That Time I Wore Paul Newman’s Pants

guys and dolls 2

So, I was on Facebook earlier and I found this old picture from when I was in a production of Guys and Dolls (second from the left). My mouth is open because I was singing…

♪ Why it’s good old reliable Nathan
Nathan, Nathan, Nathan Detroit
If you’re looking for action, he’ll furnish the spot
Even when the heat is on it’s never to hot… ♪

I was 19.

The picture quality is not all that great, but it’s a copy of a copy, so…

Anyway, it was a college production. On the night that this picture was taken there was a movie director in the audience. James Bridges. He had directed quite a few films. He was probably most famous for The Paper Chase. They were filming a movie on our campus and they were looking for people to be in it. My friend Lisa Blount, from high school, had already been cast in the lead female role. She is probably most famous for playing Debra Winger’s best friend in An Officer and a Gentleman. That role came later for her. This was her first big break.

The movie was called 9/30/55 and it starred Richard Thomas in the lead role. He was on hiatus from The Waltons. If you don’t know who The Waltons are then you really missed out. Dennis Quaid and Tom Hulce were also in the movie

Anyway, on that night – when this picture was taken and there was a big time director in the audience – we had a major malfunction with the big dance number.

The orchestra started playing and the curtain was supposed to open on our big dance number in the sewer; where we were having our floating crap game..The curtain didn’t open. People were like, “What do we do? Do we start dancing or what?” Some people started dancing and some didn’t. When the curtain finally opened half of us were dancing and the other half ran onto the stage to try to catch up. Everybody was out of sync. It was a big old mess. We got through it though. As they say, the show must go on.

Later, we found out that they wanted a few of the cast members in the movie. Small speaking roles. Neil, the guy on the far right in the picture, got 2 lines in the movie. I was just an extra with no lines.

We spent about 2 weeks filming.

For me, the best thing about the whole experience wasn’t the fact that I was in a movie. The coolest part was when I was in wardrobe. The wardrobe lady gave me a pair of jeans to put on. When I did she told me that Paul Newman had worn those same jeans in a movie. I don’t know if she was being truthful or not, but why would she lie about something like that.

During the filming of the movie Richard Thomas had an accident on a motorcycle and broke his leg. I was there when it happened. There was a big story in the National Enquirer about how he was crushed between the motorcycle and a parade float and narrowly escaped death. Like I said, I was there. It wasn’t like that at all. He just fell off the motorcycle and  broke his leg. There wasn’t any narrowly escaping death about it. Anyway, there was a picture on the cover of the Enquirer that was taken during the filming of the movie. I was in the background. So, I guess you could say I was on the front page of The National Enquirer. It’s not as cool as wearing Paul Newman’s pants, but it’s close.


Categories: The Bob Files

Tags: , , ,

3 replies

  1. Ha…I love this story. I don’t think many got into Paul Newman’s pants! He seemed like he was pretty faithful to Joanne!!! What a claim to fame and what a great story, well told!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No better title possible, by the way!


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