Raymond Burr + Natalie Wood = Cute Couple

On screen in A CRY IN THE NIGHT (1956), he played the tormenter and she was his victim but offscreen the 38-year-old actor and the 17-year-old ingenue became close friends and possibly more during the shooting.   (The film will air on TCM on Monday, June 14th at 8 pm ET as part of our “Star of the Month” Tribute to Natalie Wood).   

Here’s the basic premise: a psychotic Peeping Tom (Raymond Burr) prowls a secluded parking spot in the woods for teenaged lovers and attacks a young couple, kidnapping the girl (Natalie Wood) and holding her captive in a deserted brickyard. The dazed boyfriend (Richard Anderson), who’d been conked on the head with a metal lunchbox, is mistaken as a drunk by two police officers and locked up at the local precinct. Eventually his concussion subsides and he remembers what happened, revealing the identity of his missing date, Liz Taggart, who just happens to be the daughter of precinct captain Dan Taggart (Edmond O’Brien). Soon a police manhunt is underway to find the jeopardized teenager and her mentally unstable abductor.

Although A CRY IN THE NIGHT (1956) sounds like the type of youth exploitation picture that played drive-ins in the late fifties and sixties along with titles like The Girl in Black Stockings (1957) and The Girl in Lovers Lane (1960), it is actually a mainstream commercial thriller from Warner Bros. produced by Alan Ladd (who also provides the introductory Jack Webb/Sgt. Joe Friday-like voiceover), directed by Frank Tuttle (This Gun for Hire, 1942) and featuring a first rate cast that includes Edmond O’Brien, Brian Donvevy, Natalie Wood, Raymond Burr and Richard Anderson. Despite the high gloss though, this is less than stellar B-movie fare which, as you can tell from the above poster, spins a cautionary tale about middle class morality in the manner of a live action educational short with the blame falling equally on parents and their children. While a kidnapping and potential rape/murder drive the narrative, the real issues revolve around police captain Taggart’s homelife and his absolute domination of his wife, daughter and sister. Liz is so fearful of him that she is afraid to bring dates home and have them subjected to his interrogations so she resorts to seeing her current beau in “Lover’s Loop,” as the locals call it. Dan’s embittered sister is now resigned to her life as an “old maid” since her brother chased her former fiancee off as not good enough for her and Dan’s wife Helen can barely broach the subject of Liz’s dating without her husband going ballistic. She finally retaliates, saying, “How many times have I asked you to stop being a policeman at home? Just be a father, a good father.”

As for the lurker in the wood, later identified as Harold Loftus, his problems clearly stem from a mother who still calls him “Baby” and psychologically chains him to a daily routine where he comes home at a certain hour,  bearing a desert of some kind for her, usually apricot pie (Calling Dr. Freud!). Completing the circle of cause and effect are the teenagers who put themselves at risk by necking in well known “parking” spots, the type of place that attracts perverts, voyeurs and worse. As one of the patrolling police officers says while making the rounds: “Lover’s Loop. Busy little birds and busier little bees. What’s wrong with their homes that they have to hit this kinda place?”

Considering the cast and the premise, I probably expected too much and was ultimately disappointed by this overwrought melodrama that is ploddingly directed with trite dialogue to match though it occasionally works on a lurid level – Harold’s grim hideaway would make an ideal setting for any modern day serial killer horror film.  I’m a big fan of Raymond Burr and his mere presence in a film can usually elevate it (Borderline [1950] and Crime of Passion [1957] are two examples) but this might be his worst performance. It’s also Burr at his most emotional and unhinged and a far cry from his stolid Perry Mason character so Burr fans need to judge for themselves. Edmond O’Brien’s blustery, volatile father-on-the-rampage runs a close second in terms of overacting (and this was just two years after his Oscar-winning supporting role in The Barefoot Contessa).

As for Natalie Wood, A CRY IN THE NIGHT was a step backwards after her impressive work in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and THE SEARCHERS (both 1956). In fact, she received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Rebel Without a Cause shortly after the making of A CRY IN THE NIGHT.  Yet, this film becomes more fascinating and even touching for completely different reasons once I learned what was going on behind the scenes from documented accounts in Wood biographies by Gavin Lambert and Suzanne Finstad and Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr by Michael Seth Starr, which is of lesser interest to movie buffs, since, as the title frankly states, it is focused more on Burr’s closeted life as a gay man in Hollywood and less about the making of his films. If you’re looking for behind-the-scenes stories on the making of Anthony Mann’s Desperate [1948], The Whip Hand [1951], Edgar G. Ulmer’s Ruthless [1948] or even Bride of the Gorilla [1951], co-starring the notorious Barbara Payton, you won’t find much in the way of details in Starr’s book.

