Lain's Log

Dudley Moore

May 12/11

Only one more day to go before getting the pathology results. So how can I kill a little time and take my mind off cancer till then? Hmmmmm. I'm going to think about Dudley Moore! (What's wrong with that? I just like to think about Dudley Moore, OK?)

When I worked at Global TV and interviewed thousands of stars, I would go into "mini-obsession mode" while researching that person. Actor, actress, director, screenwriter, stuntman, musician, singer, - whatever the case, I just had to know EVERYTHING I could about that person before speaking to them.

Some obsessions were much bigger than "mini". Like the one I had for Dudley. I thought (and still think) he was absolutely brilliant and hysterically funny. (not to mention, adorable).

Dudley and me - back in my radio days!

Guess that love was handed down to me from Mum. She first knew of "Cuddly Dudley" from his days in Beyond the Fringe and quoted lines from that show all her life. Most especially, a line delivered by Peter Cook in his very funny monologue about life as a coal miner. The line was:

"What, me drop this great 'eavy lump of coal on my foot? You must be out of your......aaaaoohw"!

The more I saw of Dudley, the more I fell in love. There are scenes from his movies that I've watched over and over, just to see the expressions on his face and the way he delivered lines.

As a fan of physical comedy, my favourite of his films is Micki & Maude,(1984), directed by Blake Edwards and starring Dudley with Ann Reinking and Amy Irving.

I had the chance to interview Dudley several times. He was so charming, very engaging and I was always sorry when the conversation had to come to an end.

One time, I wrote a letter to Dudley, telling him about some of my favourite scenes in Micki & Maude and how much I enjoyed the emotional music he wrote for Six Weeks. I also reminded him that the last interview we did together was sitting on the floor! (this was actually when I was a radio reporter. He was tired of sitting on the couch, and since there was no camera involved, he asked if we could have our chat on the carpet. I had no problem with that! In fact, it was great!)

One of the scenes I asked him about in Micki & Maude features Dudley, working up his courage to let his wife (Reinking) know, that there's another woman in his life. Before he can spit it out, she reveals she's pregnant and is SO happy. Dudley has to change his expression from serious and concerned, to loving and happy about the baby. When he received the letter, he wrote back to me from his home in Venice, California, to tell me all about those scenes. I've always treasured it. Here's a transcript of the letter from December 1984.

Dear Elaine,

Just wanted to thank you for your really delightful note. I must say that it was truly warming to learn about the scenes that you loved in my various films. They are certainly amongst the favorites that I have myself. Each scene that you quoted of course made me smile. I'm glad they all brought a smile to your lips too. Also, it's nice to know that you enjoyed the music in SIX WEEKS which was certainly a labor of love for me.

The interesting part about the look in my eyes when Ann Reinking tells me about the pregnancy is that we did the scene in 2-shot first of all, then we did my reactions, and finally, Ann's close-up. My reactions were a little broader when I did them first, but when I saw the way Ann did her part, I said to Blake, "We have to do my reactions over, because how could I not be anything except floored, paralyzed & very moved by her attitude & statements about the closeness of our marriage?" - so he let me re-do my reactions on the basis of what she had already done. I'm glad we did that, otherwise, we would have been stuck with inappropriately comic reactions!

Thanks again for writing such a thoughtful and tender note. It was much appreciated. I look forward to meeting you again soon, & next time, let's do an interview on the ceiling! Much more exciting!

All the very best as always from,

Dudley Moore

I remember the day Dudley passed away in March 2002. I was just getting into a cab outside the front door of Global to rush off to interview a comedian. Someone from the newsroom raced out to stop me, telling me Dudley had died and that I had to cancel the interview and come back inside to prepare the news obit about him. (they knew I had to be the one to do it, since I'd spoken to him so many times). I was glad to have the chance to put together a heartfelt tribute to him, to honour him in some small way. I was crying as I worked with the editor. I still miss you in this world Dudley (but I think of you often to take my mind off other things!)

Meeting Dudley again! (am I happy, or what?)



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