A Houston blogger (Joe Leydon) has posted a story in which he explains how the career of veteran film star Tab Hunter (whom he met at at Houston conference earlier this year) was saved by a role in the film of Waugh’s novella The Loved One:
Hunter credits [Tony] Richardson… for tossing him a lifeline during a low point in his career during the early 1960s. As he notes in his autobiography:
“Just when it seemed I might never make another movie, Tony Richardson came to the rescue. He’d been hired to adapt Evelyn Waugh’s black comedy [novel] about the mortuary business, The Loved One. He stocked the cast with stars in cameo roles. Mine was only two days’ work, playing a cemetery tour guide…How oddly fitting, considering that my movie career was dead.”
A still illustrating Hunter’s appearance is featured in the blog. The blogger goes on to comment on the irony of the film’s having saved Hunter’s career when its critical and commercial failure had a negative impact on the careers of several other participants. In a further bit of irony, the film
has gained an admiring cult following over the years, and is periodically screened in classy venues like… well, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where it will be presented at 7 pm. Monday, Oct. 26.