Yesterday was Paul Michael Glaser’s 77th birthday so I want to pay tribute to one of my early crushes in life.
My oldest brother had a color TV in his room and would let me watch shows with him like Starsky & Hutch, Baretta and Charlie’s Angels. The rest of the time I’d have to share the black and white TV with the rest of the kids in the living room.
With his curly black hair, beautiful blue eyes, hairy chest and tight jeans, I could not keep my eyes off Det. Dave Starsky. He and Det. Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson (David Soul) were two streetwise cops who busted criminals in their red-and-white Ford Torino with the help of police snitch called Huggy Bear.
Paul once said in an interview: “I think between David’s and my chemistry and the notion of a buddy show, which I think, if I’m not mistaken, was the first of its kind on television…we had “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” as a feature, but we hadn’t seen that kind of pairing,… male bonding,.. whatever you want to call it in television. So this was kind of a first.”
Pre-TV fame, he appeared on Broadway in Butterflies Are Free then made his film debut playing Perchik in 1971′s movie version of Fiddler on the Roof.
After Starsky & Hutch, he directed such films as The Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Cutting Edge, and The Air Up There starring Kevin Bacon. He also directed episodes of several well-known TV series, including Miami Vice, Robbery Homicide Division and Judging Amy.
These days, Paul mostly writes and directs and continues his activism in the fight against Pediatric AIDS after losing his wife Elizabeth and their daughter to the disease. David still acts including a guest spot a few seasons back on Grace & Frankie and a recurring role on Ray Donovan.
Back in 2017, I was obsessed with Feud: Bette and Joan. In one of the episodes, Susan Sarandon, as Bette Davis, sings this song to promote her movie with Joan Crawford. I had no idea this really happened so looked it up and sure enough here is Miss Davis singing the title tune. I give her all kinds of credit for being such a pro and being game to do whatever she had to do to promote the movie.
Thought it would make for a fun distraction for a few minutes today!
The forever-young Elton John is still going strong. He’s been a star for 50 years! My oldest brother used to play Elton’s albums every day in the mid-to-late 70s. He had them ALL.
I would look at the covers and just wonder how anybody could have the guts to wear some of those get-ups.
Then in high school for a spring concert, I performed Your Song. I knew exactly how because I had heard all those hundreds of times. I still do it at karaoke every now and then.
I interviewed Elton once, by telephone, for a magazine piece. I was told he would call on a Monday or a Tuesday but they did not know exactly when so keep my phone with me at all times. So on the Monday afternoon, I’m heading home on the packed 101 freeway and the phone rings: “Hello Greg, it’s Elton!” I ended up pulling off and into a gas station parking lot and scribbling notes on a yellow legal pad.
He made up for it though with wonderful performances at The Billies (an awards show for female athletes named for his close pal Billie Jean King) and at the DVD premiere of The Lion King at the El Capitan Theatre. Also saw he and Billy Joel in concert in the mid-1990s in San Diego. My friend Lorna Harris and I took a chartered buys with a bunch of KEZY listeners who had won tickets.
So many Elton memories. Where do all the years go?
The first time I met Lee Pace it was at a cemetery.
It was the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and it was for the premiere screening of the ABC series Pushing Daisies. I was a columnist for the LA Daily News and was excited to interview Lee who I was so impressed with in Soldier’s Girl.
He was tremendously nice that night and a about a year later when we had a phone interview about a movie he did called The Fall. I knew he was not straight but the closest we got to addressing it was his agreeing how hunky his Infamous co-star Daniel Craig had become for his role as James Bond.
The Julliard-trained actor’s movie career has taken off since then.
He starred as Thranduil the Elvenking in The Hobbit trilogy, and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as villain Ronan the Accuser, a role he first appeared as in Guardians of the Galaxy and reprised in Captain Marvel. He has also appeared in other film series including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 as Garrett. He was also the protagonist Joe MacMillan for four seasons in AMC’s television drama Halt and Catch Fire.
It was just over two years ago that Lee a bit clumsily came out publicly while starring in the Broadway revival of Tony Kushner’s iconic play Angels in America. He told an interviewer he feels it’s important for gay actors to play the gay roles in both plays, but stopped short of labeling himself. He seemed a bit flustered and surprised by the question. “I’ve dated men. I’ve dated women,” he explained. “I don’t know why anyone would care. I’m an actor and I play roles. To be honest, I don’t know what to say—I find your question intrusive.”
But he soon spoke to The New York Times and was more at peace with coming out publicly: “It feels nicer,” he said, “than I ever thought it would be.”
Happy 41st birthday to this talented and oh-so handsome man!
I can’t count how many times I’ve walked to get coffee with my best work pal Ari DeSano over the past 2.5 years – hundreds. We have the best little talks and a lot of laughs. Ari is a riot but I don’t often get to see their alter-ego, Odious Ari, in action so it was an absolute treat to see this video turn up over the weekend. I think it’s brilliant and I’m so proud of my friend for creating art and sharing it with the world.
I tested positive for COVID19. I believe I got it while on a trip to NYC at the beginning of the month for the Brooklyn Nets Pride night game. I had my first symptoms on Wed Mar 11. Terrible headache. A few days later I had a fever and then the cough.
The year was 1992, the show was Saturday Night Live, and the sketch was Coffee Talk. Hostess Linda Richman (Mike Myers), her best friend Liz Rosenberg (Madonna) and Liz’s mom (Roseanne Barr) are huge Barbra Streisand fans and discuss Prince of Tides until Barbra herself makes a surprise appearance at the end.
My favorite Line: “I have a shpikus in my genektagazoink. Talk amongst yourselves.”
Steve McQueen, the ruggedly handsome and very sexy star of The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Papillon, The Sand Pebbles, Bullitt, The Getaway, The Thomas Crown Affair and many other films, died far too young.
McQueen was born 90 years ago today.
Sadly, he was just 50 when he died in 1980 after developing several large abdominal tumors.
Thank God for the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival which is where in recent years I’ve seen so many McQueen films on the big screen which is how they should be seen to be fully enjoyed and appreciated. This is an actor who really was one of a kind.