Hollywood was certainly big on origin stories in 2020. “Perry Mason,” which chronicles the backstory of the beloved titular detective (played by Matthew Rhys), launched on HBO, Hulu debuted “The Great” about Russian empress Catherine II’s (Elle Fanning) rise to power, and “Ratched,” a series detailing the history of Nurse Mildred Ratched (Sarah Paulson), hit Netflix.
The latter, produced by Ryan Murphy, serves as a prequel to the Oscar-winning 1975 film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which was based upon Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel of the same name. Though the flick secured Mildred’s place as one of the most notorious villains of all time, nothing was said of the events that transpired to turn her into the authoritarian monster portrayed onscreen. As Paulson expressed to O, The Oprah Magazine, “So little is known about Mildred Ratched in the movie and the book. There’s nothing about her past. She’s a monolith. It’s almost like she’s not really a person.”
“Ratched” serves to amend that, especially episode six, “Got No Strings,” which brings to light horrific events from the infamous nurse’s youth. While taking in a marionette show (at the Union Theatre Building at 1122 West 24th St. in L.A.’s University Park), Mildred flashes back to her torturous childhood, brought about by her adoptive parents, Father (Winford Warren) and Mother (Zabeth Russell), who forced her and her brother, Edmund (Wyatt De Britto), into lurid acts performed in front of an audience in a puppet theatre in the basement of their mansion home.
The stunning exterior of the Spanish Colonial Revival estate that portrays Mother and Father’s residence greatly belies the interior happenings that shaped Mildred’s childhood. Said to be at 565 Westerfield Lane in an unnamed California town, the gorgeous 1915 manse can actually be found at 1366 E. Palm St. in Altadena. According to Zillow, the property boasts five bedrooms and six baths in 7,176 square feet, though a 1983 newspaper report notes it as having six bedrooms and four baths. Whatever the case, there’s no denying the place is impressive.
For more Dirt on Mildred’s childhood home from “Ratched,” click over to the gallery.