In the beginning, there are three main stepping stones that I remember very clearly. One was when I was 12 and made what I would call my official debut. I sang one song in a musical revue in London. At almost the last minute, I was nearly dismissed because they felt that in such a sophisticated setting, this little girl with a freak voice was much too innocent. My parents and an agent or two descended on the poor producers. They said, “You’ve got to give this girl a break, and she’ll sing something more difficult.” And that night, I did in fact stop the show, and the audience wouldn’t stop applauding. That was the beginning of some recognition of this sort of child prodigy that I was for several years.
The next thing was going on to Broadway (starring in “The Boy Friend,” in 1954, at 18). I had toured around England endlessly throughout my teens, but when I came to the U.S. to perform on Broadway, that was a huge step.
Then, obviously, going to Hollywood after a long period on Broadway.
I think the things that happened were mostly beyond my wildest dreams. Who could have imagined that life would have taken such marvelous twists and turns or that I would often be so fortunate to be in the right place at the right time? Performing is always a learning process, even today.
The decision comes after a ruling last month, which laid down what was acceptable as Royal Wedding memorabilia and what would be deemed by the Palace as items too infra dig to celebrate the marriage of the future King of England.
It was suggested that though mugs, plates, biscuit tins and porcelain pill pots were suitable, long-lasting items that could be cherished by the Queen’s loyal subjects, tea-towels, aprons, T-shirts and cushions were too “disposable”, and would not receive the official seal of approval.
Tea-towel manufacturers were upset, saying that the ruling – issued by the The Lord Chamberlain, Earl Peel – left them sobbing into their china teacups.… [continue reading]
Peter Yates, the British director of “Breaking Away,” “The Dresser” and “Bullitt,” the 1968 Steve McQueen movie whose landmark car chase sequence over the hilly streets of San Francisco was a career-defining moment for both director and star, has died. He was 81.
Yates died Sunday in London after an illness, his agent, Judy Daish, said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.
In a career that began with the 1963 Cliff Richard pop musical “Summer Holiday,” Yates directed more than two dozen movies, including “Murphy’s War,” “The Hot Rock,” “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” “For Pete’s Sake,” “The Deep,” “Mother Jugs & Speed” and “Eyewitness.”
As a director, Yates received two Academy Award nominations — for “Breaking Away,” a light-hearted coming-of-age tale set in Indiana; and for “The Dresser,” a 1983 backstage story set in wartime England with Albert Finney as an actor-manager trying to keep his company afloat and Tom Courtney as his dedicated dresser.… [continue reading]