I've read my customary quota of newspapers.
Nothing. Zilch. Gornicht. Nyet. Cropotkin. Zero, bubula.
So, as a change-up...
Of late, I've been playing a lot of Six Degrees of Separation.
This is the mindless, time-wasting and way fun game of thinking how close you've come to serious celebrity.
Now, because of my years in broadcasting, I have already met some very interesting folk:
Law & Order's
The Best of the Rest
Paul Mercer Ellington
And 1001 MP's, MLA's, social workers, mothers, doctors, lawyers and Indian Chiefs; Drug addicts, murderers, scoundrels and saints.
On public policy, education, health, justice, sports, food, sex, and rock 'n roll...
Lately, I've been obsessing (What? You don't obsess? Come on, get real!) with near brushes with even more illustrious stars of the movie firmament.
Last night I was watching George Stephens' magnificent 1956 move of Edna Ferber's tale of Texas, "Giant."
Or as the Italian posters had it, "Il Gigante."
Starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, the 3-hour epic was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning only for Stevens himself for best director.
An absolute piece of shit called "Around the World in 80 Days" won for Best Picture.
And look at who was in the running for Best Actor:
- This was James Dean's second consecutive posthumous nomination.
How's that for a list of actors and movies in one year?
Here's my ONE Degree of Separation.
Starring as Luz Benedict II was Carroll Baker. Her scene with James Dean in the empty restaurant is still considered an actor's workshop and there are many famous stories about what went on behind the cameras.
So...I had a long and delightful lunch in, of all places, Edmonton, with Carroll Baker some years ago when she was finishing a run of a play at the Stage West Dinner Theatre and I had just arrived for rehearsals for our 4-month run of "Tribute."
She was warm and charming and funny and we talked about that famous scene, among many other things.
So there's my One Degree of Separation from Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean.
In the same cafe in the same setting under the same circumstances I had a similar lunch with Anne Francis, who, when she left Edmonton to return to California insisted that I take all her kitchen supplies to my apartment.
Anne Francis was a co-star in "Funny Girl," "Blackboard Jungle" and "Forbidden Planet."
Hence, my One Degree Of Separation from Barbra Streisand, Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier and Walter Pidgeon, who appeared in both "Funny Girl" and Forbidden Planet."
Next time, I'll tell you about my One Degree of Separation from Marlon Brando - twice!