SHOW BUSINESS - ACTRESSES - 1950s-1960s
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SHOCKING STAR:
Storyline: The moonlit beauty loves to blow minds and influence people through her uninhibited antics, while celebrating the classic feminine in all its trickster aspects.
Cybill Shepherd (1950) - American actress. Outer: Parents were initially disappointed she wasn’t a boy. Named for her grandfather Cy and father Bill. Middle of 3 children. The female members of the family have been close knit through the generations. Won the Memphis Miss Teenage contest, as a classic blonde, blue-eyed beauty, which spurred her onto a successful modeling career in NYC, appearing on the cover of “Glamour” magazine at 19. 5’8”. Discovered by director Peter Bogdanovich, who became her mentor, she made a noticeable debut in The Last Picture Show in 1971 as a teenage object of lust. Starred in several more of his vehicles, but neither had their reputations enhanced by their creative melding, nor did his marriage last through it. Had a 7 year affair with him, while also turning down the advances of a host of her leading men, leading all to never speak to her again. Also linked up with Elvis Presley, although found his drug habits less than endearing, which ended their liaison.Educated at NYU and USC. Married in 1978 to David Ford, an auto parts manager, their daughter Clementine also pursued an acting career. Divorced in 1982. Gave up on show business and returned to her family in Memphis, before trying one more comeback in her late 30s. Turned to TV and found herself in a hit series, “Moonlighting,” where she played an ex-model turned private eye, playing off of Bruce Willis. Married a 2nd time in 1987, to Bruce Oppenheim, and was pregnant both times she went down the aisle. Had twins in the second union, with one of her sons, Cyrus, caught looting passengers’ belongings on a plane in 2010. Divorced in 1990. At the 1986 Emmys, she wore sneakers and an evening gown. Also accepted her Golden Globe award in 1995 in sneakers. Fired from a beef commercial for her pro-vegetarian stance, although she has continued working in that genre. Unabashedly came out as a menopausal woman in 1996, while winning the right to say the word ‘period’ on her sitcom. Penned her autobiography, “Cybill Disobedience” n 2000. Made cabaret appearances following her show, and has put out several CDs, combining stories and music. Became a commercial spokeswoman for the cosmetics giant, Ultima II in 1998, then waited 5 years to play homemaker extraordinaire Martha Stewart in a TV drama, calling it the role of her life. Resisted having plastic surgery until her 50s, when a successful bout with a very rare form of skin cancer, made her aware of her vulnerabilities, and a need for some cosmetic readjustments. Did cabaret in London with a one-woman show, and also was part of the cast of two cable dramas, “The L Word,” and “Psych,” during the decade. Made her Broadway debut in a revival of Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man,” in 2012, garnering favorable reviews, while also becoming engaged to a jeweler-turned-psychologist, after forswearing never to marry again. Inner: Loves to shock and shake up people. Self-confident, extremely outspoken and with strong political sentiments surrounding the women’s rights movements. Anti-plastic surgery, preferring to age naturally. Narcissistic and angry, but able to deal with her shortcoming through therapy. Brazen hussy lifetime of standing up for herself and being her own person, while maintaining her visibility in an industry notorious for tossing beauty away once it has matured beyond youthful innocence. Dorothy Dell (Dorothy Dell Goff) (1915-1934) - American actress. Outer: Older of 2 daughters. Won her first beauty contest as a toddler. Her family moved to New Orleans when she was 10, where she became friends with fellow future Hollywoodian, Dorothy Lamour. Began performing on local radio shows as a teenager, evincing a warm contralto, as she entered and won a series of beauty pageants, while enrolled at an all-girls high school. At 15, she won the Miss America and Miss Universe contest, and signed a vaudeville contract, providing her mother, sister and Ms. Lamour could accompany her. Toured the country in 1931 and then appeared in the very last edition of the Ziegfeld Follies. Seriously injured in a car accident in 1932, and vowed not to drive again. Made several shorts afterwards, before heading for Los Angeles with her entourage, and making her film debut in 1934 playing a saloon girl in Wharf Angel. Pretty, plumpish and platinum blonde. After garnering attention from her early filmwork, she and her paramour, a surgeon who had performed on her mother, were killed in an automobile accident when she was 19 while coming home from a party, with the latter at the wheel. Inner: Jean Harlow clone, acting out the platinum prototype of the period. Cup-of-coffee lifetime of getting a brief taste of Hollywood, as well as the experience of precipitously crashing, in order to prepare her for a more prolonged go-round in the dangerous business of being a silver screen paragon of blonde beauty. Belle Boyd (Isabelle Boyd) (1844-1900) - American actress, lecturer and spy. Outer: Raised in Virginia, and the eldest in her family, she attended Mount Washington Female College in Baltimore, before entering society in Washington. Although relatively plain-featured, she had a well-turned ankle. At the outbreak of the Civil War, she returned home to raise funds for the Confederacy, and fraternized with the enemy when they occupied her hometown of Martinsburg, in order to glean information. Gained notoriety when she and her mother refused entry to Union soldiers who wished to raise a flag over their home. Shot and killed a soldier who tried to force his way in, and was acquitted in her subsequent trial on justifiable homicide. Overheard Union officers planning to destroy bridges on a retreat, and raced through the lines, in dress and apron, to inform Gen. Stonewall Jackson (George S. Patton) of their scheme, then served as a scout and a courier for Confederate forces, while being viewed as a heroine of the South. Arrested in 1862 on a warrant issued by the Secretary of War, she was eventually released in a prisoner exchange program, only to be rearrested and re-released after contracting typhoid fever in prison. Sailed on a blockade runner to England in 1864 with letters from Confederate president Jefferson Davis (Lyndon Johnson), and successfully distracted an officer, allowing the Confederate captain to escape. Taken to Boston, she was exiled to Canada, and eventually made her way to London. The officer, Samuel Hardinge, was ultimately court-martialed and discharged, before following her to England and marrying her later that year. Made her stage debut in England in “The Maid of Lyons,” and published her two volume memoirs there, entitled, “Belle Boyd in Camp and Prison,” the following year, during which time her husband died. Returned to the U.S. and toured the South, then made her American stage debut in 1868, although retired soon after on her second marriage to John Swainston Hammond. Following her third marriage to Nathaniel Rue High, and financial difficulties, she returned to the stage in 1886, and concluded her career as an actress and a lecturer, playing off her notoriety. Died of a heart attack during a speaking tour. Inner: Feisty, unsinkable and courageous. Society belle lifetime of showing an indomitable will in the service of a cause true to her heart, while evincing a remarkable ability to continually rebound from the various hands that life had dealt her. Anne Turner (Anne Norton) (1576-1615) - English murder conspirator. Outer: From humble origins, which are somewhat obscured, although probably raised a Catholic. One of ten children. A noted beauty, she married a doctor, and began hanging out in court society, despite her and her husband’s religion, thanks to the support of the queen, Elizabeth I (Mae West). Following her spouse’s death in 1610, she became a friend and confidante of Frances Howard (Grace Kelly), wife of Robert Devereaux, third earl of Essex (Tommy Lee Jones). Moved into Howard’s house following the annulment of her first marriage, and her subsequent betrothal to Robert Carr (Bob Hope). Became mistress of Sir Arthur Mainwaring, with whom she allegedly had three illegitimate children. A fashion plate, she introduced starched yellow ruffs into society, after securing a monopoly of saffron based starch. Also reputedly ran a house of ill repute, where uppercrust couples could safely indulge in adulterous affairs. Very well threaded through both upper and lower society via her various enterprises, as a clever entrepreneur and a well-socialized and highly public figure. During the summer of 1613, she became an accomplice in a plot to murder Thomas Overbury (Bing Crosby), who had proved a thorn in the relationship of Carr and Howard, by strongly opposing it, and threatening to expose its adulterous nature before the two were wed. Recruited one of her servants, Richard Weston, to be Overbury’s keeper in the Tower of London, where he had been confined and supplied the former with poisons and powders, which were administered through an enema, killing the latter. Brought to trial two years later, she was declared a “whore, a bawd, a sorcerer, a witch and a papist,” among other indecencies by her judge, Edward Coke, who also saw her sartorial excess as direct reflection of her guilt and sentenced her to hang. Took Protestant communion several days before her execution, and abjured her crimes and sins, while admitting she was justly convicted, and also asking others to change their wicked, wicked ways. Confessed her moral laxity, led those who listened in prayer, and went to her death nobly while wearing her starched collar per her sentencing, earning her the praise of future scribes as a fine example of a wanton who saw her evil ways in the end, and agreed to serve as a warning to all women who dared to use behavioral and sartorial excess as a means of exhibiting their independence. Because of their social status, neither Carr nor Howard were executed, although they suffered exile from the court, and their outer lives for all practical purposes were over afterwards. Inner: Highly independent, resourceful and clever, a natural entrepreneur. Condemned lifetime of overreaching in her considerable abilities, forcing her to ultimately repent of her wanton ways, whether she did so sincerely or not, and becoming, in the process, an exemplar of women’s inherent seductive and complicit evil, according to the precepts of the time.
PATHWAY OF THE SINGER AS SELF-CELEBRATOR SUPREME:
Storyline: The narcissistic exhibitionist repeats her flashing formula of physically shocking and awing her audience to spectacular effect, while trying to expand a far less freer heart through domesticity and spiritual search.
Madonna (Louise Ciccone) (1958) - American singer and actress. Outer: Father was a successful Chrysler engineer and a strict disciplinarian. 3rd of 6 siblings, and oldest daughter. Mother died of breast cancer when she was 5, leaving her with a lifelong fear of abandonment. 2 more half-siblings were added to the household when her progenitor married his housekeeper. Dropped out of the Univ. of Michigan after winning a dance scholarship there and came to NYC at 19 with $37 in her pocket. Her innate cleverness and burning ambition quickly brought her to the attention of 2 French music producers who took her to Paris for 3 months, but she felt she could do better in America. Extremely disciplined from the very start of her career, and equally obsessed with keeping her body in killer shape. 5’4 1/2”. Starred in an underground erotic thriller, then joined a band, using its organizers to augment her own musical performance education. Found a female manager, and embarked upon her public career, continually using people and tossing them away after they had served her ends. By the mid-1980s, her career took off, and despite a thin voice, she re-created herself into a major entertainment star, using her casual costumed sexuality as her unique feature. In her late 20s, she married actor Sean Penn, with whom she starred in the ill-received Shangai Surprise and divorced a stormy 4 years later, viewing him as more a brother than a mate. Evolved into the Material Girl, producing both videos and touring extravaganzas, as well as a photographic book bluntly titled Sex, in order to exploit her uninhibited sense of self-celebration. Also embarked on a movie career that proved far less successful, largely because of a limited ability at histrionics and a far greater talent for decoration. Made herself into a world-class entertainment figure, with a carefully calculated career geared towards continually trying to shock and awe the public imagination, by playing with taboos. In her late 30s, she had a daughter via her personal trainer, although refused to marry him, and the duo later became estranged. In 1996, she achieved the role of a lifetime with Evita, the musical story of Evita Peron, after vigorously campaigning for it. Upon entering her 40s, her work became more seasoned, as she transitioned from pop vixen to mature chanteuse. Moved to London as her base, and had a 2nd child with director Guy Ritchie, while enjoying much more of a sense of completeness via motherhood. Married the latter at the end of 2000, in a contentious but workable union, then suffered further slings and arrows at her thesping when she collaborated with him on an ill-conceived remake of Swept Away, 2 years later. A serious student of the Kabbala, a Hebrew system of sacred names and numbers, she adopted the name Esther as her nom de mystere. Added children’s books to her resume in 2003, which may or may not have been ghostwritten, while trying to stay relevant in a fickle world. Suffered several broken bones in a fall from a horse on her 47th birthday, but still remained a chart topper at that relatively advanced pop age, with the release of her next album. Joined the celebrity African Aid Brigade in 2006, with her country of choice Malawi, adopting a boy, amidst much controversy in the process. The following year, she made a $120 million deal with multi-media group Live Nation, in keeping with her staying abreast of au courant marketing systems, while also launching a fashion line. Maintains a very physical regimen to stay in prime shape, as a top tour attraction, not quite ready to give in to middle age. Inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, amidst rumors galore about her increasingly rocky marriage, which would eventually end at year’s near-end, in most public and negatively revelatory manner, with both parties more than eager to air their partners’ perceived shortcomings. Ultimately settled with him for £50 million, and then moved onto a Brazilian model some three decades her junior, Jesus Luz, with whom she would perform a Kabbala committment ceremony, before he eventually uncommitted himself, in what would prove a continual on-and-off again pairing.. Turned down afterwards by Malawi in her attempt to adopt a baby girl because of residency rules, although the ruling was later overturned, adding another 3 year old to her brood. After continuing to manage to keep up her high public profile, she received scathing reviews for her vanity 2011 directing project, W.E., a completely inadvertent comedy, centering around the equally self-centered Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Gave a bouncy performance for half-time at Superbowl 2012, replete with heavy-handed symbolism of ancient cultures, to show that she her athleticism still belied her age despite being briefly and obscenely upstaged by M.I.A., who flipped a finger at the audience, much to the former’s subsequent displeasure. Launched a double-speak world tour in Israel afterwards, mouthing hopes for peace while brandishing imagistic weapons of an entirely different nature, and paying symbolic due to the dark forces that have long represented her nose-thumbing religiosity, while managing to insult a host of governments with her antics. Not above flashing her aging body parts as well, in her need to project herself as an ongoing totem of eternal youth, into her fifth decade. Inner: Totally self-involved and remarkably driven, with a tunnel vision view of career above all else throughout her life. Extremely ambitious, competitive and resourceful. Has a sterilization team wipe down her dressing room after every performance so that no fan can claim anything, be it saliva or a stray hair, to steal her DNA. Extremely calculated lifetime of reinventing herself as a more lasting version of the same exhibitionistic icon she had previously been, with the added obsession of longevity befitting her illuminated sense of being America’s high priestess of narcissistic self-worship. Eva Tanguay (1878-1947) - Canadian/American singer and dancer. Outer: Mother was a Canadian music teacher, father was a French-born education physician. Came to the United States with her parents at an early age, but her sire died when she was 6, leaving the family destitute. Onstage by 8, she spent 5 years touring with her mother, and in her teens, learned how to draw attention to herself on stage, even when she was only a member of the chorus. Intensely competitive, she often got into fights with fellow chorines. When one show of rowdyism made the papers, she realized the value of publicity and dedicated the rest of her career to it. Acted in vaudeville, stock and musical comedy. Began shocking audiences with her scanty costumes and ample flesh around the turn of the century, and became known as ‘The I Don’t Care Girl,’ the title of one of her songs. Formed her own company in her mid-20s. Each time she toured, she would paper her perspective cities with publicity, as a supersaleswoman of herself. Bizarre costuming, sometimes in dollar bills or pencils and pads glued together, would gather crowds more interested in watching her than her rather limited talent, which she extended into middle-age, growing ever fleshier but no less of an exhibitionist. Married her dancing partner, Tom Ford, in her mid-30s, divorced 4 years later. Had a second union with vaudeville actor Roscoe Ails, while her third marriage was to Alexander Brooke, her pianist, in 1927, but it was annulled later that year, because of identity issues on the part of her husband. Became the highest paid performer in vaudeville, and like that institution, faded away with the 1920s, when she lost her fortune in the stock market crash in her late 40s. Spent much of the last 2 decades of her life as a bedridden, arthritic recluse, dying of a cerebral hemorrhage with only $500 to her name. Working on her autohagiography, “Up and Down the Ladder,” at the time of her death. Her film bio, The I Don’t Care Girl, came out 6 years later, with Mitzi Gaynor assaying her. Inner: Enormously exhibitionistic, with a monumental desire to be noticed. Wide arcing lifetime of achieving fame and fortune and adulation on a minimum of talent, and then disappearing totally from view when that thorny trio abandoned her. Dorothy Jordan (Dorothea Bland) (1761-1816) - English actress and royal mistress. Outer: Mother was a Welsh actress, while her father was a stage hand who claimed to have been a sea captain. Reputedly one of nine children, later abandoned by their father. Strong resemblance to her late 20th century incarnation. Joined a Dublin theater company at 20 along with her mother and a brother and sister, and was promptly seduced by its manager, who left her with a son and deeply in debt to him, while dubbing her with her official stage name, Mrs. Jordan, in order to give her an aura of respectability. After a three year apprenticeship, she moved to London to join the Drury Lane company, and found a protector in one of its shareholder, the son of a court physician, who fathered two daughters and a short-lived son with her, without ever getting around to marrying her. Short with an eventual tendency towards stoutness. Quickly became the leading comic actress of her day, thanks to a memorable voice, a ready wit, and a comely beauty. Came to the attention of the future William IV (Prince Harry) in 1790, when he was in his mid-20s, and after pursuing her for nearly a year, she gave in to his persistency. Lived with him over the next near two decades, and had at least 10 children with him, who all did well for themselves, either by being ennobled or marrying into the aristocracy. Made public appearances with her royal consort, although had to work periodically, since his allowance did not cover such a large family. Had an active career, particularly in transvestite roles, and was eventually dumped by her prince, although was able to support herself through her thesping. Defrauded by her son, she was forced to flee to France to escape her creditors. Died alone in poverty there, with her bed linen sold off in order to pay for her funeral. Inner: High-spirited, ambitious, generous, extravagant and attracted to power. Self-made lifetime of being centerstage both onstage and off, only to ultimately be betrayed by her body and a rapacious son, causing her to suffer a sad final act, a playlet she would repeat one more time, before finally finding her true material girl self. Moll Davis (Mary Davies) (c1648-1708) - English actress, dancer and courtesan. Outer: Early life ill recorded. Probably was the illegitimate daughter of the third earl of Berkshire. Took to the theater early on and became one of 4 leading ladies in William Davenent’s (David Hare) company, and worked on stage until 1668. Best known for her dancing, she was also a comedienne and singer. Became one of many mistress of Charles II (Peter O’Toole), by whom she had a daughter, Mary Tudor. Her greed and ostentation were matched by her vulgarity, making her extremely unpopular. Had a short stay at court, where she became one of the many mistresses of the king before being summarily dismissed by him, probably through the efforts of one of her main rivals, Nell Gwyn (Shirley MacLaine). Received handsome recompense for her troubles, which allowed her to buy her own home. Lived well, and in 1686, she married James Paisable, a French musician and composer, who was connected to the royal court of James II (Martin Sheen). When the king was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, she and her husband joined his court-in-exile in France, although they returned to England in 1693, and continued their court connection. Paisable became composer to Prince George of Denmark (Prince Andrew), the husband of the queen-to-be Anne (Princess Anne), and presumably the two lived out their lives in comfortable circumstances. Inner: Self-centered, manipulative and highly materialistic. Disliked intensely by other women, who saw her as a grasping slut, with no redeeming social values whatsoever. Material girl lifetime of pursuing fame and fortune through both performance and royal connections in her ongoing desire to be stage center and well-rewarded for it, no matter the time, circumstance or place in which she finds herself.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS INDEPENDENT CRAFTSWOMAN:
Storyline: The self-actualizing prodigy brings her many talents intact into adulthood, while continuing to exercise complete control over all aspects of her life, as the taxi driver of her own autonomous vehicle of self-expression.
