the guttenberg bible
strode out of the stage. This had to be a good day for me: Charlton Heston said “asshole” to me. Things must be looking up. I also found myself haunting the Bing Crosby Productions bungalow. The offices at Paramount were unlocked then, and I would roam them all, but Bing’s offices were the most fun because they had golf carts. I would take one and tool around the lot. It sure beat walking and I could easily hide from or outrun the security guards, who did their nightly rounds on bicycles. I would drive by the Lucille Ball makeup building often and stop to explore. The building was empty except for a few offices used as storage space. Some of the offices hadn’t been touched for years. It was in one of them that I found a call sheet for a Humphrey Bogart fi lm. I also found an office on the top floor that had a beautiful view of the courtyard. Hm, I thought, this could be a great office for me to work from. But it was empty, and what is an office without furniture? One evening I took my golf cart over to the prop department, and found a young prop assistant putting the finishing touches on a wagon for Little House on the Prairie. I had already fi lled out a phony requisitions form from the Happy Days set, asking for a desk, a few chairs, and other office supplies. “What is this stuff for?” the prop master asked. “We’re putting in a desk for a new set, Mrs. Cunningham is opening a dress shop.” Dress shop? I thought. Couldn’t I come up with anything better than that? He looked at me. “And who are you?” “Set Design.” “Why do you have a Crosby golf cart?” “Hey, pal, if this is a problem I’ll have Garry Marshall’s office call down, I’m late as it is.” It seems that everything in the fi lm and television business is always running late, and people understand this. He groaned and pulled a beautiful desk, chairs, lamps, and even an ottoman out and said, “I’m closing up. Okay if I leave it here and you transport them yourself?” I loaded up my furnishings and lugged them up the three flights of stairs to what would be my office. I sat behind my desk, opened my Dad’s briefcase, and took out my Variety and Hollywood Reporter. I imagined myself making deals, sitting in story conferences, and even writing scripts in there. It reminded me of Bill Holden’s office in Sunset Boulevard. I imagined myself getting phone calls, and . . . Wait a minute! I thought. I had no phone!
3/20/12 10:39 AM
Published on Apr 10, 2012
The hilarious, insightful memoir of the highs and lows of Hollywood by the actor who starred in multiple iconic blockbusters: Diner, Police...