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


  1. 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

    • 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.

      • Heather in Arles

        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…

      • 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!

    • 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.

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  3. 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.

  4. Pingback: Happy 109th Birthday Rosalind Russell | Waldina

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