Dawn Steel

Have you ever seen the movie Flashdance? How about Top Gun, or Fatal Attraction?

Those movies, and many more, were made under the supervision of studio executive Dawn Steel.

Her name was appropriate, too, because a woman in the man’s world of Hollywood filmmaking had to be made of steel.

Dawn Steel’s 1993 memoir was called They Can Kill You But They Can’t Eat You. And that’s when I met her.

So here now, from 1993, Dawn Steel.

Dawn Steel succumbed to brain cancer in 1997 at age 51.

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Peter Bogdanovich

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Peter Bogdanovich

Peter Bogdanovich did a little bit of everything in Hollywood. He was a writer, an actor, a film historian, a director — I think he even got coffee sometimes.

His acclaimed movies include The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc, and a host of others.

And along the way he met a number of Hollywood legends, the people he calls the original movie stars. People like John Wayne, Orson Welles, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart.

In 2004, Bogdanovich published a book of his recollections of dealing with those movie stars, a book he called Who the Hell’s in It: Conversations with Hollywood’s Legendary Actors. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 2004, Peter Bogdanovich

Peter Bogdanovich died in 2022 at age 82.

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Barry Levinson

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Ralph Cooper

In 1935, a young actor, screenwriter, and dancer had an idea.

He started a weekly amateur night competition at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, in New York City. And before long, Ralph Cooper and his amateur night at the Apollo became a major influence in Black Entertainment.

Over the next five decades, Cooper’s amateur night made hundreds of previously unknown performers into Stars.

I met Ralph Cooper in 1991, when he wrote A Memoir of his many years at the Apollo.

So here now, from 1991, Ralph Cooper.

Ralph Cooper died in 1992, at the age of 84.

Robert Evans

As a Young Man, Robert Evans wasn’t even in Show Business.

Photo: Angela George

Then one day, just like something out of a storybook, actress Norma Shearer spot of him and thought he would be great to be in a movie.

The rest, as they say, well,…

From an acting career, Evans became a movie producer. And in the 60s and 70s some of his movies are now Classics. Movies like Rosemary’s Baby, Love Story, The Godfather, and Chinatown.

But a drug-related conviction in 1980 was a major setback to Evans, and he never came back to his former glory. His last movie in 2003 was How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

In 1994, Evans wrote A Memoir, a book he had always thought about writing, and that’s when I met him.

And even if you somehow don’t find his stories interesting, I guarantee you’ll be mesmerised by this man’s magnificent voice.

So here now, from 1994, Robert Evans

Robert Evans died in 2019. He was 89.

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