Diane Kachmar chats with David Hedison at the FX convention in Orlando, Florida.
New film 'Spectres'
Film 'The Son of Robin Hood'
TV:'The Young and the Restless'
Film: 'The Fly'
Bridget & David Hedison
TV: 'Five Fingers'
TV:'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' pilot episode, 'Eleven Days to Zero'
Film: 'Licence to Kill'
Film: 'The Enemy Below'
TV: The Saint
TV: 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' episode 'The Fossil Men'
TV: 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' episode 'Journey With Fear
Commander Lee Crane
TV: A Fantasy Island episode
FX Report by Diane Kachmar - Friday, January 28-Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005
Friday was a
day. It rained and rained and the toll road was under construction so it
took me a while to get to
David came in about 7 PM from CA. I joined him in the hotel lobby as he checked in. David was very nicely dressed in black jeans, white shirt, grey sweater and black leather jacket with black and white running shoes. He looked good. David was very glad to see me and asked about my day. I told him I was ‘frazzled’ as I hugged him hello. We had left home at 9:30 AM, which was good for John, who is not a morning person. John doesn't like to travel. David laughed and said, "Only for David Hedison, right." I agreed and offered to take David's carry on bag over to the elevator. He wouldn’t let me; he never does because I'm female.
I asked David about his flight. The seat was too narrow, they were crammed three across and he spent five hours reading and being uncomfortable. He said he usually gets up and walks and I told him he should have. I was so glad he was there. David was supposed to call the con chair and I forgot to tell him until we were at the elevator. David said his cell phone was packed away. I unhooked mine from my belt and handed the phone to David; he tries to dial, clears it, dials again and then tells me I have to get a better cell phone. It is TWO years old. I don't give out the number, so why pay for an upgrade. David agrees to meet Mike in the lobby and then hands me back my cell.
David went up to his room to leave off his bags without waiting for Mike, saying he will be back down in 10 minutes. I promise not to leave the lobby. I have no idea who Mike is or what he looks like. A man came into the lobby, looked around and said, David? Bingo. I went over and explained David would be right back. Mike did some business with the front desk and I asked Mike about the party Saturday night - he said it was optional - so I said I would let David know that. David ended not doing anything Saturday night.
David came out of the elevator; I call Mike over, and give David his badge that I received when I picked up mine. Mike offers to take David over to his table. They chat a bit about the event and how Mike came to run it. Mike brings us in the back door of the *green* room and shows us how to get in. The green room has chairs and food for the celebrities.
Only folks with orange and red lanyards will be served. It was a good set-up, David had food and a bathroom all in the same area and he never left to see anything else at the con. John went out a couple of times and I walked through twice, but it was more convenient to go in and out of the green room. The food was decent. Breakfast needed to be something other than sweet muffins and Danish, but the lunch subs and chips were okay. Friday night we had lasagna and Caesar salad.
The first person David wanted to see on Friday night was John. John introduces David to Sue Davey, who got a bit weak in the knees. She and David chat a bit. I teased David about the effect he has on women. I went to eat while David got settled in at his table. All David wanted was a diet Sprite (with no caffeine) and a cup of ice. I got both and he slurped them down. David came in Friday with some kind of 24 hour stomach flu that lasted through most of Saturday. He went to the hall briefly Friday night to make sure no one who paid extra to get in that night was disappointed, but there were very few folks there, so he decided to turn in early and try to feel better for Saturday. David made the mistake of telling ALL of us there that he didn't feel well and got a chorus of "Take some Airborne" from the group. It was almost too funny.
Apparently David’s commercial has been seen by at least some of the fans. David promised everyone he would take the medicine as soon as he got back to his hotel room. David was very careful hugging me goodnight as he didn't want me to get whatever it was he had. He said he'd call in the morning to let me know how he was. I told him to get some rest and feel better.
I didn't sleep particularly well; I never do the first night in a hotel. I finally gave up about 6 AM and got up. We were waiting for the phone to ring and for David to tell us whether or not he was doing the show. He had said 9:30 and the phone rang at 9:30. I asked David if he was better and he said no. I asked if he wanted to stay in bed. He said no, go on over, set him up and he'd be over shortly. We promised we'd have everything ready for him. David sounded tired. I offered him the option of closing early and taking a nap at 2. He said no, we'd play it by ear. I told him we'd close down at any time if he wasn't up to it. He sighed and said “let's see how it goes”. So I said I'd see him there and hung up. I had no idea what kind of condition he was in and was prepared for the worst.
