IN CONVERSATION WITH LINDA CRISTAL
AN INTERVIEW WITH JANET HYEM
‘This is the transcript of an article I was given. I don’t know when the interview took place but I’d imagine it to be late 80’s as she mentions the Bonanza film, which was made in 1988. It’s a shame that the projects Linda mentions never took place – especially the High Chaparral Next Generation film.’ - Kate
JH: How did you get on with the cast of The High
LC: I got along with them very well, with everybody really. Being the only woman in the show it's easier.
JH: What are you doing now?
LC: I am starting my career again, I have been away from it a few years in this country. I did a series in
JH: So what are you going to do?
LC: I have a film called 'Be Young Forever', which was tailor-made for me, and that's been negotiated. And I have different possibilities for things for television. But what I'm really waiting for is the right kind of series. You know, I turned down a couple of shows, like soaps, in
JH: Marvellous. You know, you still look just as nice.
LC: Oh, thank you. I feel very well. I do weights, I do bicycle and isometrics, everyday for about an hour. So I'm as solid as rock. When you don't smoke or drink it's easier to stay healthy. And then, it's also the way you think. An objective and optimistic view of life is a healthy attitude, which makes for better physical health.
JH: I can't get over how you haven't changed. The last thing I saw you playing in was The High Chaparral and you haven't changed. And I'm also amazed at after seeing you and the other members of the cast, how each one of you still looks the same.
LC: I was told that Henry has turned grey.
JH: He's grey, but he still looks like Manolito.
LC: Mark looked very good when I last saw him.
JH: Yes, I saw him on Wednesday, and he also looked the same, the same as he did when he played Billy Blue. I couldn't believe it. You see people in programmes and you wonder what they look like years on, and you all look the same - it's incredible.
Can you tell me where you were born?
LC: I was born in
JH: What did you first appear in?
LC: The film 'When the Fog Lifts', then I did thirteen motion pictures over the next six years, all for Mexican producer/director, Miguelito Aleman (son of the then president, Miguel Aleman).
JH: And what came after this?
LC: I was working in films in
JH: That was fifteen years ago. KATE'S NOTE: I think they must have this wrong. If Linda was 17 or 18 that would have been in 1951 or 1952. Fifteen years from that would be '66 or '67. Yet this interview is obviously well after H.C.
LC: That's right. They trusted that I was going to
JH: What did you do after that?
LC: After The High Chaparral I was typecast, a series will do that, you know. But then I started to do some guest star appearances and various TV shows. Then I did a picture with Charlie Bronson called 'Mr Majestyk' (1974). And then I continued doing guest star roles, and then I decided this is for the birds, and I got up and bought a new place in
JH: Would you like to go into a series again, or movies?
LC: I'll tell you, very honestly, I love acting. The industry, the
JH: Can you tell me a little about your background?
LC: Well, it was not a happy background at all. Extreme poverty, sickness, emotional stress because they were not well, lonesome childhood.
JH: You were an only child, were you?
LC: Well, I had a much older brother. Two brothers actually, but one died. And both my parents were killed in an automobile accident.
JH: How did this affect you?
LC: Aside from the sorrow of losing people so dear to me, the tragedy made me want to fly, to take off, to lift myself out of that hole. I wanted to make something happen. So the experience really catapulted me out of that situation.
JH: So your tragedy changed your life. It gave you a push and made you more forward.
LC: Yes, and that has always been my way... I'll give you an example. When I got to The High Chaparral they were already shooting the pilot with Joan Caulfield - you remember Joan Caulfield, the blonde actress who made many, many movies? She was older now, she was playing the wife of John Cannon. And they saw me. I did a lot of improvisations for them, before the NBC executives. They were so impressed that they brought me in the second hour of the pilot and, Joan Caulfield, forgive me, got shot by an arrow and dies.
JH: So that's why John Cannon's first wife died.
LC: Yes, in the first hour of the pilot she is there, in the second she has died and John marries me. So you see, this is what tells me I'm going to make it again - because, the first opportunity that comes by is going to be mine.
JH: When I interview stars I find that they have people whom they look up to as well, and that quite surprises me.
LC: I am an absolute crazy admirer of Prince Charles. I collect cut-outs from newspapers. I have always been fascinated by him.
JH: I'm interested to know why you like Prince Charles.
LC: I'll tell you exactly why I like him, there is something of the old world about him. Also, he seems to be like a knight in shining armour. He is a dignified worldly gentleman, and there is something regal about him. Not all royalty are regal, but there is something majestic about him. I've always loved romantic settings. I think if I ever met him I would just faint. And who knows, one day I just might meet him. What I want is a castle and Prince Charles.
JH: Thank you for taking time out for this interview.
LC: Thank you, too.
JH: What will you be doing now?
LC: Now, I'm taking the car to
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