Farrow first gained wide acclaim for her role as Allison Mackenzie in the soap opera Peyton Place, and for her subsequent short-lived marriage to Frank Sinatra. An early film role, as the woman pregnant with Satan’s baby in 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby, saw her portrayal nominated for many awards.
Rosemary’s Baby is a 1968 American horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The cast includes Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Maurice Evans and Charles Grodin.
Farrow plays a pregnant woman who fears that her husband may have made a pact with their eccentric neighbours, believing he may have promised them the child to be used as a human sacrifice in their occult rituals in exchange for success in his acting career.
Polanski envisioned Rosemary as a robust, full-figured, girl-next-door type, and he wanted Tuesday Weld or his own wife Sharon Tate for the role. Since the book had not reached bestseller status yet, Evans was unsure the title alone would guarantee an audience for the film, and he felt a bigger name was needed for the lead. Patty Duke was considered for the lead (and ironically, would play the role of Rosemary during a brief sequence at the beginning of the TV movie ‘Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby’ (1976), in which Ruth Gordon was the only actor to reprise her role from the 1968 movie). Mia Farrow had an unproven box office track record, but her role as Allison MacKenzie in the popular television series Peyton Place and her unexpected marriage to Frank Sinatra had made her a household name.
Despite her waif-like appearance (which would ultimately prove beneficial, as Rosemary became more frail as her pregnancy progressed), Polanski agreed to cast her. Her acceptance incensed Sinatra, who had demanded she forgo her career when they wed, and he served her divorce papers via a corporate lawyer in front of the cast and crew midway through filming. In an effort to salvage her relationship, Farrow asked Evans to release her from her contract, but he persuaded her to remain with the project after showing her an hour-long rough cut and assuring her she would receive an Academy Award nomination for her performance.
The film was an enormous commercial success, earning over $33 million in the US on a modest budget of $2.3 million. It was met with near universal acclaim from film critics and earned numerous nominations and awards. The American Film Institute ranked the film 9th in their 100 Years… 100 Thrills list. The official tagline of the film is “Pray for Rosemary’s Baby.”
Farrow has appeared in more than forty-five films and won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe award (and seven additional Golden Globe nominations), five BAFTA Film Award nominations, and a win for best actress at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.
Farrow is also known for her extensive humanitarian work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She is involved in humanitarian activities in Darfur, Chad, and the Central African Republic. In 2008, Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world.
This entry was posted on February 9, 2012 by Geordie. It was filed under Biography, Biography: ACTORS and was tagged with Actors, Biography, Classic, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Horror, Icons, Images, Possession, Roman Polanski, Rosemary's Baby, Scream Queens, Suspense, Thriller.