Hi Susan Fans...I will post this (but doubt many will be interested). I have not been able to stay on computer at any length of time and have only been back home since July 14th...but the following is what happened to me and why I have not been around for the past 3 months.
On opening night April 11th...I was playing Belle's father Crazy Ole Maurice in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. As the wolves are chasing me...the main curtain had to close to set the castle scene. We had NEVER rehearsed this part with lights etc to see if it would work or not. *there were 'no lights'...only the3 glow on the wolves masks and we were all....in complete darkness. I had no idea how much room we had on the apron of the stage and I had gone up too far and fell off the stage...thus breaking my back, right elbow, cracking my ribs and crushing my right arm and hand under me. They said when my head hit the cement floor, it bounced up and down three times, so I am lucky it was not also my head and neck that got hurt. I was operated on that night (the show had to close and an understudy took over the next night)...and they cut me (it is a t-9) from the center of my back by my shoulder blades to my lower back. It was not until the next day's e-x rays showing the problems on my right side and broken elbow that I guess panic and stress hit me..along with not really being in complete control of my senses...that I had a heart attack to go along with all of it.
I was in and out of intensive care 3 times and while in the hospital until April 28th...I was suppose to have been turned from side to side every 2 hrs which they had not done, leaving me with a very deep wound on my tail bone. It was after I was moved to a therapy place that they started trying to treat this deep wound that was large enough to put a golf ball inside. I am still with plugs and a wound-pac on that...and it will take another month to two months to completely heal.
I can get around my place on a walker and have just started using a cane for shorter walks thru the house. I live alone (with my cat Sudan) and get home health on changing the wound, bathing and more walking and arm/hand therapy. I can finally write now and can use the computer for short times but they figure, in order to get completely healed and back to my 'old self' *I had my 73rd birthday the second week in the hospital*...it may take until Nov or Dec. That news was given to me yesterday at the wound clinic, which I see once a week and the nurse changes the wound-vac twice per week. It is taking a long time to fill in this deep hole with new skin and is quite painful.
They still want me to be in bed (hospital bed in my living room) most of the time...to help this thing to heal. I am doing pretty well though, considering all that I had wrong. The day I left the rehap place, they told me that the day I arrived there for treatment to begin...they thought I would not make it...that I would probably die. It took changing all 'thought process' around and finally tell 'myself' that if I was to have died, it would have happened that night..so I have stayed with positive thoughts and continue to do so day by day (one day at a time).
I hope to be back on stage by next summer. I HAVE TO!! There are some good shows coming up, next year, that I am dying to audition for...so I must be prepared by that time.
I thank all of you who have contacted me on Facebook and expressed you concern and all the 'good positive thoughts' you have left for me. YOU never know when this type of thing will happen to you. I remember (a long time ago) saying..."If and when I die...let it be on stage, doing the thing I love most in my life." WELL...this was 'close enough' to have it happen so I won't be looking to 'loose my life' each time I go out on a stage again;and it will happen!
Like the song from FOLLIES says...."Good times...bad times...I've seen them all and...I'm here! I made it all through last year...and I'M HERE!"
My love and Best Wishes.....to One and All of You.
Oh my goodness, what a dreadful thing to happen BUT your fortitude took you through it all and you are here with us. May God Bless You and help you with the rest of your healing. I know Susan will be a good influence on you too, now that you have time to rest and be able to watch her. When I came home from hospital recently and could hardly do a thing, it was so relaxing to see her on film. Take care Errol and hopefully, next year you will be back on the stage.
Thanks Trish...for caring and the kind words you have sent to me. I felt so bad on Susan's birthday, but since I had a tv in my rehap room, I was looking forward to watching the line-up of Susan movies they had planned for that day.
I had to go out for a visit to one of the (5) doctors that have been working on me...and had watched GIRLS ON PROBATION and THE HAIRY APE before I left. (they were on early in the AM ...about 4am). When I got back to my hospital bed, I was surprised to find they had 'cancelled' all the other movies that had been om their listing for many weeks before her birthday. Instead they were showing HOW THE WEST WAS WON. No more Susan films were shown...and I still can't figure 'why' she is skipped over for Star of the Month or her birthday each year.
They must have the films there...because they have shown them, when saluting some other star in her films. THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME was on for JANE GREER, THE LUSTY MEN for ROBERT MITCHUM...(It has happened many times...but not for our dear Susan.)
