John Clark Pro Se Blog Actor, Producer & Writer

Tag Archives: Michael Redgrave

33 Years. A Review and a Complaint

Posted in A SPACE FOR REFLECTION, ACTORS' & DIRECTORS' CORNER, LYNN REDGRAVE, My Family and Me

June 1st. 2013

I see that my late ex will be having an Off-Broadway theatre named for her at a June 3rd 2013 ceremony in New York. The 45 Bleecker Street Theatre will thereafter be called the Lynn Redgrave Theatre. I am pleased for her. I plan to be there, and to become re-acquainted with my children and old family members and friends.

This has given me occasion to reflect on our life together.

Lynn and I, over the course of a little under 33 years, made a change in the landscape for the life of actors, for the better, I do believe. We never went looking for trouble. It came to us, and instead of burying it, we fought back.

REVIEW

First was a lawsuit against the Gate Theatre in Dublin. We put on a play starring Lynn and Dan O’Herlihy, my first directing job actually. We ran for 3 sold-out weeks (the longest they’d book us), the best box office in their history. Our deal was to split profits, which were excellent. Instead, they took half of our gross receipts. Discovery revealed that the Irish government, the owners, had years before ordered the management to make the theatre available to outside Irish companies for free. We lived locally, hired Irish actors, financed the show, and of course paid all the costs of our production. A 4-wall deal. We lost the case because their manager got me to initial a contract clause over my shoulder while I was directing a scene. The judge held me to it. We left Dublin soon after, leaving an Irish Equity with a smile on its face, for we had broken the Gate’s hold on their previous minimal actor’s salaries. It’s worth mentioning that despite (or because of) using an Irish attorney, brother of a prominent Irish actor, we lost and didn’t get our money back.

Then we headed West, back to my home town of New York, where we were soon greeted with a lawsuit filed against us by U.S. Equity who extorted 5% of my wife’s self-paid salary as dues, from a year’s tour we took across America with our own show, financed by us and directed by me. We had posted Equity bonds at each date, and they refused to return them. Again, we lost. Because of Vanessa’s political views, Lynn was under watch, and the release of her green card was held up. Equity rules defined a green card holder as actually holding it in her hand! The judge said this was a stupid lawsuit, but was forced to rule in their favor.  They returned the bonds less 5%. But, in a form of revenge you might say, we made a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, who summoned the leaders of all of the performing unions, and found that Equity alone had been breaking the law for years, penalizing foreign stage performers for daring to peddle their art in America. They had constructed a punitive discriminatory dues structure, in order to discourage them. This time we won because they won. Now foreign actors are treated equally, and have a smile on their faces too, because it has led to a relatively free exchange of actors between America and England and elsewhere. Certainly audiences have applauded this development. We however, were deprived of financial satisfaction because we were outside the Statute of Limitations (3 year rule.) Yul Brynner received hundreds of thousands of dollars which nearly broke the union, but he was very nice, he invited me to lunch with him at the Bel Air, and gave me a bunch of daffodils for her, by way of his thanks.

Next came our famous lawsuit against Lew Wasserman and MCA/Universal, when Lynn was fired for wishing to breastfeed our daughter Annabel at work. Our thoroughly compromised WMA agent didn’t help, nor did our attorneys, and UTV’s press department went to work. Our suit was quietly dismissed by a corrupted judge headed for retirement. I wrote about it in the “Housecalls, what really happened” topic on the left. Expensive yeah, and actor mothers and fathers were eternally grateful for causing all Film and TV companies to provide facilities for employees who were new mothers and their babies. That was the only positive to come out of that case. In the event, they were ordered to reimburse our attorneys’ fees. They didn’t. They’d faxed notice of a hearing to our locked office while we were performing Love Letters up in San Francisco, and avoided payment due to our non-appearance, thanks to their famed “I always win” attorney Gale Title. No transcript was made of the proceedings, so Lew kept all of our attorney fees, and we never knew how he managed to make that happen.

