia. Divorced her 3rd husband in 1996, claiming she had once more been taken for money by a spouse, and was forced to sell her hotel, while he, in turn, blamed her drinking and son’s mismanagement for their mutual failures. Returned to the screen in her 60s, giving a notable performance in Albert Brooks’ Mother, while continuing touring for 40 weeks a year into her 70s. Eventually worked with Elizabeth Taylor on a TV film penned by her daughter, completing a healing from her their earlier rupture. Inner: Perky, exuberant, wholesome, with an excellent business sense and the capacity to rebound from trauma. Hard worker, disciplined, and able to learn from her failures. Sink or swim lifetime of dealing with rejection and failure along with success in order to deepen her own floating sense of self. Maggie Mitchell (1832-1918) - American actress. Outer: Father, who had once acted, was English, mother was Scottish. Left school to follow her two older half-sisters onto the stage in several non-speaking roles. Given coaching by her parents as well as by an English actor friend of her family, she made her debut at 19 in a benefit performance of “The Soldier’s Daughter.” Small and thin, she played mostly boys’ parts with a stock company at the Bowery Theater in NYC and danced in between the acts. Toured over the next several years in the East and then the Midwest and South. Played young heroes’ roles, which set off a ‘Maggie Mitchell craze’ in Cleveland in her early 20s. Married at the same time, but her mother put a quick end to the relationship. One son from the union ultimately acted in her company and became a playwright. In her late 20s, she appeared in “Fanchon, the Cricket,” which became her signature role. Her sprightly character, who did an entrancing shadow dance, was a sensation, and it remained her mainstay role for the next 3 decades. Admirers included Pres. Abraham Lincoln and transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson (Reinhold Neibuhr). Married Henry Paddock in her mid-30s, after a 14 year courtship, and her husband became her manager, two children from the union. Following his death , she wed Charles Abbott, a former leading man. Maintained her winsome appeal into her 50s, and also retained the rights to the play, giving her a considerable fortune. Occasionally played other roles and finally retired from the stage at the age of 60. Died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Inner: Elfin, sprightly, full of good cheer. Basically a one role ingenue. Martinet as company manager. Limited lifetime of succeeding both artistically and financially through the choice of an excellent vehicle for her talents, and turning it into a 4 decade career of adulation and remuneration, before returning to test her mettle with a far more varied dramatic veneer to her life. Margaret Martyr (Margaret Thornton) (c1761-1807) - English actress and singer. Outer: Daughter of a London tailor. Began her career in her late teens, singing the music of her teacher at Vauxhall Gardens during the summers of 1778 to 1780. Made her theatrical debut in 1779 at Covent Garden in a comic opera, then married an army officer around this same time. A pretty, playful brunette, she became a mainstay in secondary roles in English opera and musical afterpieces, carving a popular career for herself more through the dint of her highly pleasing projected personality than the dynamism of her singing and acting. Her marriage was far less successful, despite producing a daughter of the same name, who also became a singer and a minor actress. Her husband got into debt and fled to France to escape his creditors, before dying there in 1783. Gossip had it that she had long given up on him, and embarked on other affairs while still wed to him. Had a volatile relationship with her company’s prompter, afterwards, which soon ended, and then she hooked up with the principal oboist at Covent Garden, William Thomas Parke, in a far more satisfying union. Although they did not marry, they appeared together, and had two sons. Able to buy a farm in Kent through her earnings, and remained on the salary list of Covent Garden, even after she was unable to perform. Following the births of her sons at century’s end and new beginning, she appeared less. Died after a seven month illness, and although she was subsequently absent from her young sons’ lives, she was able to leave them property. Inner: Great audience favorite, thanks to a beguiling manner, and though initially unlucky in love, able to find a partner who complemented her both emotionally and artistically. Umartyred lifetime of finding love on stage, and eventually off, while developing the winning winsome public personality that would continue to beguile audiences for the next two centuries.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS DAZZLING CRYPTO-DUCHESS:
Storyline: The sultry siren extends her sizzle deep into middle-age, while growing ever larger in public fascination as the screens upon which she appears get progressively smaller.
Joan Collins (1933) - English actress. Outer: Father was a South African-born Jewish theatrical booking agent, mother was a dancer and a domestic goddess. The former was strict with her, although both parents grounded her with an enduring set of values. Eldest of 3, including writer Jackie Collins. Studied at the British Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and made her stage debut in 1946 in London in “A Doll’s House,” while her sire served as her first agent. Began her film career in 1951 with “Lady Godiva Rides Again,” then played errant juveniles in a series of forgettable films. In 1952, she unhappily married actor Maxwell Reed, who soon tried to sell her for £10,000 to an Arab shieik. The ill-matched duo quickly separated and were divorced in 1956, after his continually threatening her with his underworld friends, which frightened her to the point of giving him a healthy chunk of money to get rid of him. Went to Hollywood the previous year and became a sultry, but conventional star, parlaying her striking beauty into a series of decorative roles. 5’6”. Married actor Anthony Newley in 1963, divorced 7 years later, painter son and English news anchor daughter, Tara Newley, from union. Had several well-publicized affairs with fellow actors, as well as an abortion, thanks to Warren Beatty. As her career began to wane in the 1970s, she returned to England and appeared in horror and sexploitation films. Married for a third time in 1972 and divorced 11 years later. Daughter from union Katyana Kass, became an actress. Hit her low-point in 1976, when she found herself on an unemployment line, her career seemingly over in her early 40s. Mortified by the experience, she transposed one of her sister’s raunchy novels, “The Stud,” into a vehicle for herself, replete with nudity, and directed by her husband of the time. Followed that up with another equally lowbrow transliteration of her sister’s “The Bitch.” Topped both-off with a tell-all autobiography, “Past Imperfect,” in 1978, which scorched its way onto the best-seller lists, and she was back on track. Later tried her hand at novels, which fed into a decade-long estrangement from her sibling. In 1980, her daughter was struck by a car and suffered severe brain injuries. In 1981, however, her career was completely resuscitated via the role of the uberbitch Alexis Colby on TV’s “Dynasty.” Posed in the semi-nude for Playboy magazine in 1983 at the age of 50, while becoming a frequent talk-show guest, only too happy to capitalize on her re-found celebrity. In 1985, she married Peter Holm, a Swedish singer and playboy who controlled and exploited her, and divorced him two years later, while continuing to show there is life after 40 for lively, ambitious women in the public domain. Happily married Percy Gibson, a Scottish-Peruvian stage manager half her age in her late 60s, proving the fifth time is the charm and settled in NYC, and went back to soap operas, while penning shlocky tomes, after earlier being sued by Random House in 1996 for turning in an unprintable mss., and prevailing over them in court, getting to keep her $1.2 million advance. Able to maintain her striking looks into full maturity, and serve as an ongoing beacon for both brains and beauty for the mass culture. Inner: Intelligent, articulate, highly ambitious, with a preference for quantity over quality in her work, as well as fan appreciation rather than critical acclaim. Extremely positive thinker. Sybaritic, disciplined and extremely self-expressive, while characterizing herself right-wing politically. Born-to-perform lifetime of extending her desires to be seen and heard over a multi-decade career dedicated to her own ongoing self-celebration and self-expression. Lydia Thompson (1836-1908) - English dancer and burlesque actress. Outer: Father died during her childhood and her mother remarried. Her younger half-sister Clara (Jackie Collins) from the second union also followed her onto the stage. Forced to earn her own living from an early age, making her debut at 14 by joining a dancing chorus at Her Majesty’s Theater in London. The first part whichh won her critical notice was “Little Silverhair,” in the pantomime Harlequin. A dancer for the next 9 years, she toured Europe and Russia in 1855. In the following years she alternated between playing in London and in various provincial towns, while switching to burlesque, after showing a gift for comedy. Eventually, she proved to be even more popular in her second career, than she had been in her first as a straight dancer. Became the 2nd wife of Alexander Henderson, a producer/manager, one daughter from the union, an actress. Sailed for America with her husband, and became the first star to bring a fully organized company across the ocean, as a pioneer of latter-day English burlesque. Enjoyed a very successful tour of America, Australia and India over a 6 year period, beginning in 1868, with “Ixion,” where women in revealing tights played men’s roles. People attended her shows in droves because of their titillating nature, making her and her “British blondes,” the hottest thing this side of the Atlantic. Grossed over $300,000 in her first NY season, while playing in NY’s most prestigious musical house. Employed melodies from operatic arias and popular ditties of the day, and never published her scripts so as to confound potential imitators. Joined comedian Willie Edouin in NY in 1870, and proved an American favorite, eliciting several return trips to the U.S. Returned to London, then back to NY., and briefly retired in 1879. Opened the Strand Theater in 1886, the year her husband died, which also took the life out of her performances, although she kept periodically returning to the boards, giving her last show in 1904, while in her late 60s, before dying four years later. Inner: Transatlantic lifetime of serving as a practitioner of a particular art form and enjoying a long-running success in doing it, although felt a compulsion to continue long after her heart had gone out of her performances. Frances Stewart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox Frances Teresa Stuart) (1647-1702) - Scottish noblewoman. Outer: Her family was forced to flee into exile because of their Royalist sympathies during the English Civil War prior to her birth. Her father was the son of a Scottish lord and a physician in the exiled court of Queen Henrietta Marie (Queen Mother Elizabeth), and her mother was a noted beauty. Both parents were distant relatives of the ruling dynasty. Older of two daughters. Spent her childhood in exile in France, in the convent-like atmosphere of the widowed queen’s court, but was sent to England in 1662 after the Restoration of the crown in order to serve as maid of honor to the restored Charles II’s (Peter O’Toole) Portuguese wife, Catherine of Braganza (Mary Gordon). A remarkable blue-eyed and golden-curled beauty, she earned the sobriquet, La Belle Stuart, and immediately had a host of suitors, including the king himself, who pried himself from his wife’s near deathbed to shamelessly pursue her, while the queen was recovering. Although she flirted and played with him, she probably did not succumb to him, since she was ruled far more by romance than passion, forcing her to begin looking for a husband so as to avoid his increasingly more pressurized pursuit. The king, in turn, thought several times about divorcing his barren wife and marrying her, particularly after he felt he would lose her as a mistress to the matrimonial urgings of Charles Stewart, the 4th Duke of Lennox and 6th Duke of Richmond, a widower and another Stuart relative. Despite his failings as an extravagant gambler and drinker, the latter ultimately wooed and wed her in 1667, after she was caught in a compromised position with him by another female rival for the king’s affections, and had to elope to avoid the king’s desire to halt their impending match. No children from the union. In 1669, she came down with smallpox, which marred her beauty after she recovered, although she remained in the king’s affections, and returned to the court, where she remained for many years. Her husband was sent as ambassador to Scotland and then Denmark, where he died in 1672, at which point his estates reverted to the crown, although the king gave her a modest pension for life. Her face was used by the king in a commemorative medal cast, and it became the symbol of Britannia, appearing on medals, coins and statues well into the 20th century. Present at the birth of James Francis Edward Stuart (Rob Lowe), the son of James II (Martin Sheen), giving legitimacy to him in a signed document. Bought a Scottish estate just before her death and left it to her nephew, who renamed it Lennoxlove in honor of her. Inner: Vacuous in her early years, although the possessor of good common sense as she matured, allowing her to take relative control over her life in a time when women had little recourse to personal power. Romantic lifetime of letting her beauty speak to the ages, while she ably maneuvered herself into royal affections without having to overly compromise herself, in her ongoing pursuit of both independence and personal power through the dynamics of a handsome visage and an ongoing talent for realizing her wishes.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS PSEUDO-SACCHARINE STAR:
Storyline: The transatlantic fair lady uses the sound of music to allow her to gain some sort of equilibrium between singing her previous songs of excessive innocence and her current repertoire of excessive experience around the themes of both love and loss.
Julie Andrews (Julia Wells) (1935) - English actress. Outer: Mother was a talented pianist with a degree from the Royal Academy of Music, father was a school teacher who taught woodworking and metal-smithing, 3 brothers and a sister. Her parents divorced when she was 5, and she remained with her lively mother, who married tenor Ted Andrews, and the duo formed an act. Although she disliked her binge-drinking stepfather, who made several incestuous plays for her, which she rebuffed, he helped her immeasurably by securing teachers for her and supporting her ambitions. At 14, she met her real father, who had had a brief passionate affair with her mother, and much later discovered that her faux sire had always been aware he was not her true parent. Nevertheless, they always maintained a close relationship. Rejoined her parents after WW II, and made her London debut at the age of 12, singing operatic arias in a revue. Had a 4 octave range, and the larynx of an adult while still a child. By 17, she was supporting her family. Made her NY debut at 19 in an imported version of “The Boy Friend,” which heralded her as an international star. 5 decades afterwards, she would direct a West Coast production of it. 2 years later, she climbed to superstardom as Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” although she was not cast in the film version of that mega-hit, much to her disappointment. Made her film debut in her late 20s in Mary Poppins, and then topped her career with The Sound of Music, the following year, which permanently implanted her in the public mind with the sweet wholesomeness of that role. In 1959, she married Tony Walton, a scenic designer, whom she had known since childhood, although career conflicts destroyed their union, which produced a daughter. Underwent analysis afterwards, then married producer Blake Edwards in her mid-30s, and did a series of films with him. When her screen career faltered, she turned to TV spectaculars, then scored again in her husband’s 10 and later Victor/Victoria, which she reprised on Broadway over a decade later. Boycotted the Tony awards when not enough members of her cast were nominated. Has written two children’s books under the name Julie Edwards. Underwent surgery to remove noncancerous nodules from her vocal chords in her early 60s, and lost her singing voice in 1997, as well as her normal speaking voice, although has continued working. Made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000. Able to sing on film again in the 2004 sequel to her hit, The Princess Diaries, after doing some limited vocalizing on TV specials. Inner: Far more complex, angry and driven than her saccharine public image. Equilibrium-testing lifetime of losing her childhood to the stage, trying to regain it through an ill-fated marriage, and then finding an equally ambitious and driven mate to give her more of a balance for who she really is, before suffering voice loss at career’s near-end, to complete her lessons surrounding self-discovery and self-loss. Nora Bayes (Dora Goldberg) (1880-1928) - American actress and singer. Outer: Parents were German Jews. Little known of her early life. At 17, she married Otto Gressing, an undertaker, although was basically fun-loving herself. Petite, with a lush singing voice, she began her career as a singer in Chicago, and was soon a regular on the vaudeville circuit. Played most of the major U.S. cities, then London, before becoming a star in her mid-20s through producer Florenz Ziegfeld (Bob Evans). Had a husky contralto, with a flair for dramatizing a song and a great gift for burlesque and imitation. Divorced and married Jack Norworth, a song-and-dance man, the following year, teaming with him in the Ziegeld Follies of 1908. Scored a sensation with “Shine on, Harvest Moon,” a song they wrote themselves. Left the show the year afterwards and was served with an injunction by Ziegfeld, stopping her temporarily from performing, but soon returned to vaudeville at the high salary of $2500 a week. Made fun of herself on stage, and treated her husband like a servant, which led to their divorce and her third marriage in 1913 to her new partner, Harry Clarke, before making a vaudeville tour, immodestly billed as “The Greatest Single Woman Singing Comedienne in the World” at the start of WW I. At the height of her success, she made $100,000 a year and lived extravagantly and generously. During the war she broke her lucrative contract with the Keith vaudeville circuit, after chafing at their demands of her and launched her own two-hour, one woman show. Divorced in 1915, and 5 years later, wed actor Arthur Gordon, only to shed him in 1922. Made her 5th and final marriage to Benjamin Friedland, a NY businessman, in her mid-40s. No children of her own, but adopted 2 boys and a girl. Robbed at gunpoint in 1925, and had her chauffeur shot, although she only lost costume jewelry in the violent heist. Died of cancer following abdominal surgery, and was insolvent at the end, thanks to her extravagance. Inner: Lavish, exuberant, with an extremely generous nature, and no real sense of money. Kind, witty, energetic, good sense of humor. Also willful and temperamental. Loved her audiences, who loved her in return. Largely ignored legal contracts, and was not afraid to challenge male authority. Doing it her way lifetime of reserving her true love for performing, while making her relationships secondary to her career, and winding up impoverished in both, despite her considerable talent and ability to give. Susannah Cibber (Susannah Maria Arne) (1714-1776) - English actress/singer. Outer: Father was a well-to-do Covent Garden upholsterer and undertaker. Mother was a midwife and a Catholic and raised her progeny in her faith, which gave them access to Italianate Church music. 4th of 8 children and sister of composer Thomas Arne (Benjamin Britten). One younger brother, Henry, also became a child actor and singer, before dying at 20. Small and slender, with pale skin and large dark eyes. Made her debut at the Haymarket Theater in London at the age of 18, initially as a singer, and 2 years became the second wife of Theophilius Cibber, the squat, ugly and unprepossessing son of playwright Colley Cibber (Brendan Behan) and the theatrical manager of Drury Lane, who coached her to her first dramatic success. Two children from the union died as infants, while her husband exploited and abused her, taking all her wages, and encouraging her to have an affair with a wealthy young man, William Sloper, so that he could claim £5000 for adultery in damages. Only received £10 for her troubles, although Sloper would remain a loyal lifetime companion for her. Fled her husband, had a daughter, and moved to Dublin, and continued her career there to good effect, then returned to London in her late 30s, and became David Garrick’s (Richard Burton) most famous partner, and one of the leading tragic actresses at his Drury Lane Theater, while also doing sentimental parts. Also gave concerts as a contralto, introducing several of Georg Handel’s (Alban Berg) pieces, which were especially written for her. Had more of an emotional voice, than a rich one. Gave birth to a son, only to see him die at the age of 8. Spent her last decade grieving him, while dealing with an increasingly debilitating stomach disorder. Finally freed from her husband’s threats when he drowned in 1758. Greatly mourned by the theatrical world when she died at home after a short illness, and became one of the few actresses buried in Westminster Abbey. Inner: Lively, good sense of humor, although had difficulty in expressing it on stage. Able to identify with the characters she played. Had a small voice, but it was well-trained. Deferential to men, with the initial fantasy that she could change her extremely difficult and unattractive husband. Independent lifetime of poor partnership, albeit with the talent to recover from a draining husband and forge a well-received career on her own thanks to an enormous talent for transcendental entertainment.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS FREEDOM-SEEKER:
Storyline: The ambivalent actress searches for self-expression through a variety of public venues, including theater and politics, while successfully channeling her anger, fearfulness and codependent tendencies into a series of brief, but memorable careers.
