Category Archives: Memory Lane

‘Windmills’ and ‘Fields’ in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Lyricists Marilyn Bergman, who died today aged 93, and her husband Alan Bergman won the best-song Oscar in 1969 with Michel Legrand for ‘Windmills of Your Mind’ from ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ but they owed … Continue reading

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Betty White on her TV shows, love of animals and a good pun

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Betty White loves a good pun. At least, she did when I had lunch with her when she was on ‘The Golden Girls’ in the mid-Eighties. This was her favourite at the time: Why are protestors always … Continue reading

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Stephen Sondheim was grateful for ‘a fresh eye’

By Ray Bennett It wasn’t only Broadway that Stephen Sondheim loved. In London in 2011 to mark his 80th birthday, the Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist who has died aged 91, accepted a Special Laurence Olivier Award for his outstanding … Continue reading

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Recalling John Gardner, a master of the spy novel

By Ray Bennett LONDON – John Gardner, who would have been 95 today, should rank with Eric Ambler, John le Carré, Len Deighton and Philip Kerr as a virtuoso of the serious British spy novel. He is known best now … Continue reading

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Memory Lane: The time before everything was streamed

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Living, as I do, in turn-of-the-century London, it’s easy to become nostalgic for the long-ago 1900s. I know we’re just a few weeks into 2000 but it seems like forever. I recall the first single … Continue reading

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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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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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