One of the most famous movie posters of the ’60s shows a woman rolling on black silk stockings with a young Dustin Hoffman staring at the pair of legs. The film’s most memorable legs aren’t Anne Bancroft’s, “The Graduate” ‘s costar. They belong to Linda Gray.
Linda Gray, the CBS soap opera “Dallas” costar said that at the time, everyone thought that the famous pair of legs belonged to Anne Bancroft, but they were, in fact, hers:
“Everyone assumed they were Anne Bancroft’s. She must have been out of town or she wasn’t consulted at all about the poster. I got paid $25. For one leg, that was good.”
THE POLIO BABY BECAME THE WORLD’S FAMOUS LEGS
The stunning legs gave Linda Gray fame and Elizabeth Taylor dubbed her as “the b*tch with the long legs.” But who could think that the “Dallas” costar has fought polio in her childhood and she couldn’t move her legs as a kid?
In 1945, when Linda was just five, she contracted polio. The actress explained that the virus affected her central nervous system as well as the connection between the brain and muscles. That means she could touch her legs and feel the sensation, but she couldn’t move them.
The disease took its toll on Gray’s family, and her mother found comfort in alcohol. She turned from a social drinker into an alcoholic. Both of her parents fell into depression with their daughter’s diagnosis.
Her parents’ depression and her mother’s alcoholism made the little Linda Gray feel it was her fault — she said in her memoir, “The Road to Happiness Is Always Under Construction,” that she secretly carried the weight of the diagnosis.
The standard treatment for polio at the time included putting the patience into iron lungs, an 800-pound airtight metal ventilator. As she wrote in her book, her lungs haven’t been affected by the virus, but the doctors recommended her parents put Linda in the metal canister anyway.
Her parents, however, decided to search for an alternative treatment. If she’d been put into the iron lugs, it might’ve weakened her lungs and limbs, resulting in even more damage.
The alternative treatment was “Raggedy Ann.” While quarantined in her bed, her mother …….