Category Archives: Interviews

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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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 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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John Barry on his favourite directors and composers

By Ray Bennett LONDON — English film composer John Barry, who was born on this day in 1933, won five Academy Awards and created the definitive music for James Bond but he remained very fond of his early British films … Continue reading

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At a country pub with Barnaby from ‘Midsomer Murders’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – ‘How on earth,’ asked John Nettles, ‘can Tom Barnaby be regarded as sexy? I haven’t the faintest notion.’ The British actor, who turns 80 today, played Detective Chief Inspector Barnarby on the internationally successful ‘Midsomer … Continue reading

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How movie queen Merle Oberon hid her dark past

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Michael Korda, publisher, novelist and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Simon & Schuster who turns 90 today, had a most colourful childhood with his uncle, film producer Alexander Korda who with a string of epic productions was … Continue reading

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Why, oh, so serious Charlton Heston never ran for office

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Charlton Heston, who was born on this day in 1923, was as stiff in person as he invariably was onscreen. He had not yet become a shill for the National Rifle Association when we spoke … Continue reading

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Trevor Howard on hellraising with Flynn and Mitchum

By Ray Bennett LONDON – ‘Nonsense,’ said English actor Trevor Howard. I had asked him if all the tales of him being a hellraiser were true. ‘Well, of course, one used to make noise when one was much younger but … Continue reading

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