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Anjelica Huston on volatile years with Jack Nicholson: 'Sometimes I didn't handle it so well'

Anjelica Huston is best known for her roles in films like "Prizzi's Honor" and "The Addams Family," but it's the dramatic scenes off the screen that have inspired the actress's new memoir, "Watch Me."What 17 volatile years could be like with Jack NicholsonThe actor's philandering ways kept Huston always on edge, and sometimes she just exploded. In her book she wrote (as quoted in Vanity Fair), "I

Anjelica Huston is best known for her roles in films like "Prizzi's Honor" and "The Addams Family," but it's the dramatic scenes off the screen that have inspired the actress's new memoir, "Watch Me."

What 17 volatile years could be like with Jack Nicholson
The actor's philandering ways kept Huston always on edge, and sometimes she just exploded. In her book she wrote (as quoted in Vanity Fair), "I beat him savagely about the head and shoulders. He was ducking and bending, and I was going at him like a prizefighter, raining a vast array of direct punches." On TODAY, she added, "Sometimes I didn't handle it so well."

Yet there were good times
Nicholson sent her a Christmas gift — a pearl and diamond bracelet that was once a present to Ava Gardner from Frank Sinatra. On the card, he wrote, "These pearls from your swine. With happiest wishes for the holidays — Enjoy — Yr Jack."

Jack Nicholson, Anjelica Huston and an unnamed woman palled around at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974, where he won the fest's best actor award for \"The Last Detail.\"Getty Images / Today

What she learned from being with Jack
"The thing about being with somebody who's that much in the public eye, who is that charming and is that charismatic is that you kind of have to go along with the program," she said on Monday. "It's not like you're going to break all those habits."

But learning didn't prevent repeating some mistakes
Huston also briefly dated Ryan O'Neal, who she has said assaulted her. She ended the relationship and noted on TODAY, "It's my feeling that any man who lifts a hand against a woman deserves to be outed, so I'll sort of leave it at that."

Jack Nicholson joined Anjelica Huston at the premiere of her father John Huston's film \"Under the Volcano\" in 1984.Today

In the end, she did get Jack's OK on the memoir
"Writing about [our relationship] actually was quite cathartic, and I showed him the book before it went to publication," she said. "I got his stamp of approval. Not that I needed it, but it was nice to have."

Check out her interview and this excerpt from "Watch Me" for more fascinating stories from Huston.

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