Clarissa Kaye
Clarissa Kaye
Clarissa Kaye was an Australian stage, film and television actress. She was the second wife (1971–84) of British actor James Mason. After her marriage, she was often known as Clarissa Kaye-Mason.
Clarissa Kaye's personal information overview.
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  • 1994
    Age 63
    Died in 1994.
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  • 1984
    Age 53
    James Mason died in 1984, and Clarissa Kaye died on 21 July 1994 from cancer.
    More Details Hide Details Before Mason remarried, his children, Portland and Morgan (both from his first marriage to Pamela Mason) were to be the beneficiaries of his large estate, valued at £15 million. Mason changed his will to leave Clarissa Kaye as the sole beneficiary, but the children understood that they would still ultimately receive the proceeds, after their stepmother's death. However, she was on such bad terms with them that she left her estate to an unidentified trust rumoured to be on behalf of the Sathya Sai Organization, run by devotees of the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. The organization, based in an ashram near Bangalore, neither confirmed nor denied this. Mason's ashes were also the subject of controversy. Kaye initially had them in an urn in her home, but later deposited them in a Geneva bank vault, without informing Mason's children. They tracked them down after Kaye's death, and took legal action to retrieve and inter them, and to choose the wording on Mason's gravestone.
  • 1971
    Age 40
    James Mason and Clarissa Kaye married on 8 August 1971 in Corseaux-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, and remained together until his death in 1984. (It has been reported that it was her second marriage.) Kaye reportedly was willing to put her career on hold, but Mason regularly insisted that she be given roles in his films.
    More Details Hide Details They shared scenes in Frankenstein: The True Story (1973); they also both appeared in Salem's Lot (1979), but did not share any scenes. They appeared on Broadway in April 1979 in Brian Friel's play Faith Healer, but were never on stage together (the play is constructed as four monologues by three characters). Her involvement in Faith Healer was also largely at Mason's request. That production failed and ended after only 17 days. She claimed credit for in the late 1970s 'discovering' the actor Sam Neill, whom she found strikingly reminiscent of her husband in his youth; she would say she introduced him to Australian producer Margaret Fink. Fink cast him as the male lead in My Brilliant Career.
  • 1958
    Age 27
    In 1958 she became one of a class of informal students of Hayes Gordon, who taught "The Method" (the group included Reg Livermore and Jon Ewing).
    More Details Hide Details Their first public performances were a series of one-act plays by Tennessee Williams. The group later became the Ensemble Theatre, Sydney's first theatre in the round and its longest established professional theatre company. Her first film role was as Meg in Age of Consent (1969), in which she appeared in scenes with James Mason, including a sex scene that was censored from Columbia Pictures' UK and US releases. She was recovering from pneumonia at the time and still had a temperature of. Mason, who was over 20 years Kaye's senior, sent her a long letter telling her of his admiration; this was followed by a card the following Valentine's Day, and a long correspondence ensued.
  • 1931
    Age 0
    Clarissa Kaye was born as Clarissa Knipe in Sydney around 1931.
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