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Faye Dunaway Fired After Crew 'Feared for Their Safety'

The legendary actress was starring in 'Tea at Five'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2019 7:00 PM CDT
Updated Jul 25, 2019 1:00 AM CDT
In this Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, file photo, Faye Dunaway arrives at the Oscars on at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – The producers of a one-woman, Broadway-bound play announced Wednesday they had cut ties with their famously temperamental star—Oscar-winner Faye Dunaway, the New York Post reports. Sources say the July 10 performance of Tea at Five was scrapped at the last minute after Dunaway threw a backstage fit at the Huntington Theater in Boston, flinging objects at crew members. Further upset by the cancellation, she reportedly harangued the crew until they were "fearful for their safety." But there's more: Sources say that during rehearsal, the 78-year-old arrived up to two hours late; wouldn't let anyone, even the director, watch her; and could only perform via an earpiece that fed her blocking and dialogue.

Weight may have played a role. Dunaway apparently flung aside a salad during a photo shoot, and when she became bone-thin during rehearsals, a member of the production phoned an ex-assistant who said, "It sounds like she's not complying with her medication." It's a shame, though: In her role as Katharine Hepburn recuperating from a 1983 car crash, Dunaway brought "a mix of fragility and strength ... maintaining the straight spine but also letting that stiff upper lip quiver ever so slightly when grief overtakes her," writes Patti Hartigan at the Boston Globe. The play would have been Dunaway's first Broadway turn in 37 years. The actress was on vacation in Europe and couldn't be found for comment. (Read more Broadway stories.)

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