Amazing Individuals

I’ve been asked more than once why I haven’t written a biography. Well, the reason is quite simple. I’ve little interest in writing about myself. While some may disagree, I don’t feel I’ve lived a remarkable life. However, I can say I’ve had the opportunity to meet, and on occasion even work with a number of remarkable people. When it comes to telling stories I’d prefer to speak about these amazing individuals than drone on about myself.

Some years ago, author and entertainer, Steve Allen came up with an idea for a television show. It would be a conversation with a famous person from distant or recent history. The person could be a president or prime minister. An entertainer or an artist. Perhaps a remarkable scientist whose vision changed our way of life. I found this idea intriguing. Who would you choose to spend time with should you have the opportunity? Would it be a Hollywood celebrity or a Nobel Prize winner? For most this is a dream seldom realized. The average person simply doesn’t have access to (for wont of a better word) the rich and famous. They go about their lives seeing famous people on television or on occasion, a signing at a local book store. Lucky for me, I never worked your average job. My workspace, or playpen has always been a film, recording or television studio. This has given me remarkable access to a host of authors and actors. Screenwriters, directors and a medley of talented and amazing individuals. I will avoid mentioning names here because who they are is not particularly important. The fact I was granted the unique opportunity to meet them - is.

What I find interesting is the fact that I never sought out these special individuals. Usually, we met by caprice. Simply a chance meeting or simply being at the right place at the right time. Of course, being in the entertainment industry increased the odds, but even workers at motion picture studios are not always provided special interaction with film stars. I arrived on set at ABC early one morning and while pouring myself a cup of coffee, a tall distinguished gentleman asked if he could have a cup as well. I immediately recognized my early morning “friend” who was best known by fans as a “Vulcan” on a popular science fiction TV show. On another occasion, I fell in love with an attractive young actress while visiting the MGM studio one afternoon. For years, I collected her photographs knowing I would probably never meet this woman in person. Decades later, the two of us managed to meet up and we spent over an hour in conversation. Only in Hollywood, right?. Then, there was the famous English author who poked his head into my third floor office in Disney’s animation building. Known around the world, I was amazed that the famous Brit had decided to chat with me. On another occasion, the CEO of a well known technology company decided to escape the media and join me and my pal in conversation. Why the famous, charismatic individual choose us I have no idea.

It’s been this way throughout my life. I was gifted with the opportunity to work with a host of gifted, talented individuals and most of these encounters happened by chance. In almost every case they were someone I truly admired. Most were men and more than a few were women. However, what each had in common was an amazing ability to connect with people and accomplish great things. Maybe that explains why they were so rich and famous. And, perhaps that’s why I would rather write about them than write about myself.

One of the many nice people I've met during my career in the film business. I've never sought out the rich and famous. They just seem to venture my way. I'm a lucky guy, I guess. 

One of the many nice people I've met during my career in the film business. I've never sought out the rich and famous. They just seem to venture my way. I'm a lucky guy, I guess.