Shelved Dolls: Rachel Roberts – About That Time She Masturbated A Dog

Later, Albert Finney said that he had the sense that she was being tended to by Sibyl. (I feel rather guilty that I gave a Shelved Dolls to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and buried Sibyl Burton later Chirstopher somewhere in the midst of it, as she often seems to be one of the only truly nice people from this whole period.) He claimed, “It was sad now to see her being assisted, as it were, through life.”

Just as Rachel felt about Rita Hayworth.

She committed suicide shortly thereafter. Her last diary entry, on November 25th, 1980, reads:

“I can’t control it any more and I’ve been trying with all my failing strength. I’m paralyzed. I can’t do anything and there seems to be no help anywhere. What has happened to me. Is it that my dependence over the years on alcohol has so severely debilitated me that now, without it, I just cannot function at all? Or is it that my nervous system from birth has always been so very frail that life for me is too much to cope with? That I was the hopefully dependent little girl who found everything too hard to handle, so that my intelligence and talent have been overcome now that I’m in my fifties and I can’t withstand it? Day after day and night after night, I’m in this shaking fear. What is it I’m so terribly frightened of? Life itself, I think.”

Oh, why do these tales always have to end so awfully sadly? I feel that same way about Zelda Fitzgerald. It seems that whenever a woman is a little outrageous – not really in ways that are destructive to anyone but herself, honestly, and maybe a handful of theatergoers – she ends up dead. Meanwhile, female serial killers seem . . . incredibly on top of things, and apt to outlive a lot of people – looking at you, like always, Elizabeth Bathory. You’d think that you would be able to find a woman who was outrageous and lived a good long life, surrounded by many grandchildren.

Rachel said, “My idea of heaven is to be surrounded by pussycats, a glass of wine in my hand, someone playing a piano and me singing.”

I hope this worked out. And I hope, too, that there were no crab killers there.

Picture via Wikipedia, IMG

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    • mel

      I heard she took barbiturates and drank something caustic and it propelled her through a glass divider. Pretty sad way to go.

      • Jennifer Wright

        She actually took pills, and, because she was worried about throwing them up, then ate an English muffin. But yes, it was very sad.

    • Candace

      “Rex was known as “Sexy Rexy” as a result of his many love affairs, marriages and divorces”
      Wait, really? I’ve always thought he was called that because he was dreamy. Am I the only one?

      • Jennifer Wright

        I remember as a little girl thinking that I wanted a man just like Henry Higgins, and it is a relief to know I am not the only one who felt that.

    • Fabel

      After that headline, I’m glad to see you put the dog masturbation story on page 1. I thought I was going to have to wait!

    • randinewton


    • Sabrina

      That picture.

    • sbsn

      Not your best article. I stopped reading half way through.

      • Naomi Kashinsky

        Wow. How incredibly constructive.

    • robinrd

      Actually, Rachel Roberts has been friends, especially with Sybil, since 1951 when she, Sybil, and Richard were acting in a Shakespeare Festival in Stratford-opon-Avon. Rachel also appeared with Richard in two BBC plays before Cleopatra.

    • JJJ

      Jennifer, Though her life certainly seems a tragedy, her own making, of course… I fail to see any connection between her and the other “Shelved Dolls” you have chosen to write about. Other women have contributed somehow to society, historically…somehow, perhaps just being an infamous iconic, cult like figure….however, I cannot seem to find one ounce how this tragic washed up “actress” contributed to anything? Her journals seem the “feel sorry for myself” sort. Other than being Rex Harrison’s eccentric, alcoholic ex-wife (and a brief menial actress)…is there something that I missed? The juicer story would be that of Rex Harrison, as he was really the star, and makes one wonder what frame of mind he was really in when he chose to marry such a pathetic woman. She really wasn’t even beautiful, compared even to Burton’s ex Sybil.

      Sad that so many of the celebrity men of that era chose to marry such narcissistic selfish women…..makes one wonder about the men themselves.

      I have enjoyed reading your articles and hope there are more in the works, thank you for sharing!

    • PSG

      Reading the accounts of her behavior, are we -sure- there wasn’t an ample supply of drugs being ingested along with the alcohol?

    • Hunkel

      That’s Elizabeth and Mike Todd. You know that right?