The story of a Golden Globe nominated actress who’s done much of it and advice to those who want to do it!

Jane Merrow (17)

 

I pinched the title for this page from  the play ADVENTURES IN THE SKIN TRADE from a short story by Dylan Thomas.  It’s a wonderful little play and I saw it at the Hampstead Theatre Club in London.  Needless to say it’s about Dylan’s adventures in the sleazier parts of London in his young days.   I was living with the actor David Hemmings (Blow-Up) at the time and David’s career was wobbling around a bit.   He had been a child actor and singer and had appeared in Benjamin Britten‘s opera THE TURN OF THE SCREW as the boy Miles.   After that, his career as a child actor really took off and then faded away again when his voice broke and he grew up.   Happens to a few.   Some are lucky and move on and some not.  I digress, David was really good in this play and one night Michaelangelo Antonioni saw him and promptly offered him the lead role in BLOW-UP.  My understanding is that actor Terence Stamp had been asked to play the part and was then dropped after Antonioni saw David.  Such is the cruelty of our business.   David was terrific in the film and it made him a star again.  I had a great time with David and do not regret it.   He wanted to get married but I saw no point, he liked other women, drank too much and was generally undisciplined about his talent and his work.  So, for better or worse we went our separate ways.  I will always remeber his silly gags though and his magic tricks..he loved doing magic.  My Dad was a member of the Magic Circle and used to do magic shows for children’s parties, for fun and he and David were always swapping ideas and tricks.   I met David when I was starring in a film THE SYSTEM (titled THE GIRL GETTERS in the US) with Oliver Reed. There was a group of young guys in the film …Oliver’s group/gang call it what you will and David was one of them.  There was a lot of drinking and showing off going on and one night for a dare, Oliver hung David by his wrists from a window outside the Grand Hotel, Torquay in Devon, about 30 feet up…all good fun!                                                         The_System_FilmPoster

David Hemmings

David Hemmings