Roddy McDowall: from Child Star ...

well-known personalities. For instance, there is a portrait of Lauren Bacall, with comment by Katherine Hepburn, Jack Lemmon by director Billy Wilder (who wrote "Happiness is working with Jack Lemmon"), Richard Burton by Sammy Davis Jr. ("There is nothing he can't do. He is a wonder and a joy to watch"), Robert Redford by author Willaim Goldman ("He is not only gifted, he is skilled ... not only skilled, but magnetic. We men may just as well get used to him") and a particularly poignant write-up by Marcelo Mastroianni of the late Montgomery Clift: "The true originator of the rebellious 20th-century anti-hero was Montgomery Clift ... not Marlon Brando or James Dean ... the restrained performer with the inner tension and those ancient, melancholy eyes ... his presence so unobtrusively strong that it lingered even when he was off-camera."
      In addition to taking the portraits, Roddy collected all the material, writing to the stars concerned for their comments.

      "It was a labour of love," he told me, "but it was worth it. Everyone was sincere in their appreciation. Sir John Gielgud, for example, is a great fan of Ethel Merman, and famous operatic stars like Joan Sutherland and Birgit Nillson adore Julie Andrews and admire the way she can stand up to eight performances a week in a stage show whereas their operatic appearances would never number more than two or three.
      This enthusiasm for the work of others in the same profession is surely most satisfying and stimulating and certainly endorses the "no folks like show folks" tag ... and Roddy McDowall's own enthusiasm for what amounts to so many things in the world of show business is particularly heartwarming. He has been quoted as saying that all he wants to do is go on acting in and directing films. It seems that he has been more than happy in his work and as he remarked to me, "I've worked with wonderful people."
      Yes, I thought ... and it must have been wonderful for those people to have worked with Roddy McDowall.

Photoplay Film Monthly, October 1971

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