Jodie Foster (Alicia Christian Foster) (1962) - American actress. Outer: Her parents divorced a few months before she was born, after a ten year union. Raised by her mother, Brandy Almond, and rarely saw her father, a retired air force colonel and real estate agent from a wealthy Chicago family who had 3 sons by an earlier marriage. Youngest of 4. Her mother would go on to live with another woman and work as a publicist, before her younger brother Buddy became the family breadwinner at 8 via commercials. Taught herself to read at 3, and began performing at that age in TV commercials. Was chosen as the Coppertone girl in their ongoing ad campaign of a little girl whose untanned derriere is exposed by a playful dog. At 5, she was able to understand commercial scripts. Served her childhood apprenticeship in numerous Disney Productions, making her acting debut in TV’s “Mayberry, R.F.D,” following her brother onto the series, while her mother managed her early career. 5’3”, blue-eyed and thin. Worked as a child/star for Disney, when she suddenly came to notice as a teenage prostitute in Taxi Driver, a role she maturely assayed when she was 12. Continued to play offbeat provocative parts, while doing conventional fare as well, including a short-lived TV series, while proving herself academically gifted, graduating class valedictorian from the Los Angeles Lycee Francais. Later graduated from Yale magna cum laude with a degree in literature, while pursuing her film career. At 19, she became the obsessive object of affection of an unhinged fan who thought he could impress her by assassinating President Ronald Reagan. Went on to forge a memorable screen career, winning Best Actress Oscars in 1988 for playing a gang-rape victim in The Accused, and in 1991 for her role as an FBI agent in Silence of the Lambs. The same year she made an impressive directing debut, about raising a genius, via Little Man Tate, while solidifying her reputation as a solid and serious actress. Formed her own production company, Egg Pictures, and in her mid-30s, had a son, although refused to divulge the identity of the father. Did a repeat performance several years later with another son, with the speculation that the sperm donor was longtime friend and homophile film director, Randy Stone. Despite much speculation about her sexual orientation, she did not publicly embrace the ‘l’ word as a self-definition, until the end of 2007, when she acknowledged her near decade and a half domestic partnership with Cydney Bernard, a production manager nearly a decade her senior, whom she met on the set of Summersby. Both her children’s middle names would be Bernard to further affirm their relationship, which summarily and surprisingly ended four months after its public announcement. It was later revealed she left for her Cynthia Mort, a much younger writer, and supervising producer, as well as a rising Hollywood player on her own, who, in turn, eventually did the same to her. Gave a crowd-pleasing personal speech at the 2013 Golden Globes after receiving the Cecil B. De Mille lifetime achievement award, while coming out and hinting at retirement, without actually directly admitting to either Speculation remains that actor Mel Gibson is the genetic father of her sons. The following annum, she wed photographer and actress Alexandra Hedison. Inner: Detached, determined, unpretentious and extremely analytical. Independent, highly intelligent, her own woman in every respect, while always looking for meaning and connection in her life. Autonomous lifetime of allowing the full measure of her creative being full expression by taking total control of her public and private lives, with herself as her own primary mentor. Marie Doro (Marie Katherine Steward) (1882-1956) - American actress. Outer: Father was a prominent Wall Street attorney based in Pennsylvania. Contracted her childhood nickname ‘Adorato’ for her stage name. At 12, she gave a piano concert, and later wrote songs. Prepared for Vassar College at a private NY school, when she persuaded her father to try for the stage. Made her debut in St. Paul, Minn. in 1901 in “Aristocracy,” then toured around the country, making her NY debut 2 years later in “The Billionaire.” Lifelong friends with actor/playwright William Gillette (Sylvester Stallone), appearing in many of his plays. Retired after a failure on the London stage in 1909, but soon returned via a Gillette vehicle. Her favorite role was as Oliver Twist in the staging of the Dickens’ classic. Had a delicate frame with soulful eyes, and was a strong lookalike to her next incarnation. Secretly married actor Elliot Dexter in 1915, but soon divorced and never remarried, preferring her own independence. Used to practice subtle expressions in the mirror, which helped her in silent films, although after 2 years of doing them, she felt film standards were too low and returned to the stage. Retired at the height of her career in 1921. Died of a heart ailment. Became the first American actress to give a command performance at Windsor Castle. Inner: Charming, erudite, witty, independent. Autonomous lifetime of being very much her own woman in control of both her life and career, and quite happy with both. Francoise Raucourt (Francoise-Marie Antoinette Saucerette) (1756-1815) - French actress and director. Outer: Father was a strolling actor. Mother worked for a noble house. Trained by her sire, who wished her to achieve the success he never could. Taken to Spain by her father, where she played in a tragedy at the age of 12. After appearing at the castle of a patron of the arts in France, he redubbed her after one of his family’s old holdings. Had her stage debut with the Comédie-Française at the end of 1772 with a starring role, and immediately won acclaim as a combination of beauty, grace and enchantment, with a rare maturity and self-assurance for her young age. Earned membership in the company within three months, and went on to play their full repertoire of its tragic roles. Quickly gained a coterie of admirers, both male and female, while a smitten marquis gave her 12,000 pounds, to allow her complete freedom. Following an affair with him, she had a volatile relationship with opera singer Sophie Arnould, which ended in two male friends fighting a duel as representative of each. Had another affair with her representative, another marquis, before taking up with Jeanne-Francoise Souque. The duo got into debt because of their lavish and extravagant ways and had to flee to Germany to escape creditors, after spending some time in prison for debt. Continued her stagework in northern Europe, and was finally able to return to Paris with the aid of a prince. Rejoined her company, and impressed the king and queen of France, Louis XVI (Lex Barker) and Marie Antoinette (Lana Turner), with the latter becoming her benefactor. The Prince d’Henin gave her la lifetime income in 1785, while she lived openly as a lesbian, although her beauty and her stance made her the object of much envy and jealousy, with vicious rumors of all-female orgies and her heading a man-hating society swirling around her. Remained a royalist during the upheaval of the French Revolution, which saw her arrested in 1793, along with other members of her troupe, for her lack of ardor for the new republic and for being in contact with exiled enemies of the state. With the fall of the Jacobins, she was released in 1794, after having fallen in love in prison with Henriette Simonnot de Ponty, who would be her life’s partner afterwards. Under the Directory, she was named director of the Theatre Louvois, and when Napoleon became emperor in 1803, he gave her a pension and made her director of the imperial theaters of Italy, where she was enthusiastically received, particularly in Milan. Finally retired in 1814, and returned to Paris a few months before her death. The curé of her parish refused to admit her body to his church, but a mob of 15,000 forced her coffin inside, and insisted on a requiem mass being said for her. A king’s order assured her last rites and burial in the Pere Lachaise cemetery. Afterwards, her brother made sure her lover would be covered by her estate, according to her wishes. Inner: Strong-willed, highly independent, and more than willing to be herself, no matter the consequences. Stage center lifetime of allowing her heart to dictate her bliss, while earning considerable love and support, as well as condemnation, both on and off-stage, as a paradigm of beauty, talent and scandalous independence. Henrietta d’Orleans (Henrietta Anna, duchesse d’Orleans) (1644-1670) - English born French duchess. Outer: Born during the English Civil War to the embattled Henrietta Marie (Elizabeth) and Charles I (George VI) of England. Youngest of 6 surviving children, and younger sister of future English kings Charles II (Peter O’Toole) and James II (Martin Sheen). Her mother fled the country two weeks after her birth, and she was not reunited with her until she was 2. Baptized a Catholic, per her mother’s wish, and had Anne added to her name. Following her father’s beheading in 1649, and the overthrow of the English monarchy, she and her mother made their home with the French court, where she grew up. Slim, blue-eyed, with chestnut hair, and the possessor of a dazzling smile. One shoulder rose higher than the other, although she usually concealed the slight deformity. Suffered hardship and penury during the failed rebellion of the nobility known as the Fronde, before becoming a court favorite. In 1661, she married the dissolute Philippe I, duc d’’Orleans (Gianni Versace), who had a clear preference for men, and was jealous of her high standing with the court, deliberately parading his paramours in front of her, while steadily depriving her of her confidantes, leaving her isolated and lonely. Two daughters from their unhappy union became queen of Spain and duchess of Savoy, respectively, while a son and a daughter died young, as her pregnancies also took a toll on her health. Close with Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle), who rumor had it, may have been the father of her children, although their real connection lay in her unique linkage between the royal houses of England and France. Along with her brother, Charles, to whom she was also extremely close, she helped negotiate a secret treaty twixt France and England in 1670, following his restoration to the English throne. Her health, however, totally failed her as she became thinner and frailer, with a tendency to faint often, and, after drinking iced chicory water, expired, claiming in her dying breath that she had been poisoned. A public autopsy, however, revealed she had succumbed to peritonitis from a perforated ulcer. Buried alongside her mother in the royal vaults of St. Denis. Inner: Highly competent, with a sweet nature and a considerable amount of personal charm. Bridge figure between two of the prime alpha empires of the time, using her intelligence and communication skills to bring both their monarchs into far closer connection. Loggerheads lifetime of serving as a mate largely in name only, which probably affected her preferences over her next series of lives, as well as her desire to be stage-center herself in her succeeding go-rounds, after playing a secondary role in this one.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ONE-WOMAN PLAYWRIGHT:
Storyline: The masterful mimic uses her adroit skills at imitation to fill the stage with an infinite number of self-projections, while serving as a teacher of both social change, and the power each of us holds within to personify the world around us.
Anne Deveare Smith (1950) - American actress and teacher. Outer: Of African/American descent. Mother was an elementary school principal, father owned a coffee & tea business. Oldest of 5 children. Grew up in middle-class segregated neighborhood, and had an Episcopalian upbringing. Excellent mimic from early childhood. 5’9”, lithe. Studied linguistics at Beaver College, then moved to San Francisco, where she studied at the American Conservatory Theater. Saw the stage as a way of implementing social change, and gained her MFA from ACT in 1976. Moved to NYC and worked in soap operas, while supporting herself as a service rep for KLM airlines. In 1978, she taught drama at Carnegie-Mellon Univ. in Pittsburgh, focusing on psychological realism, where the characters dwell inside the player. Started carrying a tape recorder with her to get at the revelatory essence of people, and from that, began developing one-woman shows, where she would play a host of characters. Her first was called, “On The Road.” Became a tenured professor at Stanford Univ. in 1990. In 1991, she interviewed 50 people who were connected to the death of a young black boy accidentally killed by a Hasid in Brooklyn, before someone stabbed to death a Hasid in reprisal. The result, “Fires in the Mirror,” brought her wide acclaim, and her periodic one-woman shows have been extremely well-received ever since. Inner: Unobtrusive performer, allowing her characters to speak for themselves, as she deftly creates a host of people in each of her performances, centered around themes of social justice and outrage. Integrating lifetime of taking on the themes of her times and drawing them into herself in order to more fully understand both her gifts for portraying them, and her ability to teach others to do the same. Jane Cowl (Grace Bailey) (1883-1950) - American actress and playwright. Outer: Mother was a singer and voice teacher, father was a provision dealer. Only child. The family moved to Brooklyn when she was 3, where she grew up under impoverished circumstances. Very close with her mother, who took her to plays whenever she could afford it. While at Erasmus Hall she made her stage debut in 1903 under the name Jane Cowl in a David Belasco (Steve Bochco) production called “Sweet Kitty Bellairs.” Belasco would be her acting mentor, as she continued to appear in small parts in his plays, while also taking courses at Columbia Univ. Large-eyed, and quite beautiful. Married a drama critic for the NY Times in 1908, who later produced some of her plays. In 1909, she won plaudits for her first major role in “Is Matrimony a Failure?” Spent two seasons with the Hudson Theater stock company in New Jersey, and by 1912 she had achieved star billing. Made her film debut in 1917 in The Spreading Dawn, although her true love remained the stage. Co-wrote “Lilac Time,” with Jane Murfin (Jane Wagner), at the same time, which was a modest success, although their next two efforts were failures. Their following play, “Smilin’ Through” was written under the name of “Alan Langdon Martin” and proved phenomenally successfully in 1919, running for well-over 1000 performances, while also showing them that sex discrimination might have played a role in their previous failures. Set a world record in 1922, for consecutive performances in a Shakespearean production with 856, for “Romeo and Juliet,” taking it on tour, after first playing NYC, and was acclaimed the most beautiful woman on the American stage. Several failures followed over the next several years, before she triumphed in a Noel Coward vehicle, “Easy Virtue,” in both NYC and London. Continued appearing in productions, which she co-wrote or designed as well as the works of others, enjoying her last success in 1940. Turned to stock theaters and revivals around the country afterwards. Made her final NY stage appearance in 1948, before playing in several unmemorable films. Died of cancer. Inner: Totally imbued with the theater, as a tool for teaching as well as entertaining. Uncowled lifetime of expanding her creativity to embrace the feminine from both an acting and writing standpoint, in order to integrate her strong esthetic and show that beauty is far more than what is directly beholden. Anna Cora Mowatt (Anna Ogden) (1819-1870) - American actress and writer. Outer: Born in France to American parents and came to NYC with them when she was 7. Had a precocious interest in Shakespeare, and supped on his plays as a child. Married James Mowatt, a lawyer, when she was 15, and 2 years later published her first book, a verse romance, under the pseudonym Isabel, which was not well-received, although she spiritedly defended it. Went abroad for her health for several years, while contributing to Godey’s Lady’s Book, as well as other magazines. Her husband suffered financial reverses, adding to her determination to support herself through writing and going on the stage. Gave a series of successful poetry readings under the name of Helen Berkley, while continuing her writing career for magazines, as well as pouring out several tomes of biographies and domestic arts, as well as 2 novels. In addition, she wrote a social satire which was produced in NYC and had a successful run in 1845. Made her acting debut the same year, then wrote a followup play 2 years later and brought both to London. Despite a total lack of formal trained, she assayed several Shakespearean roles during a 4 year stay in England, and after the death of her husband in 1851, she returned for an American tour, and then retired from the stage in 1854, after a recurring illness curtailed that segment of her public career. Wrote her autobiography the same year, then married William Ritchie, the son of a well-known journalist and a Virginian, and settled in Richmond, where she was active socially, becoming vice-regent of the state in 1858. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, she returned to Europe, and continued her writing, while living mostly in Florence her last years, and ultimately dying in England. Inner: Cerebral, determined, extremely self-expressive. Pen-in-hand lifetime of reclaiming herself as a serious actress and literary figure, under the guise of a host of different projections of herself, dedicated to economic independence via information-dispensing.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER PROCEEDING AT HER OWN PACE:
Storyline: The famous-named descendant pursues her own early pathway, before waiting for full maturity to come into her public own, and proving herself to be a first-rate hyphenated talent, worthy of her gifted multi-generational forebears.
Anjelica Huston (1951) - American actress and director. Outer: Father was director John Huston, mother was Mexican ballerina Enrica Soma, who was his 4th wife, and was later killed in an auto accident. Raised for a decade in Ireland, where her sire was based, and remained there after her parents separated when she was 11, spending some time as a day student in a convent. Exotic, with a Renaissance-like beauty, she became a successful model in NYC. 5’10”. Although resistant to an acting career, after playing a bit part in Sinful Davy, she made her lead debut at 17 in her father’s medieval drama, A Walk With Love and Death. Became the muse for wildman photographer Bob Richardson for several years, beginning at 18, then disappeared back into herself afterwards, appearing only sporadically in films during the late 1970s, while pursuing her own interests outside of show business, an industry about which she had very dualistic feelings. Had a 17 year involvement with actor Jack Nicholson, eventually appearing with him in Prizzi’s Honor, for which she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1985. After starring in her father’s last film, The Dead, her career took off, playing strong-willed women. Ultimately ended her relationship with Nicholson, as she became a noted actress in her own right, with a series of rich portrayals on both the large and small screen. Married sculptor Robert Graham in 1992, and made her directorial debut at the end of the decade with Agnes Browne, starring in it as well, as an Irish widow with a large brood. Continued taking small parts through the turn of the century, while directing TV dramas specifically geared towards women, and developing her own projects through her production company, Grey Angel. Lost her husband at the end of 2007. Decided to do a TV series in 2012, playing a legendary producer in “Smash,” putting on a musical by Marilyn Monroe. Has written two memoirs, “A Story Lately Told” covering her life growing up in Ireland, London and New York, published in 2013, and “Watch Me,” which came out the following year, and limned her subsequent Hollywood career in which she admitted being physically abused by actor Ryan O’Neal, and devastated when Jack Nicholson laughed at the thought of marrying her. Inner: Straight-forward, strong-willed, stubborn, impatient and worldly. Finally able to accept her talent and desire to perform in middle age, after first having to go through a long period of self-assessment away from the bright lights of a highly public life. Looking inward lifetime of incarnating in circumstances that would guarantee easy access to a show business career, only to reject it in favor of her own mode of self-discovery and self-expression, before finally feeling ready to be the talented actress she always was. Belle Bennett (1891-1932) - American actress. Outer: Father was Billie Bennett, a circus owner, who trained his daughter to be a trapeze artist, following her education at the Sacred Heart Convent in Minneapolis. Began her career in her early teens in vaudeville and then stock, before assaying the legitimate theater on Broadway, working for David Belasco (Steve Bochco). Entered films in her mid-20s, in Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, then later on fudged about her age, to make herself appear younger. Married three times, including a sailor and director Fred Windemere from 1924 to her death. 2 sons from the unions. Specialized in melodrama, and playing mature women, despite her relative youth, working both on Broadway and in Hollywood, while winning plaudits for her performances in both venues, most notably in Stella Dallas on screen and “The Wandering Jew,” on stage. During Stella Dallas, her 16-year old son, William Macy, who had been posing as her brother so as not to reveal her true age, died. While performing in vaudeville, she collapsed on stage, and was resuscitated with a blood transfusion. Came to believe in the power of prayer, as her body steadily weakened. Her career ended with talkies, and she wound up living in poverty, before ultimately dying of cancer. Inner: Old before her time lifetime of considerable inner resistance to who she was, despite her abundant talent, often playing against age, and finally succumbing to a weakened body to allow her more time the next go-round to integrate herself outside the confines of perpetually performing. Jane Stuart (1812-1888) - American artist. Outer: Daughter of artist Gilbert Stuart (John Huston). Mother was an Englishwoman and the sister of a surgeon in the Royal Navy, whom her father had met while living in England. Among the youngest of their 12 children, she became an assistant to her progenitor during his latter days as an artist. When he died in 1828, he left her, her mother, and three of her sisters in dire financial straits, although she always remained a fierce defender of him, rationalizing his genius as excuse for his excessive behavior. Finished some of his unfinished work, and is more remembered as his offspring than for any shining talent of her own. Much of her life remains largely unrecorded. Inner: Apprenticeship lifetime of developing her creative skills under the tutelage of her longtime mentor/father, in preparation for stepping out of his shadow and doing it largely on her own.
PATHWAY OF THE HEALER AS AMERICA’S HEARTFELT HOSTESS:
Storyline: The empathetic ear turns herself into a nurturing national institution through a large heart and a keen eye for the foibles and healing potential of the American public-at-large, while playing with her own issues of intimacy, self-love and self-denial.
