George Sanders, so handsome to the end.

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The fact that George ended his own life is tragic. Much has been made of the suicide note that he left saying he “was bored”.  This note was George’s way of keeping up the facade of world-weary superciliousness which had served him so well for decades.  His note to his sister telling her not to be sad that he “was only anticipating the inevitable by a few years” is more accurate.

In actual fact, he was ill, having had several strokes,  suffered from vertigo, and was unsteady on his feet. He now needed to use a cane.  He could no longer do the things that gave him pleasure. When he became unable to  play the piano he had it dragged into the yard where he chopped it to pieces with an axe. George had witnessed his mother’s dementia and dependency and had a horror of this. As he once put it he “didn’t want someone to have to wipe his bum”.

George’s body was found in his hotel room in the Hotel Don Jaime Castelldefels  just outside of Barcelona, Spain on April 25, 1972. He had taken 5 vials of Nembutal and vodka.  In his pocket was a note to the hotel staff asking them to contact his sister and leaving $1500 to cover the expenses of sending his body to England. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the English Channel. George had always loved the sea…

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. John Trager
    May 26, 2011 @ 15:31:27

    Judy, I hope you find some of the radio programs featuring appearances by GEORGE SANDERS. OTR.net might be helpful. Excellent blog, a credit to your dedication to this great performer. I look forward to its future growth.

    Reply

  2. levine
    May 31, 2011 @ 15:14:26

    On Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, the National Gallery of Art showed the color film ARCHIPELS NITRATE (a documentary about the film collection at the Cinematheque Royale in Brussels)(2009, in French with English subtitles, 62 minutes). Among the clips shown in the film, scenes from the 1953 Roberto Rossellini production VIAGGIO IN ITALY/ JOURNEY TO ITALY, starring Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders, as Mr. and Mrs. Joyce, an English couple on the verge of obtaining a divorce. They inherit a house near Naples and the house and charm of the community re-unites them. This is the only movie that I know of in which Sanders and Ingrid Bergman appear together. They make charming chemistry together.

    Reply

  3. margaret ray
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 18:52:00

    Hi Judy -I came across a piece on Youtube the other night which you may be interested in–it’s a radio play by Noel Coward the British playwright called “Conversation Piece” -Lux Radio Theatre is the heading on the piece-it was first broadcast from New York on Nov 16th 1936 and is published on Youtube by AudioAndVisualClub-May 22nd 2012-it stars Adolphe Menjou Lily Pons and George Sanders–his voice is quite recognisable although not as deep as in later years–this may be due to the recording systems in use at the time.I’ve listened to the first half hour of it and it’s quite amusing-I hope you enjoy it too.

    Reply

    • Judy Robinson
      Jun 02, 2012 @ 19:22:04

      Thanks, Margaret, fot the link. I recently was lucky enought to find the audition record George made for the lead in the Broadway production of South Pacific after Pinza left in 1949. George sung “This Nearly Was Mine” and “Some Enchanted Evening”. His voice was maginificent singing these pieces and he was hired to play the lead for 15 months. Unfortunately for the listening public George changed his mind about the role and got out of the contract. Also, unfortunately for me, the audio quality on the record has deteriorated and, although you can hear the beauty of his voice, there are distortions and some fading out of the volume.
      Thanks for viewing my blog to George

      Reply

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