Chasing George C. Scott: A Big Star Squares Off
By Dr. Ray Healey
In the summer of 1981, I was having a blast, working at the best job I’ve ever had — at least in terms of fun per hour — on weekdays, and windsurfing on the weekends. I was a Press Representative (“Press Rep”) at CBS Entertainment, based at “Black Rock” in New York City, and my job was to publicize a collection of CBS TV shows, movies and specials, including the following:
(This story is the first chapter of a memoir I am writing — “Adventures and Misadventures: Stories I’ve Told My Friends,” — which I will publish in installments on Medium in the coming months.)
First out of the chute for me was “We’re Fighting Back,” a CBS TV movie about a crew of New York City street kids who battle to take back their neighborhood from a bunch of hoods and gangsters. Among the five young stars was a luscious Ellen Barkin in her first movie. Barkin, a graduate of Manhattan’s High School of the Performing Arts and Hunter College (a double major in history and drama), gave me a captivating interview.
My second gig was another CBS TV movie, “Rivkin: Bounty Hunter,” a biopic about one of the most active and gutsy bounty hunters in the U.S. Ron Leibman played Rivkin in a gritty performance, and it was great fun to have the real Stan Rivkin on the set most days, providing play-by-play commentary on the derring-do that Leibman was reenacting.
Another entertaining gig was covering the annual “Country Music Association Awards” show, which took me to Nashville for a week, and put me in a ringside seat for the show’s dress rehearsal at The Grand Ole Opry, where I listened to Glen Campbell and Tanya Tucker take turns belting out their standards. My favorite memory of that week happened when, as I sat there at the CBS press table, who should wander up but the irrepressible Minnie…