“Often there would be visitors on the set. Fellow artists would drop by and watch us work. One afternoon, everything was set up for my song, “They All Laughed”. I took my place besides the piano and saw my old chum Cary Grant standing next to the camera. Mark Sandrich said “Okay, hit the playback,” and the orchestra went into the introduction to the song. I looked straight at Cary. Now I had someone for whom to perform and Cary reacted beautifully. He was good an audience as he was an actor. When I finished the verse and chorus I went over to him and while we chatted, Cary asked me to dinner the next night.
I went back to the scene and Fred and I danced to the tune I´d just sung. Cary watched the dance number about three times, and then had to leave. He waved at me and pointed his watch, and help up seven fingers.
The next evening Cary arrived on the dot to take me out to dinner, and we drove to a favourite seaside restaurant. We both had a keen sense of humor and tried to top each other on the way to the restaurant. It was a wonder that the police didn´t stop us, since the car was weaving all over the road, but laugh we did. He loved telling cockney stories. Over dinner, I made Cary repeat a little poem that went something like this:
“There was a big molice-pan
Who saw a bittle lum,
Sitting on the wide-salk
Chewing godda wum.
´Long came big molice-pan
Who said to bittle lum,
Said the bittle lum to the big molice-pan,
“Gaul I sot.”“Cary just ate this up. He wanted to learn it himself and tried to repeat it. I´d correct him and then he´d go at it again. Some eavesdroppers tried to tell him where he´d made his error, until our half of the restaurant became embroiled in this stupid poem. Our sides were aching from the mistakes Cary made. Finally, the room applauded when Cary got it right.
“The studio arranges for me to meet Paul Newman and he shows up for the meeting wearin’ beat up slacks and a T-shirt. We click it off right away, when he grins at me like he’s known me my whole life. ‘Whataya say, Rock!’ he says. ‘I read your book, and I saw you fight. It’s amazing to see you are a man of letters.’ He makes everybody laugh, and even though he kids me I could see right off there ain’t one thing phony about this guy. Maybe there was. He was too good looking. In fact, the guy is pretty. That didn’t matter because I knew they could fix up an’ flatten his nose for the part, an’ if they couldn’t I could do it for them. I could see in the guys eyes that he was a fighter. He’s got bright blue eyes, but when you look in ‘em you see a hard look dancing around inside. Only one other guy I ever see these same eyes on an’ that was another friend of mine, Frank Sinatra. When their blue eyes spot a wise guy, the eyes say, ‘Don’t fuck with me, man!’” — Rocky Graziano
“I’ve repeatedly said that for people as little in common as Joanne and myself, we have an uncommonly good marriage. We are actors. We make pictures and that’s about all we have in common. Maybe that’s enough. Wives shouldn’t feel obligated to accompany their husbands to a ball game, husbands do look a bit silly attending morning coffee breaks with the neighborhood wives when most men are out at work. Husbands and wives should have separate interests, cultivate different sets of friends and not impose on the other…You can’t spend a lifetime breathing down each others necks.”
- Paul Newman
Ava Gardner and Edith Head, Beverly Hills, 1974. Photographed by Roddy McDowall“Edith Head was one of the people I loved most in the world. She was friend, confidante, and was always there for me, like another mother. I won’t try to describe her magical talent; it is there for all of us to see. But it was her method of working that was so phenomenal. She got ‘inside’ the characters and helped create their persona as much as the actors and directors did. She would find little personality quirks for each different individual, like a funny cup, a favorite scarf, or pockets in odd places, sort of built-in props for each new role. As the lady I loved, she was wildly funny and totally giving—and she was so wise. She looked at all the craziness of Hollywood behind those dark glasses of hers with a most lovely sense of ironic sanity. She had a very practical way of putting panic into its proper perspective, and always made you end up laughing. Nothing amazed her of fazed her, including her friend Ava Gardner standing on her head for no apparent reason. I miss her very much.” — Elizabeth Taylor