I didn't want to be short. I've tried to pretend that being a short guy didn't matter. I tried to make up for being short by affecting a strut, by adopting the voice of a much bigger man, by spending more money than I made, by tipping double or triple at bars and restaurants, by dating tall, beautiful women.
If Barbra Steisand wants to make a picture called 'My Pink Fingernail,' the studios will go, 'Gee, Barbra, what a wonderful idea! Money is no object! Take two years in preproduction and write the music, and you'll direct.'
Joe Louis was one of my closest friends.... I'm a great boxing fan. I used to go to the American Legion Stadium in Hollywood, every Friday night for 15 years. Down the aisle would come Lupe Velez, Johnny Weismuller, Mae West. All at ringside.
I tried to make up for being 5 ft. 3 in. by affecting a strut and adopting the voice of a much bigger man... dating tall, beautiful women... But nothing I could do, after Ava had left me, would add a single inch to my height.
To those seniors, and especially elderly veterans like myself, I want to tell you this: You are not alone, and you having nothing to be ashamed of. If elder abuse happened to me, it can happen to anyone. I want you to know that you deserve better.