Glenda Jackson (1938) - English actress. Outer: Father was a bricklayer, workingclass upbringing. Oldest of 4 sisters. Initially wanted to be a ballet dancer. Dropped out of school at 16 to join an amateur theater group. 5’6”. Supported herself for a decade doing odd jobs, while honing her craft in repertory plays. In her late 20s, she was invited by director Peter Brook to join his Theater of Cruelty revue, which was sponsored by the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1958, she married Roy Hodges, who proved an abusive husband, one son from the union, which ended in divorce in 1976 finally divorced him in 1976. Had her breakthrough stage role in London and NYC as Charlotte Corday in the production of “Marat/Sade,” and also made her film debut in the same role in her early 30s. Two films by over-the-edge director Ken Russell, Women in Love and The Music Lovers cemented her reputation as a highly intelligent, erotically-charged actress. Won a Best Actress Oscar in 1970 for the former film, then won a 2nd Oscar in 1973 for the comedy A Touch of Love, as well as an Emmy the previous year for her portrayal of Elizabeth I (Mae West) in a 6-part BBC series. Continued to work into middle age on both stage, TV and films in a variety of roles. Eventually retired from her profession in her mid-50s to enter politics as a Laborite, successfully winning in 1992, and then holding a seat in the House of Commons, where she focused on transportation issues. Became a junior minister in the Tony Blair government, before resigning and becoming one of his thorns, thanks to a leftie bias. Ran for mayor of London in 2000, but eventually dropped out of the race to continue as a scold and critic of corruption in the government and its backing of the Iraq War. Inner: Proud of her workingclass upbringing. Despite playing confident women, suffered from extreme stage fright her entire career, finally causing her to retire. Facing herself lifetime of asserting her independence from past/life codependency, with a residue of fears for her to still work out, necessitating her switch to the political arena in order to find a more satisfactory means of public expression. Ada Rehan (Ada Crehan) (1860-1916) - Irish/American actress. Outer: Father was described as a sea captain or shipbuilder, but probably was just an ordinary sailor. 3rd daughter of 6 children. The family emigrated to Brooklyn shortly after the American Civil War, when she was 9. Followed her older sisters onto the stage, making her debut at 14 in Newark, New Jersey. Her name was misspelled as Rehan in her billing at Louisa Drew’s (Lucille Ball) Arch Street Theater in Philadelphia, and she maintained it as her nom de theatre. Tall, beautiful and velvet-voiced, she toured with stock companies, finally making her New York debut at the age of 18. Played supporting roles for several years before joining Augustin Daly’s (Aaron Spelling) company in her early 20s, and soon became the troupe’s leading lady, maintaining her association with it for 2 decades. Her relationship with the dominating Daly was central to her career. Totally dependent on him, and duo were probably secret lovers. He wanted her to be another Peg Woffington (Shirley MacLaine) to his David Garrick (Richard Burton), a famous 18th century actor/producer/actress duo on the English stage, although neither he nor she was in the same theatrical stratosphere as their famous predecessors..Played over 200 roles, including Shakespeare and European comedies adopted for the American stage. Appeared in London as a star in her late 20s, and was received with great acclaim in various European theatrical capitals. Her greatest role was as Katherine in Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.” Became a partner in Daly’s London theater in her mid-30s. Although based in America, she frequently acted in London in the latter part of her career, which effectively ended with Daly’s death. Indifferent to her various revivals afterwards, she retired in her late 40s. Having made a handsome living as an actress, she lived in comfortable circumstances in both NYC and London until she died of cancer and arteriosclerosis. Inner: Charming, vital, but co-dependent. Subordinate lifetime of artistic co-dependency, necessitating a completely independent stance her next go-round in this series in order for her to truly experience herself. Lavinia Fenton (1708-1760) - English actress. Outer: Illegitimate daughter of a loose-living mother, who had many lovers. Father was a Navy lieutenant who was subsequently lost at sea. Her mother married a coffeehouse owner, and she was sent off to boarding school at 8. The former continued her conniving ways, with a great desire to sell her electric daughter off to a wealthy suitor. Made a bargain with a Portuguese nobleman, who eventually wound up in prison, squandering his money on her, but she remained loyal to him. He, in turn, helped her get on stage at 18, where she found success, as well as a succession of lovers, although she returned to her benefactor at 20. Despite limited abilities, with nasal intonations, poor pronunciation, crude mannerisms and posture, she was a hypnotic figure on stage. Helped support her stepfather through her spectacular, albeit extremely brief career. Most identified with the role of Polly Peachum in John Gay’s (Donovan) “Beggar’s Opera.” Quit the stage after only 2 years and happily took up with the Duke of Bolton for the next 23 years, who was unhappily married, due to his father’s urging, rather than his own. The duke was also 23 years older than she. When the duchess died, the duo married in her mid-40s, 3 sons from union. After the duke passed on, she married an Irish surgeon late in life. Published a trilogy of memoirs. Inner: Not particularly handsome, but with an acute intelligence. Instinctive, undisciplined, and uneven actress. Heart-centered lifetime of looking for love through her life, rather than her artificial craft, and finding it, with no further need for public expression other than writing.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER/DANCER AS HEARTFELT SURVIVOR:
Storyline: The hyphenated healer resurrects from an early demise to become an entertainment dynamo, while caring for an invalided husband and showing great heart in her ongoing struggles to integrate a loving interior with a brassy exterior.
Ann-Margaret (Ann-Margaret Olssen) (1941) - American actress. Outer: Father was free-spirited, mother was shy. Spent her first 5 years in Sweden, until her parents moved to Illinois, then grew up in various towns there. Had already decided at 4 that she would be an entertainer. Given both love and discipline while growing up, in a highly energetic household, which she would continue to reflect. Made her debut on the "Ted Mack Amateur Hour" on TV at 16. Sang with the Northwest Univ. band, where she went to school for one year, then dropped out to pursue an entertainment career fulltime, working with a combo in nightclubs. Made her screen debut at 20, and garnered notice in Bye Bye Birdie, which cemented her image as a sexy teenager in the public’s collective mind. 5’5”. Became a popular singer, dancer and entertainer, while doing fluff roles in films all through the 1960s. Briefly involved with Elvis Presley, after meeting on the set of Vive Las Vegas. In her mid-20s, she married actor Roger Smith, who retired and became her not-particularly-adept manager before having to deal with myasthenia gravis, a wasting nerve disease. Steadfastly remained with him throughout his long decline, while continuing on with her own high profile career. Helped raise his 3 children from his first union, and began to reveal far more depth in the early 1970s, with Carnal Knowledge, which signaled she had become a grown up actress. Secretly became an alcoholic, while expanding her public life to Las Vegas, TV specials and varied roles in films. Fell 22 feet off a platform while performing in Lake Tahoe, but recovered from her injuries to resume working. Achieved lasting sobriety in 1980, thanks to her husband’s support, and came to grips with her failure to bear a child. Wrote 2 books, including her autobiography, “Ann-Margaret: My Story,” in which she honestly limned her problems. A multi-decade favorite, thanks to a genuine talent to entertain, as well as being a truly giving person on all levels. Still performing several times a year in Las Vegas in her 60s, as testament to her unflagging energy and need to be on stage. Inner: Warm, generous, a healer through performance. Honest, straightforward, sincere. Had a lifelong struggle with a sense of being a village girl in the big city, and the sacrifices on normalcy that a high profile career demands. Very image conscious, and disciplined about staying in shape. Dualistic homebody and hot performer, iconic on the outside and domestic on the inside, acting as a perfect projected male fantasy of womanhood. Disciplined lifetime of surviving and prevailing through a focused, positive nature, with her husband as constant reminder of her ongoing struggles to stay afloat in the demanding arena of public adulation, and be real with herself in doing so. Marilyn Miller (Mary Ellen Reynolds) (1898-1936) - American singer, dancer and actress. Outer: Youngest of three daughters of a telephone lineman. Her parents soon divorced and she took on her stepfather’s name, after he and her siblings formed a vaudeville act called, ‘The Columbian Trio.’ Joined them at the age of 4 under the sobriquet of ‘Mlle. Sugarplum,’ making her stage debut at the age of 5. Toured the Midwest and then Europe for a decade with the family act, which soon expanded into ‘The Five Columbians,’ when her mother was added. The quintet managed to avoid child labor laws by creating a wide arc for their performances while retaining Ohio as their home base. Her dancing attracted the attention of prominent Broadway producer Lee Shubert when he saw her in London at the age of 15, and for the next 4 years, she starred in his Broadway revues. 5’1”, blue-eyed, golden-haired, with a dazzling smile and an ebullient sense of youthful vivacity and vitality. At 20, she moved over to famed producer Florenz Ziefield’s (Bob Evans) camp, and achieved stardom in “Sally,” playing the role for 3 years, and becoming a celebrated star in the process. Afterwards, she was the reigning queen of Broadway musicals, while being briefly involved with the temperamental Ziegfeld, before an argument sent her over to a rival producer. Subsequently became the highest paid star on Broadway, and eventually reunited with Ziegfeld towards the end of the decade. In 1919, she married Frank Carter (Roger Smith?), an actor and acrobatic dancer, who was killed in a car accident less than a year later. In 1922, she married alcoholic screen idol Jack Pickford (Ryan O’Neal), only to separate in 1926 and divorce the following year. Went to Hollywood to reprise her “Sally” success, but only made 3 films, proving to be a far more buoyant entertainer in front of a live audience than on celluloid. Suffered from sinus infections for a good deal of her life, which made her turn to the bottle, to combat her sense of physical deterioration, and need to project a healthy wholesome image. Returned in triumph to Broadway in 1933 with “As Thousands Cheer,” although quit the hit after her boyfriend, and future husband, dancer and assistant stage manager, Chester O’Brien, was fired for letting a socialite sneak on stage during a production number. The duo were married in 1934, but health problems, coupled with her own sense of increasing vulnerability led to a nervous breakdown in 1936. Died suddenly of toxemia following surgery on her nasal passages. Her funeral attracted 2500 people, and she was buried in a mausoleum that she had had constructed for her first husband. Two subsequent biopics were made of her short, sweet life, while a host of young girls were named after her, including Marilyn Monroe, who took on her nom de film at the suggestion of a casting director. Inner: Sunny, upbeat, with a natural proclivity for entertainment, although she also had a darker side with hidden vulnerabilities which she tried to compensate for through excessive drink. Foreshortened lifetime of virtually being born for the stage, only to have the very breath of life denied her, causing internal struggles galore, as well as a propensity to choose men ill-suited to aid her past her self-perceived vulnerabilities. Mary Ann Dyke Duff (1794-1857) - English/American actress and dancer. Outer: Father died in the service of the East India Company. One of 3 daughters, who were left with little support on the death of their progenitor. Grew up in London and began studying ballet at the King’s Theater. Made her first public appearance at 10, then later joined her 2 sisters in Dublin to make her dancing debut in her mid-20s. Met the poet Thomas Moore (Donovan), who fell in love with her, however she married Moore’s friend, John Duff (Roger Smith), the following year, while Moore married her sister. The couple sailed to Boston immediately following their union and she made her American debut in “Romeo and Juliet,” in 1810. The duo played in Boston for 2 seasons, then joined a Philadelphia company for 5 years, before returning to Boston. Together they also had 10 children, 7 of whom reached maturity. More noted for her beauty than her acting skills, although when her husband became ill, and support for the family fell onto her, she dramatically improved her craft, winning great acclaim over the next several years. A British tour was only modestly successful, and after her husband died in 1831, she became deeply melancholic. Went on to mismanage her business affairs, then entered a brief, unhappy marriage to another actor. Able to resurrect her career for a few years, she married again in 1835, to a young lawyer, and moved with her husband to New Orleans, confining her occasional stage appearances to local charities, and finally retiring in her mid-40s. Her last years were darkened by the deaths of several of her children, causing her to finally separate from her husband. After his death, she lived in strict seclusion in NYC and died of cancer. Inner: Ambitious and codependent, with a need to balance the two. Raised a Catholic, although converted to Methodism. Twists of fate lifetime of making a full circle of celebrity to seclusion, while extending her sense of the dramatic far beyond the stage, to temper her larger skills in dealing with life’s vicissitudes.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS CLEVER FASHION PLATE:
Storyline: The model model pursues her own agenda of independence and proves that beauty can be as liberating as it is enslaving.
