Today seems as good a day as any to start our series about the ill-fated lady loves of Rex Harrison. Surprise! Rex was quite the stud (who knew, right?) and women just fell all over themselves to get to him…and then when they broke up, they fell all over themselves to die.
We’ll start, not in chronological order, but with the most bizarre. Rachel Roberts was a pretty well-known actress herself, who starred in two seminal British kitchen-sink melodramas, This Sporting Life and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, in addition to Picnic at Hanging Rock. She was married to Harrison from 1962-1971, shortly after his wife Kay Kendall died. After their divorce, she drank more and moved to Hollywood, but couldn’t forget what was apparently a magic dick. She tried to reconcile with Harrison in 1980, but, when that didn’t work out, she opted for suicide. What should have been relatively simple—booze and barbiturates—was complicated by her taking lye, as well.
Let’s be clear: Stick with the options outlined by Dorothy Parker in “Résumé.” The lye killed Roberts almost immediately, sure, but it also propelled her through a glass wall in her Los Angeles home, where her gardener found her “cut to ribbons,” according to her Wikipedia page.
Her ashes were combined with those of her friend Jill Bennett, who also killed herself over a man, and scattered in 1992 while Alan Price sang “Is That All There Is.”