Maurice-Evans

When Judith Anderson took part in a lengthy photoshoot for 1960’s lavish TV version of Macbeth, the latest in a long line of performances of the tragedy in which she’d starred opposite Maurice Evans, she found the process wearing. 

‘Everybody knows what Macbeth and his lady look like anyway – they look like Maurice and me,’ Judith quipped.

Well, who could argue with that!

We’re lucky that plenty of photos were taken, though, as the TV movie has never been released on video or DVD. This image is one of my favourites, full of drama and darkness. Just look at the tension on the Macbeths’ faces. Their expressions say, ‘We’re in too deep, but at least we’re in it together.’

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This book is dedicated to

DAME JUDITH ANDERSON

and

MAURICE EVANS

Two very great artists

By chance, I came across a little book called Macbeth: The Making of the Film (1960). It celebrates this ‘new landmark in the worlds of film and television’ with a discussion of what went on behind-the-scenes and plenty of photos.

Some of the pictures, like this one, I haven’t seen anywhere else. These ‘very great artists’ look so sweet walking arm-in-arm on their arrival in Edinburgh, it’s hard to imagine they were about to play the bloodthirsty Macbeths!

More on the book when I’ve finished reading it…

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The orangutans from the “Planet of the Apes” films. Edward G. Robsinson portrayed Dr. Zaius in the proof-of-concept make-up audition but declined the role for the actual film.

Maurice Evans - Dr. Zaius (1-2)
James Whitmore - Assembly President (1)
James Daly - Honorius (1)
Woodrow Parfrey - Maximus (1)
Paul Lambert - Minister (1)
Thomas Gomez - Minister (2)
Paul Williams - Virgil (5)
Lee Ayers - Mandamus (5)
John Huston - Lawgiver (5)
Edward G. Robinson - (test)

“It’s always a joy to know your castmates.

I’ve known Carl Reiner for years. Lately, he’s been appearing in Hot in Cleveland as a guest star in a recurring role– my character’s boyfriend, no less.

Carl Reiner and Allen were in the Army together in World War II in the Pacific.  Carl recently told me, ‘I wouldn’t have a career without Captain Ludden.' I had no idea what he was talking about, and said so.

Carl told me about this entertainment group Allen was in, called the Army Entertainment Section. Carl had written some material and stood up one night in front of the guys and read it. Allen said, 'You’ve got to do more of that.' 

Maurice Evans was also in the outfit, so Allen got Maurice to take the material to a producer, and Carl was off and running. He continued to be a writer, but also went on to become one of our great comedians. It took a Shakespearean actor and a game-show host to make it happen in the beginning, but Carl took it from there.

Today, every so often, Carl will say to me, 'Wouldn’t Allen get a kick out of this if he were here– seeing us working together?’

I don’t tell Carl, but I think Allen is getting a kick out of it, because he’s never very far from me. Ever.” -Betty White