These are photographs of Freddie Forrest and his co star Luana Anders from their film "When the Legends Die."
I was conversing with one of the folks mentioned in this interview when I realized he'd never heard it.
So I transcribed it for him.
He also worked with Freddie Forrest.
We were talking about Cindy Williams, so I asked "Have you seen our podcast where we interviewed Cindy?" He had not.
So here it is. To realize our friends are never ever very far away.
Good to know!
|Frederic Forrest Luana Anders "When the Legends Die"|
This is an excerpt from our podcast “Hacking the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer, Cindy Williams and friends.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_BxiG6wfBA Edited for content: Feb 3rd, 2023.
Jennifer Shaffer in Bold, My comments in italics.
Rich: (after Cindy Williams shows up in our class on the flipside) I already knew she was going to be here, I already had a conversation with Cindy this morning. I was on Laverne and Shirley (decades ago) and Cindy called me “fur face” on the show. This morning I heard her voice say "hello fur face.” Cindy, who greeted you on the flipside?
Jennifer: (Pause) Not Penny. (laughter) She says, “My animals.” She says “Penny was off smoking when I came over!”
(aside to audience) Jennifer doesn’t know anything about Penny – she did smoke like crazy and that was Cindy’s big complaint in their office together on the Paramount lot.
Jennifer: She says that Penny says “There’s no filter over here!”
Rich: Cindy, what was it like crossing over?
She says, “It’s my birthday!” (Jennifer aside: I don’t understand.)
I think I do. We’ve heard it before; it’s her birthday on the flipside.
She says, “It sucks. It meant I had died.” She said, “She was way ready to go. But… One of her sons didn’t want to let her go..”
Who was that? Your son, Zack?
She says, “Yes Mr. Know it all.”
She has a son Zack, and her daughter is Emily.
(Jennifer aside: I don’t know!) I feel like Zack wasn’t ready to let her go. He was… but he wasn’t. She says “I didn’t need permission, but it helped me get out of there.” (laughs) She said she died of second hand smoke. She says “She died from lung cancer, second hand smoke…” (A pause) No, she’s kidding about that, completely kidding. Penny just made a smacking gesture. (Like “stop trying to be funny.”)
So I want to ask about your journey Cindy. You grew up in where? Show Jennifer.
I’m seeing the Hollywood sign?
In L.A., yes. Well, sort of, the valley. And you did work at the Whiskey a Go Go.
She said, “Everybody worked there.” She says “That’s where I learned not to smoke.”
Of course; second hand smoke in those days… super popular.
She says, “That’s when she got discovered. She met someone there.. and (then) Penny.”
But let’s discuss before you get to Penny, she’s a little later.
(Jennifer aside) She’s telling me that’s not when she met Penny. (correcting her)
I want to ask “When you met Fred.” You know who I’m talking about but Jennifer does not. Luana knows.
She says (at) “21.”
I think that’s right. What was that like to meet Fred, anything you want to say to fred?
She said “He should be here and I should be there! We should switch places.” She’s joking. She said “Thank you.”
Fred had a partner.
She’s showing me (the film) “Grease…?”
(Note: Funny, American Graffiti was a version of Grease, didn’t think of this at the time. And “Happy Days” was “Graffiti.”)
Well, Penny’s brother was Fred’s partner. They managed her. We’ve interviewed Penny’s brother when he crossed over? Garry.
Garry. She said that.
And Fred and Garry put her in some movies to begin with. Penny do you want to show who it was that put you in one of your first movies, the most famous one? His first name is George. George is on this side. You want to talk about that?
She says, “It was thrilling, exciting…” I don’t know what her part was. It was small she said.. (holds up her fingers to indicate tiny) (Jennifer aside) I know you’re talking about George Lucas. She showed me something and I got sidetracked. She said, “It was spectacular.” She said “I wasn’t worthy” and made that “I’m not worthy” bow… but says “It was a small part that led to something else.”
That’s right – a smaller part in the first film.
She showed me like R2D2, but not him. She’s making a joke about it being small.
You don’t know the name of the film Jennifer – it was American Graffiti.
Jennifer shrugs. (Hasn’t seen it) Why does Jack Nicholson show up?
Let’s hold on to that thought for a second. Cindy, we interviewed the father of the fellow you starred with in that film. The father’s name was Rance – and then later this fellow named Ron you worked with. We interviewed Rance Howard.
(Note: We interviewed Rance years earlier just after he passed, it’s in the book BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE FLIPSIDE. Rance starred in my film “Limit Up”)
Right. Opie and Cindy starred in….
And Garry Marshall produced that and came up with the spinoff that put his sister with Cindy.
She says “He’s the smarter one.” (A comic dig at Penny)
I wrote to Fred yesterday, and called you one of the most generous sweet spirits he’d ever met.
(continuing her riff) She says, “Anything better than Penny.”
Cindy, is there anything you want to say to Fred?
(A pause) She’s quoting you; She says “tell him I’m not gone, I’m just not there.”
Anything for Ron?
He feels like a little brother.
