Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Back story L.A.

My longtime saddle pal, David Ehrenstein, has a nice feature in the current L.A. Weekly, The U.K. in L.A. or How to Be Cary Grant .

David doesn't drive---a grateful America thanks him---and so I chauffered him to a few of the interviews, with director Ronald Neame, Barbara Steele, and Jacqueline Bisset, and now that the article has appeared, IT can be told: I have never encountered any three more charming and articulate sorts in all my years here in L.A., The City Where the Future Comes to Die. Pity the city isn't completely stocked to the brim with their U.K. emigree lot. In addition, Steele and Bisset could not have been sexier. And as for dear "Ronnie" Neame, it is genuinely inspiring to meet a nonagenarian who shows so few signs of agedness. I eventually felt so comfortable around him that I "did" my Shelley Winters imitation from "The Poseidan Adventure" ---think overarticulated breast stroke----and he laughed quite heartily . When I asked if he had any serious health issues at this advanced stage of life, the director confessed to having walking problems as of late. But then, when Neame saw David and I out, this man who was a cameraman on Hitchcock's first sound film (!) more-or-less bounded across the room. David used to make me wait out in the car when I drove him to interviews (at least he didn't force me to wear a chauffeur's uniform), but as of late he allows me come in, but only if I promise to be quiet as a mouse. That'll be the day! I "killed" with my imitation of Shelley Winters.

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