Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Paul Mazursky remembers Shelley Winters

Here’s what the entertainment world will miss about the fiercely principled actress

Posted on

Paul Mazursky remembers Shelley Winters

AUG. 18, 1922-JAN. 14, 2006

In Next Stop, Greenwich Village Shelley played my long-gone mother, Jean. She asked curious questions. Could she type? Did Jean love opera? Yes, yes. I asked how she knew. She shrugged and said, ”I’m an actress.” Shelley went so deep it could cause problems directing. She did a scene where she brings groceries to her son’s apartment. She pulled out a loaf of rye, then yelled ”Cut!” ”What the hell are you doing?” I shouted. She said the bread wasn’t from Ratner’s. I argued, ”The audience won’t know.” Shelley responded, ”I know and I have to play the scene!” How would I get out of this? I grabbed the loaf. Sniffed it. ”Mmmm, delicious. I know you’re a great Method actress, Shelley, but I’m positive this is a Ratner’s rye bread.” Shelley threw me a look, so I took a bite and went into ecstacy. Shelley grabbed the bread. ”Who do you think you’re fooling, wise guy? Let’s do the scene!” Shelley fought for the truth. I’ll never forget her. (Winters died of heart failure in Beverly Hills.)