Saturday, March 10, 2012
Screen Gem Saturdays: Romy & Walt
Austrian actress Romy Schneider's first trip to America was in 1958 at the invitation of Walt Disney and agent Paul Kohner (father of Susan from "Imitation of Life"). Walt wanted to test her for the film "Third Man on the Mountain;" perhaps he had seen her in "Robinson soll nicht sterben (The Legend of Robinson Crusoe)." Here Romy relaxes in Central Plaza with her mother, Magda. The House of the Future is visible in the background. There is another publicity shot that exists from this trip showing Romy Schneider and her mother (also an actress) labeled as being in the penthouse at Walt Disney Productions for a cocktail party. The penthouse? At the Studios? Sounds like another place to add to my grail list.
Romy recalled in an interview years later: "My mother was with me that time and we talked music and art with Mr. Disney but never about work. After nine days, I was taken for a tour of Disneyland and then sent home. It was very frustrating."
Apparently she was being typecast overseas as a Shirley Temple-type and felt that the only way to escape this was to come to America. Although she enjoyed the star treatment, her Disney film offer fell through and Romy had to wait until 1963 for her Hollywood debut in Otto Premingers's, "The Cardinal."
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