Thanks a million for introducing me to the real Lillian Roth, whose animated spirit and wonderful sense of humor, in spite of the emotional battles she admitted she still fought, gave me a sense of this woman that was completely unlike the one I'd imagined. Granted, this was years later---but, still--she had such a 'big' and a 'warm' personality, that it gave me the chance to see the very special L. Roth, as she was years after the horrors she went through.
I was particularly taken by her sense of humor, which was just wonderful to me. I have no doubt that this trait helped her through her worst days.
Don't know if I'm alone in this observation, but, too often, I just wished that Bill Bogs would remember that he was interviewing Lillian Roth--and NOT Bill Boggs!
Anyone who has seen "I'll Cry Tomorrow" should see this interview. Although the personalities of both Susan and Lillian do not exactly 'mirror' one another, the interview does remind you of the same demons they fought. (I wonder if Lillian knew, at that time, that she and Susan shared the same problem.)
I did notice that "Virginia" was mentioned as her special friend--and "Julie", perhaps as one of her 'companions". It may be that each was particularly important to Lillian at different stages of her life, but both still real friends to her.
Thanks again, Ginger. That interview was a real surprise treat!
Lynn, Julie was with Lillian for a long time, probably from the mid to late 50's up until Lillian's death. There may have been a period when they didn't see each other that much. I think I remember Julie mentioning this, but Julie was with Lillian when she died at the hospital. I don't think Lillian was in the hospital for too long, maybe a day or two, and then she passed away. Julie had written a lot about Lillian for the website that we developed together, and then when my website was deleted, a lot of info went with it, but I think I have copies of most of it, and there may be more info about Lillian's latter days.
Lillian had so many ups and downs, and unlike the appearance of living happily ever after, as in the movie, Lillian did fall back to drinking off and on...her life wasn't really a happy ending like the movie.
Julie said that Lillian was very upset that Susan did her own singing in the film. She had wanted Susan to mime her singing as she did as Jane Froman, but that is all a business and they try to make their best business decisions, so
as far as I'm concerned Susan did a fine job. I think it was mostly a disappointment to Lillian which would be somewhat natural, but business is business.
Julie passed away a couple of years ago. I visited her about 4 times in her home, staying many hours as she showed me her memorabilia and told me stories and showed me photos and letters and writings of Lillian. Julie also had lots of photos of the stars that she had taken and had a book published with the photos she had taken. She finished the book not too long before she died.
If you copypaste or click the website below, you will see Julie's website that she and I developed for her snapshots. Her neice keeps it going.