'Yes, I have a very close connection with Harvard," admitted Gertrude Lawrence, star of "Susan and God," in a recent interview. "A Harvard man tried to teach me how to play the saxophone.
"When I was in Boston in 1925, I caught pneumonia, and while I was resting, under doctor's orders, Johnny Green, now a popular song writer and then a student at Harvard, used to come with some of his friends and play for me. I wanted to learn how to play the saxophone, but I never got further than the first three notes of 'God Save the King.'
The musical career of the famous English actress, who has been in this country since 1922, did not end with this failure, however, Later, inspired by a group of musicians with whom she starred on a radio program, she learned to play the ocarina, the colloquial "sweet potato."
Miss Lawrence wants to visit Harvard before she leaves, and the Hasty Pudding Club has invited her to tea, but her time is filled with regular performances of "Susan and God" and rehearsals of a new play, "Skylark," to open March 13.
Her favorite role she revealed, is always the one she is playing at the moment. She has played the role of Susan in more than 580 performances, and has become so used to the part and has grown to like living with Susan so much that the rehearsals of the now play seemed very strange.
Although Miss Lawrence began her career in England, she should be numbered among the heroines of this country, for she was sent from New York to the San Francisco world's fair as a goodwill delegate and thus averted a possible civil war between the East and the West.
One of the main troubles with America, she finds, is that everything from cigarettes to perfume comes wrapped in cellophane, and to dig any article from this casing is nearly impossible.
Besides her theatrical fame she has the distinction of being one of the three honorary members of the San Francisco Press Club, and in December, 1933, she was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa by the University of Chicago.