Category Archives: Memory Lane

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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Randy Newman at 75: Part One – songwriter

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turns 75 today, 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 me that … Continue reading

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Recalling … giggling over lunch with the great Cleo Laine

By Ray Bennett LONDON – It was lunchtime at the Hotel Pontchartrain  in Detroit and things were getting a bit silly. Cleo Laine was talking about Kurt Weill and the Berliner Ensemble when someone mentioned Monty Python and soon she … Continue reading

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Drinking wine in the sunshine with Patrick Swayze

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Patrick Swayze jumped menacingly from the corral fence to the dusty ground of his ranch in the flats next to the Angeles Forest in La Canada. “Steve McQueen said what?” he said. “There’s nothing tough … Continue reading

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