John and I set up the table and then I went to forage some breakfast. David must have slipped in behind me because I didn't see him arrive, but he was standing behind the table when I came out from behind the green room curtains with John's Danish. David was more together than I expected. He sat down and began pulling things out his black leather bag. The bag has like three different zippered pockets and David squirrels things in all of them. He picked up the bottled water I had out for him and took a long pull.
He took something out
his bag for me and then produced two ‘Felix Leiter’
Bond trading cards for John. David always brings us both something,
which is so sweet. He had also found a ‘Lee Crane’ postcard
The way David's table was set up by the con, there was no way for him to come out from behind the table and take pictures with fans, so most of the time he leaned over the low table. The con wanted to discourage the taking of pictures. David came around the row a few times to stand in front of the table, but not that often. And we didn't want him to, especially Saturday. David was truly amazing. We knew he wasn’t feeling well, so we kept him supplied with all the bottled water he wanted. David smiled and was so nice to everyone who came to the table and signed and signed (about 100 photos in 6 hours) until everyone was gone. Then we walked him back to hotel to rest and have some chicken soup via room service.
The first person came up for a picture and we were off. John was out front, getting the people to pick a picture off the sign, give me the number, then I would go into the folders in a box on the table, pull the picture, place the photo on the table in front of David, and take the $20.00. David would then ask how they want it personalized. He had all his markers at his right elbow in a box so they wouldn't roll all over and he liked the set-up very much. Basically all David had to do was sit and wait for me to lay the paid for picture down on the table in front of him. It was a lifesaver that day. He sat and signed, let me give him water and we made it through to 4 PM without incident. David was chipper for being ill, we had warned the con he was a little *under the weather* and they would check from time to time to see if he needed anything.
David was able to
sign and smile at people, although he told us he had not slept well. He didn't look sick (thankfully) and we got
away with it. He wasn't coughing or
sneezing, thankfully. So I gave him more water. The selling picked up about 11 and went
gangbusters until about 1, when
I told David that Marina Sirtis was at the con and that she was in ‘Spectres’, but they didn't have any scenes together. She played the mother and David’s scenes were with another actress. David asked me if I had seen the film and I said yes. I told him the movie would not have worked without him, that his scenes were pivotal to the plot and that I thought he was very good in it. I thought the whole cast was good and I liked the film because I cared about the characters in it. The film comes out on DVD April 19.
She's a horse person,
so she asked him about the horse in Son of Robin Hood. She told David they gave him the wrong size
horse and it wasn't his fault that the horse didn't fit him and what they
should have done and David is looking at her. I figured he needed to hear
that. She loved it when David asked about her horse. Another lull came and she asked him about acting
and they were chatting amiably about various films and the Young and the
Restless and airline flights. He husband
went wandering off to do the rest of the show.
He may have been
sick, but he was listening to everything that was going on around him. I reminded David that I was shaking so badly
the first time I met him in 1988 that he could feel it and that he
had looked down at me and asked me if I was all right.
That lead us into a general ‘fanfic’ discussion and I told David I hadn't really told him how many stories I had up on web pages, or much about the fanfic community. We don't talk about it;it is not part of anything I have been doing for David.David told me when he wrote his bio for Lee Crane, his idea had been to make Lee Crane the son of a servant of the Rockefellers and that the family had taken an interest in young Lee and given him his ducation. But that his fatherwas working class. But Irwin Allen wouldn't use any of it.I thanked David for sharing that with me.
