Recalling Little Richard, rock’n’roll’s greatest

By Ray Bennett

LONDON – The first recording I ever bought was a 78rpm double-A side single of ‘Long Tall Sally’ and ‘Tutti Frutti’ by Little Richard, who was born 90 years ago today. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Memory Lane, Music, Recalling ... | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Recalling Little Richard, rock’n’roll’s greatest

When ‘Dynasty’ star Linda Evans had my number …

By Ray Bennett

LONDON – On a sunny California day in the early Eighties, I had a long, leisurely lunch with Linda Evans, who turns 80 today, at La Scala on Little Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills. I was interviewing her for a cover story in Canadian TV Guide about her starring role in the hit TV series ‘Dynasty’ but we got distracted, Continue reading

Posted in Film, Interviews, Memory Lane, Recalling ..., Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on When ‘Dynasty’ star Linda Evans had my number …

Jerry Lee Lewis was no rock’n’roll hero to me

By Ray Bennett

LONDON – Now that he has been laid to rest, it’s time to offer some balance to the hysterical reaction to the death of Jerry Lee Lewis. Given that today an artist can be cancelled on the basis of rumours of misbehaviour, it was staggering to see a man’s reckless life not just forgiven but heralded because he had a couple of hit records fifty-five years ago.  Continue reading

Posted in Comment, Memory Lane, Music, Recalling ..., Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life wasn’t always easy for Loretta Swit on ‘M*A*S*H’

By Ray Bennett

LONDON – Loretta Swit, who turns 85 today, is regarded fondly for playing ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan in ‘M*A*S*H’ on TV for eleven years but life on that show wasn’t always easy for her. It was a struggle for a woman to be heard in the midst of an otherwise all-male cast dominated by Alan Alda. Continue reading

Posted in Interviews, Memory Lane, Recalling ..., Television | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Life wasn’t always easy for Loretta Swit on ‘M*A*S*H’

Stefanie Powers loved to travel more than act

By Ray Bennett

LONDON – I spoke to Stefanie Powers, who turns 80 today, a few times on the set of her hit TV series ‘Hart to Hart’ with Robert Wagner (above) but my favourite encounter with her was an interview in which we barely spoke of showbusiness at all. Continue reading

Posted in Film, Interviews, Memory Lane, Recalling ..., Television | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Stefanie Powers loved to travel more than act

Recalling … a great afternoon with Deidre Hall

By Ray Bennett

LONDON – One of the true  queens of the soaps, ‘Days of Our Lives’ star Deidre Hall, who turns 75 today, sent me a very nice note after I interviewed her in 1981 for a cover story in Canadian TV Guide. 

‘Dear Ray, I’m very proud of our “product”. It’s not surprising that a story that fine would come out of an interview that fine. Love, Deidre.’

I interviewed many stars of daytime dramas for the magazine but Hall, warm, friendly and candid, was one of the most enjoyable. We spent a lovely afternoon at her pretty home in Studio City where she lived alone between marriages.  Continue reading

Posted in Interviews, Memory Lane, Recalling ..., Television | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Recalling … a great afternoon with Deidre Hall

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, who turns 95 today, was talking about Kurt Weill and the Berliner Ensemble when someone mentioned Monty Python and soon she was giggling over her Dover Sole. We swapped favourite lines and it took a while before we got back to talking about the reason she was on tour in the United States. Continue reading

Posted in Interviews, Memory Lane, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Giggling over lunch with the great Cleo Laine

There’s always a Ray in the movies

By Ray Bennett

LONDON – From ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ to ‘Ghostbusters’ to ‘Field of Dreams’ and now ‘Raymond & Ray’, there’s always a Ray in the movies and television. Continue reading

Posted in Comment, Film, Television | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on There’s always a Ray in the movies

Why Roger Moore did not become a bank robber


By Ray Bennett

LONDON – Roger Moore, who was born on this day in 1927, told me that really he was a frustrated bank robber. ‘It’s only fear that’s stopped me from robbing banks,’ he said. ‘I’d get caught. That’s why I’m a movie actor. I’ve never been caught acting.’

Moore, who died aged 89 on May 23, 2017, gave me one of my most treasured interviews, candid and very funny, on the Pinewood Studios set of his seventh and final James Bond picture, ‘A View to a Kill’, on Dec. 10, 1984. Here are some excerpts: Continue reading

Posted in Film, Interviews, Memory Lane, Recalling ... | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Why Roger Moore did not become a bank robber

Recalling … Jackie Collins, ‘me too’ before ‘me too’

By Ray Bennett

LONDON – Novelist Jackie Collins, who was born 85 years ago today, wrote about the problems women faced in Hollywood long before the ‘me too’ movement came along.

Younger sister of Joan Collins, she was known for sexy blockbusters such as The Stud’, ‘The Bitch’ snd ‘The World Is Full of Divorced Women’ and her tinseltown series including ‘Hollywood Wives’, ‘Hollywood Husbands’ and ‘Hollywood Divorces’. Continue reading

Posted in Books, Film, Interviews, Memory Lane, Recalling ... | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Recalling … Jackie Collins, ‘me too’ before ‘me too’