Pamela Mason recalled a fundraising dinner for George Cukor, where:
“Rachel sashays into the big room where the dinner is being held and there’s a U-shaped top table with George Cukor right in the middle. And of course, as Rachel’s in her ridiculously short miniskirt – for she hadn’t changed – she catches everyone’s eye, and as she wends her way unsteadily through the tables, everyone’s eyebrows are going up, except George’s – he hasn’t seen her. So to catch his attentionÂ she goes ‘Woof! Woof!’ Just like a dog. And when George looks up in surprise, she says, ‘We’ve come to tell you we can’t come to dinner,’ which no doubt seems a bit off, since she’s there. ‘But before I go,’ she says, ‘I just want to say something to the company. I want to say one big Woof.’ And turns to everyone and goes ‘WOOF!’ ”
Which, honestly, does not strike me as that bizarre. The firstÂ thought I had when I heard this story was, “Well, if Paz de la Huerta did that, it wouldn’t be THAT weird.” And then I considered, “Yes, but you are now thinking in terms of Paz de la Huerta type people.” And apparently Rachel’s – doggedness? – did manifest itself in other ways, like the time she crawled under a table and began worrying at Robert Mitchum’s pant leg. When asked about this stunt, she replied, “I was pretending to be a Welsh Corgi.”
And it wasn’t just dogs! Nancy Holmes, a friend of the couple, claimed:
“We used to put to sea in the motor vessel that Rex kept at Portofino – a ‘Riva’ class ChrisCraft. We’d fish from it, using tiny crabs as bait. Rachel didn’t fish. She sat on deck in the sun, drinking white wine. Suddenly, we heard her growl, ‘fish murderers’ followed by ‘crab murderers.’ When I heard that spoiling-for-a fight sound coming from her, I knew it was time to get the hell out of the way.”
At another time, at 21 Club, someone ordered soft shell crabs and she shouted, “Fish murderers, crab murderers!” In 21 Club. Have you been to 21? It is an astonishing restaurant in New York where you feel an immediate need to begin whispering, in spite of the fact that it is decorated like a third tier Applebee’s. Seemingly the crab killer thing was a persistent refrain. Anyhow, after that outburst she ordered two raw eggs and ate them at the table, dribbling their yolks down her front. As protest? Sure.