About Ron Base

Author PhotoRon Base has had a long and varied writing career. He has travelled all over the world and interviewed everyone from John Wayne and Henry Fonda to Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Woody Allen, Jane Fonda, and Clint Eastwood.

He has written for newspapers, magazines, and the movies. He’s lived in Paris, Rome, Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, and—oh, yes—Florida.

As a journalist Base wrote pieces for the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, and TV Guide. For several years he wrote about movies for Canada’s Toronto Star, the country’s largest circulation newspaper.

He is also the author of a book about the history of movie stardom published in the U.S., Britain, and Canada called If The Other Guy Isn’t Jack Nicholson, I’ve Got The Part.

Ron Base’s theatrically released features include First Degree (1995), a thriller, starring Rob Lowe and Leslie Hope; The Last Sign (2005), a supernatural fantasy starring Andie MacDowell and Tim Roth; White Light (1990), a romantic mystery starring Martin Kove.

He is constantly reminded that he was one of the writers of Heavenly Bodies (1984), a workout movie with music that is much more famous than it should be.

He has also worked on film projects with film-making legends John Boorman and Roland Joffé.

In 2010, West-End Books introduced The Sanibel Sunset Detective, the first in a series of mystery novels set on Florida’s Sanibel Island, featuring private detective Tree Callister. There are now six novels in the series.

Base was born and raised and educated in Canada. He and his wife Kathy divide their time between a house in Milton, Ontario, just outside Toronto, and Fort Myers, Florida, so he can be close to Sanibel Island where his detective hero resides.


28 comments on “About Ron Base
  1. notmeguv says:

    Hi Ron;

    Was thinking about Dave Haslam, googled him and got your blog. Guess that’s it, then. I was introduced to David by Jane de Munnik when I was living in Toronto. He’d just brought out the first the edition of Marquee. I spent the next few years, on and off, helping him get the mag to the press. Your description of him is superb and if he is sharing a drink with Marty, it’ll be something alcoholic and sweet. One thing I’d like to add: David was also an incredibly generous man, and at times a very sensitive one. They broke the mold.
    Nigel Foster

    • ronbase says:

      Hi, Nigel… Wonderful to hear from you, even under these sad circumstances…No question, when David had it, he shared it– which may partially explain how he ended up with not much of anythng. You may not remember, but I met you in London with David years ago when we were there for the London Book Fair. Hope you’re well–enjoyed what I read of your blog. I’ll check out more!

  2. pam snodgrass says:

    hi nigel
    i enjoyed the blog about my cousin, david haslam. i live in vancouver so it is hard for me to keep in touch with any relative but i loved david and my memories are more of our childhood and me sending him emails so your kindness is very much appreciated in this the final time of his life, only our memories remain now and they are good ones. thank you again pam snodgrass

  3. Jeffrey Smith says:

    Hello Ron,

    You don’t know me, yet It saddens me to just hear of Brian’s passing.

    He visited our Island of Newfoundland a few years back. The lecture
    presented at the College of the North Atlantic in Stepehenville is one
    I will not soon forget.

    A small table greeted us at the entrance of the humble theater. Brian
    was sitting behind it, signing copies of his book “The War on Women”.
    Kind and unassuming, he patiently welcomed those wanting to see him.

    During the lecture, statistics flowed from his heart and experience. Very
    new to the Domestic Violence advocacy group, I left determined to read
    through the book I had purchased.

    Tore through it in a few nights. It’s impact is still felt. Not a book I wanted
    to read twice, but now the need to do so is strong. Perhaps to be infused
    again with the fire to continue the fight for those unheard. The travesties
    that they face every moment of their existence, and the deafening silence
    of their suffering.

    Brian signed the book. in it he stated “This is not a pleasant story, but
    it needed telling.” Tragically it still does.

    On March 26th 2012, just two days ago a Man walked into a medical
    clinic in De Grau (small town on the Port Aux Port Peninsula). Shooting
    his estranged wife with a rifle (mother of two young adults). She died instantly
    He then turned the gun on himself and later was pronounced dead
    at the Sir Thomas Roddrick hospital in Stephenville.