Natalie Wood had actively campaigned for the role of Liz Taggart once she first learned of the project in development at Alan Ladd’s production company which was situated on the Warners lot. According to screenwriter David Dortort, who adapted A CRY IN THE NIGHT from Whit Masterson’s 1955 novel All Through the Night, Wood pleaded with him for the role: “It was so absolutely unbelievable…She would come up, and practically break down the door, and say, ‘I want to play that girl!…she really had some deep feelings, and an emotional response, to the character for some reason…she convinced me that she not only could do this part, but she almost needed to do this part…She’d meet the Ladds on one of the studio streets and implore them, beg them, ‘I can do it. I was born to do this part.” (from Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad)

Wood’s interest in the part may have stemmed partly from wanting to work with Raymond Burr, “who had infatuated her ever since she saw his deep-set bedroom eyes in A Place in the Sun,” according to Finstad. Once she won the role and filming began, Wood and Burr developed a close friendship that on first impressions appeared to be a mentor-student relationship. Co-star Richard Anderson, who plays Natalie’s boyfriend in A CRY IN THE NIGHT, noticed an immediate attraction between the two actors, remarking that Burr “was just wild about her. I remember that. There was something going on there with the two of them. Natalie probably adored him. She was very young and getting started…he couldn’ve been the ‘older man’ thing but I think he just adored her and she adored him and it was one of those things when you are making a movie.” (Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr by Michael Seth Starr).

The role of Harold Loftus, the lover’s lane voyeur whose obsession turns to physical violence, was a radical change of pace from Burr’s other screen villains in such films as Desperate (1947), Pitfall (1948), The Blue Gardenia (1953) and Great Day in the Morning (1956) – these were men who were brutal, cunning and completely amoral. But Harold, who is at first depicted as a dangerous pervert, turns out to be a much more pitiable and hapless character than his henpecked murderer in Rear Window (1954). In fact, his character can be seen as a more benign version of Anthony Perkin’s mother-dominated schizophrenic killer in Psycho (1960). And the course of action he takes with his captive prefigures the events of John Fowles’ novel and film, The Collector, but without any of the rich psychological nuances or disturbing detail of the latter.

Watching Burr and Wood in their scenes together in A CRY IN THE NIGHT strikes me at times as an acting class exercise where they go through extreme mood swings and emotions in a single camera set-up. At first Burr’s imposing physical presence as the highly disturbed Harold is exploited to creepy effect, especially when you see him lurking in the dark and the camera pushes in on his agitated face as he spies on Liz and Owen (Richard Anderson) kissing. But once he holes up with Liz in his dingy hideaway, complete with a straw covered floor and a recently strangled dog by the bed, the movie dissolves into a passive/aggressive struggle between the two characters with Liz progressing from victim to combatant to sympathetic bystander. Still, our sympathies toward Liz are mixed because she is anything but quick-witted and continually muffs her chances to get away while antagonizing her jailer. At one point she even tries to shoot him without checking to see if the gun is loaded. Not smart.

According to Dortort, who observed Burr’s performance on the set of A CRY IN THE NIGHT, “There was a considerable amount of talk about the dual nature of the man…In spite of his large size, he had certain feminine attributes that made for a very interesting actor, because he had to hold those [feminine attributes] back, in a sense, and push the image of a very strong, tough man – which he wasn’t…..he was playing something very close to him. It was a tough role for him to play. What I wanted to do was to create some sympathy [for Harold], some understanding of him, and Raymond really appreciated that.” (from Starr’s Burr bio) The problem is that Burr’s attempts to create some sympathy for this hulking man-child goes overboard in the infantile behavior department (Is he supposed to be mentally retarded?), resulting in embarrassing scenes such as the one where he offers Liz a present: “You’re nice. So soft and nice…I always wanted to give a girl a present. Something nice. Something she really likes. My mother, she mustn’t know about this.”  Or one where he sounds like a more pitiful version of Mr. Rogers, “Won’t you be my friend?”

According to Finstad’s bio, “Natalie went out with Burr throughout the filming, and afterward. “Natalie was so crazy about Raymond Burr,” Jackie [Eastes, a friend of Natalie's] recalls. “That was when she was kind of branching out, and learning more about literature. She said that when she would go over to his house, he could recite poetry. He was a real sensitive human being, and she had a wonderful time with him – fine wines, wonderful cook, extremely intelligent – but at the end of the day, he’d kiss her on the cheek and say, ‘Goodnight, Natalie.” According to Jackie, “It was the most devastating thing when she found that Raymond Burr was gay and there was no way they were going to have an affair, because she tried her darnest. She thought with her charm she could make the difference.” Burr’s preference for men stimulated Natalie’s tendency to “want what she couldn’t have.” She continued their relationship, in the hope she could “change” or seduce him, “like Elizabeth Taylor and Monty Clift.”

Warner Bros. executives couldn’t help but notice the budding Burr-Wood relationship since they were being reported as a romantic item by the Hollywood Press and soon Wood was being sent on dates arranged by the studio with young actors like Tab Hunter, her co-star in The Burning Hills and The Girl He Left Behind. But Burr and Wood continued to see each other and planned to go to Korea together on a USO tour that Burr was organizing. Then, according to Finstad, “Natalie told columnist Sheilah Graham that she and Burr had “an understanding for the future,” with Graham reporting, “It’s beginning to look like a marriage for young Natalie Wood and Raymond Burr.” When Louella Parsons put an item in her March 15 column denying any romance between Natalie Wood and Tab Hunter, stating, “Her real heart is Ray Burr, who’ll escort her to the Oscars,” Warners took drastic action. Within a week, Variety reported that Hunter would be Natalie’s date to the Academy Awards on March 21, with Natalie retracting her comments about Burr to Graham, saying, “He just helps me with my acting.” Burr, who was cast within months as Perry Mason, said later, “I was very attracted to her and she was to me. Maybe I was too old for her, but there was so much pressure upon us from the outside and the studio, it got awkward for us to go around together.” According to Robert Benevides, Burr’s companion in the last thirty years of his life. “He was a little bitter about it. He was really in love with her, I guess.”

