Yesterday, Eric came home from work and asked me, “Have you seen those Roddy McDowall home movies that are on YouTube?” I told him I had not, I’d never even heard of them. Then I went to YouTube, did a search for “Roddy McDowall home movies” and thus, uncovered a treasure. These videos, 22 in all, are a very glamorous, gorgeous, sexy, intimate glimpse into the lives of his friends. Most of the shorts were filmed at Malibu beach house parties in the summer of ’65. Some of the videos annotate who is in the movie, but part of the fun is watching, trying to determine who is who. The who’s who includes Natalie Wood, Jane Fonda, Rock Hudson, Anthony Perkins, Lauren Bacall, Tuesday Weld, Paul Newman, Samantha Eggar, Lee Remick, Sal Mineo, Christopher Plummer, Elizabeth Ashley, Suzanne Pleshette, just to name a few.
I think Roddy McDowall had a cool career. Not only did he get to play some of the best character roles, he also was an accomplished photographer. He published several coffee table books that were filled with black and white portraits he’d taken of his famous friends.
I’ve only reposted one of the YouTube videos, but as you can see, there are several to watch. They all harken us back to another, simpler sun-kissed time. One biography I read said that Roddy McDowall was considered “Hollywood’s Best Friend.” Watching the videos, and seeing the way his friends smile and laugh and pout and flirt when they see the camera is on them, I wholeheartedly agree.