Oprah Winfrey (1954) - American talk/show hostess, entrepreneur, producer and actress. Outer: Of African/American descent. Originally named Orpah, from the Book of Ruth, but the letters in her name were mistakenly transposed in the birth registry. Grew up on her grandmother’s farm, then moved to Milwaukee to be with her mother at 6, but, according to her, was abused both by male family members and acquaintances there. At 12, she went to live with her father in Nashville, and showed herself to be academically astute, skipping several grades, after being able to read at the age of 2. Promiscuous as a teenager, she lost a child at 14. In high school, she was active in drama and was hired to broadcast news at a local radio station. Won a scholarship to study speech and drama at Tennessee State Univ., and was hired by a CBS affiliate as the first African-American woman to anchor the local evening news. 5’6 1/2”, with fluctuating weight. Became a reporter and co-anchor for a Baltimore station after graduation, and in her early 20s, hosted the station’s morning talk-show. At 30, she moved to Chicago for similar duties, as host of “A.M. Chicago,” which she made a top-rated show within 3 months. A year later, the program was expanded to an hour and given her name. The following annum, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” became syndicated nationally. Formed her own TV production company, Harpo Productions in 1988 and built a media empire around it. As her popularity as a talk/show hostess continued, she bought the film rights for several literary works with black themes, while rising to the most watched daytime TV show of her genre, ultimately numbering over 17 million viewers as her steady audience, as well as garnering so many Emmy awards, she eventually took herself out of contention. Continually battling weight problems during her time in the public eye, both gaining and losing, and finally finding a happy medium twixt the two. Had a longtime involvement with a marketing exec, although the duo never quite married, probably through an innate distrust of men because of her earlier experiences. As a crusader against child abuse, she has established programs in Chicago for victims of that social dis-ease, as well as helped numerous African-Americans enter the entertainment industry through training programs. Began introducing selected literature on her program, which made all of them best-sellers, then changed her format to ‘change-your-life TV’ in an attempt to further nurture and empower her audience as well as to rise above the fare she had helped spawn. Less successful with some of her later productions, although ever the taste-maker. A billionaire to boot, she is America’s most influential woman, parlaying her personality, empathy and interest in social issues into a national phenomenon. Co-founded the Oxygen network, launched a bimonthly magazine, “O,” in 2000, as well as Oprah’s Angel Network, a charity to fund needy students, and various other endeavors geared for inspiring and empowering women around the world, including the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa, which would run into trouble later with charges of abuse and excessive control, and much public breast-baring on her part over it. Owns a 42 acre estate in California, which she dubbed Tara II, in an unconscious nod to her previous go-round’s role in Gone With the Wind. Announced her projected retirement from TV and then changed her mind because of a dying child poet, seeing she had far more work to do, in her desire to uplift the world. A longtime friendship with Gayle King elicited much speculation on her true sexual nature, although she continues to keep her private life private despite her ubiquitous public presence. In 2007, she thrust herself into presidential politics for the first time, with an enthusiastic push for Barack Obama. Two years later, amidst tears, she stated she would also end her talk show in 2011, after a quarter century of doing it, with some speculating, she would reformat it when she launched her own cable network. An unauthorized biography by celebrity demystifier and sensationalizer Kitty Kelley in 2010 put to question much of her self-mytholigizing around growing up destitute and subject to severe sexual abuse, according to her relatives.The revelations, however, would do little to belittle her in the public mind, and in fact, showed her ongoing power in the refusal of numerous other high profile TV interviewers to allow Ms. Kelley a public forum to denigrate the media icon. Also revealed she had a half-sister, Patricia, who had been put into foster care, and didn’t discover who her birth mother was until 2010. The two siblings were reunited during Thanksgiving of 2010, and then the connection was made public early the next year. Completed 25 years of her daily show in May of 2011, and retired from network TV to put her considerable energy into her various other ongoing projects, including OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, which struggled in its early going. Launched “Lifeclass,” a look back at her old shows, in the fall of 2011, which helped her network in reviving viewership, as she continues her ongoing role as one of America’s primary teachers of self-empowerment and self-realization. OWN, however, would soon falter, causing a huge staff lay-off, restructuring, and the distinct possibility that an earnest audience to support it does not exist in blowsy reality-TV America.Successfully returned to filmdom in 2013 with The Butler, as one of its stars and many producers, in a chronicling of a White House butler through the many years of the civil rights and wrongs movement. Sold Harpo studios the following year, while picking up some bad publicity in the eviction of her father’s wife from a house she owned. Inner: Extremely empathetic, with superb verbal skills, and a heart as big as America. Introspective, inspirational, open, and warm, with a growing need to help people reach their full spiritual potential. Probably bisexual once again. Also a diva, and not above flexing her considerable muscle over perceived slights. Cyclopean lifetime of serving as America’s unofficial ear, using her heart, head and drive to make a profound difference in how many of us view one another. Hattie McDaniel (1898-1952) - American actress and singer. Outer: Mother was a singer of spirituals. Father was a former slave who had fought for the Union in the Civil War and then became a Baptist minister and minstrel man. Youngest of 13 children, a brother and sister also appeared in films. Began singing in church choirs as a child, and won a drama medal at 15 from the WCTU, before dropping out of high school to write music and perform. 5’2”. Her family moved west when she was 18, where she married Howard Hickman in 1911, but her husband died four years later, and she began singing professionally with bands. Became the first African-descended woman to sing on the radio at 20, then toured with her brother’s tent show, performing minstrel material on the Shrine and Elk circuits, before forming an all-female minstrel troupe known as the McDaniel Sisters Company. Married Nym Lankfard in 1922, divorced 6 years later. By 30, she was a headliner on the vaudeville circuit, employing both pantomime and sexually suggestive blues songs, many of which she wrote herself. Worked as a maid at the Los Angeles Suburban Inn, but soon won a spot on their sponsored radio show. Moved to Hollywood in her mid-30s, with $20 and her lucky rabbit’s foot, and became a popular singing guest on the radio, before getting her own show, “Beulah,” which later became a TV vehicle for actress Ethel Waters. Had it written into her contract that she wouldn’t speak in dialect and had script control. Bi-sexual, she had an affair with Tallulah Bankhead (Drew Barrymore). Married James Crawford, a Los Angeles real estate agent, in her mid-40s, later divorced. Typically played maids, including her best known performance as the mammy in Gone With the Wind in 1939, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, the first black performer to do so, although she also won the enmity of the NAACP for playing stereotypical roles, and had great difficulty afterwards in getting substantial filmwork. In her mid-50s, she married Larry Williams, an interior decorator, then divorced after a year. Moved to a white enclave, and successfully fought a lawsuit from her wealthy neighbors to have her evicted. Continued making films into her mid-50s, although her career was largely already over. Suffered from breast cancer her last 2 years, and finally died of it, after a stroke forced her to sell her mansion and move into the Motion Picture Country Home, the first African-American to do so. 5,000 fans attended her funeral, and even in death she triumphed, eventually being allowed to be buried in the Hollywood Cemetery, after its ‘whites-only’ policy was later overturned. Inner: Simple, spiritual, humble, but driven to succeed. Her favorite mantra was, “I did my best and God did the rest.” Inability to sustain her intimate relationships, despite being well-liked by one and all. Stated she’d rather make $7,000 a week playing a maid, then $7 a week being one. Both reviled and respected for her fame. Limits testing lifetime of rising into public consciousness through exploring a limited stereotype, while investigating all the media available for a much more powerful run the next time through as a highly valued America icon. Marie Laveau (c1794-1881) - American entrepreneur and voodoo queen. Outer: Probably the daughter of a Santo Domingan slave, who was half/black and half/Amerindian and a Creole planter, Charles Laveaux. Born a quadroon, a free woman of color, with mixed African, Amerindian, French and Spanish blood. Arrived in New Orleans in 1809, after a slave revolt. Raised a devout Catholic, and, despite her adoption of African religious traditions, always integrating his Christian sensibilities with them. Large-bodied and statuesque with curly black hair, and features that were more European than African. Married Jacques Paris, a quadroon carpenter in 1819, who was also a free man of color, but soon left him, calling herself the Widow Paris after he disappeared, although was never officially declared dead. Afterwards, she had 15 children with Capt. Louis Christophe Duminy de Glapion, a fellow Santo Domingan in a common law marriage, which lasted until his death in 1855. Worked as a hairdresser and cook for the city jail of New Orleans, before performing similar services for some of the city’s more affluent citizens. Collected gossip and information through her labors, as well as a network of informants who appraised her of everything going on in the city, which served as a basis for her influence, particularly in her capacity as a fortuneteller and wielder of gris-gris to help charm or hex whoever needed to be prodded by unseen spirits. Combined the African Yoruba religion and Santeria with her Catholicism to become New Orleans’s Voodoo Queen by 1830, having learned her craft from a legendary character known as Dr. John, and then defeating her other rivals for the title, sometimes through physical intimation and beatings. Using healing, herbs and divination, she oversaw large ritual gatherings, as well as clients in their homes, serving both white and black residents of the city, thanks to her extraordinary reputation. Also visited and cared for death row prisoners, while vehemently opposing public executions. Witnesses saw her magically interfere with one, and although it was later carried out, Louisiana became the first state to ban them. Used to dance with her snake Zombi wrapped around her, while leading orgiastic rituals that brought its participants to the level of ecstatic trance, replete with drinking, drumming and feasting. Presided over private parties, as well, while always being conscious of her power and maintaining it. Around 1875, her health began to fail, and she passed her mantle onto her daughter of the same name, before dying bedridden in her care. Had a dualistic reputation, beloved by many, and feared by others as a practitioner of dark magic. Remained a figure of magic and myth in death as in life, with post-mortem sightings, and controversy over where her body was truly buried. Inner: Gifted healer with good common sense, a talent for interpersonal communication and a great ability to organize. Gris-gris lifetime of showing her ability to transcend her milieu and explore her innate faculty for healing and rapport, that she would bring to full flower two go-rounds later in this series.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS REHABILITATED ADDICT:
Storyline: The act-out story-teller finds the inner creative resources to do successful battle with her ongoing draw towards her own edge, and effects a successful cure to her long-held desire for self-obliteration.
Carrie Fisher (1956) - American actress. Outer: Daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds, and singer Eddie Fisher. Their storybook Hollywood union ended when her father left her mother to marry actress Elizabeth Taylor, when she was 3. One brother, who became a TV director. Had a Tinseltown upbringing, and began her professional career at 12, working in her mother’s Las Vegas nightclub act. Dropped out of high school at 15 to pursue show business fulltime and made her Broadway debut 2 years later in the chorus line of one of her mother’s shows, despite feeling extreme stage fright at the time. Played her first film role at 19 as a sexy child of privilege in Shampoo, then spent the next year and a half in London, acting and taking speech lessons. 5’1”. Had her breakthrough role in her early 20s as Princess Leia in the phenomenally successful Star Wars trilogy. Married singer Paul Simon in 1983, divorced the following year, although the duo continued to maintain their connection. Soon found herself the victim of the ‘too much, too soon,’ syndrome of children of Hollywood stars and descended into drug addiction, before entering a rehabilitation center. Wrote a well-received novel about her experiences, “Postcards From The Edge,“ which she later scripted into a successful film, with Meryl Streep playing her, and Shirley MacLaine as her mother. Had a daughter with agent Bryan Lourd, who eventually left her for another man. Wrote a 2nd best-seller about her further relationship adventures, “Surrender the Pink,” and continued writing as well as acting, in a rehabilitative life, where she has been able to channel her self-destructive impulses into positive creativity, with occasional backslides into manic-depression. A skilled script doctor, she has punched up a number of popular movies, from the screenplays of others. Launched her own cable talk show in 2002, while writing a sequel to her first best-seller, “The Best Awful,” in which she detailed her euphoric/dysphoric dualities. In 2005, she had a homophile Republican activist friend die of an overdose in her bed, next to her, to add to her ongoing sense of theater about her life, and fell apart afterwards, with her hair literally turning white. Recovered by penning her own one-woman show, taken from latest autobiography, “Wishful Drinking,” in her ongoing self-healing by turning devastating events into cathartic and entertaining ruminations. Made to lose 35 pounds in 2014 for the next round of Star Wars sequels, 35 years after her last appearance as Princess Leia. Inner: Articulate, creative and sharp-witted, albeit with an addictive manic/depressive personality. Takes a host of pills just to remain on an even keel. Wound-licking lifetime of going over the edge, but with the inner resources to pull herself back in time, and effect a self-healing via her communication skills from ongoing problems that have probably been many go-rounds in the making. Alma Rubens (Genevieve Driscoll) (1897-1931) - American actress. Outer: Mother was Irish and father was Jewish. Attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart, but decided to be an actress in her early teens, and studied her craft and performed as a teen. After musical comedy experience on the stage, she entered films in the mid-teens, at the behest of much older actor Franklyn Farnum, and initially enjoyed a busy and successful career in the silents. Briefly married for one month to Farnum in her early 20s. Her 2nd marriage was to a hyphenated doctor/writer/producer/ director in her mid-20s for 2 years, and the following year she married actor Ricardo Cortez, eventually separating from him after 5 years. After peaking in the mid-20s, her career hit a standstill, with only one film in 1927 and one in 1928. Went spiraling into the dim world of heroin, alcohol and drug addiction, after first getting hooked through doctor’s prescriptions. Made headlines in 1929, when she was chased down the street by 2 men, screaming she was being kidnapped. Drew a knife and stabbed one in the shoulder before being subdued. The men turned out to be an ambulance attendant and her doctor, trying to get her into a sanitarium. Committed, then released several weeks later, only to attack her nurse, she wound up on a psycho ward, before being transferred to the California State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, officially ending her film career. Released with a self-pronouncement that she had been cured, she failed in a Broadway comeback attempt, while filing for divorce from her 3rd mate. Returned to Hollywood, but was arrested on coming back from a trip to Mexico with 40 cubes of morphine. Allowed to return home to the care of her mother, she died soon after of pneumonia, with the latter and a sister by her comatose side. Inner: Sensitive, unhappy, unfulfilled. Post-mortems-from-the-edge lifetime of acting out her deep unhappiness, and allowing herself to be embraced by the drug of the dead, heroin, in an all-out attempt at self-obliteration, without any sense of creativity as a resource to counter-balance herself. Claire Clairmont (Clara Mary Jane Clairmont) (1798-1879) - English adventuress. Outer: Father unknown, giving his daughter only his name. One brother as well. Her mother probably never married, and was pregnant with a third child, when she was rescued by widower William Godwin (Betty Friedan) in 1801, who was desperate for a mother for his daughter Mary Shelley (Lynda Barry) and stepdaughter Fanny Wollstonecraft (Dora Carrrington). Although her mother was never particularly into children, including her own, and her stepfather was distant, the home in which she grew up was extremely stimulating, with a steady stream of London’s intellectual elite passing through. Both parents were writers, with Godwin a radical thinker, in theory, if not quite in practice, which would feed into her own unconventional take on life. Educated at home, and also taken to theater and lectures, she received a wide-ranging upbringing, and if not quite the exemplary student her stepsister Mary was, she remained close to, as well as competitive with, her, while showing herself to be a difficult, headstrong, rebellious teen. In 1814, Mary ran off with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (Tim Buckley), who was married at the time, and she joined their peripatetic household on impulse, and played a hand in her other stepsister, Fanny’s, suicide, who was also part of their wandering crew. Became briefly involved with bad boy poet, Lord Byron (Bernardo Bertolucci), after bombarding him with passionate missives, and taking advantage of his depressed state at the undoing of his marriage. Although he made it quite clear, he was not interested in sharing his life with her, she remained obsessed with him. The daughter from the union, Alba, later Allegra Byron, was born in 1817. Continued to pursue him in Italy, while he took Allegra into his home to raise her, under the proviso that she stay away from him, which she reluctantly did. Met writer Edward Trelawney afterwards, who wanted to marry her. Even though she demurred, the two would remain friends for the rest of her life. May also have mothered a daughter by Shelley, although the true progenitors of the child remain unclear, and she died two years later, after being placed with foster parents. The following year Byron put Allegra in a convent, which outraged her. Only saw her daughter a couple of times, and she wound dying of typhus at the age of 5. Despised Byron with a passion forever afterwards, while Shelley died within a few months of her child. Mary Shelley paid for to go Vienna, where she stayed in their brother’s home for a year, before going to Russia to work as a governess for a year in St. Petersburg and another 4 in Moscow, although found the freezing environs extremely uncomfortable. Byron died in 1824, and she came back to England in 1828, but was only there briefly, before going to Dresden, where she worked as a governess. The rest of her life would be largely anticlimactic, after her highly melodramatic first quarter of a century. Lived off a legacy from Shelley in her later years. Came to live in Paris in the 1840s, and visited England often for extended periods, over the next several decades, working as a tutor to supplement her income. Became more and more eccentric as she grew older. Converted to Roman Catholicism, despite an earlier detestation of the Church, particularly since her child had died in its clutches. As she slid into dementia, she began to deny that her daughter had ever died. Clung to keepsakes of Shelley, refusing to relinquish them, in an attempt to keep him alive as well, while maintaining her beauty into old age. Moved to Florence in 1870, where she eventually died. Inner: Angry, rebellious and extremely self-assertive. Saw herself as a romantic heroine, and harbored a great desire for celebrity. Act out lifetime of being part of a legendary literary crew in her youth, and then spending a long and independent go-round teaching and replaying the elements of her earlier years to more and more bizarre internal affect.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SEDUCTIVE MISCHIEFMAKER:
Storyline: The unrepentant enchantress goes after whatever she wants no matter the consequence, in her ongoing pursuit of pleasure, notoriety and her own unique place in the ongoing annals of her times.
Linda Fiorentino (Clorinda Fiorentino) (1958) - American actress. Outer: Father was a steel contractor. One of 8 children, with two brothers and five sisters. Later observed her mother probably only had intercourse 8 times. Nicknamed Clorox by her classmates. 5’7”, slim and raven-haired. Good athlete in high school, as well as a cheerleader, with a predisposition for mischief. Went to Rosemont College in Pennsylvania, where she majored in Political Science and pre-law, with the intention of becoming a lawyer, but just beforehand, she opted for acting. Went to the Circle in the Square Acting School in NYC, and made her film debut in 1985 in Vision Quest as a love-struck artist. Followed it up with some TV work, as well as independent filmwork. Took up photography in her late 20s, after studying at the International Center of Photography in NYC. In 1992, she married writer/producer/director John Byrum. Divorced the following year, and showed no inclination afterwards to officially tie herself to anyone, viewing both marriage and domesticity as institutions for others, not herself. Still a relative unknown after her first 14 films, she finally came to public attention with The Last Seduction in 1994, where her character’s unapologetic and murderous amorality prevailed. Garnered several awards for her portrayal, although was denied an Oscar nomination, since the film first appeared on cable TV. Won her role in Men in Black in 1997, in a poker game with the director, as well as $1200. Her film career slowed down after the turn of the century, as her interests turned elsewhere, thanks in large part to the uninspiring roles offered her. Optioned several works for potential films, and hooked up with FBI agent Mark Rossini, who was going through a prolonged separation from his wife. Had him filch some info from the private files of fallen Los Angeles P.I. Anthony Pellicano, who had been involved in illegal wiretapping for several high profile Hollywood clients, in order to feed both her obsession with the latter’s case, and a screenplay she was working on. Rossini would subsequently be convicted of wrongdoing, in what would prove yet another lasting seduction for her, despite her claims that she is the demure and shy opposite of her screen portrayals. Inner: Impetuous, and extremely strong-willed with a reputation for difficulty on the set. Described her fans as “middle-aged men who don’t have sex, women getting in touch with their anger and 8-year old boys.” Memorably seductive lifetime of transposing her freewheeling sense of self into more disciplined avenues, while showing the same sense of willful entitlement as her earlier spectacularly self-involved go-round in this series. Dorothy Di Frasso (Dorothy Taylor) (1888-1954) - American socialite. Outer: Father made a fortune in the leather business and she inherited $12 million. Her brother Bert became president of the New York Stock Exchange. Became part of the international social set, hobnobbing with royalty, with a particular affinity for Hollywoodians, once the movie community had established itself. Married English aviator Claude Grahame-White in 1912, flying off to their honeymoon afterwards. The duo were divorced 4 years later. In 1923 she wed an impoverished Italian count, Carlo di Frasso, in what would be an open relationship, since she wanted his title and he wanted her money. Bought and restored a Roman Villa, the Villa Madama, and outfitted it with golden bathtubs, and priceless art, including ceilings painted by Raphael (Pablo Picasso). Threw fabulously lavish parties, and enjoyed an all-star coterie of lovers, including actors Gary Cooper (Brad Pitt), housemates Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, and bad boys George Raft and Bugsy Siegel (Michael Madsen), with whom she once sailed in search of buried treasure off of Costa Rica. Served as a mentor for Cooper, turning him into an elegant escort for her, and traveling with him. Interested in explosives and exploiting dictator Benito Mussolini’s need for saidsame, although a demonstration failed, and she lost part of her villa over it. Nevertheless, she claimed to have cohabited with Il Duce, later complaining about the miniscule size of his organ. Returned to the U.S. when Mussolini took over her villa, and transported her moveable feast to Beverly Hills, where she reestablished herself as a seminal hostess of the 1940s in a 30 room Spanish Colonial house. Became a fixture on the Hollywood social scene, continuing to live life to the fullest. Suffered from an angina condition, and popped nitroglycerin pills like candy for it, while refusing to allow health concerns to slow her down. Died suddenly of a heart attack aboard a Union Pacific train heading from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, with several celebrity friends aboard. Dressed as if ready for a party when her body was discovered in her compartment, in a full length mink coat and $500,000 worth of jewelry adorning her. Inner: Fun-loving, uninhibited, generous, and loud. Swore like a sailor, and gave liberally to charities in order to compensate for her “sins.” Able to laugh at herself, and was universally amusing to one and all. Hard partying lifetime of having both the wealth and the power to make her will easily manifest, and taking full, lusty and memorable advantage of it. Mary Anne Clarke (Mary Anne Thompson) (1776–1852) - English actress and royal mistress. Outer: Daughter of a bricklayer, although her parentage remains in question. Despite her humble origins, she was daring, witty and highly attractive. Received a modest education, and eloped with the proprietor of stonemason business in 1791, although he went bankrupt, thanks to alcoholism, and she left him, following their official marriage in 1794. A daughter from the union became the mother of writer George du Maurier (William Wyler), and his daughter, writer Daphne du Maurier, ultimately wrote a book about her. Became an actress and had a number of liaisons. At 30, she became involved with the 40 year old Frederick, Duke of York, the 2nd son of George III (Jeffrey Archer), while he was commander-in-chief of the army. Parlayed their relationship into an allowance of £1000 a year, as well as extravagant digs in a fashionable section of London, with three carriages, ten horses, and 20 servants, where she entertained on a lavish scale, causing her to fall into debt. Used her position to further augment her income by taking large bribes from officers who sought commissions, promotions or transfer from her royal paramour. The prince finally ditched her in 1806, and she took up with several officers in succession. In 1809, her former lover was charged with taking bribes, and she got a chance to gain revenge on him by testifying fetchingly before a parliamentary committee. After his love letters were read aloud to the committee and made public knowledge, he was made a public buffoon and lost both his commission and his reputation, although he was reinstated in 1811. Tried for libel against the irish chancellor of the exchequer and was imprisoned for it for 9 months in 1814. On her release in 1816 or so, she withdrew to Brussels, then Paris, where she set up an elegant salon, and entertained there for decades, continually sought out for her wit, and her scandalous tales of the old days. Ultimately died on her estate. Inner: Clever, witty, highly materialistic and exploitative. Insouciant lifetime of taking full advantage of every opportunity thrown her way to try to give full meaning to the old adage that living well is the best revenge.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS DRIVEN DIVA:
Storyline: The dauntless dazzler more than pays her dues to ascend the hierarchical heights of Hollywood, allowing her relentless drive to ultimately carry her past her various self-made hurdles all the way to the royal mantle of cinematic queen, after earlier consuming herself in the same blonde ambition.
