25 February 2012

No pickle, no performance

[Harold Kennedy's] book [No Pickle, No Performance] is dedicated to actress Renee Taylor, who refused to come on stage during a play's opening night until she got a pickle with her sandwich, as she had during the previews. The coffee shop that had provided those sandwiches was closed, and the curtain was held while a prop man got in his car and went searching for the holy pickle. It arrived seven minutes after the advertised curtain time, and the show went on.

Unknown to Taylor, the stage crew was so enraged by her antics that they performed "a little ceremony" with the pickle before giving it to her. Gloria Swanson later said: "Poor Miss Taylor. Can't you see her shopping around to every delicatessen in New York complaining that she can never find a pickle to match the caliber of the one she had in New Jersey."

- Max Millard, interviewing Harold Kennedy in 'TV Shopper', 22 July 1978, compiled in 100 New Yorkers of the 1970s.


[Cross-post from Very Friday Blog]
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