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A missed chance of stardom?

Byline: LES HORTON

I wonder how many other husbands were hissing with disdain as Hollywood heart-throb Johnny Depp swept the polls for the title of Britain's favourite actor. He has the unfailing adoration of my own wife Sara, who appears to think he is the sexiest being on earth next, of course, to myself.

Many people may not know that I very nearly set out for a career on the big screen, back in the days when small was beautiful and the ant-hero reigned supreme at the box office.

When I say that, what I actually mean is that the idea crossed my mind, thanks to the encouragement of my peers down the local pub.

It was generally thought that I would do well to get myself on to the Hollywood boulevard in the hope of being "discovered", since I was apparently the spitting image of Dudley Moore, a pint-sized British comedian who graduated to global film stardom.

Every where I went, people would tap me on the shoulder, with the declaration: "Hey, you know you look like ?"

Then would come the Dudley Moore bit, with remonstrations about how I looked so much like him, I should get myself over to the US and make my fortune.

Moore, who died aged 66 in March 2002, hit the big time with films such as 10, alongside the statuesque Bo Derek and the lovable Arthur and in doing so put small men on the sexual radar.

For a while, it was 'in' to be short and funny - the opposite to the movie action men who usually got all the girls and I have to admit that I cashed in on the trend wherever possible.

But I never found the courage to hop on a plane to seek fame and fortune, plumping instead for a u11-a-week (about BD8) apprenticeship on the local newspaper, the Staffordshire Newsletter.

Such was the popularity of smaller men, albeit short-lived (if you'll pardon the pun), that I was offered an opportunity modelling for a well established chain of male boutiques - but shied away for fear of a hidden motive.

After small and cute went out of fashion, the older man was briefly in and those of us still with pimples went through a ridiculous phase of wandering around in loose-fitting cardigans and smoking pipes - all in the pursuit of female attention.

Oh, Hollywood, if only you knew what you were missing!

lhorton@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jun 16, 2008
Words:422
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