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An American reputation
Clarissa Kaye and her racehorse Grass Salad.
Until this year Clarissa
Kaye had a problem - a problem she shared with many other Australian actresses. She had an es- tablished reputation here in television, films and the theatre, but she was not known overseas.
Now, with enviable pan- ache and some help from her husband, international star James Mason, she has solved her problem.
In New York earlier this year her performance in Brian Friel's "The Faith Healer" had the critics, known as the Butchers of
Broadway, reaching for their brightest superlatives rather than their sharpest knives.
"lt was James' idea that I tackle Broadway. He be- lieved appearing on Broadway was the quickest and best way for me to establish my reputation over- seas. James was right. He always is," she said on a recent visit to her home
Mason married Clarissa Kaye three years after they appeared together in "Age of Consent," the movie ver- sion of Norman Lindsay's
novel made here in 1968.
Now they live in Switzerland.
She maintains that Mason, now 70 and with nearly 100 movies to his credit, changed her life. "He is an actor of impeccable judgement and taste. Being
with him is an education in
the art of acting," she said.
Clarissa, who co-starred with Mason in "The Faith
Healer," says they have no |
intention of appearing on Broadway again.
"Broadway was a means to an end," Clarissa said. "It's mad, silly and frantic.
"I have always believed that the purpose of the theatre is to raise the con- sciousness of the theatre- goer, but what they want on Broadway is soap opera."
Broadway's taste for soap was demonstrated, she maintains, when "The Faith Healer" was closed after only three weeks.
"Anywhere else in the world, a play like that would have been given a decent run, time to find its feet.
"We couldn't have had better reviews for the acting, but they panicked and
closed the show.
"lt was hard and tough. For me, it was a real eye- opener. lt made me realize Broadway is not a theatrical Mecca, lt's garbage."
While in Sydney Clarissa watched Grass Salad, the racehorse of which she and her husband are part owners, come second in the Turrella Stakes at Rosehill.
She also began negotia- tions for the making of a movie here which would co-star herself, Mason and Louise Fletcher, who won an
Academy Award for her act- ing in "One Flew Over the
Producer-director Joshua Logan owns the script, which is based on Australian writer Sumner Locke-Elliott's "Careful, He Might Hear
- JAMES MURRAY I