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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cary Grant Called One Morning: Excerpt from Starflacker: Inside The Golden Age of Hollywood

Cary Grant called one morning. He was the only person who could coax two syllables out of my first name. "Di-ick, this is Cary," he announced crisply. Never any danger of mistaking the voice we all knew better than our own. Funny how easy those stars were to imitate.. and how impossible to replicate. I asked how I could help him. For a press agent.. a flack, a publicity guy.., three out of four calls are asks. How-can-I-help-you? cuts to the chase. "You know this fellow Vernon Scott, don't you? United something," Cary began. "United Press International." "That's the one. I wonder if he would write a story for you.. something I'd like to clear up." Cary liked to clear things up. He'd called me early in our association to clear up the matter of the English muffins at New York's Plaza Hotel. It was widely rumored for decades that he once had called the manager of the hotel (in some reports it is Conrad Hilton whom he called) to find out what had happened to the other half of one of the two English muffins on which his eggs Benedict were supposed to have arrived. The rumor had it that he had requested that the other half be brought up to his room since he'd paid for it. That, he had told me on the prior call, was nonsense. He had merely inquired if the other half became part of someone else' eggs Benedict or if it was wastefully discarded. He was told it was put to good use, and he was fine with that. "Do you want me to quash that rumor?" I'd asked during the muffin call. "No, I just wanted you to know. It's too late now. That muffin has done its damage."

But this time, it was clear that he wanted me to take action. "What's the problem, Cary?" "One of those women's magazines," he said, "they've printed this story quoting me as having said that I never loved any of my wives." "That's pretty rude. Did you ever say that.. or anything like it?" "LIKE it, yes... yes , I did. I once commented that I had never LEFT any of my wives. They all left ME. Do you think you can get friend Vernon to speak to me to tidy that up?" "Cary," I said, "this is one I think I can sell."

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