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The Religious Affiliation of
Robert Edmond Jones
great American scenic designer, uncle of filmmaker John Huston


An anecdote about John Huston's aunt and uncle, Margaret Carrington and Robert "Bobby" Edmond Jones, from: Axel Madsen,
John Huston: A Biography, Doubleday and Company: Garden City, New York (1978), pages 20-21: ...in October 1924, [Walter Huston's] new brother-in-law, Robert Edmond Jones, suggested him to Eugene O'Neill for Desire Under the Elms. Jones--Bobby to everybody--was a striking-looking New Englander whose long pale face and large gray eyes were set off by a beard and unruly shocks of reddish-brown hair. Born and brought up in New Hampshire, he was, as Brooks Atkinson would write, "of the Emersonian faith and a believer in the oversoul." Like O'Neill he was haunted by an unhappy rural childhood and the gothic images of his family background would help O'Neill's thinking when he wrote Mourning Becomes Electra.

Bobby was younger than Margaret, who continued to call herself Mrs. Carrington. Since he was a homosexual, she sent him to Vienna to see Sigmund Freud and later claimed the father of psychoanalysis had cured her husband. They were a strange couple--she with her millions, her speech coaching, Park Avenue townhouse, and, on the West Coast, a baronial home in Santa Barbara; he as a director and scenic designer who imparted an exaltation to every production he was associated with. Bobby and Mrs. Carrington were to remain devoted to each other to the end of their lives. When they were old and cancer-stricken, they would always get up to sit and watch dawn together.

As man and wife, their first theatrical triumph had come in 1920 [with actor John Barrymore in Richard III].

...John [Huston] was captivated by all this [his aunt and uncle's plays]. He attended every rehearsal, met O'Neill... [and eventually began acting in their plays -- his introduction to acting].

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Webpage created 19 July 2005. Last modified 19 July 2005.
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