No one will probably ever really know the depth or intimacy of that relationship between Burr and Wood but it’s clear that Warners management put an end to it. It may have run its course naturally if the two actors had been left alone to come to the probable dissolution of their union….or it might have ended in marriage. It’s intriguing to think about and the sight of the 17-year-old actress and the heavy-set, 38-year-old character actor out on the town, having fun, must have been both a puzzling and amusing sight to industry insiders and gossip columnists at the time. It all takes on a much more poignant resonance when you watch them together in A CRY IN THE NIGHT and know that a unique and rare friendship was in bloom behind the scenes. Think about that when you watch Burr manhandle Wood in his grim torture shack and realize that probably after shooting the two of them would be spending their evenings together eating escargots at Romanoff’s Restaurant or sipping cocktails at Coconut Grove while listening to Peggy Lee.

Sources and Other Links of Interest:

Natalie Wood: A Life by Gavin Lambert (Alfred A. Knopf)

Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad (Harmony Books)

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr by Michael Seth Starr (Applause)

http://starletshowcase.blogspot.com/2010/01/cry-in-night.html images from A CRY IN THE NIGHT

http://www.noiroftheweek.com/2007/09/cry-in-night-1956.html Noir of the Week showcase

40 Responses Raymond Burr + Natalie Wood = Cute Couple
Posted By Medusa : May 23, 2010 10:20 am

Wow, I love the whole personal backstory between Wood and Burr that you’ve related here. I may have seen snippets of this movie but not all the way through — definitely not going to miss it in June!

Just fascinating and poignant about the romance-that-never-could-be, for many reasons. Burr is such a great actor and of course typecast not as a romantic lead because he didn’t have the traditional movie star looks, but what a sensitive and enlightened fellow he was. (One of the favorite Burr appearances I ever saw was on an episode of “The Jack Benny Show” when he did a spoof of “Perry Mason” with Jack. He was hilarious, absolutely amazing. Here’s a little clip from the beginning of the show, at least: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hPq9qFgBtY )

My favorite phrase in this post?: “and a recently strangled dog by the bed” Yikes! So awful it’s funny.

I will also be interested in seeing if the captor relationship is anything like the psychologically-fraught one in the Meeker-Baker movie “Something Wild”. Always creepy, these guys who keep ladies prisoner…

Wonderful post, Jeff!

Posted By Medusa : May 23, 2010 10:20 am

Wow, I love the whole personal backstory between Wood and Burr that you’ve related here. I may have seen snippets of this movie but not all the way through — definitely not going to miss it in June!

Just fascinating and poignant about the romance-that-never-could-be, for many reasons. Burr is such a great actor and of course typecast not as a romantic lead because he didn’t have the traditional movie star looks, but what a sensitive and enlightened fellow he was. (One of the favorite Burr appearances I ever saw was on an episode of “The Jack Benny Show” when he did a spoof of “Perry Mason” with Jack. He was hilarious, absolutely amazing. Here’s a little clip from the beginning of the show, at least: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hPq9qFgBtY )

My favorite phrase in this post?: “and a recently strangled dog by the bed” Yikes! So awful it’s funny.

I will also be interested in seeing if the captor relationship is anything like the psychologically-fraught one in the Meeker-Baker movie “Something Wild”. Always creepy, these guys who keep ladies prisoner…

Wonderful post, Jeff!

Posted By moirafinnie : May 23, 2010 2:22 pm

What a great post for the day after what would have been Raymond Burr’s 93rd birthday, Jeff. I can’t wait to see this movie, since I love both Natalie Wood and Raymond Burr.

“Won’t you be my friend?” may be pretty pathetic and Ray’s character may be a mama’s boy, but heck, all I can tell you is that from at least one female’s pov, Natalie Wood’s crush on the actor was perfectly understandable, if perhaps a bit foolhardy. I know that Raymond Burr was a very appealing guy, right from the first time I saw him and his beautiful eyes in Jungle Jim and Godzilla–not to mention that secret smile he brought to his role as the ultimate straight arrow in Perry Mason.

Of course, I might have to look away a few times if Natalie seems to be threatened. I had a hard enough time watching her being told she couldn’t join 4H by her mean Pappy (Walter Brennan, the skunk) in The Green Promise (1949), which I see is going to be on TCM again on June 7th. That gives me time to get my hankies ready.

Btw, wouldn’t it be great to show a day’s worth of Raymond Burr’s terrific turns in all his film noirs for his birthday next year?

Posted By moirafinnie : May 23, 2010 2:22 pm

What a great post for the day after what would have been Raymond Burr’s 93rd birthday, Jeff. I can’t wait to see this movie, since I love both Natalie Wood and Raymond Burr.