A lot of fans said they had liked David on ‘The Young and the Restless’ and hadn't wanted him to leave. Write CBS and tell them that. I think David enjoyed the Young and the Restless comments the most. We had one woman come up and say, "You're Spencer, I knew I knew you." She had never watched Y & R because she was an NBC soap fan only. They chatted about AW for a while. A guy claimed to be a huge Y & R fan. Some woman asked David if he still saw Katherine or anyone else and that's when David mentioned he was going to Eric Braeden's 25th anniversary Y & R party on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
Another person wanted
to know if we had a ‘COLBYS’
picture. I said “look with one with a moustache.” Someone else mentioned the ‘Love Boat’ and David said “I did three, right?” And I
said, “no, David, you did five and we counted
them off together. And seven ‘
One fan wanted to talk about the five ‘Fly’ Films. Once we sorted out there were three original films and two remakes and who starred in what film, it went a little smoother. The third film (Curse of the Fly) was the tough one. I knew it involved the nephew of David’s character, but couldn’t remember the actor. I did know that Eric Stoltz played Jeff Goldblum’s son in Fly ll. I told David “I’ll watch anything once, and it that case I regretted it. You don’t want to know what happens to the villain in that film. In a word, ugh!”
fan brought David a gift of armadillo road kill. David couldn't read the fine
print on the tinned meat (joke can) so he asked me to. So I did, nice and loud. Not more than
20% hair and gravel...
Late on Saturday David said he was feeling slightly better and that he thought the 3 bottles of water had helped. It was close to 4 PM, so I asked David if he wanted tea. He said yes. I had the right brand into the green room and brewed his tea. I brought it back and let him fix it. He drank more of it than I thought he would. David was looking pretty beat. I suggested he hang it up and go back to the hotel. We weren't that busy. David sighed and said okay, he'd call Bridget and order soup and make it an early night. I told he had done wonderfully all day and that it was a good thing for our sales that he was such a GOOD actor. He blinked and looked at me and admitted he felt like hell, but he appreciated that I acknowledged his effort to smile and be nice to everyone. I said let me walk you home and he did. I hugged him good night at the elevator.
Having made it through Saturday I woke up Sunday with the hope the soup and sleep had let David get better. So we got up and got ready and waited for David for call. I had warned John we had to be ready, since David tended to be early, so we were ready with the pictures loaded up by 9 AM. Our 9:30 call came at 9:15. Good sign! John answered with Hedison Headquarters! They were chatting away and I heard John tell David, sure we were ready and to come on up (one floor) and leave his stuff in our room for the day, since we would be taking him to the airport. David told John he'd be up in 4 minutes. John gave him about two and then opened the door and went to meet him halfway down the hall and insisted David give him one of the three things he was carrying. David gave up his black leather jacket and John carried it in and laid it on the bed. David put down his carry on suitcase on the floor and laid his black bag on the bed. I picked up his jacket and hung it up in the closet. David said I didn't need to and it was better if I left it on the bed and what if he forgot it. I said I'd make sure he didn't forget his jacket.
We sat him down in the chair and chatted a bit. John wanted to show David how our digital camera worked and David listened attentively to the demo, looking into the back of the camera over John's shoulder. Then David suggested we go over and set up. I don't remember what else was said, but David came back with a smart ass remark and I remember pressing his arm and telling him, “you are better!”
John was pushing the loaded dolly out the door and I had two large canvas bags over my shoulders. David was hanging back a little, trying to decide something and I looked back and said, “Well, come on, Lets go sell some pictures.” David grinned at me and came out in the hall and demanded we give him something to carry, too. I handed him John's cane. You'd think I handed him a snake. He did not want that. Mostly because he knew people would think it was his. I told him carry the cane up high and no one would notice.David wasn't thrilled, but he did it. We trooped past the maid who asked if we were checking out and David told her, he was, but we weren't. He was twirling the cane by the time we reached the lobby and I took it back from him so he could go check out.
Once we were in the hall, David said he was going into the green room and eatsome breakfast. I almost turned cartwheels. He was back there quite a while, so I figured he either found something to eat or some one to talk to. When he came back, he said the nice green room lady had made him bacon and eggs (special order).I didn't question this,still had it and could charm anything out of nyone. He gave me a little hand gesture, like it's a gift.A couple of the other actors got up and went to get eggs, but there were none to be had. So the poor green lady had to explain for close to an hour WHY there were no eggs.I finally tumbled to the fact David had played a joke on the entire room. Later on, David apologized to the harassed green room lady and gave her a free signed picture. So on the picture he writes, 'Thanks for the lovely bacon and eggs' ... and she dissolved in laughter. Oh, yeah, he was better.