    I was on my way to get ready to do an interview with some journalist students
    at CNA at the L.S. Eddy building. The Bay St. George Coalition to End Violence
    meets there regularly throughout the year. I had to pull over for two ambulances
    racing towards Stephenville. Felt something was odd because of their speed
    and the fact that there was two in transport together. Little did I know the tragic
    events that took place in just a few short hours before.

    I have heard that a women was in the building at the time. She heard the initial
    shots and was able to leave the building and find safety. They were both getting
    ready to leave for lunch. She happened to be the first to go to the restroom.
    She also happened to be our previous nurse practitioner. Last year she even
    gave our youngest son a bicycle her daughter no longer had use for. My heart
    breaks for her current situation. So over joyed she was not physically hurt, and
    at the same time more then aware of the harm the shooter has inflicted in her

    Last March Paul Peddle Kid napped a co-worker. He gets a seven year sentence
    (less a year for time already served), for his heinous crimes. If his vehicle didn’t
    get stuck, who knows what the outcome would have been. She survived even
    though he attempted to tie her to a tree being stabbed once in the neck, and
    having a gun pointed to her head and the trigger pulled. It was a BB gun, but she
    didn’t know that at the time. He told the court “he was going to start a new life
    with her”. Justice is seldom served in cases like this.

    I did not intend this reply to be so lengthy.

    My deepest condolences to those touched by Brian’s life. May we always
    be vigilant. Bringing to the surface, the deepest evils. Our women and children
    are depending on us.

    All the best,

    Sincerely Jeff Smith

    • ronbase says:

      Thanks for your message, Jeff. We all need to reminded that the things Brian fought so hard to change often still go unchanged. Taking the time to write, reminds all of us that the war Brian fought with such passion has yet to be won…

  4. Jack Chapple says:

    Love Sanibel and Sunset Detective Series!

  5. Gaetan Morin says:

    Hi Ron,
    I was just googling searching for David Haslam and came across your blog.My freindship with david and Lexi goes back to the eighties when I had a horse farm around the corner of david and Lexis farm.David had a horse named Marqyee that Icompeted for him at some local shows.We had many many wonderful times on his farm.I do remember meeting you as well on one of your visits there.If you could please give Lexi my condolences and express my sorrow it would be very appreciated.
    Thank you
    Gaetan Morin

    • ronbase says:

      Hi, Gaetan… Wonderful to hear from you, and of course I remember you from David’s farm days–a vastly entertaining addition to any Saturday night dinner party…It will be a year in October since he is gone, hard to believe…We all hang onto memories, though, the good ones, swirling around the farm, when those days would go on forever…I will let Lexie know you’ve been in touch–she will be thrilled! I’m not certain where you are (out west?) but I hope you’re well–and thanks for being in touch!

  6. Gaetan Morin says:

    Hi Ron,
    Thank you for responding so quickly,I am still in the horse business but doing high end sales in San Diego area and along the west coast.In fact I am off to a horse show this morning in San Juan Capistrano.Please let Lexi have my phone # (760) 641-2085.My partner and I live in Van B.C. and San Diego and the door is always open.Thank you once again Ron,I have so many great memories of Mansfield and the Haslam gatherings.

  7. Niema Ash says:

    Hi Ron, My name is Niema Ash. I’m a Canadian -Montreal/Toronto, but now living in England. You dont know me but I’m sure we know many of the same people – Cedric Smith?, Irving Layton and family? etc. etc. I just finished your article on Marilyn Monroe which I thought was excellent. In that article you mention Diana Dors. I recently wrote a book about Diana Dors, “Connecting Dors” with the collaboration of her son, Jason. In your article you write about Marilyn, “….exuding the sort of bay doll sensuality that was popular in the 50’s and soon imitated by any number of actresses….and, from Britain, Diana Dors.” Just to say that Diana Dors exuded that image way before Marilyn Monroe. When Marilyn first came to England, one of the popular journalists wrote, “How like our Diana she is”. Diana was called “The British Marilyn Monroe” but very much disliked the comparison. Anyway, just thought I’d mention it. If you’d like to know what me and my book are about you can access my website http://www.niemaash.com I hope you do and I hope you email me. I’d really like that.
    All good things, Niema