Sharon Stone (1958) - American actress. Outer: Of English and Irish descent. Father was a factory worker for a tool and dye business, before starting his own, mother was an accountant turned homemaker. 2nd of 4 siblings, with her older brother Michael also becoming an actor. Raised a Methodist, while her parents instilled her with considerable confidence to believe in herself, while stressing the importance of helping others. The family had difficulty in making ends meet, in a strict blue collar upbringing. Felt weird and alienated as a child, as if she were already an adult. Saw herself as unattractive as a teenager and also out-of-place in the working-class town in which she grew up, with a high IQ that enabled her to skip several grades and begin taking courses at 15 at a local community college. Also began to blossom as a beauty at the same time and decided to pursue her early dream of being an actress after winning the Miss Crawford County beauty pageant in 1975. 5’7 1/2”, with grey-blue eyes and classic features. After graduating, she went to NYC and supported herself by modeling, doing TV commercials, and taking acting classes, before winning a nonspeaking part in Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories at 22. A decade of paying her Hollywood dues followed, in a series of unmemorable B movies, in which her blonde good looks were largely melodramatic decoration. Briefly wed actor/producer George Englund, then married Michael Greenburg, a producer of one of those films, in her mid-20s, but bitterly divorced him 3 years later. A treadmill career of 3 movies a year and traveling did not make her happy, and she eventually shook her complacency to become ambitious once again for higher notice. Posed for the cover of Playboy magazine, bare-breasted and sucking an ice cube, which landed her a role in Total Recall, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, where she was able to match his physical presence with her own. A car accident followed, giving her recovery time to rethink her priorities and then she burst into America’s prurient consciousness in 1991 in Basic Instinct, where a pantyless flash in a police interrogation scene made her a sexual icon. Although she initially stated she was tricked into that shot, she later admitted it was her idea, and that nanosecond scene gave her the foundation to become a high-priced superstar, showing an élan and glamorous mien that was matched by her wide-ranging acting talents and ability to play strong, capable women, coupled with a basic instinct for publicity and high public profile. At 39, she married a macho San Francisco newspaper editor, Phil Bronstein, after several brief well-publicized relationships, one adopted son from the union, over whom she later lost custody. In 2001, she sued the Basic Instinct filmmakers for reneging on a sequel and paying for it, although later remade it as a campy exercise in her sheer stardom, and the same year, suffered a life-altering brain hemorrhage, when her vertebral artery ruptured, while her husband was bitten by a giant lizard in a zoo as part of a birthday treat. Divorced him 2 years later, and returned to her royal realm, to continue as a Hollywood favorite. Became a Scientologist in the early 1990s, then converted to Tibetan Buddhism, while also holding an ordained minister position with the Universal Life Church. Also a talented songwriter, as well as an AIDS activist, among other political pursuits. In 2004, she won an Emmy for guest actress in a drama series, for a turn on “The Practice.” The following year, she adopted a second son, and for $13 million, starred in Basic Instinct 2, which failed to capture the public’s imagination. Adopted a third son, then managed to become persona non grata in China for remarking its devastating 2008 earthquake was a result of bad Tibetan karma. Had her own bad karma when her former husband challenged her for living arrangements with their mutual child, accusing her in court of Botoxing his feet to offset pedal odor. The contretemps effectively ended a serious relationship with a much younger man, so that she could put her full attention on her children. Does a considerable amount of charitable work for a variety of causes, while showing an inner strength bred from her upbringing to bounce back strongly from whatever is thrown at her. Inner: Intelligent, hardworking, determined to succeed. Chameleonic, articulate and sarcastic. Difficulty with intimacies, more at ease as a public figure playing into the intimate fantasies of the masses. True grit lifetime of dealing with a host of vicissitudes, amongst her triumphs, while still learning how to be loved, both publicly and privately. Gladys George (Gladys Anna Clare Evans) (1900-1954) - American actress. Outer: Father was a transplanted English actor who claimed to have been knighted. Mother was the daughter of a watchmaker who followed her husband onto the stage. The duo formed a stock company, and she appeared on stage at 3 with them. The family’s staple drama, written by her progenitor, was “The Dream Doll,” about a dream child who appeared in a troubled couple’s sleep to bring them joy. Probably a metaphor for her upbringing, amidst the dross of the entertainment world. Only had a 4th grade education. Spent most her childhood touring, working in vaudeville, summer stock and on Broadway. By 18, she had already played 200 roles, and had also worked with medicine shows and as a maid and waitress. After her family moved to NYC, she started her movie career in silents at the age of 19, then burned her face severely in a cooking accident. Recovered, but went back to doing stock, appearing as a leading lady in regional theater. Returned to Broadway at 30, and scored a triumph with “Personal Appearance,” as Carole Arden, a tempestuous blonde movie star, which ran for over a year and was a role she reprised on screen, after returning to Hollywood to become a leading lady in the melodramas of the 1930s. Soon became typecast as a tough blonde, despite a gift for comedy, and her career was largely strait-jacketed. Married and divorced Ben Erway, an actor, between 1922 and 1930, married Edward Fowler, a paper manufacturer, in 1933, divorced and married Leonard Penn, an actor, in 1935, then divorced and married Kenneth Bradley, a bellboy, from 1946 to 1950, in a downward spiral of mates, no children from any of her unions. Only did one more play, but acted in over 30 films over the next 2 decades, gradually slipping to secondary roles as she grew older and her career noticeably declined. Died of cancer of the throat. Inner: Smart, ambitious, self-destructive, and also willing to let others dictate her life, while being unable to find a good counterbalancing intimacy to her drives. Frustrated lifetime of looking for public and private approval, only to get stuck in roles not of her choosing, making for a far more directed and focused figure in her next life in this series. Anna Maria Crouch (Anna Phillips) (1763-1805) - English singer and actress. Outer: Of Welsh and French extract. Father was a lawyer. 3rd of 6 children. Her mother died when she was young, and she was placed under the care of an aunt. Began performing as a child, singing in the drawingroom of the wife of the Lord Mayor of London, before becoming both an actress and a singer, establishing herself by her late teens, after making her debut at 17. Frequently performed at the Drury Lane Theater, with her best known role as Polly Peachum in John Gay’s (Donovan) “The Beggar’s Opera.” Sweet-voiced, rather than dramatic, she was a noted beauty, with a legendary elegance and charm. Eloped with an Irish peer in 1783, then married a lieutenant in the Royal Navy the following year, one daughter from union who died at 2 days. Simultaneously had a liaison with Irish actor and baritone, Michael Kelly in 1787, serving as the latter’s mentor, while also teaching him English. Moved to Brighton afterwards, where she became a theatrical mainstay, and in 1790, she became briefly involved with the future George IV (Warren Beatty), when he was Prince of Wales. Wound up getting £400 pounds a year for her husband in exchange for his not suing for alienation of his wife’s affections. Separated from him soon after, and also got a £12,000 bond for a relative few nights with the prince, setting her up for the rest of her life. Thanks to the prince’s largesse, she maintained homes in London and Brighton afterwards with Kelly, who appeared opposite her upon occasion, in a successful career of his own. Ultimately retired from the stage and society in 1801, and spent her last years training singers for the stage. Died suddenly either from heavy drinking or a carriage accident. Inner: Pleasure-loving and very much her own woman. Manipulative lifetime of continually exploiting her circumstances to her own best advantage, before larger circumstances dictated a relatively early exit.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS DAUGHTER ALSO RISING:
Storyline: The Tinsel Town princess continues her longtime relationship with her complex father from an unbonded perspective, as a means of liberating herself from him, in order to explore her own unique talents as an entertainer and communicator.
Jamie Lee Curtis (1958) - American actress and author. Outer: Of Hungarian Jewish descent on her paternal side, and Danish/Anglo on her maternal side. Mother was actress Janet Leigh, father was actor Tony Curtis, and both were viewed as 1950s Hollywood ideals, despite the latter’s compulsive inconstancy. Grew up resenting her sire, since he was never there for her, leading to a long estrangement, although she respected him for who he was and what he did. Rumors would persist that she was a hermaphrodite at birth and underwent an operation to make her female, although they have never been proven. One older sister, Kelly Curtis, also became an actress. Her parents divorced when she was four, and her mother remarried stockbroker Robert Brandt. After public and private school, she went to the Univ. of the Pacific, with the idea of becoming a social worker, before dropping out to pursue the family line of business. 5’9”, slim and curvy, ultimately insuring her legs for $2 million as a publicity stunt, when she promoted L’Eggs Pantyhose. Began her film career in horror fests, beginning with Halloween in 1978. After several more in the same genre, she became known as a scream queen, despite a desire to do more varied work. Showed her comedic side in Trading Places in 1983, which would lead to more satisfying roles, and several BAFTA awards, as well as a Golden Globe in 1994 for True Lies. In 1984, she married British actor/director Christopher Guest. One adopted son and daughter from the union, which also produced her patented diaper with a moisture-proof pocket containing wipes, which she insisted could only be used by companies that sold biodegradable diapers. Had a four year run in the TV sitcom “Anything But Love,” between 1989 and 1992, playing off of uberneurotic Richard Lewis, and garnering another Golden Globe. Continued to alternate between the small and large screens, while also working with illustrator Laura Cornell on a series of children’s books, beginning in 1993. Became Lady Haden-Guest when her husband inherited his father’s barony in 1996. During this time, she also struggled with alcohol, as well as pain killers, finally coming clean in 1999. In 2006, she temporarily retired to focus on her family, before sporadically returning to film again. Serves as a spokesperson for Activia, while also blogging for “The Huffington Post,” in addition to her activist involvement with a host of organizations. Inner: Extroverted, enthusiastic and quite lively with a tendency towards addiction, because of a generous appetite for life. Trading places lifetime of continuing her intimate connection with her longtime father/life partner, without creating the restrictive bonds of go-rounds past, in order to allow her the freedom to find herself without his overpowering presence. Bess Houdini (Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner) (1876-1943) - American performer. Outer: Both her parents were German immigrants, with her father a cabinet maker. Raised in a Roman Catholic milieu. Began her own show business career with a song and dance act called the Floral Sisters. The younger brother of the stage magician, Harry Houdini (Tony Curtis), came a-courting, but it was his sibling who won her heart after a three week courtship, and she and the latter married in 1894, despite misgivings on both their parents’ parts because of the differences in religions, with her mother not speaking to him for years. No children, in what may have been a celibate union, because of his own ongoing mother issues. He treated her as if she were a goddess, while she worked as his stage assistant as part of the Houdinis, before her husband developed his escape artist act, with a bit called “Metamorphosis,” in which she and he exchanged positions from inside and outside a locked trunk. The act vaulted them to top vaudeville billing, allowing them to tour both the U.S. and Europe. Settled in Manhattan, and after the death of her mother-in-law, the two became deeply involved in the spiritualist movement of contacting the dead, before eagerly debunking frauds. When Houdini died in 1926, she opened a tea house in NYC, and briefly returned to vaudeville. Offered $100,000 to any medium who could transmit a secret message the two had earlier agreed on, although withdrew the pledge, after one partially did so from Houdini’s mother, which was to “forgive.” Moved to Hollywood in the 1930s, and, along with her manager, Edward Saint, continued to promote her deceased husband, while periodically holding séances. On the tenth anniversary of his death, the two conducted a séance on the roof of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Hollywood, which failed to make connection with him, at which point, she opined, “ten years is long enough to wait for any man.” Died seven years later aboard an eastbound train heading for NY from Los Angeles. Because he was Jewish, and she was brought up Roman Catholic, her family would not allow her to be interred beside him. Played herself in the 1938 film Religious Racketeer, and was assayed by her subsequent mother, Janet Leigh, in the fanciful 1953 biopic Houdini. Inner: Good-natured and good-humored. Support lifetime of willingly subsuming herself to her legendary spouse, as a means of tasting fame from a secondhand perspective. Sarah Belzoni (Sarah Bane) (1783-1870) - Irish adventurer. Outer: Either of English or Irish origin. Almost nothing known about her before she hooked up with Italian adventurer and archaeologist Giovanni Belzoni (Tony Curtis). May have been a tightrope walker, which fed into his subsequent circus acts. Delicate, attractive and extremely determined. The duo were married in 1803, and she spent the next two decades working closely with him in his explorations, as well as his early theatrical performances. Accompanied him on his voyage to Egypt in 1815, and was more than willing to share in the difficulties that travel entailed in the ancient land of the pyramids at that time. A pistol-packing pipe smoker, she served as his single support and assistant, often dressing as an arab youth, so as to hide her gender, while suffering mightily in their treks, including a spate of sun-induced blindness. Occasionally made forays on her own, but usually stayed in their base camps near or in larger cities, while he was plundering antiquities in a decidedly nonscientific manner. Despite her much needed help, he never mentioned her in his “Narrative,” to which she contributed with a forty-two page chapter, limned her amateur ethnographic views of native life in Egypt and Palestine. Visited with wives of local officials while her husband was off traipsing, and recorded her impressions of how her hostesses felt at experiencing westerners for the first time. Learned a little Arabic and visited the Holy Land in 1818, climbing the Temple Mount disguised as a Turkish youth. Ultimately outlived her husband by almost fifty years, initially dedicating herself to showing some of the antiquities they had collected, only to see them seized in 1825, leaving her destitute. Spent years petitioning Parliament for help, before finally getting a civil list pension of 100£s a year in 1851. At one point, she shared her rooms with a large coffin that contained a mummy, which she insisted was an Egyptian princess. Lived the latter part of her life in Brussels and in the Channel islands, before dying in obscurity. Inner: Always showed a strong streak of independence, accompanying her husband when it interested her, and pursuing her own concerns when it didn’t. Had a keen, observant eye, and a lively mind. Support lifetime of playing off her longtime partner in order to explore her own sense of adventure, during a time when women were not allowed the freedom of their own high-spiritedness.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS LEARNING TO FLY SOLO:
Storyline: The partnered player is summarily sent out on her own, after several go-rounds of working in secure tandem, and learns to be her own woman in the process, thanks to the background of self-healing her family inadvertantly provided.
Emma Thompson (1959) - English actress. Outer: Mother was actress Phyllida Law, father was actor/writer/director Eric Thompson. Her younger sister, Sophie, became an actress as well. Her early life would be filled with familial tragedy: her father suffered from a severe heart condition, her grandmother had terminal cancer, and an uncle had been injured in auto accident. Despite being overloaded with invalids, her family managed to have fun amidst bantering and impromptu skits, using their good humor to get past the care-taking roles the 3 healthy women had to endure. Her sire had a severe stroke when she was 16, and ultimately died when she was 23, which bonded the other trio even more closely. Went to a private girl’s school, then studied English literature at Cambridge Univ. where she became interested in an acting career. 5’7 1/2”. Founded an all-female comedy revue at school, then became one of the few women accepted at Footlights, the university’s comedy club. Graduated and did stand-up comedy in London clubs and on British TV, before playing the lead in a musical comedy, “Me and My Girl.” Began doing serious drama in her mid-20s, when she was cast in a TV series, “Fortunes of War,” where she met her husband, actor Kenneth Branagh. The pair married when she was 30, and worked together both privately and professionally. Appeared in his repertory companies, and he was a frequent guest on her short-lived British TV comedy series, “Thompson,” before both had a breakthrough in his film noir Dead Again in her early 30s. Won a Best Actress Oscar in 1992 for Howards End, and her film career took off. Expanded her talents, adapting Jane Austen’s (Joyce Carol Oates) Sense and Sensibility, for which she won another Oscar, becoming the only person to garner Academy Rewards for both acting and writing, but her marriage broke up over her husband’s affair with actress Helena Bonham-Carter. Devastated by his rejection, she went into seclusion and depression for a year, but her mother helped her recover with a reminder of how her family dealt with her father’s disability. Rebounded through working, and continues her career as a high-profile multi-talented actress. Had a daughter in 1999 with actor Greg Wise, and married him in 2003, while also taking in a Rwandan child soldier, and paying for his education, at the same time. Penned and starred in The Nanny, playing a snaggle-toothed anti-Mary Poppins, while also remaining involved in AIDS/HIV awareness and refugee causes. Also expanded on the Beatrix Potter creation, Peter Rabbit, in 2012, her first attempt at a children’s book, and a further exploration of anti-authoritarian characters on her part.Also expanded on the Beatrix Potter creation, Peter Rabbit, in 2012, her first attempt at a children’s book, and a further exploration of anti-authoritarian characters on her part. Inner: Good-humored, highly intelligent, able to cope with life’s vicissitudes. Strengthening lifetime of focusing on female issues and drawing her strength from women, while adding her intelligent luster to the ongoing evolution of the roles women play in life and art. Julia Marlowe (Sarah Frances Frost) (1866-1950) - English/American actress. Outer: Mother managed a small general store, father was a master shoemaker. 2nd of 4 children. Her sire fled to America when she was 4 under the mistaken assumption he had injured a neighbor’s eye with his whip during a race. Changed his name to Brough, opened a store in Kansas and sent for his family 2 years later. Her mother, however, eventually divorced him and married a baker, whom her children disliked. Began her stage career at 11, then answered an ad in the paper in her early teens for a chorus role in a traveling road company and toured the Midwest in a juvenile rendition of “H.M.S. Pinafore.” Took her name from playwright Christopher Marlowe (Tennessee Williams) and a character she played in “The Hunchback.” Went on to a distinguished stage career, and was generally regarded as the greatest romantic actress of her time. Married a fellow actor in 1894 and divorced in 1900. Directed and also acted in “When Knighthood Was in Flower” in her mid-30s, which ran for 2 seasons and was especially adopted for her. Teamed with E.H. Southern (Kenneth Branagh) in her late 30s, and married him 7 years later in London, to become the pre-eminent Shakespearean couple of the American stage. Known for her romantic interpretations of the Bard, she retired from the stage because of ill health at 60, although occasionally reappeared until her late 60s. Went into virtual seclusion after her husband’s death, living at the Plaza Hotel in NYC. Beautiful into old age, she died after a series of strokes. Inner: Idealistic with a superb self-confidence, a magnetic charm and a beautiful speaking voice. Professionally partnered lifetime of a precarious early home life, which forced her to look for her security on the stage, allowing her talents, and eventually her professional and private union with her longtime mate, to gain her great success in her chosen milieu, although a desire to be more of her own woman probably dictated the dynamics of her succeeding life in this series. Susanna Verbruggen (Susanna Percival) (c1667-1703) - English actress. Outer: Father was a minor actor, who was sentenced to death for clipping coin in 1693, before being reprieved. Appeared on stage at the Theatre Royal in her early teens, occasionally playing on the same bill as her sire. Maintained a busy schedule afterwards, and in 1686, she married actor William Mountfort. Two daughters from the union, with one briefly taking to the stage. Fair, plump and full-featured. By 1690, she was one of the leading actresses of the United Company, and a clear audience favorite. Lost her husband in 1692 to a brutal murder spurred by misplaced jealousy, although continued on stage, and the following annum she wed actor John Verbruggen (Kenneth Branagh), who was also a member of her company, one son from the union. Used his name afterwards in her billing, and was noted for her “breeches” roles, where she appeared in male attire, with comedy as her particular forte. Such was her reputation, which far eclipsed her husband’s, that many Restoration-era comedies were offered to her first. As a member of the United Company, she was not offered a share in the actor’s collective that formed on the company’s splitting in twain in 1695, only a salary, because of her gender, which caused both her and her husband to remain with the original troupe. Became ill her final season, and died in childbirth. Inner: Natural actress, as well as an excellent mimic, who did everything effortlessly on stage. Drama-laden lifetime of dealing with real life tragedy and loss as counterpoint to her comic stage presence, as a way of deepening her own emotional reserve through both artifice and actuality.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SACRIFICIAL LAMB:
Storyline: The unvarnished victim continues to come to untimely ends in her inability to see the violent strain in those around her, coupled with her desire for fame, even at the cost of her lives.