David later admitted to me that he had tried to eat a banana muffin, but it was too sweet. I should have been quicker on the uptake and asked if I go fetch something. I figured they'd bring different food mid morning and he could go pick something for himself, if he wanted anything. David very graciously signed some pictures for friends of mine that couldn't come to the show and then answered some questions that Stephanie Kellerman had sent for the Basehart book while we were waiting for the show to start.
Sue Davey showed up first to chat with David. David Goudsward arrived about 10 AM and chatted with David and ran around and took pictures and did the dealers room. After I introduced David G. to David as Marta Kristen’s webmaster, David pulled me aside and asked what that meant. I spent about five minutes explaining to David about html coding and front pages and back pages and FTP space. Dave told David all the other actors he did pages for and I think David got a sense of what he does.
I was in the Green room around noon and David comes striding through the curtain, cell phone in hand. “I forgot to call Bridget this morning,” he says. I hold the curtain aside and open the back door for him. There are some double doors to the outside right across the hallway where you can get a signal. He came back about five minutes later. All was well. We sold more pictures and I brought back lunch for me and Dave (sandwiches) and handed David two saran wrapped cookies. “Oh, do you like cookies?” Dave asked. David admitted he loved cookies. I had brought David his favorite.
Bobby (the guy on Seaview yahoo) came by and chatted and Sue was there and
David enjoyed everyone's company, since there were very few buyers after 1
PM. I wish there had been more people
Sunday since David was feeling so much better and in a more playful mood, but
barring that we just enjoyed him. He bounced around visiting some
of the other stars there. Dave took a
picture of him with
David, when asked, said the worst Voyage episode ever was Fossil Men. I said the six foot talking frogs from Venus were worse. I mean really, they belonged on Lost in Space. When we were discussing Son of Robin Hood I asked David if it was damp that summer and he said it was horribly hot and humid. I figured that from the way his hair looked.
At one point I was talking to David about Five Fingers series and how much I liked it, because he was really into the part and was enthusiastic and giving it his all and it showed. That he really liked Luciana and they gave off sparks and in the third episode he threw himself on top of her suitcase and wouldn't let her leave and she was getting so annoyed with him.David was grinning. He said he remembered being doubled in Temple of the Swinging Doll- he didn't feel well and had gone home so they made the stand-in come out of the water in the wet suit and when he saw it he knew it wasn't him, because the guy walked like a duck! Ruined the scene for David at least. I told David I could always tell it was him,because he had a certain grace in the way he threw himself from side and side and only he could bend his body like that and fling his arms around.
John and I were teasing David about his appearance with Milton Berle on The Hollywood Palace in 1964, shortly after Voyage premiered and telling him how well he did and how hilarious the Voyage sketch was. David said the show was originally written for Richard Basehart, but Richard didn’t want to do it and the only thing that was a little difficult was the Shakespeare reading. Richard was more known for that than he was, but David said, once he got past that and into the comedy he was fine. The sketch is very well done, with lots of shtick for Berle - he keeps getting water thrown on him and David keeps kissing Neile McQueen as the lone female crew member. For morale. <wink, wink>
I asked David why there was a picture of ‘Felix Leiter’ getting married in Licence to Kill on his banner, when that scene did not appear in the film. David told me that they had shot Della and Felix’s wedding as the beginning of the film and that it was a very good sequence and he felt like he was the star of the film, but the production decided they needed a more action filled opening sequence, so they filmed the Sanchez capture instead and the wedding got cut. Darn. I would have liked to have seen that.
A fan asked what was his favorite film and David said Enemy Below.
I reminded David that
he liked to work with Roger Moore and since the Brit was there and there was
another female fan, who obviously adored David, I asked David to tell the two
ladies about celebrating his birthday in
I reminded David that
he liked to work with Roger Moore and since the Brit was there and there was
another female fan, who obviously adored David, I asked David to tell the two
ladies about celebrating his birthday in
David and I had both flown on Song recently and we compared experiences. Neither one of us liked the Headphones. I told David I had watched THE SAINT on the BBC on my flight home. I had seen them in the 1970's, but did not remember any of the episodes. I told David his episode was on DVD but only as a 100.00 set and I was going to wait until I could get it as a single.
