It’s good news that Leonard Maltin’s 1970s book, THE REAL STARS, has now been re-issued, containing as it does wonderful profiles and interviews with the supporting players we all love.
In his introduction,Leonard explains how lucky he was,as a teenager, on his first visit to Hollywood ,to meet so many of these stars. He says, “When I think about all the people I got to interview,I shake my head in wonderment.”
I think that a lot of the material in this book came from Leonard Maltin’s memorable FILM FAN MONTHLY which I used to love getting a hold of.
From a 1971 interview with Edgar Buchanan:
“PENNY SERENADE was a big thrill for me. I learned a lot on that picture. George Stevens,in my opinion,is the greatest director we’ve ever had…….
“You remember the graveyard scene (in SHANE) where we buried Elisha Cook Jr? We spent three weeks burying old Cook.The King of England died while we were shooting it, and some wag made the crack that they spent more money burying Cook that they did the King of England.”
Also in the book is an amazing interview with BESS FLOWERS who was interviewed by Warren G.Harris in 1972.
Many publications including Life,Look and The Saturday Evening Post wanted to write about her but she always refused – she wanted to maintain her anonymity that is part of being an extra or hit player.
She preferred working in contemporary settings as she could usually wear her own clothes which paid more money than ordinary extra work.
Her favorite film was UNDERCURRENT .
PATSY KELLY, interviewed in 1968, loved working with Marion Davies:
“I wish you had seen her dressing room …it was like the Empire State Building.”
Also featured in the book are Una Merkel,Grady Sutton,Joyce Compton,Mabel Paige,Gale Sondergaard,Gladys George,Sara Allgood.
It’s a wonderful book. Don’t miss it!