Lauren Hutton (Mary Laurence Hutton) (1943) - American model/actress. Outer: From a family of 10th generation South Carolinians. Had a downwardly mobile childhood. Her father deserted the family, and died when she was 12, before she ever had a chance to meet him. Her mother remarried an adventurer and alcoholic with a violent temperament. Had 3 half-sisters, whom she helped raise, which permanently soured her on both marriage and motherhood. Tomboy as a youth, with a gap-toothed smile and slightly crossed eyes. Eventually grew to 5’6 1/2”, with a slender body. Spent an unhappy year at the Univ. of South Florida, then moved to NYC, where she became a Playboy bunny, and changed her name. Moved to New Orleans, where she was a cocktail waitress at a jazz club and attended Sophie Newcomb, the sister school of Tulane. Wanted to go to Africa, and borrowed money from her mother and headed for NYC to embark, but her travel companion never showed up. Became a house model instead for Christian Dior, scrimping until she met the owner of a typesetting plant, with whom she lived and traveled for more than 15 years. Despite an unclassical beauty and a relatively short stature, she became a model for the Eileen Ford agency, quickly vaulting to the top of her profession. Traveled often to Africa, and made her film debut in her mid-20s in Paper Lion, all the while showing a strong sense of independence, while winning a 10 year contract with Revlon. Became the first model to move from mannequin to corporate figurehead. Appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine 25 times. As she reached her late 30s, she began studying acting more seriously and did over 50 films, as well as having her own nightly talk show for 2 seasons in the mid-1990s. Extremely unhappy about reaching middle age, but able to work it through, after resuscitating her modeling career, while she expanded her own interests, friendships and relationships to reach a happy medium with the pluses and minuses of full maturity. A lecturer on women’s health issues, while promoting a post-menopausal health program. An avid traveler, with the desire to go where no one else did, she has spent the last quarter century on the road for six months of the year, mostly in the Third World. Seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in 2000, going 110 mph, during a group ride with other celebrities. Went into a 2 1/2 week coma, but recovered, and was able to return to riding, while reaffirming her zest for life. Inner: Witty, worldly, intelligent and independent. Strong, dominant personality, able to get far beyond the superficialities of her chosen profession. Enthusiastic world traveler, always open for adventure. Model lifetime of providing a role model of independence, mobility and entrepreneurship for the mannequins of the fashion industry, as well as women everywhere who wish to live unfettered by anything other than their sheer lust for life. Lilyan Tashman (Lillian Tashman) (1899-1934) - American actress. Outer: Father was a children’s clothing manufacturer. 7th and last child. Became an artist’s model at 15, then a Ziegfeld chorine before entering films in her early 20s, beginning with Experience. A deep, throaty voice allowed her to make an easy transition to sound, after the silent era had concluded. Usually cast as a sarcastic sophisticate. Married and divorced Al Lee, a vaudeville player, then married actor Edmund Lowe in 1925, later divorced. Considered a social leader and also one of Hollywood’s best-dressed women. Died following an emergency operation for a tumorous cancer condition. Inner: Stylish, sophisticated, bisexual and chic. Flickering candle lifetime of employing her innate sense of style to good professional effect, although probably was unsatisfied with her private life, which caused a relatively quick exit and a similar return to a position where she had far more control over the trajectory of her inner and outer existence. Frances Abington (Fanny Barton) (1737-1815) - English actress and fashion plate. Outer: From extremely modest circumstances. Grew up in the slums around Drury Lane. Lost her mother at the age of 14, while her father operated a cobbler’s stall. One brother, an ostler. Sold flowers and sang in the streets, where she was known as ‘Nosegay Fan.’ Liked to get up on tables and recite Shakespeare for tips. Eventually became a servant of a French milliner, who gave her a taste for fashion, as well as some knowledge of French. Worked as a kitchenmaid for Robert Baddeley, who eventually became a well-known comedian. May have worked as a prostitute, but also had a driving ambition to better herself. Made her stage debut in 1755, acting a number of secondary parts for the season. Had an elegant figure, and a natural bent for creating styles. Her career was slow to advance since the company had several stars who grabbed the leading roles. In 1759, she wed James Abington, one of the king’s trumpeters, and took on his name in her further billings. Went to Ireland with her husband to join a Dublin company after a disagreement with management. While there she became mistress to an Irish MP, named Needham, because of the dissatisfaction she felt in her own union, and she and her spouse soon separated. Enjoyed considerable success in Dublin, and wound up paying her ex-husband to leave her alone. Returned to England in 1765 with Needham, who died that summer, leaving her well provided for. Rejoined the Drury Lane company, and established herself as a leading comic actress of her times over the next 17 seasons, although also proved to be a prima donna, with difficult relations with her employers. Began to lose interest in the stage, although it was revived with her most famous role as Lady Teazle in Richard Sheridan’s (Stephen Fry) “The School for Scandal,” which was penned with her in mind. Served as a fashion plate through her stage appearances, and was often consulted by women on the latest style of dress. Continued with her well-received career, before retiring suddenly in 1790. Made a few more appearances in Ireland later in the decade, and her final appearance was at century’s end. Able to retire on a comfortable income, after becoming the mistress of the marquess of Lansdowne. An inveterate gambler, she lost a considerable fortune at cards. Outlived her last lover by a full decade and died at home, her fortune somewhat diminished. Inner: Excelled in comedies of manners, although the public largely wished to see her playing ladies and not low borns, despite a desire on her part to extend her craft. Recognized her limitations, as an actress whose style was suited only to one genre, while playing the prima donna as a means of continual self-empowerment. Liberal and generous and good with languages, conversing in both French and Italian. Tastemaker lifetime of enjoying a long theatrical run on the strength of an excellent stage presence, while serving as an arbiter of style for her time through her highly visible persona.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS CAPTURER OF GENIUS:
Storyline: The maternal superspouse fills her emotional trophy case with talent far greater than her own, although manages to capture public attention through her own unique peccadilloes and penchant for noteworthy notice.
Mia Farrow (1945) - American actress. Outer: Mother was Irish-born actress Maureen O’Sullivan, father was a writer/director, who often abandoned the family for alcohol and other women. One of 7 children. Grew up with movie personalities living on either side of her, while the family dog was Lassie’s granddaughter. Had a Catholic education, but also traveled with her parents. Suffered polio at 9, and was sickly as a child, then went to convent boarding school in England. A devout Catholic, she originally wanted to be a nun, then a pediatric missionary. Her father died with his phone in his hand when she was 17, trying to reach her to find out where her mother was. Essentially spent the rest of her amorous life looking for replacements for him. 5’4 1/2”. An anorexic-looking large-eyed waif, she made her stage debut shortly afterwards in an off-Broadway production of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Appeared on the TV soap “Peyton Place” for 2 years, then in her early 20s, had a mismatched marriage with singer Frank Sinatra, some 30 years her senior. Despite a goofy innocence to its inception, their dual celebrity soon doomed the liaison. Divorced 2 years later, when she refused to suspend her career for him. Went to India to study transcendental meditation in response to the break-up, only to flee the priapic arms of the Maharishi in tears, then returned to kudos for her role in Rosemary’s Baby in 1968, as the unwilling mother of the Devil’s child. Had twin sons, then married their father, composer Andre Previn in her mid-20s, although he was away touring for most of their union. Had one more son who was autistic, and adopted 3 Asian orphans, including Soon-Yi, a Korean. Divorced when she was in her mid-30s. Her career as a fragile heroine continued in mediocre vehicles on the screen, while she focused on her burgeoning brood. Introduced to comedian Woody Allen in a restaurant in her late 30s, she began a 12 year affair with him, the 2 living in apartments on the opposite side of Central Park in NYC. Together they adopted 2 more children, and had one natural son, bringing her expanded crew up to 9. Became Allen’s muse in all of his films during their connection, until she discovered nude pictures of Soon-Yi in his possession. The duo had a subsequent acrimonious break-up, where he ultimately married her step-daughter, while she accused him of molesting their adopted daughter, and he said she was an unfit mother. Sold her 1997 memoirs, “What Falls Away” for a considerable amount of money, in which she poured out her outrage at Allen. Lost her first child in 2000, Tam, a 19 year old who died of heart disease. Continued adopting, to bring her total number of children to 15, with several physically, emotionally or mentally damaged, while becoming a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Returned to the stage in 2005, with “Fran’s Bed,” in which she played a comatose woman looking back on her life. On Christmas of 2008, she lost the second of her large brood, 35 year old daughter Lark, a Vietnamese-born adoptee with Andre Previn, who had been ill for a decade wiith HIV/Aids, contracted from a drug habit with her husband. In 2009, she went on a two week hunger strike to underline the plight of the starving orphans of Darfur, but had to end it for health reasons. Soon afterwards she lost her older brother Patrick, a sculptor, to suicide, to add to her familial grief, compounding the death of a nephew in the Iraq war in 2008. Inner: Strongly spiritual, with a sense of mission about herself. Raised to cultivate the superficial, and yet forced by mis-matched mates to view herself through their rejections. Muddled lifetime of following a deep-seated compulsion to help, nurture and save in order to compensate for her own ill choices of artistically accomplished mates, which she employed to mirror her own secret desires for greatness in the same arena. Alma Mahler (1874-1954) - Austrian/American superspouse. Outer: Father was a landscape painter, mother was German and had been an actress, dancer, singer and nanny. Loved her progenitor, who died prematurely in 1892, disliked her mother, and didn’t care for the painter, who had been one of the former’s assistants that her mother married afterwards. Spent her early life in the heady world of high Viennese culture, amidst artist and writer friends of family. Grew into an ambitious beauty, although the world of the time limited her to either the stage or the bedroom. Decided to pursue greatness through the latter, via relationships with artistic giants. Not overly promiscuous but with a discriminating eye for male genius. Far less popular with women, who were put off by her predatory ambition. In her early 20s, she met composer Gustav Mahler (Sonny Rollins), some 20 years her senior, and they were married within months, although he made her stop composing in order to do so. 2 children from union, one dying at 4, the other became a successful sculptor and like mother, like daughter, serially married a crew of cultural achievers. Acted as an inspiration for her temperamental spouse, and also had an astute ear for music, serving as a helpmate in her critiques, although she eventually turned to others for her sexual sustenance, including a longterm affair with artist Oscar Kokoschka. After her husband died, she married Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius in her mid-30s, although was having an affair with her third-husband-to-be, writer Franz Werfel at the time. Not in love with her 2nd husband, but wanted a golden child with him and the duo had one daughter, who died in her teens. Divorced him 4 years later, much to his relief and married Werfel in 1929, one child who died young. Made Werfel renounce his revolutionary sentiments and the 2 became world travelers, living a luxuriant life in her Vienna palazzo and her mountain villa. Although she was in sympathy with the Nazis when they came to power, which caused much friction in the household, the duo became European exiles, and after a hair-breadth escape from the continent, came to Southern California during WW II, where she was a successful hostess, although her household brimmed with tension. Became an American citizen in 1945. Did not attend her husband’s funeral and changed her name back to Mahler, before moving to NYC in 1957, and living the rest of her life there, attractive to the end, with the continuing magnetic power to turn cultural heads. Wrote her self-congratulatory memoirs in 1957, “My Life.” Inner: Enchanting, predatory and very focused in her aims. Strongly anti-Semitic, despite marrying 2 Jewish men. Opinionated, controlling, very much aware of her own considerable power. Never spoke any language fluently other than German. Huntress lifetime of deliberately searching out genius to learn from, while carving a unique niche for herself as a tormentor of her mentors, and a highly distinctive personality on her own. Frances Vane, Viscountess Vane (Frances Hawes) (1715-1788) - English sexual adventuress and memoirist. Outer: Father was a stockbroker and clerk to the treasury of the Navy, as well as a director of the notorious South Sea Company, whose burst bubble in 1721 caused a financial meltdown in England, leaving the family in pecuniary difficulties, since he was partially to blame for the fraud. An ebullient beauty who danced a mean minuet, she overcame her lack of dowry and her sire’s objections to land a duke’s second son in 1733, only to see him die the following year. Less than an annum later she was pressured by her family into a marriage with Viscount William Holles Vane, an unattractive and impotent aristocrat whom she despised, despite his obsessive ardor for her, which more than equaled her repulsion towards him. Not long after her union, she began a three decade adulterous odyssey that saw a slew of lordly lovers fall all over themselves for her. Despite continually trying to legally separate from him, and her highly public cuckolding, which cost him dearly, not only emotionally, but financially, as well, he steadfastly clung to the illusion of their marriage. In 1751, she anonymously published, Memoirs of a Lady of Quality, a thinly disguised memoir that let the world know of her sexual adventures in completely unapologetic terms. While written by her in the amatory fictive style of the time, it was revised and edited by another. The frank candor of her memoirs shocked her contemporaries, for they held within them little sense of repentance for her infidelities, and no responsibility on her part for her indiscretions. Rather, they blamed the elements around her, both family and spouse, as well as the hypocritical society in which she lived. Served as a literary inspiration for Tobias Smollett (Norman Mailer) for one chapter of his Peregrine Pickle. The latter part of her life saw her descend into ill health, while living separately from her husband, and in her last two decades she was largely bedridden, before finally dying at home. Her spouse wound up a debtor through her machinations, and followed her in death, a year and a week later. Inner: Headstrong and extremely willful. Seemed not to care a whit about public opinion. Provocatively promiscuous lifetime of not only flaunting convention, but bragging about it, only to ultimately become a prisoner of the verysame bed that had earlier set her free from the constraints of an unwanted and unhappy matrimony.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS BIG-HEARTED ENTERTAINER:
Storyline: The divine dualist combines perfectionism with exuberance and continues her long-term efforts at mixing those two polarities, while side-stepping the self-destructive impulses that earlier foreshortened her ongoing efforts in that regard.
Bette Midler (1945) - American actress and singer. Outer: Named after actress Bette Davis, mother was an avid movie fan. Father was a civilian housepainter for the Navy, mother was a seamstress. Grew up in Hawai’i in the only Jewish family in a largely Polynesian neighborhood. Relatively shy as a child, although always envisioned herself as an actress, while seeing Mae West as a teenage ideal. Lived in subsidized housing, and developed a lifelong love of reading, while her mother tried to make her more outgoing with hula lessons. Both parents taught her to be independent. 5’1”. Studied drama at the Univ. of Hawai’i for a year, then worked in a pineapple cannery, before playing a bit part in the movie Hawaii at 20. Headed for NYC on the impetus of the film, and worked as a file clerk and go-go dancer, while studying acting at the Herbert Berghof studio. Continually rejected in her early theatrical ambitions. Initially worked off-off-Broadway at the La Mama. Joined the cast of “Fiddler on the Roof” in her mid-20s as a chorine and worked her way up to one of its starring roles. The following winter, she developed a loyal following through her raunchy, good-hearted cabaret act in Manhattan’s Continental Baths, making a strong connection with NYC’s homophile community, which continued to support her throughout her career. Developed her ‘Divine Miss M,’ persona and continued to explore it with successful nightclub appearances, as well as best-selling albums. Won a Grammy for New Artist in 1973, and a special Tony on Broadway 3 years later. Involved with her manager, Aaron Russo, during this period. Did a successful revue and won an Emmy for a 1978 TV special ‘Ol’ Red Hair Is Back.’ In her mid-30s, she began her movie career as a Janis Joplinlike rock star in The Rose, whose title song also won her another Grammy. Married Martin von Haselberg, a commodities trader-turned-performance artist in her late 30s, which produced one daughter, although she began drinking heavily and came close to a nervous breakdown, because of the pressures of supporting her family. Her career slowed down, then picked up in the mid-1980s, after she signed with Disney/Touchstone, and did several well-received comedies, before organizing her own production company, All-Girl Productions. Gradually expanded her range to melodrama. Returned to the stage after a decade absence in the early 1990s, with an ‘Experience the Divine,’ 6 week sellout set of concerts at Radio City Music Hall. Frustrated with the movie roles offered her, she agreed to an eponymous TV series in 2000, playing her public self doing battle with her private self, although it ran for only one season. As a career topper celebrating 40 years in show business, she signed on for two annums with Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in 2008 for an extravaganza entitled “The Showgirl Must Go On,” which will play 100 performances a year. Received excellent reviews in her Broadway return in 2013, in "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers" playing the former Hollywood self-invented superagent in a one woman show geared specifically for her outsized talents. Ultimately garnered 4 Golden Globes, 3 Emmys, 4 Grammys and an impressive 15 million albums sold as numerical affirmation of her public wattage. Inner: Dualistic personality, exuberant, high energy and born to entertain in public. Privately shy, orderly, seriously and a perfectionist. Impatient with those closest to her, despite having a big heart for the rest of the world. Far more interested in drama than comedy, but often unable to actualize her will on the big screen. Integrating lifetime of drawing together her dualistic sense of her self through performance and periodic retreat, while serving as an exuberant divine spirit to a world badly in need of her unabashed enthusiasm. Lyda Roberti (1906-1938) - Polish/American actress and singer. Outer: Grandfather was a circus clown who lived to 100. Father was a famous German circus clown who went by his last name, mother was a Polish trick rider. One of 2 daughters, sister Manya also became an actress. Had a brother as well. Accompanied her sire on his world tours, appearing as a trapeze artist from childhood on, while learning to speak four languages. 5’3” and platinum-haired. Got caught in Russia during WW I, and had to flee across Siberia at the outset of the Russian Revolution, when some revolutionists set fire to their circus. Saved by fate, she eventually reached China, and worked as a waitress in a Shanghai cafe, while stranded there, as well as a dancer. Came to the U.S. in her early 20s and began appearing in vaudeville on the West Coast with her sister, before making her Broadway debut in 1931 in “You Said It,” which made her a star. Made her screen debut the following year in Dancers in the Dark. Became a lightweight film star in comedies, often playing uninhibited and exuberant male-obsessed floozies, with a trademark fractured English accent. Married twice, the 2nd time in 1935 to Bud Ernst, a radio announcer and amateur pilot she had met in a hospital while recovering from an appendectomy. Suffered premature heart disease, and died suddenly of a heart attack while bending over to tie her shoes. Inner: Exuberant, high-energy, with a genuine zest for adventure. Suddenly canceled appearance lifetime of finding her entertainment niche by playing off her basically positive nature, then exiting through her heart in order to expand it for a much longer run to come. Adah Isaacs Menken (Adah Bertha Theodore) (1835-1868) - American actress. Outer: Mother was Creole, father was a free black of mixed race. The latter died when she was 2, and her mother remarried, adding two more siblings to the family. Had a decent education, learning to speak four languages, and enjoyed attending theater and opera. Her step-dad died when she was 10, and she was orphaned at 13, which forced her to go to work, as a circus rider, model, singer and dancer. Small and dark-eyed. Toured Havana, taught Spanish and English at a girls’ school, then married a musician from a prominent Jewish family at 21, taking on his name professionally, as well as converting to his religion, while touring with him throughout the South. Lost all their money, however, in the panic of 1857. Began writing poetry, which was published in local and NY papers. Made her New York debut in her mid-20s and left her husband without divorcing him to marry the well-known heavyweight champion, John Heenan (Floyd Patterson). The resultant scandal of being a bigamist ended that union, as he deserted her, and their small son subsequently died. Grittily determined to transcend her tawdry image, she created a sensation when she appeared seemingly nude in a flesh-colored body-stocking and tied to the back of a horse onstage in a Byronic poem-turned-play “Mazeppa.” Had a great figure, with an electric physical stage presence, despite no acting ability whatsoever, and made American theatrical herstory, by being the first female to bare her, gasp, legs in public. Played the role in California and then on the London stage, where she was adopted by the leading cultural lights of the time. Married humorist Robert Newell in her mid-30s, and was arrested right before the Civil War as a self-proclaimed secessionist in Baltimore. Divorced by the end of the war, she married a wealthy Wall Street broker, only to leave him within 3 days, albeit pregnant, while he wound up dead and penniless a few months later. Emigrated to Paris, where her son was born and she became friends with writer George Sand (Rebecca West). The end of her career saw her lose her stage presence. Published her 2nd volume of poetry and passed away prematurely from TB, complicated by peritonitis and an abscess on her side, at 33. Her tombstone would hold the cryptic message, “Thou Knowest.” Inner: Romantic, impulsive, exhibitionistic, fiercely self-determined. Moody, excessively histrionic, and also melancholic. Full throttle lifetime of following her impulses to wherever they might lead her, without worrying about public opinion.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS HOLLYWOOD SURVIVOR:
Storyline: The intrepid extrovert slowly learns to trust the men in her life, after being burned, victimized and murderously abused, despite a take charge attitude to all other aspects of her being.
