Is Johnny Depp Like Nelson Mandela?Written by Stephen Schochet
To average person life of a television star seems like a glamorous occupation. But many actors signed to long term contracts feel more imprisoned than privileged. Johnny Depp was so miserable on 21 Jump Street (1987-1992) he actually tried to get fired, pulling stunts like lighting his underwear on fire on set. Speaking years later about finally getting off detective show, he said," I was like Mandela, man."
A similar reaction came from Mrs. Howell herself, Natalie Schaefer. Like many actors who do television pilots, when she performed in initial Gilligan's Island (1964-1967) episode she wanted to do one show, get paid, that's it. No way she figured would CBS pick up such a ridiculous,stupid show. A few weeks later Natalie was throwing a party at her home on Rodeo Drive. She excused herself when phone rang, returned a few minutes later and burst into tears. Her friends rushed to comfort normally happy hostess. "Natalie darling, what is it? Did you lose a part?" "No much worse. I got it."
James Garner became a popular TV star because of Warner Bros. Western Maverick (1957-1962). But to Oklahoma born actor and Korean War veteran, show was often purgatory. The studio refused him permission to earn extra money on weekends making personal appearances, and turned down his requests for a raise. He finally got out of show through a breech of contract suit, and stated bitterly "If you have any pride in your work you don't go into TV." When he returned to TV after 11 years of films to The Rockford Files (1974-1980) he again quickly became unhappy with working conditions and staged a successful sit down strike in his dressing room to get what he wanted.
John Wayne Took The Good With The BadWritten by Stephen Schochet
For last twenty years of his life, John Wayne often had a profound effect on people that crossed his path. Meeting him in person for some was like meeting Abraham Lincoln or George Washington. Yet Duke usually stayed humble and almost always kept his sense of humor.
One time he was out with a group of friends who all were all eating and drinking heavily. The Duke excused himself to go to men's room and when he came back his pants leg was wet. "Hey Duke what happened?" one of them asked.