I recently rented a copy of The Big Bird Cage. Watching Pam Grier and D'Urville Martin brought back a few memories.

Even though I was in The Big Bird Cage with Pam Grier, I never actually conversed with her. We were on the same floor at the InterContinental Hotel in Manila. Yet, Pam had difficulty interfacing with myself, and another black actress working on a different film.

She appeared to be friendlier with the white actresses on The Big Bird Cage set. However, it could have been that I didn't sun at the pool. They were tanning for the nude shower scene. My character wasn't written to reveal flesh.

Pam Grier never joined us actresses for any of Manila's fancy parties, or fine dining, or to go dancing at the Third Eye.

I decided it was because of Sam Arkoff. It was rumored that she had gone to Hong Kong with him. Supposedly, he bought her an expensive Piaget watch. Also, that he had taken her to the Cannes Film Festival right before the filming of The Big Bird Cage. So, I came to think of her as a black Greta Garbo -- very secretive.

While the rumors may or may not be true, I found out that it was Sid Haig that she spent most of her Manila time with.

While on the set of Jackie Brown, it was the day when Pam wasn't shooting. Was she spending her days off with Sid Haig again? After all, he was staying at a hotel in Hermosa Beach.Although on that sun shiny day, I felt great. I had on my favorite black knit Gucci suit. My body felt nice and tight from the exercise classes in Palm Springs. Quentin Tarantino told me I looked good. I chatted with Mario Van Peebles (he happened to be jogging on the beach); shared a lunch table and conversation with Samuel L. Jackson; rehearsed with Robert DiNero, but at the last minute, Quentin decided not to use me. I made money off of Jackie Brown, so I'm constantly promoting it.

Ironically, after two movie sets, on two different continents, I've never conversed with Pam Grier. How unfortunate, since Vinetta Mcgee, Diahann Carroll, Brenda Sykas, Tamara Dobson, Judy Pace, and Jeanne Bell and I were able to converse and share a few good times together.

D'Urville Martin was a good friend. As you well know, he had an alcohol problem. He truly loved his wife Lillian and their two children, so he never drove a car. He had a tremendous fear that he'd wreck, and they would lose their comfortable home.

D'Urville was always telephoning myself and others in the Hollywood community to hang out with him. He loved parties and a celebrity spot called Joe Allen's. D'Urville's friends helped him to enjoy a night life he wouldn't have had. His wife worked for American Airlines, and she was home every night by ten.

During the many years that D'Urville and I were friends, he never gossiped. He always talked about the next movie or party that he thought was a splash.

When D'Urville died, Angelus Funeral Home in Los Angeles was packed with celebrities.

I know D'Urville Martin never said, "When The Mack was finished, Max Julian and Richard Pryor cried at the screening because The Mack was so awful." It's a bald face lie that Spike Lee has put out in the media. Spike Lee is so unsure of his directing, that he felt the need to attack other black artists through a dead person.

Carol Speed, 2001



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