1987: “A bowling scene,” the casting director said. Of course I was available. “Half day work, full day’s pay.” Sounded good to me. What to wear, I wondered. I called a friend. She suggested jeans, a plaid shirt and stuff like that there. Good to go for an early call.
Little did I know the movie was Fatal Attraction and I’d have a chat with Michael Douglas during a break. I’ve already confided to you that the ‘Don’t talk to the Stars” rule doesn’t apply to me and why, you might ask? Because I’m respectful and fast and always have something to say. And they are always pleased. So I parked at a bowling alley on Riverside Drive heading toward NYC and walked in. Approval from wardrobe came next and there were a few actors I knew from other shoots. And there he was. Handsome lean, smiling, a husky guy obviously his best friend at his side. He tried out a bowling bowl and with style and grace, brought all the pins down. Applause, applause.
During a break, I walked over to the man. “I loved your movie, Running. He turned to me with wide smile. “Thanks. The reviews weren’t good and I worked so hard.” He hugged me and said “Thanks. You’ve made my day.”
Part of the sweet time I’ll never forget.
Michael Douglas with his best pal
My first soap-uh, daytime drama, folks. I worked there almost every week for about eleven years. At the beginning, I was in the emergency room. Very efficient although I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. Just look smart and work fast. Then a funny thing happened. Patients, in the script, I swear the other guy did it, began to like, die, pass on, kaput. Get it? Of course the doctor did the dirty deed. Now really, was that a reason for Judy Wilson, the wonderful casting director, to take me out of my whites and say I should be a socialite? In the country club? Beautifully dressed, no needles and charts. Instead, I wore the best in wardrobe’s size four inventory, complete with jewelry and accessories. What a comedown. I nearly cried with joy.
About the cast long ago.Early in the morning the stars– Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser and the rest of the young beauties arrived, so pleasant, faces sans make-up looking just like us. Always a greeting as they sailed through and on to their dressing rooms. And then came Phil Carey. Asa Buchanan had nothing to say to the background people so far beneath his station. Once a scene was shot in Central Park. Rain began to fall. I slipped into my raincoat and one of the gentlemen stars, a young handsome man who always sat with me at the commissary and talked about his life, grabbed my hand and helped me up into the bus filled with the stars. Phil Carey said loud and clear, “She’s only an extra. She doesn’t belong here.”
You could hear the gasp but no one crossed Phil Carey except for my guy. “She’s a person, as good as any of us.”
A month later, my buddy left the cast to star in a musical on Broadway. I continued to work, under fives and background for a long time and stayed clear of Phil Carey. Show business was not always “the sweet time.”