“Won’t you be my friend?” may be pretty pathetic and Ray’s character may be a mama’s boy, but heck, all I can tell you is that from at least one female’s pov, Natalie Wood’s crush on the actor was perfectly understandable, if perhaps a bit foolhardy. I know that Raymond Burr was a very appealing guy, right from the first time I saw him and his beautiful eyes in Jungle Jim and Godzilla–not to mention that secret smile he brought to his role as the ultimate straight arrow in Perry Mason.

Of course, I might have to look away a few times if Natalie seems to be threatened. I had a hard enough time watching her being told she couldn’t join 4H by her mean Pappy (Walter Brennan, the skunk) in The Green Promise (1949), which I see is going to be on TCM again on June 7th. That gives me time to get my hankies ready.

Btw, wouldn’t it be great to show a day’s worth of Raymond Burr’s terrific turns in all his film noirs for his birthday next year?

Posted By morlockjeff : May 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Wow. I had no idea Burr’s birthday just occurred. He had a screen presence that was truly magnetic. You couldn’t take your eyes off him. It’s easy to see why Natalie Wood would have been drawn to him. Lots of women were. Heck, my wife still has a crush on him as Perry Mason.

Posted By morlockjeff : May 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Wow. I had no idea Burr’s birthday just occurred. He had a screen presence that was truly magnetic. You couldn’t take your eyes off him. It’s easy to see why Natalie Wood would have been drawn to him. Lots of women were. Heck, my wife still has a crush on him as Perry Mason.

Posted By Al Lowe : May 24, 2010 1:37 am

During that Golden Era Hollywood had its share of odd off-screen couplings – such as Gypsy Rose Lee and Otto Preminger.
Natalie and Raymond Burr were certainly an Odd Couple but we at least get to see them together, cast in CRY IN THE NIGHT.
I sometimes go a couple days before I read Morlocks but you had me from the moment I read the title of your article, when I finally did get on-line.

I have that book by Suzanne Finstad, that you quote a lot, “Natasha.”
And I have been watching the first three seasons of PERRY MASON. (Each season comes in two volumes with the year’s episodes divided among the two. I have one volume from each of the three seasons on DVD.)

Here are some thoughts on both.
First, Finstad’s book:
It has some juicy stories and at least one astounding photo. The picture shows Nicholas Ray with his arm casually draped around Natalie as they listen to writer Clifford Odets expound on some subject in Ray’s bungalow.
She was 16; He was 43 (and looked 53). They were lovers.
Of course, he directed her in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. But he also tested Jayne Mansfield and Debbie Reynolds for her part.
Burr, of course, was another older man she liked. She mentioned once that she seemed to fall for the wrong men.
From Finstad’s account it seems that Natalie finally dumped Burr and he was bitter about it. None of us are ever happy with that outcome. Paul Simon wrote a song, “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover.” There is NO clean, agreeable way to leave your lover.
It is odd, though, to think that there was a time when movie studios dictated who stars dated and didn’t date.

Next, some thoughts on PERRY MASON:
I love this series and I can’t imagine anyone else in the lead other than Burr. Or, for that matter, in the other leading parts played by Barbara Hale, Ray Collins William Hopper and William Talman, all Hollywood pros.
They didn’t go for the usual striking leading man to play Perry. Instead they opted for an actor who seemed intelligent and complex.
In the earliest episodes Perry was more like Erle Stanley Gardner’s original character who sometimes played fast and loose with the law to get clients off.
As the series progressed, they got away from that characterization and had less mysteries that you could actually solve, if you could figure which were the clues and which were red herrings. Instead they would arbitrarily choose some character to be the murderer and to make the standard in-court confession. Not all the time but sometimes.
I have a book that has reams of information about Barbara Hale. And there has been books mentioning Burr and Collins. But, to my knowledge, there has been little published about Hopper, the son of infamous gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Maybe his mom frightened the rest of the press.
According to Wikipedia, Hopper had small roles in Warners films before entering the service during World War II. When he was discharged he was a car salesman for 10 years. He began acting again in the mid 1950s in films like THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY.
Of course, he played Natalie’s father in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.
I wonder if Burr and Hopper ever had any private conversations about Natalie or Nicholas Ray.
(Incidentally, Jeff, no one has mentioned two of my favorite villain assignments for Burr, in PITFALL, and in A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA.)

Posted By Al Lowe : May 24, 2010 1:37 am

During that Golden Era Hollywood had its share of odd off-screen couplings – such as Gypsy Rose Lee and Otto Preminger.
Natalie and Raymond Burr were certainly an Odd Couple but we at least get to see them together, cast in CRY IN THE NIGHT.
I sometimes go a couple days before I read Morlocks but you had me from the moment I read the title of your article, when I finally did get on-line.

I have that book by Suzanne Finstad, that you quote a lot, “Natasha.”
And I have been watching the first three seasons of PERRY MASON. (Each season comes in two volumes with the year’s episodes divided among the two. I have one volume from each of the three seasons on DVD.)

