Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 8, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
in HUMM SUB
Of UR (HIS OWN)
In theatrical circles Rex Harrison has frequently
been regarded as a controversial character —cocky, arrogant, opinionated, talented, insecure, and defensive.
Five times married, he has on occasion been a kind, sympathetic, 'brave and considerate husband, as playgoers will soon find out when Terence Rattigan’s drama, "In Praise of Love," opens in New York.
The play tells the poignant story of a husband whose wife is dying of cancer and who is determined to keep from her that terminal truth.
The play is based on what happened to Harrison in 1957, when he decided to marry Hay Kendall, a tall, well-turned, witty, fun-loving British actress.
When Harrison was starring on Broadway in ’’My Fair Lady," the physician who examined Hay Kendall phoned Harrison, sadly explained: "There is something you must know. Miss Kendall is suffering from leukemia. There’s nothing we can do for her. At best she has a few years."
Miss Kendall was scheduled to go to Hollywood to star in "Les Girls," and Harrison decided under the circumstances that neither she nor anyone else should know the truth of her illness.
That summer he married her, prevented insurance physicians from examining her, generally a required procedure before a studio will employ any star, and carried on as if nothing untoward was in the wings.
When she grew successively worse, he told his wife that she was suffering from pernicious anemia and that blood transfusions were necessary to get her well.
She died on Sept. 7, 1959, 27 months after she and Harrison had been married. Now Harrison is prepared to reenact the drama of it all in a play which points up & period in his life which does him proud.
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