I’ve come to the conclusion that David Niven was a rich man; rich in friends, rich in talent, rich in words that describe a bygone era that we will never see again. David Niven experienced the spectrum of Classic Hollywood first doing extra work for various studios, supplementing his income as crew on deep sea fishing trips finding that deep sea fishing experience and sailing was as important for making contacts in Hollywood as playing a good game of tennis.
I re-read Niven’s book ‘Bring on the Empty Horses’ when I found out he was to be TCM’s October Star of the Month. It is a book I highly recommend. Niven always seemed to be at the right place at the right time, sharing rich humorous anecdotes about early Hollywood 1935 thru 1960. David signed a contract with Samuel Goldwyn Studios in 1935. Other big names for that studio were: Ronald Coleman, Joel McCrea, and Gary Cooper. David writes about his friendship with: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Ronald Coleman, Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant to name a few.
David also wore the hat of Producer when he and other foresighted friends: Ida Lupino, Charles Boyer, and Dick Powell formed Four Star Productions. Four Star produced some of the most popular television series in Classic Hollywood Television during the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Producing, Directing, and Writing, Four Star was an outlet during the no longer leading man or leading lady era, it also brought in the bacon for other stars looking for work after the breakup of the studio system.
David Niven, Star of the Month, Oscar Winner, Actor, Writer, Producer. What an enjoyable month.