Above: John Huston, Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, who worked together on Welles’ 1972 film, “The Other Side of the Wind.”
Bogdanovich on film
Q: You were great friends with Orson Welles, writing a book with him (“This Is Orson Welles”), and he even lived with you at one point. How did you meet?
Peter Bogdanovich: In 1961, I was asked to curate the first Orson Welles retrospective in North America (in New York). I was asked because I wrote an article calling (his) “Othello” the best Shakespeare movie ever made. We asked him to come - we sent a message by Dictaphone to Europe, where he was making “The Trial.” We didn’t hear anything for seven years.
Then I got a call, and I recognized the voice: “Is Peter Bogdanovich there?” “Speaking.” “This is Orson Welles. I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to meet you.” I said, “Hey, that’s my line!” … The next day, I went to meet him at his hotel, and there he was, wearing a large kind of smock or something. We spent three hours together, and at the end of it, I felt I’d known him my whole life.
When he lived with me (in the 1970s), he took over the house. And it was a big house, too. One of my happiest memories is of him moving quickly though my office, saying, “Dick Van Dyke is on!” He loved to watch reruns of “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
That Dick Van Dyke bit knocked my socks off.