CREATE, THEN TAKE A BREAK: 250 ANECDOTES AND STORIES
By David Bruce
Copyright 2012 by Bruce D. Bruce
Cover Photograph by Maksim Shmeljov Dreamstime.com
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• English actor Stanley Holloway, who created the role of Eliza Doolittle’s father in My Fair Lady on Broadway, almost didn’t. He felt ignored during rehearsals, although he later realized that that was a compliment. The director and everyone else were concentrating on Rex Harrison, who was unknown—at that time—as a musical comedy star. Knowing that Mr. Holloway was an extremely competent actor, they left him to his own devices. Mr. Holloway called the play’s producer, Herman Levin, and asked to be released from his contract because no one was even saying hello when he arrived at the theater. Mr. Levin talked him out of immediately quitting and the next morning when Mr. Holloway arrived at the theater, everyone crowded around him to say hello. Even though Mr. Holloway knew that it was a put-up job, he felt better.
• When Marilyn Monroe showed up to act the part of an aging jewel thief’s girlfriend in The Asphalt Jungle, she told the director, John Huston, how nervous she was. He replied, “If you’re not nervous, you might as well give up!” By the way, Ms. Monroe was known for being late everywhere. She once stopped to apply more lipstick—and missed her plane. Also by the way, one of the most famous scenes in Ms. Monroe’s movies occurs in The Seven Year Itch, where she stands on a grating above a subway on a hot night and the subway train causes a cooling breeze that makes her skirt fly into the air. This scene was filmed at 2 in the morning; nevertheless, over 2,000 people were on hand to watch it.