Next, Lynn and I were asked to lead the Players, Edwin Booth’s 1888 gift to actors on Gramercy Park, by our close friends Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. I’d been a member for many years. The club was in dire straits. No proper books, so we gave them 20 grand to construct a proper set. Then our tough love for them proved to be too much, and we were summarily ejected. They’re still floundering. I see that steps are being taken by insiders for a clean sweep to improve its chances of survival. For my trouble, I’ve been called John Sleeper Clarke.

This gives me pause. The comparisons are striking! Booths = Redgraves! Consider: Separated by about one hundred years, it produces quite startling results. Junius Brutus cf. Sir Michael = Shakespearean actors, patriarchs and family founders, both. John Wilkes cf. Corin and Vanessa = fiery political trouble-makers, both. Asia cf. Lynn = good writers, recorders of their family stories, both. John Clarke cf. John Clark (me), married to those same sisters. We are the link by our same name. We are both lawyerly, both wicked comedians, both into management, and as Asia wrote to her brother Edwin “He lives a free going bachelor life and does what he likes.”  Sorry, no comment from me there, and he’s dead! Enough already.

COMPLAINT

To bring us up to date, I am here to say that the tradition is still alive, even though Lynn isn’t. I still choose to live dangerously, sui juris, out of some kind of personality defect, contrariness, orneriness, or just some kind of survival instinct from bad ad litem experiences – it’s not for me to say. But today I filed a Complaint with the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau, and the Los Angeles Department of Consumer Affairs against The Breakdown Services, Ltd. This is only a start, but hopefully it will lead to a satisfactory finish. Their stranglehold on the casting process is a scandal. Read it here:

I am a British born professional actor age 80, and have been a union member in England, Canada and America since 1944 (SAG/AFTRA, US Equity, ACTRA, Canadian Equity, British Equity). I am and have been a U.S. citizen since 1965. I do not use a “manager” or an “agent” because of past conflict of interest problems with them, and the experience of a major lawsuit against the William Morris Agency. I get my own acting jobs, but am effectively prevented from doing so.

I need to avail myself of full casting information from the Breakdowns, aka “Breakdown Services” (hereinafter “BS”), which is a monopoly service employed by all big and small movie and TV production and theatre companies. Scripts and story lines are received by BS from these companies, and from them, BS creates a breakdown of story plots and characters. This information is supplied EXCLUSIVELY to agents and/or managers electronically for money and profit, which is their business practice.

Actors, the subject of these notices, are shut out from seeing all, I said all, of them!

The owner/founder of BS, Gary Marsh, told his audience at a seminar he gave the evening of March 20, 2013 at the premises where I live at Oakwood, Barham Blvd. Hollywood, to a group of child actors and their mothers that he has criminal lawsuits pending against actors who have bootlegged his information. I have done this in the past. He told me that I could not buy their services at any price, only managers and agents, and between them they set the rules. I asked him if I could receive this information if I became a manager, and he said I could not qualify because I am an actor, and if I “wear 2 hats”, I would still be denied. There were at least 20 witnesses.

If you think that Mr. Marsh is not serious, look what he did to Mr. Brian Burke. He got himself a judgment of $1.3 million, and put Burke behind bars for 20 days for not obeying his court order! That’s an abuse of power, Mr. Marsh, a terrible abuse of actors who are trying to find available  work which you keep secret except for your paying privileged customers, aka agents and managers. You claim that it is the production companies and casting directors who make your rules. That, Mr. Marsh, is BS! The best of BS!

I believe that all actors are protected from this kind of discriminatory anti-competitive practice by government law, such as The Sherman Act, of July 2, 1890, ch. 647, 26 S 209, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1–7. Permit yourself to read it, Mr. Marsh, assuming you respect the laws of the United States.

Breakdown Services operates and reaches across state lines from coast to coast, and abroad. There is no competitive service anywhere. 

