was saying,'Walker really is smelling up this picture.' Walker's heart all but
stopped. Okay, so he was eavesdropping, but why shouldn't he? If they didn't
think he could act, why didn't they say so to his face, instead of
'Yeah,' another voice said. 'We'll have to just throw most of the scenes toward Keenan Wynn. Now there's an actor. He makes 'See Here, Private Hargrove!'
Which was just about when Wynn came walking out. 'What's the matter, Bob? Don't you feel well?'
It was a little
too pat, Walker realized. He was being hazed. So he tore around the lot after
his dear friend Keenan, and when he caught him, he messed
him up somewhat. All in fun, you know. Nothing like a little joke to shorten the day.
Thing is, he doesn't particularly want the days shorter. He loves his work so much he can hardly stand it. He gets a tight feeling in his throat at the sight of one of those cute little scripts all done up in its yellow paper cover.
Maybe he's nuts; he wouldn't argue the point. But give him a script and a radio going like mad in his ear, and a place to sit and conjure with both -- and brother, you've got a happy Walker.
You see, acting's
not regular work to people that love it. It grows, and changes, and you're creating
something, making a man out of some lines on a piece of paper. You have to be
good to make a real flesh-and-blood man. If
you're not, you've got a puppet. You've got a character that nobody believes, and this is no neat job.
Walker doesn't play
the game that way. Maybe it's why he didn't stumble all over himself in embarrassment
when he had to do tender love scenes with Jennifer
Jones, his ex-wife, in 'Since You Went Away.' And also why he didn't fall right back in love with her, the way a lot of people predicted.
The way is works,
once he'd been married to a girl named Phyl -- or Jennifer Jones, as you know
her -- and he'd loved her very much. That was private, that
was personal. Nobody can take that away from him.
But the girl in the picture wasn't Phyl. She was a girl named Jane, and he was a boy named Bill, and their love was a whole separate thing, built by two fine actors. Which is getting rather technical.
All we mean is that love and art are vastly different. And in some cases, art lasts longer, sadly enough.
We're not saying Bob's not lonely once in a while. After all, you don't leave a marriage as unfettered as you enter into one. But there are Bobby and Michael always around -- and they give a guy a lot. They're a funny pair. See the old man in the movies, and complain. 'We spoke to you, and you never even answered.'
Screwy kids, huh? But cute -- boy, you oughta see the hair that'll never stay down, and those eyes and -- or maybe kids bore you?
Sometimes Walker worries like that. Kids do bore some people. Not him. Not him at all. He goes to pick them up at Jennifer's house and they go tearing off on a pilgrimmage to the zoo, to the beach, to the carnival, yelling their heads off while he grins fatuously. Noisy, sure. But smart? You oughta see ---
He's off again. The trio never gets recognized, either. Except as a young man in glasses with a couple of frisky hellions on the side.
He's not especially
dramatic looking. And he's not especially worried about it. Maybe if they never
go out of their minds about you, you won't go hitting
bottom the first time a new world-beater comes along.
If dames don't swoon,
there's a good chance you'll stay around and do a nice job for years, because
when dames stop swooning, it won't matter. Practically John
Donne. It matters not for whom the dames swoon. As long as Walker's got work.
We, personally, love him passionately. A lot of people do. A man named Harry who sort of lives with him and sort of looks after his things and sort of orders him around, could testify to the numbers of friends the guy has.
Harry knows, because
he informs his employer when his employer may have guests to dinner. For Harry's
dinners, they come. The Wynns, Van Johnson, Peter
Lawford. For Harry's dinners, and the Woody Herman records that are hanging around, along with an occasional Cab Calloway platter.
They fool around
with a mess of stuff like that, and there's a bit of brandy in the cabinet if
a person is after wanting a drop, and pretty soon the poker chips
come out and they all start cutting each other's hearts out, to give them cheerfully back at the end of the evening.
And Harry beams
in the background because everybody's so merry, and people beam
back at Harry because he's Harry.
Yep, they come for Harry, and his dinners, and the records. And for Walker, too, maybe. Maybe? You know we're kidding!"
Copyright Screen Romances