Here are some thoughts on both.
First, Finstad’s book:
It has some juicy stories and at least one astounding photo. The picture shows Nicholas Ray with his arm casually draped around Natalie as they listen to writer Clifford Odets expound on some subject in Ray’s bungalow.
She was 16; He was 43 (and looked 53). They were lovers.
Of course, he directed her in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. But he also tested Jayne Mansfield and Debbie Reynolds for her part.
Burr, of course, was another older man she liked. She mentioned once that she seemed to fall for the wrong men.
From Finstad’s account it seems that Natalie finally dumped Burr and he was bitter about it. None of us are ever happy with that outcome. Paul Simon wrote a song, “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover.” There is NO clean, agreeable way to leave your lover.
It is odd, though, to think that there was a time when movie studios dictated who stars dated and didn’t date.

Next, some thoughts on PERRY MASON:
I love this series and I can’t imagine anyone else in the lead other than Burr. Or, for that matter, in the other leading parts played by Barbara Hale, Ray Collins William Hopper and William Talman, all Hollywood pros.
They didn’t go for the usual striking leading man to play Perry. Instead they opted for an actor who seemed intelligent and complex.
In the earliest episodes Perry was more like Erle Stanley Gardner’s original character who sometimes played fast and loose with the law to get clients off.
As the series progressed, they got away from that characterization and had less mysteries that you could actually solve, if you could figure which were the clues and which were red herrings. Instead they would arbitrarily choose some character to be the murderer and to make the standard in-court confession. Not all the time but sometimes.
I have a book that has reams of information about Barbara Hale. And there has been books mentioning Burr and Collins. But, to my knowledge, there has been little published about Hopper, the son of infamous gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Maybe his mom frightened the rest of the press.
According to Wikipedia, Hopper had small roles in Warners films before entering the service during World War II. When he was discharged he was a car salesman for 10 years. He began acting again in the mid 1950s in films like THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY.
Of course, he played Natalie’s father in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.
I wonder if Burr and Hopper ever had any private conversations about Natalie or Nicholas Ray.
(Incidentally, Jeff, no one has mentioned two of my favorite villain assignments for Burr, in PITFALL, and in A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA.)

Posted By Jeff : May 24, 2010 9:35 am

Thanks for all the info, Al. I knew about the Nick Ray affair and was going to mention it but didn’t want to go into that whole thing which deserves a post on its own. I also found it disturbing that Wood was raped by a famous Hollywood star (around the time of Rebel Without a Cause) who remains unnamed but I have heard rumors of who it was. I think Burr must have been a fun father figure for her. By the way, I love PITFALL.

Posted By Jeff : May 24, 2010 9:35 am

Thanks for all the info, Al. I knew about the Nick Ray affair and was going to mention it but didn’t want to go into that whole thing which deserves a post on its own. I also found it disturbing that Wood was raped by a famous Hollywood star (around the time of Rebel Without a Cause) who remains unnamed but I have heard rumors of who it was. I think Burr must have been a fun father figure for her. By the way, I love PITFALL.

Posted By Patricia Nolan-Hall : May 26, 2010 12:37 am

I haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid, and let me tell you, it creeped me out mightily. I can hardly wait until June 14!!

Posted By Patricia Nolan-Hall : May 26, 2010 12:37 am

I haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid, and let me tell you, it creeped me out mightily. I can hardly wait until June 14!!

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : May 26, 2010 2:39 am

4 BIG STARS! Don’t really know where to begin here though?
A much, much, longer story though is involved & a couple of yrs prior to this though. A staggeringly awful story, involving NATASHA & nothing to do with Mr. Burr is involved,
but not on here. Lets just say as for alledged KARMA, it certainly is not always accurate!

& to Al Lowe, some terrific stats you posted.

& do you like that book. I have it as well?

Ironically, her own favorite film was 1951′s “A Place in the Sun”
& *Vivien Leigh-(l9l3-l967) her Idol.

Even kept a large portrait of the actress, at her humble home.

GREAT ARTICLE THOUGH!

THANK YOU

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : May 26, 2010 2:39 am

4 BIG STARS! Don’t really know where to begin here though?
A much, much, longer story though is involved & a couple of yrs prior to this though. A staggeringly awful story, involving NATASHA & nothing to do with Mr. Burr is involved,
but not on here. Lets just say as for alledged KARMA, it certainly is not always accurate!

& to Al Lowe, some terrific stats you posted.

& do you like that book. I have it as well?

Ironically, her own favorite film was 1951′s “A Place in the Sun”
& *Vivien Leigh-(l9l3-l967) her Idol.

Even kept a large portrait of the actress, at her humble home.

GREAT ARTICLE THOUGH!

THANK YOU

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : May 26, 2010 2:48 am

Also, on 1 of the 3 trips to whats left on an empire called “HOLLYWOOD”

For those that also got to see these things please feel free to let us/me know!

At a huge park & mansion called “Greystone Park”-(where many things are shot, including> “Witches of Eastwick”-(interiors,etc) “Beverly Hills Cop” “The Bodyguard” “Ghostbusters” tv’s “Entourage”
& several others-(Lorna Vista, Drive in B.Hills)
& was also at 1 time headquarters for AFI.

When there up in even higher & on a ledge, is the former home of>Gypsy Rose Lee-(l9l4-l970)
Current occupant-(in 2005 anyway) is Suzanne Sommers.

