In the Spotlight with.. Barbara Fan

Ome

Admin
Messages
11,692
Solutions
1
Reaction score
18,554
Up in the spotlight this week is

@Barbara Fan
1605446215890.png

Telly Talk Member 21​


BF (as she is well known) joined the forums way back in 2000 when the world was a very different place.

Anyone (and I mean anyone) who doesn’t know BF will be a complete shock to me and probably the system (unless they joined very recently) and so it makes it very easy for me to introduce this week.

Like many of our members, BF has contributed a hell of a lot to the forums and is known to the mods as the exterminator of spam. BF has met many of you, travelled far and wide across the globe and shows no sign of stopping (COVID aside).

But what else do we know about BF, and what don’t we know?


Please take this week to ask as many, or little questions you have for BF including any follow-up questions that might arise during the week.

Enjoy your week in the spotlight.

I will start with a different question because I think it will be obvious what her Mastermind answer will be.
BF, If Dallas never existed, what other show do you think will have dominated your life and how richer would you be?
 

pete lashmar

Telly Talk Well-Known Member
Messages
657
Reaction score
983
Location
Portugal
Hi @Barbara Fan, hope you have a wonderful week in the spotlight. So, a few questions for you.

1. What surprised you the most about visiting Southfork?
2. What is your favourite season of the show?
3. Which storyline, other than Mastectomy do you think was the best?
4. Other than the incredible BBG, who would you have most loved to meet from the cast that you haven't met before?
5. And finally...If anyone ever plans a reboot or a remake, what 1 piece of advice would you give the producers/writers?
 

Angela Channing

World Cup of Soaps Moderator
Messages
8,581
Reaction score
10,111
Medals
13
Member Since
1999
Hi @Barbara Fan, I hope you enjoy your week in the spotlight. I have a few questions for you to begin with:
  1. I know how you feel about Donna Reed taking over the role of Miss Ellie in Dallas but if they were making a modern day version of Dallas for either TV or the big screen, who would you like to see play the role?
  2. Many people think her best film performance was in I Remember Mama (1948) for which she was nominated for a supporting actress Oscar but I felt she was slightly overshadowed by the bravura performance of the great Irene Dunne in that film. I've always thought Barbara's best film was Caught (1949). What is your favourite Barbara Bel Geddes film role?
  3. I recall a post in which you mentioned you owned one of Barbara's scrapbooks, did you learn anything from it about her that you didn't previously know?
 
Last edited:

Sarah

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
6,650
Reaction score
5,515
Location
Ireland
Medals
5
Member Since
1998
Hey BF, I feel I know you quite well so I’ve tried to think of things I don’t know!

1. I think I know the answer, but do you have a preference between BBG and Ingrid Bergman, as I know you love both ladies?

2. Would you have accepted any actress other than Donna Reed as BBG’s replacement during that time, or like most of us, is she your one and only Miss Ellie?

3. Dallas is obviously a huge passion of yours - what else would you say comes close (travel, job, other shows etc)?

4. I know Mastectomy is one of your highest rarest episodes, but was there a moment in Dallas where you can say you were truly shocked/surprised by something that happened?

5. Had you ever met Barbara, what do you think would have been the first thing you would have said to her?

Thanks very much :)
 

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
Thank you @Ome for your warm introduction and Hello @pete lashmar for your great questions

1 Re Southfork – the first time I visited it was in Sept 2008 and went 4 times that week, once with former forum member Tessie who lives locally. It did rain heavily on one occasion as Tx had a hurricane called Ike!

My heart was pounding the first time I saw it from the main road, all those years of seeing it on TV and here it finally was – in front of me, that iconic image of SF from Hogge road and I was super excited, standing infront of the ranch and at the gates with SF on them

The grounds and the outside of SF were just as I imagined and I put myself into following in the Ewings footsteps when walking outside the property, and obviously took loads of photos, it really was a thrill to be there, sit on the patio, by the pool and visit the barn and outsbuildings including Miss Ellies deli where I had ………………………Chili – what else could I have! So the outdoors was great

Internally, the house was a bit of a disappointment, for one, its so small! There is the kitchen in tacky red and white, the living room, the dining room, and a small bathroom, and 3 bedrooms, Lucys room, Bobbys room (maybe when he was aged 8 ¾ - it was awful) and a naff Miss Ellies room complete with china ornaments – there are photos throughout painted by Mario of Jeannie bottles and they were lovely. Then there is the staircase which leads upstairs to the One bedroom – JRs room and the 4 poster bed. The views from here were lovely and stepping onto the veranda (now with fire exit) brought back all the memories and scenes from SF of the cast, including Kristin in the pool.

