Stephen Boyd 1964 Hedda Hopper interview 

Looking at Hollywood, by Hedda Hopper

STEVE BOYD IS BACK FROM STINT ABROAD

Francoise Dorleac and Stephen Boyd in Yugoslavia

Hollywood, Dec 28, 1964 – Steve Boyd, who spent more than half of this year in Europe for “Genghis Khan” and “The Bible,” finally came to a halt at Twentieth Century Fox for “The Fantastic Voyage,” which puts him on the sets Jan.5 for 85 days….

“I was over four months in Yugoslavia with Omar Sharif and Francoise Dorleac, a wonderful experience,” Steve said. “It’s the only country I’ve hit where United States aid is appreciated. All housing build with our money flies American flags atop buildings and the people are cordial and express their gratitude. I reported back here for “Voyage” to learn it was postponed a month, so accepted John Huston’s offer to play Nimrod, which fitted neatly into the interval. Just before I was to leave, Saul David, my producer, said he and Dave Fleischer must have some huddles with me first. So I canceled the flight and  took tickets for a plane four days later. It saved my life. I was booked on Flight 800 which went down with everyone aboard lost. (For more about TWA 800 Crash, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWA_Flight_800_(1964)  )

“We were rained out when I first hit Cairo,” Steve continued, “Huston was working in the Moadi desert 50 miles outside the city, and I got lost heading for location. Nothing but sand in all directions, not even a mirage in sight. I was done up in a fantastic costume of gold metal eyebrows and helmet, tight black leather pants and fur chaps. A man appeared out of nowhere and thrust his arm inside the car. I thought I’d be shot on sight, instead he shook hands, said something in Egyptian and pointed out the direction of our company.”

Steve is leaner and handsomer these days, work black British woolens and had a close contemporary haircut. When I accused him of being a contender for Cary Grant’s sartorial spot he said: “I’m glad to be rid of that long hair I’ve sported with armor and costume stuff. I play a super-modern man and it’s the first film I’m not allowed to talk about. Generally this is a publicity gimmick, but Life magazine was turned down flat when they asked to photograph sets and see a script, and 35 foreign publications were refused also. After “Voyage” I’ll do a western for Columbia, as yet untitled. Eli Wallach will play the original Gimbel who founded the great merchant fortune and came west in the early days.”

“You sounded close to permanence with that English girl just before you went away,” I said. “What about it?” He grinned. “The little black book book gets obsolete every time I leave, so that romance is dead. As for girls, the minute they start with ‘dear heart’ and ‘darling,’ I run. Women in Yugoslavia are attractive in a big busted way,” he said. “Tito would export bosoms and rocks and make a fortune. They place is full of giant boulders and women build the roads, throwing big rocks into a crushed which a man operates. He reads his newspaper, she throws the boulders into a hopper, and he presses the lever with his foot. Then she picks up the pieces and lays them one by one in the roadbed. These girls are handsome and firm muscled; but the ones with easier jobs are given to fat.”

Steve’s still suing Anthony Mann for half a million over “The Unknown Battle.”  “I missed out on four good roles and plenty of money when he signed me without financial backing and then dropped the project,” Steve said. “He asked me again later but I’d made other commitments, so Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris made it under another title. Westerns are the big money makers in Europe. Clint Eastwood of Rawhide TV made a western in Spain with an Italian director and cast, all of whom took American names for it. It cost $140,000 and has already grossed 2 million dollars, and Clint is the top star in Italy now. ‘Jumbo’ has lines a block long in Spain when I first went over there and it was the same story months later.”

Stephen Boyd gets swarmed by a crowd at a “Jumbo” premiere

Steve says we’re behind on the subject of nutrition in which he’s keenly interested. “I can’t find a good nutritionist in Los Angeles. My mother, who was crippled with arthritis and couldn’t move about at all a year ago, has been under care of a London doctor who has a new cure. When I saw her recently she was walking in the garden without a cane. It’s a combination of exercise and diet, and she’s given a glass of red wine each day.”

 


Stephen Boyd longs to make pictures in Hollywood itself, 1964

Boyd Gets Few Films in U.S.

Dec 20, 1964, The Baltimore Sun

Hollywood – Stephen Boyd is hoping the third time is the charm that will break the bone he always had to pick with Hollywood.

The rugged actor is referring to the fact that his next picture, “Fantastic Voyage,” marks only the third time he has worked in Hollywood.

He loves the place, the motion picture industry and most of the people in it. But the trouble is, he doesn’t get much chance to work in Hollywood.

Steve recently had returned from filming ‘Genghis Khan’ in Yugoslavia, England and Germany. He was there one week- long enough to confer with producer Saul David and Director Richard Fleischer. Whambo! He was off again to Italy for a week to make a cameo appearance in “The Bible.”

TOP SECRET ROLE

Boyd will return to Hollywood in time to start his top secret role in the top secret “Fantastic Voyage,” to which he is sworn to secrecy except, to say that it will  be the most expensive science fiction story ever filmed – and the most unique.

“I want to make more films in Hollywood,” is his simple plaint, “I’ve become an American citizen. I’ve bought two homes here. I’d like a chance to enjoy them and my many friends. But I keep getting assignments abroad.

“I’ve made eighteen pictures since’ The Man Who Never Was,’ from which Darry F. Zanuck signed me for a long term contract, in 1956.

“’Fantastic Voyage’ will be only the third film I have made wholly in Hollywood – and that’s a pretty low average.”

“Once, in 1958, I was rushed from Europe to Hollywood to do ‘The Bravados,’” recalled Boyd. “I thought at least I’ll make a picture in Hollywood. But it was filmed entirely in Mexico. I’d come back from South of the Border for three days when they sent me to Italy to do ‘Ben-Hur’ for another eight months.”

His only two previous Hollywood-based films were ‘The Best of Everything’ and ‘Jumbo.’

“I was about ready to sell my California homes,” Boyd said, “when along came ‘The Fantastic Voyage.’ I’m hoping producers mean it when they say they’ll be less runaway pictures.

“It’s frustrating in another way, always working abroad,” said Boyd. “That little black book isn’t much good by the time I get back from long European locations. The girls I knew have married or are going steady with someone else, I have to start all over again.

“For a guy who loves home, hearth and California girls, this making films every place but Hollywood isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. I’m an American now, and I’d like to continue making pictures in America.”