Happy Saturnalia (and Merry Xmas), early!

A few rare Stephen Boyd photos to fill your stocking with!

BEN HUR

THE INSPECTOR

THE OSCAR

ASSIGNMENT K

CAPER OF THE GOLDEN BULLS

With Giovanna Ralli

SHALAKO

“Goodby Togas, Hello Pants, Says Steve” – March, 1965 Stephen Boyd Interview

Boyd Back to ‘Civvies’

from the Republican and Herald, Pennsylvania, March 26, 1965

GOODBY TOGAS, HELLO PANTS, SAYS STEVE

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by Armand Arched

HOLLYWOOD – It’s a pleasure to track down Stephen Boyd on a movie set. The search can take you anywhere from Rome for “Ben-Hur” to downtown Los Angeles for his current “Fantastic Voyage.” But it’s a long time between his Hollywood-made films. And he’s one of those rare guys who’d like to stay at home in sunny Southern California and leave the driving (or flying) to other guys.

The last time we spoke to Boyd on the set of a Hollywood made film was “Jumbo”, on the back lot at MGM studios in Culver City. Since that time, he’s been to Italy (a couple of times), Spain, Yugoslavia, England, Egypt and Ireland.

***

“It seems I do nothing but travel,” he smiled. “And, as you know, I originally came to Hollywood to make my home here and to work here. But since that time, there’s been an influx over to Europe and unfortunately I’ve been a member of that group.”

Boyd wasn’t kidding about making his home in the sunny Southern California clime. The eligible bachelor, instead of making his pad one of those super-glamor places above the Sunset Strip, chose to buy his own home in the San Fernando Valley where such established family men like John Wayne live. Sure, the house has a pool- he’s a sun-lover. (One of those reasons he left the British Isles).

***

“I’m a true-blooded American citizen,” Boyd noted (he’s had his citizenship papers over a year), “and also a true- blooded California citizen.” He credits the last status in view of his always-handy golf clubs. Like thousands of Los Angelenos, Boyd is a golf nut. Whenever and wherever possible, he’s out pounding the turf.

“Fantastic Voyage” is a pleasure for Boyd on another count. It gives him a chance to work in civvies for a change. “I’d almost become used to getting up in the morning and putting on a dress- a toga, that is, ” he laughed. “It’s nice to be wearing long pants. I feel like a man again.”

In the film, he plays a secret service man –“a good full-blooded American,” he reiterated. But before this epic, Boyd was again in a toga, or baggy dress, playing “Nimrod” in the biggest epic of them all, “The Bible” by Dino de Laurentiis.

Boyd toils in the Tower of Babel sequences. Although he was again in biblical dress, Boyd admits the film was a great experience.

“But it’s a different-looking Steve Boyd,” he warned. “My make up took three hours every morning– false beard, false eyebrows, false eyelashes, false hair. Everything about me is false – except my heart, ” he laughed. These sequences were filmed outside Cairo as well as in the studios near Rome.

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***

We were talking with Boyd inside the giant Los Angeles Sports Arena. As we looked down from the upper levels at the floor below (being readied for a basketball game that night), it was hard to believe Hollywood’s craftsmen had transformed the place into a Pentagon-type building for super-secret activities of deterrent force of men who could make themselves small enough to enter the human blood stream – of the enemy, that is.

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It’s a super-futuristic film, of course. It’s not outer space, we were told, but inner, inner space. Some of the equipment rented is also used in plants doing secret government work. Some of the machines are creations of the 20th-Fox engineers. It’s super-science-fiction stuff.

***

Talking to Steve and looking down at the floor of the Sports Arena, we wondered if he and pal Charlton Heston could run a chariot race here. “It would be kind small,” he laughed. “If Chuck Heston and I got in here we’d have to expand it five or six times the size. We’re a little too fast for these guys.”

We could testify to that – we once stood on the sidelines of the “Ben-Hur” arena in Rome when they filmed their chariot race and we still shudder, recalling those charging steeds tearing around the track a few yards away from our reporting post.

Yes, we agreed with Boyd, it’s a pleasant change to see him working in civvies – and in modern civilization again.

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Stephen Boyd and Charlton Heston, 1970

Stephen Boyd Cover, Sunday “New York News”, May 5, 1963

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ON THE COVER…

If Stephen Boyd hadn’t been so anxious to get on with his move career, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor might never have met. Boyd was the first choice to play Mark Antony in “Cleopatra,” but when Liz’ illness postponed filming for six months, the ruggedly handsome Irishman signed to do another picture.