Dorothy Stratten (Dorothy Hoogstratten) (1960-1980) - American actress. Outer: Workingclass upbringing, older of 2 sisters, also had a brother. Eventually went to work at a Dairy Queen, where she was discovered by smalltime hustler Paul Snyder, who saw her as a meal-ticket, and began grooming her for a Hollywood career. 5’9”. Started to model and in 1978, landed a part on TV’s “Fantasy Island,” after moving to Los Angeles with Snyder. Her blonde wholesome good-looks were a natural for Playboy magazine, and she was selected as Playmate of the month the following year. Married Snyder in 1979, but he soon became persona non grata at the Playboy Mansion as her career began to take off with appearances in films, beginning with “Skatetown,” that year. Tensions abounded between her and Snyder as he saw her slipping from his grasp, particularly after she landed a low budget lead in Galaxina, and was told she would be Playmate of the Year for 1980. A budding romance with director Peter Bogdanovich, who cast her in They All Laughed caused the duo to separate, as she moved in with the former. Snyder convinced her to come to their old apartment and she acquiesced, but as soon as she did so, he tied her up, and killed her with a shotgun to the head, before having sex with her dead body, and then blowing out his own brains. The subject of several biopics, including The Death of a Centerfold and Star 80, as well as book by Bogdanovich, “The Killing of the Unicorn.” The latter later married her half-sister Louise in 1988 and they were divorced in 2001. Inner: Sweet, trusting and innocent. Sacrificial lifetime, once again, of suffering for the murderous obsession of another, after finally realizing an earlier goal of making something of herself through her own abilities, and perhaps, a final release from her draw towards notoriety rather than simple celebrity. Elizabeth Short (1925-1947) - American murder victim. Outer: Father built miniature golf courses, then, unable to support his family, he abandoned them in 1930 and vanished, leaving his car by a bridge, so as to intimate suicide, although many years later, he wrote his wife apologizing for his actions. 3rd of 5 sisters. Her mother worked as a bookkeeper and clerk to support the family. Had an unhappy home life, although she appeared cheerful on the exterior. Often sick with asthma and bronchitis as a child, she was sent to Florida, beginning in 1940, to spend the winters, and from there made her way to Northern California in 1943, with fantasies of becoming a movie star. Moved in with her father, after corresponding with him for years, although the two did not get along, and she soon moved south on her own to become a cashier on an army post. Pallid, with bad teeth, mousy brown hair and a rose tattooed on her right thigh. Abused by a soldier while working at a PX, then was busted in a bar for being underage. Returned East, worked as a waitress, fell in love twice, only to have her second intended, an Air Force pilot to whom she was engaged, killed in action. Found herself back in Los Angeles in 1946, and went on casting calls with little luck, before falling into the Hollywood street scene. Dyed her hair jet black, while affecting white flowers in it, to give her a dramatic look, which was set off by blood-red lipstick against her alabaster skin. Hustled and posed for pornography, while continually hooking up with different men, before finally going homeless and leaving herself at the mercy of the unkindness of strangers. Always kept on the move, never connecting with anybody, and was last seen making phone calls at a hotel, after checking her bags at the bus depot. Six days later her body was found in the weeds of a vacant lot, by a housewife, who first thought she was a department store mannequin. She had been tortured over and over, with a plethora of small stab wounds, and the initials B.D. carved on one thigh, and the tattoo gouged out. Her body had been cut in half at the waist in order to transport it and every drop of blood had been drained from it, although it was determined she had choked to death on her own blood. Both hair and body had been scrubbed clean, and she had been carefully posed. 10 days later her effects were mailed to the police, although they had been cleaned with gasoline so that no fingertips remained. Her torturer was never found, and the mystery of her death became known as the Black Dahlia Murder, entering Los Angeles lore, and giving her the fame she was never able to attain on her own. Subsequently buried in Oakland, because of her affinity for the Golden State. Her funeral was attended by six people, as well as the police, hoping her murderer would show up. Her mother subsequently moved to Oakland to be near her daughter’s grave, before finally returning home in the 1970s, and living into her 90s. In 2003, Steve Hodel, an ex-LAPD detective published “Black Dahlia Avenger,” in which he gave circumstantial, albeit compelling, evidence that his father, George Hodel, a sadistic doctor who had been a suspect, and also might have been involved in a number of other murders, was her killer, although the case remains officially unsolved. Inner: Sweet disposition, promiscuous, with an obliviousness to the continual danger she put herself into. Shadowy lifetime of literally being taken apart in order to begin the slow process of rebuilding herself into someone who values her own life. Elizabeth Stride (Elizabeth Gustafsdotter) (1843-1888) - Swedish/English prostitute and victim. Known as ‘Long Liz,” because of the name Stride. Outer: Father was a farmer. Began working as a domestic in her home district, before turning to prostitution to augment her income. 5’2”, with curly dark brown hair, and blueish gray eyes, while ultimately missing her upper front teeth. Contracted an STD and in 1865 gave birth to a still-born daughter. Moved to London the following year, as a domestic, and in 1869, she wed John Thomas Stride, a ship’s carpenter who was thirteen years older than she. Kept a coffee room with her husband, before being admitted to a workhouse, at which point she was probably separated from her spouse, whom she said had died, along with their children in a ship’s sinking, where her two front teeth were knocked out in a struggle with a fellow passenger. This fabrication was totally untrue, since the pair had no progeny, and her husband died in 1884 in a charity hospital. The duo briefly reunited in 1881 before permanently separating later that annum. Lived in a common lodging-house with a little help from the Church of Sweden in London, while taking up with a dock laborer, Michael Kidney (Paul Snider?), seven years her junior. Supported herself by sewing and housecleaning, while also being arrested eight times times for being drunk and disorderly, giving her name as Anne Fitzgerald. Had a contentious relationship with her partner, filing an assault charge against him, although never pursued it incourt. Continued working as a Whitechapel streetwalker, and became the third of the five official victims of the notorious Jack the Ripper. Wearing a long black cloth jacket with a red rose and white maiden hair fern pinned to her hair, along with a black skirt and a black crepe bonnet, at the time of her death. Probably killed by a neck wound moments before her body was discovered by a steward. Conjecture had it that her murderer was a client, who also robbed her. Since her slaying was interrupted, she did not suffer the same incisions and abdominal injuries as the Ripper’s other victims. Autopsied by police surgeon, Dr. George Bagster Phillips (George Hodel?), a charming if formal character from seemingly another age, who also performed the same duty on several other of the Ripper’s victims. Phillips would die of apoplexy nearly a decade later, and though no suspicion ever fell on him being the infamous murderer, he may very well have led a double life, with a secret loathing of women. His need to kill and mutilate Elizabeth Short in his next life may also have come from not being able to carry through his incisions this time around. All, however, remains total conjecture around both cases. Inner: Quiet and charitable when sober, but given to frequent escape through drink, while evincing a far more aggressive side with male intimates, as well as a tendency to fabricate her life’s details. Victim lifetime of serving as fodder for an uncaught legendary killer, as she would once again her next time around in this series.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS PETITE ECCENTRIC:
Storyline: The multi-faceted comedienne returns in similar physical fashion in order to fashion a far more complete and satisfying career on the silver screen, after earlier having been relegated to America’s fascination with little girls who never grow up.
Carol Kane (1952) - American actress. Outer: Of Russian-Jewish descent. Mother was a jazz singer, dancer and pianist, father was an architect. Younger of 2 sisters. Her father worked for the world bank, allowing her to spend a year in Paris, and also live in Haiti while she was growing up, before moving to NYC at the age of 8. Her parents split up when she was 12, which deeply disturbed her, and she went into therapy for over a decade. Acting since the age of 6, she attended the Professional Children’s School, and began her professional career on the stage at 14, in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.” Continued with stage appearances all over the northeast, and made her film debut at 17, playing a prostitute in Carnal Knowledge. 5’2”, pale-skinned and blonde. After a series of cameo roles, she achieved stardom in Hester Street in 1975, after studying Yiddish, and went on to an active screen career of playing mild eccentrics in comedy, with occasional dramatic roles, as well as appearances in foreign language films and on the Broadway stage, most notably in the works of Beth Henley. Won 2 Emmys for best comedy actress in her ongoing role as Simka Dahblitz in the TV series “Taxi,” and has continued as an actress for all seasons in all the venues available to her, including a Broadway touring company of “Wicked,” and TV voiceovers. Inner: Strong resemblance to her previous go-round in this series. Underwent analysis for many years, in a desire to know herself through creative expression. Full-flowered lifetime of directly continuing her earlier career in a successful attempt at bringing her acting talents to their full maturity. Ruth Stonehouse (1892-1941) - American actress. Outer: Began dancing in shows in Arizona at 8. Entered films in 1911 in The Papered Door, and quickly became a leading star of the silents playing little girls. At the same time, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Chicago, and also contributed short stories to magazines. 5’2”. In 1912, she married Joseph Anthony Roach, a scenario writer, later divorced. Often played opposite Francis X. Bushman (Dwayne Johnson), whose projected masculinity underlined her petite femininity, although she could also project an androgynous sense of self, which served her well as a comedienne. Part share owner in her original studio, Essanay, and one of the few women involved in the business end of the film industry. Also wrote and directed several one-reelers herself. By 1920, her star years were over, thanks to her maturity and the American public’s need, at the time, to see women as either vamps or nonthreatening little girls. Switched to other studios and eventually played supporting and character parts, but bowed out of film at the end of the silent era. In 1927, she wed Felix Hughes, who was the uncle of eccentric industrialist Howard Hughes. Did charity for last quarter decade, and died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Inner: Noted cook and avid gardener. Multi-faceted lifetime of not really being allowed to grow on screen, and eventually timing her professional exit with the end of an era, while compensating for the limitations placed on her by expanding into other professional arenas
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SEARCHING FOR HER TRUE HEART:
Storyline: The unhealed healer switches genders, but still does battle with her body, in an ongoing desire to know herself through self-inflicted drama and personal chaos.
Susan Dey (1952) - American actress. Outer: Mother was a nurse, father was the editor of a group of papers on Long Island, where she grew up. One of 4 daughters. Followed an older sister into a modeling career, after her mother submitted their pictures to an agency, beginning at the age of 15. 5’7” and slim. Took part in dramatics in high school, and made her TV debut at 17 in “The Partridge Family,” playing the oldest daughter for four seasons followed by her movie debut in 1972 in Skyjacked. Suffered from bulimia during the run of the show. Used her mother’s maiden name in her billing, as further series worked followed, as well as TV movies. Married Lenny Hirshan in 1976. One daughter from the union, which ended in divorce in 1983. Had a sporadic film career, although achieved recognition on the small screen as part of the ensemble cast of “L.A. Law,” playing a sophisticated, elegant attorney during the 1986 to 1992 run of the show, while winning a Golden Globe for it in 1987. Nevertheless, often showed up drunk at work, and finally admitted to a problem with alcohol, after marrying producer Bernie Sofronski in 1988. Continued doing series work, and has been in recovery ever since, eventually getting both under control by her mid-40s, at which time she was able to resume her career in potboiler melodramas, while also producing two TV films, although she virtually disappeared from the small screen after 2004. Also serves as a board member of the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center. Inner: Charming, attractive, seductive. Act out lifetime of switching sexes to explore both her heart and her body from a female perspective, after it was found severely wanting on the male side, only to fall prey to an unhealthy appetite for self-destruction that she may have finally transcended. Lew Cody (Louis Joseph Cote) (1887-1934) - American actor. Outer: Of French descent. Father was a wealthy merchant. Originally wanted to be a doctor, but quit his medical studies for a stage career, performing in both vaudeville and stock, while also managing a series of regional theatres. 5’11”, 175 lbs. Began his film career in his early 30s, initially as Lewis J. Cody, with The Mating. Established himself as a suave, debonair leading man, most often playing a seductive heel, oozing an innate charm in all he did, in nearly 100 films. Spent most of the 1920s at MGM, where he often played a Gallic boulevardier in films with Parisian settings, earning the sobriquet of the “He-Vamp of the Screen.’ Worked steadily throughout the silent era and made the easy transition to sound. By the time he married actress Mabel Normand (Gene Wilder), at 4 A.M. after a party, he was already suffering from a heart ailment and she was dying of tuberculosis, in what was largely a casual joke on both their parts. The couple never lived together, and she died soon afterwards while he passed on from heart disease four years later, soon after completing his final film, Shoot The Works. Inner: Desire to be a healer probably came from having a damaged heart that could not support his ready charm. Surface-skimming lifetime of employing his seductive good looks for a successful lightweight career, although without the interior sense of self to make him feel complete.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS POLITICALLY AWARE PLAYER:
Storyline: The Arkansas traveller eschews show business as an all-encompassing lifelong definition of herself, making her own development away from it as her primary priority, after earlier having sacrificed intimacy for career.
Mary Steenburgen (1953) - American actress. Outer: Of Dutch descent. Mother was a school-board secretary and father was a lifelong employee for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Raised in Arkansas, but did not get interested in dramatics until she attended Hendrix College. Dropped out of school and headed for NYC, where she enrolled at the Neighborhood Playhouse, and supported herself as a waitress. 5’8”. Was working with a comedy improv group, when she was discovered by actor Jack Nicholson, who cast her opposite himself in Goin’ South, allowing her to make her film debut in her mid-20s. Won an Academy Reward for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Melvin and Howard in 1980. Married actor Malcolm MacDowell, with whom she appeared in Time After Time, the same year, divorced a decade later. Daughter and son from the union, including Lilly McDowell, an actress, and Charlie McDowell, a producer/director. Fashioned a career out of charmingly off-beat heroines, and although never a big star, usually well-received for her performances. Politically active, she campaigned for fellow Arkanasan Bill Clinton in 1992. Married actor Ted Danson in her early 40s, and the duo went on to star in a briefly run TV series, “Ink.” Has continued doing a mix of TV, shorts and film, always brightening whatever project she’s involved in. A patron of the arts, she is also a supporter of humanitarian causes. Returned to her high school in 2002 in order to teach drama workshops, per a pledge to the parents of a teenager who was killed in an accident the previous annum. Among her many interest is an interior design shop, Rooms and Gardens, which she runs with two friends. Inner: Charming, unpretentious, socially aware, good-humored, upbeat. Re-priortized lifetime of focusing more on her inner life and her political beliefs than her career, after an earlier go-round where her choice of mates, as well as her male parental figure, left her with an unsatisfactory connection with her own inner processes. Minnie Maddern Fiske (Marie Davey) (1865-1932) - American actress. Outer: Mother was from a musical family and was a stage actress and well-known musician, father was a stage manager. Only child, slightly built. Her sire was carefree and undependable, while her mother was pious and a disciplinarian. At 3, she traveled with a troupe managed by her father, occasionally singing. Her progenitor eventually left the family, but both mother and daughter continued to act. Made her NY debut at 4 in “A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing,” and played child and then ingenue roles over the next several years, before appearing as an adult actress at 17. Married a theater musician from a respected family, but soon divorced. 2 years later, she married Harrison Grey Fiske, the owner and editor of the NY Dramatic Mirror in her mid-20s, but he, like her father, was a philanderer. Unsuited for domestic life, she soon returned to the stage and enjoyed a modest success 3 years later. Drew acclaim in her early 30s for her role in an adaptation of “Tess of the D’Urbervilles,” before focusing on the works of Henrik Ibsen (Arthur Miller) and Shakespeare. Had 2 decades of success in the theater, including battling against the monopolistic theatrical syndicate for 12 years because of her own idealistic bent. Rarely lived with her husband later in life, effecting a business, rather than an intimate partnership with him. Adopted a baby boy in her mid-50s. Continued working her entire life in the theater, while off-stage, she put a huge amount of energy into a passionate crusade against killing birds and animals. Also politically active, and was greatly admired for her good heart. Suffered poverty and ill health at life’s end, appearing veiled in public and died of intestinal auto-intoxication and chronic endocarditis. Cremated without a minister. Inner: Shy, reticent, no close friendships, yet had a highly devoted public. Modest, engaging conversationalist. Shielded lifetime of keeping her interior well-protected, while giving her heart to her audiences and to the other creatures on the planet, but refusing to allow herself intimacy with anyone of her own species, save perhaps her son, and ultimately living solely for the stage.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SELF-RECLAIMER:
Storyline: The sultry siren gives deep voice to her own rigidities and internal conflicts, before finding a means to heal herself, from both past and present ineluctable draws towards self-obliteration.
Kathleen Turner (1954) - American actress. Outer: Great-grandfather was a missionary in China. One of 4 children of a U.S. foreign service diplomat who had been imprisoned by the Japanese for four years during WW II. Through her father’s career, she wound up living in Canada, Cuba, Venezuela and Great Britain. Went to high school in London, and took classes at a local drama school, much to her Methodist sire’s disapproval, who saw acting as one level above streetwalking, although her mother encouraged her ambitions. Graduated from the American School in London in 1972, and following her father’s death from a heart attack the same year, the family returned to the U.S. 5’8”, with one blue eye and one hazel orb. Went to Missouri State Univ. for two years, then got a B.F.A. from the Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County. In 1977, she married David Guc, divorced five years later. Did some stage work, and in 1978, launched her larger career on TV with a daytime soap. Made a spectacular and sultry film debut in 1981 in Body Heat, as a deep-voiced seductive beauty and parlayed that role into a highly successful film career over the next decade and a half, mixing comedy and drama so as not to be typecast into bombshell roles, while also providing the memorable vixen voice for Jessica Rabbit in the live-action/cartoon mix, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? A gymnast in high school, she performed her own stunts in many films, while acting the diva as her career careened into high gear. Married again in 1984, to Jay Weiss, a NYC real estate mogul, one daughter from the union, later divorced in 2007, although the two continue to maintain close contact. Did some memorable stage work, and seemed headed for a certain Hollywood immortality as a memorable femme fatale of her time. In the early 1990s, however, she became afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis, which flamed up while working on Serial Mom, and subsequently led to alcohol abuse to stem the awful pain, and the crippling lack of mobility. Continued to work in TV, as well as films, while her face bloated, as the dis-ease took more and more hold of her body, until she finally found the proper drugs and treatment to put it into remission. Went into rehab for alcohol abuse at the end of the decade, and was able to successfully deal with both her addictions and her disability. In celebration of her reclaiming herself, she appeared in “The Graduate” on the London stage, in which she did a 20 second nude scene at 45 to much box office interest, albeit mixed reviews. Repeated the turn on the American stage in 2002 to a similar reaction. Continued focusing on Broadway, while also remaining politically active as a chairperson for Planned Parenthood, and a supporter of the Democratic Party. Co-wrote her memoir “Send Yourself Roses: Thoughts on my Life, Love, and Leading Roles,” in 2008, in which she badmouthed former costar Nicholas Cage, who filed suit against her. Did her first one-woman show in 2010, “Red Hot Patriot, The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins,” based on the latter’s memorable career as a Texas journalist to stellar reviews. Inner: Strong sense of self, with a lot of internal anger, which has manifested itself in physical form. Resurrection lifetime of falling victim once more to her earlier sense of self-destruction, but evincing the will and determination to reclaim herself, which was absent her last time around in this series. Florence Lawrence (Florence Bridgewood) (1886?-1938) - American actress. Outer: Mother was American stage actress Lotta Lawrence, father was a British actor. 3rd child. The duo had a tent show, and she made her stage debut at 4 with them as ‘Baby Flo, the Child Wonder Whistler.’ Placed with relatives at 11 for schooling, but continued touring with her mother’s company, until it folded in her early 20s. Small and blonde with a sunny smile. When it disbanded, both she and her mother joined the Edison company in the very early days of film, making her debut in 1907 with Vitagraph in Daniel Boone. As a star of D.W. Griffith’s (Alfonso Cuaron) early vehicles, she became, in essence, America’s first movie celebrity, although her name remained anonymous, because of the practice of the time, where her recognition would have brought her far more money. She became known, instead, as the Biograph Girl. Producer Carl Laemmle (Michael Eisner), bought her contract, made up a story about her being killed in a streetcar accident in St. Louis, then mischievously resurrected her the next day in a news release. When she made a personal appearance in St. Louis, she drew more people than the president, William Howard Taft (Bill Clinton), who had visited the city a week earlier. As soon as she changed studios, Hollywood became an earthly firmament for movie stars, for now names counted. Able to play both comedy and tragedy. Married her frequent costar and director, Harry Salter. After suffering a serious accident on a dangerous stunt, carrying actor Matt Moore (Emilio Estevez) from a burning set building in 1914, she ignored her back pain and continued working, but was forced to withdraw from the screen for 8 years, save for a single appearance, and then could not gain the momentum to recontinue her career, and instead slid down into morose depression. Lost her husband, and in her mid-30s, married Charles Byrne Woodring, a Denver business broker, and opened a small cosmetics store with him in Hollywood. Separated 8 years later and divorced 2 years following that. Married Henry Bolton, an abuser in her mid-40s, and divorced him a year later. Put on the payroll of MGM in the 1930s, she worked sometimes as an extra, and received a small salary. Suffered from a bone disease, although it was not fatal. In her early 50s, she committed suicide by swallowing arsenic-laced ant paste. Inner: Sunny, vivacious and natural. Victimized lifetime of being a pioneer of sorts, only to self-destruct in part and then totally, when what she believed was her essence, which was her ability at pretense and projection of beauty, was taken away from her.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS MULTI-TALENTED ARTISTE:
Storyline: The accomplished artisan remains a crypto-member of a longtime acting family, while forging her own multi-faceted career away from them, before reconnecting later in life on a domestic, rather than a theatrical level.
