Mrs Irene Renee Harris

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Given that historical personages, like clothes, come in and out of fashion, Kyrila's intial post could have been the beginning of a wave of popularity for Rene! I'll try and get some photos scanned of the Rene who strolled through the Club overlooking Warriewood Beach last, hobnobbing with two Catwomen, enough Bonny & Clydes to rob every gas station from Chicago to NY, at least three Wonderwomen (one of them blond), Maxwell & 99 and the cast of Star Wars. I'm looking forward to the shots I had taken with a very impressive Ned Kelly - two Irish heroes side by side.

I might be able to get you a better scan of that photo, Randy - I'm having trouble getting access to a scanner at the moment, but I think I have a fairly decent copy of that article.
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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My Rene Harris show got put off till the end of May, now, so I have more time to put the script together. I need to inject some humor into it somewhere, considering all the serious subjects regarding the loss of her husband, the kidnapping of the Navratil boys, etc. Finally got the Moss Hart book and hope to get to read it this weekend at some point.
You all are the best friends a girl could have. Thanks for all your help, and great photos, too!

Kyrila
 
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Jason Rodway

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Just a quick bit of info that you may already know. Rene Harris was involved with starting the careers of Barbara Stanwyck (Titanic...1953) and Dame Judith Andersson (Rebbeca...1940)
 

Kyrila Scully

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I know that the Harrises stayed in C-83, but can anyone tell me what kind of decor that particular cabin was appointed?

Welcome, Jason. Yes, I believe we discussed that earlier, but thanks for joining the thread.
 
May 12, 2005
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Hi, Kyrila:

It's good that you have a little longer to prepare your script. I have some info that will help you with that. Give me a shout when you get a moment - I need your snail-mail address.

You might want to add some bits about Mme. Aubart to whom, apparently, Rene loaned money on Carpathia. At least I think researchers have identified this woman as Aubart. I tend to recall that Geoff Whitfield uncovered information about her that seems to fit Rene's description in her well-known "Liberty" magazine account.

Jason brings up Dame Judith Anderson, whom I mentioned earlier in the thread. There are several very funny anecdotes about that association. It would seem that after Rene had signed a contract with Judith, David Belasco (one of the giants of Broadway then) tried to woo her away. Judith reported that to Rene who lost no time calling Belasco up and basically bawling him out, telling him she was amazed that someone of his stature would try to pull such a caper, knowing, as he must, that it wasn't ethical procedure for a producer to attempt to make a deal with an artist without that artist's management being involved.

I don't have Rene's manuscript at hand as I write this, but I think old Belasco was so astonished by her forceful manner that he consented readily to her terms of "loaning" Judith to him. He even left his office to come to her's at the Hudson Theatre, which surprised all Rene's friends who said that he had never before negotiated business on another's turf.

Rene eventually released Judith to Belasco entirely. The star remained in touch with Rene thereafter and always spoke well of her and her management.

The Barbara Stanwyk episode was less happy. Barbara was not a nice girl evidently, having become sexually involved with both the leading man and the playwright of Rene's show, The Noose (1926), which launched Stanwyk as a star. These indiscretions irritated Rene who was a stickler about personal morals among the talent she managed and so she tried (unsuccessfully) to lead Barbara away from such entanglements. Rene loaned Barbara out for another hit play before releasing her to go to Hollywood. Rene said Barbara held a grudge and never acknowledged her for discovering her, instead crediting Willard Mack, the playwright she had been "seeing."
Randy
 
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Jason Rodway

Guest
My computer is playing up. So if this message is duplicated I do apologise.

Hello Kyrila and thank you for your welcome and thank you very much Randy, for the information you gave about Rene Harris and her dealings with early thirties Hollywood. Ooh! and to think I was a Babs fan.Hey Ho!
 
C

Christine Geyer

Guest
Hi all,

I have made a walk today, to see the house here in Wiesbaden, that Brian has found out to be the European address for Renee Harris. I will also dive down into the city archives and try to find out something about the background of this address for Renee.

Anyway I thought I'd already share a few pictures with you. The house is beautiful and it's situated in one of the town's most exclusive residential areas. The front of the house is a little hidden behind some tall trees but here's an impression:

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That's it from the backside:

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And here we have the entrance:

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As you can see, unfortunately someone has erected a really ugly rain cover over the entrance and the mounting of that light fixture should also be penally. It doesn't come out in the miniaturisation of the photo but between it and the doors there's still some original beautiful glass work. Still I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Regards
Christine
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Rain cover over entrance aside, those are gorgeous, Christine - the building itself is fascinating (think I'm detecting a few European influences there), and there's a nice quality on the shots!

