HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall Harold Lloyd.
These days barely a year goes by without someone stopping me on Hollywood Boulevard and asking me to share my memories of the late great slapstick clown Harold Lloyd. Much as I hate to disappoint any of my fans, history has come to show that dear old Harry and I never actually met, so instead I regale them with a few ill chosen and slightly rambling anecdotes about that other star of the silent screen, Rudolph Valentino.
Rudi, as I never called him, was always destined to be one of the greats. His commanding presence won over thousands of adoring and occasionally hysterical fans, but in all the time I knew him I can’t remember him ever saying a single word. Not just to me, he never spoke to anyone! Although he’s now remembered as a silent film star, Rudi was actually a true method actor long before the term was ever invented. He would start preparing for a role years in advance, and that meant as soon as the script landed on his doormat he’d stop talking. He wouldn’t say a word on set, and then, long after filming had ended he would still find it hard to step out of character and start talking again. In the end I bought him a little blackboard that he would carry around with him so that he could write messages on it.
“How are you this morning, Rudolph?” I’d say, and he’d look around for a bit of chalk before scribbling down “very well thank you, Edwin, and how are you today?”
“Oh you know, a but hung over, but apart from that…” and he’d wipe the blackboard clean again and write “Yes, I heard you knocking over the garbage can when you staggered back in. What time was it? 3am?”
Much as I admired the man I have to say that his shirts had the dirtiest cuffs in the whole of Paramount: it was all of that chalk dust you see. Clara Bow had a launderette and we took them to her, but she said she wouldn’t be able to get it out. I told her I would, but that’s another story…