By Donald Spoto
The actress Teresa Wright (1918–2005) lived a wealthy, complicated, fabulous existence opposed to the backdrop of golden age Hollywood, Broadway and tv. there has been no indication, from her astonishingly difficult—indeed, horrifying—childhood, of the good fortune that might keep on with, nor of the common acclaim and admiration that followed her all over the place. Her marriages—to the writers Niven Busch (The Postman constantly jewelry Twice; Duel within the Sun) and Robert Anderson (Tea and Sympathy; I by no means Sang for My Father)—provide a great deal of the drama, heat, poignancy and heartbreak of her existence story.
“I by no means desired to be a star,” she instructed the famous biographer Donald Spoto at dinner in 1978. “I sought after purely to be an actress.” She begun performing on the level in summer time inventory and repertory on the age of eighteen. whilst Thornton Wilder and Jed Harris observed her in an ingénue position, she was once selected to understudy the a part of Emily within the unique creation of Our Town (1938), which she then performed in traveling productions. Samuel Goldwyn observed her first starring position on Broadway—in the ancient creation of Life with Father—and without delay he provided her a protracted contract.
She was once the single actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for her first 3 images (The Little Foxes; The satisfaction of the Yankees; and Mrs. Miniver), and he or she received for the 3rd movie. motion picture enthusiasts and students to at the present time recognize her functionality within the classics Shadow of a Doubt and The most sensible Years of Our Lives. The situations of her tenure at Goldwyn, and the drama of her breaking that agreement, endlessly replaced the therapy of stars.
Wright’s kin and heirs appointed Spoto as her approved biographer and provided him specific entry to her letters and papers. significant assisting avid gamers during this tale contain Robert Anderson, Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler, Karl Malden, Elia Kazan, Jean Simmons, Dorothy McGuire, Bette Davis, George Cukor, Marlon Brando, George C. Scott, the artist Al Hirschfeld, Stella Adler, and extra.
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Additional info for A Girl's Got To Breathe: The Life of Teresa Wright
At seventeen, Muriel had reached her full adult height of five-feettwo. She weighed 106 pounds, had beryl blue-green eyes, luxuriant brown hair and alabaster skin. To no one’s surprise, boys took notice, and one of them was dragooned as an escort for an outing that certainly left him surprised. The day after Christmas, Helen Hayes began a six-month run on Broadway as the title character in Victoria Regina. Muriel was resolved to see the play at the Broadhurst Theatre as soon as possible. Early the following spring, she hatched a plan.
I’d seen too many promising actresses go there for a career in pictures and end up with a career in picture magazines,” she said. “I could see myself sitting around for months waiting for a bit part and meantime being photographed in bathing suits in every conceivable pose. ” Soon after the opening, Katharine Hepburn came backstage to congratulate Teresa. She also had a firm offer from her friend Howard Hughes, formerly (it was said) her lover and still a good friend. “Howard is preparing a movie called The Outlaw,” Hepburn announced, “and you would be perfect for the part of the leading lady.
S Eventually, the peripatetic Arthur deposited Muriel with various friends or relatives in New Jersey, and before Muriel reached adolescence, Martha Espy vanished forever from her daughter’s life. “I didn’t have much of a home life before this, and then I lived with a lot of people, friends and relatives of my father. I was in and out of houses and apartments. Very early, I got to know a lot of different lifestyles. ” She was no longer subjected to the anguish caused by her mother, but life was insecure, confused and lonely.