I was then back at SF in Nov 08 for the BBQ and went back the following year for 9 days, as I stayed at the SF motel, I got free transport there and got in for free (the staff were kind and got to know me) and went every day at different times to see the changes in light – early morning, sunset etc and again met up with Tessie, I had my bday there and got free photos taken and a cake!

So to sum up! Love the outdoors at SF, the inside less so and do wish it reflected the TV show more in terms of the (cheap and tacky) décor.


2 – My favourite season is S2 original ending with the shooting of JR, it’s the series that turned me and many others into a Dallas fan, and me to an addict. It became compulsive viewing, must see TV and my Saturday nights were taken! Terry Wogan also contributed to Dallas success and by the time JR was shot in May 80 in UK, Dallas was hot, hot hot! Its when I started to collect everything and anything about Dallas and its cast (Jan 12th 1980 to be precise) and when the pocket money went on Dallas and lunches and train fares from school were skipped!!

After that I love S4-6 original, then 1, 3, 8 and 9 and mini. Not a huge fan of S7 (Dreary for one was a huge put off for me - but did love Swansong) Once the core cast started to leave, Dallas went downhill, I have never watched final season 13 original ever again and 11 and 12 were weak.
 

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
@pete lashmar

Cont
Which storyline, other than Mastectomy do you think was the best?
I loved S5 original – the fight for Ewing Oil with Miss Ellie going to court to break Jocks will and the repercussions for the Ewing family, Bobby and Pam splitting up, her siding with Miss Ellie and JR being generally devious against his brother. I also loved that Bobby won the contest.

Other than the incredible BBG, who would you have most loved to meet from the cast that you haven't met before?

Oh that’s a very easy one, Im happy with my lot and who I have met over the years but asides from BBG I would STILL love to meet Victoria Principal – Id kill to meet her and spend time with her at her lovely home and ranch. I was very lucky to get on the Dallas set in 1983, - a real pinch me i must be freaming moment - but BBG was still off sick from her heart attack /bypass op and VP wasnt on set that day, I still think so near and yet so far! And if i was there exactly 2 weeks later BBG was back and all the cast were together for her 1st scene back, I do regret that (slightly)

And finally...If anyone ever plans a reboot or a remake, what 1 piece of advice would you give the producers/writers

Don’t bother!!!!!! I was pretty vocal about TNT Dallas in respect that I did not like it one bit, id say that Dallas is an 80s show and belongs in the 80s and that without the core cast its not Dallas. It was an ensemble show – not the Larry, Linda and Patrick show and once JR / Larry died – it was pants! It was nt a Dallas I cared for or recognised and hated that they changed Dallas history, storylines and characters were ruined ie Cliff
 

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
@Angela Channing - thanks for your questions

Hello @Angela Channing - 1st question and you have stumped me!! I aint sure!!!! :bravo1:

1 – Im not sure who I would like to play Miss Ellie to be honest – there was always chat of the “Movie” and ? people like John Travolta to play JR and Shirley Maclaine as Miss Ellie – im not sure I liked that idea – I will need to come back to you on that one!!!

Please NOT Meryl Streep – I did like Susan Sarandan as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford, but I will have a good long think on that score!

2 – My favourite BBG role as a child (long before she was Miss Ellie and I knew who she was ) was The 5 Pennies, a film I really liked as little girl with Danny Kaye, (along with Ingrid Bergman in Inn of the 6th Happiness) and funnily enough even at that young age they became my fav actresses as a teenager.

I also like Caught, and thought she was a bit of a Sue Ellen in that, marry rich and marry well but you might not be happy! But she gets James Mason the nice Dr at the end! I also enjoyed the Long Night as I love Henry Fonda too and she just looks soooooo young there but I kept thinking she was married and had a daughter in real life!!


