Betsy Blair

Family name: 
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Interview Number: 
Interview Date(s): 
10 Nov 2000
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Interview notes



Notes of interview with Betsy Blair no.488,10 November, 2000.


Tape 1, Side 1Born Cliffside, New Jersey. Mother a school teacher, father sold insurance, two older brothers. Dancing school, Fort Lee, Mr. Marshall, Talent contest, radio, beautiful child contest, photographic model, Lux, mother university, Aunt Gladys, school in New York, prefers children’s school, back to Cliffside, Sarah Lawrence, 15. Advert, call for dancers 45th Street, got job 40 dollars a week. Mafia night club, closed. Billy Rose, Diamond Horse Shoe, Gene Kelly, choreographer, calls for musicals, Bob Alton, ballet classes, “Panama Hattie”. June Alyson, Lloyd Gough, Marxist study classes, Soroyan, Henry Hudson Hotel, “Beautiful People” David Selznick, married Gene Kelly, Hollywood 1941, December 7", Pearl Harbor. daughter Kerry. Gene in navy 1945. California after war.  George Cukor, Garson Kanin, A Double Life, Paddy Chayefski, Delbert Mann, Marty, Black list. Kind Lady Angela Lansbury, journalist warned her. “Red Channels” [a US anti-communist paper. DS] dropped from Kind Lady. Miriam Shary, Alby Meger (?) not dropped, black listed.


Side 2.


Alba Bessie, active in movement, difficulties, 4 years on black list, Paddy Chayefski, Marty. Rod Steiger, Burt Lancaster, Dorian Shary(?), last offer from Hollywood. Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Leaving Gene, 16 years married. To France, jobs in Europe, lived in Paris, Kerry at school in Switzerland, Roget Pigot, Joris Ivens, film with China, Spain, 1998, Files from FBI, director out of jail, Antonioni, going through script worked a lot in Paris, London Savoy, Trial of Mary Duvin Peter Saunders, Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, 1960, As A Man Grows Older, Italian, New York Hollywood, The Halliday Brand, Ward Bond, Chin Chin; All Night Long; This Sporting Life;  Kerry in University in America. .


Tape 2, side 3.

England, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Occasional work, Delicate Balance, Patrick Woodcock.






Married 1) Gene Kelly, 2) Karel Reisz