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : May 26, 2010 2:48 am

Also, on 1 of the 3 trips to whats left on an empire called “HOLLYWOOD”

For those that also got to see these things please feel free to let us/me know!

At a huge park & mansion called “Greystone Park”-(where many things are shot, including> “Witches of Eastwick”-(interiors,etc) “Beverly Hills Cop” “The Bodyguard” “Ghostbusters” tv’s “Entourage”
& several others-(Lorna Vista, Drive in B.Hills)
& was also at 1 time headquarters for AFI.

When there up in even higher & on a ledge, is the former home of>Gypsy Rose Lee-(l9l4-l970)
Current occupant-(in 2005 anyway) is Suzanne Sommers.

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : May 26, 2010 2:49 am

Did anyone mention 1954′s superb “Rear Window?”

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : May 26, 2010 2:49 am

Did anyone mention 1954′s superb “Rear Window?”

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : May 26, 2010 3:08 am

TO JEFF, where did you here/read of that awful crime?

Thing is, for those that may not know, you touched on a very, very, touchy & accurate thing & just wanted to know how many really are aware of that crime???

Actually, it was just a bit prior to “Rebel” as many stated.

Among the most dispicable aspects is this “CRIMINAL” is still around
& may have been involved in other violent crimes involving other women, over a period of almost 60 years now!

However, this is not the place to divulge much more

& whom else has seen the tv movie bio of NATASHA’S
It was around 2001 or so & nobody else even mentione’s it???

& THERE IS MUCH MORE INVOLVED THAN IT APPEARS

VERY, VERY, CURIOUS???

(P.S. R.J. Wagner has been doing volunteer work at “The John Tracy Clinic”
Of course named after the son of his Idol *”The Great: Spencer Tracy”-(l900-67)
John passed away in 2007 at the age of 83. & he was-(for awhile)
living near/around “Will Rogers State Park”)

THANK YOU-(& for those that also have more interest-(see above)
Feel free to write me as well)

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : May 26, 2010 3:08 am

TO JEFF, where did you here/read of that awful crime?

Thing is, for those that may not know, you touched on a very, very, touchy & accurate thing & just wanted to know how many really are aware of that crime???

Actually, it was just a bit prior to “Rebel” as many stated.

Among the most dispicable aspects is this “CRIMINAL” is still around
& may have been involved in other violent crimes involving other women, over a period of almost 60 years now!

However, this is not the place to divulge much more

& whom else has seen the tv movie bio of NATASHA’S
It was around 2001 or so & nobody else even mentione’s it???

& THERE IS MUCH MORE INVOLVED THAN IT APPEARS

VERY, VERY, CURIOUS???

(P.S. R.J. Wagner has been doing volunteer work at “The John Tracy Clinic”
Of course named after the son of his Idol *”The Great: Spencer Tracy”-(l900-67)
John passed away in 2007 at the age of 83. & he was-(for awhile)
living near/around “Will Rogers State Park”)

THANK YOU-(& for those that also have more interest-(see above)
Feel free to write me as well)

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : May 27, 2010 8:31 pm

As a longtime Natalie Wood fan I really enjoyed this post, Jeff! She was such a terrific actress and she had a kind of magnetic beauty that attracted a lot of her male costars. She had some amazing love affairs during her lifetime but this one is rarely talked about.

On a side note – I’ve been eager to read the new Natalie Wood bio titled Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour but I haven’t gotten around to it. Hopefully my local library is carrying it.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : May 27, 2010 8:31 pm

As a longtime Natalie Wood fan I really enjoyed this post, Jeff! She was such a terrific actress and she had a kind of magnetic beauty that attracted a lot of her male costars. She had some amazing love affairs during her lifetime but this one is rarely talked about.

On a side note – I’ve been eager to read the new Natalie Wood bio titled Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour but I haven’t gotten around to it. Hopefully my local library is carrying it.

Posted By tj : May 28, 2010 12:25 am

Natalie and Raymond Burr were never lovers. Why do people make stuff up?

Posted By tj : May 28, 2010 12:25 am

Natalie and Raymond Burr were never lovers. Why do people make stuff up?

Posted By morlockjeff : May 28, 2010 10:10 am

Jeff, the incident is covered in three or four pages in Suzanne Finstad’s bio of the actress.

Kimberly, I didn’t know about the new book on her. Let me know if it’s worth reading.

Posted By morlockjeff : May 28, 2010 10:10 am

Jeff, the incident is covered in three or four pages in Suzanne Finstad’s bio of the actress.

Kimberly, I didn’t know about the new book on her. Let me know if it’s worth reading.

Posted By David Ehrenstein : May 31, 2010 9:40 am

I find it hard to beleive that Natalie Wood was “shocked” to discover that Raymond Burr was gay — being that she was one of the most sophisticated women in the entire history of Hollywood.
All manner of gay men were close friends of hers.She even paid for Mart Crowley’s shrink, which led to his writing “The Boys in the Band.”

Burr was married and divorced once, but for reasons that remain unclear (to put it mildly) he claimed additional marriages and even a son. Quite odd.

