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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Famous names

Look at how lucky we are to have Hollywood superstars in Britain.

Kevin Spacey has been running the Old Vic theatre company (way back this famous old theatre housed the National Theatre before its own new premises were built next to the river - and it was run by Laurence Olivier).

Then there's Gillain Anderson. Wonder why she's been off your radar recdently, my US readers? She's been living over here and making great programmes. The latest is a really creepy serial killer crime drama, The Fall. If it makes it over there, you must watch.

I've also been musing on the "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon" scenario, since it occurred to me that a late acquaintance of mine interviewed gazillions of famous people over many years.

He was called Roy Plomley, and he invented and presented a radio programme called Desert Island \discs for over 40 years:

I knew him because I served on a committee with him in 1984, just before he died. Therefore everyone he ever interviewed for his programme is someone I am just 2 degrees from. Here are a few examples. Not as few as it could have been, I got carried away...

Louis Armstrong       Dirk Bogarde       Mel Brooks        James Cameron       Richard Chamberlain       

Bing Crosby       Noel Coward       Marlene Dietrich       Brian Epstein        Douglas Fairbanks Jr          

Alec Guinness       Liberace        David Niven       Norman Mailer       Peter Sellers       Paul Robeson

Ginger Rogers       Stephen Sondheim       Tennessee Williams   

There are a few that stand out. As well as Julie Andrews, there is the person she is most famous for portraying, Baroness Maria Von Trapp. There's Guy Gibson, who led the Dambusters raid during WWII - and died before the end of the war - and the actor who played him in the film, Richard Todd. There's also actress Valerie Hobson, who played the Wife of Frankenstein, and after whom I was named. Sadly, she is most famous for being the wife of politician John Profumo, whose affair with Christine Keeler led to fears of a major security breach in 1963.

 I wish I'd actually met a few of these people, or even discussed them with Roy way back then. Two degrees of separation seem a bit pointless now.


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