3 – The scrap books are great, they are pretty thick and full of her reviews and notices from her plays and films and photos that I had never seen before. They are very fragile so I don’t look at them on a regular basis. They are also full of telegrams re her performances, letters, invitations from Soldiers to attend dances when she was touring with USO to different Army camps.

There are so many telegrams from people and every time I look I realise some are pretty significant, like from Dick Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame, John Forsyth of Die nasty etc They were piut together with a lot of care and thought and she obviously collected and kept all the press written about her back then. There are lots of B+W photos and stills from plays that are in excellent condition and she looks soooooooooooooo young in them.

The ones which reflect the times are from Deep are the roots, she played a white girl who fell in love with a black soldier who had returned from fighting in WW2. They are very split into 2 camps, people who thought the play was wonderful or people who didn’t and this was at a time when segregation was part of US life and she was spat at leaving the theatre and I guess it realy does reflect the 1940s sadly. I have scanned part of a letter to give you an idea of what she had to put up with from very narrow minded people with little to do but complain





Thanks again @Angela Channing xx
 

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
Hello @Englishboy , thanks for your questions

My favourite UK soap was always Corrie, I remember watching if before I was 10 and in the days of Albert, Ena, Elsie, Annie Walker, Stan and Hilda Len Fairclough and co

In the 80s it was the kind of show “I set the VCR for” if I was out at GB or badminton or whatever I did as a teenager! And would catch up with it later – that’s when it was on Mon and Wed and I have always followed it and enjoyed it until a few years ago. I think bouncing Billy pushed off the cliffs and falling 100s of feet then back up walking 3 weeks later was the beginning of the end for me.

I don’t really follow it now, I have dipped in and out but I don’t think the acting and storylines are great now and it lacks that northern gritty wit and pathos.

I still think this is one of the best 5 mins of writing in any soap, sit com or comedy


I used to HAVE TO WATCH Crossroads if i was staying at my Nans in England and I did get into it for a while when at school and remember the hoo ha when they decided to write Noele Gordon out (My Nan never got over that one!)
We didnt get a proper signal for C4 in early years so missed out on Brookside, and saw 10 mins of EE in mid 80s and it was 10 mins too long for me and have never really watched Emmerdale (Farm) If i was at my Nans I went for a bath then lol

2 My Fav US City – that a hard one, Ive seen a lot of the states (ticking them off but haven’t been for a few years as I usually visit when there is a Storm, Hurricane, Natural disaster or ash cloud!!)

I love the great outdoors of the USA and the national parks – they do that really well - but my favourite city is …………………………NOT Dallas – there isn’t much in the centre of Dallasa and no real shopping!)

My Fav city is New York, went for the first time in 2002 (was supposed to go on 14.9.2001 but that didn’t happen) It didn’t disappoint – it was exciting, thrilling and great fun. I felt i had seen it before from all of the great films and TV shows.


3. Not really other than Face Book – I post the Dallas calendar and I dip in and out of Terry Wogan, Ken Bruce pages but I’m not really a FB fan

Im not on any other Forum except here and not really a twitter fan either

4. I work in the NHS – a therapist in Neuro rehab

Thanks again BF x
 

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
Hi @Sarah , thanks for your questions, one of the great things about Ultimate Dallas and then Soap Chat was that it gave "us fans" a chance to meet up and Im so pleased that our paths have crossed on more than 1 occasion - :pals:

Oh Ingrid or Barbara – I have often thought of that one myself and if I could meet one who would I choose and the answer would be BBG as she is/was more reclusive and less is known about her and she was less “high profile” than Bergman who wasn’t elusive and reclusive and enjoyed her fame more

2- No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL BBG is the one and ONLY Miss Ellie for me, could you have someone else playing Sue Ellen other than Linda Gray? I think we think the same there! Lol

3. My other love is travel – I love to visit different countries and Continents and my current passion is anything Asian – I love the tastes, the sound, the smells, the cultures (not always the food and Im fussy!) and the people are so friendly.