For the REAL Raymond Burr story get out your DVDs of “A Star is Born” and click on the film’s lavish Hollywood premiere. Admist a bevvy of stars the likes of which were never assembled before or since you’ll find Burr with his beard for the evening AND the most drop-dead gorgeous sailor you’ve ever laid eyes on. “I’m just showing this young man a little of the glamour of Hollywood,” Ray says. If that’s your story dear you stick to it.

Gay Jeopardy Bonus Points: Raymond Burr is a Lesbian Icon! Yes while gay men have shown little interest in him, their lesbian sisters — especially Drag Kings — are Over the Moon about his look and style.

Posted By David Ehrenstein : May 31, 2010 9:40 am

I find it hard to beleive that Natalie Wood was “shocked” to discover that Raymond Burr was gay — being that she was one of the most sophisticated women in the entire history of Hollywood.
All manner of gay men were close friends of hers.She even paid for Mart Crowley’s shrink, which led to his writing “The Boys in the Band.”

Burr was married and divorced once, but for reasons that remain unclear (to put it mildly) he claimed additional marriages and even a son. Quite odd.

For the REAL Raymond Burr story get out your DVDs of “A Star is Born” and click on the film’s lavish Hollywood premiere. Admist a bevvy of stars the likes of which were never assembled before or since you’ll find Burr with his beard for the evening AND the most drop-dead gorgeous sailor you’ve ever laid eyes on. “I’m just showing this young man a little of the glamour of Hollywood,” Ray says. If that’s your story dear you stick to it.

Gay Jeopardy Bonus Points: Raymond Burr is a Lesbian Icon! Yes while gay men have shown little interest in him, their lesbian sisters — especially Drag Kings — are Over the Moon about his look and style.

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 1, 2010 12:46 am

To David, some good points posted, but remember she was just a kid at that time

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 1, 2010 12:46 am

To David, some good points posted, but remember she was just a kid at that time

Posted By David Ehrenstein : June 1, 2010 12:07 pm

A kid that grew up VERY fast. She was deflowered by Nick Ray. Then Dennis Hopper took over. For her real feelings about all of this see “Inside Daisy Clover.”

Posted By David Ehrenstein : June 1, 2010 12:07 pm

A kid that grew up VERY fast. She was deflowered by Nick Ray. Then Dennis Hopper took over. For her real feelings about all of this see “Inside Daisy Clover.”

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 8:33 am

VERY IMPERATIVE TO (MR. DAVID EHRENSTEIN) Please reply on not just here, but also feel free to drop me a line as well at (spencer64@IJ.net) many, many, I’ve known over almost a decade & quite a few of those came from this very magnificent sute too!

Very often it’s just easier to correspond back-and-forth that way as opposed to logging-in & such, as you know

At any rate, DESPERATELY NEED TO KNOW EXACTLY WHERE AND WHAT YOU MEAN IN> (HER & THE FIRST SEXUAL ENCOUNTER-(alledged) & THEN THE SADLY & TO ME, STUNNINGLY JUST LEFT THIS WORLD-(possibly)>HOPPER

& ALSO, IN “DAISYT CLOVER???”

I ironiccally just rewatched it-(for the umpteenth time) on video I own

I’VE READ ABOUT 85%-(plus 30yrs of other input) OF ALL ON THIS “INCREDIBALLY & STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL TINY-(barely 5’0)LADY” & ON DON’T QUITE KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN, THOUGH THINK I KNOW WHERE YOUR GOING & IN PT SOME IS ACCURATE, BUT NOT ALL!

(P.S. for those that may think she was a typical “stuck-Up” & “snotty” movie actress, check ou Osborne’s 4 star intro in “Now Playing” It’s just sooo-typical of her)

& again, please write me, have a myriad to put it mildly, on not just (MRS. ZAKHRANK0)
but tons of other jazz on movie related stuff

& hope to haveanother website going soon

THANX SPORTS FANS

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 8:33 am

VERY IMPERATIVE TO (MR. DAVID EHRENSTEIN) Please reply on not just here, but also feel free to drop me a line as well at (spencer64@IJ.net) many, many, I’ve known over almost a decade & quite a few of those came from this very magnificent sute too!

Very often it’s just easier to correspond back-and-forth that way as opposed to logging-in & such, as you know

At any rate, DESPERATELY NEED TO KNOW EXACTLY WHERE AND WHAT YOU MEAN IN> (HER & THE FIRST SEXUAL ENCOUNTER-(alledged) & THEN THE SADLY & TO ME, STUNNINGLY JUST LEFT THIS WORLD-(possibly)>HOPPER

& ALSO, IN “DAISYT CLOVER???”

I ironiccally just rewatched it-(for the umpteenth time) on video I own

I’VE READ ABOUT 85%-(plus 30yrs of other input) OF ALL ON THIS “INCREDIBALLY & STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL TINY-(barely 5’0)LADY” & ON DON’T QUITE KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN, THOUGH THINK I KNOW WHERE YOUR GOING & IN PT SOME IS ACCURATE, BUT NOT ALL!

(P.S. for those that may think she was a typical “stuck-Up” & “snotty” movie actress, check ou Osborne’s 4 star intro in “Now Playing” It’s just sooo-typical of her)

& again, please write me, have a myriad to put it mildly, on not just (MRS. ZAKHRANK0)
but tons of other jazz on movie related stuff

& hope to haveanother website going soon

THANX SPORTS FANS

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 11:55 am

FOR “MS.LITTLE VALENTINE”-(P.S. I betcha’ most can’t figure that one out, though Mr. Edhelstein probably can
Please give it ashot though!?

