Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker
Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Session:         Page of 1029

I want to tell you a funny story about Miss Cornell, who was a great lady on the Stage, but in private life--and the same thing is true with Helen Hayes--the glamour disappears off-stage, unlike movie stars, who sometimes exude glamour by merely going to the bathroom. Katherine Cornell is a very interesting, beguiling woman but there's nothing very exciting about her life story. When it actually came to writing down the story, there was little to tell except what plays she was in. “Then I played in (so-and-so).” We got the manuscript and there was mighty little meat in it. She was married of course to Guthrie McClintic the producer, and they had a lovely house over on Sutton Place. The house I think now has been bought and is occupied by Mary Lasker. I'm not sure. It's right next door anyway--on that street.

I went over to see her one day, saying, “Miss Cornell, we've got to get some more excitement in the script. Can't you give me a couple of episodes that would put a little conflict into your recital? Here it is, just a success story. You were very young and you became a star and that's that.” So she thought awfully hard and suddenly she pointed to some drapes. She said, “See those drapes over there?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “You know, when the upholsterer brought them and put them up, they didn't fit. I raised hell with that upholsterer.” I looked at her and said, “That's the story?" She said, “Yes.” I said, “I don't think that's a very exciting story.” But that's all she could give me!



© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help