TY HARDIN IN BRNCO LAYNE
THE FOLLOWING WAS A PHONE INTERVIEW WITH TY HARDIN ON JULY 21 2007
JOE KREIN: TY CAN you tell ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF , WHERE YOU WERE BORN AND WHAT YOUR PARENTS DID?
TY HARDIN: I GREW UP IN AUSTIN TEXAS , BASICALLY MOST OF MY LIFE IN TEXAS. I SERVED IN THE SERVICE IN TEXAS. AS WELL AS MY SCHOOLING . I WENT M.A.M FOR RESEARCH ENGINEER . I WENT TO SCHOOL IN LAMAR AND IN AUSTIN TEXAS. BUT I WAS BORN IN NEW YORK.
HEY MY HOME TOWN.
IN 1930 I WAS BORN , WHEN I WAS 2 YEARS OLD THEY LEFT NEW YORK AND I DON'T REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT NEW YORK.
WELL COME BACK AND VISIT US.
WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS DO?
MY MOTHER SORT OF VACATED ME TO MY GRAND PARENTS WHO WERE FURNITURE SALE MEN IN A FURNITURE STORE IN AUSTIN TEXAS. WE HAD A FARM , MY GRAND FATHER WORKED IT. SO I WAS RAISED ON A FARM
I WAS THINKING MAYBE THERE WAS AN ACTOR SOME WHERE IN YOUR FAMILY.
NO BLOODY WAY AND THERE'S NEVER GOING TO BE ANOTHER ONE! (LAUGHING)
DID YOU WANT TO GROW UP AND ME AN ACTOR?
NO WAY! LIKE I SAID I WENT TO SCHOOL TO BE AN ENGINEER , FROM THERE I WENT TO WORK FOR DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT BUILDING DC 3,S .
SO HOW DID THE ACTING CAREER COME A LONG.
WELL THE ACTING CAREER WAS A TOTAL ACCIDENT , I WAS LIVING WITH THREE OTHER AGGIES,S IN SANTA MONICA , AND WE WERE HAVING A HALLOWEEN PARTY. WE WENT TO BORROW COSTUMES FOR THAT HALLOWEEN PARTY AND A TALENT SCOUT SAW ME AND ASKED ME TO COME IN TO PARAMOUNT STUDIO'S .THEY WERE INTERESTED IN ME AS AN ACTOR. OF COURSE MY ACTOR FRIENDS GOT A LITTLE UP TIGHT AND THEY STARTED GETTING ON ME TO DO IT. SO I WENT IN THERE AND TALKED TO BILL MICHAEL JOHN , AND HE SAID FOR TO COME BACK IN A COUPLE OF DAYS , SO I WENT BACK TO WORK. THEY THEN OFFERED ME A SEVEN YEAR CONTRACT , THAT WAS RIGHT OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY.
SO YOU HAD A SEVEN YEAR CONTRACT
I MADE SOME GREAT FILMS LIKE " I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE"
THERE YOU GO I REMEMBER THAT ONE.
SPACE CHILDREN "TO YOUNG FOR LOVE" I MADE FOR LITTLE FLICKS FOR THEM . JOHN WAYNE WAS DOING A PICTURE , REO BRAVO . THERE WAS A GREAT PART IN THERE FOR A YOUNG MAN . SO I WENT TO WARNER BROTHERS TO SEE IF I COULD DO IT. NEEDLESS TO SAY I DID NOT REALIZE IT , THAT THE DUKE SAW ME AND ASKED ME TO COME IN BUT THEY ALREADY CAST RICKY NELSON FOR THE PART. then i went back to paramount not knowing that warner brothers bought my contract out. because clint walker walked off the studio and they needed someone to replace him. in the series Cheyenne. so i got that job cold turkey.
you have worked with some great people. like john Wayne and others
yes i have worked with some fine people that's for sure.
a lot of them are gone now.
one of my favorite films of yours was pt 109. i don't know why but i just fell in love with movie.
we shot it done in key west Florida and we had surveillance on the film , the president sent someone down to keep an eye on the project and to make sure they followed the script. because he didn't want it holley wooded up , so it became a very authentic film and we shot for about 3 months . we had the last six pt boats in existence . two in which we tore up . it was a delightful film , we all worked well together. it was very hot but i think it was one of the best films i made.
plus cliff Robertson was in it.
cliff was a wonderful man to work with , funny that his career didn't ever take off. i thought he did such a great job in that film.
if i was scanning thru the channels and saw him , i would stop and watch that channel.
yes he was a wonderful actor and i always liked him .
did you spend a lot of time in the water during that film?
yes we did , actually when the boat was run over by the ship it was at night time , and we spent a great period of time in that water.
so you weren't in a swimming pool you were in the ocean?
yes down in key west. plus they have a sequence when they split the pt boat in half , that was done in one of the big studios. it was a big swimming pool about eight feet deep.
so that was a real pt boat?
yes that was a real pt boat .
what a shame because i don't think there are many left.
no there's not , if there are any. we had the last four that i know of , and they weren't in that good of shape.
while you were running around paramount or mgm did you ever run into elvis presley?
well yes , you know elvis and i lived very close to one in other in the Hollywood hills. he was just down the street , he and red west and a bunch of the other guys were very good friends and i traveled with them for a while on there tours. i have pictures of elvis and i together and i really identified myself with him because he was another southern boy. we just hit it off real well together unfortunately we were both working real hard so we didn't spend a lot of time with each other . when we did get together we had a good time , your see these pictures i have , I'm playing the guitar and he's doing the singing.
