Thursday, 24 March 2016

Clint meets the King of Sweden - April 14th 1976

Thank you to my good friend and regular contributor Davy Triumph for supplying this great rare photo dated April 14th 1976. Clint was among a group of stars who were invited to meet the King of Sweden, his majesty Carl XVI Gustaf. It’s nice to finally have a great image to accompany this story which I had from The Santa Cruz Sentinel and appeared in the issue dated April 15th 1976 – Looking at the jacket and tie, Clint appears to be wearing his Dirty Harry outfit from The Enforcer - It’s an interesting moment in time – Thank you again Davy.

Gustaf caught a glimpse of the Old West and the New Hollywood and said he was impressed by what he saw. After a tour of the backlot sets of the Burbank Studios, including everything from Western streets to New York tenements, the monarch told a luncheon audience: "You've got everything here. After seeing all this, I think perhaps I should have come here immediately instead of touring the United States for two weeks. It would have been cheaper for the Swedish Foreign Office." The King's remarks were typical of the joshing tone at the film industry's reception for the 29-year-old monarch.
The luncheon featured comedy by Edgar Bergen, Chicago-born of Swedish parentage, who performed with his famed dummies Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. Bergen explained to Mc-Carthy that Vikings had dis- covered America 500 years before Columbus. McCarthy commented, "Columbus must have had a better press agent." . The King seemed delighted when Bergen and Snerd exchanged dialogue in Swedish. After one joke, Snerd commented, "That got a bigger laugh in Sweden." Earlier King Gustaf had toured the McDonnell Douglas aircraft plant where a DC9 and a transport plane are being assembled for Scandinavian J Airline Systems. The king flew by helicopter to the Burbank Studios and immediately transferred to a stagecoach loaned for the occasion by the Wells Fargo Bank. Together with the Swedish, ambassador to the United States, Count Wilhelm Wachtmeister, and his wife, the monarch had a 15-minute tour of outdoor sets where such films as "My Fair Lady," "The Music Man," "Bonnie and Clyde," "Blazing Saddles" and "Casablanca" were filmed. Dressed in a conservative blue suit with black and gray tie, the king was escorted to Stage 25, where the John Wayne-Lauren Bacall film "The Shootist" was recently made. The elaborate Western barroom, complete with nude murals on the walls, was set for 200 luncheon guests. The king, somewhat reserved until lunchtime, brightened noticeably when seated on the dais between Miss Ullmann and host Ted Ashley, chairman of the board of Warner Bros. Also on the dais were Bergen, actors Clint Eastwood, Sidney Poitier and Charlton Heston, and Warner Bros, president Frank Wells. Among the guests were Ray Bolger, Lome Greene, Ricardo Montalban, Karl Maiden, singer Linda Rondstadt, Vincent Price, Milton Berle, Kathleen Nolan, Binnie Barnes, Mike Frankovich, William Wyler and Robert Wise.