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Susan Cabot

Susan Cabot, circa 1950
Born Harriet Shapiro
July 9, 1927(1927-07-09)
Boston, Massachusetts
Died December 10, 1986 (aged 59)
Encino, California
Occupation Actress
Years active 1947–1970
Spouse(s) Michael Roman (1968-1983) (divorced)
Martin Sacker (1944-1951) (divorced)
Domestic partner(s) King Hussein of Jordan (1959)
Marlon Brando
Christopher Jones
Official website

Susan Cabot (July 9, 1927 – December 10, 1986) was an American actress.

Contents

Early life

Born Harriet Shapiro to a Jewish family in Boston, Massachusetts, Cabot's early life was one of turmoil, and she was raised in eight different foster homes. She completed her education in New York, New York, and found employment as an illustrator. She supplemented her income by working as a nightclub singer and worked in theater. Some nights she sang drugstore commercials on the "Calvacade of Bands" radio show starring Jack Carter, while during the day she was designing jewelry for Gimbels Department store.

Career

She made her film debut in 1947, by chance when Kiss of Death was filmed in New York, and she played a bit part. She expanded her acting work into television and was seen by Max Arnow, a casting director for Columbia Pictures, who spotted Cabot at the Village Barn, and a co-starring role in that studio's B-grade South Seas drama On the Isle of Samoa (1950) resulted. It was at this time she changed her name to Susan Cabot because “Cabot is one of the best names in Boston".

While in Hollywood, Cabot was also signed for the role of an Indian maiden in Universal Pictures's Tomahawk (1951) with Van Heflin. Subsequently signed to an exclusive contract by Universal, Cabot co-starred in a long string of films opposite leading men like John Lund, Tony Curtis and Audie Murphy. Inevitably, she became fed up with the succession of Western and Arabian Nights roles, and asked for a release from her Universal pact.

Cabot then accepted an offer from Harold Robbins to return to Manhattan and star on Broadway in his play A Stone for Danny Fisher. In New York, she divided her time between TV work and roles in stage plays and musicals.She also appeared on various TV quiz shows broadcast from New York City.

In 1957, Roger Corman lured her back to Hollywood to play the lead and sing in the melodramatic rock'n'roller Carnival Rock (1957). After signing an exclusive contract with film producer Roger Corman, she stayed on to star in five more films for the enterprising young producer-director. The Wasp Woman in 1960 was her final film role.

Tom Weaver, a film researcher and author of Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Flashbacks and Attack of the Monster Movie Makers, interviewed Cabot in 1983 about her memories of working with Corman -

Q; Did you enjoy playing villainous roles in Viking Women and the Sea Serpent, Sorority Girl and Machine-Gun Kelly?

SUSAN: "I loved it from the standpoint of there being a challenge, but it was very hard for me to play an unfeeling character -- to do or say something cruel to another person, not feeling it in my bones or in my heart, and know that that other person is suffering. I've been victimized by people like that, and it hurts."

Q: What made you decide to quit Hollywood after 1959?

SUSAN: "I felt that I had more within me to explore, as a music and art major and as a person. And the way my film career was headed, I didn't feel that that was going to offer me a way to develop any more, except on a very superficial level. I mean, how many Wasp Woman can you do?"

Personal life

Cabot was first married in 1944 to Martin Sacker, a painter. They divorced in 1951.

She had a long running affair and friendship with actor Marlon Brando.

In 1959, she began a relationship with King Hussein of Jordan. Hussein presented her with a Rolls Royce. She called him "the most charming man I ever met."

The couple reportedly were engaged, but broke up after Hussein discovered that Cabot was born to a Jewish mother named Shapiro. King Hussein then publicly denied any romantic link to her, saying she may have been among the many people he had met while in Hollywood. “But I did not date her.”

In his newspaper column, Earl Wilson wrote that New York Café Society resented Hussein's claiming he did not know her.

Cabot still secretly saw King Hussein. She said his statement that he didn’t know her was “purely political.”[1]

In 1964 her son Timothy Scott Roman is born. In 1968, she married her second husband, actor Michael Roman. They divorced in 1983.

In the period leading up to her pregnancy she continued her affairs with both Hussein and Brando. Along with Michael Roman, both Hussein and Brando believed that they possibly had fathered Cabot's son. It was reported in the Brando biography Zipper that both men also secretly sent money to support Cabot and her son.

In the July 31, 2007 edition of the English Daily Mail newspaper actor Christopher Jones, in an interview about his claim that he had a secret affair with actress Sharon Tate in the period just before her murder by the Manson Family, said that he had seven children by four women, and that one of them, Timothy, was the son of Susan Cabot. If this is true, Jones was 23 years old at the time he became a father to Cabot's child. Susan Cabot was 37 years old when she delivered her only child.

Her son was born with dwarfism and was treated with human growth hormone (HGH)and other drug and physical therapies in order to stimulate his growth to his current 5-feet-4 inches). [2]

Death

On the night of December 10, 1986, around 10:30pm, police responded to a call that there was an intruder at Cabot's house in Encino, California. When the police arrived, they found Cabot bludgeoned to death. Cabot's son Timothy Roman, told the police that "a tall Latino with curly hair, dressed like a Japanese Ninja warrior", had attacked them both with "ninja methods" and had escaped making off with about $70,000 cash. Roman said that he fought with the intruder, and was knocked out. His story, combined with the superficial "wounds" that Cabot showed the police, immediately led to suspicion of his involvement in Cabot's death. Roman soon confessed to killing his mother by beating her with a weightlifting bar-bell and he was subsequently charged with murder.

