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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

4:57 pm.

First, let me express my gratitude for all the orders I've received for my novel, "I'm Not Garbo".
And for the gratitude you have all expressed to me in e-mails after having read it.
I don't think I'm giving much away here by mentioning that early on in the novel, Greta Garbo's agent has a meeting at Louis B. Mayer's office.
It is for 3:57 pm.
Garbo's agent knows all too well what that means.
He's not getting more than three minutes.
As with every other piece of writing I do, this was drawn from my own life.
Before my writing partner and I had landed on "The Odd Couple", we were still living in New York, and my father was still attempting to get our material to people who mattered.
My partner and I had collaborated on a screenplay.
It was a light comedy about guys our age.
We were in our early twenties.
My father told us that he could arrange a meeting for us with Otto Preminger.
You know. Otto Preminger.
The director who directed some wonderful movies from the 1940's into the early 1960's.
The director who was pretty well-known for being a tyrant.
The director who had directed a whole lot of overblown dreck after the early 1960's.
The director who had never really directed a good light comedy.
I include the boring "The Moon is Blue", which generated a lot of controversy, but no laughs.
And the less said about "Skidoo", the better.
This was the man my father thought might be interested in helming our light comedy about
guys in their twenties.
The thought terrified us.
The thought of meeting Otto Preminger terrified us.
But there was enough perverse curiosity there that we agreed to have the meeting.
At his office.
The meeting was scheduled for 4:57 pm.
His idea. Not ours.
And we knew what that meant.
We weren't going to get any more than three minutes with him.
And for those three minutes, we actually put on suits and ties.
We arrived at his office on Park Avenue.
We were shown in.
And there, behind the longest and biggest desk one could ever imagine, was the man himself.
"I understand you have written a screenplay", he said, as if we were being interrogated
by the Gestapo.
We handed it to him.
"I shall read it", he stated.
We didn't know if that was a good or a bad thing.
I mean, what if he liked it?
"Thank you for coming"
And at 4:59 and a half, we were out the door.
We were told later that he did not think it was for him.
Hell, we could have told him that going in.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
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 paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. In 1978 ish I went to New York with my mother several times. Otto Preminger fell in front of us as I recall out of his car, or however you say it, Mom says trying to get in all over the pavement she said "horribly drunk."
    I can't imagine less dignity than I saw that day. Cursing, unkind, unwilling to allow her to help him up, flailing around.

  2. Perhaps as I read it was Altzheimers, we didn't know, we just knew who he was and saw he had a terrible fall. His reaction, in retrospect might be understood by anyone hitting the ground so hard, my mom is tiny and I was just worried he'd pull her over.

  3. There is a chance you're eligible for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  4. There's a chance you're eligible for a complimentary Apple iPhone 7.



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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."