Hollywood’s Second Coming

By Brad Darrach Playboy June 1972 Roaring like a stegosaurus, a yellow monster crashed into a green country store and knocked the front out. A church spire tilted silently and fell off like a hat. Bricks exploded, dust hid the sun. With a flash and a boom, a big brass...

Jack Finds His Queen of Hearts

By Brad Darrach People July 8, 1985 When Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston finally appeared together onscreen in the 1985 black comedy Prizzi’s Honor—the second-to-last movie directed by her father, John—they brought years of subtext as one of Hollywood’s glam...

Matthau’s Love for the Long Shot

By Brad Darrach People July 1, 1974 “I thoroughly disapprove of gambling,” actor Walter Matthau explains primly as he whooshes toward Hollywood Park racetrack in his bronze Mercedes at 80 mph. “But I’m too rich and it’s good for me to lose.” He chuckles wickedly,...

Mel Brooks: The Playboy Interview

By Brad Darrach Playboy February 1975 “The rich,” according to a Spanish proverb, “laugh carefully.” They have a lot to lose. The poor, on the other hand, need to laugh in order to forget how little they have to laugh about—which may be why the Depression was the last...

Magic Meryl

By Brad Darrach Life December 1987 Meryl Streep is gray with cold. In Ironweed, her new movie, she plays a ragged derelict who dies in a cheap hotel room, and for more than half an hour before the scene she has been hugging a huge bag of ice cubes in an agonizing...

The Day Bobby Blew It

By Brad Darrach Playboy July 1973 Bobby Fischer heard a knock at the door. It was sometime after ten A.M., Thursday, June 29, 1972. Three days before the first game of his match with Boris Spassky for the world chess championship. Eleven hours before the plane left...