One thing about the new Limited Edition is that I have just completed recording an audio version of the entire book, Cagney & Lacey… and Me. This recording by the author will be included as part of the package that we, even as I write, are finalizing. So far the beautifully designed Limited Edition box will have the Loretta Swit Movie for Television, all the Meg Foster episodes, all 119 episodes with Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly as Cagney and Lacey, a tape of the entire 30th anniversary tribute evening put on by the British Film Institute and the aforementioned audio book. More to be added and announced very soon but, as promised earlier, the Limited Edition will also be personally autographed by Sharon, Tyne and yours truly.
As to the “sharing” thing: Sharon lost a long time friend with the death of Andy Griffith. She had talked to him by phone shortly before his unexpected passing. They exchanged birthday greetings and he was talking about also moving down to Florida from his home in North Carolina. Andy was a terrific talent and a wonderful… and very funny… gentle man. His passing is a major loss to this world. Whoever said these things run in threes doesn’t know much about my address book. In the last week or so Celeste Holm, who starred for me in This Girl for Hire, a movie of the week/back door pilot I had made years ago with a great cast of character actors now mostly passed on that included Jose Ferrer, Howard Duff, Ray Walston, and Elisha Cook, Jr. That tongue-in-cheek homage to film noir is only note worthy because of the cast I assembled and Ms Holm led that group wonderfully well. As a boy I had worshipped her talent as Adoo Annie in Oklahoma and in some pretty wonderful motion pictures including All About Eve. It was a thrill for me to actually get to know her and to work with her. This week she joined former studio head Richard Zanuck, William “Billy” Asher and then Frank Pierson to complete the loss of five very solid citizens in one week.
I had seen “Billy” Asher only once since he retired to Palm Springs, California. He was a fun pal to have during my early days in the Malibu Movie Colony out at that California beach community in the 1960’s and 70’s. In those days he was the celebrated creator/director of the television series Bewitched and was married to that show’s star, Elizabeth Montgomery. One would have to travel a very long way to find a better drinking companion or a funnier, more generous and talented man than he. I will never forget the time spent with him and one of his greatest pals, the late, great award winning actor Jack Warden who was also a Colony resident in those days.
Then yesterday … an “alert” popped up on my Internet connection. Frank Pierson had died. Frank and I once competed for the affections of the same young woman (a then very bright and talented actress by the name of Gail Kobe), before that… and after… when we had moved on in life to our individual marriages, we would occasionally see each other socially. We came close to working together once on a TV series Pierson had created for James Garner, but of course Frank was best known for the feature films he wrote including Cat Ballou, Cool Hand Luke and Dog Day Afternoon. He was so smart, so articulate that it was probably a blessing I didn’t hang around him more often. I am not at all sure my ego could have withstood the constant onslaught of his brilliance.
That then was the week that was. I am looking forward to a better one with thanks to you all for allowing this indulgence and for being patient with the soon to be announcements on our Cagney & Lacey 30th anniversary events.
July 25, 2012