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They remind me, “When you're boasting about all the books you
steered us to, remember you didn't want to do Dr. Zhivago.”
I alibi that this was the kind of book people bought but didn't
always read, and I didn't think it would be a successful picture
at all. I was terribly wrong. It made a fortune. But, on the
other hand, I was one of those who tried mightily to keep them
from remaking Mutiny on the Bounty, which lost millions of
Would you like to discuss Howard Dietz at all?
Well, Dietz was a friend whom I grew up with and he's
one of the funniest men I know. One day at MGM Louis Mayer
complained that Dietz was leaving too early in the afternoons.
Dietz countered, “But you have to remember, Mr. Mayer, I get
in very late in the mornings.” Only Dietz would have had the
nerve to say that to the great Mr. Mayer.
Then when Joan Crawford became a star, the first time
they brought her to the New York office, she was taken around
the office and introduced to all the executives. She gave
them all the icy star treatment, very uppety and condescending.
When they came around to Dietz, she tried the same tactics
with him. Dietz stopped her cold with, “Don't give me any of
that crap, Miss Crawford. I named you.” Which was true. He
was the one who picked Joan Crawford for her name.
He's still living, isn't he?
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