“Just last month, I was asked to do another of those barbarian things — and my answer was ‘never again.’ I mean it. If I can’t play good American girls, I’d much rather not work.” — Rita Gam in 1961.
Here she is playing Attila the Hun’s daughter in Sign of the Pagan (1954).
“All the promotion, you know, for my picture ‘The Thief’ with Ray Milland made me world famous as the sexy girl who didn’t speak a word. And I really didn’t speak a word – in the whole picture. It was a ‘Garbo talks’ thing in reverse.” — Rita Gam
Source: Cleve Amory (1978)
Photo: The Thief (1952)
“I think my career has been held up from five to ten years because of my looks. My looks are not the kind producers think actresses have – it’s not the face of the girl-next-door. How I envy the girl-next-door.” — Rita Gam
Source: Dick Kleiner (1963)
Photo: Night People (1954)
“You see, I’m not a bad witch. I’m a good witch….Did you hear about the certain big female star who didn’t want to do a picture so she predicted witchcraft on the producer? She got a doll and pretended it was the producer and every day she stuck pins in its head to bring a hex on the producer….but the female star almost died of a headache….I practiced my witchcraft before dinner. I took a candle and lit it with the lights out and took a swift vodka brew and hoped the whole thing worked and it did….Witches won’t work drunk. You know what covens are?….Anyway, I stare at the candle – it’s gotta be a hayberry candle – and I do incantations and I try to will something to happen. Like now I’m trying to will myself to do a comedy instead of a serious picture. By will power I grew long fingernails. Have you ever peeled grapes with long fingernails?…It’s very sexy.” — Rita Gam
Source: Earl Wilson (1960)
“I think that living with the media as your bed partner is not conducive to a happy life.” — Rita Gam
Photo: Milton Greene (1955)
Rita Gam‘s Pasta Salad with Pesto Sauce Recipe
2 cups chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind, optional
1 teaspoon chopped shallots or chives, optional
3 to 4 teaspoons salt (more if desired)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dry white wine, optional
Additional olive oil
1 pound hot cooked pasta, drained
Combine all ingredients except the wine, additional olive oil and pasta in an electric blender. Stir with rubber spatula until it becomes a smooth paste. Spoon mixture into a plastic container and cover with about 1/2-inch olive oil. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Makes about 3/4 cup.
When ready to use, spoon mixture into hot cooked pasta or into a sauce. Stir and dilute with wine if desired. Use about 1/2 cup per pound of hot, cooked pasta to serve.
Pesto can also be made traditionally with a mortar and pastle. The solids and olive oil are added very slowly when creating the pesto. For nice additions, add 1/4 cup minced pine nuts, 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese. Serve with additional grated cheese if desired.
NEXT DAY SALAD RECIPE
1/2 cup pesto sauce
1 pound cooked pasta (spirals or bowknots, etc.)
1 can (12.5 ounces) solid white tuna, packed in water, drained and broken in large chunks.
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped red, yellow or green bell pepper
1 cup tiny broccoli pieces, cut in 1/2 inch pieces, raw or barely steamed (until green and still crisp-tender)
1/2 cup chopped plum tomatoes, optional
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil, optional
1/2 teaspoon chopped chives, optional
Crisp lettuce leaves
Combine all ingredients except lettuce in large mixing bowl. Serve on individual lettuce-line plates or in large salad bowl, line with lettuce leaves.
Source: Courier-Post, Feb. 1, 1987