Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Night: Coming of Age

On a night when Helen Mirren, 61 and Martin Scorcese, 64 got their statuettes, they looked like kids next to Alan Arkin, 72.

In the mid-1960s I had lunch with Arkin after he caused a ripple playing a Russian submarine commander in “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming.”

A serious Broadway actor-director-composer, Arkin bristled when I suggested he should get a press agent: “Why? I don’t want to promote myself."

“To protect yourself,” I said. “You’re going to be famous.”

I was half-right. He became semi-famous in such movies as “Catch-22” and “The In-laws.” Last night deleted the “semi.” It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving septuagenarian.

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