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Angie Dickinson Loves

Being A Homebody

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Angie Dickinson in Police Woman.

Now 81, The Legend Who Worked With Such Luminaries As John Wayne, Frank Sinatra And Lee Marvin, Talks About Reuniting With Old Friends And How Sometimes A Twist Off Cap Is The Right Choice For A Wine

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By David Fantle & Tom Johnson
Modern Times Magazine

Aug. 4, 2014 — From Angie Dickinson’s house in the highest reaches of Beverly Hills, you can see all the way south to Long Beach. On a clear day, that is.

When we visited Angie, star of such movies as Rio Bravo with John Wayne, Ocean’s 11 with Sinatra and the “Rat Pack” and Point Blank with Lee Marvin, it was hazy. So, we consoled ourselves by popping the cork of (or was it twisting the metal cap off) a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Trader Joe’s.

“I can see in your eyes that you think this’ll be rot-gut,” she laughed, “but trust me.”

Although “two-buck chuck” is a vintner’s country mile from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it didn’t exactly rot the palate either.

You see, Angie, 81, doesn’t put on airs. She likes what she likes, speaks her mind and makes no excuses about any of it.

And no one appreciates unadorned directness more than a reporter. As Sinatra might have said back in the day, “She’s a gasser!”

In fact, the only prerequisite Angie made before granting the interview was that we pick up a Grand Latte decaf from Starbucks on the drive up. She even told us which Starbucks on Ventura Blvd. to go to get the drink.

“I know all the Starbucks locations in L.A.,” she said. “One thing about me is that I don’t like to leave my home unless I really have to. I’m a total homebody.”

It’s easy to see why. Angie’s mountaintop aerie — with a wrap-around terrace that affords a 180-degree view — is filled with personal mementos: photos of when she was married to composer Burt Bacharach; a framed candid of when she attended President Kennedy’s 1960 inaugural and then a follow-up letter from JFK’s personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, thanking her on behalf of the new president for attending; inscribed pictures of Frank with and without his pet poodle.

Angie likes to say that her mid-century modern (formerly owned by cartoonist Walter Lantz) is the house Woody the Woodpecker built.

As indelible as her screen performances are, from 1974 to 1978 Angie starred on television as sexy undercover cop “Pepper” Anderson in Police Woman. Angie said the idea for the series was a spin-off from her role that same year in an episode of Police Story, a TV series created by real-life former cop, Joseph Wambaugh.

Angie said that she loved the series, especially working together with Earl Holliman who played her ever-reliable boss, Lt. Bill Crowley.

“You know, a few weeks ago, Earl and I finally got together for a reunion,” she said. “It had been more than 30 years since we got together to spend some time — and he lives in Studio City which is about six miles from here as the crow flies.

“We had such a great time laughing and remembering,” Angie continued. “It was like we were just back from hiatus.”

Three decades to come down the hill for a reunion; proof positive that Angie is perhaps the ultimate homebody.

David Fantle & Tom Johnson have interviewed more than 250 celebrities, mostly from “Hollywood’s Golden Age. They are co-authors of the 2004 book, Reel to Real: 25 years of celebrity profiles from vaudeville to movies to TV. Reach them at www.reeltoreal.com
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