A somewhat very personal note, though it’s tremendous for any new fans & I thank you)

As I wrote earlier, just far too much to cover here.

AN ALERT! For more of her fans, check out TCM’srepeat of Tony Curtis-(l925-) her 3 time co-star>
“King’s Go Fourth” (l958) (A strong ***) With: *”The Chairman: Sinatra” & Curtis

1964′s “Sex and the Single Girl” (barely ***) Curtis again & *H. Fonda & Bacall. Playing Helen Gurley Brown of all people.
Brown only wishes she looked & had a qtr of half the personality of what she has here.

& of course 1965′s “The Great Race” (***) Natalie, Curtis, Lemmon & Peter Falk-(the later 2 are a great comedic duo)
ultra-silly yet fun film a big hit too & Maltin writes she never looked lovier. Won an *OSCAR for Sound Effects
& typically they didn’t have enough trust in her-(I’ve heard tracks with her original vocals on *”West Side” “Gypsey” & of course “Daisy” & on *WST” people were so damn creul, they actually would stand behind her & hold noises, of course meaning her own voice was that lousy, which is was not folks & it really hurt her BIG-TIME! The song here see sings-(over, or vice-verse) is “Sweetheart’s Heart”-(another nomination)-(EXTRA: Got to see a number of her clothes in the superb WB’s museum & thesewere among them)

& when 0sborne asks him his fav. lady-lady, without pause Tony cites her
(P.S. If only Tony hadn’t also co-starred a couple of times with a certain ACTOR, who’s name literally would make this lil’ lady shudder everytime she heard it for the rest of her short life!!!)

THANK YOU & AGAIN TO “MS. VALENTINE!”

Posted By Jeff L. Shannon : June 3, 2010 11:55 am

FOR “MS.LITTLE VALENTINE”-(P.S. I betcha’ most can’t figure that one out, though Mr. Edhelstein probably can
Please give it ashot though!?

A somewhat very personal note, though it’s tremendous for any new fans & I thank you)

As I wrote earlier, just far too much to cover here.

AN ALERT! For more of her fans, check out TCM’srepeat of Tony Curtis-(l925-) her 3 time co-star>
“King’s Go Fourth” (l958) (A strong ***) With: *”The Chairman: Sinatra” & Curtis

1964′s “Sex and the Single Girl” (barely ***) Curtis again & *H. Fonda & Bacall. Playing Helen Gurley Brown of all people.
Brown only wishes she looked & had a qtr of half the personality of what she has here.

& of course 1965′s “The Great Race” (***) Natalie, Curtis, Lemmon & Peter Falk-(the later 2 are a great comedic duo)
ultra-silly yet fun film a big hit too & Maltin writes she never looked lovier. Won an *OSCAR for Sound Effects
& typically they didn’t have enough trust in her-(I’ve heard tracks with her original vocals on *”West Side” “Gypsey” & of course “Daisy” & on *WST” people were so damn creul, they actually would stand behind her & hold noises, of course meaning her own voice was that lousy, which is was not folks & it really hurt her BIG-TIME! The song here see sings-(over, or vice-verse) is “Sweetheart’s Heart”-(another nomination)-(EXTRA: Got to see a number of her clothes in the superb WB’s museum & thesewere among them)

& when 0sborne asks him his fav. lady-lady, without pause Tony cites her
(P.S. If only Tony hadn’t also co-starred a couple of times with a certain ACTOR, who’s name literally would make this lil’ lady shudder everytime she heard it for the rest of her short life!!!)

THANK YOU & AGAIN TO “MS. VALENTINE!”

Posted By Trish : June 3, 2010 5:01 pm

What a shame Raymond Burr is best known for his portrayal of virtuous defense attorney, Perry Mason. In the 1940s and ’50s – before tv watered down his talent – he had a thriving movie career playing bad*ss gangsters, crooked cops and sexual harassers. As a film noir villian, he rocks! I’m gobsmacked by the way he brutalizes the female characters of Pitfall, Raw Deal and The Blue Gardenia.

Posted By Trish : June 3, 2010 5:01 pm

What a shame Raymond Burr is best known for his portrayal of virtuous defense attorney, Perry Mason. In the 1940s and ’50s – before tv watered down his talent – he had a thriving movie career playing bad*ss gangsters, crooked cops and sexual harassers. As a film noir villian, he rocks! I’m gobsmacked by the way he brutalizes the female characters of Pitfall, Raw Deal and The Blue Gardenia.

Posted By changeling69 : March 18, 2013 11:32 am

Natalie Wood is my absolute fave American movie star. Can’t forget her in Rebel without a cause, TPiC, West Side Story and Brainstorm (the movie she never finished shooting because she died tragically as we all know:(:().

Posted By changeling69 : March 18, 2013 11:32 am

Natalie Wood is my absolute fave American movie star. Can’t forget her in Rebel without a cause, TPiC, West Side Story and Brainstorm (the movie she never finished shooting because she died tragically as we all know:(:().

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