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"Call Me Lucky: A Texan In Hollywood" by Robert Hinkle

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Call Me Lucky: A Texas in Hollywood is an autobiography written by Robert Hinkle.  From humble beginnings growing up in Brownfield, Texas, to being a rodeo performer, to hobnobbing with Hollywood’s finest, Bob Hinkle has led a varied and interesting life.  He got his start in Hollywood when George Stevens, the director of the 1956 movie Giant, asked him to teach Rock Hudson to “talk Texan”.  This led to a 50 year career as a voice coach, actor, director and producer.  He worked with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Dennis Hopper, Mercedes Cambridge and others on their Texas accents in Giant.  He worked with James Dean on the whole persona of Jett Rink.  Dean totally immersed himself into the role.  Throughout the filming of Giant, Bob and James Dean became very good friends.  In fact, Bob is the one who had to tell the cast of James Dean’s death in a car crash near the end of the filming of the movie.

Bob went on to work with many other stars such as Paul Newman and Patricia Neal in the 1962 movie Hud.  He became good friends with Robert Wagner, even teaching Wagner’s wife Natalie Wood rope tricks.  Bob made appearances in many television series, worked as Marty Robbins’ manager for 14 years and helped Evel Knievel gain recognition. 

When Bob decided to retire, he and his wife moved back to Texas, where Bob remains a true, down to earth, Texan.  This book is very entertaining and easy to read.  I believe most people who read it will find it hard to put down, as I did.

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