Goldie Hawn (Goldie Jean Studlendgehawn) (1945) - American actress. Outer: Mother was Jewish and from Pittsburgh, father was a Presbyterian from Arkansas. The former ran a dance studio and was a jewelry wholesaler, while the latter was a musician who played with society bands at the White House. Younger of 2 daughters. Began taking dance lessons at 3 and jazz and modern dance at 11. Had a happy childhood, and was bubbly and extroverted. As a teenager, she took part in school productions and was performing professionally at 16, debuting as Juliet with the Virginia Stage Co. Slim, blonde and effervescent, 5’6”, 113 lbs. Studied drama at American Univ., while operating a dance studio to pay her tuition. Dropped out, went to NYC, and became a can-can dancer at the 1964 World’s Fair. Worked as a go-go dancer, did some stock, and had one small role on film, before landing a part in a brief-lived TV series. The following season, however, she triumphed as a giggling blonde on “Laugh In,’” which launched her popular film career, and she went on to become one of screendom’s most popular comediennes. Won a Best Supporting Oscar in 1969 for her very first role in Cactus Flower. In her mid-20s, she married and divorced Gus Trikonis, a Greek musician,a Greek musician, who was very abusive and forced her to support him and pay him alimony in a precedent-setting case. Then in the second half of the 1970s, married and divorced Bill Hudson, who was one/half of a brotherly comedy team. The 2 bad experiences made her vow never to marry again. Eventually took up with actor Kurt Russell, in a longlasting relationship, with whom she was finally able to work through issues of trust and not feeling exploited, themes stretching over numerous lives. 3 children from her unions, including one with Russell, with one daughter, Kate, and one son, Oliver, following in her mother’s footsteps. Smart business women, has also been executive producer on many of her films. The latter part of her career has been spent developing fare for a more mature audience, and finding a great deal of resistance from youth-oriented Hollywood for her efforts. Inner: Ambitious, driven, disciplined, with a need to be in control of her life. Charming, personable, with most of her largely hidden. Self-proclaimed middle-class, with basically domestic ambitions, although able to create a long and highly popular career for herself, no mean feat, as well as finally working out her basic issues of love and trust, with a dependable mate. Learning lifetime of going over very familiar territory with an all-abiding desire to retain control over her destiny, instead of being a victim of it. Thelma Todd (1905-1935) - American actress. Outer: Father was a police officer with political ambitions, which made him withdraw from the family. He eventually became a corrupt director of Mass. Public Health and Welfare with underworld connections. Younger brother. Mother was overbearing and smothering, which alienated the children. Had several gun incidents as a child, foreshadowing her future. Began her career as a school/teacher and part/time model. 5’4”. After winning a beauty contest, she decided to enter films as a comedienne, and did so in her mid-20s, beginning with Fascinating Youth, while also showing a talent for drama. By the early 1930s, she had become a Hollywood favorite, particularly through her comedy shorts and series, where she usually played the wisecracking blonde, working with such comic adepts as Laurel & Hardy and the Marx Bros. Opened a highway restaurant called Thelma Todd’s Roadside Rest, which elicited the interest of mafioso Lucky Luciano, who wished to operate an illicit casino there. Turned him down and was found a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning in her garage soon afterwards. Had also had a screaming fight with her lover, Roland West, an actor/director the previous eve, and had been carrying on a secret affair unbeknownst to him. Her death was never satisfactorily explained, and remains a Hollywood mystery, although West admitted on his deathbed to actor Chester Morris (Vince Vaughan), that he had done the deed. A TV biopic was made of her life in the 1980s, starring Loni Anderson. Inner: Blithe, confident, with a desire to enjoy herself to the hilt. Fated lifetime of becoming victim of her own carefree fame as well as the exploitative abuse of the men in her life, eliciting a far more controlled outlook on the same freewheeling persona, the next time around in this series. Richard Sharpe (c1602-1632) - English actor. Outer: Began his career as a boy player, acting in female roles, before switching to male roles when he reached adolescence. Best known for originating the character of the Duchess of Malfi, in the tragedy of the same name by John Webster (Harold Pinter). Inaugurated other female roles as well, although the cast lists of the time are often viewed as uncertain by posterity. Became a sharer in the King’s Men, the pre-eminent acting troupe of the time in 1624, elevating himself to an active partner, rather than a mere player. Had an illegitimate son by a servant, only to see the former die soon after birth, while he passed on himself shortly afterwards. Inner: There at the outset lifetime of play-acting through his feminine side in a time before women were allowed on stage, before exploring his opposing general in earnest later on as a full-fledged actress with a fascination with getting involved in heavy drama in her off-screen life.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS QUINTESSENTIAL PATRIOT:
Storyline: The principled principal player allows herself to mature gracefully and serve as an icon for uppity women, while adhering to her strong political views and equally impassioned independence of character in her ongoing crypto-position as a basic American icon.
Susan Sarandon (Susan Tomalin) (1946) - American actress. Outer: Of Welsh/Italian Catholic origin. Father was a former nightclub singer turned TV producer, eldest of 9. Had an uneasy relationship with her mother, while her father was eccentric and difficult, although she was much closer to him. Shy, dreamy and devout as a child, but took an interest in acting to overcome her reticence, rehearsing plays with neighborhood children. Majored in drama at Catholic Univ. in Washington D.C., although was not planning a career in the theater. 5’7 1/2”. In 1967, she married grad student and actor Chris Sarandon in her senior year; the duo were divorced a dozen years later. While accompanying her husband on auditions, she elicited the interest of an agent and the duo moved to NYC to both actively pursue acting careers. Made her debut in her mid-20s in Joe. Spent 2 years on 2 soaps, then worked in film, TV, and briefly on Broadway. A turn in the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975 gave her a recognized name, although it took her a while to solidify her reputation. Continued making films, and also appeared off-Broadway, which spurred her and several other actors to form an improvisational group in NYC. Her role as a blackjack dealer wannabe in Atlantic City further cemented her reputation, but it wasn’t until her early 40s with Bull Durham that she became a star. Teamed up with actor Tim Burton, her co-star in that film, and though they never married, they have continued to both live with and work with one another, 2 sons from union. Earlier had a daughter with Italian director and screenwriter Franco Amurri, actress Eva Amurri. Became an icon in 1991 for her role in Thelma & Louise, about 2 women taking control of their lives. Won an Oscar for Best Actress in 1996 for her part as a nun in Dead Man Walking, which was directed by Robbins. A social activist, with no hesitation in expressing herself, taking a precious 30 seconds of the 1993 Academy Reward ceremonies to deliver her views on Haitian refugees with AIDS, much to the consternation of the film community. Also spoke out against the Persian Gulf War, and has been continually arrested for her ongoing activism. Her career has commensurately escalated as she has matured, and given sexual resonance to ripening flesh, while she maintains a good balance between her public and private lives, although after 23 years together, she and Tim Burton quietly split in 2009. while she later took up with a much younger man. Inner: Compassionate, warm, accessible, and highly independent. Seasoned lifetime of allowing her life to unfold like a fine wine, getting richer and deeper as it gets older, while she works on perfecting both herself and her craft, and acts as a liberal scold to world gone awry. Henrietta Crosman (1861-1944) - American actress. Outer: Grandfather was a West Point grad and major general, grandmother was the sister of composer Stephen Collins Foster (Ryan Adams). Father was an officer in the quartermaster corps, who had to retire at half-pay because of ill health, forcing his daughter to support herself. 5’4”. Good athlete, with a remarkable soprano voice. Wanted to be a man and a soldier, and was a crack shot and vegetarian. Graduated Moravian Seminary and participated in amateur theatricals in Youngstown, Ohio where her family had settled, which encouraged her to try the stage as a career. A great-uncle introduced her to a Pittsburgh theatrical manager, and she made her debut in NYC at 21 in “The White Slave.” Toured and played in stock companies, doing mostly farces and light comedies. A blonde beauty, with great personal charm, she spent most of her career exclusively as a comedienne. Married actor, writer and producer Sedley Brown (Tim Robbins) in her mid-20s, one son, also named Sedley who had a radio and theatrical career. Performed secondary roles with the Frohman Bros. companies. Divorced in 1896, and married Maurice Campbell, a newspaper reporter and press agent, the same year, one son from 2nd union. Did stock company tours around the U.S. and finally became a leading lady in Denver, at which point her husband began managing her career. She and her spouse bought the rights to “Mistress Nell,” which made her a star at the turn of the century. Over the next decade, she appeared in 2 or 3 new plays a season, touring the U.S. and Canada. Had more of a following on the road than Broadway, because of the roles offered her. Went bankrupt through losses suffered in 1907, but recouped them over the next 8 seasons, touring vaudeville with one-act plays. After WW I, she appeared on stage less frequently. From 1913-1917, she worked in silent film, and then returned to Hollywood in the sound era, making some 17 movies between 1933 and 1937. An ardent suffragette, given to impassioned speeches defending the rights of women. Didn’t like the new stage realism of the 20th century, preferring to work in more artificial pieces. Her husband preceded her in death by two years, and she eventually died at home after a year’s illness. Inner: Durable, graceful, political, strong sense of feminist rights. Saw the stage as a way to make a living, although never that into acting per se. Liberating lifetime of enjoying a public platform, although more interested in artifice than art and self-expression than self-realization as an actress, while once again achieving stardom at a more mature age, rather than in her youth. Betsy Ross (Elizabeth Griscom) (1752-1836) - American patriot. Outer: Father was a builder who may have worked on Independence Hall in Philadelphia. 8th of 17 children. Raised in a Quaker household and educated in Quaker schools, she was taught sewing by her mother. Wed John Ross, an Anglican upholsterer in 1773, and was promptly disowned by the Quakers for marrying outside her faith. When her husband died 3 years later in a gunpowder explosion while serving on milita duty, she took over his upholstery business. After briefly attending the Anglican church, she joined a group of fellow outcasts as a Free Quaker, who supported war against Britain. Her husband’s uncle was a close friend of George Washington (George Marshall), who, with others, came to her house in 1776 and asked for a design for a new American flag, to celebrate the independence movement. She suggested one with five-pointed stars, as subconscious symbol of Venus and the feminine, although Washington chose the traditional masculine six-pointed star. He penciled out a sketch, and she sewed it, and the rest is history, rather than herstory. The flag was adopted by the Continental Congress the following year. Although the entire story may be apocryphal, she is credited with the creation of the country’s stars and stripes. Married again in 1777 to a seaman, but her husband passed on in a British prison in 1782, 2 children, including a son who died young. Married for a third time to one of her spouse’s fellow prisoners the following year, 5 daughters from union, including one who also died prematurely. Lost her third husband in 1817, and continued the upholstery business, which proved extremely profitable, until 1827, when she handed it over to her daughter. Inner: Good business sense, with a feisty independent streak. Superseamstress lifetime of being there at the beginning and giving her special imprint to America, before returning again and again as a more and more outspoken champion of democratic and republican right.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SURVIVOR OF HERSELF:
Storyline: The divided child star dukes it out with her own demons, and ultimately prevails in adulthood, after earlier driving herself to self-destruction.
Patty Duke (Anna Marie Duke) (1946) - American actress. Outer: Father was an alcoholic, while mother suffered from unipolar disorder, which made her violent. The latter tossed the former out when she was 6, and two years later, her managers became her erstwhile parents, exploiting her, isolating her from her family and puffing up her credits, while telling her, “Anna Marie is dead. You are Patty now.” Developed bipolar disorder in reaction to her childhood, and would suffer from it for decades. Made her film debut at 10 as an extra in the appropriately titled, I’ll Cry Tomorrow. Did some 50 TV shows and numerous stage appearances before zooming to stardom at the age of 12 as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. Repeated the role three years later for the film version, and won an Academy Reward for Best Supporting Actress in 1962. Parlayed her newfound fame into an eponymous sitcom on TV, which ran for three seasons in the mid-60s, although she was very unhappy despite her success. 5’. Her managers, Ethel and John Ross, began plying her with alcohol and prescription drugs at 13, and she later accused them of sexual abuse. Became a queen of TV movies, ultimately appearing in some 76 of them, and won several Emmys for her efforts, although failed to bring forth her early promise on the screen. At 18, she discovered the Rosses had squandered her earnings, and she married Harry Falk, a director nearly twice her age. Had some success as a singer, divorced her husband, and then married Michael Tell, a rock promoter, whom she had just met, before having the union annulled. Had a son by him, actor Sean Astin, before taking up with actor John Astin, some 16 years her senior, in her mid-20s. Son from union Mackenzie Astin, also became an actor. Took on his name in her billing, and worked extensively with him, which strained the union, and they divorced after a decade together, while she continued to suffer from depression. Did theater work around the country during the 1970s, although by the next decade, her appearances had declined to a trickle. Married a fourth time in 1986, to to Michael Pearce, a drill sergeant who became a firefighter, and that union lasted, one adopted son from it, while she reverted professionally to her maiden name. Also became stepmother to his two daughters, one of whom drowned in a car accident in 1998, adding to her many wounds. Ultimately settled on an 80 acre farm, replete with a score of animals in Idaho. Discovered she had bipolar disorder in 1982, and went public with it, which explained her manic and depressive swings, and by naming the dis-ease, was finally able to deal with it, without the crutches of alcohol or drugs. Became president of the Screen Actor’s Guild from 1985-1988. Has written two autobiographies, “Surviving Sexual Assault,” in 1983 and “Call Me Anna,” in 1987, as well as “Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic Depressive Illness.” Maintained a much lower profile afterwards, occasionally doing stage work, including her debut as a singer-dancer in a reprise of “Follies,” in 2002, while finally enjoying an integrated life. Inner: Articulate, self-involved and self-aware. Prone to much self-destructive behavior earlier in life, as a reaction to both success and exploitation, as well as a Dickensian childhood. Never afraid to face her fears. Healing lifetime of finally becoming her own miracle worker, and reintegrating herself around her strengths, rather than her weaknesses. Gladys Brockwell (Gladys Lindemann) (1893-1929) - American actress. Outer: Mother was a chorus girl who put her on stage when she was very young. A veteran of the theater, by the time she was in her mid-teens, she was already playing dramatic leads. Began her film career at 20 with One of the Discard, and became a leading lady of the early silents, specialized in fallen women in romantic melodramas. Married twice, to Harry Edwards, and then to director Robert Broadwell. Active during WW I, she urged women to take on male jobs. Moved to Hollywood in 1922, where she settled into character parts, which took her career into the early days of talkies. Got into a car accident along with a male friend, Thomas Brennan, and plunged over a 75’ cliff. Died from peritonitis as a result of injuries several days later. Inner: Short ride lifetime of abruptly ending an existence largely lived out on the stage and screen in order to delve far more deeply into the precipitous self-destructive impulses which lay hidden within her. Alexander Cooke (?-1613?) - English actor. Outer: Life poorly recorded. May have had a brother who was a writer. Married with two sons and two daughters, with one son possibly born posthumously. Served as an apprentice to John Heminges (Nicholas Cage), and through him joined the pre-eminent acting troupe of the time, the King’s Men in 1603, while entering the acting lists as a player in Ben Jonson’s (Norman Mailer) various works. Probably played women’s roles in many of the plays in which he appeared, while also serving as a sharer, rather than a mere player in the King’s Men. Fell ill in 1612, which forced him from the stage, and died early the following annum, although conflicting records attest to his possibly having passed the next year. Inner: Much of his life remains open to speculation, including his death date. Question mark lifetime of playing with gender identity before becoming a full-fledged woman with even more drama in her life off-stage in succeeding go-rounds in this series, than ever she portrayed on-screen.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS UNIQUE INDIVIDUALIST:
Storyline: The fiercely independent emotional force knows what she wants and knows how to get it, serving as a role model for uppity latter 20th century women, while working on actualizing all her ambitions, both public and private.