Its my one weakness (asides from Dallas) and I figure I don’t drink or smoke so let’s see the big wide world out there. Africa doesn’t appeal – but S America is on my wish list for when C19 ends and life returns to normal!

My other love is Photography but I take good, bad and indifferent photos and one day I will go o Night school or a camera club to learn how to maximise my camera and take better pics

4 – Even tho the Daily Express let the cat out of the bag, and printed pics of it - Bobby being shot in JRs office and falling off the chair in 1984 was a shocker, same with Swan Song, although the press published photos, seeing Bobby run over and Pam wailing at his side on the driveway was a gasp an a sharp intake of breath moment.

5 If I had met Barbara – ah if only – I know she didn’t really like talking about Dallas so I would have asked her something daft like where did her name Geddes originate from and if she had Scottish ancestry, or about having a holiday home in Ireland or her passion for animals and when did that start - what animals did she have on her "farm" back east

Id have also asked her about working with some greats of the theatre like Elia Kazan and Tennessee Williams as Theatre and the stage was her passion, or working with Hitchcock, henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart

To be honest Id be tongue tied and my "brain would fry " (to quote Linda Gray on the SF patio when it wa so hot and the tarmac melted!) Id be rendered mute! Or would have fainted at the shock!
 

Angela Channing

World Cup of Soaps Moderator
Messages
8,581
Reaction score
10,111
Medals
13
Member Since
1999

Michelle Stevens

'The Lovely Michelle'
Messages
10,610
Reaction score
12,976
Location
USA
Medals
4
Member Since
January 25, 2011
Hello @Barbara Fan ! :ello:

1. As such a dedicated fan of Barbara Bel Geddes I so wish you had been able to meet or at least contacted her while she was alive. Did you ever try to contact her? I knew she retired after Dallas and was a private person so I could understand it being difficult.

2. Favourite Ellie spouse, Jock or Clayton?

3. How were you able to visit the Dallas set in 1983?

4. You mentioned a passion for travel. Are there any places you'd like to go that you haven't?
 
Last edited:

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
I am so sorry @Ome - apologies for late reply here

"BF, If Dallas never existed, what other show do you think will have dominated your life and how richer would you be?"

oh gosh, I dont know, I think as a teenager Dallas did diominate my life, (rightly or wrongly) and i always swore I would never let another TV show "dictate" to me
I have never loved another TV show the way I loved (original) Dallas

but I have always been a kind of "obsessive" person in respect that if i liked something I collected it

First signs of this behavior was in Primary School and loved the Bay City Rollers, so i bought magazines they were in and I subscribed to a monthy magazine (in the loft now!) and joined the fan club
Once they were off my radar the honour went to Starsky and Hutch, again collected everything, bought the monthly magazine (in the loft as well) and joined the fan club
are you getting the picture here!!??

Then 1978 - Dallas - although it wasnt until Jan 1980 that I started to collect everything, buy everything and yes ......................join a fan club although that didnt last long and for a few years the only fan club out was related to Jared Martin - so i joined that! Sadly there was no monthly magazine - and all the collection is spread around the place in cupboards and wardrobes!!! and yes space is a problem.

so you could say Ive always been a "collector" (of crap according to my friends!!) and yes my parents used to say I could be as "rich as the Ewings" if i didnt spend (i think they used to word WASTE!) my money on Dallas - because it didnt matter who it was in Dallas - i bought it. I used to scour all papers and magazines for articles
(An employee in WHSmiths once asked if i would like a chair! lol)

Even Dreary Reed and the dire cast of final years

The one show I loved in the 1990s was NYPD Blue but not to the same extent of Dallas and I didnt collect anything on it as i was still collecting Dallas. Not one show ever captured my heart or imagination in the way Dallas did
 
Last edited:

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
Hello @Michelle Stevens - i hope you had a lovely birthday :big:

Thank you – I did receive BBGs autograph twice during her years on the show but she wasn’t the best at responding to fan mail. I bought 3 of her scrap books from a family member in 2003 and met them in NY and went for lunch so that was lovely. We also got someone to take photos of us and upon return to UK I sent BBG some of those pics to her home in Putnam, NY. Then I finally got the reply I had waited for all those years and was a happy girl!