    • ronbase says:

      Hi, Niema…Thanks for your informative note…I stand corrected–and fascinated all over again by Diana Dors, who was a source of adolescent lust lo these many years ago…

  8. Mowbray Jackson says:

    Hi Ron.
    Thanks for lovely piece on Gina.
    Would really like to meet.
    Any chance? I am here until 1st August.
    All best

  9. swanee66 says:

    Hi Ron and Kathy,
    I’m so sorry to hear that your best boy Clinton passed away. I know what you’re going through as I’ve said goodbye to Mika, Daisy, Spike and Jessie over the years. It never is easy, but the wonderful memories, as you said, and unconditional love they give, is worth all the tears and loneliness you’re both going through now. He had a good long life for a big dog, didn’t he?
    Anyway, just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you.
    A big hug to you both.
    Loads of love,

    • ronbase says:

      Thanks so much, Sonja…great to hear from you even under the circumstances…He was for sure out best boy…can’t tell you the stories I’ve heard over the past couple of days as we all share the pain of losing a beloved pet. You’ve made me feel a whole lot better, my wonderful friend…

  10. Kirk says:

    Memories of Mssr.. Drake at his Yorkville bar cause me to wonder how he’s doing. Great times…now successful wine makers (select employees) somewhat discreetly drove mopeds through the bar while we were gratuitously entertained by Paul…we couldn’t wait to get to Yorkville after Bay Street work. He was always the most wonderful host. An amazing pianist, chef, late night confrere. et. al. He was exceptionally caring of his friends but, as often unfortunately happens, people lose touch.

    I’ll appreciate any update…and will give you more details of the history if you want.Thanks…Kirk

    • ronbase says:

      Thanks for your note, Kirk…I too have fond memories of Paul Drake way back in the Club 22 days at the Windsor Arms Hotel…I don’t know what happened to him, though. It’s a darned good question, worth looking into…

  11. Hi Ron,

    “The Two Sanibel Sunset Detectives” is highlighted today on eBookDaily.com:




    • ronbase says:

      Many, many thanks to ebookdaily for a wonderful promo today for “The Two Sanibel Sunset Detectives”…Can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support!

  12. Dear Mr. Base,
    I’m an editor with University of Regina Press looking for a portrait of Clyde Gilmour. I came across a great one on your Nov. 1, 2011, post which I haven’t been able to source elsewhere. Any help you could provide with regard to this image would be greatly appreciated.
    David McLennan

    • ronbase says:

      Hi, David….Sorry it has taken so long to reply to your note…I’m afraid I won’t be much help in sourcing the photo…I downloaded it from the Internet. I assume it originates either from the Toronto Star or the CBC…can’t imagine it came from anywhere else…Good luck with your project. Clyde was a character and, in death, much underrated as a movie critic…

  13. From Sanibel to Dubai–talking about both ends of a spectrum–the 23 parallel–sub-tropics–arid or humid–take your pick.

  14. Sue Pigg says:

    Ron, what a beautiful piece on Val Sears. You captured the man, and the era, so perfectly.

  15. Curtis Emde says:

    Hello Ron: it was a pleasure to discover your blog today. When I was in high school, my parents gave me The Movies of the Eighties for Christmas. I poured over the excellent photos, but – even though I was allegedly “interested” in movies – I didn’t read the text itself (or not much of it at any rate). This is not a comment on your writing, but rather my teenage sloth. However, I have since read and enjoyed it very much since seeking out the book at my parents’ place not long ago. It’s also proved invaluable for the ebook my wife Silmara & I are putting together (we hope to have it available before the Oscars…it’ll be freely available through our blog – http://www.projectionproject.com).

