peterslawford: maureensohara-deactivated201508: I received word from RKO that my next picture would be a remake of the 1932 film A Bill of Divorcement. I was cast as Sydney Fairfield, the daughter, a role played by Katharine Hepburn in the earlier George Cukor version. Australian-born John Farrow was set to direct. I was worried about the project from the outset. The screenplay was mediocre at best, and Farrow was nowhere near the caliber director that Cukor was. My concerns about Farrow were only heightened after I met him for the first time. His behavior was extremely inappropriate, and he didn’t attempt to disguise his obvious designs on me. Farrow was already married to another Irish Actress, Maureen O’Sullivan, and they had already started a family. His demeanor and inappropriate comparisons of “his Maureen” and me put me off. I decided to keep my head down and get through the picture as quickly as possible. I spent the first weeks dodging Farrow while we made the usual wardrobe and makeup checks. The costume sketches were made and shown to him and the producers for corrections. Then the costumes were made and I modeled them for a photographer for the final check and approval. Obviously, I couldn’t avoid Farrow anymore once shooting started, in the middle of January. He started right on me. At night, after filming, Farrow would show up at our home with gourmet dinners from the Brown Derby. He even brought the waiters with him. Mammy would be there alone when he arrived. The director and crew always leave the set before the actors do, as we have our makeup removed and hair set for the next day, so he always beat me home. When I saw that he was at my house, I refused to go in, and instead had to drive around the neighborhood for hours, waiting for him to leave. I’d call Mammy and ask, “Still there?” She’d answer, “Yep,” and I’d keep driving. I never ate a single meal with him. After several nights of my driving around until all hours, Farrow caught on. Then he got very angry, and started bad-mouthing me on the set, saying to crew members, “Well, she must be lesbian.” But really blew my top when I learned he had hung a full-length photo of me on his office door and was throwing darts at it. I decided to teach him a lesson the first chance I got, which finally came during a scene with Menjou. Adolphe was a sweet old man- patron of the elegant Menjou mustache- and known as the best dresser in Hollywood. The scene required me to hit him hard in the face, and I really hated to have to do it. But every time I swung, Menjou ducked and I missed. “No! No!” Farrow yelled as he jumped from his chair and stormed over to me. “Hit him. Hit him hard!” His moment of truth had arrived. “Oh,” I replied. “You mean like this?” I hauled off and socked Farrow so hard it nearly knocked him on his ass. I felt wonderful. The whole cast and crew knew what Farrow had been doing to me, and they knew that he had it coming. Farrow was like a church mouse on the set for the rest of the shoot. I barely heard him squeak. The crew, on the other hand, treated me like princess. I had won them over with my right hook. - ‘Tis Herself by Maureen O’Hara

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