Mason and Clarissa Kaye
Mason was in Australia, filming Age of Consent, when he met
his wife-to-be, Clarissa Kaye.
She was an Australian actress, working with James in the
Michael Powell film. She
was also extremely sick, and had no idea that James was attracted
to her. In her own
words, she says:
woman in the film was supposed to be an old girlfriend of James's,
and the whole scene was shot in bed, though when I arrived in my
nightdress, Powell looked appalled. I told him I was a 36 year old
woman with a 36 year old body which sagged in parts and didn't
look that good in the nude, but the real trouble was that because
of the pneumonia I rattled every time I drew breath, and I think
even James found that a little strange. I didn't like to explain
how ill I'd been, in case I lost the job.
Anyway I shot
the scene with a temperature of about 103 and at the end of it we
just got out of bed, said a polite goodbye and I thought that was
the end of it. He was awfully sweet to everyone on that set, so I
never thought he had taken any special notice of me until a few
weeks later when someone else on that film said, 'You know he's
very enamoured of you?' and I thought that was a lot of nonsense;
but a few weeks later I got a very long, sweet letter from him
saying that I was a marvellous actress and how much he had enjoyed
working with me and how he hoped I would get a lot more work
because of our film. Then on the next Valentine's day I got a card
from him, so then I did start thinking that maybe, just maybe,
there was something special going on."
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