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Call Me Lucky

Call Me Lucky:  A Texan in Hollywood
University of Oklahoma Press (2009)
Order from OU Press or Amazon
Do you think you could teach Rock Hudson to talk like you do?
The question came from famed Hollywood director George Stevens, and an affirmative answer propelled Bob Hinkle into a fifty-year career in Hollywood as a speech coach, actor, producer, director, and friend to the stars.  Along the way, Hinkle helped Rock Hudson, Dennis Hopper, Carroll Baker, and Mercedes McCambridge talk like Texans for the 1956 epic film Giant. He also helped create the character Jett Rink with James Dean, who became a best friend, and he consoled Elizabeth Taylor personally when Dean was killed in a tragic car accident before the film was released.
A few years later, Paul Newman asked Hinkle to do for him what he’d done for James Dean.  The result was Newman’s powerful portrayal of a Texas no-good in the Academy Award-winning film Hud (1963).  Hinkle could–and did–stop by the LBJ Ranch to exchange pleasantries with the president of the United States.  He did likewise with Elvis Presley at Graceland.  Good friends with Robert Wagner, Hinkle even taught Wagner’s wife Natalie Wood how to throw a rope.  He appeared in numerous television series, including Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Dragnet, and Walker, Texas Ranger.  On a handshake, he worked as country music legend Marty Robbins’s manager, and he helped Evel Knievel rise to fame.
More than forty photographs, including rare behind-the-scenes glimpses of the stars Hinkle met and befriended along the way, complement this rousing, never-dull memoir.
Here’s what the critics are saying about Call Me Lucky:
“Hinkle’s anecdotes of life with [James] Dean on the set are warm and amusing, offering an irresistibly prosaic glimpse of the elusive legend, with whom Hinkle hunted rabbits, raced cars and engaged in other hijinks. . . . His account of Dean’s tragic early death is freshly affecting, despite the story’s mythic familiarity.  Hinkle is a garrulous storyteller. . . and his memories of Elizabeth Taylor’s passionate personality and salty language, Hudson’s moody insecurity and Dean’s fierce competitiveness are good fun. . . . The anecdotes about the eventful making of Giant are Hollywood insider gold.  A lively look at a colorful career and an unlikely friendship.” – Kirkus Reviews
Call Me Lucky:  A Texan in Hollywood is not just another rags-to-riches story. . . . Unlike some self-aggrandizing memoirs, Call Me Lucky rivets the reader’s attention with a seamless narrative and the use of humility-infused anecdotes sprinkled evenly throughout the book.”  – Film & History:  An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies, Spring 2010 (The Johns Hopkins University Press in collaboration with The Milton S. Eisenhower Library)
". . . a fine show biz memoir."  Dallas Morning News
". . . rousing, never dull memoir."  Deanzine (James Dean Fan Club)
". . . a page-turner."  Lubbock Online
"Call Me Lucky is a good ride."  Tulsa World
"Hinkle and Farris have an engaging writing style which demands reading."  Clarion (OK) Daily News