Great to have you on the trail of the German connections - I haven't forgotten the help you gave me in chasing another matter!
 
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Christine Geyer

Guest
James, Ing and Phil thanks so much for your comments. If you liked the Harris house you should also see her neighbors. If Renee has really lived at that place for a while, this is what she saw when she looked out of the front windows:

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And it gets even better in the back:

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Nice neighborhood, hmmm?
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Regards
Christine
 

Kyrila Scully

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This is in Germany? Wow! How old is this neighborhood? I wonder if these homes were the inspiration for the "Painted Ladies" architectural movement in America at the turn of the century? They look like they could be in New England or San Francisco, except for the foliage. I think American homes prefer not to have forests that close to their houses. (Bug infestations, don't ya know.)

Kyrila
 
May 12, 2005
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Great photos, Christine! You are a quite the news-hound (though far prettier than the hounds I know!). This is a beautiful house and a gorgeous neighborhood.

But why, I wonder, was Rene staying in Germany? Apparently with a friend? I think it's interesting, if not suspicious, that she was there at apparently the same time that Dorothy Gibson and her mother were in Weisbaden. I wonder if it had something to do with a legal situation involving Titanic. I say that for two reasons. 1) Rene Harris and the Gibson women shared the same lawyer - Max Steur and 2) Molly Brown was also in Weisbaden at this time (right?) in connection with filing a claim against White Star.

Were these ladies all there to get some sort of special advice or what?

Maybe Christine "News Hound" Geyer can sniff out a link here.

Randy
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Don't know about that, Kyrila. My home is nestled in among a lot of trees, and the shade they provide in the summertime is a welcome Godsend. I just wish my home was as large as the one Christine photographed so I could have a place to stash my books other then the deck!
 
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Christine Geyer

Guest
Michael I think you could stash a LOT of books in this house *lol*.

Kyrila, I certainly wouldn't mind the trees if someone offered me to live in that dream of a house. The surroundings are so noble I think a bug would send it's visiting card on a silver tray before it would dare falling from a tree. I couldn't tell you exactly about the age of those houses but most of the old buildings here are from the turn of the century. Wiesbaden emerged from both world wars almost unscathed. In WWII the allied had decided not to bomb it because they planned to have their head quarters here. Thanks to that you find here complete streets of houses that look exactly like 100 years ago, including cobblestones in the smaller streets. Also the theatre and several hotels and so on.That's what I so love about living here. The old buildings look so beautiful, you never get tired of looking at them.

Randy I knew about Molly but I hadn't known the Gibson's had been here as well. This is great new information. I'll keep my eyes open for them as well. I wonder why they filed their claims against WSL in Germany because you'd think you do that at home where you have your lawyer right at hand. Maybe I can find out. But in general it isn't an odd thing that many of the societies ladies visited Wiesbaden. Back then it had the reputation of being the worlds leading health resorts, the european high nobility spent their holidays here and it had the most grand hotels in the world. So it was trés chic to stay here.

Now sorry for that eruption of local history *lol*. But as you see it's a good place for the Titanic lover
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Regards
Christine
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Renee's final resting place is to be found in the Chapel of Lilies in the Shrine of Memories. It is on the first floor, about five alcoves down on the left. Her crypt is at the very top, which comes about 12 feet above the floor. There are flowers in vases on the floor, a stained glass window at the end of the hall, and all is white marble. Sadly, there was little information to be found in the office about her, and the three ladies had never heard of her- or her passage on Titanic. Ferncliff is a lovely garden cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y. just off Rt. 100 near the Tappanzee Bridge. The cemetery park is enormous and beautifully maintained with many flowering trees and flowers.
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Mar 15, 2001
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Just wondering if anyone knows whether Mrs. Harris has any living family members? I know she never had children but did have nieces and nephews.
 
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Darren--Did anyone ever get back to you about Mrs. Harris's living family members? I'm interested in contacting them for permission to reprint an account she wrote in 1962 (50 years after the disaster), "A Night to Forget." With thanks, Virginia
 
Mar 15, 2001
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Hi Virginia,
No one ever responded to my question. I am sure that some who post in ET would know, especially ones who have tracked these families.
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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I'm researching Renee Harris for a script and I'd love everyone's input into information about Renee that isn't readily available in the usual places. I have several books and resources, which have provided a solid foundation. There's a lot I already know about Renee, but I'm looking for rare information that could add personality to my script. Randy, I'm sure you have a lot of anecdotes that might prove useful. Thanks to all of you in advance.

Kyrila