Actress Amanda Seyfried was in London recently to promote her new film, the biopic Lovelace. She spoke at the Apple Store and attended the film’s gala screening at the Mayfair Hotel. On both occasions I missed her, mainly because I didn’t go to the venues! Instead, I mailed my sketch to her and received it back ASAP.
In 201 she made People Magazine’s Most Beautiful With No Make Up list, moving up to Most Beautiful at Any Age list in 2012. She also has a taxidermy collection that includes a baby horse, fox, owl, moose and two butterflies
John Robert ‘Joe’ Cocker – the legendary British rock and blues singer is known for his unique and gritty voice and passionate, idiosyncratic delivery style. He has won several awards, including the Grammy for his No 1 hit Up Where We Belong in duet with Jennifer Warnes, from the 1982 movie An Officer and a Gentleman.
The film’s producer, Don Simpson said, “The song is no good – it isn’t a hit.” but in addition to winning a Grammy, it also won Golden Globe, Oscar and BAFTA awards for Best Song.
The ‘Sheffield Soul Shouter’ is ranked 97 in Rolling Stones 100 greatest singers list. Joe signed by sketch backstage at his Christchurch, New Zealand concert in 1992
The Old Vic’s artistic director lured Jeff Goldblum back to the London boards for its revival of Neil Simon’s 1971 black comedy The Prisoner of Second Avenue at the Vaudeville Theatre from June to September in 2010. The actor made his London debut two years earlier when he co-starred with old friend Spacey at the Old Vic in David Mamet’s Speed the Plow.
The plot revolves around the escalating problems of Mel and Edna Edison, living on Second Avenue on the Upper East side of Manhattan in New York City. Mel has just lost his job, his air conditioning has broken, the city’s in the middle of a heat wave, his neighbours won’t shut up, the garbage collectors are striking and there are burglars on the prowl. It premiered at the Eugene O’Neill Theater on Broadway in 1971, winning three Tony’s, including Best Play and Best Director Mike Nicols.
In the 2010 London production, Edna was played by Oscar winner (The Fisher King) Mercedes Ruehl, in her London stage debut. She also won a Tony for Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers alongside Kevin Spacey.
Both Mercedes and Jeff were very friendly with the continual gathering of fans at the stage door, and signed my sketch after a July evening performance.
Francis Albert Sinatra was one of the best selling artists of all time, winning eleven Grammy Awards and a much sought after siggy for a collector. He also won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in From Here to Eternity (1953). Elton John said that Sinatra, “was simply the best – no one else even comes close.”
In July 1974 he visited Oz, after 15 year absence. “A funny thing happened in Australia. I made a mistake and got off the plane,” he said. After calling local female journalists “a buck and a half hookers” and refusing to apologise, the ACTU blacklisted him, which threatened to end the tour. It was only the intervention of Union Chief – and later to become Prime Minister – Bob Hawke to restore normality that meant Sinatra could finish the gigs. He vowed never to return.
However, he was persuaded to do so for a concert in Queensland’s Sanctuary Cove by Clive James on 9 January 1988. I drew this caricature and sent him the original and a couple of copies to be signed at the venue. He kept the original and both copies were returned, signed…. but by who?
The number of autograph requests Sinatra received during the latter part of his career was overwhelming. A succession of secretaries, including Gloria Lovell and Dorothy Ullmen became adept at mimicking his graph and signed many items on behalf of the ‘chairman of the board’. It’s highly likely that this is not handwritten by him… but you never know!
He died in 1998 and written on his gravestone is the inscription, “The Best is Yet to Come
Following a sell-out run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, this critically acclaimed revival of Noël Coward’s Private Lives transferred to West End’s Gilegud Theatre for a limited season until 21 September 2013.
Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor take the lead roles, as glamorous divorcées Elyot and Amanda whose love for one another is unexpectedly rekindled when they take adjoining suites for a French hotel while honey mooning with their new spouses five years later, played by Anthony Calf and Anna-Louise Plowman (Toby’s real life wife).
The original production in 1930 was heavily censored for being too risque. Critics appear united in their reviews of the 2013 version.
“Jonathan Kent’s production of Coward’s masterpiece is the best in a decade” (The Independent).
“Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor give the most scorchingly sexy, intensely connected performances in London” (Mail on Sunday)
Both Anna and Toby kindly signed my sketch at the stage door this week.