I am amazed, when they salute some 'off the wall' actresses (DIANA DORS) and give them big build ups by playing 3 or 4 of their films in a row...but again never Susan.
Again...thank you for your kind words and I will continue to heal and get back on my feet. I was watching a 'one man show' with KIRK DOUGLAS last night on TCM....a show he had done at a theater he built in one of the L.A. areas and he said he had always wanted (from the beginning) to be a stage actor and had replaced RICHARD WIDMARK in a show on Broadway, but his singing voice did not hold up and he had voice problems...lost the show after a short run. He said that at 93 he had finally found 'the way' to become a stage actor...even if you are not cast (after all these years doing movies)..The way to do it was...to build your own theater!! (the guy's still got it!Even at his age...so I'll not let this get me down and will be back on the 'boards'....one day in the future.
My Best to You....Errol
Errol, I am so very glad to see you back online.. here and at facebook! People at Susan's fb are familiar with you because I have been using some of your photos you sent for Susan's homepage and I have shared them at fb and mentioned that they are from your collection.
I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and I'm so grateful that you are beginning to heal.
That's awful. But your survival, and able to get on is miraculous. Any chance of having your next role in The Man Who Came to Dinner? You might be relatively "comfortable" playing that. And I think the company owes you one.
Of course, I'm not being serious, entirely, but it's great that you survived all that. Not all of us could/could.
WOW! I tried to respond to both Ginger and Bill's comments and wrote a message telling Bill he made me get a big laugh out of doing the MONTY WOLLEY role in THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER...but I would decline, since WOOLEY wound up having to slip on the ice again...at the end of the show...thus putting him back in the same mess he was in before. I got a big kick out of the thought but would not want to go through it all a 'second time'.
I also thanked Ginger and told her I had promised to put the whole story on here as I had done on facebook...but it had taken me a long time to get it done and thanked for her concern and prayers.
THEN...I went over to see if it had taken on the message board and it had DELETED IT..saying that it was SPAM...so I am trying to put it back on again.
Hope it works this time..otherwise I will let Ginger know...on the facebook page that I had tried to post twice on here. (computers are funny that way).
I am quite possibly the last person in the Western world who is not a FB fan at all. I am on it, but rarely visit and to be honest, prefer not.
But it is good to see you back at the keyboard ( albeit for brief stretches).
Best wishes for a speedier recovery than the health gurus forecast
Errol, they pre-empted Susan's big day (birthday) at TCM because of Eli Wallach's death? Can you believe it? Susan fans were upset everywhere. I signed up on the TCM message board that night and told them what I thought about it.. ha... I'm sure they really care, but I felt better...I respect Eli Wallach, but come on.. they could have had his tribute the next day for heaven's sake. No, I wasn't happy about it and I wasn't the only one....especially when they consistently ignore her for Star of the Month.
Well, I am having trouble from time to time posting too... something is going on and not quite right with my message board...words are lighting up like links, and they aren't links, and there is some kind of spam ad under the title photo. ..and I have had a spammer leaving a dumb message a couple of times that Amy alerted me too..I'll try to find out what is going on..in the meantime, I guess we will just have to endure it.
So glad you are getting back in gear, Errol!
Ginger...thanks for the up-date on TCM and their 'reason' for not showing Susan's films on her birthday. That is a lame excuse! I have seen, many times, that they have waited a full week...before doing a tribute of the star who died.
Look at JAMES GARNER who died a few days back...and his tribute is tomorrow morning.
This is not the first time they have skipped over Susan...but this time the 'schedule' of films had been listed for a long time, so I thought it would finally happen.....NOT!!.....
As I'd mentioned to you, I was so shocked to hear just how horrible your injuries were. Though the expression 'break a leg' is used to wish 'good luck' to actors on opening night---I don't recall them mentioning any other parts of the body!!
You are very, very strong to have come through this with both physical healing and mental optimism about yourself and your acting future ahead! I am sure there are times when you want to just fast-forward to November.......but, it will come--and your recovery with it.
We look forward to hearing about what you'll be auditioning for next summer's theater season! Please do keep in touch.
