John had already worked with Dustin Hoffman on Midnight Cowboy but their relationship was not particularly close. After Cowboy Dustin got the hump  and didn’t really speak to John but by the time it came to Marathon Man you wouldn’t have known there was a rift at all. He was not combative and would take direction very well. It was a very happy shoot and Dustin was very protective of Olivier.

While we were working on Marathon Man, my eldest daughter Kate lived with us and I recall that she was involved in some jewelry-making classes with the male companion of Roddy McDowall, an actor I’d known for some time. Roddy invited us to his parties that were always crammed with famous faces. I remember sitting next to Rock Hudson at one of these shindigs and we were probably the only people there who didn’t know he was gay. Roddy was very sociable and lived near Studio City opposite Gene Autry.

He would give occasional poolside lunch parties as well as evening dinners, which were always catered. The food was not that good, but people attended for the quality of the guests. Roddy was a friend of John Schlesinger and perhaps they thought we did not get invited out too often because we weren’t celebrities. It was always a gathering of the great and famous. Danny Kaye did a wonderful impersonation of Laurence’s French accent, and Vincent Price, who had by this time met and fallen for Coral Browne, was often there with her. It was charming to see Vincent and Coral behaving like teenagers in love.

Advertisements