2- Oh as a huge fan of Howard Keel I would have to say Clayton Farlow. I thought he was a much nicer person than Jock and I think @Sarah said in a thread earlier that Jock was scary, and I agree. I think he was a ruthless man in business and who lied and cheated with her and although it was sad Jim Davis died I was pleased that Howard became a permanent feature in the show.

3 – oh it a long story, I wrote to Lorimar in 1983 for autographs of the cast and sent a get well card to BBG as she had just had a heart attack in March 83 - Im a scot so snet it all off together to save on postage and didnt think too much about it, some reply, others dont but i sent off letters on average twice a year with requests for photos and autographs (Thank you Howard, Linda, Steve and Susan, you were fab at replying!!)

and a few months later a policeman walked down the path of a holiday home my parents had rented in Kent looking for me. A newspaper was looking for me at my home address and neighbours saw them and by chance had a letter from my mum with address on it. The PC came out to the house after he finished his shift as there was a USA TV company looking for Europes biggest Dallas fan – they had gone to Lorimar, read 1000s of fan letters and picked mine as “it was intelligent!!!” and told them about my Dallas collection too which was growing by the month.

1 day later the press were taking my pics on the beach in my bikini, with me sitting on a donkey!! EEK

2 days later I was in London getting my passport renewed and a US Visa and next day I was flown out to LA – I still had no real idea what it was all about other than it was to do with Dallas and a fan letter.

I spent a day on the set and a day filming with Steve and it was super exciting, sadly I wasn’t allowed to take my camera on set so no pics of that but got a lot with Steve who was just so lovely. And I spent a day at the TV studios filming for a US TV show. The Press covered the story at home and I got interviewed about it too. I was kinda shy as its not really my thing being in the lime light!!

But I had a ball and it was a real pinch me I must be dreaming moment to meet cast, crew and see LA and be wined and dined and not have to pay for it!!

4 – oh there are lots of places id love to see – South America is on my wish list – Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Easter island

There is a prog in UK called Race across the world where groups of 2 people have to make there way from point A to point B and are given the cost of an airfare but they have to do it over land using bus, train, boat, hitch hiking etc

This year it was from Central to South America and all the contestants took a different route – the boys who won it stopped off at places that I thought I want to see that, I want to go there and one place in Peru called Rainbow Mountain looked fantastic – it all looked great to me. And I would love to see the end of the world in S America and Tierra del Fuego. Michael Palin the UK Broadcaster and actor got me into travelling – up til then I fried on a beach in Tenerife for 2 weeks and rarely moved off a sun lounger, I then got to aged 28 and got bored with that

I like to see and do new things, new cultures, move out of my comfort Zone.

Id also like to see Russia, more of Scandinavia and Europe, like Austria and Switzerland or Slovenia, I would love to go on a safari but dont think Id feel safe in Africa

I have been to St Lucia but would love to see more of the Caribbean islands as the scenery was lovely and the sea the most clear and beautiful I have ever swam in (and it wasn’t cold!)
 

Angela Channing

World Cup of Soaps Moderator
Messages
8,581
Reaction score
10,111
Medals
13
Member Since
1999
Hi @Barbara Fan, some more questions for you today, if I may:
  1. What has been the worst thing for you about living through the Covid-19 crisis and will you take anything positive from this time?
  2. What are you looking forward to most once the pandemic is over?
  3. Do you think living through the pandemic will change you or your attitudes to life in any way?
 

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
What is one of your favorite things to do away from the forum? @Barbara Fan

Hello @superman fan
All my life I have loved to shop!! My other guilty pleasure is going out for dinner with friends, as Iove 3 courses!! Preferred option is Italian food then Chinese
I dont like Indian food or hot and spicy

I also like walking/cycling and live in the countryside so have nice walks and hills nearby and recently bought walking boots as the one good thing about lockdown is i do far more exercise than I used to

:ty:
 

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
Hi @Barbara Fan, some more questions for you today, if I may:
  1. What has been the worst thing for you about living through the Covid-19 crisis and will you take anything positive from this time?
  2. What are you looking forward to most once the pandemic is over?
  3. Do you think living through the pandemic will change you or your attitudes to life in any way?

