From Show Biz to Sunday School
By Sharon Leann Wyatt aka Sharon Leigh
U.N.C.L.E. AND DUMMIES (Part One)
MGM’s main lot never appealed to me very much, however, there were a few vestiges of the past that had prevailed through the years, giving the lot a glamour none of the other studios could boast of. One of these relics was the star wardrobe department. The architecture was deco and the walls were painted a shell pink, giving the room a peachy glow that made every complexion look glorious. There was a three-way mirror of grand proportion and a portion of the floor was elevated up two steps in a circular configuration. The deco sconces on the wall and the light diffusing chandelier gave a mellow warm feeling even though the room was sparsely decorated. I loved that room, and whenever I was directed to go there for wardrobe, I knew I was in for something special.
On this particular morning I was sent to star wardrobe, to be prepared for a day’s shooting as a stewardess on the television show, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” It’s a show I had worked before and there was always money to be made, besides for that, it was a pleasant set to be on. The stewardess’ uniform was tailored for me by one of the seamstress, within just about a half an hour’s time. I am certain there were many helpers back in the sewing room, where they had hemmed and tucked, pressed and steamed the suit beautifully. Shoes were also provided, and they were a very stylish Italian pump, that fit like they were custom made for me.
If you have never wondered why it is that a female star’s blouse never needs to be tucked in, and no matter what action she is involved in the blouse always stays put. Well, here is the secret to that always-tidy look. At the back hemline of the blouse there is a cotton knit G-string affair sown on that wraps under your torso, and comes up to meet with hooks that have been sown on the front hemline. It keeps the blouse perfect at all times.
On this set there was a mockup of the interior of a passenger plane. There were extras already seated in what was the first class section. The director greeted me and immediately began to give me a rundown of what I would be doing in that first shot of the day. Basically, I would be working with David McCallum. He was a love. A multitalented gentleman, who was always cordial and kind, not to mention cute as a bug’s ear. Forgive me, David.
The scene required me doing a stunt of sorts as I was to be pushed into Mr. McCallum’s lap, after an altercation with the antagonist, then there was to be an explosion in the men’s latrine. The scene began, and I was pushed onto David. Then he had to get up and pound on the men’s room door to get at this spy. They had a close up of my reaction, and then there was an explosion and the plane began to toss back and forth, and you know the rest, you have seen these scenes a dozen times. Earlier I did other “stew” type things serving people and putting pillows under their heads. It really was a small part, without saying a word, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the work. After the scene was wrapped, David even kissed me on the cheek and told me to “always be happy.” It was a perfect ending for my day’s work. A man’s response to a woman does depend on their demeanor and obvious character over time. As I said, David was a love.
I guess the limelight was a place I truly liked to be. It was a more intelligent way to earn a day’s pay, than making crosses. Making crosses, of course, is a necessary evil of extra work, but I hated those days with a passion when all you did was to make “crosses” behind the action. They were only made tolerable when there was a good group in the same boat, and then there could be hilarity of dynamic proportions. One such instance was on the “Honey West” set, when a late-night shooting became a memorable evening. It was one of those times when a group of very compatible people were put together for late-night work on the back lot of CBS Four Star. We had little to do but walk back and forth crossing the street. What so many people were supposed to be doing roaming around on the streets at such an ungodly hour is beyond me.
Sharon’s entire autobiography has finally completed its editing process, with a new cover design, photos included throughout the text, and has now been printed. This exciting book of 288 pages is now available (We are aware that a number of you have already reserved your copy). We are asking for $25.00 for this professionally published paperback.
Envelope What Is God’s Love?
Picture “Forbid not the children”
Antoine Ansiaux 1764-1840
Picture of Olive wood bracelet
On the back Orphan children