actress, the New Loretta Young Show
My earliest memories were actually going in for an interview (to get the job of replacing an actress who was playing Maria on Miss Young's CBS series) when I was abut six. And, actually Miss Young was there, and it was very calm and relaxed, not like many interviews were at the time.
From what I recall, the little girl before me had called Miss Young "Loretta" on the set , and that apparently was a big no-no. All the other kids on the show called Miss Young; "Mrs. Lewis". And I called her Miss Young, and she was just wonderful.
She was the one who first taught me how to cry. I used to giggle a lot and I remember she was trying to explain the methodology - and I think I might have been seven at the time - so she was getting me to run around the sound stage because one of the first qualities you notice about someone who has been crying is that they lose their breath and become breathless. And she was trying to get me to think of something sad, like my dog dying.
But I was having difficulty. I just kept giggling. So she asked my Mom to come over, so my Mom's trying to convince me. "Think of something sad. Be sad." Well, finally they thought, "Okay, we'll just go".
With the first take the actor we were working with, Victor Buono, was playing a character who was mentally disturbed and was trying to kidnap me. He was quite a large man, and when he came into the bedroom and grabbed me, and had his hand covering my mouth and my nose. He absolutely, flat out terrified me. I just burst into tears and cried through the whole scene.
Miss Young was thrilled that it worked so well, but, it was more my fear of him that made me cry, that he was really going to kidnap me, than Miss Young's acting lesson.
But since that time, working with my own drama students, I've used her technique many times to help kids understand the physical things that happen to your body when you cry.
She was terrific.