Category Archives: Interviews

‘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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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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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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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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Martin Shaw hasn’t always been a TV copper

By Ray Bennett Martin Shaw, who turns 75 today, is known best for playing TV coppers in “The Professionals” and “Inspector George Gently” but he also has had a long stage career in roles from Stanley Kowalski to Lord Goring … Continue reading

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