An Author & Film Night with writer/actor Rick Lenz and a screening of CACTUS FLOWER starring Goldie Hawn, Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, and Rick Lenz will be presented in the Community Room on Thursday, August 16 at 7 p.m. The free program, co-sponsored by the South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, will also feature an introduction to the film during which Lenz will discuss his new book NORTH OF HOLLYWOOD, awarded “Best Biography” at the 2011/2012 Los Angeles Book Festival. After the film, Lenz will conduct a Q&A with the audience.
Released in 1969, CACTUS FLOWER enjoyed great acclaim and popularity and was the 7th highest grossing film of 1970. It gave Goldie Hawn her first major part and both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actress for her role as Toni Simmons, the girlfriend of Dr. Julian Winston, a dentist. The film also showcased Ingrid Bergman in her first comedic role as Stephanie Dickinson, Dr. Winston’s nurse. Bergman’s role came shortly after she ended an absence from Hollywood that began in the 1940s.
In CACTUS FLOWER Walter Matthau plays Dr. Winston, a philandering dentist who previously told Toni that he has a wife and two children in order to avoid commitment. Toni decides to commit suicide with a second-hand gas stove, but is rescued by her neighbor Igor Sullivan, played by Rick Lenz. Upon learning of the suicide attempt, Dr. Winston reconsiders his bachelorhood and decides to marry Toni, which means he needs a wife to divorce. Dr. Winston asks his nurse Stephanie Dickinson to pose as his mate. She initially refuses but changes her mind because she has a crush on him. When she meets Miss Dickinson, Toni senses the feelings Stephanie harbors for Dr. Winston and decides to help her find another man. Toni eventually discovers the doctor’s lying and leaves him for Igor as Dr. Winston falls for Miss Dickinson.
Rick Lenz’s NORTH OF HOLLYWOOD is a compelling autobiography detailing one of the busiest acting careers of the late 20th Century. Lenz has starred alongside Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Sellers, John Wayne, and many others. His impressive film credits include MELVIN AND HOWARD, MALICE IN WONDERLAND, and THE SHOOTIST. Rick’s TV credits include MURDER SHE WROTE, THE PRACTICE, DYNASTY, and GREEN ACRES. He’s also starred on Broadway opposite Jill Clayburgh, Marcia Mason, and Alan Alda, to name but a few. Lenz has also won two Los Angeles Dramalogue Awards as a playwright. “North of Hollywood” is his first book and he’s currently finishing a novel, REDEEMING NORMA JEAN.
KIRKUS REVIEWS touts Lenz’s NORTH OF HOLLYWOOD as “a touching, bittersweet remembrance of a workaday career in acting…He writes with self-punishing honesty…documents a career longevity that is breathtaking…” Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of A WOMAN OF INDEPENDENT MEANS asserted “NORTH OF HOLLYWOOD should be required reading for anyone who aspires to the acting life in New York and the City of Angels.”
The Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. No tickets or reservations are necessary. Refreshments will be served.