Frederick Brisson Rosalind Russell5

The Marriage of Rosalind Russell and Frederick Brisson

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Rosalind Russell and Freddie Brisson

Rosalind Russell and Frederick Brisson were married for 35 years, a record for a Hollywood marriage. As we have all observed over time, Hollywood marriages aren’t always the easiest to keep together, and who knows what factors are the cause of these breakups? Even though Roz and Freddie (as he was usually called) had their song, which their good friend Frank Sinatra sang to them in 1940 (“I’ll Never Smile Again”), I have a song in mind for them. Frank was a new sensation at the time and only about 25 years old, but he became good friends with the Brissons after that. But I digress. I made a video about a year or so ago celebrating the marriage of Roz and Freddie. I used the song “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” by Michael Bublé. It seems to fit them perfectly. And whenever I hear this song, I think “Roz and Freddie.”

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Freddie Brisson and Rosalind Russell at the Stork Club, 1945

It was about 1940 that Frederick Brisson and Rosalind Russell first started dating. A funny story was that when Freddie was on his way to the United States in 1939, all they played on the boat was “The Women,” and after he saw Rosalind’s insane antics over and over again, he thought, “I’m either going to kill that woman or I’m going to marry her.” And marry her he did. But it was difficult going at first. He begged and pleaded with his good friend Cary Grant to get him a date with her, as Cary was filming “His Girl Friday” with her at the time. And Roz said, “Every day Cary would come to the set and say, ‘Do you know Freddie Brisson? And I’d say, ‘No, what is that? A sandwich?’” Eventually, however, they ended up going to the races (at Santa Anita Racetrack) together and as most fairytales go, they fell in love and got married (the following year, 1941).

rosalind russell frederick brisson
Rosalind Russell and Freddie Brisson

When I gushed about his parents in a letter I sent to Lance Brisson, I was thrilled to receive a response. And he said something like (because I do not have the letter by my side at the moment) “My parents had a good marriage, albeit one that had them traveling a lot.”

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Lance Brisson, Rosalind Russell, and Freddie Brisson while Roz was filming “Auntie Mame”

I think one of the reasons they had such a long lasting marriage was because they knew how to laugh with each other, at each other when the time warranted. They had a lot of fun together and they loved each other very much. As Roz said at their 25th wedding anniversary in Las Vegas, “25 years is a long time. But it’s also a very short time when you love someone.”

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Rosalind Russell and Freddie Brisson

Roz usually radiated a love of life all around her, and I am sure Freddie just loved that about her. And I am sure they were both very happy that she made it to her 35th wedding anniversary. That is a milestone year and when Freddie gave her a little gold bracelet that had “35” encrusted in diamonds, she was so delighted that she said “I’ll never take it off.” She died the following month that year in 1976, and as Freddie wrote, she never took that bracelet off. Theirs was a bittersweet ending, but they had 35 years filled with joy and laughter and who wouldn’t want that?

Rosalind Russell and Freddie Brisson's 25th anniversary party, hosted by Frank Sinatra
Rosalind Russell and Freddie Brisson’s 25th anniversary party, hosted by Frank Sinatra

8 thoughts on “The Marriage of Rosalind Russell and Frederick Brisson”

  1. Beautiful, Des. You introduced me to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” when I found that video of Roz and Freddie. Actually, that’s the first time I found you online, too! :) I think the same thing you do whenever I hear that song, and it has become my very favorite love song. It’s perfect for them.

    I’ve never heard the song that they said was “their song”. I’ll have to look it up.

    Thanks for another great post!! I’m lovin’ this blog!

  2. The best Roz Russell movie you’ve never seen, “Flight for Freedom, 1943 with Fred MacMurray. Here’s the complete film

  3. That was lovely Desiree! Full of love and life. Nicely done.
    I hope to be able to write like this on my tumblr page. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Amy! It’s simple but sweet, I think. I could have gone into a lot more detail. I hope you do write some on your Tumblr page! :)

  4. Des, This is a wonderful tribute to the marriage of Rosalind & Frederick Brisson. The photos and music you chose touched me and I feel you havecaptured the essesence of Rosalind Russell, her beauty, grace, humor and her capacity for love and friendship. You are a talented person , thank you for sharing this video with us.

    1. I almost teared up for a second there… thank you so much!!! Every time I see I have a comment from you, I smile, excited to see what you have to say. I have a few other articles about her life, such as her childhood… I wrote these all for a class a few years ago… I even have one about my favorite co-stars. Thank you so much for reading and for watching the video!!! I appreciate it so much.

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