Rita's Revenge

by Crazy Hazel (Gloria Kaufman), from pg. 161 of In Stitches

Yeah, I was in Hollywood when Rita Hayworth was a star.

Yeah, they treated her like merde -- at least Harry Cohn did. He was the head of Columbia pictures. Never asked her how she liked the script or the part, ordered her around like some donkey: "Be there Monday at 10 to fit your costume," he'd say. Never a car to pick her up, never even a "please."

Yeah, she asked for a lot -- like some chintz in her dressing room -- big expensive item. Ordinary things like that sent Cohn into a hysteria of howl: "What she need chintz in her goddam dressing room for?"

Yeah, she got even. And how. Rita just came down whenever he said, did everything he said, no fuss, sheep-meek for the first two weeks of shooting. By then the studio had a real bundle in the production, and then zap! Rita gets sick and can't continue. All that footage -- what can they do with it? Cohn can't even stuff it in his mattress -- or the usual place they tell people to stuff things. And I'm thinking, "Remember that, Harry Cohn -- $750,000 down the drain because you·re too chintzy to give Rita her little bit of chintz!''