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  • She was not my flesh and blood , but I couldn't have hand picked a better one. As much as I admired her, I hated her brother, Justin, my mother's husband-- my deeply troubled, beautiful and hopelessly narcissistic mother who possessed not one scintilla of consciousness. I was born, along with my older brother, to an elite Jewish family of elegant clothiers, war heroes, and Russian merchants, before she replaced them with this, this, acne-scarred, alcoholic, wife beating, actor wannabe, attorney. Oh, how we loathed him! My brother and I spent our childhood years plotting out his murder before the family psychiatrist. I first learned of them as a couple on an episode of Playhouse 90, but it wasn't long before he was living with us, and exposing us to his world of J&B putridity, cruelty, Volkswagon buses, and brute mayhem.

    But, Kim was his sister and she took me in. As dire and bleak as Justin and my mother's lives were, Kim's household was vibrant with theater people, and the arts. Any given weekend you could visit with Clifford Odets, Horton Foote, Harold Clurman, Stephen Hill, Alfred Ryder (her husband at the time) and Bryan Forbes, for whom she had just filmed Seance on a Wet Afternoon. Kim was debuting on Broadway starring in A Far Country. Years later, when I was a producer in Sydney Pollack's office I saw a telegram from her that he had triumphantly pinned to his wall. She called Sydney a "mensch" and thanked him for the Emmy award-winning Ben Casey they did together. I remember that winged statuette perfectly, because, for me, it was a rocket ship and an angel together, a winged craft that bore my imagination and allowed it to soar far above the earth, and into the future
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