View Full Version : A little trivia: Carol Heiss' least favorite actress passes away

Pages : 1 [2]

05-05-2012, 12:40 PM
^ I don't know what you two are going on about with Patricia being hired. This was during the studio system and she was probably on 5 year contract.

05-05-2012, 03:17 PM
Let me be more specific in my response to michiruwater.

If you were hired to play clarinet in a band with a singer, you'd be expected to play to make the singer sound good, not to stand out from the rest of the ensemble. Same if you were playing in an orchestra for a concerto, for example.

05-06-2012, 05:16 AM
Medina wasn't under contract. She was in her early 40s and despite good skills and a famous husband, was have increasing difficulty getting work in Hollywood. I don't know what she did or didn't do to carol, but repeated efforts to get you fired by the young pretty star show a certain charisma uniqueness nerve and talent on carols part.

05-06-2012, 07:17 AM
What I think happened (without actually bothering to read accounts or watch the movie).

Medina knew perfectly well that part of her job was to make Heiss look good. She may have even tried to do so. But she was a working professional actress (which means the people you're working with are colleagues and you do your best and try to also make your fellow cast members look good) and Heiss was ... a figure skater who came from a background that was all about zero-sum competition (only one gold medal) and those other people on camera are rivals you need to beat. And AFAICT Heiss had had no real prep for filming or acting.

Heiss quickly sussed out Medina's superior acting abilities and freaked out. She was used to dominating her field and to be reduced back to (metaphoric) novice status sharing her field with the big girls must have been devastating. In addition, she may have hoped for a Henie style career and accepting that wasn't going to happen (while filming) couldn't have been fun.

Conflict (probably mostly originating from Heiss) was almost inevitable in such a situation. I assume the more mature Heiss regrets some of her early attitude and is probably not proud of her behavior on the film (and mostly tries to not think about it).

05-06-2012, 01:42 PM
I remember catching the movie on television years ago. Heiss looked totally different as a brunette, I barely recognised her.

05-06-2012, 05:37 PM
^ I don't know what you two are going on about with Patricia being hired. This was during the studio system and she was probably on 5 year contract.

By 1961 the old studio system was on its last legs and Medina was free-lancing. In that situation, the adage "You're only as good as your last picture" was especially true - Medina had nothing to gain by voluntarily taking a backseat to a newbie like Heiss.

05-06-2012, 08:37 PM
At the time this picture was being made, Medina had had more than 20 years of acting experience and had starred in lots of B-level movies (nearly all of them--except maybe a prior "Abbott and Costello" job---superior to the "3 Stooges" gig).

I think it was a bit presumptuous of Carol to even think she could have Medina fired even if Carol was the putative 'star' of the movie.

05-08-2012, 02:49 AM
"stealing a picture" and "stealing a scene" are not the same thing. Was she stealing scenes from Carol, or did she steal the picture by virtue giving the best performance?

The oscar for best supporting actress goes to "the best actress in a supporting role" iirc, not to the actress who best made the star look good.

05-08-2012, 06:15 AM
Since the name of the picture was "Snow White and the Three Stooges", I would expect that Heiss was Snow White and Medina played the Wicked Queen. Heavies are great character roles, and it wouldn't be at all surprising if Medina overshadowed the inexperienced Heiss, without even trying to.

I suspect Medina might have been a bit amused at Carol trying to get her fired, and in turn that would have made Carol even more furious.

05-08-2012, 02:02 PM
Medina was always known as a very outgoing, friendly, and gregarious woman. She was married to well-respected actor Josepth Cotton for many years, until he passed, and they were polar opposites in personality, he was very quiet. But it obviously worked, they were devoted to each other.

I think a combination of being out of her element, stresses with the loss of the 61 team, and just her own natural competitiveness affected Carol while she did this movie. There were only two main female roles in this movie while there were several male roles. She may have just seen Patricia as "Tenley 2," and felt she was had to compete with her for attention, that she had to "win" as was her nature.

05-08-2012, 04:36 PM
^ Good point about the World Team.