“When I reached Hollywood, Bill sent me dozens of roses - I´d never seen so many roses - and invited me to dinner. This is bad, I thought; something´s wrong here. […]
During dinner, Bill suddenly looked straight into my eyes. “Minnie,” he blurted out, “I´m retiring.” It stunned me. “I´m hitting sixty-five,” he explained defensively, “and I´m tired.”
“Oh, it´s that bad, is it?” I scoffed, indicating the pillow and comforter on the back of his chair. Of course, he was thirteen years older than I and had a long start on me professionally. I remember admiring his consummate villainy in pictures like The Bright Shawl and Romola when I was starting out at Grauman´s.
“Mister Roberts did me in,” he continued; “that long location in Hawaii, Jack Ford getting sick, Melvyn LeRoy coming in. Minnie, I wouldn’t even groom my mustache again, much less learn a movie role.”
So that was the end of that. Bill´s retirement was a blow personally and professionally but I never confronted him with it. He knew how I felt, there was no need to belabor it.”