Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's My Line: Greer Garson as Mame

Most people identify the role of Auntie Mame with either Rosalind Russell or Angela Lansbury (and the occasional philistine will mention Lucille Ball). However, there were three notable actresses who played the part in the original Broadway production of the play. Russell opened the show to rave reviews and she was the toast of the town for over a year. When Russell departed the NY production to make the film version of Auntie Mame, her replacement was none other than Oscar-winning British actress Greer Garson, in her one and only appearance on Broadway (Bea Lillie then took over for the last four weeks of the NY run before opening the play in London). During Ms. Garson's stay at the Broadhurst Theatre, she made an appearance my youtube obsession "What's My Line?" all dolled up as Mame, complete with cigarette holder. The actress, who seemed to channel Garbo in her answers, proceeded to stump the entire panel including guest Orson Welles. Enjoy.

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