01/27/2012 09:32 am ET Updated Jan 27, 2012

Anjelica Huston: Actress Talks Youth, Career And Late Husband

"Striking" is the best way to describe 60-year-old Anjelica Huston, who launched a modeling career at 17 and has since become a film and entertainment icon. Winning an Oscar for her role in "Prizzi's Honor" in 1986, the actress has had a diverse, memorable career starring in such movies as "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "The Grifters," "The Addams Family," and "The Royal Tenenbaums." With her new television show "Smash" premiering in February, Huston is featured on the cover of WSJ Magazine's February issue in which she opens up about youth in Hollywood, her career, marriage and the loss of her husband. Read the below excerpt from WSJ Magazine and follow the link to view the entire article.

I always knew I was talented. I always knew I had more than, initially, if I can be so blunt, I was appreciated for. That I had this thing that I had to get out—something that I had to push along.

I was always very sensitive about how things came to me; I see the sons and daughters of very famous people not really seemingly having that problem. I just worked with Meryl Streep’s daughter Gracie Gummer, who plays my daughter on "Smash." She’s divine—like her mother. Lovely, sweet, free. Just the opposite of me at that age. I was full of complexes.

I did a movie called "A Walk With Love and Death" with my dad when I was 16. It was very difficult; he was very critical of me. When he did praise me it meant a lot, but it didn’t come easily to him. He was tough on himself, too. It was just part of his makeup—it wasn’t that he had it in for me or anything.

After that, I came to London and I was offered the chance to understudy Marianne Faithfull in Tony Richardson’s "Hamlet." I was in rehearsal when Dick Avedon came to town. He was a good friend of my mother’s and father’s, and he asked them if he could photograph me. We did some test pictures, and the answer sort of came from him through my mother that he didn’t really think I’d be a model because my shoulders were too big. I was quite hurt by that, but anyway, onward. Shortly after, my mother was killed in a car crash and I didn’t want to stay on in London.

I went with "Hamlet" to New York. "Harper’s Bazaar" called and asked if I’d do a layout, and they sent a photographer called Bob Richardson to pick me up and take me out to Jones Beach to do some photographs. We had a kind of magical afternoon. I was a little girl, 17, when we met, and my mother had just died. Bob was much older. He kind of took me over, hook, line and sinker. It wasn’t all bad: He was a fascinating person, a very extreme and radical person. When things were good, they were wonderful and beautiful, and when things were bad they were truly horrid. When you find yourself in that kind of pendulum swing, you’re kind of recovering half the time from the other half of the time. He was not a well person.

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