Tagged: Essay

October 5th, 2009

Chuck Norris

I’m on stage with Chuck Norris doing an improvisation.  Estelle Harman, our acting coach, likes to throw different personalities together and watch the fireworks.  Chuck is accusing me of stealing his wallet and insists I show him the wallet in my pocket.  I hand him my wallet and he looks in it and says, “It isn’t mine – there’s no money in it.”  Great.  Now every actress/model in class knows I’m broke.  We continue with the improv and as the two of us reach a boiling point Estelle calls, “Cut.”  Saved from an ass whipping by Chuck Norris.  As we got to know each other I learned his story.  I knew he was a karate champion because I had seen his “Chuck Norris Karate Studios” around town.  He told me he was not very good at sports growing up but in the Air Force while in Korea he started taking karate classes.  It was through sheer will power he became a karate champion.

One night while riding up in a hotel elevator he encountered Bruce Lee.  They knew each other by reputation.  Getting out on the same floor they showed each other their respective techniques.  One thing led to another and as I remember Chuck told me the two of them spent the early hours of the morning in the hallway sparring.  When Bruce Lee became famous after “Enter the Dragon” he needed a worthy adversary for his next film, “Return of the Dragon,” and asked Chuck to play his nemesis.  This was Chuck’s introduction to acting.  When Bruce Lee died Chuck felt there was a vacuum he could fill hence he was in acting class.

One day he called and asked me to join him.  He was screening a movie he had made for some investors and would pick me up at my apartment in Hollywood.  I jumped into his Cadillac Seville and we sped off to the screening room he had rented.  The film was called “Breaker Breaker” and Chuck played a karate kicking truck driver.  Every time he would do a karate scene I would hear the investors go ooh and ahh.  In one scene Chuck jumps up and kicks in the windshield of a truck striking the bad guy.  The investors went nuts.  The film ended and the money men left with Chuck thanking each one for coming.  After they left he told me he made the film for $50,000 with the director doubling as the cameraman.  Investors didn’t believe him when he told them he made the film for $50,000 so he started telling potential investors the film was made for $500,000.  That seemed to put everyone at ease.

Chuck was the only person in Hollywood to ever make a phone call on my behalf and get me an audition.  Years later I called over to the house in Palos Verdes and asked him to read a Texas Ranger script I could recommend, written by a friend, Hal Harris.  He liked the script but because he had recently done a film about a Texas Ranger he would have to pass.  This was and is Chuck Norris – All American.

October 4th, 2009

Vince di Pierro











Q Let’s start off with your name first of all, okay?


A. Okay, Vincent Di Pierro.

Q. How do you spell the last name?

A. D-I capital P-i-e-r-r-o.

Q. Do you have a middle name, Vincent?

A. Thomas.

Q. Thomas, okay, what’s the address where you live?

A. 1635 South Beverly Glen.

Q. Beverly Glen?

A. Right.

Q. And this is in what city?

A. Los Angeles.

Q. All right, was the girl with him?

A. It looked as though, yes.

Q. What makes you say that?

A. Well, she was following him.

Q. Where did she follow him from?

A. From – she was standing behind the tray stand because she was up next to him on – behind, and she was holding on to the other end of the tray table and she – like – it looked like as if she was almost holding him.

Q. Did you see him get off the tray stand?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And then he walked towards the Senator?

A. Yes.

Q. This girl, —

A. She stayed there.

Q. At the tray stand?

A. Right.  I glanced over once in a while.  She was good looking so I looked at her.

Q. What is it in your mind that makes you think they were together, the fact that they were standing together?

A. No, no, he turned when he was on the tray stand once and he had the same stupid smile on, you know, and then he kind of turned and said something.  I don’t know what he said.


Q. You did see him speak to her?

A. He turned as though he did say something, whether he said anything –

Q. Did she move her mouth like she was speaking to him?

A. No, she just smiled.

Q. But in other words, he was looking towards, say, the Senator?

A. Yes.  He was holding on up here and there was another pole behind him, where she was holding on and he turned like this, as though to say something, and whether his lips moved or not I couldn’t see that.

Q. And it was after he turned and she smiled?

A. She smiled.

Q. And would it seem to you that she smiled at something that had been said?

A. Yeah, or –

Q. Or that she was smiling because the Senator was walking towards her?

A. No, when she first entered she looked as though she was sick also.

Q. All right, this girl, what nationality would you say she was?  Any idea at all?’

A. No, all I know is she was white.

Q. She was white; Caucasian?

A. Yes, a Caucasian girl.

Q. What is the youngest this girl could be?

A. 21, 20 or 21.

Q. At least 20 or 21?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you have no question about serving her a drink in a bar?

A. Oh no, no.

Q. She was definitely of age?

A. Yes.

Q. What is the oldest you think she was?

A. I don’t know, about 24.

Q. All right, how tall was this girl?

A. I really couldn’t determine because I only saw her in the dining room.  I never seen, see her standing on the ground.

Q. In relation to the fellow who was standing on the tray thing that we discussed, that was four inches above the ground, where was her head in relation to his body; were they about the same height at that time or –

A. You could say approximately.

Q. Well, when they turned to talk to her –

A. They were almost eye level.

Q. They were almost eye level at that time?

A. But, you see, with the tray stand you would never know how it’s balanced.  I don’t know whether one end was higher because the way it is now, it’s central, it’s not equalized.

Q. So, you couldn’t really –

A. You can’t really judge, no.

Q. How about her build, could you see it?

A. Oh yeah.

Q. “Oh yeah,” what does that mean?

A. Very shapely.

Q. She wasn’t skinny, she wasn’t fat?

A. No.

Q. What was this girl wearing?

A. She had a white dress with – it looked like either black or dark violet polka dots on it and kind of a bively (phonetic) like collar.

Q. A what kind of collar?

A. A thing that goes around like that.  I don’t know what they call it.


Q. Pretty greasy looking?

A. You could go out – you couldn’t go to the Coconut Grove with it, you know, but it was a nice dress to dress up in, a nice dress.


Q. How about this girl’s hair, what color was it?

A. Brown I would say, a brunette.

Q. Your hair is brown?

A. Yes.

Q. Lighter or darker than yours?

A. A little darker than mine.

Q. Was it long or short or what?

A. I would say about to here, not much longer.

Q. Just above the shoulders?

A. Just above the shoulders kind of –


Q. To her neck?

A. Yes, about the neck, maybe just a little longer, I don’t know.


Q. Was it straight or curly?

A. One side was a little puffed up a little.

Q. Did you see anyone else with this girl, that you recall?

A. Not that I recall.  Those were the only two people I saw on the tray stand.