In May 2012, I interviewed writer-producer A.J. Fenady (1), known for The Rebel, Branded, Hondo and Chisum (1970) et alia, about his friend “Duke.”
We met at his offices in Hollywood near Paramount Pictures. Fenady, while developing Chisum (1970), accompanied Duke during and between the filming of Hellfighters (1968),True Grit (1969) and The Undefeated (1969). He was with him the night he won his Oscar and the day he celebrated with friends after being declared “cancer free” five years after his lung operation.
Before his Oscar win, Fenady said, they were having a drink at the bar and “Duke tipped his hand (when) I said, ‘Good luck tonight Duke,’ and he said, ‘Well, McFenady, we gave it our best shot.’ But, I could tell he was confident.” Sure enough, Fenady said smiling, “He let something slip on stage after he presented an award. Even though he was not scheduled to appear again unless he won for best actor, “Duke nodded to the audience and said, ‘I’ll see you later.’” Read the rest of this entry »