Category Archives: Memory Lane

Jack Elam on westerns, auditing, acting … and that fly

By Ray Bennett LONDON – With his blind left eye, American character actor Jack Elam, who was born 100 years ago today, made a perfect villain in hundreds of TV shows and feature films but he told me he was a better … Continue reading

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My chaotic encounter with composer Ennio Morricone

By Ray Bennett  LONDON – The late Ennio Morricone was a giant in film music but the Italian composer could be a difficult man as I found out when I went to interview him in London. He was in town … Continue reading

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Recalling Dan Tana’s barkeep Mike Gotovac, an L.A. legend …

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Legendary Dan Tana’s barkeep Mike Gotovac died aged 76 on May 15 following complications caused by Covid-19. He was among the many rich characters I encountered in my time in Los Angeles and I recall … Continue reading

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When Kenny Rogers welcomed me to Los Angeles

By Ray Bennett We flew into LAX from Toronto, checked into the Sportsmen’s Lodge in the Valley, went directly to the then open-air Universal Amphitheater and were led to seats in the front row just as the biggest entertainer in … Continue reading

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Recalling Peter Cook and his effortless comedy

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Peter Cook, who died 25 years ago today aged 57, was the funniest person I ever saw and ever met. He was naturally, effortlessly funny but he was never ‘on’ in the way some comedians … Continue reading

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Why Erin Gray loved being in ‘Buck Rogers’ on TV

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Happy 70th birthday to Erin Gray – co-star in Ricky Schroder’s long-running Eighties sitcom ‘Silver Spoons’ and many other TV roles including Col. Wilma Deering in ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century’ … still busy today, … Continue reading

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Sidney Lumet on high comedy and great acting

By Ray Bennett LONDON – American filmmaker Sidney Lumet, who was born 95 years ago today and died in 2011, made a series of fine and gripping social dramas from the 1950s through the 1980s but he was a big … Continue reading

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That time with a lobster on a boat off New Brunswick

By Ray Bennett / The Windsor Star / Feb. 19 1972 When eating a lobster, don’t break open its body on a boat in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, you may never eat lobster again. Don’t misunderstand, the lobster in New … Continue reading

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Tomboy Barbara Mandrell loved to be called sexy

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Barbara Mandrell, who turned 70 on Christmas Day, was country when country wasn’t cool but in 1981, when she was 32, she loved it when I told her I thought she was a knockout. “Well, … Continue reading

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Randy Newman at 75: Part Two – Film composer

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turned 75 on Nov. 28, has Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards and he is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s also a very funny man. He told … Continue reading

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