Wishing you the very best, Lynn
So sorry to hear of your accident and the long road back.My prayers for a full recovery and painless days are wished for you,Errol.I have been a fan of Susan's since 1955 when I saw her outstanding performance in "I"'ll Cry Tomorrow. It left me speechless and wanting to know about this talented and beautiful actress.It has been a lifelong journey of love and admiration for Susan.In fact I met Trish and we have become long distance friends and have met here at my home in MA.We took our first trip to NY and actually met Susan's Granddaugter.We spent a lovely day with her and I will cherish it always.Take care and I'm praying for you.
Thanks Lynn....for the email you sent me at my regular e-address and offering to put my response to you...on this site. Then I did get feeling better and was able to do it myself. I am so grateful for your kind wishes and YES..I will recover from all of this and be 'back on the boards' again...but I will not be 'wishing' any fellow actors...any 'break-a-anything' remarks from now and on. I can now see...it can sometimes come out 'seriously wrong'....(lol)....
Hi Joanne...and thank you for your kind remarks and concern. I want you to know that I first found my favorite actress (SUSAN) when I saw WITH A SONG IN MY HEART. I was in the hospital bed....(in rehap) when it came on TCM one night. As many times as I had seen (and love) this film, I thought...'never did I think I would be seeing this film lying in a hospital bed and wondering about my future health; if I would win or loose the battle.
From the time I saw WASIMH I 'had' to go back and find ALL of Susan's films and in each film I watched I was more driven to her 'spunk' and 'honest acting'. I was amazed at all I had missed and each new Susan film I found...what a treasure
it was to see her in..yet another great performance.
I too....think that I'LL CRY TOMORROW is her very best performance and it was jaw-dropping...those scenes on skid-row...the way her face twitched and how 'deep' she had gone...into the role of LILLIAN ROTH's life...I could not get over he 'no win' for the Oscar for this performance. I liked I WANT TO LIVE! but feel her truly 'best' was still I'LL CRY TOMORROW.
I'm glad you and Trish became such good friends (through our Susan) and that you have shared such great memories together. I'm sure meeting someone from her family was a thrill for sure! I was lucky enough to meet her backstage at the JOEY BISHOP SHOW and will always treasure that meeting.
Again...thanks for the kind thoughts and I send you warm wishes and 'all the best' in your life too.....
I was thinking about you and wondering if you were any better. Being ill is tough.. I hope you have someone to help you.
I guess I am going to the library and take out some of Susan's other biographies. I too wish Tim would write one, but
Understand why he doesn't feel able to do it! It may just be too painful for him. He is a super guy, and I am thankful that he is on here at all and that we have PT to read.
I am praying for you, and hoping you won't need surgery. Hang in there! Jody
Thanks Jody....The past few days have not been too good for me, so I haven't been online much at all. I'm headed back to my hospital bed now and will try to stay down....like they want me to do.
I thank you for your concern and well wishes. I think the thought of another hospital 'stay' is wearing on my nerves and I 'must' stop thinking the neg. way and then maybe things will look a bit brighter.
I had a 'voice mail' yesterday from a friend in Pittsburgh, Pa....about a book he is reading with a lot of 'quotes' from famous people in it and he read something that TENNESSEE WILLIAMS had written about SUSAN....saying that she was one of the 'best' actresses in the business and that she had the beauty of RITA HAYWORTH and the 'spunk' of BETTE DAVIS...that she was 'way ahead of her time' and did her work 'seriously' and would never stoop to 'low-class' roles to just have her name in the public eye. have asked him to send me (in a letter) the whole thing that was written about her and when he does, I will post it on here.
SUSAN....who never thought 'her work' was looked upon as 'darn good'..and then to hear praises like this one! Hope she is aware, now, of what an impact she left for 'future' generations to 'find' and 'enjoy'.
I have been wondering how you are doing and if you know if you have to have surgery. I know all of Susie's fans are praying for you. Do you still have to lay in your hospital bed? They aren't very comfortable.
I wish we could find out why TCM is so hard on Susan. I know she didn't enjoy partying and giving interviews, but so what she was a star. And made some awesome movies. Another thing that bothers me is that she is left out of some of the Classic Beautiful
Actresses on many of the You Tube Videos. She could put many of the ones on the videos to shame. Not that a lot of the other actresses aren't gorgeous, but let's be fare to Susan and others who aren't acknowledged.
Take care of yourself, Blessings, Jody