It’s not really about the movie business, it’s about staying in the picture.
One of my fondest memories with the man who introduced me to Hollywood, Heyward Morgan, was my first movie screening. I not only met movie stars that evening; I had the opportunity to meet a producer for the first time, Robert Evans.
Excerpt from Hollywood’s Chosen:
To top off that grand day, that evening Mr. Morgan and I went to the movie screening. When I walked into the theatre, I felt like someone had just dropped me into a fantasy world. Celebrities were everywhere. I whispered to Mr. Morgan, “There are the stars of Love Story: Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal. And there is Robert Evans, who is married to Miss McGraw.” I noticed that Mr. Evans and I had something in common: we were both skinny and had long dark hair.
Mr. Morgan added, “Robert is also head of production at the studio. I will introduce him to you later.”
Mr. Morgan seemed to enjoy my being star-struck. He commented, “Larry, you had best get used to the Hollywood crowd.” He winked at me as he commented, “These folks are no different than you and me. They put their pants on one leg at a time.” Smiling, he said, “Tonight is just the beginning.”
Mr. Evans is the man responsible for taking a struggling studio and turning it into the most successful studio in Hollywood—Paramount Pictures.
Despite his inexperience, this talented man had the gift of knowing what the public would pay to see. While at Paramount, he was responsible for films that are still household names today: The Godfather, Chinatown, Love Story, Marathon Man, True Grit and Rosemary’s Baby—just to mention a few.
Moive Trivia: What “A” actor got his first part in Robert Evan’s 1970 mega hit, Love Story? None other than Tommy Lee Jones.
Robert Evans has written two books: The Kid Stays in the Picture and more recently The Fat Lady Sang.