HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall Fred Astaire.
When my time comes and the great director calls “Cut!” on my final scene, I will have only one regret about this life. It’s not missing out on the Academy Award for Mr Billy Goes To Town or being arrested for assaulting Lee J. Cobb in a car park. In some ways I see that as a blessing in disguise because if I hadn’t been held in the cells overnight, Robert Mitchum would never have taught me how to play gin rummy.
No, that one regret will forever be my failure to persuade Fred Astaire of the benefits of a high-fibre diet. He’d kindly agreed to give me tap lessons before we shot the dining room scene in Buffet Olé! in which we played a pair of Spanish waiters secretly working undercover for the CIA. As dear old Fred struggled to explain the difference between the shuffle and a pullback I could see the pain in his eyes and something deep inside me just knew that he was having trouble. But every time I tried to recommend a dose of Pluto Water or Swiss Kriss to clear his tubes Fred would just insist that he wasn’t constipated, and carry on dancing.
All he wanted to do was rehearse, rehearse, rehearse – and that’s the kind of trooper he was.
They don’t make them like Fred Astaire any more. Ironically they do make them like Ginger Rogers. One day on the set of Kickin’ Kate she was abducted by aliens and cloned.
But that’s another story…
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