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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Southern Gentleman & The Cowboy

I thought I would try something different today. I was remembering some of the great stories DeForest would tell his fans at Conventions. Many were about his days before Star Trek when he was a cowboy.
So I dug out something that I knew would have the stories De told. The particular movie De is talking about below is called Warlock, release in 1959 and staring Richard Widmark,Henry Fonda,Anthony Quinn, Dorothy Malone, Dolores Michaels, Wallace Ford, Tom Drake , Richard Arlen, and DeForest Kelley as Curley Burne
The story is true and "verbatim" quoted from one of De's conventions.. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did whenever I would hear him tell it.

(Photo's from : Warlock)

Picture this if you will, DeForest is on stage talking to the audience...
Regarding the movie : Warlock...
"...Incidently, you're looking at a man who knows how to handle royalty. Years ago, I was doing a film called Warlock, a western, and the director of this film came to me and he said, "DeForest, I would like for you to be up on that scene with Henry Fonda tomorrow because Princess Sophia of Greece is going to be here." Well, we thought he was kidding because he has a very dry sense of humor. And I went home and I told Carolyn about it and I said, "Maybe he means Sophia Loren." (laughter) So the next day I went back to the studio to appear and work and I was standing outside the sound stage having a smoke when this entourage drives up. Certainly enough, it was Princess Sophia and all of her ladies and gentlemen in waiting.
Fonda and I had been doing a scene in a saloon, a shoot-out kind of a thing, and I had been work­ing for a very long time with a famous Indian actor in Hollywood. His name wasRod Red­wing and he worked with actors to teach them how to handle guns properly and tricky gun spins and that sort of thing. He had been work­ing with me on a holster job. I had to do what they call a fly-away. Pick up this gun off the floor, flip it around and shoot it into the holster. And I was rather sweating that out without the Princess being there watching because I was very nervous about doing it anyhow.
So, anyhow, we got into this scene. In the meantime, we're in this big bar room and there's a stairway that goes up to the second floor behind us. And they were all stationed up above there. We're down front and the cameras are here as the scene is going on. And there's a scene where I come in to have a fast draw to find out how fast Henry Fonda is. He's supposed to be a fast man and I was supposed to be a fast man. And he out-draws me and tells me to drop the gun. And then, eventually, he tells me to take my men and get out of the saloon. That's when he says, "Now pick up your gun," at the end of the scene, "and get out of here." So I pick up the gun to do that fly-away and I'm sweating it out. And there's some bat wing doors there in the bar that we exit through. So I pick up the gun, do the fly-away, it slips into the holster and I said, "Thank God" to myself. I started to back out and I tripped (laughter) over a chair, a saloon chair. And as I fell... this is a true story... the Princess... they're all sitting there... I said, "Oh, shit!" (laughter) And I was so carried away with the scene, I had forgotten that she was there. So you could have heard a pin drop. I crawled out on my hands and knees and the rest of the guys were in the back choking off laughter. The director comes out... Dmytryk... he always smoked a big cigar and, as I said, had a great dry sense of humor. And he looked over at me and he said, "De, I'll bet you sat up all night trying to decide what you wanted to say in front of the Princess." I went to lunch that day in the commissary and I got a standing ovation. (applause)

Henry Fonda attended a big bash... this is a true story... a big ball on that weekend. This happened on a Friday and Fonda wasnot there because a very famous actor at that time, Tyrone Power, had died, and he had gone to attend the funeral. So the director stood in and fed me Fonda's lines for that scene that day. But he heard about it, naturally. Everybody heard about it. Monday morning Fonda comes in and we start to work again and he said, "Come here, De, I want to tell you something. I attended the ball last night and I danced with the Princess, and she doesn't know what shit means." (laughter, applause) Guess that saved me.
In that same film, we were doing a scene where we're all riding, about 25 of us, riding down the street hellbent for leather. And we swing off, one in a row, the horses whipped in one in a row, and we're each getting off the horses, going into the saloon. And as we whipped in for this scene, I had a pair of spurs on. That was the first mistake. As I got off the horse, my spur hit the actor's horse on the rump. It kicked in the air and I went into the air and I did an entire loop in the air and fell flat on my back. And as I was in the air, I said something. I knew how ridiculous it was going to be, but I plopped down and here are all these horses looking me in the face. Eddie Dmytryk, the director, comes over and he looks over the rail and the first thing he said is, "Are you hurt, De?" I said, "No, I'm all right." He said, "God, I'm glad I hired a real cowboy." (applause)


Blogger Chris said...

How embarrassing! Crawling out, that is classic.

Sounds like one of those "Want to get away?" commercials.

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