It's a fact
that they're cousins. Rip was known as Skip as he was growing up
He returns to Granger from his farm in Connecticut from time to
time, but it's usually on the sad occasion of funerals.
Texas claims Rip in their chamber of commerce brochures and
Texas has an 8x10 glossy of Sissy in their little museum. That's
because Sissy's great-grandfather once owned a huge two-story house
just off the square in Fayetteville. He sold it and moved to Williamson
County, where his son and eventually Sissy were born and raised.
When Rip got
in the movies, he may have mentioned to Sissy during his visits
home, that it beat working. Anyway, she checked into it and before
long, she became Carrie. Eventually her name became more of a household
word than her cousin's.
Martinets shared his memories of Hollywood actors Rip Torn and
Sissy Spacek, native Texans who spent a good part of their respective
childhoods visiting Mary Spacek’s house across the street from where
“It was the first two-story house in Granger,”
Martinets said. “That was very exciting to a kid.”
Martinets remembered Rip Torn as a little boy who would occasionally
challenge Mary Spacek’s patience. “He had a little yellow scooter
he drove like mad. His grandmother (Mary Spacek) would yell out, ‘Slow
down, Skippy! Slow down!”
As might be imagined, Skippy rarely heeded the warning.
Torn presided over Granger’s Lakefest in 1986, not long after he received
an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the farmer Marsh
Turner in “Cross Creek.”
Though Torn doesn’t make it back to Granger
as often as he used to, Martinets remembered when he flew back to
Texas from Spain, where he was playing Judas in “King of Kings,” to
attend Mary Spacek’s funeral.
“I remember him going up and kissing the casket,” he said. “I remember
that because it was such a touching, human moment. It was genuine.
He wasn’t acting.”
Spacek appeared at Lakefest the year before
Torn, her cousin, had the honor. She had just won an Academy Award
for her performance as Loretta Lynn in “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Like
Torn, she served as Grand Marshal and received a proclamation from
the state declaring May 11, 1985 as “Sissy Spacek Day.”
Spacek’s father, A.E. Spacek, was with his daughter at the 1985 Lake
Fest and spoke to a reporter with mixed emotions about his old hometown.
“It’s the same story to be found in all small towns which used to
be agriculturally important,” he said. “Now they’re dependent on industry
and they’re in trouble…This is the friendliest, most wholesome town
I know. This is a great little community. These people never give
up – no way – and I’m proud to call it my hometown.” more
Your story about Rip Torn and Sissy Spacek is mostly true. They
were cousins, and Rip Torn played a very important role in Sissy
becoming the star that she is. However, she was born and raised
in Quitman, Texas
which is Wood County. They have streets named after her there, I
would be surprised if folks from Quitman haven't already contacted
you....they are very proud of their home town girl. I hear she was
a majorette and the home coming queen when she was a senior there.
After she graduated, she moved to New York with her cousin Rip Torn
and the rest is history... - James C. Neal, Mineola, Texas, August
Sissy Spacek @ Mineola
One other note on Sissy Spacek: There was a write up in the Dallas
Morning News one time telling the story about the closest movie
theater to see her movies was the Select
Theater in Mineola. The funny thing was that the Select Theater
didn't have enough Ss to spell her name on the Marque out front.
So, her name never was spelled right. - James C. Neal, Mineola,
Texas, August 13, 2005
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