Marian Seldes: Roberta Maxwell

THE CARPETBAGGER'S CHILDREN, Roberta Maxwell, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, New York, 2002 (photo by

Roberta Maxwell in Horton Foote’s The Carpetbagger’s Children at Lincoln Center, 2002. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

My inspiration often comes from being chastened by the talent of others. When I saw Geraldine Page, I thought I had no business calling myself an actress. What she had done was so beyond me, I thought, Why bother? The world needs greatness, and she is great. I didn’t quit, but I worked harder: I wanted to attain what she had.

I feel the same way about Roberta Maxwell. I have been on the stage with her, and I have thought, I could never do what she did. I’ve seen her be brilliant in so many ways, and she devastates me. She makes me think I have no business being an actress, but she forces me to become better, to work harder.

From a conversation in 1998

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