Monday, January 29, 2007


Fatherly advise

If you are ever given the opportunity to strike a Hollywood legend, take it. These instances are fleeting, some would say rare, and if ignored will be lost forever to the winds of time like your late wife's ashes when you drop the urn during a misjudged illustration of circus skills (her mother was not impressed). Anyway, if an A-lister offers you his or her chin, crack it. I didn't and I regret it to this day.

Kirk Douglas had been a friend by association since he had lent David (Niven) his yacht 'The Laughing Bustard'. David, his wife Hjördis and I took a whistle stop tour around the Carribean during the Summer of 1956. It was a joyful two weeks of stolen moments beneath the blue sky as Nivers and I crept into each others arms and hearts. Upon our return to Los Angeles we were met by the angry face of Kirk Douglas.

Apparently some snot-faced little shit down Grenada way had spotted a shifty looking gentleman moving packages of what he described as "heroin" onto 'The Bustard' and had informed the constabulary. The matter was reported to the LA police who paid Mr Douglas a visit and questioned him about his movements. Kirk was livid and had marched down to the harbour to confront us.

He pinioned Nivers to a boathouse wall and demanded an explanation; the man was uncontrollable. As he spat his abuse at poor David his inviting chin bobbed up and down. I could easily reach it and knock him clean out. I would be a hero. A hero. Alas I did not strike out but merely slunk off to drown my sorrows.

I always regretted not hitting Kirk. His combination of good looks, acting talent, genuine charm and a moral conscience made him insufferably smug. David, of course, had nothing to do with any heroin and he was very alarmed by the altercation at the boatyard. Two years ago I got a second chance to strike Kirk Douglas and knew I couldn't not take it. He was being lifted out of a chair by a nurse when I went past him in a car I had hired for a visit to Hollywood and the surrounds. I stopped the car immediately and quick as a flash had my driver smack him to the ground. Hurrah! My foe was finally vanquished.

I did very well out of the heroin as well.

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