David was asked if he had saved anything from Voyage and he said his fangs from Man Beast was the only thing he had. I said if he found them, we could put them on display at ‘Wonderfest’, since they were having props there.David said he did all his own stunt work in that episode. If you watch, you can see him fling himself (in his own special way) and know it's him. Then there was this guy who kept describing a VOYAGE episode to David and expecting David to name the episode. I told the guy to describe it to me. Wasn't DEATH CLOCK, but we finally decided it was DAY OF EVILAnother guy kept saying he went to a play in FL, but Couldn't remember the title or the year or who was in it. <sheesh> Can’t help with that.
I left to go get
water for everyone while a couple of fans were looking at my Roy Scheider book. I
came back to Mark Goddard telling the girls about dating
Then there was the baby. David stops short in front of this stroller and starts cooing at an African-American baby girl. The parents are looking at him oddly, but the baby is smiling up at David. Naturally! She's female, right? I lean around David and say, “she likes you.” The baby grins wider as David continues to coo at her. "I love babies," David says and steps aside so the parents can continue on their way.
Dave Goudsward left about two and the con basically rolled up after that. We persuaded David we should start packing up the table shortly after three. He wanted to help pack, but basically ended up watching us do everything. We were loaded up and back to the hotel by four.
When I said I’d take him to the airport on Sunday, David said it was too much and he would get someone from the con to do it. I knew he liked to leave early and I promised I would get him there when he wanted to be there (5:30 PM) and if I dropped him off, I'd be sure he GOT there. David smiled and did not bring it up again. David told me that being late was a worry for him and he liked being early, especially when he flew. So we got it done for him.
We took David back to our hotel room until it was time to leave for the airport. David teased us that we'd better take him, as he was room less and had no other place to go. He's incorrigible that way. We sat him down by the window, fixed the blinds and the chair and let him enjoy the view while I made tea. I brewed it and he fixed it. David declined the bottle of water I offered for the flight home. .
Driving out to the airport I was very relaxed. David filled up the change tray (from his pocket) for the toll coming and going and wanted to know which roads we were going on and found road signs for me. Good company. He insisted on giving me money to pay for parking (too much, I thought) but I took it and ended up using every last cent he gave me. John came with us and he and David chatted back and forth. We made it out to the airport in good time. I pulled into the parking garage. We got him unloaded. John asked David why he was carrying his bag, when it was a roller. David showed us that the handle was too short for him to stand up straight. Oh, the perils of being tall. John wanted to carry the bag for David but between the cane and the handicapped sticker, David said “no way.”
We took the elevator down, crossed over and up into Terminal B, when we found Song flight check in. David got his boarding pass and we went in search for his gate. Security was at the entrance to his gate area, so we went in search a bar instead. We had to go half way across the airport to find one, but there were three stools open, so we let David have the wall. I had my usual (Shirley Temple) as I was driving, John had Diet Coke and David ordered a very dry vodka martini that the guy made all wrong. “No tip, David,” I told him. Guy offered to make it again, but David said no and tipped him anyway. David waited until we were served and then gave a very heartfelt toast to all John's hard work to make the show easy for David. John was very touched. John loves designing David's signs and doing his table. So we had a drink to success. On David. He wouldn't have it any other way. Then David said it was the WORST martini he ever had and I know the bartender heard him.
David then told us how the ‘Arthur’ the ‘wife killer’ was his idea and how he wanted to do a "Cary Grant with the milk glass" kind of scenario and the soap screwed it up and watered it down from what he had discussed with the producer.
David loves Hitchcock movies. We talked about some of our Hitchcock favorites. David liked Psycho and I liked To Catch a Thief and John loves North by Northwest. We talked about a couple of Tim Burton movies, Edward Scissorhands with Vincent Price and David loved Martin Landau in Ed Wood. We talked about Orson Welles and Citizen Kane,probably the greatest film ever made. The camera work in that was amazing.
We walked David down
to Security and he hugged us good-bye. We let him go with good wishes for
his trip to the
Diane Kachmar February 2005