Encounters of the First Kind With Roddy:
by sally mierop

Back in July, 1995, I saw an ad in the Arts section in the Cleveland newspaper for "Dial ‘M’ For Murder" starring Roddy McDowall. He was coming to Cleveland. I missed Charlie’s Aunt touring in 1976. (Wasn’t old enough to go and my mom didn’t understand my reason.) I was not about to miss this one coming in February 1996.

Found out in the Hollywood Reporter that RM was starting his national tour in Detroit in October for 3 weeks. Well, I was only a two hour drive from Detroit also. Got our tickets for a matinee October 7, also made reservations for dinner in the Fisher Building where the theatre is located.

Our seats were four rows from the stage, left side. We had a great view of RM during the play. He comes out in the second act. His character is Inspector Hubbard. RM was just wonderful. His acting was so professional compared to the others. HE IS THE PLAY!! His appearance in a brown tweed suit is awesome. But my experience was after the play during dinner.

It’s a rainy day and cold outside (50’s). My husband and I sit down in a booth in the non-smoking section. We kid ourselves saying if RM comes in we’ll get him to sign his autograph on the program and take a picture with my Kodak fun-saver camera. Well, ten minutes go by and here comes two of the cast (Nancy Allen and Rachelle Carson). Five minutes more and John James comes in. (They’re sitting across from us in the smoking section but a divider between our sections.) Another five minutes and here comes my SWEETIE in a dark green down coat. He asks the waitress what’s the fish of the day.

My husband runs over there and motions me to follow. I leave everything at the table and rush up to him and say a big "HI". (You would think I could have said something smarter; that comes later.) My husband hands me the program and I give it to RM and he looks at me with those big brown eyes and signs it. We thank him and go back to the table.

Me with Roddy McDowall at restaurant I can barely eat dinner. But I remember I have my camera in my purse still. It’s now or never, so we go back over. (I find my tongue finally.) RM is chatting with Rachelle and eating some bread, so I wait patiently for him to notice me. I politely ask if I could have a picture of him. He looks at me with those big brown eyes and says, "sure". I ask again to make sure he doesn’t mind and say, "I know you don’t like your picture taken as much as I hate mine being taken". RM says, "I don’t mind at all" and gets up. He puts his arm around my waist and I put my arm around his.

We also took a picture of the other cast except Rachelle. We chatted for a minute (my husband and RM). I was in seventh heaven by then. RM said if we liked the play so much we should see it again this evening. We had to hit the road to get home to pick up our daughter. But we assured him we’d see him in Cleveland, and would spread the word around about Dial M. I would have stayed there all night but we had to go. On the drive home, the full moon was out and guided us all the way home. Couldn’t have ended a more perfect day with tears running down my cheeks. God gave me my day after praying for twenty years to meet RM.

To touch it all off, we sent RM a dozen roses on his last day in Detroit saying thanks for the picture, see you in Cleveland. We had tickets for Cleveland too. I plan on having him autograph OUR picture together.

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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998 by Sally Mierop. All Rights Reserved.