Thursday, October 28, 2010



Available Now!!!!!!

Rated "R" for expletives.  Must be 18 years old.

ISBN #978-0-615-37758-2
Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all other book sites.
 Retailers can order from Ingram Book Distributors
Use the ISBN and you can order through any bookstore.

I had brought a bit of Hollywood to Michigan and now I wanted to return. It was good to be back in Hollywood. It was beginning to feel like home. I liked the smell of the "midnight blooming jasmine," which is a strong, sweet, flowery smell, prevalent around Orchid Avenue and Franklin. You can still smell the sweet odor there today, especially during the winter months. And again, I lived at the Commodore Garden Apartments, (today a small hotel).

Things hadn't changed too much in Hollywood. The Hollywood Wax Museum opened across from the Hollywood Theater and a new restaurant called Diamond Jim's, was on the ground level floor of the new Hollywood Medical Building on the corner from the museum. (Now all gutted and into renovation for something new going up.)

Nick was now starring in a television series called, "The Rebel," about a confederate soldier and had nothing to do with the film, "Rebel Without A Cause," although the producer may have taken that liberty of association. But, it was about confederate soldiers who were called Rebels during the Civil War.

I was working at the theater days, the same hours Nick was working at Paramount Studios where The Rebel series was filmed. I had read that he had signed a James Dean wannabe, Jack Chaplain, to work in the series. Jack was young and very handsome but a bit overly ambitious. He drove a white Porsche, like Jimmy's and wore a red nylon jacket like Jimmy had worn in "Rebel without A Cause." Victor Bugliosi, the night manager at the Hollywood theater, told me Jack had been an usher there and used to sleep in the theater at night, with no money for rent. Jack is the only person I knew, who had been signed to a contract with Nick.

I was switched to nights, after working days, which I had hated. Matinees were so boring. Not many people, and at night the boulevard was exciting just to watch all the crazies walking by. Jack came by the theater to see a movie. While he was inside, I wrote a note, or short letter for Nick, letting him know I was back in town. I gave the letter to Jack and asked that he give it to Nick. I guess he opened the letter and read it and had gotten mad because I was criticizing him for trying to copy Jimmy and he may have torn it up. Because later, I would run into Nick on the Paramount lot and he asked me when I got back in town? I had sneaked into the studio to watch the filming of, "Hatari," which starred John Wayne. "A Pocketful of Miracles," was also filming with Bette Davis playing Apple Annie. The Hatari set was interesting, as are most movie sets. It was supposed to be an outdoor scene in Africa. I watched as John Wayne would be talking with someone on the set, then walk in front of the camera and say his lines, in the same tone of voice. It was as though he was just being himself and not even acting, which I guess acting is all about. German actor, Hardy Kruger was in the cast with French actor, Gerard Blain. Red Buttons kept screwing up his lines and in one scene he was saying John Wayne's lines and got Wayne saying his. Buttons was so embarrassed that you could see him blush through his make-up. Red died this year too, 2006. Proud he had signed a photo for me.

Nick had been riding around the lot on a bike, when he saw me and invited me to visit him on the set. I went there a few days later and John Carradine was the guest star. In one scene Nick was supposed to walk out through a door but the door was stuck and wouldn't open. Everyone cracked up but Nick, and he stayed in character and did the scene over as soon as the door was unjammed. Nick really looked good. He had lost weight, had a real good tan and it was the best I had ever seen him.

Nick married Carol Nugent and they had two children, Jeb and Allison. Jeb played one of the teenagers in, "Flowers in the Attic." (I met Jeb, personally, for the first time in March of 2006. He works for a Realty Company near Lake Malibou.) Robert Conrad had given Jeb a start in his TV series, "Black Sheep Squadron," as a sort of favor for Nick, who had given Conrad his start if films. Robert phoned me in Michigan in 1973, after I had returned from a trip to California, and he told me there had been a suicide note, but it had been kept a secret so Carol could collect his insurance money. Years later, when I started publishing the Hollywood Star. I phoned and quizzed him on it and he said, "Suicide note! What suicide note?" He denied telling me this. I HATE LIARS!

I would meet John Carradine years later, when his boys would be performing on stage at the Ebelle theater in concert. I mentioned the stuck door incident and he laughed and said he had remembered it too. David, Keith and Bob, are the three actor sons. He also has a son in Real Estate.

Jack Chaplain got into drugs after Nick died. He is, still today, living on the streets in Los Angeles. I met someone who had been roommates with him and he used to occasionally see him. He said Jack was now bald, fat and a real mess. Perhaps he had been in love with Nick? I guess he has reached "His Golden Years," too.

( Rudy Bros. Circus


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