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Ginger's Susan Hayward Message Board: To reach If You Knew Susie by Trish Sharp, click the profile photo at www.facebook.com/susanhaywardclassicfilmstar and you will see the link.

Ginger's Susan Hayward Message Board
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Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )

Hi all... I found this little tidbit on the internet tonight. I had previously heard Patty Duke describe the toilet scene in Valley of the Dolls .. you probably have too.. but I thought I would just share this: Below are her comments from Next Magazine)
Interviewer:
"What was La Hayward like, especially in that toilet scene?"

Patty:

As you know, she replaced Judy Garland. I didnt do anything on film with Judy, but I sort of hung around with her for about ten days. It was very sad: I got to enjoy her humor but detested the people who made things available to her that she shouldnt have had. Anyway, Susan took over and we did the bathroom scene, and at one point I pushed her and she fell. I was horrified, but Mr. Robson came over and accused me - as God is my witness - of pushing her too hard on purpose. It never did get resolved. Susan and I finished working together. She went home and had her brain tumor and died, and I never did get to say to her, Honest to God, I would never do such a thing. It was just this competitive thing that Mark and I had, and if Id been old and wise enough to that at the time it was some kind of sibling rivalry, it would have been a lot easier.

Re: Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )

It says something for Susan Hayward's screen presence that in a super glitz, kitsch, high camp extravaganza like Valley ..., crammed with (for that time anyway) edgy dialogue and scenes, and beautiful YOUNG women like Parkins and Tate, that the bathroom scene remains most unforgettable. For me at least.

I think Mark Robson directed Susan in "My Foolish Heart" around late 40's, so if he liked/admired her as an actress, he may have been very protective on the 'Valley' set perhaps ?

Ginger, one puzzle - in Patty's comments she concludes that there was a competitive thing with Robson that she calls "sibling rivalry". Was she a half sister or something do you know, or was she using the term 'sibling' loosely to describe that type of competitiveness. ??

Kerry

Re: Re: Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )

Hi Kerry...I think Patty was just using the term loosely as you suggested. I did not even remember that Mark Robson had directed Susan in My Foolish Heart, and you're right, he probably did feel a sense of protection and respect for her as a pro among mostly 'amateurs' (in my own humble opinion). Patty Duke, of course, was truly professional (Helen Keller), but her "light" was "hidden under a bushel" during VOD....lots of bad acting in that movie but ain't it fun to watch.. and Susan, of course, outclassed them all.

Re: Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )

I never did see Valley of the Dollas (not even for Susan would I waste my time with sheer crap like that). However, I've heard and read enough about the flick to know that most of the so-called "stars" like Patty Duke and Parkins -- I can't even remember her first name, that's how famous she was; but I do remember that she introduced Susan at some press function as her "co-star" -- were lightweights compared to our gal.

If, indeed, Patty Duke did not mean to push Susan hard, I can't imagine why she couldn't have told her while they "finished the picture together" and before Susan "went home, had her brain tumor and died" (how about that for a description of such a sad event!). If I recall correctly, VOD was finished long before Susan got sick, leaving Duke plenty of time to make her apologies. Unless, of course, she never intended to.

I know Patty Duke has had her emotional and mental problems, but really...

Re: Re: Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )

There certainly was time Gloria, as you say.VOD was released in 1967 I think.And as we are well aware Susan died in 1975.
Duke was diagnosed in the early 80's as suffering manic depressive illness, but that is not a condition that would totally preclude visiting, just picking up the phone to call someone, or even as you point out, why not discuss it and clear the air as it were while the film was being completed.??

I thought it was a telling comment in your message where you mention Barbara Parkins calling Susan H. her "co-star". !! It's too much isn't it.
Patty Duke after all had been the youngest Oscar recipient (at the time) to win an Oscar when she won for "The Miracle Worker" in '62. She then had successful TV seasons of her show and was nominated for an Emmy. Rightly or wrongly, she may have felt on a par with any other actress in the film.

But Barbara P. who had sprung out of TV's "Peyton Place" and after VOD only managed two other main films "The Mephisto Waltz" and "The Kremlin Letter", had virtually no credits to justify calling a legendary top drawer actress like Susan Hayward "my co-star".!!!

Re: Re: Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )

Gloria.. I know I can't MAKE you ( ha).. but I really wish you'd check out VOD and see Susan in it.. it's worth the price of admission..especially, a particular scene in the dressing room where she verbally puts Barbara Parkins' character "in her place" in no uncertain terms. Susan is only in 4 scenes in the film, but they are unforgettable. The scened which I didn't particularly like was the one in which she "sang" "I'll Plant My Own Tree" It just all seemed so forced, and I can't recall right now whose voice it really was, but it wasn't Susan's. She had on a beautiful gown ( that had been originally designed for Judy Garland), but her hair was "strange"...well, I didn't think she looked her best in this particular scene.

In the scene with Barbara in the dressing room, Susan wore a classy red suit, black rimmed glasses, a cigarette in hand, and was she ever the tough old broad --tough as nails.. I loved it.. ha

I've seen a television interview and also read an interview of Barbara Parkins bashing Susan. She couldn't hold a candle to Susan. I don't think anybody much pays attention to her (Barbara). She seems VERY self-absorbed. I hope she reads this someday.. LOL

Yeah, I thought that was all pretty lame stuff coming from Patty Duke...very insensitive and immature. I don't know what the date of this interview was..hopefully it wasn't recently...my gosh, I hate to think she's hasn't matured anymore than that.

Re: Re: Re: Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )

Kerry.. my sentiment exactly regarindg Patty Duke and Barbara Parkins..

Re: Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )

Ginger: the voice in Valley of the Dolls that Susan mimed to was Margaret Whiting's.

Re: Re: Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )

Thanks, Gloria.. I had forgotten.

Re: Re: Re: Patty Duke on the Toilet (Scene, that is )...MY THOUGHTS

After the pushing incident, Susan went to her trailor & refused to work for the rest of the day (according to Duke's book, "Call Me Anna"). I don't think Susan wanted to have anything to do with her after that. Susan was an aloof loner to begin with, she was dealing with her husband's death around this time, which probably made her even more unapproachable. Just because they worked together didn't mean they had each other's phone numbers, addresses, etc. But if (miscast/too young for the Neely role) Patty Duke really wanted to apologize for the incident, she could have easily found a way to contact her I'm sure (there was plenty of time!). As for Judy Garland, she was such a mess at this point (in her 40's but looked like she was in her 60's) I think they used her as a publicity stunt & never intended to feature her in the film from the get go. Mark Robson (Susan's friend) may have had her in mind all along for Helen Lawson. (Other's who wanted the role were Bette Davis & Barbara Stanwyck). As for Barbara Parkins, I think she was absolutely stunning in this movie. She never looked that beautiful in anything before or since that film. If she was cast as "window dressing", it worked. This was her chance to move from a popular TV show to movies, which is still common practice today. Lee Grant (who played Mariam Polar in VOTD) had this to say in a 1997 interview: "The film was a much-anticipated event of 1967, there was this big push from the studio, that they were making three stars of Barbara, Sharon, & Patty, like an Ava Gardner or Lana Turner. Everybody thought it was going to be huge."