I have been asked by many of you if I have met Elvis Presley. I actually had lunch with Elvis when I was doing a movie called “The Scorpio Letters” at MGM with Shirley Eaton. This was just after I had just finished “Synanon”. That one was a helluva movie, anyway, there I am at MGM. One day a guy comes onto the set… A round Italian guy who explained to me that he was one of Elvis’ guys and that they were shooting a movie on stage 16. It was probably “Spinout.” Anyway the guy said something like “I’m one of Elvis’ guys and we are shooting at stage 16. Elvis saw “Synanon” and he would like to invite you to lunch.” What did I say? Hell yes! Before I knew it I was in Elvis’ dressing room eating a catered lunch. He was just so impressed by “Synanon” and wanted to meet me.
I am also asked regularly who my favorite co-star was. Kirk Douglas was absolutely a jewel but George C. Scott comes to mind. He had a series called East Side/ West Side. I Adored George C. Scott and it was a fantastic part. I was playing a paraplegic and in those days you had time to rehearse a part. I had the part at least 3 weeks before I started filming it. I went to a rehabilitation hospital and I learnt how to be a paraplegic. At the time I wasn’t very well known and I ended up with a lot of mail from paraplegics who were convinced I was a paraplegic actor. George was so impressed with my performance so he made sure I was center stage. A major actor like George could have centered himself but he chose to put me in front of the spotlight. A memory that will always stay with me was the reaction of the film crew after a dramatic scene. The entire crew stood and applauded us all. That was a major event of my life. After that George and I became good friends. We ran into each other at a public event at Hollywood around two years later. George came charging at me like a bear and gave me a huge hug. It was beautiful.
Many people know about my love of jazz music. I have been fortunate enough to have spent time with some of the legends of the jazz scene. Now before you ask– I have no favorite album. I did however spend time on the beach with Miles Davis and met Dizzy Gillespie in London… A story for another time, perhaps?
I really enjoy getting all of your questions. It surprises me sometimes that you want to know certain things. Anyway! I will try and keep up with all the fan mail and get answers to you. I will be working on the questions you have all sent into me to answer for the fan interview soon.
One question I do get asked a lot is about “Days of the Harbinger.” Is it about me? Interesting question.