. . . Cecil B. DeMille

. . .

Hollywood Remembers... Cecil B. DeMille

Evelyn Keyes:
DeMille didn't like Quinn at all. He actually told me to "Stay away from that half-breed." And he got his, because Quinn ended up marrying DeMille's daughter, Katherine. And his grandchildren were quarter-breeds.
It is true that he always had an assistant carry a chair for him. And it was his son-in-law who had to carry it. It seemed to me it was a high chair. DeMille wouldn't even bother to look around, he was so sure that that chair was going to be there. And it was there. His son-in-law was there every day with the chair. Anytime DeMille backed up, it was there. Think about doing that to your son-in-law. That's rotten mean, isn't it?
Leatrice Joy Gilbert Fountain:
He was sure that if he made crappy movies, that everybody would love them. And he was right! He would tell Mother, "I want you to be a lady in this, but I don't want you to be what a real lady is, I want you to be what a housemaid thinks a lady is. Do it for them." He was always aiming down at his audience.
Oh, he was terrible. Very egotistical and very tyrannical. He was always very nice to me, though, when I was a child. Gave me a little string of pearls for my birthday.
Ken Paradise:
Jesse Lasky Jr. made a very handsome living as a screenwriter under the DeMille banner. Because DeMille used him as his favorite whipping boy. Another pretentious ass if ever there was one. I met him. I saw how he treated Jesse Jr. I saw him at work on the set of The Ten Commandments. There were 125 people back there, and some extra would be laughing. And DeMille would be up on his goddamn stepladder -- he always wanted to be one step below God. He'd see this person laughing and he'd say, "That man is laughing. I want him off my picture right now. And I want a letter sent to Central Casting. I want everyone notified. This man is not a professional."
And he was out one door, and back in another.
Else Blangstead:
He was an ugly, bald man in riding breeches with a whip. He wanted terror, he wanted confusion, and when he got what he wanted he would get an erection. Such that everyone could see; there was no missing it. I did not like him.

from Hollywood Remembered: An Oral History of Its Golden Age by Paul Zollo


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