As settlement, I DEMAND

That the Breakdown Services provides this information ONLINE, so that ALL ACTORS across the world have access to it, at NO CHARGE. Any cost or expense should be born by the Breakdown Services, and passed on to the production companies. It is their joint problem. Together, they created it.

This complaint will soon appear online for the inspection and I hope support of actors. No, not their managers, and not their agents, and not the production companies. They’ll hate it. Actors don’t wish to be “protected from themselves” (see Gary Marsh’s Q&A link above) and will care, and, I’m pretty sure, SAG/Aftra and Equity will care too. I hope the brave ones will flock to support the request. This is not to denigrate Breakdown Services, for they do a fine job. We just want them to open up to us, the central sine qua non of their business, and stop insulting our intelligence.

Follow along and let me know you support this complaint, so that regulators are assured that we actors and directors WANT to know what jobs are available, 100% of them, not just for our enablers (managers and agents) to know, if you employ them at all, but ALL of us. Actors have voices off camera too, in our free society. Let them be heard loud and clear.

My Twitter handle is John Clark@johnclarknew. Click on it. I need feedback!

I hope it will not be necessary to file a lawsuit against Breakdown Services, because I don’t like lawyers either. And this would need one. I’m also too old to see it through the byways of the U.S. legal system. Here’s another example of what I’m talking about.

 

Lynn Redgrave, Jailed (not really)

Posted in Links to Cases & Litigants, Links to Media, LYNN REDGRAVE, My Family and Me

How would this headline have looked back in 1999? Because that is what I was trying to prevent and DID prevent, at great cost to me as it turned out.

 

LYNN REDGRAVE, SON, NANNY JAILED

Illegal Green Card Scam. Feds step in.

Lover Revealed.

   By ALISON BOSHOFF

   29 March, 1999

John Clark today reveals the truth about his 32 year marriage to actress and star Lynn Redgrave in this exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, now that his wife is headed for jail. He says he does this to “clear the air”, but that it gives him no pleasure whatsoever.

He says that about ten years into his marriage, Lynn revealed that she began a secret affair with actor Brandon Maggart, following in the same footsteps as her mother, actress Rachel Kempson, who maintained a secret 40 year affair with noted theatre director Glen Byam Shaw, bi-sexual husband of Upstairs Downstairs actress Angela Baddeley. She told John that Brandon wanted her for himself, that they loved each other, but that, like her mother, she would not dump John because of their small children, in much the same way that Rachel’s husband Sir Michael Redgrave wanted to keep his 50 year marriage going as a gay cover. However, she said she would continue the affair, and in fact arranged for Maggart to join her in the next dressing-room in the failed 1989 ABC-TV series Chicken Soup, where she co-starred with comedian Jackie Mason. Maggart proudly posted these pictures on his vanity website, as trophy proof which are worth a thousand words, he says. They show her at the Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica, then the two of them with Bill Clinton, and finally, in a picture take by their daughter Annabel, revealed her relationship with the Maggot (as John refers to him.)

 

This picture, taken from the website, shows John’s family, (and on the left Maggart’s son also named Brandon, who the court put in charge of the house during the term of his eviction.)

According to John, she became pregnant by him, but aborted the baby during rehearsals for Saint Joan, a Broadway play he directed for her. She told him that he would be “kept on” to continue to organize, manage, and assist in all aspects of her career, at her direction, so as to be able to dispense with agents, publicists, lawyers, money managers, and for protection from the press. And to continue to run the home, chauffeur the kids, and feed her horses. For his part, he says that since it was his only job, he told her “O.K. but all bets are off” as far as his own personal life was concerned. So he became the cuckolded husband.

He went on to present her in her first solo Broadway show Shakespeare For My Father, which he put together from her first scribblings, re-wrote parts of it, financed it alone, produced it alone, and directed it alone. That show was nominated for a Tony. He continued to stay in the background, uncredited, for that’s the way she insisted it be. He later found out that was a bad idea. She erased him from the record.

