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Gregory Peck on Abraham Lincoln: ‘A secular saint’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Oscar-winning actor Gregory Peck was a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln, who was born 215 years ago today. In 1982, he fulfilled a dream when he portrayed the U.S. president in the TV mini-series ‘The … Continue reading

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How an NHL match led Norman Jewison to make ‘Rollerball’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – ‘Rollerball’, Canadian filmmaker Norman Jewison’s only film set in the future, also is his most action-packed and violent and it was inspired by an experience at a National Hockey League (NHL) game. 

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Why Norman Jewison quit Hollywood to work in Europe

By Ray Bennett LONDON – ‘What do you do?’ asked Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. ‘I make movies,’ said Norman Jewison. The former U.S. attorney general, brother of a slain American president, and the Canadian director ,who was building a successful … Continue reading

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What movies meant to director Norman Jewison

By Ray Bennett LONDON – ’It kinda scares me,’ Norman Jewison said when I asked him in 2011 about the digital revolution in movies and the future of cinema. ‘Everything I see today is so mixed with violence and action. … Continue reading

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Cary Grant, smooth as silk … on the surface.

By Ray Bennett LONDON – When Cary Grant, born this day 120 years ago, died in 1986, Time magazine film critic Richard Schickel wrote, ‘Some distant day, audiences may come to agree that he was not merely the greatest movie … Continue reading

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How Ben Kingsley dealt with instant fame after ‘Gandhi’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Ben Kingsley, who turns 80 today, had spent fifteen years on the English stage with occasional small screen roles when Richard Attenborough changed his life by casting him in the title role of his epic … Continue reading

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Norman Lear told me, ‘I hate the word satire’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – American TV producer Norman Lear was heralded as a leading light in political satire but he did not believe it. ‘I hate the word satire,’ he told me, ‘because I don’t know that the level … Continue reading

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Randy Newman at 80: Part One – songwriter

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turns 80 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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Randy Newman at 80: Part Two – Film composer

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turns 80 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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Veronica Hamel: When intelligence matches beauty

By Ray Bennett LONDON – I had the tee-shirt in the photo above made and gave it to Veronica Hamel on the set of the hit American television cop series ‘Hill Street Blues’, in which she played attorney Joyce Davenport. … Continue reading

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