Burstyn Feared Death As Abusive Husband Stalked Her
ELLEN BURSTYN once feared for her life on the Broadway stage when her estranged and deranged husband called out to her from the darkness of the audience.
The actress had to hire security guards to keep her abusive husband NEIL BURSTYN away from the theatre, but somehow he found his way into the balcony while the actress was performing SAME TIME NEXT YEAR onstage with co-star CHARLES GRODIN.
She says, "He stalked me for 10 years, so I had to have bodyguards. I was opening on Broadway with bodyguards... I was onstage in the matinee and we were looking at each other and suddenly I heard from the top balcony, 'Ellen.'
"Charles and I both knew that it was Neil... When it's just black out there and a crazy person is out there, he could have a gun... I thought that was going to be the end of the story - that eventually he'd kill me."
In her revealing new memoirs LESSONS IN BECOMING MYSELF, Burstyn recalls one time her violent ex burst into her apartment and raped her.
She says, "When I told the police it was my husband, he said, 'No crime had been committed.'"
Neil Burstyn killed himself in 1978 and his parents immediately blamed her for the suicide.
The actress adds, "They sent me a telegram that said, 'Congratulations, you've won another Oscar, Neil killed himself.' I know they were just speaking out of their pain... I knew it then."