George Hamilton is a figment of his own imagination, says John Preston in the London Daily Telegraph. When he arrived in Hollywood at 19 with the goal of becoming a star, Hamilton had little acting talent or experience. So he feigned enormous self-confidence, dressing sharply, tanning with a vengeance, and imitating the suave moves of such marquee idols as Clark Gable and Cary Grant. “In those days, you could basically build yourself a screen personality,” he says. “People would ask, ‘What do you want to be?’ And you’d go, ‘Well, I’d like a bit of him and a bit of him.’ That suited me very well because I’d always had a chameleon-like quality.” Thus began his career as a playboy actor of overweening self-regard and a year-round tan. “It was like a character I chose,” he says. He even bought a 1939 Rolls-Royce and, clad in a chauffeur’s uniform, drove it around Beverly Hills. Whenever someone asked who the owner was, he’d reply, “Why, George Hamilton of course!” At 69, Hamilton is well aware that his bronzed lady-killer image is a kitschy joke. “I take him out whenever people ask,’’ he says, “and I make him do his little dance. Of course, part of him is me, but not all. I hope not, anyway.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- What if The Purge was real?
- What I learned from totally unplugging and shutting up for three days
Subscribe to the Week