I came across a clip of EB winning the Tony in 1975 for Same Time Next Year (@ link) and she looked very good especially as I never really think of her as an especially 'attractive' actress. Maybe because she was mostly highly regarded as a very good actress.
So I then looked for more clips of her, maybe a talk show interview or something and there's very little, hardly anything.
I tried reading her autobiography a few years ago and gave up, but can't remember why...I think I'd 'had enough'. What I do remember is that she had a crazy ex-husband who used to sit in the audience of her B'way show and was so disruptive they had to install a guard and that the whole situation with him spoiled the pleasure of her huge success in the mid '70s.
When he eventually died, his parents contacted her and said 'Congratulations, you've won another Oscar!'
Point is... I'm posting this because I'd be interested to hear what people think of her/ know about her, also to ask if there are any links to decent interviews.
[quote]When he eventually died, his parents contacted her and said 'Congratulations, you've won another Oscar!'
And she should have responded back with, "Your son sucks cocks in Hell."
[quote]I tried reading her autobiography a few years ago and gave up, but can't remember why...I think I'd 'had enough'.
Her autobiography is actually pretty great and I've read over a hundred. Her husband made her life a living hell but she also showed compassion because he was so mentally ill. Highly recommended.
I loved sneaking down into the basement to watch The Exorcist on HBO in the middle of the night, mid-70s. I was only 10 and wasn't allowed to watch it, but I did, many times.
As I kid, I loved her short-lived sitcom with Megan Mullally and Elaine Stritch.
I truly disliked her autobiography. I thought it was the definition of self -indulgent - the record of every compliment she'd ever been paid. It was quite a disappointment becuase I love her work.
Ellen was a model and was always thought of as a beauty. She is still quite beautiful today.
I used to hear gay rumors about her - but never anything substantive.
She didn't become a big star until she was well into her 30s (was it in The Exorcist?) but I'm not sure what finally pushed her to the A-list.
[quote]but I'm not sure what finally pushed her to the A-list.
Probably Alice doesn't Live Here Anymore, for which she won the Oscar. She was unable to attend the ceremony because she was on Broadway performing Same Time, Next Year, for which she won the Tony.
I thought she was really brilliant in The Exorcist. Actually the whole cast was quite good, but she really shined. The scene between her and Father Carras when she first meets him is an incredible tour de force in acting.
But how did she get cast in The Exorcist? Any number of established stars could easily have been considered for that role.
[quote]I thought she was really brilliant in The Exorcist. Actually the whole cast was quite good, but she really shined
She tells quite a funny story about The Exorcist @ link. That's why I think it's a shame there aren't more interview clips online.
Really, R11? Your post shows you up as someone who's really not in a position to judge. But I guess you sail through life on your warm heart and good looks.
They originally wanted Jane Fonda for The Exorcist role but she turned it down.
Ann Bancroft was first offered the role, but she was pregnant at the time and wouldn't go through the filming while carrying a child.
I worked wiith her in the early 90's. Total insufferable cunt.
Met her at an opening night event off-Broadway a few years ago. I second R15's post.
Burstyn broke through in The Last Picture Show. I think she got The Exorcist because others turned it down....(Shirley MacLaine and oddly Carol Burnett were both offered it and passed. MacLaine says it was written for her by her friend Blatty. I never knew why she passed you'd think she'd have liked something like that.)
Well it was horror, even today serious actors try to stay away from the genre.
I recently saw a very young Burstyn on an old "Perry Mason." She was still being billed as "Edna McRae" at the time.
She did a great job as Eliot's crazy mother on SVU.
It's shows a generosity of spirit that she accepts the Tony for herself and Charles Grodin, for Same Time, Next Year.
The film version would probably have been much less bland if they'd cast him, rather than the bland, perpetually grinning, 'nice guy', Alan Alda.
[quote]Shirley MacLaine and oddly Carol Burnett were both offered it and passed. MacLaine says it was written for her by her friend Blatty. I never knew why she passed you'd think she'd have liked something like that.)
MacLaine was never offered the role. She had her own possession film the year earlier "The Possession Of Joel Delaney". The role wasn't written for her. She was just the inspiration of the Mother/Actress in character only. Shirley's daughter was never possessed. Actually, Audrey Hepburn was first choice. She would only agree to star if the film were made in Rome. Both Friedkin and writer William Peter Blatty rejected that and it was shot in NYC.
[quote]Both Friedkin and writer William Peter Blatty rejected that and it was shot in NYC.
With locations in Washington, I guess.
I wonder why they set it in Washington if it was made in New York.
I'm sure there are a million books on this subject.
She was in some film about Medea with Melina Mercouri in the 70s. I've seen some clips and it looks fascinating, but I've never been able to find a copy of the whole thing with subtitles.
Her brother was putting together a film of Richard Yate's The Easter Parade a few years ago. If ever something should be filmed for HBO it's that book.
[quote]I wonder why they set it in Washington if it was made in New York. I'm sure there are a million books on this subject.
In the actual exorcism case on which the book was based, the possessed boy (not girl) lived in a Maryland suburb of D.C., and post-possession he went to a high school in D.C. Blatty changed the location to Georgetown, because it's more upscale and he thought that might make the case more interesting to his audience.
I love Richard Yates' Easter Parade r23!
For those not recognizing his name, he is the author of Revolutionary Road.
I third the earlier posts about Burstyn being an absolute bee-yotch.
At an actors' benefit she rrefused to deign to actually speak to anyone who wasn't famous like her.