When the sister of their former English nanny Adeline came to live with them in 1990, the family dynamics changed. Nicolette Hannah was a “failed” Jehovah’s Witness who had been banished from the sect for having an affair with a married man. In her misery, and to help her carry on with her life, he suggested that a baby would be in order, and that he would arrange for its birth and send them both back to England where she could start a new life, and that he’d send her money until she found a husband.

Lynn was aware of this arrangement, and heartily condoned it. In fact, the day his son Jonathan was to be married in Dublin coincided with the day the baby was going to appear. He couldn’t be in both places at the same time and so, at Lynn’s suggestion, he attended the birth at a hospital in Santa Monica, and sent Benjy to Dublin.

His son from his first marriage, Jonathan, was a last minute baby appearing after his separation from Canadian actress Kay Hawtrey years before, in 1963. Furious because of his marriage to Lynn, she, using a Toronto family-law lawyer, denied him access to Jonathan in his growing years, ignoring court orders. John did not press for jail-time for Jonathan’s mother.

When Nicolette’s baby turned out to be a boy, he inevitably replaced the missing years of Jonathan. They named him Zachary John, and the only problem was that he was captivatingly adorable, and the family fell in love with him. Annabel got a brother, Lynn a grandson, and Zach got a father (but didn’t know it), raw irony at its fullest. Nicky, as she was always called, had named John as surviving parent in  her holographic will, in case anything happened to her. He became his guardian angel of a sort, and John says his first duty was to make sure the boy was happy and had a place to play and call his second home. John unwisely introduced Nicky to his and Lynn’s porn publisher friend Al Goldstein, whom they had helped save from prison in a midwest trial over his controversial Screw Magazine, being mailed across state lines. Nicky swooned into his ready arms, and decided she wanted to marry him, a horrifying outcome from Zach’s point of view.  He interceded successfully, and then the next danger came from an entirely unexpected source, Ernesto, his married Mexican plumber. He had hoped for a better quality husband for her, a nice rich jewish Beverly Hills corporate lawyer, perhaps. But it was not to be. (She did marry him, years later.)

While Lynn knew what was going on, they made sure that their children did not, and arranging for mother and child to stay in America meant careful planning, which turned out disastrously.

John is sorry that Lynn and Benjy and Zachary’s mother are in jail. It turned out to be unwise to meet with agents of the Justice Department using the “I am a celebrity” approach in an attempt to make sure they would not check up on Benjy’s arranged marriage, (for which he was well paid by Nicky.) They did check up. Was John involved in this attempted scam? Yes, he says, he was. And he wrote privately to tell them he was, and did not hear back. They left him out of it.

Meanwhile, the culprits have yet to appear in court to answer a few questions, for celebrities cannot be seen to get special treatment. In fact, they should be aware that celebrities are often used, depending on who they are, to set an example for the general public to know that they are not exempt from the harsh punishment of the law.

John says that Lynn was always a woman living “under the influence”. By that he meant that due to her strange upbringing, she was ill-equipped to handle life when she suddenly became a celebrity in competition with her already established and ambitious older sister Vanessa, and the intrusions of her father and his boyfriend’s planned projects into her evolving career. John says that, having lived the celebrity life before he met her, he was just the person to be her partner, and help her feel safe, secure, and well promoted upon their move to the United States where he was a citizen. And that if she were to leave him she will fall under another influence, probably through the advances of the always roaming sexual predators, and find that her days are numbered.

