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MEMORY LANE: On being British

By Ray Bennett (November 1999) LONDON: We British cherish our loonies and it it’s no surprise that the House of Lords has lasted so long. Only last week, a bill was passed in the House of Lords than deprives hereditary … Continue reading

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Recalling ‘Lou Grant’ star Ed Asner 

By Ray Bennett LONDON: Ed Asner, who died aged 91 on Aug. 29, had a very long and successful acting career on television but he told me he couldn’t get arrested for the big screen.  ‘I have run into downright … Continue reading

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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ to open Toronto International Film Festival

By Ray Bennett The Toronto International Film Festival has selected Stephen Chbosky’s ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ (pictured), based on the hit Broadway show, to be its Opening Night film on September 9. Zhang Yimou’s ‘One Second’ will close the festival on September … Continue reading

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BFI celebrates the films of Robert Altman in major season

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Robert Altman movies spanning five decades are to be screened in a major season at the British Film Institute. Running from May 17 to July 31, the programme will present 34 films in chronological order … Continue reading

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Peter Ustinov: a man of many voices

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Playwright, filmmaker, actor and raconteur Peter Ustinov, who was born 100 years ago today and died on March 28, 2004, was convincing in movies playing many different nationalities. One reason for that was because he … Continue reading

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When Adrian Lyne fled from a screening of ‘9½ Weeks’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – British director Adrian Lyne, who turns 80 today, is known for his provocative films about sexuality but a preview audience for ‘9½ Weeks’ made him run for his life.

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When David Puttnam got tired of making movies

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Aside from being English, David Puttnam and I have two things in common. We are both devoted to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and we each obtained three O-level GCEs at school. He, of course, had … Continue reading

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Nick Nolte on learning to work sober

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Nick Nolte, who turns 80 today, warned me of the dangers that lurked in Los Angeles. The Iowa-born actor had an explosive impact playing rebellious fighter Tom Jordache in the hit 1976 TV miniseries ‘Rich … Continue reading

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Larry King on his lucky heart attack and love of smoking

By Ray Bennett Longtime TV interviewer Larry King, who died today aged 87, almost didn’t make it to 60. He told me: “I got a lucky break. I had a heart attack.” One dark February morning in 1987, King signed … Continue reading

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Why Robert MacNeill stopped getting angry about poor English

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Canadian newsman Robert MacNeill, who turns 90 today, shared my fascination with how English was used on radio and television. In 1986, the urbane and articulate co-anchor of the news programme ‘The MacNeill-Lehrer Report’  on … Continue reading

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