Hello @Angela Channing

1. Working in a hospital at the start of the Pandemic was very stressful and the guidance and guidelines were changing by the hour or so it seemed
There was the worry of catching it and passing it onto people and that you could potentially die

We still had to work with pateints who were +ve but showing no real symptoms and i have to be honest I hated that. had on full PPE including goggles or a visor and some patients were very thoughtless and would cough all over you and not put their hand to their mouth (Their parents should have taught them some basic manners)

That freaked me out

I have also seen patients who had it recover and recover well so that was a positive
Because of no visiting policy we have had to get used to communicating with relatives in other ways so have had to learn how to use Zoom, Microsoft teams etc so I know a little bit more about that now.

2. Once the pandemic is over ....................A BIG HOLIDAY!! IM a girl who loves my holidays, they keep me sane and i love to travel and see the big wide world
I cant wait for that and to see blue sky and feel the heat. I might not travel far - but Italy is one of my fav places and a wee 7-10 days there would do me nicely to start off with

3. I think I said in a post earlier this year and you gave me advice re fitness. The pandemic has made me use my car far less and do much more walking. I bought hiking boots last week and as a result I now enjoy long walks and climbing hills (not Everest - just wee ones) its a start and its something i want to continue with
Im still not a great runner - but can walk for miles and im lucky im in the countryside and have some lovely walks and views.

:byebye:
 

Barbara Fan

Super Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
10,428
Location
Scotland
Medals
8
Member Since
2000
Favourite Movie
Witness, Vertigo, Spellbound
Wow, fascinating that she kept the hate mail as well as the positive ones.
Yes they are all in the scrap book and there are more in that vein, it seems that people were divided in the matter although there are far more praising her performance and the storyline than against it.


This is what she herself had to say on the subject

"I was always determined; stubborn. I grew up in what some would call high circumstances: we lived on the East Side, and my parents had money, but I was rebellious and bored with it all. I loved it when my father designed plays, because I was fascinated by actors and directors and all theatre people, but so-called New York society bored me to death. I decided to become an actress very early, and I told my parents. There was some conviction in my family that I should go to 'good' schools and marry a nice guy, but I asked for, and received, my emancipation, and by the time I turned eighteen, I was on Broadway.

"I'm difficult to deal with.

"I did everything. Everyone should do everything. Stock companies, touring companies, regional theatres (of which there were very few in the early forties), Broadway, radio. Television came into being during that time, and I did that, too. You have to learn and you have to do bad things, I think. You also have to find out if you're one of the bad things. A lot of bad actors with whom I've worked thought they were just swell, and you wonder about perception. You start to look for honest teachers and peers who will tell you when you're rotten or misguided.

"I got lucky when I was cast by [Elia] Kazan in
Deep Are the Roots, the first play, to my knowledge, to acknowledge the deep racism in the hearts and minds of so-called 'good' American, Christian people. It was 1945 and the war was coming to an end and lovely Gordon Heath played a black, American soldier who returns from war a hero, but in his native South, where his mother was a cleaning lady for a fine, old Southern family, he's just a n*****. I played a young girl, torn between the traditions of her upbringing and her desire and admiration for this noble, beautiful young man. It wasn't a great play, but it had great timing, and Kazan directed it beautifully.

"I want to be clear about something: Kazan drove me insane. I don't mean that he abused me, although at times it might have looked that way. He drove me so deep within myself to make a part and a play real and relevant that I sometimes left rehearsals--and performances--in tears and exhausted. Only Kazan led me to realize how powerful the theatre could be, and how potent and--forgive my dependence on this word--noble the art of acting can be.


"He made me address my own racism, which I could not believe resided in the heart of a well-raised girl with smart, so-called liberal parents, but it was there. I analyzed and scrutinized my character so deeply that I knew her better than I knew myself, and I crafted for her a biography that was quite extensive. I was good in that play; I earned the right to call myself an actress. Why? Elia Kazan. He taught me how to act."



http://www.soapchat.net/threads/great-barbara-bel-geddes-and-father-norman-article.1800/
 
Top