When Kevin Spacey Met Marian Seldes

Marian Seldes is the only remaining stage performer from the long-ago days of Grande Dame acting. Stories about Seldes are legion, but here’s one I didn’t know, courtesy of Michael Riedel in today’s New York Post. Kevin Spacey was about to become a student in Seldes’ Shakespeare course at Juilliard. (He is pictured as Richard III.) He recounts: “I actually met her three weeks before class,” he said. “I was on the corner of 55th and Seventh with Val Kilmer. Val was in his third year at Juilliard. He said, ‘See that woman over there in purple? That’s Marian Seldes. She’ll be your Shakespeare teacher.’” Kilmer introduced them. Seldes unfolded her long arms, took Spacey’s head in her hands and said, “Oh, my angel!” Then she darted across the street, oblivious to traffic.” That’s the way to be.

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