Theatre, Daily Racing Form, 1959-05-12


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THEATRE fy Whitney Bolton NEW YORK, May 11. — Into each life ■some rain must fall and lots of girls like to start the day by taking a shower. It was raining the other afternoon and when I got to her place on lOtb Street C 1 o r i s Leach-man was taking a shower. The door between her living room and her bedroom and the door beyond that to her bathroom were both open and I heard the water cascading in there. "Is it wet out?" she cried. I said it was. "Its wet in here, too," she said. "Ill be out soon. I talked too much last night and didnt get to sleep until 7 this morning. What time is it?" J said it was 3 oclock and she said that was a fine hour for anybody to be getting up and why didnt I look at a magazine or something until she was ready to come out. She came out in four minutes, fresh as a rose and without make-up. And clothed, of course. "If you can stand me without make-up," she said, "talk to me while I get some breakfast. Some people cant stand me with make-up." AAA I said I thought she looked fine, which she did. We went into her kitchen and she squeezed four oranges into a beaker as deep as a vat, drained that off and then fell upon a cup of coffee. After the second cup she said she thought she might begin to make a little sense now and what was the news about England? "Some dead, some dying," I said, stealing the line from "Serena Blandish." "But they hope to make everything come out their way. De Gaulle, meanwhile, is preserving a frozen silence." "Well, lets not do that ourselves," she said. "Lets talk. I am just beginning to get into things as Touch of the Poet, and I doubt that three people alive realize what a difficult role Kim Stanley withdrew from and I went into. Last night was my fifth performance. Another three and Ill feel better about it, I hope. But every one is being charming and helpful." AAA This meant that Eric Portman and Helen Hayes were making no difficulties for her, as co-stars. Miss Stanley had implied that hter own experiences -backstage with the ONeill play had been less than poulticing. Miss Leachman didnt imply. She said right out that both of the stars were impeccably pleasant and helpful. "I sometimes think we in theatre tend to grow cacti when roses would have been better," she said. "I cannot speak for any one else, and wouldnt if I could, but I have no reason to feel either neglected or put upon.. I trust this stifles all base rumors, if any exist." AAA Miss Leachman, m case you want to know, speaks this way. Let not her fame as an almost Miss America, not so long ago, cause you to put her down as a good-looking, mightily good-looking, but brain-sprung creature. She was known in her home town as Miss Intelligence of whatever year was involved. She still has a crackling brain that takes in more cosmic issues than who was at Sardis last night and did yez hear about Sally Button and that boy from Princeton? When not using, her brains to discuss world matters, she skitters off into hearty humors calculated to evoke bellows of laughter. Her humor is rich andearthy and useful. AAA She has had much good luck and some bad. She came straight from the Miss America finals at Atlantic City to understudy for Miss Hayes in "Happy Birthday," has illumined many another show, some pure dogs of plays, a movie or so and a stint as a farm mother in some soap opera on TV having to do with a collie dog. Missie, Sassie, something like that. I took great pains not to mention that incident, since if there ever was a bright and pretty Continued on Page Fifteen 1 1 . I 1 j I" THEATRE Bv WHITNEY BOLTON Continued1 from Page Two 1 .young girl of talent ill-equipped to make the role of farm mother credible, C. Leach-man is that girl. She might have thrown the percolator at me. She has yet to achieve Her Triumph., as the saying goes, but it probably lies not too far away.. Meanwhile, she has produced a theatre-wide conviction that any role assigned to ■ her is a role that will be played with distinction and flavor. You couldnt 5ay much •more than that about Sarah Bernhardt.5 She had distinction and flavor. ! By this time Miss Leachman was trior- Joughly dry. I bid her good-day and went out into the rain again. I

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