I recently watched Alice Doesn't LIve Here Any More on TCM and her erformance is revelatory.
The Exorcist was filmed in both DC and NY. I think the decision to film in DC was a good one. Those damn stairs still give me the creeps.
I like how The Exorcist is filmed in DC yet we don't need to be clobbered over the head with DC imagery. In fact, we see no Federal/historical landmarks.
The streets of Georgetown are enough.
It's a while since I saw the film but I think I didn't totally buy into Ellen Burstyn as the sort of grand movie star she was portraying, who'd need to go out in huge dark glasses and head scarf so as not to be recognized.
I'm also not buying into the 'Burstyn's a bitch posts' on here.
Posts such as R26's:-' At an actors' benefit she rrefused to deign to actually speak to anyone who wasn't famous like her.'...don't ring true, somehow. Just sounds like bitchy, false, second-hand gossip to me.
R17, was Carol Burnett REALLY offered Burstyne's role in THE EXORCIST??! That's very hard to believe. Even though she has proven to be a fine dramatic actress, I don't believe she had proven it by that time. And anyway, I would think the filmmakers would have been afraid that, with Burnett in the role, the public would view the movie as total camp, regardless of how good she was.
Lucy was offered the role as the mother in The Exorcist. However, Gary Morton wisely talked her out of it, pointing out that the audience would have a hard time not thinking Lucy was the one possessed. Years of drinking, smoking, and being a hard bitch had left her appearance harsh and frightening.
[quote]Lucy was offered the role as the mother in The Exorcist. However, Gary Morton wisely talked her out of it, pointing out that the audience would have a hard time not thinking Lucy was the one possessed. Years of drinking, smoking, and being a hard bitch had left her appearance harsh and frightening.
Shame he couldn't he talk her out of doing Mame, for the same reasons.
[quote]It's a while since I saw the film but I think I didn't totally buy into Ellen Burstyn as the sort of grand movie star she was portraying, who'd need to go out in huge dark glasses and head scarf so as not to be recognized.
She went out in huge dark glasses only once, to cover a huge shiner.
Ellen's performance in the film "Resurrection" is outstanding. I cried like a little bitch when it was first released . . . and I still do when I watch it today. Two scenes that do it for me are when she says goodbye to her grandmother for the last time and the final scene when she cures the young boy of cancer.
I waited on her once in a restaurant- CHEAP TIPPER!!!!!! and very unfriendly- this was when she was president of Actor's Equity.
Random trivia: Ellen is a practicing Sufi.
I think this clip is pretty strange.
An Exorcist cast reunion on Good Morning America. I mean, is this really the sort of movie that should be having a jolly old cast reunion on a breakfast time show?
WARNING: Ellen tells the same joke. It's a good joke, so I guess it deserved to be told more than once.
Ellen starred in the movie version of Henry Miller's "Tropic Of Cancer" starring with Rip Torn. She did a full frontal and it was rated "X" in the "Midnight Cowboy" days fo "X", not porn.
She's one of my favorite actresses and she was totally robbed the year that Requiem for a Dream came out.
One of my most memorable Hollywood experiences was meeting her through a friend of mine who knew how much of a fan I was. Ellen actually gave me a copy of her book and autographed it for me. I loved it. It's mostly about her spiritual journey as a Sufi and the challenges she met working in such an egocentric industry as Hollywood. Her ex husband was mentally ill and committed suicide after stalking her.
Sorry to read that she's an "insufferable cunt" as I saw no trace of it in my brief interaction with her. For those who had a negative experience with her, what happened?
Ellen fans will fondly recall that she was one of Jackie Gleason's "And Away We Go!" Girls on his old TV variety program. This was when she was still billed as Ellen McRae.
The June Taylor Dancers
She's marvelous in ALICE and RESURRECTION, but there's nothing particularly special about her acting in THE EXORCIST. It's a perfectly good performance, but the roles are all 2-dimensional at best to make way for all of the shock effects.
It's a role any number of actresses could play.
Your mother sucks cocks in Hell! Wagawagawaga!
I agree R29, it is one of the few DC filmed movies that has nothing to do with politics.
Her memoir was only recorded (by her) as abridged, I thought it wasn't bad, so looked through a print copy to see if I could tell what was missing - abridged was probably enough it seemed.
Doris Day would have been great in the Exorcist.
[quote]Ellen's performance in the film "Resurrection" is outstanding.
Count me as another huge fan of this film.
I especially loved that lil bitch who got the nosebleed that Burstyn had to cure.
"Bull. Bull, bull, bullllllll!"
I'd seen Resurection around the time of my mother's death, and it was a great comfort. Ellen Burstyn was wonderful in it.
I'm not sure I believe it, but it was a comfort.
Really R42? I guess you missed Brooke Shields' performance?
Ellen Burstyn broke my heart in ''Requiem for a Dream''
Nobody plays "harrowed" like Ellen Burstyn.
Requiem for a Dream...she shoulda won for that. One of the most amazing performances ever in one of the most depressing films I've seen.
I read her book too. She and my Dad were into the new age thing at the same time and ended up with the Sufis in Chamonix so I was interested in that since he never really talked about it.
The part of her book where she talks about a facet of her personality she refers to as "Incestua" really threw me for a loop. She comes back into her father's life to seduce him. I was scratching my head over that one.
I can still picture her in The Last Picture Show driving up in her big Cadillac convertible with her husband and flipping her lover the bird.