Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too.
email@example.com & @JoeCushnan
I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection. Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution.
This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda. Swift diversions for a moment or two.
Apropos of Nothing #46 – 2 June 1977
"Stephen Boyd was one of the nicest, kindest people I have met in my lifetime, rare in this profession." - Euan Lloyd, film producer of Shalako, The Man Called Noon and The Wild Geese.
Stephen Boyd was one of the biggest film stars of the late 1950s and 1960s (The Man Who Never Was, Ben-Hur, The Fall of the Roman Empire, Genghis Khan, Fantastic Voyage, Shalako, etc.), an ordinary boy from Northern Ireland who made a dream journey to Hollywood, starring alongside some of the most prestigious names in cinema including Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Gregory Peck, Brigitte Bardot, Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, James Mason, Gina Lollobrigida, Omar Sharif, Doris Day, Sean Connery and Raquel Welch.
He had a 20-year film career, sadly cut short by his sudden death, aged 45, on 2 June, 1977.
I have written about him and in the course of my research, his wife Elizabeth replied to a letter I sent to her:
“I do not feel any reason why you should not continue with your research for a proposed biography of my most beloved and talented husband Stephen Boyd. I would, however, ask for your assurance that it will be done truthfully, in good taste and with the dignity he deserved. I do not go along with the too often “dirty laundry sensationalism” literature that the bookshelves seem to be filled with these days. We were two very private people, devoted to each other and lived our lives very quietly away from the Hollywood scene. I am still devastated and unreconciled that he was taken so suddenly, and it is very difficult not to keep asking “Why?” He was so very special, and had so much talent left to give this troubled world.”
4 July, 1931 - 2 June, 1977
Source: Me and various