Jessica Lange (1949) - American actress. Outer: Father was a traveling salesman, moved frequently as a child. Won an art scholarship to the Univ. of Minnesota, but dropped out after several months to study mime in Paris and work in the chorus of the Opera Comique. 5’10”, slim. Returned to NYC to become a model, where she lived loosely, before making her screen debut, when she was in her mid-20s. Winning out over numerous other hopefuls, she played the love interest of King Kong, in its 1976 incarnation. In 1970, she married Francisco Paco Grande, a Spanish photographer. Divorced a decade later and lived with athlete/dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, then playwright Samuel Shepard, beginning in 1982. Had a daughter with the former, and a daughter and son with the latter, while marrying neither. Realized curious reverse parallels with actress Marilyn Monroe, who married her athlete and playwright mates, and had children with neither. Possessed more than a passing resemblance to the angry-to-the-point-of-madness actress Frances Farmer (Leighton Meester), whom she played in Frances. Won an Academy Reward for Best Supporting Actress in 1982 for Tootsie. Did a number of well-received teleplays, and made her Broadway debut in her early 40s as Blanche Dubois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” before winning an Academy Reward for Best Actress for Blue Sky in 1994. Able to bring a strong emotional resonance to all her characterizations, with a desire to continue exploring her interior by playing colorful, complex women on the larger-than-life silver screen, although opportunities in filmwork diminished in the late 1990s. Turned to the stage in London at millennium’s near end and won accolades there for a reprise of Blanche Dubois and later, Mary Tyrone in “A Long Day’s Journey into Night.” After living in her native Minnesota on a ranch, moved with her family to Kentucky in 2004. In 2009, she won an Emmy for her dramatic work in “Grey Gardens,” and at the same time quietly separated from Shepard. In 2011, she turned to series TV with “American Horror Story” playing the supreme witch of a coven, and after three seasons declared she is going to retire from acting. Before doing so, she picked up an Emmy in 2014 for outstanding lead actress in a movie. Inner: Aggressive and self-assertive. Called “a delicate fawn crossed with a Buick,” by one co-star. Demanding character, living well outside the Hollywood mainstream. Exact reverse parallel of Marilyn Monroe, even down to her major relationships. Self-actualizing woman of the 80’s to Marilyn’s boy-toy of the ‘50’s. Enjoys a close relationship with her partner and children. Self-realizing lifetime of early uprootedness in order to make herself independent and able to uniquely express her considerable emotional intelligence. Rose Eytinge (1835-1911) - American actress. Outer: Father was a professor of languages, probably had a Jewish upbringing. Educated at home in an intellectual atmosphere and began her stage career as a teenager, making her debut in “The Old Guard,” with a stock company in upstate NY. At 20, she married a property theater manager in Albany, later divorced, 2 daughters, one of whom married a comedian. Moved to NYC at the conclusion of her marriage and made her debut there in 1862. Soon established herself as a passionate, emotional actress of great imagination. Close friend of actress and writer Ada Clare (Chelsea Handler), through whom she became an integral part of the lively Bohemian cultural life of the city. Joined the Wallack Company as its leading lady, and toured the northeast coast, becoming the first woman on the American stage to receive a 3 figure salary. Brunette, amply-fleshed, and ardent in all she did. Her 2nd marriage in her mid-30s was to George Butler, a violent, dissipated consul-general of Egypt. Left the stage in 1869 to travel with him, 2 sons from the union, one of whom became a newspaper reporter. Returned to the stage after her disastrous linkage with him, to do some of her best work, including playing Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra,” which would prove a career highpoint. Following her divorce, she went to England in 1880, where he met her third and final husband, actor Cyril Searle. On her return to the U.S. in 1884, she went on tour of the western states, with her spouse playing support roles for her. Wrote her memoirs as well as a play, and died of cerebral apoplexy. Inner: Temperamental, capricious, formidable and unmanageable, but an excellent actress. Felt there should be an aura of mystery around actresses, which elevated them far above ordinary experience. Wild woman lifetime of high dramatics in relationships both onstage and off, while continuing to explore her powers of expression and actualization through an unbridled personality, and a fierce determination to be who she really is in a notoriously illusory profession. Margaret Stanley, Countess of Derby (Margaret Clifford) (1540-1596) - English noblewoman and heir to the throne. Outer: Related to the royal house of Tudor through her maternal grandmother, who was the third daughter of Henry VII (Rupert Murdoch), putting her distantly in line for the throne, before a series of deaths of her cousins moved her up to the direct heiress, although she failed to outlive the queen, Elizabeth I (Mae West), who was seven years her senior. Born in the family castle to the 2nd earl of Cumberland. John Dudley, the duke of Northumberland (Henry Fonda) wished to marry her to his son Guildford (Rob Lowe), in order to cement his position as royal adviser, although her father presciently forbade it, as Dudley was subsequently executed for treason. Instead, she wed Henry Stanley, 4th earl of Derby (Sam Shepard), in a creative but contentious union that produced four sons, three of whom, she would outlive. Introduced her husband to both music and the theater, and through her auspices, he became a patron of the arts, eventually forming a company of players. Both, however, had little real sense of money, and plunged their house into debt, which eventually caused her separation from him. In 1579, she was arrested after being overheard disputing a possible marriage of Elizabeth, that would threaten her own heiress standing. The accusations against her quickly mounted to the use of sorcery to facilitate Elizabeth’s death and predicting precisely when the queen would die, both capital offenses. Placed under house arrest, she gave the crown her physician, William Randall, who was subsequently tried and executed. Banished for her supposed schemings, she spent the latter part of her life in depressed circumstances. Although she continually petitioned the queen to be returned to royal favor, her pleas went unanswered, and she died deeply in debt, outliving her estranged husband by three years. Inner: Culturally attuned to her times, with little real sense of money or the potential repercussions of her actions. Royal heiress lifetime of allowing her self-destructive instincts to far outweigh her creative impulses, making for a dismal second and third act, and probably convincing her that her future lay in playacting rather than the power realms.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS MARTYR TO MARRIAGE:
Storyline: The vivacious victim chooses unwisely in her mates and suffers mightily for her attraction to powerful, disturbed men, while trying to forge her own passageway to power in her desire for public recompense for the wrongs done her.
Claire Bloom (Clair Blume) (1931) - English actress. Outer: Of Russian and German-Jewish descent. Father was in advertising, family was constantly moving. After seeing “Romeo and Juliet” at 6, she knew she wanted to be an actress. Brought to the U.S. at 9 to escape the London Blitz. Had an unstable childhood, her parents separated and she returned to England 3 years later with her mother and won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, although disliked formal education. Appeared in a BBC radio play, then joined the Oxford Repertory Theater in her mid-teens, did some Shakespeare, and made her film debut at 17 in The Blind Goddess. 5’5”. At 21, she became an international film personality through her role as the waif in Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight, although she felt she was meant to be more than a film star. Joined the Old Vic, touring both Canada and the U.S. Became a transatlantic actress, dividing her times twixt the US and England, while playing luminescent beauties on the screen. After unsatisfactory affairs with actors Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier and Yul Brynner, she married actor Rod Steiger in her late 20s, divorced a decade later, one daughter from union, then married Hillard Elkins, a producer, divorced 7 years later. Took up with writer Philip Roth, had a 17 year relationship with him, with the last 2 as official man and wife, and wrote about it afterwards, limning herself as a martyr to his absolute control and infidelities in “Leaving A Doll’s House,” to which he later responded with an unflattering fictional portrayal of her. Inner: Beautiful, gracious, charming, but with a continued inability to hold her own with famous controlling mates, and with an ongoing need to gain public compensation for her failures. Victimized lifetime, once again, of relative success in her profession, but ongoing failures in her highly public relationships. Catherine Sinclair (1817-1891) - English actress. Outer: Father had been a drummer in the Scottish militia, then had a successful career as a ballad and opera singer. Oldest of 4 and a natural beauty. At 20, she married actor Edwin Forrest (Marlon Brando), who had already established himself as a powerful force on the stage. Moved to NYC with him, and, although he was often adulterous with his leading ladies, had a highly social decade with him, despite protesting his infidelities. The couple had 4 children, all of whom died at birth. Followed her husband in some of his theatrical tours, sewing costumes for him, until he charged her with infidelity when she was in her early 30s, and the duo separated. Countersued the charge, although Forest bribed her household to uphold his accusation. A sensational divorce trial ensued, and though she ultimately won her case and $3000, he contested it again and again over the next 18 years, so that she was forced to turn to the stage for a living. After a brief period of coaching, she made her debut in “School For Scandal,” in her mid-30s. Her subsequent box office appeal lay more in her name than in her talent, as she was billed as the late Mrs. Forrest. Toured the country, then became an actress-manager in California, with the young Edwin Booth (Montgomery Clift) as her leading man. Toured Australia, then London, and the English provinces. Ended her career, 7 years after it started, considerably improved in her craft. Had a handsome, expressive face. Retired to her sister’s estate, then moved in with a nephew after her sibling’s death. Died of a cerebral embolism. Inner: Beautiful, gracious, charming. Getting even lifetime of legal wrangling with a very vengeful mate, in order to unleash her own power in dealing with him, although her lessons remained largely unlearned through a repeat performance of unsatisfactory high-powered relationships, her next go-round in this series.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ELEGANT ETHNIC:
Storyline: The laughing prima donna continually intertwines her emotive beauty with the same funnyman, in the service of both public entertainment and private merriment, in her ongoing tandem journey through the comedy and tragedy of life.
Anne Bancroft (Anna Maria Louisa Italiano) (1931-2005) - American actress. Outer: From a family of Italian immigrants. One of three sisters. Father was dress pattern maker, mother was a telephone operator at Macy’s dept. store. Began taking acting and dance lessons at 4, and had a lifelong desire to appear on the stage. Sang on the streets for the WPA at the same time. Went to school in the Bronx, then serially attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Actor’s Studio. 5’6”, 120lbs. Began working on TV under the name of Anne Marno, before being told to make her name less ethnic for her motion picture debut in 1952 in Don’t Bother to Knock. Picked ‘Bancroft,’ because it sounded elegant. Married in 1953, divorced 4 years later. Worked as a contract player at the end of the studio system, but found the parts offered her far less than challenging, and returned to NY to do live theater instead, which would be one of the mainstays of her subsequent career. Won a Tony award in 1958 opposite Henry Fonda in “Two for the Seesaw,” and two years later, for her second most famous role, “The Miracle Worker” which she reprised on film, and won an Academy Reward for Best Actress in 1962, for her role as teacher Annie Sullivan. Worked with blind children afterwards. Later showed her versatility and stuff on an eponymous Emmy-winning special in 1970, in which she sang, acted and displayed her delightful humor, completing her trifecta of major show business awards. Met comic writer Mel Brooks in 1961, and immediately knew he was the one for her, while he felt the same towards her, despite their opposing beast and beauty physicality. Converted from Catholicism to Judaism, and the duo were wed in 1964, in an extremely close union, which produced one son, Max Brooks, who became an actor, and like his parents, won an Emmy. Her seductive turn as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, would cement her into public consciousness, and, to her regret, overshadow her other work. Subsequently, declined several plum movie roles. In 1980, she added writer and director to her curriculum vitae with Fatso, in which she also costarred. Appeared several times with and in her husband’s work, and probably served as a good sounding board for him. Continued to perform, winning a final Emmy in 1999 for a support role and ultimately died of uterine cancer, keeping her illness even from close friends. Inner: Extremely private, well-socialized and high-humored, albeit with hidden pain. Curiously fearful of doing live TV, preferring public glimpses of her more under her control. Repeat performance lifetime of the same mate, and a similar prima donna sensibility more interested in memorable art than easy melodrama, in her life as well as her work. Annetta Grodner (c1855-?) - Ukranian actress. Outer: Of Jewish descent. Father was a boot-maker. Little known of her early life. Met and married playwright and performer Israel Grodner (Mel Brooks) around 1870, while he was a wandering singer and actor, and she also became a singer. In 1876, while in Romania, her husband was recruited as one of the first Yiddish-language stage actors, in what would initially prove to be an all-male affair, although it would soon be integrated. When her spouse broke away from their original company, she went with him, and eventually became its first prima donna, adding acting to her repertoire. The possessor of a sad, melodious voice, and a charming style of emoting, she remained closely connected to him in most of his European wanderings, until his relatively early death in 1887. The rest of her life would be ill-recorded. Inner: Charming, loyal, multi-talented. Peripatetic lifetime of acting out the movement that boots symbolized in her early life, in her ongoing linkage with a fellow comic spirit, only this time to experience his early exit to see what she would do with it.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS HER OWN MOMMIE DEAREST:
Storyline: The petulant prima donna gives some of her best performances in the dressing-room before and after her filmed dramas, although is always strictly professional and at the top of her form once her audience is in place.
