Rita Desjardin

Rita Desjardin

Miss Rita L. Desjardin is a fictional character created by Stephen King for his horror novel "Carrie". In the film versions, she was portrayed by Betty Buckley (renamed Miss Collins) and Rena Sofer. She was portrayed in the musical by Darlene Love.


In the book, she at first feels the same disgust and unlikeness everyone feels for Carrie White, but when she witnesses Carrie being humiliated by the other girls for her hysterical reaction at her first period in the showers of the locker-room after P.E. she feels sorry for her and takes her side. She punishes the girls that taunted her by a week's gymnastique detention. At the prom, she talks with Carrie about her own prom night when she was in her age, and later, grands her for being voted Prom Queen along with Tommy Ross. When Chris Hargensen (who wants payback for Carrie after she is banned from the prom by refusing to attend Desjardin's detention) pulls a cord connected to two buckets above Carrie and Tommy, drenching them with pigs' blood and one bucket hitting Tommy unconscious. Miss Desjardin runs to help Carrie, while almost everyone laughs at her, but she throws her on the wall with telekinesis and runs outside, where she remembers her special abilities and uses them to avenge her taunting by her peers. Bringing havoc to the whole school, she leaves for home, destroying everything that she passes. Miss Desjardin, along with Norma Watson, Tina Blake, Principal Grayle etc are some of the few survivors of the black prom, and one month after the catastrophe, retires from her teacher job, preferring to kill herself than teach again (as she herself claims).

1976 film

In the 1976 version of the novel Miss Desjardin becomes Miss Collins, portrayed by Betty Buckley. Miss Collins, while trying to move the unconscious Tommy, along with another teacher and three students, Carrie (who believes she was laughing at her) pulls her across the floor and kills her by pinning her against the wall and slamming a basketball rafter into her stomach.

1988 musical

In "Carrie - The Musical", Miss Desjardin becomes Miss Gardiner, a composite of the gym teacher and the principal. She opens the show with the song "In" where she orders the girl PE students to "Work, work, work, work!" After the "Shower Scene" Miss Gardiner becomes much more sympathetic toward Carrie and even sings "Unsuspecting Hearts" with her to get her to accept Tommy's prom invitation. Miss Gardiner was a chaperone at the prom, and died in Carrie's onslaught. She was portrayed by Darlene Love in both the Stratford-on-Avon and Broadway production of the musical. [ [http://carriefansite.blogspot.com/2008/01/overview-of-musical.html Carrie... A Fan's Site: Overview of Carrie the musical ] ]

2002 film

In the 2002 version, she is portrayed by Rena Sofer (although her name is spelled "Desjarden"). At the prom, talking to Carrie about her own prom date is slightly different than the one she described in the novel and the 1976 film (her date carried a fake gun to imitate James Bond but ended up arrested, and she remained alone at the prom until her father came and took her home) and also tells her that things change, and not always for the best: good-looking girls will be fat, cute boys will be bald, and the miserable ones get a happy life. When Carrie begins destroying the gym telekinetically, getting her revenge for being drenched in pigs' blood, Miss Desjarden puts Roy and Helen to carry the unconscious Tommy and forms a group of students to escape through a vent as an exit route. She, the last one of the group, jumps to the chair to the vent but almost falls down, and struggles not to fall to the water-soaked floor because of the basketball scoreboard falling and sending a wave of electricity to everyone still standing. However, she survives, and reports the events to Detective John Mulcahey (David Keith).


External links

* [http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0010228/ Miss Collins on IMDb]

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