Ron was 18 when they were cast and Cindy was 24, and in his tribute yesterday Ron mentioned their friendship.
She said, “He treated me like I was his older sister, and that stayed until I passed.”
Yesterday Ron said “It’s really a shock to imagine that spark is gone.” So let me ask you Cindy, is the spark gone?
She says, “It’s just getting started again.” With my birthday party (coming to the flipside.)
Anything you want to say to Ron?
What I said to his face, “I love you always.”
Your ex husband Bill is still on the planet.
She’s laughing. She says “You can have it.” I don’t know what she means. “He can have it.” He’ll know what that means. I don’t know. I saw a car, and then I saw a horse…
If someone knows Bill Hudson, let him know, he can have it.
I asked “what is it?” she said “He’ll know what it means.”
Okay, why is it you were ready to talk (to us)? Some people show up and are not ready to talk.
Because she had time to believe in it.. what I’m getting is, if I’m getting the right interpretation, she is saying, what I’m feeling that, first of all I have a lot of friends over there, we all work together just like we did here, second I talked to a lot of people on the other side that I was heart broken over and so I thought that was easier – and she believes in our class and what we’re doing..
What about Harry Dean Stanton?
She says, “It took him a little longer.”
Here’s the weird part, I did a Laverne and Shirley where I was a pizza delivery guy always missing a slice of pizza – and Harry Dean was on that show. That fur face thing was her line to me – it was funny because Penny had to cut me out. But there’s a lot of people in our class, including Penny’s brother that we’ve interviewed. (Robin Williams too)
There’s a lot of love and laughter over here, you can only imagine what they had while making the show, take that and then (uses her hands) it’s over there, and there’s all this love and laughter and we try to recreate things that make us feel loved. She says, “If I knew it was going to be this great, I would have quadrupled all of that here.” She knew this (concept) – that whatever you want the most of – give it away. In this life, in the afterlife, it all comes back.
Let me ask this – you and Penny had a falling out during the show – people talked about it. What was it like when you saw Penny?
I punched her. (But) It went right through her. (A pause) There was an immediate understanding and love right after that. And it was inconsequential, the show was like a grain of sand, compared to what we’ve been through.
Over other lifetimes?
She says, “Yeah.”
There was a time I played the piano to accompany Penny on a yacht..
She says, “Where was I? I wasn’t on that yacht?!”
(Laughs) Yes, It was Bob Shaye’s millennium yacht – I played songs with Penny and others.
(Jennifer aside) I didn’t know that. But she showed me a boat and you playing piano.
I heard you this morning as I was shaving, call me “fur face” – I appreciate what you’re saying that the afterlife is all the glorious things from life, was there anything weird about realizing that or was there total acceptance?
She’s saying, “There was complete vulnerability and love – every life is not perfect, but it’s the essence of who you are that comes into a room that meets everyone who loved you, or didn’t like you, whatever, but the essence of Penny… and it was that I loved her so much that I didn’t like her. Like, we were so much alike, that’s why we fought. We were one big roller coaster with each other.”
Before I forget David Kirkpatrick had a fun memory of you giving him the keys to your office – he wanted to point out that gesture of your generosity stayed with him throughout his life.
(Jennifer observes) She shrugged, says, “That was so simple – it wasn’t right we had AC and others did not… but we needed it because our makeup would melt without it.” She showed me (and says) “It’s this little thing, the essence of who you are, part of getting things and giving them away is the essence of who they were and are.”
And David pointed out that it was through you he met George Lucas, became aware of Harrison and all that - how your generosity and intervention was how that happened.
She’s showing me Garry and Fred (as well) – and how everyone is connected, how we’re all light. She’s showing me it’s like a magnet, you can't go up against a connection that isn’t meant for you – but if you’re across the world you’re going to attract the people you need to meet.
So it’s a bit like quantum mechanics?
Jennifer taps her nose.
Who’s saying yes?
Luana is saying “That means yes.”
Funny, Luana had an album of Simon and Garfunkel’s that she lit a candle under when she was a teen, told her roommate she was going to know them, and later I found out she dated both of them but neither knew about it.
(Jennifer pauses) Have you talked to Jack lately?
I have not. what does Luana want to say?
It’s about the script.
The one about his life?
Yes. She wants you to focus on that.
I was reading Sally Kellerman’s autobiography “Read my lips” – so many great stories in that. Need to put those in the script. So what are you saying, we need to put it back on the burner?
Jennifer nods, taps her nose again.
Last time I mentioned it to Fred, he said “I never stop thinking about this script.”
“Full circle” she says, “How everything’s connected. Everyone has access to what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s just about following your passion – all the light can come in.” They’re showing me how I bring people to life from this side.
So Cindy started this conversation saying it was her birthday on the flipside. Let’s give Cindy the last word.
Jennifer laughs. She says “Thank for taking my call.” And then everyone - They all just screamed together “Love love!”
It was Robin Williams who told us that – to “Love love.” “Love who you are, love who you’re with.”
“Everything bad or indifferent or great makes up who you are. Just Love love.”
Thanks Jennifer. Wow.