Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Body of It All

In amongst my readings as I was tracking down information on Jack Lee I came across an article written in April of 1970.  I believe it shows the cracks in the veneer that Agnes had so diligently painted over her persona.  It is an article of contradiction.  It is an article that shows us a peak of what had been so well hidden for so long.  Agnes was, beyond all things, opinionated and these opinions would pop up from time to time when she was interviewed on the fly.  They show us a woman who was not happy with the world she was living in and who drifted from reality to reality while talking.  This began to occur with great frequency as she grew older.  Agnes was sixty nine when she did this interview.

Agnes Moorehead Says:
"You Can See Bodies In A Morgue."
By Nancy Kelley
The Times Recorder
Zanesville Ohio
April 22, 1970

"Theater should involve an audience, not shock them.  It should provide a  release or an enriching experience which makes people more tolerant or merciful," Agnes Moorehead stated during an interview Tuesday.  She will make her first personal appearance in this area Friday.

The X rated movies, which have been so prevalent in the past few years, do not interest the red-haired stage, screen, and television start.
"The tendency toward repetition weakens interest in the problem and then the objective is lost, " she commented.  "On the other hand, it may lead to more understanding by some people so that they can recognize a problem when it occurs.  But a rampage of this kind of thing is not effective.  It leaves an audience in shock and it doesn't learn anything in that state."
"If people want to know something about drugs or other problems, they should see documentaries or go to hospitals.  You can see bodies in a morgue," the volatile actress said.

Miss Moorehead believes that an afternoon or evening in the theater should entertain an audience or provide them with a tune to hum as they leave. 
"Actresses or actors, who are powerful performers, can be a destructive force if they do not represent the right convictions," she said punctuating the remark with a wave of her hand. "When you are an entertainer, you are constantly learning and studying human nature.  You must have limitless imagination, judgment, taste, and a sense of psychology," she noted.  "I would go so far as to say there is too much entertainment today.  We live in a discontented era, with too much affluence.  No one is contented with his lot," the Muskingum College graduate said.

Miss Moorehead expresses a warmth and love of the theater and her audiences no matter where she is.  "It is a constant circle of empathy-meeting of the hearts and minds and endlessly exciting and enriching.  This is what keeps one at it."

She refuses to be put into a groove or let her acting become hum drum. " It is a fast paced life," she said. "We live in a cruel world and you must have the courage of a colonel on the firing line and the hide of an alligator.  My father taught me to have courage and a fighting spirit and I am grateful to him for that."

She says she used to argue philosophy with him when she was young. "I knew it all then and he was very tolerant of me," Miss Moorehead commented.  "Everyone keeps talking about a generation gap, when what we have is a communication gap."

Miss Moorehead, who will appear at 8:30pm Friday in the Municipal Auditorium, has five Academy Award nominations, five Emmy nominations and one Emmy for her guest starring role on televisions "Wild Wild West."

Her program "An Intimate Evening With the Fabulous Red-Head" will combine classical prose and poetry.
"In this way I feel I can contribute something and at the same time I learn a great deal.  The objective is to inspire people to read.  When college students or other people ask about the selections so they can read them for themselves-that is the greatest reward."

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