is this the fifties we are talking about?
yes the fifties
can you tell me about the first time you met elvis?
you know what i can't remember the occasion , but we lived so close up off of queens and kings avenue . i had been over to his house on many occasions . he just invited me over.
what kind of guy was elvis?
oh just laid back , unfortunately he just got to far into the drugs .
did you see that?
yes unfortunately i did , i can tell you some story's on that but i would rather not. i could see my life getting involved and my grand mother would turn over in her grave , if i got involved in drugs. i did for a while in my career , but i managed to get off of them before they did a lot of damage to me. unfortunately elvis was able to he got himself in real trouble .
so what did you do with elvis and the memphis mafia , did you play football?
i went to a couple of Elvis's parties that were over to his house and spent some time with him there. plus i went on a couple of his tours.
yes that was a ball , that was always a gas with elvis and red and the rest of his group around him. it was very enlightening to me , i had some time off between my pictures to be with him. you know living close to him , you know we were kind of always there.
he lived two or three houses down from me.
so you went on short tours during the fifties?
yes i did that one time . the other times i was with him at his house or my house , we had parties. i would rather not go into that to much. (laughing)
that's kind of private . he was a very polite and fine gentlemen and he had a Christian back ground and so do i , i still have. but our ethics and our values would run noses with our habits. in the environment we were living in. he like my self were totally out of our environment. if he could have sang and done his thing , and not have to live up to the Hollywood screamers . he would still be alive today. that's my feelings.
did you stay in touch with elvis up to the seventies?
no , my career went to Europe and i lost total contact with him.
when was the last time you were in contact with him?
i couldn't tell you .
ok here comes the question everyone hates.
where were you and what were you doing when you heard elvis had passed?
i was in Europe when i heard he had passed. even in europe there was a lot of remorse and people were unhappy .i couldn't figure out why a man so young would pass away so soon.
yes forty two is very young.
yes he was just a kid , him and i are roughly the same age. i thought back at the time , the fast life and the environment he was living in contributed tremendously to his death. it was very unfortunate , he was such a neat person , you would have to get to know him. he had a good sense of humor and he had good people around him . red west was a great guy .
so you got a long with all the guys.
all of them , red, sonny, lamar, all of them. you know i never saw elvis unhappy . when i say unhappy , i had seen him unhappy with out me knowing it. i did not realize it.
because of things going on with his life and i hesitate to say much more. because of the time i spent with him was so small and insignificant . i was busy with my career . but our careers touched and our lives touched together.
so what did you do in Europe?
well i stayed there for quite a while and i made a lot of spaghetti westerns . i past up the opportunity to do "fist full of dollars"
oh clint eastwood.
yeah , but I'm going out to see him next week about a picture .
WELL I HOPE YOU GET IT. MY WIFE IS A EASTWOOD NUT.
YEAH I HOPE I GET IT TO , IT WOULD BE NICE TO GET BACK INTO THE INDUSTRY ON A PART TIME BASIS. THE MAIN THING I WOULD LIKE TO BE MAKING THE FILMS WE USED TO MAKE GOOD OLE WESTERNS.
I DON'T THINK THEY MAKE THEM ANYMORE TY.
I DON'T THINK SO EITHER.
WHEN DID YOU RETIRE?
I RETIRED ABOUT THIRTY YEARS AGO. I GOT MARRIED AND I ADOPTED THREE CHILDREN . I DEDICATED MYSELF TO MY WIFE AND MY KIDS. I HAD SUCH DISAPPOINTMENT IN MY FIVE OTHER MARRIAGES . I WAS BOND AND DETERMINED TO MAKE ONE WORK.
GOODNESS YOU WERE MARRIED FIVE TIME?
HEY OUT OF ALL YOUR FILMS WHICH ONE DO YOU WAS THE BEST?
UNFORTUNATELY SOME OF MY BETTER FILMS WERE EUROPEAN. I ENJOYED PT 109 AND I THOUGHT Merrill's Marauders WAS A FINE FILM WITH JEST CHANDLER. I THINK ONE OF MY UNDERRATED FILMS WAS ONE I MADE WITH Suzanne Pleshette "WALL OF NOISE. THAT WAS A FILM ABOUT A RACE HORSE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEVER ENDING POPULARITY OF ELVIS PRESLEY?
I THINK ITS VERY WARRANTED , I THINK HE WAS A GREAT AND TALENTED MAN. HE DEDICATED TO HIS PROFESSION. HE HAD GOOD PEOPLE AROUND HIM , BUT UNFORTUNATELY HE DIDN'T LISTEN TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE. LIKE I SAID IF HE CHANGED SOME OF HIS HABITS AND SOME OF HIS WAYS. HE WOULD BE HERE TODAY. HE WOULD BE JUST AS STRONG TODAY AS HE WAS BACK THEN BECAUSE THE MAN WAS A FULLY TALENTED MAN. NOBODY GAVE TO MUSIC LIKE HE DID.
DID YOU EVER GO AND SEE HIM IN THE SEVENTIES IN CONCERT?
OH YEAH ,
WHERE DID YOU SEE HIM?
ITS HARD FOR ME TO RECALL RIGHT NOW WHERE I DID SEE HIM. BUT LIKE I SAY , HE CHANGED A BIT.
DID YOU STILL ENJOY THE SHOW.
DID YOU TRY TO MEET UP WITH HIM?
NO I HAD A CAREER TO FOLLOW.
TY I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS FOR ME.
YOUR WELCOME JOE