Beverly D’Angelo (1954) - American actress and singer. Outer: Father was the longtime president and general manager of the CBS affiliate in her native Columbus, Ohio. Brother Jeff became a jazz musician. Studied art in Italy as an exchange student, before beginning her career as a cartoonist for the Hanna-Barbera Studios. 5’2”. Feeling a need to perform, she began touring as a coffeehouse singer, before hooking up with the rock band Elephant. Made her Broadway debut in a rock musical “Rockabye Hamlet,” then made her film debut in her mid-20s in The Sentinel. Gained attention as the female lead in Hair in 1979. Followed that up playing Patsy Cline (k.d. laing) in Coal Miner’s Daughter, in which she used her own singing voice. Involved with director Milos Forman, then in 1981, she married Lorenzo Salviati, an Italian economics student, who was also a duke. Separated two years later and divorced in 1995, during which time she lived with Irish director Neil Jordan. Best known for the comic National Lampoon Vacation series, where she played the mother through three sequels. Although many of her subsequent vehicles have been second-rate, she has usually stood out in them. After production designer Anton Furst broke up with her, he committed suicide. Had a pair of twins with actor Al Pacino in 2001, although the 2 declined to get married, and broke up the following year after 5 years together because of his interest in actress Winona Ryder. A bitter custody battle ensued. Inner: Feisty and multi-talented, despite a mixed record of finding material to suit her abilities, as well as mates to meet her demands, despite an attraction to highly attractive talent. Amplifying lifetime of expanding her talents to embrace a wider swath of the stage, while depending on herself, rather than the easy access of her natural theatrical family to give her the fullest theatrical experience possible. Chrystal Herne (Katherine Chrystal Herne) (1882-1950) - American actress. Outer: Father was actor James Herne (Robert De Niro), mother was also an actress. 2nd of 4 children. Educated in private schools, although she was an indifferent student. Came under the tutelage of her begetter, and made her debut in 1899 in one of the latter’s plays, “The Reverend Griffith Davenport.” Continued to appear in her father’s works until his death in 1902, in effect, serving her apprenticeship under him, before becoming an active leading lady of the Broadway stage, as well as the Chicago theater. Acted in London in 1906, her only appearance overseas. Married a newspaper editor in 1914. After WW I, she appeared in plays primarily written by women. Best remembered for her vengeful portrayal of “Craig’s Wife,” in 1926, and was often typecast in similar roles afterwards. Retired in 1936, and wrote an unpublished biography, “Remember Me,” in 1947. Died of a malignancy, which usually denotes interior anger. Inner: Noted for her restrained emotional portrayals. Graceful and athletic. Crystalized lifetime of being born to the stage, and holding her own upon it, only to find herself limited by typecasting, which she would redress the next time around in this series by expanding her considerable talents into other spheres of expression.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS TWO-FISTED SIREN:
Storyline: The macha chameleon synthesizes her sense of the masculine and the feminine in a ripped body, while testing her mercurial mettle against powerful personalities both on and off screen.
Ellen Barkin (1955) - American actress. Outer: Mother was a hospital administrator, father was a chemical salesman. Had a lower middle-class Jewish upbringing, although she got into fights with girl gangs in her neighborhood, in a need to show her toughness and resilience. Attended NY’s High School of Performing Arts, then went to Hunter College for 3 years, majoring in ancient his/story. 5’7”. Became a weight lifter, and found the theater the best place to put her chameleonic personality, although initially she couldn’t get commercial work, and spent numerous years studying before finally beginning to audition. Worked as a waitress, where she got a reputation for being extremely feisty, then began appearing in the soap opera, “Search For Tomorrow,” before making her jump to the silver screen in Diner in her mid-20s. Later achieved stardom as a hard-nosed attorney in The Big Easy in 1987. Married actor Gabe Byrne in 1988, after appearing with him in Siesta, then separated on friendly terms 5 years later, before divorcing in 1999. 2 sons from union, extremely close with both of them, as well as her ex-husband, whom she continues to admire. Able to believably play a man who steps into a woman’s body in Switch, through her integrated sense of the masculine and the feminine. With a compelling sensuous off-beat beauty, she managed to carve a career out of tough, vulnerable women, more than holding her own on the screen against her various big-name male leads. Eventually married billionaire Ron Perlman in 2000, as a test of her own strength against a hard-driving business personality with a compulsion to control. He immediately curtailed her career, and fumed whenever she did briefly work, so that by 2006, she had had quite enough of the test, and divorced, getting a reported $20 million pre-nuptial settlement. Afterwards, she auctioned off some $20 million worth of jewlery he had lavished on her, in an underlining statement of her rejection of her trophy wife status, and went back to work, including forming a production company with her old brother, before resuming her career. Took up with writer Barry Levinson’s son Sam afterwards, despite the thirty year age difference, and made her Broadway debut in 2011 in a reprise of Larry Kramer’s AIDS drama, “The Normal Heart,” for which she won a Tony. Inner: Tough and soft, a chameleon with access to a wide range of personality. Great believer in being in the right place at the right time, rather than someone constantly angling to better her lot. Barbell-hoisting lifetime of integrating her two sides, through a hard outer shell and a vulnerable interior, making for an unusual combination that loves to test her strength against formidable males of all stripes. Agnes Ayres (Agnes Hinkle) (1898-1940) - American actress. Outer: Originally wanted to be a lawyer. Discovered while touring Essenay studios with a friend. 5’4 1/2”. Made her silent film debut in His New Job in her late teens, and continued doing shorts for Essanay studios. Married a captain during WW I, divorced in 1921. In 1924, she married Manuel Reachi, a Mexican producer and writer, daughter from union, divorced 3 years later. Sprang to stardom in her mid-20s playing her own vampish nature off of Rudolph Valentino (John Travolta) in The Sheik. Her career reached its peak at that time, and by the end of the decade, when sound started coming in, she was on her way out, having used her attractive physicality without developing the other aspects of her performance skills. Lost all her money in the stock market crash of 1929, as well as her valuable real estate holdings, and later sold prime real estate properties. Toured doing one night stands over the next 7 years. Made one comeback attempt in 1937, and then lived in a sanitarium because of emotional problems. Died of a cerebral hemorrhage 3 years following. Inner: Sexy siren, albeit limited in her abilities as a caricature of desire, rather than a complete actress. Good athlete, with a fascination with horses, owning her own stables for a while. Also enamored of roses. Truncated lifetime of taking her limitations as far as they could go, before scrambling her brain in frustration in order to try it again from a more intelligent and better-integrated perspective.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER IN CONTINUAL SEARCH OF HERSELF:
Storyline: The candid self-seeker learns self-appreciation after nearly lobotomizing herself as reflection of her earlier inability to integrate herself as a man, then uses film as a platform towards that end, in her ongoing desire to heal herself of past weaknesses and infirmities.
Debra Winger (Mary Debra Winger) (1955) - American actress. Outer: Of Hungarian-Jewish descent. Father was the general-manager of a kosher frozen food business, mother was an office manager. Named after her sire’s favorite movie star, Debra Paget. Youngest of 3 in a close-knit family. Grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home, and moved with them to California when she was 5. After graduating high school, where she began acting, she lived in Israel, where she worked on a kibbutz, but after 3 months of training with the Israeli army, she decided to return to the U.S. Graduated from Calif. State Univ., where she majored in sociology and criminology. Thrown from a moving truck on New Year’s Eve, 1973, while working at Magic Mountain amusement park in Southern California, and almost died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Partly paralyzed and blind in one eye for several months. Her brush with death made her embrace life even more intensely, and she decided on an acting career. Studied with actor Michael Gazzo for 3 years and did repertory theater productions and commercials, before getting a supporting role on TV’s “Wonder Woman.” Made her film debut in Slumber Party in her early 20s, and by her late 20s, she had established herself as a strong female lead with a series of hits, including Urban Cowboy, An Officer and a Gentleman and Terms of Endearment. Her later efforts proved far less of a box office draw, thanks to turning down some plum roles, although her performances have always been noteworthy, as she deliberately chose noncommercial vehicles, often with foreign directors. Married actor Tim Hutton in 1986, divorced 4 years later, one son from union. Became enamored of drugs and alcohol, although never totally lost herself in them. Involved with Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey, then later married actor/director Arliss Howard in her early 40s, after appearing with him in Wilder Napalm, son from union. Purposefully slowed down her career for a six year break, in order for her to concentrate on her domestic life and her own complex interior. During that time she taught at Harvard and acted at the American Repertory Theater in Boston, before her husband convinced her to return in one of his vehicles, Big Bad Love in 2001. Appeared in a documentary by Rosanna Arquette the following year called Searching for Debra Winger, which explored ageism in Hollywood. Continues to work sporadically on TV and in her husband’s projects, with a renewed interest in her craft, bred by her enforced absence from it. Inner: Self-obsessed, highly candid, a perfectionist and outspoken. Love/hate relationship with films, and extremely difficult on the set. Steeps herself deeply in environments to prepare for all her roles. Healing lifetime of switching sexes in order to pursue a similar pathway of trying to see herself clearly through the fortunes of fame and a highly public career, before opting for a lower profile self-view to complete her process of internal resurrection. Warner Baxter (1891-1951) - American actor. Outer: From a prominent Virginia family. Her father died when he was 5, raised by his mother in San Francisco and NYC. Experienced the famous 1906 S.F. earthquake. Dropped out of high school and worked as an office boy and then a salesman for a farm implement company. 5’11”, 160 lbs. Filled in with a vaudeville trio when a member got sick, then joined a stock company, and rose from juvenile roles to leading man in a relatively short amount of time. Felt a great sense of peace and satisfaction in front of the footlights. Married Viola Caldwell, but his wife had no interest in the theater, and the duo eventually divorced. Made his first film, All Woman in his early 20s, and then played in routine vehicles for the rest of the silent era, doing some 43 of them. In 1918, he married screen actress Winifred Bryson. Gained his first real notice with his first sound film, In Old Arizona, playing the Cisco Kid, winning an Academy Reward for Best Actor in 1929. Reprised the character twice more in succeeding films, although he had gained the initial role only after the intended star, director Raoul Walsh, had been in a car accident and lost an eye. Not particularly successful with the critics, but accepted by the movie-going public. Handsome with a resonant voice, continued as a popular leading man through the 1930s, but in the early 1940s, he suffered a nervous breakdown, although went on playing leads in low budget films. Had chronic arthritis that became so bad that he couldn’t eat and began wasting away. Died of pneumonia following a lobotomy geared towards relieving him of his infirmities. Inner: Rigid, unintegrated, despite a superficial ability to please. Wounded lifetime of suffering the loss of a father figure and never fully recovering despite screen successes, and ultimately rigidly eating himself alive over his unintegrated sense of self, before heeding his first vehicle, “All Woman,” and returning as one to far better internal effect.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS PORTRAYER OF ECCENTRICS:
Storyline: The idiosyncratic actress specializes in offbeat characterizations, breathing life into oddballs, while augmenting her previous comic turns with a desire to plumb her deeper dramatic talent.
Amanda Plummer (1957) - American actress. Outer: Daughter of actress Tammy Grimes and actor Christopher Plummer. Her parents divorced when she was 3, and she saw little of her father afterwards. A tomboy while growing up, she originally wanted to be a jockey. Passed an audition at Belmont Track at 14, but ultimately decided at 17 to pursue the same career as her parents, after attending L’Ecole Francais in NYC, where she was an active athlete. 5’6”, slender. Went to Middlebury College, then the Neighborhood Playhouse Drama School, which taught her all aspects of the theater. Focused on the stage, and made her off-Broadway debut at 21 in “Artichoke,” before earning a Tony award in 1982 for her role as the title character in “Agnes of God.” Made her film debut the previous year in Cattle Annie and Little Britches, and has since appeared as a host of offbeat characters in a variety of offbeat films, selecting her roles for range, rather than conventional commerciality, while doing the same for the stage, and small screen, and winning a host of awards, including 2 Emmys, for her efforts. Involved with English actor/director Paul Chart early in her career, then horrormeister Tobe Hooper, whom she may or may not have married. In 2005, she won an Emmy for guest actress in a drama series, for her work on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Inner: Footlit lifetime of coming into a talented family, and plumbing her own idiosyncratic depths in order to broaden her abilities so that she is equally at home with the tragic and comedic. Edna May Oliver (Edna Mae Nutter) (1883-1942) - American comic actress. Outer: Descendant of Pres. John Quincy Adams (Rob Lowe). Quit school at 14, studied speech and piano and played with an all-female orchestra. 5’7”, horse-faced and ungainly, she decided to try the stage as a comic character actress specializing in eccentric roles, and built a solid reputation on the Broadway stage, before assaying Hollywood in 1923. Made her film debut at 30 in Wife in Name Only, and then went on to a screen career where she played a variety of spinsters, perfecting her characterizations towards the end of her run, when she was given good material with which to work, including Drums Along the Mohawk, for which she received an Oscar nomination. Married David Pratt, a stock broker, in 1928, divorced 5 years later. Played leads in a number of mysteries and ‘B’ comedies before dying of an intestinal disorder, on her 57th birthday. Inner: Exit indicates an undigested life, which is why she repeated herself directly in order to expand on her considerable abilities. Wallflower lifetime of celebrating her basic eccentric nature as prelude to deepening her skills as an uncommon actress searching for uncommon material to match her talents.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS INCANDESCENT FIRECRACKER:
Storyline: The diminutive dynamo explodes into full maturity on both stage and screen, after earlier playing America’s number two sweetheart in a saccharine career, stultified by her mass audiences delimiting tastes.
Holly Hunter (1958) - American actress. Outer: Parents were both creative, father was a sporting goods manufacturer’s representative with a passion for music, mother loved to draw. Youngest of 7, with 5 brothers. Grew up on her family farm. A tomboy as a child, but also studied the piano for 10 years. Began acting in her freshman year in high school, and appeared in summer stock at 16, before training at Carnegie Mellon Univ., where she was recognized as one of the school’s most accomplished students. Made her film debut in 1981 in The Burning and the same year, fashioned her Broadway debut as a replacement in Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “Crimes of the Heart.” 5’2”. Her first major film role was in Raising Arizona, which was written with her in mind, then scored a double triumph as Miss Firecracker on the both the stage and screen. Her subsequent work has been highly noticeable, including an Academy Reward-winning performance as a mute woman in The Piano in 1993. Also won 2 Emmys for her TV roles in “Roe vs. Wade” and “The Positive True Adventures of the Alleged Texas-Cheerleading Murdering Mother.” Married Polish cinematographer Janusz Kaminski in 1995, divorced in 2001. Later took up with actor Gordon MacDonald, with whom she had twins in her late 40s. Notable for her intensity and ability to get to both the comic and tragic heart of her characterizations, with a particular affinity for playing off-beat Southerners. Worked on the London stage, then entered cable TV lists in 2007 with “Saving Grace,” playing a self-destructive detective saved and guided by an angel for four seasons, thanks to a slowing-down of film roles for her. In the same spirit, joined the cast of the cable remake of “Bonnie & Clyde” in 2013, in a production that did little to reflect its classic antecedent. Inner: Intense, driven, self-confident and down-to-Earth. Workaholic, who gets deeply into all her roles, as a means of understanding herself as well. Deaf in her left ear. Miss Firecracker lifetime of bringing her incandescent, explosive talent to full maturity after having earlier been corseted as an eternal little girl. Marguerite Clark (1883-1940) - American actress. Outer: Father was the proprietor of a haberdashery. Youngest of 3, and grew up on a farm. Her mother died when she was 10, and her sire followed 3 years later, leaving her in the care of her older sister. Educated in both public schools and in a convent. After showing a distinct talent in amateur theatricals, she was encouraged by her sister to pursue a stage career, which she began in the chorus of the Strakosch Opera company in Baltimore in 1899. 4’10”. Made her NY debut as a chorus girl in “The Belle of Bohemia.” Her breakthrough role came 3 years later, as an ingenue in “Mr. Pickwick,” opposite established star DeWolfe Hopper (Mandy Patinkin). Over the next decade, she became a Broadway star in a host of productions, and in 1914, she accepted a lavish Hollywood offer from Adolph Zukor, and from her first film, Wildflower, onward, she translated her popularity to equally good effect on the silent silver screen, abandoning the stage for Hollywood. With her dark-haired diminutive figure and projected sense of sweet innocence, she was thoroughly embraced by the American movie going public as a competitor to that uberinnocent, Mary Pickford. One of the highest paid performers of her time, making 7 pictures a year, although confessed later that she hated film. Remained frozen in her projected little girl roles throughout her brief movie career. Her eponymous performance as Snow White was said to have been the basis for the later Walt Disney animated version. During WW I, she did publicity films on behalf of Liberty Loan drives, and in 1918 she married Harry Palmerson Williams, a New Orleans businessman and the son of a wealthy lumber family. Retired from the movies the following year when her contract expired. No children from the union. She returned to the screen only once in 1921. Following her husband’s death in a plane crash in 1936, she briefly managed his Wedell-Williams Air Service before selling it to Eastern Air Lines, then moved to NYC to be with her sister. Died of pneumonia after a cerebral hemorrhage. Inner: Fey, good businesswoman, despite her projected little girl coyness. Conservative, anti-suffragette, refused to vote, and held onto values of the traditional South. Pigeonholed lifetime of having her considerable talent girdled into what the public wanted once she hit filmdom, causing her to return in considerably more well-crafted form in order to strut her true stuff on both the stage and screen.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS DECEPTIVE EQUESTRIENNE:
Storyline: The self-revealing rider reverses her trajectory in succeeding go-rounds, moving from a Texas ranch to Hollywood in one, and from Hollywood to a Texas ranch in the next, while continually circling around herself, in order to get a full view of everyone she is.
