The colors we used, for all of the colors we are familiar with today, were yellow, cyan, aqua, violet, blue, brown, silver, and gray, except for a few black and white ones. There was a lot of variation in shade. Sometimes they looked like a deep yellow, with a slight blue tint. Other times they looked like a dark purple, with a slight red tint. Occasionally, they looked like orange-red. I remember seeing a painting of flowers with a blue hue to them in the early 20’s called “The Blue Flower.” It’s in a book by a friend of mine.
You did not make a lot of movies back then?
Well, I did a picture that was on TV and that was on Broadway for one night. The rest of the prints were sold and used for films. I was in film when I grew up and didn’t make a name for myself either on the screen or in a theater. I did a short movie called “Jungle Love” (1928) that had several scenes in it and I got to do a lot of action. In Hollywood as far as I’m concerned, anything I ever did was a success.
How did you become an actor, and did you ever think of being a Hollywood screenwriter?
I’d always wanted to be an actor. I knew that had to happen, I just had to go to this little school in Washington, D.C. that was run by these people who were from the theater and they put him on a stage and he said, “Come see me today,” and I said, “You’re crazy.” One day they had a show called “An Acting Lesson” and I got to try out for the lead. It didn’t go that way. One Saturday, I was in a car with a friend, and we got on a freeway and a motorist pulled alongside us, a big man, black man. He looked at me, “Is that that big man you see up in a picture?” Well, “Yes, I’m that big.”
He said to some other one, “What do you do for a living?” I said, “I’m an actor.” He said, “Oh, you’re not an actor, are you?” I said, “I’m an actor.” He said, “Now, you have no business here, you got no clue. You’ve never acted before, why do you need this?” I said
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