Faye Dunaway (1941) - American actress. Outer: Only weighed 4 pounds at birth. Father was a career army officer, giving her a peripatetic childhood, and was educated in various American and European towns, spending most of her childhood in Germany. Attended the Univ. of Florida and Boston Univ.’s School of Fine and Applied Arts, then came to NYC with the intention of becoming an actress. Joined the Lincoln Center Repertory Company in her early 20s, and after a success in an off-Broadway production, began appearing in films in her mid-20s. Scored her first highly noticeable success in 1967 as bandit queen Bonnie Parker (Candy Barr) in Bonnie and Clyde. 5’9”. Her high-cheekboned beauty and emotional register made her an extremely effective screen presence, and a major star of the 1960s and 1970s. After 2 nominations, she won a Best Actress Oscar in 1976 for Network. In the 1970s, she married and divorced Peter Wolf, a younger rock star, then wed Terry O’Neill, her former manager, in 1983. The duo divorced four years later, after producing Liam O’Neill, an actor. Did a memorable turn as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, then felt it hurt her career, which began to wane in the 1980s. Revived it as a lush in Barfly, then did TV movies, and a brief sitcom, before returning to the screen in the 1990s in off-beat roles. Co-wrote her autobiography “Waiting for Gatsby.” Initially cast as Norma Desmond in the musical version of Sunset Boulevard, but was dropped by composer Andrew Lloyd Weber at the last moment, causing some public snits, as well as a successful law suit. Continues to appear on stage as well as in film, while showing her range as an ever-evolving actress into mature age. In 2005, she entered the lists of reality TV, with a stint as a highly critical judge on “The Starlet,” assessing young talent. Inner: Disciplined, driven, sensitive, deeply self-critical. Earnest, vulnerable, with a great love for her craft. Also extremely temperamental, tantrum-prone, demanding, and absolutely insistent on having her own way. Starpower lifetime of trying to integrate her sense of the stage with an equally important sense of self, having integrated her past-life mommie dearest within herself. Pauline Frederick (Beatrice Pauline Libbey) (1883-1938) - American actress. Outer: Mother was extremely ambitious and ever-present in her daughter’s life. Father was a railroad yardmaster, who later became a salesman. Only child, whose parents separated when she young. Went to finishing school, and took piano, dancing and singing lessons at her mother’s behest. Had a handsome face with large soulful eyes, and a beautiful soprano voice. 5’4 1/2”, 125 lbs. Began working as a chorus girl at 18 in Boston, then appeared in musicals. Married Frank Andrews, a NY architect ,in her mid-20s and briefly retired from the stage. Returned and was divorced 4 years later. Ultimately established herself on Broadway as a leading lady, specializing in sinister roles, although was never a star. Went to Hollywood in her early 30s, and became a silent screen performer, playing everything from sophisticated comedy to melodrama, beginning with The Eternal City. Moved to California and married actor and playwright Willard Mack in her mid-30s, divorced 3 years later. Her most famous role was as Madame X, a part she became identified with, both on stage and screen. Married her mother’s first cousin, C. A. Rutherford, a physician, in her late 30s, separated after 4 months and divorced. Returned to the stage in her early 40s, when she found it difficult to get adequate screen roles. Had a brief revival of her film career at the beginning of the sound era. Married and divorced Hugh Leighton, a well-to-do NY hotel and restaurant operator in her late 40s. A poor businesswoman, she lived lashly, but despite her high salary, filed for bankruptcy at 50. Her 5th and final marriage was to Joseph Harmon, a military officer. No children from any of her marriages, which she regretted intensely. Became a character actress, often playing domineering mothers, as reflection of her own life, and spent the latter part of her career touring in stage productions. Suffered from asthma, and died of an internal obstruction after a major intestinal operation. Inner: Often typecast as a ‘sinner’ or dark-hearted woman, perhaps as reflection of her own inability to find satisfactory love on a personal, rather than a professional, level. Outdoorsy, she had a great love for horses, and owned her own stable. Mother-dominated lifetime of great difficulty in integrating her professional and private lives, allowing the former to predominate her search for success, while sacrificing the latter in the process.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS LONESOME HIGH DIVER:
Storyline: The sensitive suicide continually plunges into the abyss of her own despair, when she finds her dreams and desires for fame thwarted by the misguided finger of fortune.
Elizabeth Hartman (Mary Elizabeth Hartman) (1941-1987) - American actress. Outer: Middle of 3 children. Slender, red-haired. After appearing in a play, “A Clearing in the Woods,” in high school, she knew what her life direction would be. Went to Carnegie Tech, and then decided to pursue an acting career. Nominated for an Academy Reward for her first movie role, as a blind girl in A Patch of Blue in 1965, which proved to be the highlight of her uneven career. Portrayed both fragility and sensitivity in her subsequent parts, although she was never able to follow up on her initial success, and her appearances on the screen became more and more sporadic. Married Gill Dennis in 1968, divorced in 1984. Ultimately retreated as a recluse in her NYC apartment, and then became an outpatient at a Pittsburgh psychiatric hospital. Spent her last 2 years reading and brooding, while winning one stage role, her Broadway debut, as Emily in a revival of “Our Town.” Jumped to her death from the fifth floor of her nearby apartment, after calling her doctor beforehand to tell him she was depressed. Inner: Extremely high-strung, tense and fragile, as well as shy and timid. Swandive lifetime, once again, of embracing an extremely insecure profession to get at the heart of her own lack of emotional integration, only to plunge from initial acceptance to her own deep-seated sense of rejection. Peg Entwistle (Lillian Millicent Entwistle) (1908-1932) - Welsh/American actress. Outer: Raised in Wales, and after her mother’s death in 1927, she came to NYC with her father to pursue an acting career. He remarried and had two more sons, before being killed in an auto accident. Stayed in America and made her stage debut at 17 with a Boston rep company. Received good notices in the Broadway hit “Tommy,” when she was in her early 20s. Married actor Robert Keith in 1928, divorced in 1930. He had lied to her about a son and a previous marriage, and she paid his back alimony to keep him out of jail. Appeared with Theater Guild productions, and garnished a modest reputation for herself. Came to Hollywood, lived with an uncle and did one play, then posed in the semi-nude in an attempt to garner attention. Her only film, Thirteen Women, did not do well at the box office. Used to horseback ride near the huge Hollywoodland sign, seeing it as a symbol of the heights she had failed to ascend. Depressed about the lack of direction of her career, she climbed a ladder a workman had left by the sign and jumped to her death off its thirteenth and last letter, ‘d.’ Immediately afterwards, it was discovered that she had won a part with the Beverly Hills Community Players, where she was to commit suicide in the 3rd act. Her suicide note read, “I am afraid. I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain.” Inner: Classic victim, allowing her sense of disconnection to rule her. Swansong lifetime of high-diving in frustration over her own lack of self-integration, a seemingly continual theme of hers.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS CANDID CAMERA CENTERPIECE:
Storyline: The daunting OBE dame knows her own mind and isn’t afraid to speak it, as she transits from ingenuous ingenue to full-blown maturity in her incarnatory arc in order to give her greater self a sense of womanly completion.
Dame Helen Mirren (Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironoff) (1945) - English actress and associate producer. Outer: Father was a Russian immigrant of aristocratic descent, who anglicized the family name when his daughter was nine, and played the viola in the London philharmonic before becoming a taxi driver and then a driving test examiner. Mother was the 13th of 14 children born to an English butcher, with some gypsy blood in her background. The middle of three children with an older sister and younger brother. Grew up poor with parents who despised the British class system, and had no exposure to the telly or movies. Went to a strict Catholic high school, where she was involved in school productions, knowing she wanted to be actress from her early teens, despite her parents complete lack of support. 5’4” blonde-haired and blue-eyed. Forced to go to a teacher’s training school, but won a a spot with the National Youth Theater on the sly. Began her career playing the title role in Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra,” and by 20 she was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, showing a complete lack of inhibition both on stage and in her first major film role, Age of Consent in 1969. A palm reader told her she wouldn’t realize her full ambitions until after 40. Soon built a solid reputation for her stage work, thesping in London, and in 1994 made her Broadway debut. Her screen work was varied and well-received in a host of films during the 70s and 80s, she did not achieve stardom until 1990 on the small screen, playing a police inspector on “Prime Suspect.” From that point onward, her career took off, as she became the go-to actress for a host of high profile productions, while also serving as associate producer on some of them, racking up awards all along the way. After appearing in his White Knights she married director Taylor Hackford in 1997, no children from the union. Continued her high profile film career around the bend of the century, while also appearing occasionally on stage, and was made a Dame Commander in 2003, despite an antipathy to titles. Won a Best Actress Oscar in 2007 for playing Elizabeth II in The Queen, despite strong anti-monarchical feelings. Released her memoirs, “In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures” in 2008, and continues to be a natural sex symbol well into her 60s, despite never having done any artificial enhancements of her well-toned body, save for exercise. Inner: Highly independent, candid, and strongly opinionated. Has a tattoo on her left hand, which means equal but opposite in American indigenous symbology. Despite a strong antipathy to the British monarchy, has played several queens. Uninhibited lifetime of fully coming into her own in early middle-age and easily and gracefully continuing to serve as an icon for mature womanhood. Mildred Harris (1901-1944) - American actress. Outer: Father was a telegraph operator. Made her screen debut in a western short at 11, and quickly became a child star. Known as innocent Mildred Harris, despite appearing completely naked as a harem girl in Intolerance. At one point, she was one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. Met silent film legend Charlie Chaplin in 1918, and secretly married him several months later when she told him she was pregnant. Although she wasn’t, she would have a son with him who died after several days, as the marriage fell apart, when she saw he was far more interested in his career than her, criticizing her constantly, and abandoning her for weeks at a time. After their divorce in 1920, she received a reputed settlement of some $200,000 but filed for bankruptcy after several long illnesses depleted her resource. Had an affair with the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII, and later introduced him to the divorcee Wallis Wade Simpson. In 1924, she married real estate manager Everett Terence McGovern, one son from the union, which ended in divorce in 1930. As soon as sound came in, her career as a leading lady hit a downswing from which it never recovered, and she eventually wound up as an extra. In 1934, she wed former football player William Fleckenstein, who was once her agent, divorced a decade later. Became an alcoholic in her waning years, and died from pneumonia following a major abdominal operation. Inner: Largely carefree and fun-loving, with a propensity for attracting men in powerful positions. Simple and uncomplicated, remaining pretty much a child throughout her life. Part one lifetime of playing with youthful innocence in preparation for a full re-integration of herself as a mature figure the next time around in this series.
PATHWAY OF THE SINGER AS AMPLY-FLESHED ICON:
Storyline: The busty and bewigged chanteuse belies her appearance with a level-headed intelligence and an in-charge attitude towards all aspects of her life, save for her appearance, which has long been an object of obsession for her, much to her multi-life detriment.
Dolly Parton (1946) - American singer, songwriter and actress. Outer: Of Dutch, Irish and Cherokee extraction. The doctor who delivered her was paid with a sack of cornmeal. Father was an illiterate dirt farmer and construction worker, mother was a Pentecostal preacher’s daughter. 4th of 12 children in a highly musical Baptist family. Had an impoverished upbringing in a one-room cabin with no electricity or running water. Sang and played gospel music in church, and was performing on radio by 11. As soon as she finished high school, she headed for Nashville and began a highly successful career as a country-singer, joining the Porter Wagoner band, touring, recording and playing the Grand Old Opry. 5’2”, well-fleshed, extremely busty with a penchant for huge blonde wigs. Traveled with a band made up of 4 siblings, and an uncle and a cousin. Struck out on her own at 28, and became a country icon, showing herself to be a prolific songwriter, as well as a smart businesswoman. Married Carl Dean, the owner of an asphalt paving company at 20, no children from the union, although they helped raise 5 of her younger siblings. Bought a 200 acre estate, with members of her family surrounding her. In addition to her musical career, she also appeared frequently on television and made a number of well-received movies. Created a $200-$400 million dollar empire, with her own Tennessee theme park, Dollywood, which opened in 1986. Formed the Dollywood Foundation two years later, which awards scholarships, and also sponsors the Imagination Library, which provides books to 6 million children in the English-speaking world, in an ongoing desire to improve the lot of youngsters everywhere. Had a 6 year affair with her security chief, as well as other flings, as has her husband, although the duo remained united. Occasional weight ballooning has seen her threaten her health with diets, amidst accusations of periodic anorexia. After several years of relative inactivity in her early 50s, she retreated for several months to her mountain cabin, and then announced the start of Part II of her life. One of the best-loved performers of her time, with an integrated sense of her personal and professional responsibility. Elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. A prolific songwriter, publishing over 3000 of her compositions, to go along with over 80 albums, 25 number one singles, and 7 Grammy awards, as well as writing the score for “Nine to Five,” which opened on Broadway in 2009. Inner: Her little girl voice and exaggerated body belies a quick intelligence and a great deal of personal ambition. Quietly religious, and a combination of faith, hope and charity. Has had lots of plastic surgery, in her ongoing obsession with looking good. Full fleshed lifetime of expanding her talents as an entertainer, while once again doing battle with her ample body, and her fuzzy focus on external looks as part of the key to a successful life, despite a host of other far greater positives to define her. Marie Prevost (Mary Bickford Dunn) (1898-1937) - Canadian/American actress. Outer: From a relatively wealthy family. Sister Marjorie also became an actress. Educated at a Montreal Convent before her family moved to Los Angeles. 5’4”. Worked briefly as a stenographer with a legal firm, before entering show business as one of Mack Sennett’s (Quentin Tarantino) bathing beauties. Quickly became a leading lady in silent films, beginning with Unto Those Who Sin in 1916, while specializing in romantic comedy roles and bedroom farces. Married at 20, divorced 5 years later. Married matinee idol Kenneth Harlan right afterwards, divorced 3 years later. Reached her peak during the mid-1920s. Although able to make a successful transition to talkies, after her mother died in an auto accident, she took to drinking, put on weight, and soon found jobs scarce. Went on a crash diet, and eventually stopped eating. Virtually broke at the end, she was found dead in her dilapidated apartment from malnutrition and acute alcoholism, with her dachshund chewing on her body. Inner: Ambitious, obsessive, but well-liked. Puckish, with an elfin smile. Self-consuming lifetime of using herself up in her ambitions and literally eating herself alive, necessitating a repeat performance with all the same dynamics, but a far more together talent at both entertaining and supporting herself through her multiple skills.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS HIGHLY OBSERVANT EYE:
Storyline: The ardent activist repeatedly challenges herself to find her true essence by resisting being dominated by controlling men, so as to explore her own considerable powers of expression, unfettered by the ventriloquist demands or needs of anyone else.
Candice Bergen (1946) - American actress, writer and photographer. Outer: Daughter of ventriloquist and comedian Edgar Bergen. Mother, Frances Westerman, was a former model best known for her billboard ads for Chesterfield cigarettes, and one/half the age of her husband at the time of their union, which also produced a younger brother, Kris, a film and TV editor, fifteen years his sister’s junior. Always felt envious of her father’s dummy, Charlie McCarthy, whose room was larger than her own. Spent a lot of her life searching for her father’s detached approval, finally releasing him at his funeral by calling it the Edgar Bergen Show. Had a privileged upbringing as a Hollywood princess, while appearing from the age of 6, on her sire’s radio program. At times, Edgar would sit her on one knee and Charlie on the other, and speak for both of them. Attended high school in Switzerland and began modeling while going to the Univ. of Pennsylvania as an art his/story major, where she was homecoming queen her freshman year, before flunking out. 5’7 1/2” and quite striking with a classic American blonde-haired beauty. Became a Ford model, which allowed her to pursue photography as a vocation in lieu of her talent for drawing. Made her film debut in 1966 as a beautiful lesbian in The Group. Became a haute hippie afterwards, living with record producer Terry Melcher, in the mansion that would eventually house the infamous Manson murders, before becoming a celebrity activist for various causes, while intermixing with both the elite and social radicals. Had a reasonably successful film career in both comedy and adventure roles, despite being a little too aloof for fan identification, while pursuing a parallel calling as a photojournalist, both writing and taking pictures for numerous magazines and newspapers. Married French filmmaker Louis Malle in her mid-30s, one daughter from the close union, which ended in 1995 with his death from cancer. Scored her greatest success in the TV sit-com “Murphy Brown,” playing an independently-minded TV newswoman for ten seasons, beginning in 1988. Won five Emmys and two Golden Globes for the show, while it drew the surreal wrath of vice-president Dan Quayle for its portrayal of a healthy, happy well-adjusted unwed mother. Also had a long-standing role as a commercial spokeswoman for U.S. Sprint, rounding out a life dedicated to the communication arts. Deeply mourned Malle’s death, disappearing from public view for a while, before eventually marrying Marshall Rose, a Manhattan real estate developer, and returning to both the big and small screens in a variety of roles, including five seasons on “Boston Legal,” beginning in 2005. Wrote her autobiography, “Knock Wood,” as well as a play entitled, “The Freezer.” Inner: Witty, intelligent, outspoken, outdoorsy, athletic and perceptive with a self-deprecating sense of humor. No dummy lifetime of growing up in privilege in fantasyland, and making good use of her many gifts for creative communication, through a fierce desire to be her own woman, rather than a wooden appendage of a highly controlling male. Suzanne Valadon (Marie-Clementine Valadon) (1865-1938) - French painter and model. Outer: Of peasant stock. Born illegitimately to a French laundress, who moved to Paris with her when she was 5. Supported herself from the age of 9 by doing odd jobs while also attending a convent school for a few years, before becoming a circus acrobat. Fell off the trapeze when she was 16, and injured her back, which ended her performing career, and instead she became a top artist’s model, parlaying her beauty to serve as muse for Henri de Toulouse-Latrec (Jean-Michel Basquiat) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Louis Malle) among others, while becoming mistress of the latter, and changing her first name to a more elegant one at the suggestion of the former. A habitué of Montmartre clubs and cabarets, she was an extremely provocative figure, sliding down banisters wearing only a mask, and ultimately giving birth at 18 to the odd cityscapist Maurice Utrillo, who became her prize pupil, after she had given him to her mother to raise. The father was a chronic alcoholic, and so was the son, who took up painting after being committed to an asylum as a teen. Initially, she became an artist after carefully observing the painters for whom she posed, winning support and admiration from many of them, including Edgar Degas (Jacques Demy). Although she had received no formal training, her works were the product of careful observation of the techniques of the impressionistic and expressionistic masters for whom she had posed. After initially sketching in pencil and pastels, she moved on to oils, while occasionally laboring over a painting for years, in order to get it just right. Among her favorite subjects were female nudes, along with portraits, still-lifes and landscapes, all rendered in vibrant colors. Able to give full body to the sexuality of her females, in contrast to the passive mode in which they were normally portrayed by male artists of her times. In 1915, she had her first one-woman exhibition, and it proved both a commercial and critical success. Her later exhibitions would also elicit both praise as well as condemnation from bourgeois morality, that was shocked at the sensual glorification with which she imbued her female subjects. Had affairs with a variety of artists, as well as composer Erik Satie (Frank Zappa) before making an attempt at respectability with a marriage to Paul Moussis, a banker, with whom she lived for fourteen years, although dwelling in the countryside with him, proved relatively uninspiring, and the two eventually divorced in 1910. Fell in love with Andre Utter, an artist over two decades her junior, and the two wed when she was nearly fifty, as she returned to her earlier bohemian mode for the latter part of her life. The two had several joint exhibitions, while she produced many of her most striking works, although she only achieved modest sales after WW I. Able to purchase a country estate, through a contract with an established gallery in 1924, although tensions between her son and husband, saw the latter straying, as she began doing retrospectives. Her health declined in her 60s, with the onset of diabetes and kidney dysfunction, as her marriage unofficially ended, and her son finally moved out of her house. Suffered a stroke while painting at her easel, and died hours later at a hospital. Inner: Intense, passionate, highly observant, and quite unconventional. Always looking for recognition as an artist, rather than the emptiness of fame. Self-made lifetime of bringing forth her considerable skills of expression through careful observation and an indomitable desire to make her will manifest.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS DEEPLY WOUNDED NYMPHET:
Storyline: The experienced innocent gets lost in temporary fame’n’fortune in her youth, only to have life remind her of her unintegrated rage and give it ample opportunity to be expressed and acted out, over and over.
