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Harper to tackle Bankhead on Broadway

The 70 year old, best known for her role in 1970s TV series The Mary Tyler Moore Show, will revive her part in Looped, which opened in California in 2008 and is heading to the New York stage later this month (Feb10).

The production is based on a real event in the life of Bankhead, when she showed up intoxicated on the set of 1965 movie Die! Die! My Darling! and struggled to record one line of dialogue.

And Harper admits she was reluctant to take on the role of Bankhead because of the bad language in the play.

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She tells the New York Post, “My only worry at first was the salty language. The F-bomb is all over, so don’t bring the kiddies. I worried how the audience would take it. We tried it out at the Pasadena Playhouse (which is full of) retirees. When I said some outrageous line, you’d hear, ‘Oh, Lord…’ Like they couldn’t believe an old broad would say such rowdy things.

“I don’t curse a lot in real life. Maybe the occasional S-word, and that’s it. I’d complain, ‘I can’t really say these lines. The audience won’t take it from me.’ But Pasadena proved me wrong. I found the biggest laughs were based on the vulgarity.

“Tallulah was so vulgar. She’d say exactly what she did with Gary Cooper. Even with Joan Crawford. She wasn’t worried about the words. Didn’t care. She loved to shock. And she was funny.”

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