copyright © The Lightcatcher Film Co. Inc.

Robert “China” Towne © Lynn Hacking

Movie stars are not the only Hollywood Icons. Many legends remain obscure, because they work their magic behind the lens. I’ve received a handful of inquiries asking “who’s the guy with the cigar” – referring to the portrait on my website – of living legend and Hollywood screenwriter Robert Towne – whom I had the opportunity to photograph several months ago for Script magazine. I got to spend an afternoon with this fascinating person and I left his home in the Palisades with a wad of intellectual money in the bank. Ever see the Roman Polanski classic “Chinatown”? Bob received an Academy Award for writing its script and it placed Roman Polanski firmly at the top. Nearly everyone has young, handsome Warren Beatty and sexy Faye Dunaway etched in their mind when they hear the title “Bonnie and Clyde” and Beatty again, if you mention “Shampoo” (for which Towne was nominated again) – Sydney Pollack’s “The Firm”, Brian De Palma’s “Mission Impossible”, Polanski’s “Frantic”. These are but a few of the many credits this prolific writer has written or had a hand in. He is also extremely well known and well paid in the business as a behind-the-scenes uncredited “script doctor” – enhancing or saving hundreds of A-List  projects. (Something this author knows a thing or two about).

NOTE: “Shampoo” was written for Beatty with his buddy superstar Hollywood hairstylist, Jay Sebring as a model for the lead character. The Lightcatcher Film Company’s first feature film “Beautiful People” – penned by screenwriter Lauren Wild is the real Jay Sebring’s story, along with his real life love, Sharon Tate and Jay’s buddy Steve McQueen – oh and of course, Roman Polanski. Six degrees of separation, anyone?