    Not only have I quoted from some of your interviews (Spielberg & Stallone), but your description of a beer-drinking Mel Gibson provoked a rather long footnote about The Passion of the Christ and subsequent accusations of the actor/director’s anti-semitism. I confess that in my long, rambling introduction, I cheekily comment on your own focus on the postures and gestures of the stars (we would never see people smoking like Kathleen Turner or Gibson do during interviews again, would we?), and the details of the hotel suites they’d “lounge” and “slump” around in – I hope you see this “cheekiness” as affectionate, not critical, since I really appreciated the added description (Gibson’s “second-rate” Toronto hotel room, for example…the kind of detail I’ve not seen in celebrity interviews before or since).

    While re-discovering the book (and reading it properly for the first time), I was pleasantly surprised to find such a solid, critical approach. I suppose I’d assumed the text was akin to Entertainment Weekly-style hype, which was wrong of me to assume. I was also pleased to discover the author and photo editor were Canadian, and that there was Can-con, so to speak, sprinkled throughout. For example, you mention Garth Drabinsky and the improvements to the movie-going experience he brought about as CEO of Cineplex in, and this brief mention led me to Drabinksy’s (delightfully self-justifying!) autobiography Closer to the Sun, as well as to more recent articles outlining his spectacular fall from grace…as well as his current comeback to the Toronto live theatre scene. Thanks to you pointing me in this direction, not only is the text of the ebook enriched, but I’ve learned a great deal about movie distribution and exhibition in this country…and that the theatre Drabinsky built across from the public library here in Vancouver shut after a scant few years. It re-opened as a performing arts centre for a while (where I was front row for Spinal Tap – great fun), but is now occupied by an evangelical church. So it goes.

    About two years ago I came across a stack of Marquee back issues at a local thrift shop and the rush of nostalgia was almost Proustian, bringing me back dozens of matinees or evening screenings at my BC hometown’s local Famous Players two-plex, in which the wait for the movie was not spent staring slack-jawed at the series of advertisements and hype euphemistically called the “pre-show”, but instead spent flipping through Marquee, reading articles, looking at the photos and chatting about the content with the friends I’d come to the movie with (I also remember cutting out a photo of Stallone as Rambo from Marquee and pasting it to my bedroom wall…the photo caption read “Past imperfect”, and at the time I didn’t understand the grammatical reference). I was at the thrift shop in the first place to pick up a vintage (and extremely heavy) sewing machine for Silmara and made a mental note to come back for the magazines (each was selling for 50 cents, I think) at a later date. A few months later I did make it back to find the shop had closed. So it goes indeed.

    Just this morning I did something I should have done two years ago, which was to read the Eighties’ book’s back flap carefully. I finally made the connection between David Haslam and Marquee. That in turn led me to your fine blog, and the unfortunate news that David had died. I was sorry to learn that, but also found your article on his passing a warm, touching tribute (I had no idea the magazine had lasted so long, until 2004. Very impressive, and I’m just sorry that its demise seemed to be so hard on its founder).

    This “comment” on your blog is reaching the same kind of ludicrous lengths the footnotes in my ebook are reaching, so I’ll leave it there for now. I just wanted to thank you for the book after all these years, as well as wish you all the best for your continued success with your novels and all other ventures.

    Yours sincerely,


    • ronbase says:

      Thanks for your note, Curtis and I’m delighted you’re finding Movies of the Eighties useful. It was a labor of love on the part of David and myself; David spent a great deal of time and money getting the photos just right and I believe it placed the book a cut above this sort of thing. Reading your note brought the memories flooding back…Please let me know when your ebook is available, to say the least, you have certainly piqued my curiosity…

      • Curtis Emde says:

        You’re welcome, Ron – and thanks for your own kind words. I’ll be happy to let you know when the book is out (and Silmara wishes to correct me on one aspect – that it’ll be made “available on our website soon”, not, as I said, “freely available.” There will be a nominal charge…but I hope you and others find it worth the small cost for the e-version).

    • ronbase says:

      Thanks for sending this Ginny…and thank you for your well-written insights into the novel…you accurately reflected what Prudence and I set out to accomplish with Death at the Savoy…

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