However, now that John sees his life with Lynn has come to an end, he breathes a sigh of relief, and wishes her and their kids well, and looks forward to getting back to his first love, which is acting and directing and film making, and to be a part of Zachary’s Topanga Canyon life as he grows up. He says he has no regrets at all, and perhaps his only failure, as a Redgrave, was not being a homosexual.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Google my name John Clark, and I just found that the Daily Mail was at it again. They’ve “updated” that article from 1999 when it was all happening and it was all about damage control caused by Nicolette’s lawyer James Eliaser, Esq., and attached it to the comments I made to a couple of reporters from the gossip agency Splash at my door on the occasion of Lynn’s death a couple of years ago. The Splash folks turned around and sold our conversation to the Daily Mail as though it was they who had interviewed me. Now, due to Google’s improved software, anyone googling my name comes up with that article, with the headline

The love child who broke Lynn Redgrave’s heart: In the week the actress died, her ex-husband tells of his shame and regret

By Alison Boshoff

UPDATED: 19:42 EST, 7 May 2010

I had already reported their dishonest tactics to the Press Commission in London (see that subject dealt with on the left).

There are two new biographies of the Redgrave family about to appear. One is the Donald Spoto biography titled The Redgraves: A Family Epic, and the other is The House of Redgrave, The Secret Lives of a Theatrical Dynasty by Tim Adler. I fully expect to be slaughtered again, with the same Daily Mail courtesy, a blood sport indeed. I shall buy them, read them, and report on them. As for me, an interview I gave to the Just William Society will be appearing shortly in their magazine, which will start me off on my book, yet to be finished.

In the meantime, in the sure knowledge that these authors will have got it wrong as far as my life with Lynn is concerned, let them read and ponder the facts, as filed under oath in my COMPLAINT against Larry King and CNN in District Court in Los Angeles on September 23, 2004. Here they will find out the whole story. That’s how I’ve been spending my time. Some retirement! But I think it is useful to educate the public on the workings and failings of our judicial system in these United States of America.

Anyway, it is for these reasons that I cannot let these false impressions of me sit there any longer, for there are still Lynn fans out there who refuse to accept me. It’s the same with professionals and the media, and it interferes with my rights, civil and professional, and my ability to make a living. I figure that after 12 years, the statute of limitations will have run its course. Both ladies hoodwinked me and hoodwinked you, with the help of a court of law, an evil judge, and evil attorneys by the name of Emily Edelman, and James Eliaser, all in it together for the money.

I think that readers can see from this that I have no “Shame and Regret” whatsoever. But please be advised that I was never interviewed by Alison Boshoff. If the Daily Mail cares to print this now, they have my permission, freely given.

To Lynn’s fans who are furious at me for bringing this up saying “let the dead R.I.P”, I have this in reply. I firmly believe in L.I.P. (Live in Peace). Anyway, how do we know that the dead are resting in peace? We don’t. I know that Lynn certainly didn’t die in peace, for she was essentially a good person (or I wouldn’t have agreed to marry her) and knew exactly what she was secretly doing to me, motivated by her lover, his 2 sons, a highly paid trickster of a lawyer, and a judge with a shady past. Her death resulted from something called Karma.

I needed to attend her funeral for many private and personal reasons. My son, feeling loyal and bound by her orders, forcibly stopped me at the church in Kent, Connecticut, and I nearly met my own death in a nearby hospital. I wish I could report that my kids are back with me now. Not so. I haven’t heard from them since. Meanwhile, the First Congregational Church and the Actors Fund adored her. In return for their adoration, she bequeathed $10,000 to each in her will. She later got a memorial fundraiser for the Fund, so good for them. They need the money.

In 1999 The Daily Telegraph wanted to pay me a million dollars, which would be split with their writer, for a joint book, and I turned them down, because Lynn’s life would have been destroyed, and I would have looked like a short term husband on the make. I am not, and have never needed to be, that kind of a person. I told them that when the time came, I would be writing my own book, alone, and I’ve kept their correspondence as proof. (n.b. It will not be called “Enter the Plumber”). And, BTW, I’ve never accepted a penny for an interview.

That time has come. Stay tuned. From now on I’m ready, maybe to self-publish if I have to. I need to be paid!