Comscore

re: George Gould Strong's Death in Grey Gardens

neddyfrank2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/23/05
This question has been bugging me for a while now and I hope that somebody here has the answer to it. In the song Around The World (Grey Gardens) one lyric says something about how she feels bad for the way that George Gould Strong dies and something about suicide. Does anybody have any insight as to what happened to Gould and how he died?
BSoBW2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/8/04
Bob Stillman, who played the men in the life of Mae West in Dirty Blonde, plays the one man in the life of Edith Beale, a gay housepet pianist named George Gould Strong. "We knew nothing about him except for what's mentioned in the movie," said Stillman. "Then, recently, some people turned up who are the great nephews of George Gould Strong. Their father, who is the nephew, lives out in East Hampton and is still alive, but he's reluctant to get involved with us or anybody involved doing the movie [a nonmusical "Grey Gardens" feature is in preproduction]. But the great-nephews came to see the show and want to share some of his poetry and diaries. George Gould Strong became a Jehovah's Witness and died of a bleeding ulcers. I asked his relatives, 'Was that brought on by his drinking?' And this guy said, 'I dunno, but it wouldn't be out of character.'"

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/103284.html
ray-andallthatjazz86 Profile Photo
ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
I have to actually look for this info. I know I read an article about the show where they stated that Gould didn't kill himself in real life, I can't remember the reason for his death. In the show though, Little Edie does say that he killed himself.

EDIT: BsoBw, beat me to it.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
Updated On: 4/7/07 at 05:27 PM
neddyfrank2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/23/05
If they don't know much about Gould then what does Bob Stillman base his character off of?
beyondblessed Profile Photo
beyondblessed
Featured Actor
joined:11/1/06
If they don't know much about Gould then what does Bob Stillman base his character off of?

A human being with a heart.

There are tons of characters based on real people in shows that have little known information about them. And even with the information that can be found, they're actual behavior is still unknown. It's up to the actor to use the human connection, and use what little they may find to creat characters. But don't get me wrong, If you can find a lengthy wikipedia entry, I'm sure that'll help.
Going to a musical late in its run is like going to a prostitute late in her shift.
neddyfrank2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/23/05
I guess what I am asking is how much of the character of Gould is based in reality and the real Gould?
Updated On: 4/7/07 at 06:41 PM
jrb_actor Profile Photo
jrb_actor
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
I wonder if lil edie was told it was suicide. what matters is not what really happened but what she believed.

all nonfictional characters (even the ones we know much about) have to be fleshed out. that may or may not create a completely perfect representation of who that person really was, but what's important is the essence of the character.

and in some theories of acting, that's the writer's job. in any case, the actor must play the realities of the character in the production they are in. the queen elizabeth of the pirate queen, elizabeth I, shakespeare in love, and elizabeth are all different and all played truthfully the the elizabeth that was written for them (and as directed).
Rotel1026
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/06
It's been awhile since I've seen the documentary but doesn't Edie say in the documentary the exact same thing said in the song. That he commited suicide in a fleabag motel?
MasterLcZ Profile Photo
MasterLcZ
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
She might have (It's been awhile since I've seen the first documentary as well), but it's clear that Little Edie resented Gould a lot. In THE BEALES OF GREY GARDENS, she snaps at her mother (I'm paraphrasing) "Oh, so THATS why you wanted me home. To give GOULD a vacation!" Gould might have comitted suicide, but I wouldn't quite take what Little Edie says about him as the gospel truth.
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
neddyfrank2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/23/05
Why did Little Edie resent Gould?
defyingravity11 Profile Photo
defyingravity11
Broadway Legend
joined:2/26/06
Doesn't he sort of displace her father?
"In theater, the process of it is the experience. Everyone goes through the process, and everyone has the experience together. It doesn't last - only in people's memories and in their hearts. That's the beauty and sadness of it. But that's life - beauty and the sadness. And that is why theater is life." - Sherie Rene Scott
SNAFU Profile Photo
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
In the documentary's commentary, Ellen, Muffy and Albert say that Little Edie was always jealous of Big Edie's affection. Big Edie always liked to play Little Edie against people.I am sure this pattern started very early.
I am sure Little Edie viewed Gould as someone who would take her mother's attention off her.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
tazber Profile Photo
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
I just watched the doc, and nowhere does it mention Strong's demise. I was looking for it too, as almost all of act 2 is taken verbatim from the doc.
....but the world goes 'round
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
"Little Edie was always jealous of Big Edie's affection. Big Edie always liked to play Little Edie against people. I am sure this pattern started very early."

