Being on Facebook is nice and often fun and a useful, slightly lazy way of keeping up with friends…seeing new pictures etc. I suspect that this is what Mark Zuckerberg had in mind when he created Facebook and did not give much thought to its potential sinister aspects.
Fans are in touch and that is nice, but more often than not, the question comes up, is, what was it like to work with this one and that one. So here goes, a short list of favourites and what it was like to work with them. I will say that I never worked with anyone who I considered a seriously nasty human being, only a few who took themselves too seriously and were boring. Won’t talk about them.
Roger Moore was one of the most genuinely charming and delightful people to work with.
He was modest and funny, always considerate of cast and crew and took pleasure in playing jokes on people. He and his producing partner Robert Baker were always dreaming up pranks. I cant remember any off hand, but they served to keep an exhausted crew (long hours) happy and good natured. That was the difference I mainly found between the TV crews in the UK and the US (Hollywood). The UK crews felt equal to the actors and the execs and we all behaved as equals, joked, laughed together etc. The Hollywood crews were all business and seemed wary, almost a little afraid, of being easy with the actors, no joking or friendly banter and my efforts generally fell on stony ground. Many of the actors took themselves very seriously on the whole…to them this was a business and they were focused on their image, their next job/interview PR gig, etc……. all rather dull.
However I was lucky to work with a few of the more human ones…..Bill Bixby on The Incredible Hulk and The Magician. Lovely man, died too young, intelligent, easy to get along with and told me that if you get an ongoing role at least three successful series you will be set financially for life. He did exactly that:
Three shows: The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, The Incredible Hulk and The Magician. Last time we worked together he had me stand in front of the clock face on the Clock Tower at a famous California Inn where we filmed, to mysteriously beckon someone. I was terrified, having no heads for heights and with nothing between me and certain death…but I did it for him, wouldn’t have done it for many people!
Next up in this little trip down memory lane is Leonard Nimoy…did a very romantic episode of Mission Impossible with him….paddled about in a boat on a lake in Hidden Valley in California and talked about acting. Leonard was a very gifted actor who after having played Mr Spock in Star Trek forever, had a hard time getting away from the pointy ears etc. I was newly arrived in LA at the time and he was very kind and helpful to me and helped me find my way around the Hollywood way of “doing things” and amazingly remembered me, when I bumped into him again in London years later!
I cant leave this, without mentioning the amazing, wonderful Mr McGoohan…Patrick …how I loved working with him, the thrill, the energy…it was like riding an exhilarating roller coaster…here is a link to a bit of one of the episodes we did together on Danger Man aka Secret Agent (USA title).
Next time O”TOOLE!
So glad to hear your kind words about the co-stars you’ve mentioned. I am always pleased to work with actors who are considerate to everyone on set. I have also found, as you have mentioned, that American actors seem to take themselves far more seriously in an almost superior sort of way.
I look forward to your next entry!
Thank you James, yes people seem to enjoy hearing about some of the lovely people I have worked with over the years. More to come!
Dear Jane, my wife Sandra and myself were on a plane to Paphos in Cyprus late October for an Autumn break. Next to us was an elegant lady called Jeanette Freeman who had been a make up artist in the film industry (some lovely stories there) and was enthusing about what a lovely man Roger Moore was and that even if you were working on something different a year later at Pinewood, he would remember your name – “hello Jeanette how are your two boys?”. she also said what a charismatic man Christopher Lee was, came in word perfect and then left. Wasn’t he in military intelligence during the war? I must get his autobiography some time. Jeanette had been visiting her mum in Peckham (lovely stories there as well) and was retuning to her dogs, shop and husband in Polis.
Thanks for your comment. I have worked with some great people in this business….Roger – lovely, Christopher Lee also great, two times worked him. I will write about more of my wonderful leading men in the weeks to come, seems to be popular!
I’m a big fan. I love The Girl-Getters. I love the UFO episode you are in. I love seeing you in all sorts of US & UK television and so on. With so many women in the industry coming forward these days to complain about the sexual antics of men, I hope you didn’t have to face much or any of this yourself. That you are writing good things about these actors helps to keep their reputations clean (so I can continue to watch them). I want nothing but the best for you always.
Thank you for your comment. I have been very lucky working with some terrific actors, male and female. Of course I have had the odd unwelcome approach, but never felt I had to aquiesce and a little common sense will keep you out of trouble!
Thank you for writing….I like The Girl Getters too, though I think the original title The System is better. Appreciate your comments and thoughts.
Although I have seen you in many things over the years (including The Lion in Winter), I only just became aware of you. You had a great part (you made it great) in the Danger Man episode “A Date with Doris.” I just saw it last night on Amazon Prime. I look forward to looking for you in the many other things you did. Under “Trivia,” the IMDb listing for “Doris” says, “Jane Merrow remarked in an interview that during this episode, she stood her ground against Patrick McGoohan.” Is that accurate? Why and how did you stand your ground? What was James Maxwell like?
“Date with Doris” is one of my favourites too…thank you! I liked Patrick McGoohan very much as a person and as an actor…if “standing my ground” with him means working and interacting with his great talent on an equal basis, then that is what it was. Not sure who James Maxwell is?