Love & Hollywood in the Late 70s
Let's go back to 1977 for a minute. I was 21 and living with my friends in Santa Monica, CA. Parties were a plenty. Fun was the central theme of my life. Well, fun and film.
One evening I was out on the town with my friend Cindy at local hot spot in Venice Beach called the Oar House (please note the correct spelling, ha!)
It was the day after Elvis died, and we needed a bit of cheering up.
We grabbed a booth, a couple beers and some popcorn. While talking about the loss of yet another music icon, we noticed a couple of good-looking guys sitting a booth over from us. We smiled coyly and continued our conversation. Not a minute later, pieces of popcorn came flying through the air and onto our lap. The guys were trying to get our attention. And they did. We smiled and accepted their offer to buy us a cocktail. Bill and Barry joined us at our booth. We spent the next few hours talking and laughing. They were both handsome, yet very different from one another. Bill was tall and lanky and a lifeguard at the beach. Barry had wavy dark hair, deep brown eyes - a very handsome Latin look that swept me off my feet. Little did I know that I was looking at the man that would be my first real love and husband.
The evening flew by and I learned much about Mr. Kellogg. Like me, he was also in the film industry, but in the men's wardrobe department, fitting actors who played everything from soldiers, cowboys, vampires, gangsters, etc. His films included: Sommersby, Wild Wild West, Memoirs of a Geisha, Mobsters, LA Confidential, to name a few.
Just as intriguing was finding out that Barry's uncle, Ray Kellogg, was my dad's friend and colleagues. Ray was one of the best visual/special effects men in Hollywood. His films included everything from: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Cleopatra, to Tora Tora Tora and much more.
Outsiders often equate living in Los Angeles as being surrounded by movie stars, celebrities and others. But that's just not true. With close to 10 million people, it's actually not that common to meet anyone connected with the film industry (known as The Business" by many Angelinos).
It took me a while to tell Dad about Barry. Dad was extremely protective of me. No one was good enough for his little girl. Yet I knew that with Ray being Barry's uncle, Dad might accept him.
After quite a bit of schmoozing on Barry's part, Dad was all good with our relationship.
Barry and I dated for about a year then tied the knot in May of 1978. Dad threw us a beautiful intimate wedding in Carmel, CA then sent us on an amazing all-expense-paid two week honeymoon to Hawaii.
When we returned film life was waiting for us. Dad made sure Barry and I always had work on his pictures.
But it wasn't always that way. Barry had made a name for himself in The Business and was eagerly hired by other production companies who knew of his expertise.
Dickens said, "It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times." We worked hard and played hard.
It was 1979 and Barry had just finished working on a picture with David Carradine. David invited Barry and I to a party at his home in Laurel Canyon. Guests parked their cars down on Hollywood Blvd and were shuttled up by limos to the estate. When we arrived the music was loud and the home was clouded with plumes of marijuana. It was packed with people - celebrities, crew members and many guests I'd never seen before. Beautifully catered food filled the dining room as did very intoxicated guests. David called me out to the atrium and offered me a puff off of a pipe he was smoking. He inferred it was pot, so to "be cool" I accepted. He smiled and meandered off to visit with the others. About 5 minuted later I was overcome with nausea and proceeded to redecorate a large plant in his atrium. I was so sick. Oddly, right after I threw up, I was fine. Extremely "high" but fine. It was then I realized that the so-called pot was laced with Opium. Not very cool in my book. He played the same trick on Barry that night, and I'm sure countless others. Believe me, before we left that night, I told him off, to which he said, "Lighten up and enjoy." Really? Once I straightened up, I grabbed Barry and we left. What a night!
Barry and I had a good marriage, and God knows we loved each other...but life happened. It was the late 70's and it was a crazy time. We were "young and dumb" as they say. Too many parties, too many intoxicants and too many temptations sadly took its toll on our relationship. Five years later, we divorced - truly an example of Life, Love and BS in Hollywood.
It was a very hard separation. But I am happy to say that through it all, and decades later, we are good friends today.
Until next time...