Category Archives: Memory Lane

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. Like Ridley Scott, Alan Parker and … Continue reading

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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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Mel Gibson, great filmmaker, shame about the demons

By Ray Bennett LONDON – I’ve spent time with Mel Gibson, who turns 65 today, and always found him to be genial, open and likeable even though he gave me a clue about his demons in an interview in 1984. … Continue reading

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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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