When Patty McCormack was 11 years old, back in 1956, she was the sensation of the movie world. She played Rhoda Penmark, the “Bad Seed” and garnered an Oscar nomination for her work. McCormack’s Rhoda is iconic in film history. If you think all these little horror movies that come and go are scary, sit down and watch this whole movie.
McCormack never stopped working, although as time went by and she grew up her “Bad Seed” status faded. Now she’s 72 and next week she’s filling in for Leslie Charleson on “General Hospital” as Dr. Monica Quartermaine. It’s a good bit of stunt casting while Charleson, who’s been on the show since 1977, takes time off to heal from a fall that involved walking her dog. Monica was kind of a slut on “GH” in her younger days, but never a villain. If the soap can somehow bottle McCormack’s old persona and shift it to a soap character, General Hospital will be overrun in its ER!
By the way, Mervyn Leroy directed “The Bad Seed.” He was a prolific and successful director from the 1950s who steered 13 different actors to Oscar nominations. In New York his legacy came through his son, the late restaurant impresario Warner LeRoy who created Maxwell’s Plum and Tavern on the Green, and re-created the Russian Tea Room after its 1995 closing.