Category Archives: Interviews

Russell Baker: a gift ‘for fooling around with words’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The great New York Times columnist Russell Baker, who has died aged 93, was one of my journalistic heroes and when I interviewed him in 1989 he turned out to be everything I’d hoped. He … 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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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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On the James Bond set with Roger Moore

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Roger Moore, who died on May 23 aged 89, told me that really he was a frustrated bank robber. “It’s only fear that’s stopped me from robbing banks, and that’s why I’m a movie actor. … Continue reading

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‘Being a nice guy is acting’ and more great Roger Moore quotes

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Roger Moore, who died Tuesday aged 89, spoke to me at Pinewood Studios on Dec. 10 1984 on the set of his last James Bond picture, “A View to a Kill”. Here are some highlights … Continue reading

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When life meant happy days for Erin Moran

By Ray Bennett LONDON – “There is a lot of pressure. You’ve got to be thin. You’ve got to look pretty. You’ve got to look good. There’s a lot of competition, There’s too much to worry about.” That was “Happy … Continue reading

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As he turns 80, ten Jack Nicholson films you should see

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The phone rang on my desk at The Hollywood Reporter and a deep, familiar voice said, “Ray? Hey, it’s Jack.” It was in the run-up to the Academy Awards in 1998 and I was expecting … Continue reading

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Recalling … Jack Nicholson at the launch of ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’

By Ray Bennett NEW YORK 1975 – Jack Nicholson appears in the breakfast room of a fancy Manhattan hotel on a Saturday morning in a baggy brown suit, no tie, his dark shirt collar inside his jacker, and dark glasses. … Continue reading

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