Hugh Millais, RosÃ'© Drinker


You’re going to focus on Christopher Walken in the clip above, and that’s fine, but please note that the movie also starred Hugh Millais, the “film actor, yachtsman, calypso singer, oil- man, design consultant and cook” who recently passed away. (He was also a devoted falconer.) Here’s one of the many highlights from his obituary.

Never one to seek regular employment, he and a friend sailed his boat to Venice and sold it there. They were promptly robbed, and decided to walk home to England, which involved being imprisoned as vagrants in Milan. He was then sent to Montreal to train as a Mountie, but became a reporter on The Montreal Star. Millais was hated by the editor because his uncle owned the paper. While there he housed the US folk singer, Josh White, who paid his rent by teaching him the guitar. After hitchhiking round Chile, Millais went to Mexico University to study philosophy and fell in with bullfighters. He and some friends sailed to New York and were invited to play and sing on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Soon after, in 1954, he won the Cat Key to Havana race in his yacht Benbow. Then, when sailing into Cuba, where a small revolution was taking place, he was shot through the arm and helped by Ernest Hemingway, a friend of his grandfather’s, who filled him with daiquiris and got his arm sewn up. Millais’ sailing life helped him run through a considerable legacy from his mother after which he became the “token whitey” as guitarist with the Young Brigade. While eking a living writing articles in Los Angeles, he telephoned the architect Richard Neutra and said he would like to write his biography. He accompanied Neutra to the 9th International Congress of Architects in Caracas, where his article Melting the Frozen Music helped Neutra to win several important commissions. But in 1956 the President of Venezuela went into exile, taking the national budget with him, Benbow was stolen and Millais was forced to return to Oxfordshire to live with his father and stepmother.

Sounds like a pretty full life.