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John Frankenheimer: A Remembrance

Director John Frankenheimer.

I'm often asked which, out of the over 600 interviews I've logged with Hollywood's finest, is my favorite. It's not a tough answer: John Frankenheimer.

We instantly clicked the day we met at his home in Benedict Canyon, and spent most of the afternoon talking in his den. A friendship of sorts developed over the years, with visits to his office for screenings of the old Kinescopes he directed for shows like "Playhouse 90" during his salad days in live television during the 1950s.

We hadn't spoken for nearly a year in mid-2002 when the phone rang. It was John, who spoke in what can only be described as a "stentorian bark," like a general. "Alex!" he exclaimed. "John Frankenheimer." He could sense something was amiss with me. It was. My screenwriting career had stalled. My marriage was progressing to divorce. I had hit bottom. John knew that

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