Madeleine Stowe (Madeleine Stowe Mora) (1958) - American actress. Outer: Mother was from a prominent Costa Rican family and her English father was a civil engineer, who also suffered from multiple sclerosis, dying from it in 1983. The eldest of three sisters, she grew up in a troubled home, with her uncommunicative sire given to fits of violence, and occasionally collapsing in public. Suffered because her saintly mother would never stand up to her partner’s abuse, and retreated into herself, to become a painfully shy adolescent, who felt evil in comparison with the goodness projected by the former. Originally wanted to be a concert pianist, practicing for hours a day. When her near-centenarian Russian-born teacher died in 1976, so did her ambition for the concert halls, and she stopped playing. 5’7”, and slender, although her seemingly fragile beauty masks a passion for the outdoors, and a desire to embrace life physically. Did not go on a date until she was 18 years old, thanks to her ongoing social discomfort. Went to USC, where she studied film and journalism, before trying her hand at acting at the Solaris Theater in Beverly Hills, when she grew bored with classes, only to find herself petrified on stage. Discovered by an agent while still a freshman, her career was extremely slow to take off, and she spent 15 years in the supporting character hinterlands, with guest spots on TV shows, before finally getting a movie role in 1987 in Stakeout. Gradually built up her self-confidence, and in 1982, she married actor Brian Benben, 2 children from the union. Finally got her big breakthrough role in 1992, in Last of the Mohicans, and her career as a bankable star took off. Not shy about exhibiting her body if it was in keeping with her character, she went on to numerous leads in a variety of roles, taking a break to embrace motherhood in 1996, while spending as much time as she could on a working Texas cattle ranch she and her husband bought. Far more interested in exploring a variety of expressions of the feminine than falling into easy stereotypes, despite Hollywood’s desire to do just that with its actresses, she remains a unique alternating combination of the hard and the soft in her ongoing career. Inner: Self-possessed, restless and outspoken, after earlier being quite the opposite. Enjoys filmmaking for the possibilities it gives her of experiencing different projections of her complex personality. Round-about lifetime of seeing her opposite self via an oppressive early homelife, only to rediscover herself through craft, in her ongoing mode of creating full circles for herself as a means of self-discovery. Francelia Billington (1895-1934) - American actress. Outer: Raised on her parents ranch. Mother was a musician. Became an expert horsewoman, through her upbringing. Went to a convent, and appeared in plays there, sparking an interest in acting. At 10, the family moved to New Orleans, and her athleticism was transmuted to water sports, where she evinced a talent for swimming and diving. Also had a fascination with photography from childhood on. Blonde and slender, she entered films in 1912 on the West Coast and began working in the fledgling movie industry, beginning with The Half Breed in 1913. In addition to her thesping, she also worked behind the camera for the first two years of her career, stating she had a preference for being there rather than in front of the lens, although her natural beauty precluded her from doing so, once she left her first studio, Kalem, in 1915. Her skill in the saddle and athleticism would put her in good stead during the teens, in which she played mostly in melodramas, oaters and action films, for a series of studios. In 1920, she married cowboy star Lester Cuneo, who formed his own production company, and used her as his leading lady in 11 western melodramas. As their popularity as a screen team began to wane, so did their marriage, and Cuneo wound up shooting himself in 1925, two days after their divorce was finalized. Her career went into total eclipse, so that she made only one screen appearance after 1927, in her one and only talkie. Her health failed afterwards, and she wound up dying of tuberculosis nine years later, in total obscurity. Inner: Highly physical and athletic. Limiting lifetime of tying her career to a self-destructive partner, after using her physicality as a primary means of expression, before returning to rediscover and reclaim herself through highly circuitous means, and ultimately winding up where she had first started out, having finally seen herself through to her other side.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS CAREFUL CRAFTSWOMAN:
Storyline: The talented tragedienne opens herself up to life beyond the stage and screen through domesticity and directing her creativity towards children, after earlier limiting herself to her thespian abilities, and letting everything else play second fiddle to them.
Julianne Moore (Julie Ann Smith) (1960) - American actress and children’s writer. Outer: Mother was a Scottish immigrant who became a psychiatric social worker. Father was a colonel in the U.S. army, and a judge in the Judge Advocate Corps as well as a helicopter pilot. One younger sister and brother, including novelist Peter Moore. Grew up on some two dozen military bases in both the U.S. and Germany, graduating from the American High School in Frankfurt. Got her B.F.A. from the College of Fine Arts in Boston afterwards, where she studied acting. 5’4”, and redheaded. Came to NYC afterwards to pursue an acting career, while laboring as a waitress. Worked exclusively in theater, mostly off-Broadway, including a stint as Ophelia in “Hamlet,” although her bread-and-butter became soaps and miniseries, like many serious actresses of her generation. Won an Emmy for her portrayal of a pair of half-sisters on the long-running soap, “As the World Turns,” playing the parts for three years while appearing in numerous eminently forgettable mini-series. During this time, she married actor John Gould Rubin in 1986. Forced to change her name because of other similarly yclept actresses, she eventually used her father’s middle moniker, as well as a combination of her first two names. Began her film career playing supporting roles, before a flasher role in Short Cuts brought her to larger public attention. Subsequently showed herself to be completely uninhibited around exposing her body, which would lead to a number of high profile roles. Although she would do both comedy and drama, the latter would prove a more natural venue for her talents. Received several Academy Award nominations, for her work in Boogie Nights, Far From Heaven and The Hours. Following her divorce in 1995, she married director Bert Freundlich in 2003, and would subsequently work with him, along with their son Caleb. The duo also have a daughter. Made her Broadway debut in 2006 in a David Hare vehicle, “The Vertical Hour,” and has also done commercials for Revlon. Added children’s books to her c.v. in 2007, while slowing down her career in order to focus on motherhood. Celebrated turning 50 by posing nude for an ad, and continuing to flaunt her still-taut body. Won a Best Actress Emmy in 2012 for her portrayal of Sarah Palin, which the latter panned. Inner: Politically active as a liberal, with planned parenthood a particular interest. Extremely serious about her craft, but ultimately willing to give it a supporting role in her larger life as domestic goddess. Reordered lifetime of rearranging her priorities in order to make herself a more complete person by ultimately putting more emphasis on her private life than her public one. Margaret Anglin (1876-1958) - Canadian/American actress. Outer: One of 9 children of Timothy Warren Anglin, who was an editor and politician, serving as Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons at the time of her birth. One older brother became Chief Justice of Canada’s Supreme Court. Went to Catholic convent schools in both Montreal and Toronto, before moving to NYC at 17 to attend acting school, and made her debut in 1894 in “Shenandoah,” courtesy of producer Charles Frohman (Harvey Weinstein). Played Ophelia opposite James McNeil’s (Jason Robards) Hamlet, two years later. Following her Broadway debut in 1898, she established herself with a touring company assaying Roxanne in Edmond Rostand’s (Eric Rohmer) “Cyrano de Bergerac.” By the turn of the century she was a celebrated tragedienne, gaining the plaudits of no less than the legendary Sarah Bernhardt (Laurie Anderson), for her skills. Became noted particularly for Shakespearean plays and Grecian tragedies, both of which offered plum roles for women, and for the first two decades of the century, she was one of the American theater’s biggest female stars. Became an American citizen in 1911, after marrying minor actor Howard Hull. No children from the union. Refused to demean herself by working in motion pictures, spending her entire career upon the stage. In 1929, she failed to get her out-of-work husband a role in one of her plays, and ended her Broadway career seven years later. Eventually returned to Toronto in 1953, and died there in 1958. Inner: Serious and totally committed to her craft. Broadway lights lifetime of rising to the top of her profession, only to see the latter part of her existence completely anticlimactic, causing her to change priorities completely in her succeeding well-crafted second act.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS INTENSE CHARACTER INHABITER:
Storyline: The compleat channel divorces herself from all realities save her ongoing career, and in so doing, is finally able to wed her intense talent with the appropriate material for it, and to cast the dynamic staged spells she has long desired to achieve.
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Jennifer Lee Morrow) (1962) - American actress. Outer: Mother was screenwriter Barbara Turner, father was actor Vic Morrow, who built a career on violent characters. Her parents divorced and her mother married director Reza Badiyi. A movie fan from childhood, she used to intentionally stay home from school with stomach flu to lose herself in films. Dropped out of high school to train at the Lee Strasburg Institute, and began working on TV before making her film debut in 1981 in Eyes of a Stranger. 5’3”. Began building a reputation as an actress of unusual intensity with the ability to thoroughly identify with her characters, drawing notice by the end of the 1980s, with her turn as a prostitute in Last Exit to Brooklyn and following that up with a similar lost soul looking for security in Miami Blues. Despite her uncanny knack for disappearing into all her roles, and taking on her character’s addictions and quirks, as well as their expanded or diminished physiognomy in order to totally submerge herself in her art, she has been denied real stardom through her lack of easy identification. As capable of comedy, as evinced by her turn as a Katherine Hepburnesque reporter in The Hudsucker Proxy, right down to the tight-jawed accent, as she is in wrenching drama, and willing to hide her natural beauty behind the grotesques she often plays. Hooked up with actor Alan Cumming in 1998, and made her Broadway debut in “Cabaret,” before the duo collaborated in the writing, direction and acting of The Anniversary Party, a digital video film in 2001. Eventually married writer/director Noah Baumbach in 2005, with whom she would also collaborate. Inner: Extremely gifted channel for both loose and lost women, with a singular obsessive dedication to her craft. Reluctant to reveal herself, much preferring hiding inside of characters. Exhaustively researches each role. Well-crafted lifetime of taking her enormous innate talents and finding the proper vehicles for them, after an unhappy existence of transcending mediocre material through her superior abilities, without finding the proper match twixt her strengths and her scripts. Laurette Taylor (Helen Cooney) (1884-1946) - American actress. Outer: Parents were Irish immigrants. Oldest of 3. Her mother became a successful dressmaker, while her father was an unambitious harness-maker who was abusive. Fanciful fantasist as a child. Her mother loved poetry and theater, and her Roman Catholic father liked to sing, but thought theater people were damned eternally, and refused to enter a playhouse. Violent family arguments ensued over her stage-struck mother’s theatrical ambitions for her obviously talented daughter. Began singing and dancing at 12 and put on stage shows on the sly for neighborhood kids while working at charity benefits. At the same time, she appeared as ‘La Belle Laurette,’ with a song and dance act, but it was 3 years before she came before the lights again. 5’4”, pallid. Signed a contract with playwright/producer Charles Alonzo Taylor, who wrote a show for her. Despite his being 2 decades older, she married him at 17, 2 children. Spent the next 6 years on the road, mostly in her husband’s melodramatic blood-and-thunder opuses. Made her NY debut at 19, playing repertory as well as learning all the skills connected with operating a theater. Left her husband in her mid-20s and returned to NYC. Had difficulty in getting jobs and did one more of her spouse’s plays, before being discovered by the Schuberts, the most prominent Broadway producers of the time. Began to get successful leading roles, divorced her husband, and married another playwright, Hartley Manners, 2 years later in 1912. Appeared in his “Peg o’ My Heart,” which she then took to London, as one of her crowning stage successes, and later made her film debut in it. For the next 9 years she did her husband’s plays, and began drinking to offset her own sense of frustration at working in his limited vehicles, although the duo had a stable union off-stage. Manners died in 1928, and she struggled with her alcoholism for a full decade before finally conquering it. Initially pert and pretty, she eventually became overweight. Made occasional attempts at both acting and playwrighting during that period. Her greatest role was her last, originating the character of the mother in Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie.” Weakened by illness, poverty and obscurity, she finally succumbed to a coronary thrombosis. Inner: Capable of great radiance on the stage. Infectious laugh, good-humored Irish wit. Appeared largely in 2nd-rate plays, but always managed to transcend them. Gift for imaginative realism, good mimic, artless and natural actress, who infused her roles with great sensitivity. Torn lifetime of being forced to question the morality of her chosen profession before embracing it full-heartedly, only to be given largely mediocre vehicles via her husbands, in order to express herself, and only finding a true match for her talent in her final role.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ONGOING UNSOLVED MYSTERY:
Storyline: The victimized amazon harbors a fascination for sociopaths and danger that repeatedly leads to her untimely ends, despite a genuine good heart and sweet likability.
Lana Clarkson (1962-2003) - American actress and model. Outer: Close to her mother, with one brother and one sister. A natural entertainer from an early age, she eventually settled in Northern California with her family. A skilled athlete as well, she had a lifelong love of horses, and was also a good highschool basketball player. 5’11” with healthy All-American looks. After her father’s death in 1978, she and her family moved to Los Angeles. Begin an acting career on television, appearing in minor roles on several hits, including “Happy Days,” and “Fantasy Island.” Made her film debut in 1982, in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which would launch a number of high-profile careers, although hers would largely be relegated to ’B’ fare, in Roger Corman exploitational fare, including what would be her seminal role in Barbarian Queen in 1985. Gathered a cult following for her sci-fi work, which made her a fan favorite at comic book conventions. Did commercials and more TV guest appearances, while also putting her statuesque figure to use as a high fashion model, which allowed her to travel the world. Also volunteered weekly for the AIDS charity “Angel Food Project,” which distributed food to those unable to leave their abodes, when the dis-ease still had a strong social stigma. By the 1990s, her career had largely stalled out, putting her on the fringes of show business, doing commercials, personal appearances and occasional stunt work. Broke her wrists in a fall in 2001 while entertaining at a children‘s party, and began to refocus on her career again. Tried stand-up comedy as a means of exploring her humorous side, while also producing a showcase reel of her work called “Lana Unleashed.” Took a job as a hostess at “House of Blues,” in 2003, where she met eccentric and violent music producer Phil Spector, originally calling him “Miss,” by mistake. After a co-worker demurred over an invitation, she left with him, as a second choice, for a drink at his home around 2 AM, watching the prophetically titled James Cagney film, Kiss Tomorrow Goodby, in his Mercedes along the way. An hour and a half later, she was found dead in his foyer with a single gunshot wound to the mouth. Spector initially claimed it was an accidental suicide, although he confessed to his driver that it was he who had inadvertently killed her. Tge latter was subsequently arrested, but at his trial in 2007, the jury could not reach a verdict, and a mistrial was declared. Two years later, however, with considerably less fanfare and publicity, he was found guilty of second degree murder, and sentenced to 19 years to life. Inner: Well-liked, kind, accessible and open-hearted. Had a longtime fascination with guns, and was also proficient in the martial arts. Victim lifetime of rising to a higher level as a peripheral Hollywood figure, before finding her ongoing attraction to its lower violent echelons, her undoing once more. Jean Spangler (1923-c1949) - American actress, dancer and model. Outer: Close to her mother, with whom she would live after leaving home. One brother. Sultry and amazonian. After graduating high school, she worked as a model for a local clothing firm, before inaugurating her show business career as a nightclub dancer. Had an abusive relationship with someone who threatened to kill her if she ended their entwining, then married Dexter Benner, a manufacturer, one daughter from the union, which ended in a bitter custody union over the former in 1946 that her husband initially won. Two years later, she received full custody. Had a fascination with underworld types, including the ill-fated Johnny Stompanato, of Lana Turner fame. Appeared in uncredited roles in both film and early TV as a bit player. Shared an apartment with her mother, brother, sister-in-law and daughter. Found herself 3 months pregnant and wrote a note to the putative father, “Kirk, Can’t wait any longer. Going to see Dr. Scott. It will work best this way while mother is away,...” The note ended with a comma, as if she wished to say something else, but didn’t. Told her sister-in-law afterwards she was going out to work on a set, although none were open at that time of day. Vanished afterwards, leaving only her purse, which was found with both of its straps on one side torn, and the note, in what was probably a visit to an abortionist, and an abortion gone awry. Although people later claimed to have seen her, she was never positively identified, while her daughter’s custody reverted to her husband. Neither of the men in the note were ever identified, and she remains an open file missing person case. Inner: Admitted party girl, with a fascination for the lowlife, and an attraction to violent types. Unsolved mystery lifetime of playing her most memorable role in real, rather than reel life, in an otherwise completely peripheral Hollywood existence.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS UNPREDICTABLE TERPSICHOREAN:
Storyline: The daffy dancer decides to play herself, pratfalls and all, in her encore Hollywood performance, after earlier putting her comedy and adventure on screen, and her tragedy in her private life, in a pas de deux of the classic masks of theater.
Paula Abdul (1962) - American dancer, choreographer and entertainer. Outer: Of Syrian Jewish descent on her father’s side, and Canadian Jewish descent on her mother’s. The latter had once been director Billy Wilder’s assistant. Her sire, who had been raised in Brazil, before coming to the U.S., owned a sand and gravel business. One older sister. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she grew up in the San Fernando Valley, while once having singer Michael Bolton as her babysitter. Began taking dance lessons at 8, including tap, winning a scholarship to a tap-dancing school. A cheerleader in high school, she continued pursuing dance, appearing as a teen in a low budget musical. Studied broadcasting briefly at Cal State - Northridge, before being chosen as a Laker Girl, one of the cheerleaders for the Los Angeles Lakers professional basketball team. Soon became the group’s head choreographer, and parlayed that position into a coveted role as a sought-after music video choreographer, spending the 1980s working with a number of top singers, most notably, Janet Jackson. Later, she extended her reach to film and TV, including several awards shows. Launched her singing career in the late 1980s, capitalizing on dance visuals to compensate for an average voice, and was able through her performing videos to eventually hit number one with her debut album, “Forever Your Girl,” which was on the charts for over a year, before reaching number one, a most unusual phenomenon. Her second album, “Spellbound,” was also a hit, but she fell prey to bulimia, from which she recovered, although her recording career never reached her earlier heights again. Having established a name for herself, she began releasing her own workout tapes in the mid-1990s, to far better commercial effect, and later did instructional videos for young cheerleaders, as well as organized dance summer camps for children. Married actor Emilio Estevez in 1992, divorced two years later. Accident prone, she was left partially paralyzed after a plane crash and had to undergo 15 spinal operations. In 1996, she wed a sportswear designer, which also lasted only two years. Took a break from recording after the turn of the century, and suddenly found herself unexpectedly thrust into an even bigger spotlight in 2002 as one of three judges on “American Idol,” a TV megahit, which would continue unabated through the decade, spawning a host of copycat show. Sitting in the middle seat between the show’s creator, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, and the far more pleasant Randy Jackson, she would provide unintended comedy relief, as the three judges would pass judgment on a host of singer wannabes, with a winner eventually crowned at season’s end. Shocked at Cowell’s insensitive, albeit entertaining, assessments, she provided heartfelt counterpoint to him, although almost left the show because of him, before he convinced her otherwise. Although her professional life continued all aglow, her private life floundered with the spotlight on her and she wound up with a fine and probation after a hit-and-run accident in 2004. One of the contestants then claimed to have had an affair with her and received her help in 2005, although the allegation was never proven. At the same time, she revealed that she was the victim of a rare neurological disorder caused by a teenage cheerleading accident, that put her in a state of constant pain, until she finally received treatment for it. Later admitted to being addicted to painkillers over a 12 year period. Began behaving in more erratic fashion the higher her public profile became, including a reality TV series in 2007, that did nothing to amend the public’s view of her. Hooked up with a restauranteur a dozen years her junior, while further disconnected and slurred appearances on “American Idol,” would lead to public explications of her behavior on various talkshows, in her ongoing stubbed-toe dance around the fortunes of fame. An obsessed stalker fan and fellow Paula who had once been rejected by “American Idol” and took to sending her death threats, subsequently died near her home, either the victim of a drug overdose or an intentional suicide, in a further testament to America’s peculiar brand of celebrity idolatry. The incident so upended her, that she refused to stay at her house afterwards until it was exorcised, feeling it was haunted by her unglued namesake’s ghost, before deciding to sell it. In 2009, she abruptly quit “Idol” in a contract dispute. The following year, she launched AuditionBooth, a site that sends audition videos to casting directors of all stripes. In 2011, she rejoined Simon Cowell on his British import, “The X Factor,” riding critical shotgun next to him, in a re-pairing on a show directly reflective of “American Idol.” To everyone’s surprise, she was fired after one season, in a huge shake-up of the faltering show, since she wasn’t aggressive enough in the hand’s-on mentor role demanded of the judges in the completely different, and far more competitive format from “Idol.” Inner: Enthusiastic, materialistic, big-hearted and unique. Starry-eyed lifetime of parlaying a gift for movement with a fey personality and a penchant for erratic behavior into an unexpected career filled with both missteps and artful moves galore. Marguerite De La Motte (1902-1950) - American dancer and actress. Outer: Father was an attorney, who moved out to San Diego when his daughter was young, where she received her education. One younger brother. Supposedly studied under the great Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova (Suzanne Farrell), although the claim was probably just studio hype. By 14, she had made a solo appearance in Los Angeles, as a dancer in a piece she had choreographed herself. At 16, she lost both her parents in an auto accident, while at the same time, she made her screen debut in a Douglas Fairbanks (Robert Downey, Jr.) vehicle. 5’2”, and slim, with light brown hair, large hazel eyes, long curling lashes and a wide-eyed, innocent look, touched by great sadness. Producer J.L. Frothingham, who was known as “the picker of stars,” and for whom she was working at the time, became guardian over her and her brother, and guided her initial career. Appeared on stage in Grauman’s Theater as a dancer, while also pursuing an active film career during the silent era as one of Fairbanks’ favorite leading ladies. Played opposite many of the most popular stars of the silent screen, before her career precipitously tailed off with the advent of sound. Only made 4 sporadic films the last twenty years of her life. After appearing with him several times, she married and divorced screen star John Bowers (Howard Rollins), whose suicidal walk into the ocean in the mid-1930s after his career had dried up, would inspire part of the storyline of A Star is Born. After her career ground to a halt, she worked as an inspector in a southern California war plant, and afterwards, labored in the San Francisco office of the Red Cross. Died of cerebral thrombosis. Inner: Tragedy-prone lifetime of enjoying an arc of fame combined with great loss, then an equally long precipitous slide, with her various intimates abandoning both her and their own lives, as stark reminder of how fleeting and ephemeral are love, celebrityhood and fortune.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS DOMESTIC TURNED DAZZLER:
Storyline: The buoyant beauty queen transcends the stereotyping of her previous go-round in Hollywood to become a well-loved entertainer, while utilizing an early humiliation as a spur to great public acclaim, despite a private inability to deal with unfaithful mates.
