In Robert Altman: The Oral Biography by Mitchell Zuckoff, the late, great director’s longtime wife, Kathryn Reed Altman, remembers a time in 1972 when the phone rang and Altman picked up the other extension.
“I could tell something was up,” Kathryn relates.
That night, she goes on, “it all kind of broke that he was having this encounter with Faye Dunaway — and she was on the phone.
“She was a real smart assed bitch and I really didn’t like her.”
Which might not exactly be a minority opinion.
After a rocky period, Faye was warded off and the marriage somehow got patched back together like a brilliantly edited Altman film.
But years later, Faye found herself at the same Oscar party as the Altmans.
Relates the wife:
“Bob didn’t acknowledge her. He was like it never happened, which is a good way of handling it.
“She came around to my side and kneeled down and went through this big apology to me.
“I said, ‘You can’t take full responsibility. It wasn’t just you, Faye.’
“Bob was the one who should have been down on his knees.”
When Faye was contacted for her take in the book, she wasn’t quite as penitent.
The Oscar winner replied:
“I don’t have anything to say about Mr. Altman. I never worked with him. I don’t have any time to give you on this subject.”
I guess she’s angry about the lingering gossip. She’s mad at the dirt!