HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer recalls working on a whole array of Classic Hollywood pictures and a friendship with Spencer Tracy.
Many people were kind enough to say that my turn as an autistic Greek baker in The Buns of Navarone merited more attention than the Academy gave it, but I’ve always been a jobbing actor and happy to take whatever part comes along next. If I’d spent more time thinking about my career I probably wouldn’t have ended up playing Spencer Tracy’s son in Father of the Groom.
I was clearly too old for the part and I’m afraid to say that I did let Spence lead me astray once or twice during filming. We’d have a few drinks and play cards in his dressing room while Natalie Wood was trying to learn her lines and this led to a less than disciplined atmosphere on set. If you watch closely during the dinner party scene I can clearly be seen vomiting into a plant pot. Spence could barely contain his mirth and when we cut, he fell off his chair laughing and broke his nose. The blood was pouring down his face, but like the trouper he was he insisted on carrying on.
Natalie wanted him to see a doctor, but Spence was having none of it. ‘Oh Natalie,’ he quipped, ‘you WOOD say that!’ How we roared!
The tears were still streaming down my face as I drove home, and that’s possibly what led me to run over Harry Carey Jr. when I failed to stop at a pedestrian crossing. But that’s another story…
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