Vanessa Williams (1963) - American actress and singer. Outer: Of African-American descent. Both her parents were music teachers, who sang “Here she is: Miss America, on her birth announcement. Along with a younger brother, Chris, who became an actor, she grew up in comfortable middle-class surroundings in a largely white suburb, and was raised Roman Catholic. Her parents imbued her with both optimism and a desire for great achievement. Sang and danced in high school, which led to a performing scholarship to Syracuse Univ., although she subsequently dropped out in her sophomore year in order to directly pursue her show business goals. A quarter century later, she would earn her BFA, through her life experiences. 5’6,” and quite striking. Began entering beauty contests, winning Miss New York on the way, in 1983, to becoming the first African-American to be crowned Miss America. When nude photos of her later surfaced in “Penthouse” magazine, she had to resign, and was replaced by a runner-up of similar heritage. Undaunted, she won a recording contract and had several hit albums, which she transmuted into TV roles and music videos, before launching her silver screen career in 1986 with Under the Gun. Higher profile films would follow, and she also made her Broadway debut in 1994 in “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” replacing its lead. In 1997, she married producer Ramon Hervey in a ten year union which produced two daughters and a son, before her spouse proved unfaithful. In 1999, she wed pro basketballer Rick Fox, one daughter from the beautiful people union, which also ended in divorce in 2005, after rumors of her husband’s infidelity. Her larger career would continue unabated with millions of albums sold, and further film, stage and TV work, including a multi-season star turn as the series meanie in the hit, “Ugly Betty,” beginning in 2006, before joining “Desperate Housewives” in 2010 at the end of its run. Although nominated for a host of prestigious award, she has only won in the lesser realms. Such has her high visibility been, that she set the record for infomercial contracts when she signed a $20 million deal with ProActive Solution, a skin care treatment system, after serving as a spokesmodel for a variety of products, including being the first African American hawking L'Oréal cosmetics. Another actress of the same name would cause some confusion, so that both would use their middle initials to differentiate between them, ‘L’ for her and ‘A’ for her doppelganger. By coincidence they were born two months apart, and were both connected with Soul Food and its TV and film incarnations. A third Vanessa Williams, with the middle initial of ‘R’, is a gospel singer and three years older than the other two. Published her memoirs, “You Dont Know” in 2012, in which she revealed she was molested as a ten year old by an 18 year old family friend, which caused her to be a whole lot less trusting while growing up. Won favorable reviews tor her starring role as a domineering self-centered daughter-in-law in a reprise of “A Trip to Bountiful.” In 2014, it was announced she owed $370,000 in back taxes to the IRS. Inner: Extremely resilient, with a fire and passion to all she does. Optimistic and hardworking, and a great believer in her own abilities. Feels she lives in a pre-WW I haunted house, with lights constantly flickering on and off. Strong-willed lifetime of more than making up for the limitations placed on her in her last go-round in this series, despite an inability to translate her unabated success into the constant mate department. Louise Beavers (1902-1962) - American actress. Outer: Of African-American descent. Her mother was a voice teacher who trained her daughter for a stage concert career. Moved with her family to Los Angeles when she was 11. After high school, she became a maid and personal assistant to actress Leatrice Joy, who aided her in her desire to be on the silver screen. Sang with an all-female minstrel company called “Lady Minstrels,” and worked the vaudeville circuit for a while. Made her feature debut in 1923 in Gold Diggers, and appeared in other silents, although sound films would give her the noticeability she needed, and she ultimately made nearly one hundred of them. 5’4”, and deliberately fattened up by the studios to play hefty ‘mammy’ types, despite a naturally thin frame, which would ultimately adversely affect her health. Dark-skinned, and forever jovial, as well as asexual, on screen, she was never allowed to transcend the limits placed on her by Hollywood. The highlight of her career would be Imitation of Life, in 1934, in which she was given one of her few fully-fleshed characterizations as the mother of a light-skinned daughter who rejected her heritage to pass for white. The latter, in actuality, was only a year younger than she. The film sparked controversy and many plaints from the public, putting her back into the one-dimensional roles that would define her screen career, although she wound up appearing as such in a goodly number of ‘A’ productions. Most of her roles were of the simple-minded, sunshine variety, although occasionally she was allowed to flash both wit and intelligence in her characterizations. In 1952, she married chef Leroy Moore, no children from the union. Played the maid “Beulah” on TV for one season in 1952, and the following year, did a similar turn on “The Danny Thomas Show,” for two seasons, while she made her stage debut in San Francisco with a short-run play. As a member of the board of the Screen Actor’s Guild, she often spoke to high school students. Her career petered out her last decade with unmemorable roles in unmemorable films, and after suffering diabetes and ill health, she died of a heart attack exactly ten years to the day of Hollywood’s premier mammy, and her close friend, Hattie McDaniel’s (Oprah Winfrey) death. Posthumously inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1976. Inner: Good-natured, at least on the surface, although hated cooking, perhaps as a result of having to play so many cooks on the screen. Stereotyped lifetime of being forced to subsume herself, even to the point of her physicality, during an era when America could only handle those of a minority hue in roles limited to its own extremely circumscribed imagination.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS PETER PAN PRODIGY:
Storyline: The precocious perfectionist parlays her prodigious persona into a series of full-span careers, using her own inner light as a governing balance against the toil and tolls of fame and fortune.
Helen Hunt (1963) - American actress. Outer: Mother was a photographer, father was a director and acting coach. Moved to NYC as an infant with her parents. Close to both of them, and they, in turn, introduced her to the theater. Studied acting as a child, made her debut on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” at 8, and won her first part in a TV movie, “Pioneer Woman,” at the age of 9. At 11, she joined the cast of the “Amy Prentiss” sleuth series, and then was a regular a year later on “Swiss Family Robinson.” Her parents allowed her to work as long as she maintained a ‘B’ average in school, which she did. Made her film debut in Rollercoaster at 14. Possessed an emotional, intellectual precocity which ennabled her to pass easily from child to adult star. 5’8”. Briefly attended UCLA, then returned to NYC, and continued to study acting, appearing in ‘Shakespeare in the Park,’ and also on Broadway in a revival of “Our Town.” Involved with actor Matthew Broderick for 2 years, after working with him on Project X. Became a fixture on TV’s various diseases of the week melodramas, before finally achieving universal notice in the TV sitcom “Mad About You,” playing the wife of comedian Paul Reiser, in a smartly acted long-running series about a sharp-tongued NYC couple, which ran from 1992 to 1999. Became producer of the show, and ultimately one of its directors. Although her filmwork has been in largely mediocre projects, she won an Academy Reward for Best Actress in 1998 for her role as a put-upon waitress in As Good As It Gets, along with appreciative acclaim for her superior skills on both the large and small screen. The same annu, she wona Golden Globe and an Emmy, becoming the second actress to record that accolade trifecta. In 1999, she married actor Hank Azarias, although the couple split up the following year and divorced. In 2004, she had a daughter with TV writer-producer Matthew Carnahan, her subsequent longtime inamorata. Made her big screen directorial debut in 2008 with Then She Found Me, playing the lead and co-adapting it as well from a novel she admired, to mixed reviews. Inner: Deliberate, precise, knows what she wants. Good wit, caring, clever, introspective, hard-working. As good as it gets lifetime of incarnating into a theatrical family, so as to have a more secular grounding than her previous go-round, in order to draw her sustenance from her work, rather than her private imagination. Maude Adams (1872-1953) - American actress. Outer: Mother was an actress and Mormon, whose parents had trekked westward with Brigham Young. the former had joined Young’s theatrical company, and later appeared with her daughter. Her father was a businessman of Scottish descent. Only surviving child. When she was 3, the family moved to San Francisco, and she made her debut 2 years later as ‘La Petite Maud,’ in “Fritz,” a popular melodrama of the time. Her sire died suddenly when she was 11, and she left school determined to be an actress. Joined a traveling road company her mother belonged to, but had a difficult theatrical apprenticeship. Hooked up with the E.H. Southern (Kenneth Branagh) company in NYC and made her debut there at 16 in “The Paymaster.” Moved to Charles Frohman’s (Harvey Weinstein) company, where she finally won top billing in her mid-20s, in James Barrie’s (Donovan) “Little Minister.” Went on to play a wide range of roles, but was most associated with Barrie’s pieces, including the highlight of her career, the lead role in “Peter Pan,” which she performed over 1500 times. Took refuge from the footlights in a convent in France in 1901, and from 1915 onward would withdraw into secrecy in convents periodically. Retired from the stage in 1918, and became a lighting designer, making only 2 more appearances, one in 1931 in “The Merchant of Venice,” and finally in 1934 in Shakespeare’s “The Twelfth Night.” Became a professor of dramatics in her mid-60s at Stephen’s College in Columbia, Mo., giving her chores there the same devotion she had her acting. Never married, and died of a heart attack. Inner: Deeply religious, following her father’s faith, Protestantism. Private, secretive, perfectionist, with an inner sense of divine mission. Hard worker, put her entire life into her career, and then when it was over, into teaching. Lord-loving lifetime of strong religious discipline and a Peter Pan desire to forever fly in her spiritual imagination.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS DIMINUTIVE DYNAMO:
Storyline: The activist actress gives full play to her various powers of expression and inspiration after earlier serving as fierce maternal support for a legend of the silent screen.
Perez (Rosa Maria Serrano) (1964) - American actress, director, choreographer and activist. Outer: Of Puerto Rican descent. Mother was a singer, and although married, had an affair with a merchant marine, which produced their daughter, along with her twin sister. ultimately one of ten or eleven siblings. Extremely close to her biological father, who she considered the best man in her life, and grieved greatly over his death. Spent some of her childhood in foster care, as well as a stretch in an orphanage, and also felt neglected as a minority until she went to a predominately white high school. Continually made the club scene, which got her interested in dance. Moved out to Los Angeles, where she attended Los Angeles City College and West Los Angeles College, where she studied marine biology and biochemistry. Her continued clubbing, however, made her a dancer instead, which got her on TV’s “Soul Train,” and a career as a choreographer for both music videos and for the Fly Girls on the comedy sketch series “In Living Color” from 1990 to 1993. 5’1” and voluptuous. Discovered in a nightclub by director Spike Lee, she made her big screen debut in 1989 in Do The Right Thing, playing his put-upon wife. TV guest spots and more films would follow, including an Oscar nominated performance for Fearless in 1993 as the survivor of a plane crash who lost her baby in it. In 1999, she married Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, a playwright, director and actor, although the two separated two years later. No children from the union. Her feisty screen presence, coupled with her untarnished Brooklyn accent, would also give her numerous voice-over roles, and see her serve as presenter on a host of awards shows. Made her Off-Broadway debut in 2001 in “References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot,” then made her Broadway debut as a cast replacement member in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” While continuing both her TV and film acting, she also directed the 2006 documentary, Yo Soy Boricua, Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas! (I’m Puerto Rican, Just So You Know), an exploration of Puerto Rican culture, while also starring in and directing the Spanish Aids PSA campaign. An activist for Puerto Rican rights, she was arrested in 2000 for disorderly conduct following a NYC rally against Navy bomb tests on a small island off the coast of PR. Also serves on the artistic board of Working Playground, which provides arts education to underprivileged children in NYC, and Arts Director of the Urban Arts Partnership. While doing her own stunts in an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” as a pedophile victim’s mother, she suffered a serious neck injury, which resulted in surgery, a brace and wheelchair confinement. Appeared as such when appointed to a special advisory panel on HIV/AIDS by Pres. Barack Obama in 2010. Along with Nicolle Wallace, she was invited to join the morning female talkfest “The View” in 2014, after a shake-up following the retirement of Barbara Walters. Inner: Independent, outspoken, feisty and uninhibited, with a strong need to uplift and inspire. Well-choreographed lifetime of giving full play to her various gifts, as well as her ongoing need to make a difference in all the lives she touches. Mary McConnell Gish (Mary Robinson McConnell) - American matriarch and actress. Outer: Descended from Pres. Zachary Taylor (Gerald Ford). From a middle-class family. Lost her mother at 28. One of four children, with a sister and two brothers. Blonde and petite. Married James Leigh de Guiche, a traveling salesman with a dreamy nature and a propensity for drink, in 1893. Both daughters from the union, Lillian and Dorothy (Cameron Diaz), went on to extremely well-received screen careers. The family moved to Baltimore, where her husband entered the confectionary business, and Lillian made her first stage appearance, then moved to NYC in the hopes of curing her husband of his alcoholism. Worked as a demonstrator in a Brooklyn department store, then saw her husband abandon the family, and refused to let him return, while always fearing he would abduct their daughters. Lived largely hand-to-mouth, and became an actress with the stage name of Mae Bernard to help support the family. Toured with her daughters all during the first decade of the 20th century. After remeeting childstar Mary Pickford, she and her progeny appeared together in 1912 in one of director D.W. Griffith’s (Alfonso Cuaron) films, An Unseen Enemy. Her own career would be brief, as her daughters quickly blossomed into huge stars, with Lillian becoming one of the preeminent actresses of the silent era. Refused to ever marry again, feeling her husband had destroyed the family, and any other man would do the same. Remained strongly attached to her daughters, and able to live out the rest of her long life in comfort, before ultimately dying of natural causes on her birthday, several months after her daughter Dorothy. Inner: Fiercely protective of her daughters and highly independent. Support lifetime of giving emotional ballast to a legend of the silent screen, before returning to embark upon her own idiosyncratic assault on popular sensibilities as both actress and activist.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE STROKER:
Storyline: The early adieu-prone addict continues to search for self-love in the darkest of places, leading her ultimately to embrace death as her only constant amour, after all else fails to sate her overwhelming neediness and desire to escape from herself.
Dana Plato (Dana Michelle Strain) (1964-1999) - American actress. Outer: Given up for adoption by her 16 year old unwed mother, and taken in by a couple at seven months. Although her adoptive father left the family when she was three, and her parents divorced, her adoptive mother adored her, and began taking her to auditions, when her talent to entertain became quite obvious early on. At 7, she began doing TV commercials, and then turned to acting, making her film debut in 1977 in Return to Boggy Creek. A talented figure skater, as well, with Olympic dreams, although her mother felt she would best be served as an actress. Gained national recognition with the 1978 sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes” playing the daughter of a white widower who adopted two young black boys, whose parents had died. The three of them, herself, Todd Bridges and Gary Coleman, would all go on to struggle with drugs and early fame, with only the middle of the trio eventually winding up clean and sober. Began drinking and smoking pot at 13, and contemplated suicide within a year. The success of the show led to a $25k a week salary, which went into drugs, while she also served as a role model for young teens, who had no idea of her secret addictions. Began to prove more and more unreliable, while feeling too constrained by the show. 5’2”, blonde and gray-eyed. Became pregnant by her boyfriend, Lanny Lambert, an aspiring rock’n’roller, in 1984, which caused her character to be sent off to Paris and written out, but without the show, her life totally lost its structure. Proved to be a neglectful mother, partying all night, to the point where her husband left her and took their son. Returned to “Diff’rent Strokes” for several episodes its last season in 1985, and largely lived like a recluse, disconnected from everyone. Her mother, who had suffered from sclerdoma, an auto-immune disease, and had been in ill health for years died in 1988, which was a bitter blow for her, and fed into her continuing feelings of abandonment. In 1989, after getting breast implants, she posed nude for “Playboy” magazine, which horrified some of her fandom, who continued to see her as an innocent teen. Found her birth mother in 1989, and was welcomed into the family, although within a year had rejected them completely in recompense for having felt dismissed by them in the first place. In 1990, her husband divorced her and gained custody of their son. Moved to Las Vegas to be near them, and was caught robbing a video store waving a pellet gun in a deliberate call for attention, since the clerk immediately recognized her. Got five years probation, only to be arrested again two years later for forging a prescription for Valium, for which she served 30 days in jail. Continued her downward decline, despite entering a rehab program. Returned to show business with several films, as well as appearing in an extremely violent video game, Night Trap. Did a Vegas act, and also involved herself in softcore porn, while claiming to be a lesbian, although later retracted the stance. The singular love of her life was her son, whom she periodically reunited with, although by this time she was doing crack and heroin. Appeared on the Howard Stern radio show, and lied about her current drug use, while listeners both laced into her, and offered support. Became engaged and lived with her inamorata in a motor home doing drugs, while hoping for a possible comeback. Finally killed herself on Mother’s Day with a prescription painkiller overdose while visiting her fiancé’s mother in Oklahoma. The coroner later ruled it was a suicide because of the quantity of narcotics in her body. Her son would do himself in, in 2010, with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, on the eleventh anniversary of her death. Inner: Insecure, attention-addicted, inordinately self-destructive. Sawed-off limb lifetime of feeling abandoned at birth, and never losing that disconnected sense of herself, so that fame, fortune, and a genuine love for her son did nothing to ameliorate her profound alienation, leading her to the same inevitable conclusion she pursued in her previous go-round in this series. Helen Twelvetrees (Helen Jurgens) (1908-1958) - American actress. Outer: Mother encouraged and supported her interest in music and art. Father was advertising manager for the Brooklyn edition of the NY Evening Journal. Always had a strong interest in acting, and after high school, she studied music, drama and painting at NY’s Art Student’s League. After a portrait of her appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, she went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she met and then eloped with alcoholic actor Clark Twelvetrees in 1927. 5’3”, blonde and pixyish. After appearing in stock with her husband during a period she called the worst of her life, she came to Hollywood at the dawn of the talkie era, and began her career doing weepies for Fox, which released her from her initial contract after 3 films, because it was mistakenly thought she had a lisp, thanks to a role she played in her first film. Voted a 1929 WAMPAS baby star, she became a top player at Pathé afterwards, although was accused of being overdramatic, and wound up in second-rate vehicles. Her archetypal film would be Her Man, playing someone continually betrayed by the blindness of her own sense of romance, a role she would repeat in her real life, as well. Accused of pushing her suicidal husband out a seventh floor window, although he survived the fall after landing on an awning, and took full blame for the dive. After divorcing him in 1931, he descended even further into alcoholism and died in a street brawl seven years later, fulfilling his longtime death wish. In the interim, she entered a volatile marriage with ex-stunt man and realtor Jack Woody in 1931, as her earlier promise saw her career slip into B-Westerns and crime thrillers on the lower end of double bills, finishing up with Hollywood in Unmarried in 1939. One son from her second union, which ended in divorce in 1936. By decade’s end, she was doing summer stock rather than films, and in 1941 she made her Broadway debut in a flop called “Boudoir.” An alcoholic for many years, she also had a kidney ailment, which put her in constant pain. Her third and final marriage was to a military officer, Conrad Payne. Continued doing summer stock, although her larger career was largely over. Committed suicide at 49 with an overdose of sleeping pills. Inner: Self-destructive and increasingly more unhappy as she grew older. Drama queen lifetime of acting out in both real and reel life, and, despite a genuine gift for thesping, ultimately opting for annihilation, rather than self-expression, in her continuing inability to love herself.