The Siren has been saving this one, from The Moon's a Balloon by David Niven, the funniest star autobiography she's ever read. Warning (and I am very serious here) read no further if you treasure the death scene in Wuthering Heights. You will never look at it the same way again.
So, if you're still here, it's 1939, and Niven, as Edgar Linton, is playing the death scene of Catherine Earnshaw, played by Merle Oberon. Flora Robson, Laurence Olivier and Geraldine Fitzgerald are on set for Cathy's final moments. Niven is supposed to break down in sobs. The problem: Niven can't cry. He tells director William Wyler, who by way of consolation bellows to the assembled cast and crew, "Here's an actor who says he can't act!" Niven attempts to give Wyler what he wants.
I tried and it was pretty grisly. Tam Williams got hiccups bottling his laughter and Larry looked up the chimney.
I tried again.
'Jesus,' said Wyler, 'can you make a crying face?'
I made some sort of squashed-up grimace.
'Oh God,' he groaned. 'IRVING!'
Irving Sindler, the prop man, was instantly at his side.
'Give him the blower,' said Wyler.
Gregg Toland, the cameraman, gave his signals, and the film started passing through the sprockets.
'The blower, Irving!' said Wyler.
Through a handkerchief, Sindler puffed menthol into my open eyes.
'Bend over the corpse...Heave your shoulders.' Crying face...Blink your eyes...squeeze a little...'Bend over the corpse...Heave your shoulders.'
A terrible thing happened. Instead of tears coming out of my eyes, green slime came out of my nose.
'Ooh!! How HORRID!' shrieked the corpse, who shot out of bed and disappeared at high speed into her dressing room.
By the way, the Siren adores the still above. Maybe it's just her dirty mind, but it suggests all sorts of scenarios that would give Joe Breen apoplexy.