You must have been terrified.
I was terrified. I was terrified. I had a lot of people against me. The producer didn’t like me very much, Bill Sackheim, he didn’t like me. He didn’t think I was doing a good job. And I didn’t think I would ever work again, I really didn’t. I thought that was it.
What saved you?
The person who really came to my rescue was Joan Crawford — and Barry Sullivan and Tom Bosley, the three actors on the show. At one point Barry Sullivan [pictured, who played the doctor who does the eye transplant] made a speech to the crew, when I was not on the set, that I only heard about later. He just lectured the crew about how inappropriate their behavior was toward the director.
What would you go back and tell that kid version of yourself today? What would you whisper to him, or what cheat sheet would you slip to that guy?
The only advice I would probably give him is to stop trying to ingratiate yourself. You know, just do the work, focus on the work, don’t focus so much on making yourself popular on the set. Just focus on the work. I was just trying to be everybody’s best friend on that show.
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