• James Parry

Parrywinkle, February 22, 2017


One of the many roles of Hudson resident and actor Roy Elliott

On the cusp of the launch of the five-day, 10-movie Hudson Festival of Canadian Film on February 28, I was shocked to learn earlier this week that the prolific career of yet another movie 'star' with a passion for cars and who has appeared in over 375 flicks to date over the past four decades, has come crashing down.

And no, I have it on impeccable authority folks, it has absolutely nothing to do with allegations of sexual misconduct or perceived abuse of power. After all, he has been married to his beloved wife Flo for over 54 years. But rather because he has just been banned from driving a vehicle of any kind - with the exception of his battery-charged invalid carriage for which no license is required - effective immediately. Intrigued? Then here's the scoop direct from Hollywood-Hudson!

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EXITING STAGE LEFT - The said actor, who has never been nominated by his peers for an Oscar or, come to think of it, any other award for that matter, was crushed to learn that the reason behind the ban was that he had failed his eye test when auditioning to renew his driver's license.

Which, to many, might not come as a great surprise given the fact that the guy is 90 years old although still in fine fettle. But considering the fact that he has relied on driving himself to countless auditions in Montreal as well as - whenever he did land a role - showing up on set bright and early in the morning throughout Quebec and Ontario, well, you can imagine what a life-changer it is.

I'm speaking, of course, of long-time Como resident and film extra-extraordinaire, Roy Elliott, who started his thespian journey with the Hudson Music Club way back when and who told me this week that it truly is the end of an era while stealing - er, make that borrowing - my column tagline - “And that's a wrap!”

Not only for his cinematic career, I hasten to add, but also for his much appreciated volunteer work for many years driving other seniors to medical appointments and the like. A cinematic career, incidentally, that has seen him appear in films starring such greats as Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer, Jane Seymour, and even our current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and has seen him excel in roles such as a priest, rugged pioneer, and even on one occasion - and I'm not making this up folks and he even had to audition for it - a dead body in a morgue!

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CAR CRAZY - Adding to the irony is the fact that Roy, who has never had an accident while behind the wheel, has been driving cars and motorcycles since 1946, his first vehicle being a former U.S. Army Indian 500. He has since owned well over 75, including a 1935 Brough Superior car of which there were only 99 built. T. E. Lawrence (A.K.A. Lawrence of Arabia) was killed in real life when he lost control of his Brough Superior SS100 bike while driving in the Dorset countryside in England in 1935.

Roy, a former RCMP officer, would go on to become co-founder of the Hudson Antique Car Klub (HACK) and he would like to reassure everyone that he will still be the courteous Bobby on the Beat wearing his helmet and directing traffic at this year's British Invasion Car Show in May although he has never yet handed out a ticket for driving infractions or illegal parking!

And on an equally touching note, I was fascinated to learn that the first movie he ever appeared in was Hotel New Hampshire shot right here in Hudson in 1984 starring Rob Lowe, Beau Bridges, and Jodie Foster. And that his last, The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair, also shot in Hudson and environs for several weeks late last year and starring Grey's Anatomy heartthrob, Patrick Dempsey, will be screened on TV sometime this fall. Can't wait to see it. And that's the truth!

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MATTRESS THAT MATTERS - Still on the thespian scene, and together with my beautiful Sunshine, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Hudson Music Club's latest production, Once Upon A Mattress, at the Hudson Village Theatre this past weekend which runs through this Sunday, February 25. As always, community theatre at its best starring local actors and singers giving it their all interpreting this Broadway hit from 1960. A big bravo to one and all and for reservations, go to villagetheatre.ca or call (450) 458-5361.

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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