Did I ever tell you about the short, ahem, “vacation” that I was invited to take from MGM after all the blacklisting controversy in 1951? I was understandably upset when Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohn, and J. Edgar Hoover closed in on me for my suspected connections to left-leaning actors and movie folks. Well, I got so upset (and outspoken!) about it all, that I had a bit of a… um… meltdown. It seems I went to the studio commissary and began throwing food at the nice ladies behind the serving counter… there was a rumor that I was particularly destructive with the wax beans and the succotash.
I was “detained” by some very sympathetic police officers, and later sentenced to a stay at the Hollywood Hills Home for Semi-Hysterical Creative Persons. The psychiatric staff there gave me my own bungalow on Carl Jung Lane with its own padded kitchen where I could relax and cook to my heart’s content. The only bad news was that all the knives and forks were plastic and the stove and oven were heated by extra-strong light bulbs… but after about three weeks, I had put on about 22 pounds and had completely ruined the figures of my fellow patients staying nearby… and our wardens. But that was okay. I was able to tailor their hospital uniforms in my padded sewing room!
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