Friday, November 25, 2011

Ilya Kuryakin -- My Hates & Loves (Time Capsule; 16 Magazine)

My Hates & Loves was one of my favorite features in the old 16 Magazine.  Occasionally, one of the celebrity (usually a rock star on the "Love Generation" cusp) subjects would insist on varying the format because they said they objected to the word "hate," as is the case in this "time capsule" piece detailing the psycho-biography of David McCallum, one of my all-time favorites.  16 loved The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (who didn't?) and when I encountered this feature, I thought I would make it my day-after-Thanksgiving gift to you.  

I'm fairly certain that I first became aware of David McCallum via his quiet, excellent performance in Peter Ustinov's film of Billy Budd,  which made quite an extraordinary impression on me when I first encountered it, probably on the old NBC Saturday Night At The Movies show, although he was also unforgettable as the sad hydrocephalic super-human in the Outer Limits episode The Sixth Finger.  McCallum is one of those "It" performers.  You can't take your eyes off him when he's onscreen, even in a star ensemble like The Great Escape.  A few years after U.N.C.L.E. ended, he married a girl from Lawrence, NY, where I grew up, and was often seen around our neighborhood.  He was extremely friendly (loved dogs) and I remember my father being thrilled to meet him, as he also was during his single encounter with O.J. Simpson at the Aruba airport years later.  Happy Thanksgiving (Weekend)!

"I KNOW this department is usually called "My Hates & Loves," but I personally feel that these words are a bit strong for some of the things I wish to write about.  So, being rather conservative in such matters, I am choosing to use dislike and like--but you can rest assured that I do indeed feel strongly about all the items I've listed below! 

I DISLIKE having to sleep. I wish I could figure out a way to restore life energy without having to sleep.
I DISLIKE driving in heavy traffic.
I DISLIKE people who try to pry into my family life.
I DISLIKE unruly crowds.  What scares me most is that some young girl my get hurt in the mob.
I DISLIKE being embarrassed--and I do have certain vulnerable spots, but I'm not telling.
I DISLIKE waking up early (before the rest of the family) and just waiting in bed for them to "join me."
I DISLIKE it when people become pushy or possessive.
I DISLIKE interviewers who ask you dumb, silly questions.
I DISLIKE girls who don't make an effort to learn a little something about something, so that they can carry on an intelligent conversation.
I DISLIKE (to put it mildly) fan magazines that deliberately use suggestive and untruthful banner titles on their covers in hopes of raising the sagging circulation of their magazines. They should all take a lesson from 16--whose sales soar each month!
I DISLIKE smoking and feel better and stronger when I don't do it.
I DISLIKE temperament in any actor or actress; also those who think they know more than the director.
I DISLIKE seeing girls walk the streets in tight slacks and with their hair up in rollers.
I DISLIKE cold, drizzly, cloudy days--like English weather. I find it quite depressing.
I DISLIKE inattentive or impolite waiters or waitresses.  If one can't give good service, then they should find another job.
I DISLIKE overcooked food.
I DISLIKE gawdy patterns.  I much prefer solid colors, like black, blue or yellow.
I DISLIKE  seeing bad fingernails on girls.  I know it is often hard to grow long, pretty nails, but it quite simple to keep your hands and nails clean.
I DISLIKE seeing young girls weighed down with a lot of clanging jewelry.

I LIKE (you know I mean love) my wife Jill and our three lovely children.
I LIKE reading good poetry and great novels.
I LIKE people who can carry on a fresh, provocative conversation.
I LIKE Chinese and Greek food.
I LIKE walking by the seashore--day or night.
I LIKE freedom of movement and freedom of self-expression.
I LIKE bar-be-cueing. I can bar-be-cue anything that moves!  My favorites are thick steaks and lamb chops.
I LIKE working on my garden and building things.
I LIKE people who really care about other people.
I LIKE to play romantic parts on U.N.C.L.E. segments.  They've only given me a few, as you know.
I LIKE flying to many different cities all over America and meeting as many people as I can.  Did you know that I have taken out citizenship papers and will soon be an American citizen?
I LIKE hard, physical work, especially doing stunts and driving fast cars in U.N.C.L.E.
I LIKE driving around alone late at night or going record shopping in the middle of the night.
I LIKE 16 Magazine.
I LIKE the TV show Hullabaloo, and entertainers Andy Williams, Carol Channing and George Burns.
I LIKE eating lunch along in the quiet of my dressing room.
I LIKE doing stage plays and readings.
I LIKE casual clothes, sandals, and bare feet.
I LIKE making my own decisions--after listening to people whose opinions I respect.
I LIKE going to Dodger baseball games and devouring hot dogs as I cheer.
I LIKE the portraits that my wife Jill does.  She is an excellent artist.
I LIKE our great old Basset hound, "Gregory."
I LIKE to hear from each and every one of you, so if you wish, write to me at 10202 Washington Blvd., Culver City, Calf. "

David McCallum playing the role of Gunnery Officer Steven Wyatt in Billy Budd (1963)

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