Brief stars in the firmament



There might have been others, and we will look for them, but the shortest period as a ‘star’ in Hollywood I can discover so far was Roger Herren’s. This promising young man was fourth in the Titles under Raquel Welch, John Huston, and Rex Reed (who was not an actor anyway) in a movie called Myra Breckenridge shot under the direction of an Englishman called Michael Sarne, who also wrote the screenplay. He made an adaptation from the original satirical novel by Gore Vidal, who was having one of his periodic goes at Hollywood. The film disappeared beneath a welter of terrible reviews, including dozens which pronounced it as ‘the worst film ever made’. Gore Vidal called it ‘a bad joke’, but then he could because he wrote the novel – not the screenplay. This was the task of the director, Michael or Mike Sarne, chosen one assumes because of the success of a recording he made called ‘ComeOutside’ – a best seller.

   Young Mr Herren had been to acting school and done well, and was chosen perhaps because of his athletic image, because one of the repulsive scenes in this movie is one depicting Raquel Welch anally raping Mr Herren, who is naked, with an ‘implement’ while he is tied to a gym box. Poor Roger starred in this travesty and then disappeared, presumably for ever from the silver screen. He was therefore a star at the premiere, after which me might as well have rushed off to wear monkey makeup in one of those innumerable re-makes of Planet of the Apes.

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