Category Archives: Memory Lane

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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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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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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