Historical records matching Portland Schuyler
About Portland Schuyler
She was named after Portland Hoffa, the wife of Fred Allen and started acting when she was 4.
Taken from her obit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1463460/Portland-Mason.html
Born in Los Angeles on November 26 1948, Portland Mason's early years were spent in Hollywood, where her parents' house, built in the 1920s by Buster Keaton, was appointed with every luxury. When she was two she was allowed to go to bed at midnight. She was presented with her first couture evening gown when she was four. At six she appeared on television dressed in furs, diamonds and stiletto heels.
In 1956, when she was seven, she accompanied her parents on a visit to London, prompting the Daily Express to observe that she already owned a mink coat and that she had a "Mamie Eisenhower fringe to her coiffured hair". James Mason himself remarked at the time: "We want Portland to be able to do what she likes, how she likes, and when she likes. That way we feel she will achieve a personality of her own."
The child's mother, Pamela (Kellino) Mason, added that their daughter was already working on her memoirs: "We are doing it by just letting her talk into a tape recorder. I am prompting her with questions like, 'What do you think of divorce?' " When Portland was only three, her father had introduced her to cigarettes. His master plan was that they would cause her to cough, thus encouraging her to avoid smoking in her later years. When, a short time afterwards, a friend asked Mason for a progress report, the screen star replied: "Well, she's now up to two packs a day."
In December 1958 it was reported that Portland had celebrated her 10th birthday by going shopping in Los Angeles for bras and a girdle.
Meanwhile, she attended the El Rodeo School in Beverly Hills, being delivered every morning by a Rolls-Royce and collected in the afternoon by a white Cadillac. Her favourite scent was Arpege.
Whether all this added up to an accurate impression of Portland Mason's character is doubtful. She went on to drama school and then tried modelling, and by the time she was 18, and living in London, a journalist who interviewed her found her "surprisingly unspoilt, somewhat shy and unassuming".
By now she was already a veteran of a number of films. Aged seven she had starred in a picture called The Child (1954), directed by her father. She had appeared on television; played Gregory Peck's daughter in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956); and had had parts in two films starring her father, Bigger Than Life (1956) and Cry Terror (1958). At one stage it looked as though she might even secure the part of Lolita in Stanley Kubrick's 1962 film of Nabokov's novel, but the role was taken by Sue Lyon.
In 1966 Portland Mason was in The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery, and two years later had a part in Sebastian, which starred Dirk Bogarde. She also appeared on the British stage: in 1967 she was at the Vaudeville in London, playing Hester in A Woman of No Importance. She later became a scriptwriter, and made her home in California.
In 1964 Portland Mason's parents' marriage was dissolved after 22 years. Her father died 20 years later, leaving a second wife, the actress Clarissa Kaye. There then began a bitter dispute over his estate between Clarissa and Mason's two children, Portland and her younger brother Morgan (the film producer, married to the singer Belinda Carlisle).
Mason had left everything to Clarissa, leaving his children to, as he put it, "stand in line" for their inheritance. They decided to contest the will.
Even the disposal of James Mason's ashes became a matter of dispute. Clarissa had refused to hand them over to the children, preferring to keep them in an urn on the mantelpiece at the house she had shared with Mason at Vevey, overlooking Lake Geneva. After her death in 1994, it was discovered that the ashes had been transferred to a safety deposit box.
In 1999 a Swiss court finally ruled that the ashes should be given to Portland and Morgan. In November 2000 brother and sister were finally able to scatter their father's ashes beneath his marble monument in the cemetery at Vevey. A few months after this ceremony, Portland Mason suffered a serious stroke.
Recently she had been working on a book about her father. She died in a hospital at Santa Monica on May 10, and is survived by her husband, Rob Schuyler