New Girl in Town and She’s Got a Village Flat (Daily News, March 1958)

Daily News (New York, New York); 18 Mar. 1958; pg. 486.

Author: Douglas Watt

I drank fresh, hot coffee while Anne made the bed. I’d have offered to help her, but it wasn’t my bed. It wasn’t even my girl. It was Anne Bancroft of Two for the Seesaw, and I was just snooping around.

It wasn’t a real bed, either, just a studio couch and it was the principal piece of furniture in the flat, a three-room apartment running all the way through the first floor of an ancient Greenwich village brownstone. Elsewhere, there were a couple of chairs, a small table, an old round table (in the kitchen) and some cans of paint. Framed prints and old-fashioned landscapes in oil rested against the walls, waiting to be hung, and there was a small pile of long-playing records on the floor, “Holiday in Rome” and Anita O’Day’s “Anita” visible among them.

Looking for Roots:

Dark hair tousled, as it is in the play, and wearing a pale-green smock, Miss Bancroft finished tucking in the sheets and blankets, poured herself some coffee, and said this was to be her first real home, aside from her parents’ place up in Yonkers. 

“I thought I had one when I was in Hollywood and got married, but that fell flat,” she said. “Afterward, it was just one place after another. I need a home and I need responsibility. That’s why I’m glad I’m in a play and responsible for a performance every night.”

“Anyway,” said the young woman, “Hollywood is for young people…or old people. For people who like to play in their backyards or else soak up sun in them.”

“I’m busy all the time now. Among other things, I’m taking voice lessons…not for singing, though I was once a singer…that’s why they hired me for movies…but just to learn how to use my voice properly. I have another play in mind, too, but that’s a long way off. I’m under contract for Two for the Seesaw until June of next year.”

The phone rang. Miss Bancroft flopped down on the bed and, leaning over the end of it, reached the receiver off the cradle of the instrument resting on the floor. Her deep voice grew confidential in tone. It was obvious that two females had hold of the line and very likely wouldn’t let it go for awhile. I moved into the front room to dodge the chit-chat but it bounced off the bare walls anyway.

“…and in the cab, he wanted to kiss me, so I let him kiss me on the cheek,” murmured Miss Bancroft. “He’s got a kind of fantasy about me…”

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