the young guns of hollywood

Interview: Loretta Swit, TV Guide Magazine, 30th of January 1971.

By Kathleen McCoy.

Fade inHaving just subdued yet another mayhem-bent killer, Joe Mannix (Mike Connors) straightens his tie, mops his brow and lets loose with a stream of superlatives about a favourite on-screen guest-star seductress: “Loretta Swit is a marvellously versatile talent. She can play both glamourous and gusty roles. She has the class and charisma that the movie stars of old had. She has everything going for her. She’s not just another pretty girl…”

Cut toActor Peter Graves, taking 60 seconds from his impossible mission of the week to exclaim: “What a marvellous young actress! She’s beautiful, but not just another pretty girl. She has a helluva career ahead of her!”

Cut toJohn Mantley, executive producer of Gunsmoke: “If all the shouting about Loretta Swit ever dies down, the voices at Gunsmoke will chorus, ‘We told you so! She’s not just another pretty girl!’ We like to think we found her!” Dissolve to

Scene One: The object of this high-level superlative-slinging lives in an unpretentious little guest house in the wilds of west Hollywood. It’s 10 A.M on a Tuesday morning. The doorbell rings. Silence, then…”AUGGGHHH!” The discovery speaks from within. Sounds of running footsteps, scuffling, barking dogs. The door flies open and there she is—an apparition in crumpled baby-doll pyjamas with pink plastic curlers in her hair, gray acne preparation on her face. They’re right. She’s not just another pretty girl.

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Interview Magazine

I really enjoy being in that [audition] environment, testing stuff out. It’s very productive for me to be in that position again. I remember jumping on trains down to the city, being totally broke, sometimes having to stay out overnight, really bumming it, having to choose between cigarettes and a sandwich. One night we didn’t have accommodation. We slept rough in some square in the West End. We didn’t actually sleep. We just spent the night having a laugh because it was a one-off. I hope it’s a one-off. I started auditioning at the age of 13, which, all of a sudden, is now 10 years ago. So I spent a decade getting to this level of recognition. It’s a bit of a whirlwind with a lot of graft. I’ve had to eat a lot of shit without compromising myself, which is important, and that is down to the culture I hail from. There is pride, and such a thing as honor. I do think that has helped me with my progression, certainly with the rejection and shite side to it.