“I’m not sorry about missing THAT experience,” he said.

Born in Belfast on July 4, 1928, the youngest of nine children, his real name is Billy Miller. He was 8 when he decided to become an actor, and at 16 he began his career with the Ulster Theatre Group. Two years later he went to Canada, where he played in summer stock and radio. In 1950 he came to the United States and tours in “Streetcar Named Desire” and other plays.

He returned to Europe, where his career hit a bleak period, and it took him five years to win his way to a movie contract. His first major screen role was in “The Man Who Never Was.” He also appeared in “Island in the Sun” and “The Best of Everything” before getting his first big break, the role of Messala in “Ben Hur.” His latest role was opposite Doris Day in “Jumbo.”

Boyd married Mariella de Graziani, an Italian talent agency executive, in August, 1958. The marriage lasted 23 days, and they were divorced the following March.

SUNDAY NEWS, MAY 5, 1963

 

Blogger’s note:  this article misspelled Mariella’s name – it’s di Sarzana. Also, this is a common mistake where Boyd’s birth date is incorrectly given as 1928, not 1931.

More rare Stephen Boyd Stock Footage Clips!

Be sure to check out the two below links for more rare Stephen Boyd clips and snippets, including a fantastic interview of Stephen at the Paramount Movie Studios set talking about The Oscar and his sexy co-star Elke Sommer! Below are some of the highlights.

http://www.producerslibrary.com

*A video of Stephen Boyd and Hope Lange attending “The King and I” charity/benefit premiere at Graumans Chinese Theater in May of 1961. (event presented by Eight Ball foundation of L.A. Press Club – Grandeaur 70 premiere)

*Stephen Boyd receiving his “Golden Globe” award in 1960 in Coconut Grove, Florida for Best Supporting Actor for his work in “Ben-Hur”! I love the satisfied , dimpled grin he can’t hide. Bravo Stephen!

https://www.gettyimages.com/videos/stephen–boyd?autocorrect=none&offlinecontent=include&phrase=stephen%20%20boyd&sort=best#license

*Getty Images videos showing Stephen arriving and enjoying the party for Tony Bennett in Las Vegas, Nevada, specifically for “The Oscar”, 1966

*Stephen attending the “Fantastic Voyage” premiere in Hollywood, and signing lots of autographs ala Frankie Fane! Boyd ON TOP OF THE WORLD here!

*Stephen Boyd on the Paramount Movie Set talking about co-star Elke Sommer (he REALLY likes Elke!) and his role in “The Oscar”.  I had never seen this interview before – it’s amazing!

Rare Stephen Boyd Clips on BritishPathe.com!

I love when a generous fan out there shares something amazing concerning Stephen Boyd! I want to thank Annette in the UK for pointing out a great website I had never perused before…www.britishpathe.com! Be sure to go to this website and search for Stephen ‘s name. You will find these video clips!

There are some great Stephen Boyd clips on this page!

*Stephen acting as guest-host on a British TV show Film Fanfare from 1957

*An interview of Stephen on the set of Shepperton Studios talking about “Seven Waves Away” and Tyrone Power!

*Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh visits the set of Cleopatra in 1960 and talks to Stephen Boyd

*The premiere of “Shalako” in London, December 1968. Brigitte Bardot, Sean Connery, Diane Cilento and Stephen Boyd meet Princess Margaret. Stephen arrives with a beautiful, elegant Black woman – does anyone know who this mystery woman is?

*A quick video of behind-the-scenes of The Fall of the Roman Empire in Spain. The video features Sophia (sitting in Stephen’s on set chair), and Stephen Boyd and Christopher Plummer enacting a scene which was eventually cut from the film! It’s a scene where Commodus and Livius dash wine (rather cruelly) on captive German prisoners below. You can see the 2 captive girls in the crowd (one of them, Lena Von Martens). This whole storyline was cut from the film, but you can read excerpts from the novel of The Fall of the Roman Empire on this tag here, https://stephenboydblog.com/category/harry-whittington-novelization-of-the-fall-of-the-roman-empire/

I always wondered what this scene was from! It was (wisely) replaced by the ‘drunken’ Livius/Commodus scene instead.