It’s not everyday that you come across an artifact that is of equal interest to both ALFRED HITCHCOCK and FACTS OF LIFE fans, but find such an item your Unkle Lancifer did. While cleaning out the attic of Kindertrauma Castle the other day, I stumbled across a box left behind by my dear Great Unkle Beleeza-Bob marked simply “Charlotte Rae, Psycho.”
I have to admit that I, at first, mistook those words as observational graffiti rather than a description of the box’s contents. When I opened the box, I found that it contained a canister of film. Excited, I jumped into the nearest dumbwaiter and rode it down to the Castle’s basement theater secretly hoping I had stumbled across my Unkle’s legendary stash of MARY PICKFORDankle-porn. What I found, instead, was an early screen test for the film PSYCHO that starred, yep you guessed it, THE FACTS OF LIFE‘s own CHARLOTTE RAE. I have no idea where it came from or how it came to be made or even why HITCH chose JANET LEIGH over RAE for the actual film, I just know that cinema fans everywhere have a reason to rejoice today and that they now owe a gargantuan debt to my dearly departed Unkle’s pack rat nature.
BONUS: Early mock-up of scrapped movie poster art. Note that it does indeed include RAE in the cast!