Imagine a day in 1967, sitting in your small, quiet office, facing an Underwood Noiseless typewriter and writing a comedy script for Get Smart. Then, picture yourself the very next day, emoting before cameras as an actor in an episode of the Civil War series Hondo. Those were the two lives of actor/writer Gary Clarke as he co-existed in an industry that rarely crowned either with success. This nostalgic autobiography presents a rare look into his feats and failures in both professions as he lived them throughout hundreds of films, television shows, radio shows, and plays.
From Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1958), The Virginian (1962-1964), Hondo (1967), and Tombstone (1993) to directing his new screenplay, So You Wanna Make a Movie! (2016), Gary knew firsthand the haunting unemployment that led actors to meals of crackers and ketchup, yet he also tasted the caviar and epicurean coffee in the banquets that follow success and fame. The story of the two Gary’s resonates with commitment and perseverance, generously tinged with that rare tell-one-on-yourself sense of humor.
Gary’s friends, foes, and acquaintances passed him like ships in the night waters off Santa Monica, a veritable Who’s Who of People-You-Always-Wanted-To-Meet: Lee J. Cobb, Lee Marvin, Bette Davis, Sofia Loren, Carlo Ponti, Connie Stevens, Pat Woodell, Ricardo Montalban, James Drury, Doug McClure, Roberta Shore, Mickey Cohen, Kurt Russell, Bill Paxton, Sam Elliott, Johnny Carson, Pat Boone, Annette Funicello, Ralph Taeger, Noah Berry, Jr., Don Adams, Buck Henry, Mel Brooks, Suzanne Pleshette, Richard Chamberlain, and Jack Klugman. Of course, there were those, says Gary, that you might never want to meet.
Peek beyond the glare of spotlights at actor Gary Clarke winning the 1963 Most Promising Actor Award, then glimpse writer Clarke Fredric L’Amoreaux receiving The Writers Guild of America award for The 101 Best Television Shows for the segments he wrote for Get Smart. Never have two opposites been more fascinating, remarkable, and devilishly funny.
Illustrated with nearly a hundred candid and scene photographs, many never before seen. Index.
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"Bursting with an obvious love of showbiz, this vividly written, extremely funny memoir zigzags through various portions of Clarke's rich life... this is a delightfully warm and humorous chronicle of 'a guy who did okay working in the professional he loves.'"
- Shock Cinema