Party on, Fay McKenzie!


Fay McKenzie, the hard-working child actress of the prior post, now 93 years old, is perhaps best known for her uncredited appearance in the party scene of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” in which she alternately laughs, then cries, into a mirror.

McKenzie’s husband, comedy writer Tom Waldman, was a frequent collaborator of Blake Edwards. He wrote The Party!

The other night at the Academy, McKenzie claimed her forte as a child actress, “I could weep or cry. That was my thing.” She explained that one of her early directors had a gimmick. He would threaten her,  “I’m gonna cut off your curls,”  and she would burst into tears on the spot. Pavlovian!

In comedy, McKenzie worked with the best, Bert Lahr in burlesque and Groucho Marx on the radio.

As for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” McKenzie said “The party scene was pure Blake Edwards. Improvisational.”

Edwards apparently told her, “You’re always laughing. I’ll put you in front of the mirror and you’ll laugh. You have a crying jag next.”

arts·meme thanks Greg Iriart for reminding us about the B@T party scene!

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