I was thrilled to hear George Lucas’ recent announcement that he has signed Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford to recreate their iconic characters – Luke Skywalker, Princess Lea and Han Solo — in the next Star Wars movie.
But I couldn’t help thinking, what about me?
Things you do come back to you As though they knew the way —from “Where or When,” by Rogers & Hart
When I first met Hal Schaefer in 1978, he was in his early 50s, which then seemed old to me. I was barely 30. He had just moved from New York to my hometown of San Francisco with his second wife, Brenda, a singer in her late 30s. Hal was a famous jazz pianist. In his younger days, he had made his mark as a protégé of Duke Ellington,
who routinely introduced him on stage by saying, “Now you’re going to hear a real piano player.” But rumor had it that Hal’s career was later thwarted by alcoholism, although he had been sober for many years by the time I met him.
I was on the Stairmaster at my health club Saturday afternoon when I looked up at the bank of TV monitors in front of me. On the scrolling CNN news banner at the bottom of the screen were the words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” I immediately thought, yeah, Neil Armstrong, you try climbing 200 steps on this thing.
In the smash Broadway play The End of the Rainbow, the last months of Judy Garland’s life are depicted as desperate and grueling. Having seen the show in Minneapolis last spring, during its pre-New York run, I wanted to get another perspective on the beloved, tortured performer.
Now that I’m in my early 60s, I keep wondering what I can do to make enough money in the next few years to retire comfortably. There aren’t a lot of income- earning years left in me. What’s going to get me a beachfront condo in a gated community? It would be nice if it was something I could enjoy — an expression of the real me.
I was initially surprised to find The Artist and The Descendants running neck-and-neck for best picture at Sunday’s Oscar ceremony. Not that they aren’t worthy of the gold statuette. What I found curious is that the over-50 Oscar voters didn’t seem to be going for War Horse. It is, after all, the sort of movie that made a big impression on us as kids.
I spent almost a decade at People magazine in New York in the 1980s, interviewing countless stars, from Cher to Butterfly McQueen. I cannot post these articles as they, like Butterfly, are gone with the wind. I did find this one, though, with the outrageous Sylvia Miles.