Pages from Rosalind Russell’s book on her 108th birthday…what she had to say about “The Women”

Rosalind Russell wrote an autobiography called, “Life is a Banquet”. It used to sit on my grandmother’s bookshelf and I remember picking it up when I was around twelve and sitting down one afternoon and becoming completely engrossed. The book, like the author; is candid, genteel, and witty. Buy it, or find it at your library, it’s out of print — but search it out. Oh, and if you can’t read the print on the pages included just click on them, I scanned them big.

Rosiland RussellLife is a Banquet by Rosiland RussellAnnex - Crawford, Joan (Women, The)_NRFPT_01rosiland russell life is a banquet pg 80-81Annex - Russell, Rosalind (Women, The)_NRFPT_02rosiland russell life is a banquet pg 82-83Rosalind-Russell-Frederick-Brisson5life is a banquet by Rosiland Russell pg 84-85

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  1. Cathi
    December 18, 2013

    Thanks for sharing that. I must get the book. So much fun!

    • December 18, 2013

      My pleasure, enjoy the book!

  2. December 18, 2013

    oh wow.

    RR had us right from the moment she stepped out of the Elizabeth Arden Salon on Wilshire (where was that? near Bullocks?) and into a turn around the dance floor with Norma Shearer.

    thank you for re-printing this!


    _tg xx

    • December 18, 2013

      oh wow.

      found it – it sounds DIVINE.

      On June 21, 1933, Elizabeth Arden opened her Los Angeles Salon, at 3933 Wilshire Blvd. The semi-circular building, with its black and white marble façade and signature Chinese red lacquered door, was modeled after her Fifth Avenue salon on the exterior. The interior, however, had been designed by the great MGM stylist Adrian. Under Adrian’s direction, the circular main salon had walls of jade gray, with silvery gray curtains, black and white floor (with a “symbolic star” in black), silver-gray satin corduroy covered chairs, colonial-empire style sofas, and crystal chandeliers. The third floor contained the exercise rooms as well as the “Garden of Arden,” which Adrian designed, through copious plants, vines and painted metal awnings, to look like an outdoor room. Miss Arden greeted her new customers personally on opening day.

  3. Luanne
    December 18, 2013

    I have it and have read it and can’t remember it. I think my brain is on the wrong side of the mountain climb . . . .

    • December 18, 2013

      It’s the holidays, sometimes (always around this time of year) I can be talking to one of my dearest friends and suddenly my mind will go blank and for a split second I will forget their name. Really. Forgetting a book you read YEARS ago is completely justifiable.

      • Luanne
        December 18, 2013

        Thanks for the comfort, but I still think my brain used up its paltry portion a long time ago.

      • December 18, 2013

        Hm. Color me skeptical regarding the paltry portion, Ms. I Turn Out 3 Blogs Regularly… xox! V

  4. December 18, 2013

    Oh god.

    Dressmakers and coverage.

    The lives of the Women.

    Still today…..knew several women who had to keep such things secret not too long ago… s a d.

  5. December 18, 2013

    Great stories here. Thanks for scanning & posting!

    She sounds like an utterly fascinating person.

    • December 19, 2013

      The next chapter is titled, Back Door to The Front Page, or How I Was Everybody’s Fifteenth Choice — it’s a wonderful book!

  6. December 18, 2013

    You find the BEST material!

    • December 19, 2013

      You can’t go wrong with Rosalind Russell 😉 !

  7. Heather in Arles
    December 19, 2013

    Amazing!!!! I need this book!!!!!

    • December 19, 2013

      Tell me if you can’t get your hands on a copy and I’ll send you one from the States. xo, V

      • Heather in Arles
        December 20, 2013

        Ah that is lovely of you! But I found it on Amazon and as I can have a copy for 6€, shipping included I will be ordering it as a treat in January or February. You remember what I said about saving things? 😉

        Buuut, as Remi wanted to watch “Jurassic Park 3” last night (ah French television, always on the avant garde), I whisked myself away to the bedroom and watched “The Women”! A film that is impossible to see too many times…Just wonderful. And I was quite young when I saw it for the first time so let’s just say that there are a few things that I understood “differently” this go ’round…

      • December 20, 2013

        Clare Booth Luce:

        “Lying increases the creative faculties, expands the ego, and lessens the frictions of social contacts.”

        Acidic, but FUNNY. I think I’ll have to watch The Women this holiday too!

  8. December 19, 2013

    Dearest V
    ‘My Life is a Banquette’ would be the name of my biography.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • December 20, 2013

      But which? Inquiring minds want to know!

      In fortification, a banquette is a small foot path or elevated step along the inside of a rampart or parapet, by which the musketeers get up to view the counterscarp, or to fire on the enemies in the moat. These are generally a foot and a half (approximately half a metre) high, and almost three feet (approximately 90 cm) wide.

      A banquette may also be an upholstered bench or a footbridge.

    December 20, 2013

    you are picking the most amazing rare jewels, miss v!
    speechless and in awe.

    • December 20, 2013

      Thank you, love. So many rare jewels out there to be gathered.

        December 20, 2013

        and not enough experts to do so. I’m so glad I found your beautfiul b/w corner of the immense internet universe 🙂

  10. June 4, 2014

    […] Rosalind Russell writes about The Women […]

  11. June 4, 2015

    I have a copy of that book too. Love her.

    • June 5, 2015

      They were very different kinds of personalities but you might also like “Swanson on Swanson” and “Mary Astor, My Story.”

  12. June 8, 2015

    Love, love RR – I have that book. She was marvelous. On the wall of my computer room hangs a photo of her, dancing with Jimmy Stewart. Also an old LIFE magazine with her on the cover.

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