Sue Lyon (1946) - American actress. Outer: Youngest of 5 children. Mother was in her mid-50s at the time of her birth, and her father died before she was a year old. The former had to work as a hospital house mother, and barely supported her family. When her daughter began to bloom, the family moved to Los Angeles to see if they could exploit her as a model. Despite suffering from manic-depression, she was able to get work, as well as a small part in Dennis the Menace in 1959. Also attended LA City College, and worked in a men’s clothing store. 5’3”. Ultimately spotted by director Stanley Kubrick, who cast her as the seductive teenage nymphet, Lolita, in the film of the same name in 1962, which would prove to be her cinematic highlight. Despite the publicity surrounding the role, and a natural and erotic filmic presence, she never quite clicked with the public afterwards. Married socialite Hampton Fancher III in 1964, but it proved short-lived, as did her subsequent film career. Married Roland Harrison, a black photographer and football coach in 1970, but the couple were forced to move to Spain, because of public discomfort around its mixed racial nature, one daughter from union. Continued making films, while divorcing her husband and returning to the U.S., then worked as a cocktail waitress in Denver. Met Gary Adamson, a convict serving time for murder and robbery, and impulsively married him in 1973, while working for prison reform and conjugal rights, only to divorce him the following year, after he committed another robbery. Made her final film in 1980, Alligator, and retired from the screen following it. In 1985, she married a radio engineer, her singular union which officially lasted over a year, although she eventually divorced him in 2002. Deliberately disappeared from public view, refusing to give interviews, and remains hidden to all but herself. Inner: Angry and impulsive. Exploited lifetime of much early attention, and then a gradual diminishment of her public life, in order to try to put in order her roiling private one. Virginia Lee Corbin (1910-1942) - American actress. Outer: Mother had been an actress, father was a pharmacist. Preternaturally gifted, she was singing, dancing and emoting at an early age, and at 2 was already modeling for calendars and had appeared on the stage. The following year, her family moved to California because of her frail health, and eventually they found their way to Los Angeles in 1915. Her older sister Ruth was also an actress, which got her started in films in The Chorus Girl and the Kid in 1916. Made several movies for Universal, then switched to Fox Kiddie Features, where she became a child star. Also worked in vaudeville, although as she passed from late childhood into early adolescence, the film roles began drying up. Played flappers, despite her young age, and worked steadily, although her later career never matched her earlier successes. Had a difficult relationship with her mother, who dissipated her earnings, and in 1927, she made a suicide attempt. In 1929, she married Theodore Krol, a Chicago stockbroker, 2 sons from the union. Spent the year following the stockmarket crash in England, then returned for another quartet of films, ironically ending her career with Forgotten in 1931. Always in frail health with a nagging cough, she divorced in 1937, and shortly afterwards married Charles Jacobson, another Chicago stock broker. Following a short stint in a sanitarium, she died of tuberculosis at the age of 31. Inner: Childhood’s end lifetime of enjoying success when very youthful, only to see that world gradually disappear, as she did as well, to try it again from even more tenuous vantagepoint.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS VALLEY GIRL MADE GOOD:
Storyline: The cheerful cheerleader breaks the mold of her longtime conditioning in order to allow her inner actress full access, and still realize her ultimate goal of being well-liked for her efforts.
Sally Field (1946) - American actress. Outer: Mother was B-movie actress Margaret Field, father owned a drugstore, after having been an officer in WW II. One older brother. Her sire had difficulty in readjusting to civilian life, and her parents divorced when she was 4. After supporting her children with her filmwork, her mother married actor Jock Mahoney. Blamed herself for their break-up, then had an extremely combative relationship with her unstable stepfather, although he ultimately spurred her to go after her dreams, as well as stand up for herself. Went to acting classes with her mother and wrote plays for neighborhood kids, while assuming the roles of cheerleader and self-professed ‘Valley Girl,’ in high school. Won out over 150 other candidates at Columbia Pictures to play the title role in the TV series, “Gidget,” then cemented her reputation as a bubbly airhead of the small screen in the highly successful, “The Flying Nun.” 5’2”, 100 lbs. Made her film debut in her early 20s, but a distinct dissatisfaction with her typecast image as a vacuous cutie led her to enroll in the Actor’s Studio, from whence she emerged after 3 years, a competent dramatic actress capable of moving portrayals. Married Steven Craig, a screenwriter and childhood love, in her early 20s, whom she felt was a brother. Divorced 7 years later, 2 sons, Peter, a novelist and Eli, an actor. Had an on-again, off-again affair with actor Burt Reynolds, after meeting on the set of Smokey and the Bandit, in 1977. Felt she structured her life too much to fit his needs, and refused to marry him. The couple eventually split in 1981. Won an Emmy in her early 30s, for playing a woman with multiple personalities, then 2 years later garnered her first Best Actress Oscar in 1979 as a union organizer in Norma Rae. Won a 2nd Best Actress Oscar in 1984 for Places in the Heart, winning Academy Reward immortality for the acceptance speech phrase, “You like me, you really like me.” Married Alan Greisman, a producer, the same year, divorced 11 years later, one son from the union, and has not had a public companion since then, preferring to focus on work and her children and grandchildren. Able to stay on good terms with all her exes. Formed her own production company, Fogwood Films and branched off into producing as well as acting. Despite being occasionally miscast, she has been able to develop and grow as an actress, and become one of the stalwarts of her generation upon the screen. Directed her first film, Beautiful, at millennium’s end, and made her Broadway debut in 2002 in Edward Albee’s “Goat,” dazzling Great White Way audiences, and then continued to focus her artistic attention on the theater, with the ongoing desire to expand her capacities as an actress. In 2005, she was diagnosed with osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease which post-menopausal women are prone to, and has become an impassioned spokesperson for raising awareness of it, making a full circle of sorts as an initial icon of youth and then a later totem for the large generation with whom she grew up and matured. Returned to network TV drama in 2006, with “Brothers & Sisters,” and added a Best Actress Emmy in 2007 to her shelf full of accolades. Inner: Taught to be nice and sweet and cute, which was cemented by the fluff roles of her earlier career, although quite the opposite. Extremely driven, and willful, with a very strong sense of her own needs. Great desire for privacy and her own space, a solitary soul at heart, with work and family as the core of her life. Escape artist lifetime of allowing her eccentricities, as well as her innate dramatic talent, to come forth over the veneer of a pleasing girlishness, allowing her finally to act out, both onstage and off. Maxine Elliot (Jessie Carolyn Dermot) (1868-1940) - American/English actress. Outer: Both parents were of Irish descent. Father was a sea captain, eldest of 4, with her younger sister Gertrude Elliot becoming an actress as well. Initially tutored by her mother, she started acting at Notre Dame Academy. At 15, she took a long voyage with her father to Spain and South America. Married a lawyer with the similar name of McDermot in her teens, then studied with Dion Boucicault (Robert Shaw), who gave her, her stage name. Made her first appearance on the London stage in her mid-20s, after apprenticing with various companies, building up from small to secondary roles, based mostly on her looks. Toured Australia with her younger sister and actor Nat Goodwin (Burt Reynolds), and returned as his leading lady. Divorced her husband and married Goodwin at 27, while supporting him for several years. The pair separated 4 years later, and divorced another 4 years following. Temporarily retired when her younger brother died at sea and then returned to the stage in 1903 to become a star in a play written for her, “Her Own Way.” Over the next decade, she starred in drawingroom comedies in both London and New York. Built a theater named after her in NYC, the first woman since Laura Keene (Mary Pickford), to construct and manage an American playhouse. Retired to England afterwards, built a huge estate and mingled with high society. Her theatrical career was virtually over in her early 40s, save for 2 later performances. A Red Cross nurse during WW I, for which she was decorated. During her last years, she entertained royalty on the Riviera. A shrewd businesswoman, she was worth over a million at life’s end, while ballooning to 235 lbs, as an unconscious metaphor of her need to hold on to everything she had. Died from the results of a heart attack she suffered the summer before her demise. Inner: Thought of herself as an entertainer more than an actress, and disliked the stage. Her career was based more on outward beauty than inward talent, nor was she that ambitious to improve her craft, because of the easy acceptance she received. Mechanical, lacked warmth, but was a good businesswoman. Learning lifetime of reluctantly putting herself on display in order to realize her larger goals of power, money and fame, without stretching herself in the process, save around the waist.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS CHARACTER ACTRESS SUPREME:
Storyline: The triumphant traveler searches for stability in the unstable world of the theater and screen, rather than her personal life, after being given an extremely secure base out of which to work in order to compensate for an earlier round of extreme insecurities pursuing the same path.
Glenn Close (1947) - American actress. Outer: From a prominent family that has lived in New England for 12 generations, including ancestors who helped found her hometown. Father was a surgeon, who also ran a medical clinic in the Belgian Congo, and served as personal physician to its dictator Mobutu Sese Soko. Had a privileged upbringing on a 500 acre estate in Connecticut, as well as in Switzerland and the Belgian Congo, through her progenitor’s work. One of four children, with a sister and two brothers. Though her parents were well-off, they shunned the local moneyed set and raised their children themselves. Decided to become an actress at the age of 7. At the same time the family was drawn into a Christian cult called Moral Re-Armament (MRA), which oversaw all aspects of their lives, until she finally broke away at 22. Organized and performed with a repertory troupe called Fingernails, and sang with the ‘Up With People’ touring company between high school and college for 5 years. 5’5” and athletic. Graduated with a B.A. in drama from William & Mary College, then joined the New Phoenix Repertory Company in her mid-20s. Made her Broadway debut in William Congreve’s (Tennessee Williams) “Love for Love,” after going on for the star as an understudy. Married Cabot Wade, a guitarist, in 1969, divorced four years later. Acted on TV and in regional, Broadway and off-Broadway productions, winning an Obie along the way, before making her movie debut in her mid-30s in The World According to Garp. Followed her cinematic introduction to the American public with a series of well-received performances, before becoming a name through her disintegrating performance of Alex Forrest, a woman spurned in Fatal Attraction in 1987. Married James Marlas, a venture capitalist, in 1984, divorced 3 years later. Had a daughter in 1987, with John Starke, a producer, whom she raised by herself. Won a Tony for Best Actress in 1984 for “The Real Thing,” and was named woman of the year in 1990 by Harvard’s Hasty Pudding club. Won a 2nd Tony in 1992 for “Death and the Maiden,” and a third in 1995 for Best Actress in a Musical as Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard,” while continuing to work to great effect in all media alike, from the silver to the small screen. In 2006, she married David Shaw, a biotechnology engineer. A talented lyric soprano, she often sings the national anthem at NY Mets opening-day games. Returned to the small screen in 2007 with “Damages,” playing a litigator, while at the same time entering her first triatholon. The following year, she won an Emmy for Lead Actress through her series, and then repeated in 2009. A near 30 year desire to being the George Moore novella, “Albert Nobbs,” to the screen, finally came to fruition in 2010, after she produced and co-wrote the screenplay, following playing the role on stage of a woman disguised as a man in patriarchal 19th century Ireland. Inner: Imaginative, rather than a method actress, with a wide range to her gifts. Nature-lover and animal-lover, and quite different from many of the hard-hearted characters with whom she has become identified. Well-launched lifetime of being given an extremely varied base, including a strait-jacketed cult, from which to anchor herself in her ongoing search for stability in a very unstable profession. May Robson (Mary Jeanette Robison) (1858-1942) - Australian/American actress. Outer: Parents were English immigrants. Father was a retired sea captain who had settled in Australia for his health. Youngest of 4 children. Returned to England at the age of 7 after her sire died. Educated in convent and private schools in London, Paris and Brussels. At 16, she ran away from home and married an 18 year-old Texan, settling with him in Fort Worth, 3 children from union. Moved to NYC, but her husband’s death left her penniless. Painted china and menu cards for Tiffany’s and also taught art to children, barely scraping by. On an impulse, she obtained a small part in a stock company in her mid-20s. Her portrayal of a Cockney drew considerable attention, and enabled her to launch a long and successful career as a character actress. A printer’s error gave her her stage name. Totally dedicated to her career from that point onward. Played more than 100 roles, most of them comic, over the next 17 years for 3 different companies, before she began working under her own management. Finally achieved stardom in “The Rejuvenation of Aunt Mary,” touring with the play for a decade. Co-wrote one play which was a failure. In her early 50s, she made her motion picture debut, although had a largely unmemorable career in films until director Cecil B. DeMille had her reprise her earlier star turns on Broadway. Moved to California in 1927 and became a screen regular as well as a much beloved figure in the movie colony. Continued working until the near end of her long life, finally succumbing to cancer and neuritis. Inner: Despite her vivacious beauty, felt she couldn’t act unless she looked frightful and frizzy. Covered herself over with make-up each time she took the stage. Felt her real self a failure, and focused on the make-believe of the theatrical world to compensate for it. Compartmentalized lifetime of separating her real and reel self, and never quite integrating the two through her own insecurities, despite her worldly successes and the love and respect of her audiences.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS MARKETABLE MARKSWOMAN:
Storyline: The secret sureshot knows how to take aim at her goals, while continually entwining herself with a master showman/shaman, as a means of inspiring her competitive nature to greater heights, without getting locked into a subsidiary role.
