Quote of the Week

One day on my first Dragnet, I stepped outside the soundstage to have a cigarette with Jack [Webb] and Ben Alexander. As we were standing there, we heard a commotion and looked toward the front gate of the Disney lot, and through a chain-link fence we could see a couple of studio guards chasing a tall guy in our direction. The guy came flying over the fence and landed on our side of it and grabbed a-hold of Jack’s lapels and pushed him up against the wall, babbling, ‘You gotta use me on the show! You gotta use me on the show!’ It was frightening! Turns out it was a madman of an actor named Timothy Carey. With a crazy look on his face, he demanded that Webb let him appear on Dragnet and Webb, obviously hoping to calm him down and get him to let go, said, ‘Yeah, sure, you’re in the show, when do ya want to start??’ Jack assured Carey that he would be in a Dragnet, and that quieted him down; the guards arrived at that point and took him away.

Timothy Carey might have been a great Dragnet villain but he scared the shit out of us. He was nuts! Carey was an actor who would do anything to get a role; I once heard that he went into the Columbia Studios office of the producer of the motion picture The Caine Mutiny, pulled a gun on him and said, ‘You gonna give me a part in this show?’ When you have that burning desire to be an actor and be on the screen, some people will do whatever it takes.

Paul Picerni, from Steps to Stardom: The Autobiography of Paul Picerni by Paul Picerni with Tom Weaver (BearManor Media, 2007)

Flight to Hong Kong

Timothy with Rory Calhoun in the only film he and Picerni did together (no scenes together though), Flight to Hong Kong (1956)

Pic of the Day: “Flight to Hong Kong”

Today’s pic (don’t forget to click to embiggen) is from Joseph M. Newman’s Flight to Hong Kong (1956). Tim is Lagarto, another low-life thug hired by Tony Dumont (Rory Calhoun) to steal a guy’s luggage. There are diamonds involved.

Flight to Hong Kong

Paul Picerni, who also co-stars here, once related an incident that occurred a couple years before this film was made:

“One strange thing happened on the Dragnet set. Jack Webb, Ben Alexander and I were taking a cigarette break and all of a sudden we see a commotion by the front gate. We see this tall guy running and two security guards chasing him. And he runs toward us and he grabs hold of Jack Webb and pushes him up against the wall and yells: ‘You gotta give me a part in your show! You understand!’ And Jack says, ‘Yeah, of course, you got it, whatever you want!’ The guy was a madman. It was the actor Timothy Carey. They got rid of him, of course. He might have been a great villain, but he scared the shit out of us. He was nuts.”

That’s our Tim!