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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Close Encounter With Robert Evans.

On the Current Channel, the one that houses Keith Olbermann these days, there is a program that follows it every night,
called "50 Documentaries You Should See Before You Die".
Mixed in with most of Michael Moore's movies is one called "The Kid Stays In The Picture".
This is a documentary biography of movie mogul Robert Evans.
I saw it not too long ago.
It is very entertaining, as was the book it was based on, which was an autobiography.
Evans narrates it himself.
Is it a documentary I should see before I die?
Not necessarily.
This, by the way, is how Evans talks throughout the picture.
It could have also been called "The Kid Asks Himself Questions And Answers Them Himself Throughout The Picture".

On Ali McGraw: "Did I want her the first time I laid eyes on her? You bet I did".

You get the idea.

Evans was Head of Production at Paramount Pictures at the same time I was working on "The Odd Couple" there.
Was Evans, in fact, instrumental in getting the "Odd Couple" movie made there?
You bet he was.
Was Evans responsible for putting together such classics as "Rosemary's Baby". "Love Story", "The Godfather" and "Chinatown"?
Was he ever.
He had quite a successful run.

Did things start going sour for Evans with "Popeye, "The Two Jakes" and "The Cotton Club"?
Did it ever.
There was even talk, though unsubstantiated, that he was involved in the "Cotton Club Murder Case", in which others were sent to prison for the murder of potential producer/investor Roy Radin.

As a sidebar, when I was producing "New Odd CUPPle", I used to see this big overweight shlubby-looking guy with stringy hair,who walked around in a raincoat, regardless of the fact that this was Southern California, hanging around the set.
Turns out, he was Roy Radin, and he was Demond Wilson's manager.
This accounted for his presence.
That was my close encounter with Roy Radin, who didn't survive much longer after that.

As for my close encounter with Robert Evans, it was common knowledge, when he ran Paramount, that he drove around in this gaudy black-and gold Rolls-Royce. Or maybe it was a Bentley.
Whichever, it certainly was gaudy.
And you knew it was his, because it was parked in the parking space with his name on it.

His office was on the other side of the lot from mine.
I had a used, beat-up light blue Volkswagen Beetle at the time.

For whatever reason, I was about to leave the lot in my Beetle one late afternoon.
Reaching the turn to the main gate at the precise moment was Evans in his gaudy Rolls or Bentley.
I mean THE precise moment.

But I had the right of way.
I had a right turn to make, and he had a left turn.
He started to edge into the turning space ahead of me.
I quickly darted in ahead of him and cut him off, proceeding to the main gate.

Was I proud of myself? You bet I was.


My book, "Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store, You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
You might want to check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.

The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle. I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.

The website "On Screen & Beyond" has two hours of an interview I did on it's podcast in their archives.
Just Google On Screen & Beyond to find them if you're interested.



  1. Did I enjoy this post? You know I did.

  2. me too. life doesn't give us opportunities like this all the time.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."