PERRY COMO (1912-2001)

I’ve done nothing that I can call exciting. I was a barber. Since then I’ve been a singer. That’s it. For the amount of talent I had – I couldn’t dance, act or tell a joke – yet I enjoyed a tremendous career.’

Kris Kristofferson

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON (1936 – )                        

‘I think between us, Bill Clinton and I have settled any lingering myths about the brilliance of Rhodes scholars.’

[On working with Barbra Streisand on the 1976 film A Star is Born]:’Filming with Streisand is an experience which may have cured me of movies.’

‘The money involved in this Iraq reconstruction is shameless. It’s right in your face and everyone can see it. I don’t know if it’s apathy or if it is more a feeling of powerlessness. What can we do? They elected Bush without him really winning the election. The Supreme Court is stacked and we’re fixing to stack it worse. All this destruction is done in our name. And the simple things that Bush keeps saying are so embarrassing. He says, ‘These are evil people who hate peace and hate freedom and that’s why they’re blowing themselves up. Christ.’

I should have been dead many times over. The way I used to fly attack-choppers I should have died. When I got numerous concussions from football I should have died.  When I continued to box, even after losing my memory, I should have died. – they’re trying to tear your head off for Christ sake. I’ve rolled cars too many times, been drunk on a motor-cycle too often

Jane Powell (1929–2021)

JANE POWELL (1929-2021)

[On Ann Miller, her co-star in Hit the Deck (1955)] ‘On her passport where it said, ‘occupation’, she wrote, ‘Star’. I loved Annie. One time we were both on the road in shows in Houston and the apartment building we were staying in was right across the parking lot from the theatre, and you could just walk across the street. Not Ann. She had to have a car pick her up. Ann could not boil water. Literally. She didn’t know how to drive, or if she did she didn’t tell anybody. She was a very smart lady.’

[On dancer Carmen Miranda] ‘I really loved her. She was like a little bird that fell out of the nest. She was so shy. Terribly shy.’

[On actress Hedy Lamarr] ‘Well, Hedy didn’t like me too much because she had to play my mother [in The Female Animal (1958)], and she didn’t like having to play a mother. She was such a beautiful woman, but she was so wrapped up in her beauty and that was it.’

Paul Robeson - Wife, Movies & Death

PAUL ROBESON (1898 – 1976)                             

[Singer Paul Robeson, the baritone who sang ‘Ol’ Man River’ in the 1936 film version of Show Boat, was a vocal supporter of Joseph Stalin and Communism, even after the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956]: ‘Colonial peoples of today look to the Soviet Socialist Republics. They see how, under the great Stalin, millions like themselves have found a new life. They see that, aided and guided by the example of the Soviet Union, led by their Mao Tse-Tung, a new China adds its mighty power to the true and expanding socialist way of life.’

Jon Bon Jovi - Wife, Age & Songs

JON BON JOVI (1962 – )

[In an interview with Movieline in 1998): ‘This is the way I look at sex scenes. I have basically been doing them for a living for years. Trying to seduce an audience is the basis of rock ‘n’ roll, and if I may say so, I’m pretty good at it…Plus, being married and monogamous, it’s the closest thing I can do to having sex without getting in trouble for it…The only thing I like more than my wife is my money, and I’m not about to lose that to her and her lawyers, that’s for damn sure.’

‘Some people just court celebrity for the sake of it. People like Tom Cruise. He was always a great actor, but I think the man’s lost it, lost it. You won’t ever catch me jumping up and down on ‘Oprah’, going on about how I love this woman. And then others start feeding off it. Suddenly, Katie Holmes is on the covers of magazines. These people claim they hate the intrusion that fame brings, but then they bring it on themselves by having huge entourages everywhere they go, attracting attention to themselves. It’s a great fallacy. Another one’s Paris Hilton. Famous for being infamous. And the people who should be getting the attention, people like Bob Dylan, aren’t. It’s sad.’

Patrick Swayze documentary: 5 emotional moments that will wreck you

PATRICK SWAYZE (1952 – 2009)

[Patrick in an interview in January 2009 after learning he had terminal cancer. He passed away from pancreatic cancer in September that year]: ‘Five years is pretty wishful thinking…two years seems likely if you’re going to believe statistics. I want to last until they find a cure, which means I’d better get a fire under it. I’ve had more lifetimes than any ten people put together, and it’s been an amazing ride…So this (dying) is OK.’

Gene Wilder - Wikipedia

GENE WILDER (1933 – 2016)

[On his relationship with Richard Pryor]: ‘We were never good friends, contrary to popular belief. We turned it on for the camera, and then turned it off. He was a pretty unpleasant person to be around during the time we worked together. He was going through his drug problems then and he didn’t want a friendship outside of what we did on the screen. Silver Streak (1976) was very good, we got on really swell. But when we did Stir Crazy (1980), he would come in fifteen minutes late, thirty minutes late, forty-five minutes late: an hour late. Director Sidney Poitier was going nuts.’

Tina Louise - Wikipedia

TINA LOUISE (1934 – ) 

[Tina’s opinion of her Gilligan’s Island co-star Dawn Wells mellowed after Dawn died in 2020]: ‘Dawn and I have never been close, we just never clicked. She was very much about pleasing everyone and I have never been that way’ (she said pre 2020). [After Dawn’s death she said]: ‘I will always remember Dawn’s kindness to me…I hope that people will remember her the way that I do – always with a smile on her face.’

1 Comment

  1. Some great nuggets, Alan. All of your columns prove the value of research. Each of these performers is illuminated by their own words in ways I had forgotten or never realized. Thanks.

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