Roman changed his story of what happened that night a few times. One incarnation was that on the night of the murder, his mother was screaming at him, and attacked him with a barbell and a scalpel. He said he grabbed the barbell, but didn't remember hitting her.

From the forensic evidence it is believed that Cabot, who was in her nightgown in bed and had taken a sleeping pill, was asleep at the time of her murder. According to the autopsy report, Cabot was lying on her stomach and her head was covered with a piece of bed linen. There were no defense wounds. The attack was so vicious that blood splatter was found on the mirrored walls and on the ceiling.

At the trial Roman's defense attorneys maintained that he was an "emotional wreck because of an overly protective and disturbed mother who lived like Norma Desmond did in the movie Sunset Boulevard, but in a home seething with filth and decay" in conditions that "constituted child abuse". Roman, who was living at Cabot's home at the time he bludgeoned his mother to death, was 23 years old at this time. Tom Weaver, who interviewed and visited Cabot in her home shortly before her murder, said that reports about the conditions of the home were greatly exaggerated.

Roman's lawyers also claimed that it was a hormone regimen proscribed to counter his dwarfism that caused him to "become temporarily unglued" and that this was responsible for his rage and the matricide.

Medical researchers say that this claim is a misleading and unfounded assertion and deny that growth hormone treatment, in any way, could have been the cause of this violent crime.

Roman had been charged with the second degree murder of his mother, but in closing arguments at his non-jury trial, the prosecutor asked for a reduced voluntary manslaughter conviction. Van Nuys, California Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp went even further, finding Roman guilty only of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. Judge Schempp, who could have sentenced Roman to six years in state prison for the reduced lesser charge, instead gave the admitted killer a suspended sentence with supervised probation. She said that Roman and his mother both had physical and emotional problems that may have contributed to the slaying.[2]

Roman was the sole inheritor of Cabot's estate.

Susan Cabot was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, a cemetery in Culver City, Los Angeles County, California where many famous Jewish entertainers, movie producers and film studio executive are buried.

Her plot is in Sunland Gardens, wall crypt C, space # 242. At present her grave is unmarked due to neglect. Her sole memorial is an unreadable, withered and crumbling label that spells out less than half her name.

Black Oasis - Planned bio film about Susan Cabot

The movie is to be written and directed by Australian Stephan Elliott, who also did the film Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Rose McGowan is to play Susan Cabot and Rodrigo Santoro who portrayed Persian King Xerxes in the film 300 is to play King Hussein.

McGowan has said this about Black Oasis: “It’s the story of Susan Cabot and it’s very strange that she is this B-movie star in these Roger Corman films like Wasp Woman and she had an insane life. Kind of really tragic in many ways. She was really short, probably about four foot ten, I’m definitely taller than that. (Cabot was 5' 2") She would go around in eight inch platforms. She was obsessed and thought that her career wasn’t reaching a certain level because of her height. She actually went out with King Hussein, and they were going to get married until he found out her real name was Harriet Shapiro and that she was born Jewish. So he couldn't marry her. And then she had a kid and she became really obsessed with him being strong and tall and he was going to be all the things she could never be but he was born of dwarfism. And she put him through all these experimental treatments that would make him grow tall.

Filmography

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1947 Kiss of Death Restaurant extra Uncredited
1950 On the Isle of Samoa Moana
1951 The Enforcer Nina Lombardo (Theresa's roommate) Uncredited
Alternative title: Murder, Inc.
Tomahawk Monahseetah Alternative title: Battle of Powder River
The Prince Who Was a Thief Girl Uncredited
Flame of Araby Clio Alternative title: Flame of the Desert
1952 The Battle at Apache Pass Nona
The Duel at Silver Creek Jane "Dusty" Fargo Alternative title: Claim Jumpers
Son of Ali Baba Tala
1953 Gunsmoke Rita Saxon Alternative titles: A Man's Country
Roughshod
1954 Ride Clear of Diablo Laurie Kenyon Alternative title: The Breckenridge Story
1957 Carnival Rock Natalie Cook
Sorority Girl Sabra Tanner Alternate titles: The Bad One
Sorority House
The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent Enger Alternative titles: The Saga of the Viking
Undersea Monster
Viking Women
The Viking Women and the Sea Serpent
1958 War of the Satellites Sybil Carrington
Machine-Gun Kelly Florence "Flo" Becker
Fort Massacre Piute Girl
Houseboat Mrs. Eleanor Wilson Uncredited
1959 Surrender - Hell! Delia Guerrero Alternative titles: Blackburn's Guerrillas
Blackburn's Headhunters
The Wasp Woman Janice Starlin Alternative titles: The Bee Girl
Insect Woman
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1958-1959 Have Gun - Will Travel Angela
Becky Carver
2 episodes
1970 Bracken's World Henrietta 1 episode

References

  1. ^ Rotten, Ryan (2007-03-26). "Rose McGowan Talks Black Oasis". ComingSoon.net. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=19551. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  2. ^ a b Brettell, Andrew; King, Noel; Kennedy, Damien; Imwold, Denise (2005). Cut!: Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies. Leonard, Warren Hsu; von Rohr, Heather. Barrons Educational Series. pp. 220. ISBN 0-764-15858-9. 

External links








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