It's all fun and games interviewing young, up-and-coming movie stars, but to get the real juicy details you need to speak to the guys who have shown the young people how it's done.
Appearing in over 70 TV and film roles ranging from The Roaring 20's, Planet Of The Apes, The Enemy Below, and Mission: Impossible, Biff Elliot certainly gave some good responses to my questions below.
I hope you enjoy my interview with Biff Elliot.
1. What prompted you to sign on to the Planet Of The Apes TV series?
I think it’s fun when an actor gets a chance to play orangutans as well as a human.
2. Were you a fan of the Planet Of The Apes movies?
3. Please tell us about your film roles, in particular The Enemy Below.
Dick Powell called. I rushed over because I knew he was doing a film, and I wanted to be in it. It turns out he wanted to ask me about something concerning politics that had nothing to do with me. I said when Dick Powell calls you to come over, what would any actor think? That you would want me to be in your picture. He said you want to be in it? I said yes. The company was at sea shooting. So he puts me under contract, and I make money doing nothing until they came back. I then started my part in the picture, which I made up myself mostly. I was paid my full salary for a small part.
4. What was it like to work with the likes of Walter Matthau, and Jack Lemmon?
They were my dearest and closest friends. In fact Walter told me he was playing me in the movie “Grumpy Old Men.” I spent more time with them off the set than on the set. Jack and I played golf all the time. We had Christmas dinner together for many years. In “That’s Life” we wrote the script as we went along. It started out as just a 10 page outline.
5. What was it like working on the Mission: Impossible TV series?
It was fun, but I don’t remember any details this many years later.
6. Can you please tell us a bit about your involvement on Alfred Hitchcock Presents?
Sometimes it would be a big part, and sometimes it would be a small part, but I didn’t care as long as I was on the series. There was a woman casting director who kept casting me. I had dinner one night with Alfred and his wife. He was very into wines.Years later I was doing radio sportscasting I was getting quotes from Hollywood people about the upcoming Superbowl. When I asked him on tape about it, he said, “I AM a Superbowl.”
7. What's coming up next?
Life (I’m retired)
8. Is there an event or charity you would like to bring to my reader's attention?
http://www.actorsfund.org/ and http://www.ddaf.org/ (Doris Day Pet Foundation).
Alongside Biff I also want to thank his wonderful wife Connie for all her assistance. This interview couldn't and wouldn't have been possible without her.
If you want to know more about Biff and his career I ask that you please check out Biff's nephew's blog site, http://joshshalek.blogspot.com/
I hope you enjoyed this interview. I know I sure did!
Until next time.