Sondra Locke (1947) - American actress and director. Outer: Went to Middle Tennessee State and graduated as a drama major. 5’4”. Made her screen debut the same year in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, garnering an Academy Reward nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her initial effort. Married in 1969 and divorced a decade later. Unable to garner much screen attention, until she hooked up with Clint Eastwood from 1975 to 1989, appearing in a half-dozen of his films, beginning with Josie Wales, where they had met. Survived breast cancer and lived with a surgeon for over a decade afterwards. Made her directorial debut in 1986 with Ratboy, although her films have had a mixed reception. Her rancorous split with Eastwood occasioned lawsuits from both sides, which were settled in 1996, and a cool reception to her subsequent filmic suggestions. Accused Hollywood of being in his thrall, until she finally worked out a settlement deal with Warner Bros., to continue her career, although it unofficially ended by century’s turn. Inner: Unlocked lifetime of moving up to the next level in her desire to be a public personality, while doing battle, and learning from and teaching her longtime legendary partner. Annie Oakley (Phoebe Ann Moses) (1860-1926) - American markswoman. Outer: 5th daughter and 5th of 7 children. Mother became a district nurse, after her father’s premature death in 1864. Grew up on a farm, and showed a preternatural skill with firearms. Abused and overworked at a county home and ran away. A deadshot hunter, legend had it that she was able to pay off the mortgage to the family farm with her take from the forest. Beat vaudeville marksman Frank Butler in a shooting match when she was 15, and immediately launched her own career, taking her name from a Cincinnati suburb. The two were married in 1876, no children, and toured in vaudeville and circuses until 1885, when they joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s (Clint Eastwood) Wild West show, remaining with it for 17 years, save for a single season with a rival show. Tiny, trim and ladylike, she called Cody “Colonel,” while he referred to her as “Little Missie.” Became one of the show’s stars, as the “Peerless Lady Wing-Shot,” while her spouse took a secondary role as her manager and assistant, trusting her to the point of allowing her to blast a cigarette out of his mouth. Also performed that trick on a European crown prince at his insistence, while touring the capitals of that continent. Suffered partial paralysis after a train wreck in 1901, but was able to recover, and continued her long career upon the stage. Died of the effects of pernicious anemia, while working on a sentimental and inaccurate autobiography. Inner: Graceful, feminine and soft-spoken off-stage. Extremely frugal, charitable, modest and reserved, but fiercely competitive. Candid and forthright, while always harboring the fear of falling into poverty again. Dead-eye lifetime of turning herself into an American institution and holding her own in a man’s world, in a marksman’s sphere, while working with, rather than against, a fellow legend and longtime partner.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS BIG/VOICED SMALL STAGE STAR:
Storyline: The Broadway belter spends an entire lifetime lighting up the footlights, while proving to be a throwback to pre-electronic generations past in her focus on live, audience-oriented performances and crowd-pleasing stage antics.
Bernadette Peters (Bernadette Lazzara) (1948) - American singer/actress. Outer: Mother was an Italian immigrant who harbored show business fantasies, father was a first generation Italian/American who drove a bread truck. Youngest of 3, sister Donna was also a child actress. Began performing in front of the family TV set at 3, and her mother transferred her own ambitions to her daughter, although she was never a pushy stage mother, telling her she could stop anytime she wanted to. Working since the age of 3 1/2, as a panelist on “Juvenile Jury.” Made her professional debut at 5 on the small screen’s, “Horn and Hardart Children’s Hour,” then made her Broadway debut 2 years later in a revival of “The Most Happy Fella,’” before touring with the road company of “Gypsy.” 5’2”, wild-haired porcelain beauty with a big voice. Took her stage name by adding an ‘s’ to her father’s first name. Went to the Quintano School for Young Professionals, and made her adult debut in 1967 in “Johnny No Trump,” which ran for one performance. By her early 20s, she was starring in Broadway musicals, winning a Drama Desk Award for an off-Broadway production of “Dames at Sea” in 1968. Had the same manager for 27 years. Although she has made a few films, her primary focus has been on the stage, as well as in occasional TV productions, starring in the mid-1970s in the series “All’s Fair.” Her exuberance and comedic talents are best geared for live performances, primarily in musicals, delighting audiences with her enthusiastic deliveries, and her ability to seamlessly shift from acting to singing. Had a 10 year hiatus from the mid-70s to mid-80s on Broadway, returning with her seminal performance as Dot in Stephen Sondheim’s, “Sunday in the Park.” Since then she has done a number of TV movies, had numerous sold-out concerts, and released a few well-received CDs, although Broadway is no longer geared towards her singular starring talent. Made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1996, and travelled internationally with her concert program. A brilliant throwback to an earlier Broadway era, she topped herself in 2003 with the lead as the stage mother in “Gypsy,” playing off her own life and mother, while silencing critics that she wasn’t forceful enough to pull off the demanding role. In her late 40s, she married Michael Wittenberg, an investment adviser 14 years her junior, who died in a helicopter crash in 2005, which devastated her. Penned her first tome, a children’s book, “Broadway Barks,” in 2008, to celebrate an annual event she co-started to help shelter animals, while remaining active and stage center into her sixth decade with concert dates, as a means of reaffirming herself, and working through her profound spousal loss. Inner: Deeply emotional, highly expressive, hard worker, obedient to a point, but also unafraid of her own outbursts. Takes a voice lesson every day she performs. Footlit lifetime, once again, of focusing her life right from the beginning almost entirely on the theater to become a well-loved Broadway figure, with a preternatural talent to entertain. Faye Templeton (1865-1939) - American actress. Outer: Parents were both theatrical performers and principals in the John Templeton Opera Company. Carried on stage as an infant and had her first speaking part at 5. Became a child performer, showing a talent for mimicry. Her early life was totally circumscribed by the theater, had no real home or education outside of it. By her mid-teens, she was touring the country with her own light opera company. Eloped with Billy West, a minstrel show performer at 17, but soon separated and divorced. At 19, she began to achieve stardom with her role in “Evangeline” in NYC. Made her London debut the following year, and then over the next 10 years appeared in a series of extravaganzas, which celebrated her singing, acting and dark sensual beauty. Lived lavishly, enjoying the fruits of her stardom. In her early 30s, she appeared with the comedy team of Weber and Fields (Steve Martin and Martin Short), which highlighted her talents for comedy and parody as well. A continual entertainment force on Broadway, she eventually married and lived in semi-retirement with her wealthy NY husband in Pittsburgh, appearing only sporadically, while her weight ballooned. Her husband died a decade later. Made her Hollywood debut in her late 60s, in Broadway to Hollywood, and then returned to Broadway and touring for 2 years. Afflicted with severe arthritis, she retired to the Actors Fund Home in New Jersey, but the following year, in order to live with a cousin, she moved to San Francisco, where she died. Inner: Buxom, blithe and born to entertain. Footlit lifetime of having her entire existence defined by the stage, forcing her, via circumstances, to abandon it later on to see what life was like away from the applause, only to return and be beset by her own rigidities, forcing a final retirement.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS STAR TURNED SELF-REALIZER:
Storyline: The dutiful daughter searches for fulfillment rather than superficial success in the theatrical world, eschewing the easy road already taken, to rediscover herself through family and her own projects.
Brooke Adams (1949) - American actress. Outer: Mother was an actress, father was a producer. Both were heavy-duty alcoholics. Her older sister Lynne became a soap-opera actress and then a screenwriter/playwright. Made her stage debut at 6 in “Brigadoon.” Her father had a tent in Michigan, where the family staged musicals. Lived in a townhouse in NYC, in a totally theatrical environment. Educated at NY High School of the Performing Arts, as well as the Institute of American Ballet, before studying acting with Lee Strasberg. Worked in TV drama as a teenager, appearing in one short-lived series, “O.K. Crackerby.” 5’5”. Left the stage in her mid-20s, to eagerly pursue a film career. After 2 small roles, she won the lead in Days of Heaven in 1978, and was touted as a star-to-be, although never quite became one, because of external circumstances and poor career choices. Moved back to NYC in her late 20s, when her parents became ill, and then spent much of her 30s doing stagework, feeling burnt out from the demands of acting in front of a camera. In her early 40s, she married actor Tony Shalhoub, with whom she had played in “The Heidi Chronicles,” 2 children from union. Her marriage freed her from supporting herself, which she had done since she was 16. Turned to stage directing in her mid-40s, doing one of her sister’s plays in Los Angeles. Continues working with her sibling, doing a one-woman show that her sibling wrote, while focusing on her own needs, rather than the superficial demands of stardom. Inner: Multi-talented, very close with sister, both personally and professionally. Repeat lifetime of incarnating into a theatrical milieu, although ultimately with less desire for fame and fortune and more of a wish for personal fulfillment, where beforehand her entire focus had been on career. Alice Brady (1892-1939) - American actress. Outer: Father was a theatrical manager, and later a noted stage and film producer, mother was a French-born dancer, who died when she was 4. Her sire subsequently remarried an actress. Educated at a NJ convent school, and then the New England Conservatory of Music. Initially headed for a career as a lyric soprano opera singer, thanks to her father’s wishes. Instead, she ran away from school and secretly entered the theatrical world in Boston, over her father’s objections, eventually making her Broadway debut in a small role in “The Mikado,” with De Wolf Hopper’s (Mandy Patinkin) Gilbert & Sullivan Co. Appeared under the assumed name of Rose-Marie in her next production, and, after a successful showing in “The Balkan Princess,” her father relented and reconciled himself to his daughter’s ambition. Won wide acclaim under her own name for “Little Women.” 5’6”, 110 lbs, and chic, named best-dressed woman on the American stage. Made an extensive tour with William De Wolfe Hopper’s (Mandy Patinkin) Gilbert & Sullivan opera company in her early 20s, then moved to Hollywood and made a series of movies, many of them for her father’s production company, beginning with As Ye Sow. Married James Crane, her leading man, in her mid-20s, divorced 3 years later after he became an alcoholic, one daughter from the union. Never remarried. Played romantic leads and was one of the highest paid stars of the silent WW I era, but eventually became disenchanted with films. In her mid-20s, she returned to Broadway, and scored several hits, appearing continually throughout the 1920s upon the stage. Returned to film in the 1930s in character roles ranging from comedy to drama, often playing ditzes, and won an Academy Reward in 1937 for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mrs. O’Leary in "In Old Chicago." Continued working in films until her death from cancer. Inner: Determined and driven, thought of herself primarily as a comic actress, but equally effective in drama. Warm-hearted, impulsive, multi-lingual. Tunnel vision lifetime of making her career all-important and her private life secondary to her desire for public applause, necessitating a switch-around the next time through in this series to balance off her perspective on herself.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS AMAZON ACTRESS:
Storyline: The odd-named alien-dueler remains remarkably unalienated in her ongoing successful pursuit of self-expression, self-assurance, and independence.
Sigourney Weaver (1949) (Susan Weaver) - American actress. Outer: Father was NBC president Sylvester ‘Pat’ Weaver and mother was British stage actress Elizabeth Ingles, while uncle was comedian Doodles Weaver. One brother. Her wealthy family gave her a privileged, pampered and sheltered childhood, spread out over many households. Enjoyed frequent visits to the house by TV stars of the 1950s as she was growing up. Changed her name at 14 from Susan to Sigourney, in honor of a character in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, “The Great Gatsby.” Teased about her height in school, she became class clown in response. Earned a degree in English from Stanford Univ., then attended Yale Drama School, but found it stifling and almost gave up on her show business ambitions. Initially accepted at the latter as Mr. Weaver. 5’11”, strong-jawed. Acted as an understudy in John Gielgud’s production of “The Constant Wife,” in 1974, and made her professional stage debut in “Titanic.” Finally made her film debut in her late 20s in Annie Hall. Became a star 2 years later, via Alien, a role she reprised through several remakes of the series, as the singular warrior capable of confronting a horrific E.T. Married Jim Simpson, a theater director in 1984 who had been a child actor, one daughter. Equally adept at straight dramatic roles, winning plaudits for Gorillas in the Mist, for which she won Best Actress honors in 1988. Usually plays highly independent, isolated women with severe problems but the capacity for compassion. A social activist in her private life, with a need to balance her career with a strong sense of family. Both her husband and daughter joined her in 2003 in The Guys, with the former directing his first feature, and the latter appearing in it, in their initial familial collaboration. Featured in a cable mini-series in the summer of 2012, “Poltical Animals,” playing a former first lady and failed presidential candidate who wound up as Secretary of State, in a mixed review affair. Inner: Good sense of humor, strong sense of the theatrical. Athletic, one time belly dancer, with a hearty appetite, albeit shy, despite her aggressive film persona. Silver platter lifetime of being given direct access to the stage through her upbringing in a decidedly unalienating environment, allowing her amazon sensibilities to flower unimpeded by any great overt conflict. Jobyna Howland (1880-1936) - American actress. Outer: Brother Olin Howlin became a character actor. Began her career as a Gibson girl, before making her stage debut at the age of 19. Married writer Arthur Stringer in 1900, later divorced, no children from union. 6’, with a strong stage presence. Appeared in a couple of Norma Talmadge (Gwyneth Paltrow) silent weepies, then had a long-running Broadway hit with “Gold Diggers.” Returned to filmwork at the advent of sound, Enjoyed a long career, mostly in farces and musicals, and while never a big name star, always managed to find work for herself, finishing her career with bit parts in films. Retired in 1933 due to illness. Died of a heart attack. Inner: Working girl lifetime of asserting her own amazon independence through dint of her ambition to be self-supportive, without the easy access and surer success, that her next go-round would insure.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ONGOING BALANCING ACT:
Storyline: The delightful dancer masks her pain through a charming exterior, while using extra grounding and paternal loss to give her the drive and self-support for a consistent career, despite ongoing interior struggles around control.
Teri Garr (Terry Garr) (1949) - American actress. Outer: Mother was a dancer, model and a wardrobe mistress, father was vaudeville performer Eddie Garr, who was an alcoholic and sick the entire time she was growing up, only to die of a heart attack when she was eleven, leaving the family to struggle financially. 2 brothers. Her mother was one of the original Rockettes, while her sire was an impressionist, who discouraged his children from a show business career, finding it humiliating. Studied ballet from the age of 6, and danced obsessively to deal with her father’s death. Began her career in her early teens as a dancer, performing with the San Francisco Ballet Company, then later appeared in the original road show of “West Side Story.” After doing TV commercials, she made her film debut in her mid-teens in For Pete’s Sake, while experimenting with the spelling of her first name, until she finally reduced it to 4 letters. Flunked her first audition, but came back again in different clothes to get the job. A drama and speech major at CSU, Northridge for 2 years, before dropping out to pursue her show business ambitions. 5’7”. Made frequent appearances on “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour,” in her mid-20s, which established her as a breezy comedienne. Her role as Dr. Frankenstein’s girlfriend in the comedy hit Young Frankenstein in 1974 helped her movie career as well, and she has since successfully parlayed her good-humored charm in both lead and supporting comedy roles as a popular player in a goodly number of films, most notably as flakes and helpless housewives. Married John O’Neill, a contractor, in 1993, one adopted daughter from the union. Hid the fact that she had multiple sclerosis for 15 years, for fear of not getting work, before coming out in 1999. In 2005, she wrote her autobiography, “Speedbumps: Flooring It Thru Hollywood,” while continuing to work in TV. Suffered a brain aneurysm in late 2006, although recovered via surgery. Inner: Charming, humorous, lighthearted on the surface, although carrying the pain of her father’s unhappiness and early demise. Strongly driven to succeed to compensate for him. Proving/ground lifetime of thoroughly grounding herself through dance, before being given the challenge through loss to create a successful career for herself, while struggling with her internal sense of lack of control. Helene Chadwick (1897-1940) - American actress. Outer: From a family of noble English extract. Born in a town named after her grandfather. Father was a silk mills executive and mother was an operatic singer and actress. Had a privileged upbringing. 5’7”, 130 lbs. Began her film career in her late teens with The Challenge, thanks to her expertise around horses, and became a leading lady in romantic and domestic melodramas, after moving to California in 1913. Married director William Wellman, as the first of 4 of his wives, in 1919, following his return from France, where he was a flying ace in WW I. Divorced in 1923, after suing him for desertion and nonsupport. Became a major star during the first half of the 1920s, although when the sound era began in the latter part of the decade, she switched to supporting roles and found less success. Her final five working years saw her reduced to being an extra, causing her to ultimately retire from the screen. Died from the aftermath of injuries sustained in a fall, when she tripped over a chair and damaged both her left side and eye. The wounds fed into her highly agitated state which hastened her premature end. Inner: Mixture of optimism and anxiety, with the latter sentiment ultimately prevailing, the worse her circumstances became. Plummeting lifetime of symbolically losing her balance at life’s end, causing her to make sure she would be well-grounded through dance and well-motivated through loss the next time around, for a more satisfying and consistent career, and a better sense of her physicality through dealing with its frailties.