But I never forgot Dorothy Sebastian and my little secret challenge to myself to “beat” her. She was born in 1903 and started out in silent films. She did several films that I’d never heard of in the 1920s and 30s. One I thing I had sort of heard of was THE ARIZONA KID with Roy Rogers. The other films I had heard of on her resume were small, uncredited roles. She played a salewoman in 1939’s classic THE WOMEN, had a bit role in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1942 REAP THE WILD WIND with John Wayne, and her last film was in 1948, uncredited again in THE MIRACLE OF THE BELLS with Frank Sinatra.
Today on my 30th anniversary in Hollywood, I decided I wanted to commemorate the occasion by going back to Musso & Franks for another slice of that cheese cake. I enlisted my good buddy, Jerry Taylor to come along. But first we looked up Dorothy Sebastian on imdb. If you’re not familiar with that, it’s the Internet Movie Data Base and it lists every actor’s credits and ranks them by their popularity. #1 is the most popular actor in Hollywood and it goes to the millions--counting everyone who’s ever had a credit in the movies or on television. My number usually bounces around, but today I had Ms. Sebastian beat by over 10,000. On top of that, yesterday was my birthday and it made me one year older than her when she died. So for today, sorry Dorothy, but I beat you. I'm not ruling out the possibility that she was looking down and took an intentional dive in popularity to give me that thrill. If so, I appreciate it. AND it’s a good thing I didn’t step on the star next to her’s first--that’s Alan Hale, Jr.--the Skipper from GILLIGAN’S ISLAND. He’s a lot tougher competition, but I am working with Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from his show), I'm thinking that at least makes us sort of peers--kind of. So anyway, it’s been a slow crawl--but I’m still crawling. The waiter at Musso & Franks said to come back in another 30 years. I think I will. See ya then Dorothy--and it’s game on, girlfriend!