February 24, 2011

WGBH Studios, Boston. August, 1985

Back in the 1980s, when I was writing Vincent Price’s introductions to the PBS series Mystery!, his wife, the actress Coral Browne, would always visit us in the studio on the last day of taping. Here she is between us during her mercifully brief curly-haired period (“I look like f*cking Michael Jackson!”) on the set during our wrap party. The previous afternoon, I had casually mentioned to Vincent that Jeremy Brett (our Sherlock Holmes) was slated to appear on the London stage as Noel Coward opposite Patricia Hodge (Rumpole) as Gertrude Lawrence. That same night, when I picked them up at their hotel for dinner, Coral was hardly in the cab when she demanded, “Who’s the writer? Who wrote that play you told Vinnie about?” Well, I didn’t know, but I promised her I’d investigate. Which I did. The following day, when she arrived in the pin-drop-quiet control room and sat next to me with a sotto voce “Hello, darling,” I was able to whisper to her, “I found out the writer of that play is Sheridan Morley.” “Sheridan Morley!?!” she exploded. “He couldn’t write ‘f*ck’ on a dusty Venetian blind!” Coral was Australian, after all.


  1. Dolla Bill Y'allFebruary 25, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Is that the key to the wine cellar around your neck?

  2. I'll have to remember that Venetian blind retort. Wonderful!