Gloria Maley remembers a slippery situation with Sean Connery.
Whilst I was on a theater tour in Dublin, with Christopher Cazenove and Hywel Bennett, during the early 70's, the cast were invited to a local garden party hosted by one of the theatre's patrons. Since none of the principle artists wanted to attend, another junior cast member and myself found ourselves "volunteered" to represent the show.
I remember grumbling about how unfair it was as I dolled myself up, but when we pulled into the impressive driveway of what could only be described as a stunning mansion, tucked away amidst the beautiful Irish countryside, I began to think it might not be so bad after all. We were greeted like long- lost friends and escorted through the gorgeous gardens to a small lake where a number of children were playing. There we stood, elegantly sipping champagne and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere when a beautiful, rich, voice behind me said "Good afternoon, ladies, my apologies for being late..." I couldn't believe my ears. I knew that gorgeous voice so well. Slowly I turned around and, sure enough, found myself staring up at the smiling face of Sean Connery. I couldn't believe it as he took my hand and kissed it. Wow! I melted.
I don't know how long I stood there drinking him in....I could have been forever. He made small talk for a little while, making us feel that we were the subjects of his undivided attention. Eventually he excused himself to go to the kids who were also clamoring for his attention. Clearly they all knew him well as he fooled around, joining in their games and generally having a good time. One of the little girls suggested they take the boat out on the lake. Good natured as ever he looked over at us and, with a helpless shrug, pushed the small row boat out onto the water and climbed in with the kids who were shrieking and squealing with delight.
I guess they were about half way across the lake when we noticed that the boat seemed much lower in the water. We watched Sean frantically paddle towards the opposite bank as the water level crept higher and higher. They were in serious danger of sinking. Sean peered over the side..... the kids peered over the side..... but they were all shouting and laughing and generally enjoying the drama. Finally realizing the battled was lost, Sean yelled, "O.K. crew, abandon ship!" and in a flurry of bodies, everyone pitched over the sides into the murky water. We all held our breath. We had no idea whether these kids could even swim. Suddenly Sean stood up, the muddy water coming all the way... to his thighs. The kids popped up around him, muddy, wet and giggling.
So much for James Bond being a sailor. But we didn't mind. What promised to be a real bore turned out to be a delightful, memorable, day.
text © CineSecrets 97/98
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