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Which Stars Have You Meet


Colorado_Kid
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> {quote:title=Colorado_Kid wrote:}{quote}I think it would be interesting to hear who members here have meet from the golden age of movies. Any stories out there about meeting a star?

I wish I did have at least one, but the only person I've met who would generate any kind of interest from the posters on these boards is BenMankiewicz, and that was for all of 5 minutes.

 

But ! My father-in-law used to tell very funny stories about the famous actors he's met, almost by accident. He told me once in downtown Toronto he walked for about 3 blocks with Robert Mitchum a few feet in front of him. But I don't remember if they spoke, it was more just that Mitch happened to be walking the same way he was.

Unfortunately my father-in-law, a kind and funny man who loved classic movies, died this past summer, so I'll never be able to get the low-down on his brush with Robert Mitchum.

 

Oh, he also ended up sitting behind Loretta Young in church once.

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Maybe I'll start with a story about my godson, who was a Marine stationed at Twenty-Nine Palms at the time. It was Easter Sunday and he went to Mass at the local Catholic church in Palm Springs. At the moment when everyone turns to shake hands with the others around him, he turned and found himself shaking hands with Frank Sinatra, Gregory Peck, Dudley Moore and Cary Grant, all sitting together. I don't know what his reaction was but I'll bet he was pretty knocked out. His mother wrote and told me about it.

 

Myself, I've met a few; not many. I met Fredric March when I was a teenager, also several stars making personal appearances in Boston, where I was a big theater goer. I met Jane Greer, a young man named Glenn Vernon (I fell in love with him immediately) who had been in a movie with Gregory Peck called "Days of Glory," Harold Lang (a very famous stage actor and dancer ... "Pal Joey" was his big hit) and a few others. I met a foreign actor I liked very much; Georges Rigaud, Very gracious and smart; spoke five or six languages.

 

I did some secretarial work for Dinah Shore when she was in Washington to sing for President Eisenhower. Very sweet lady, there with her huge handsome husband George Montgomery and daughter Missy.

 

My favorite of all was Milburn Stone, "Doc" in Gunsmoke. Charming, gentlemanly, affable, willing to sit and tell you stories forever. I met him through my friend Suzanne Brent, George's daughter, who invited him and his wife Jane to all her parties. He was a sheer delight. I loved teasing him about his early days in pictures when he had one line or two, and was doing his best to break into the business. He had been a midshipman at the Naval Academy and had quit to join a traveling theater company. He used to say if he'd stayed in the Navy he might have made something of himself ...

 

Doc had had a near-death experience while he was being operated on, and they lost him for a little while. He told of being in a place where there were people wearing white and playing music, in a huge amphitheater. He loved it so much he wanted to go back, but it wasn't his time yet. He told that story to everyone he ever met.

 

He'd made 150 movies before Gunsmoke came along and made him a big star. He was a featured player for most of his career up to that time. He did tell me he'd been the star in a couple of movies made at Monogram, which was a "poverty row" studio ... and added, "I don't know how much of a star you could be at Monogram ..." He had a very self-deprecating style, but when he told you one about where he had become indignant about something, he'd get right into indignant mode. Funny, wonderful man. I thought he was a really great actor, myself.

 

His best friends in the business were Charlton Heston and Boris Karloff, along with George Brent. He had dozens of friends outside the business, of course. Ken Curtis, who played Festus, was very close to him. They used to do an act at county fairs when they were on hiatus from Gunsmoke.

 

I met others, but I can list them another time.

 

 

 

 

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