I agree SNAFU. Just as in the documentary (and Act II), Little Edie is jealous of her mother's affection/attention towards Jerry. And Big Edie pits them against each other every chance she gets (most notably in the song "Jerry Likes the Way I Do My Corn.")

It's the same pattern with Gould, and others who came to live with them.

There were other men in Big Edie's (real) life besides Gould. In the documentary Little Edie also talks about Tom Logan, a handy man that lived with them for ten years. Same pattern.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
tazber Profile Photo
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
Yeah, they talked a lot about Tom Logan. I couldn't quite figure out if was a freeloader or what. They mentioned he did chores, but at one point they say he showed up penniless and Big Edie was moved to let him stay. I'm surprised it wasn't in the musical.
....but the world goes 'round
best12bars Profile Photo
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
(dialogue from the documentary about Tom Logan, between the two Edies:)

and as for Tom Logan;
he drove me crazy in the house.



[ Mrs. Beale ] I loved Tom.
He played the guitar so beautifully.



He sang and was in a rodeo;
and even was in Hollywood.



You'd have to admire
somebody like that.



-She was a pushover.
- He had no place to go.



And then he asked my mother;
he said; 'I've just been fired
from the Sea Spray.



Would you like a maintenance man ?'
Mother took him home.



I didn't want a maintenance man.
I said, 'I'll take you home
for one night.'



- That's the story of Tom Logan.
- That's what I said.



There wasn't a thing
he didn't know how to do.



He could fix anything.



Lights, plumber things.



He knew how to do everything.
Just one of those terribly clever men.



He couldn't do any work. He made good
salads, but he was drunk all the time.



Oh, no. He came up here every morning
at : knocked on my door.



We talked over
the menu for the day.



Including a half a bottle
of rose vin...



or wine or whatever it's called.



Naturally; we couldn't get rid
of him; and I had to stay here.



What I should have done is leave;
and he would have left right away.



All right;you don't believe
in religious compulsion.
It was a religious thing.



- If I had left, he would have left.
- No; I deserve--



- Because the work
would have been too much.
- He didn't want to go.



All alone in the house for Tom.
All I had to do was leave.
I'm so stupid that I--



Well; where would I have been ?
I'd have been all alone in the house.



I think you would have, Mother.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
tazber Profile Photo
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
thanks B12B. They were kind of talking over each other at that moment and I couldn't really get a handle on the situation.
....but the world goes 'round
neddyfrank2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/23/05
Did Gould live with them?
bwaygal1 Profile Photo
bwaygal1
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
Gould did live with them from what I understand. He was gone by the time Tom Logan came into the house.
"A birdcage I plan to hang. I'll get to that someday. A birdcage for a bird who flew away...Around the world." "Life is a cabaret old chum, only a cabaret old chum, and I love a cabaret!"-RIP Natasha Richardson-I was honored to have witnessed her performance as Sally Bowles.
neddyfrank2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/23/05
Did Edith have an affair with any of these men? I am assuming that Gould was gay but besides him, Edies suspicion with Jerry had to come from somewhere...
wiggum2 Profile Photo
wiggum2
Leading Actor
joined:9/21/03
I never got the feeling that Edie's dislike of the other men was more than them taking focus off of HER.
neddyfrank2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/23/05
But Edie keeps talking about how all Edith wants from Jerry is sex...
Updated On: 4/9/07 at 08:40 PM
jrb_actor Profile Photo
jrb_actor
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Well it's highly likely Edie had a crush on Jerry. She does flirt with him and try to impress him.

The irony being that Jerry was gay, too.
wiggum2 Profile Photo
wiggum2
Leading Actor
joined:9/21/03
Jerry was gay??? I never knew that, I may need to rewatch it now
wonderfulwizard11 Profile Photo
wonderfulwizard11
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/05
The mention Jeery being gay in this article:


Link
I am a firm believer in serendipity- all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along.
LittleFish8386 Profile Photo
LittleFish8386
Broadway Legend
joined:6/14/03
I don't know if I am allowed to post this, but if you go on a certain forbidden website, there are a lot of videos on The Beales. There is one, entitled Tea for Two and they mention Gould. And there is another called, Grey Gardens Daze, which is almost exactly like the musical. Really neat stuff.

 
Advertisement