Blog Archives

Evolution of a Novel: How Death at the Savoy Came to Be

Susan Walker, former editor of Quill and Quire, who also served as the Toronto Star’s book editor, and no slouch when it comes to all things literary, has written a wonderful piece about how my new novel (with Prudence Emery),

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Not only was Peter Goddard for many years Canada’s pre-eminent music critic, he was also a dear friend who I admired tremendously. Peter had been fighting cancer for the past year or so. True to his contrary nature, he refused

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Baby, The Rain Must Fall: Remembering Glenn Yarbrough

The singer Glenn Yarbrough died in August at the age of eighty-six after suffering from dementia for years. His voice and his songs were such a pivotal influence on my adolescence, I can’t imagine how I missed the news of

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How I Didn’t Host Canada AM and Saved Canadian Television

No sooner had I escaped the clutches of the Toronto Star than a producer at Canada AM, the CTV network’s long-running version of America’s Today Show, phoned to ask if I would be interested in becoming one of the hosts.

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Cannes, El Sid, and Six Green Beans

Every year about this time I think of Cannes, El Sid, and six green beans. El Sid was my nick-name for Sid Adilman, the legendary Toronto Star entertainment reporter. For years in May, El Sid and I would head for the

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Don Francks: A Star Was Born Again, and Again–and Again

When I finally met Don Francks it was on the set of a movie I wrote titled First Degree. Not that I had much influence, but as one of the producers, I lobbied hard to cast Don in the role

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Hello Sweetheart…Get Me Val Sears

Hello, sweetheart. Yeah, get me rewrite will you? One of the giants has fallen, Val Sears, a newspaper legend out of a time of newspaper legends. Whaddya mean you don’t know who Val Sears is. Val wrote features and covered

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I Should Have Known Better: The Wildly Improbable Story of Heavenly Bodies

Last weekend, at the Canadian Film Centre’s annual barbecue in Toronto, I ran into a couple of old friends who, although they didn’t realize it, were unique among the more than two thousand industry types flowing through the old E.P.

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Shooting The Wounded

Critics, it is said, come down from the hills after the battle is over and shoot the wounded. For the better part of the 1980s, I shot the wounded as the movie critic for The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation newspaper. Even

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The White Buffalo Are Gone

Last week, some of his old colleagues and friends gathered to say good-bye to Ron Haggart, one of the few remaining legends of Canadian journalism. Ron wrote a city hall column for the old Toronto Telegram, The Toronto Star, and The Globe and

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