HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall the grumpy Humphrey Bogart.
Back in those early days Hollywood was a land where the sun never set. This may have been something to do with the smog, but it was at night when the stars came out! There was always a premier to attend, a charity gala to support, or an award ceremony to get thrown out of, so if you want to know why I’ve never won a coveted Golden Globe you’ll have to ask Gene Tierney! And if she says I was fired from The Ghost and Mrs Muiryou tell her that actually I resigned before they could fire me.
Anyway, one of my best drinking buddies in those days was dear old Humphrey Bogart. It was no secret that darling Bogie enjoyed a Scotch after work, but what is less well known is that he loved playing bingo. He spent all day long acting the tough guy, but as soon as the director shouted ‘cut’ he wanted to get his dauber out!
We had some unforgettable nights at the bingo hall, but woe betide you if you distracted him while he was playing. I once coughed in the middle of a game and when he missed the next number Bogie punched me in the face, pulled a gun and threatened to shoot me.
Cornel Wilde pulled him off me, but we had to start the card all over again.
I’ll never forget the night he won a cool $20! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look happier, not even John Ford when I told him I wasn’t available for Stagecoach!
Bogie was always a family man, and on the way home he stopped at the all night toy store and spent his entire winnings on a model farm for the children. Whenever I popped ‘round they’d be playing with it, and his young boy was particularly taken with one of the little sheep. As he showed it to me I immediately quipped “here’s looking at ewe kid”! They moved house not long after that and sadly we lost contact, but they were a lovely family and I still think about them often.
Not as often as I think about Hedy Lamarr, but that’s another story…