The Clock Series by Shadix
A series of photos taken by Glenn "Otho" Shadix along with some memories.
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It was at Pinewood Studios in London when I first laid eyes on this wild, talented, and mad, mad man. Dear Anton was the production designer for Tim Burton's first BATMAN film. After the outrageous success of BATMAN, Mr. Furst and his wife Penny moved to Hollywood from their native England and rented a house in the Hollywood Hills. I remember a birthday party Anton threw for Tim where I arrived, said hello, got a drink and was promptly thrown into the pool by my host. I, of course, grabbed Anton and pulled him in with me. I still have the Polaroid's Tim took of us drenched, fully clothed in Furst's pool. This was after Anton won the Oscar for Production design on BATMAN because I vividly remember the gold statuette adorning the toilet top in the guest bathroom. There were many, many parties and Anton was always going full tilt boogie -- socially and at the studios. Columbia essentially "bought" him and he was working in the "Industry." Much different from his experiences in England, I am sure. Anton and Penny separated. Anton sank deeper into substance abuse and as he was about to check into a rehab in 1992, told his friends he was going to the car to fetch his cigarettes and jumped off an eighth story parking deck. The well known permanent solution to a temporary problem. God rest his soul. He was always wonderful and playful and kind to me. He had a great laugh and a charming irreverence. When he arrived at Ten Bungalows for his clock portrait, he was smoking the longest, fattest joint of marijuana I can ever remember sharing. This was November 17th, 1990 and the song playing was Randy Newman's "Naked Man". Another brilliant Hollywood disaster.
I met Penny when she arrived in Los Angeles from London with her husband Anton Furst and she was charming but always melancholy during the time we knew each other. In less than three years Anton married her, was production designer for Burton's first BATMAN, won an Oscar, Divorced her, and then jumped off the 8th floor parking deck just as he was supposed to be checking into rehab. I never saw Penny again. She returned to London shortly after Anton's suicide. I hope she is prosperous and happy these days.
The picture of Anton above was a Clock photo I did not use, but should have. I had to have someone to catch the clock for each shot because Anton wanted the effect of Time flying. I use it here and now to honor him and his memory.
David Kaplan introduced me to Michael McDowall in the spring of 1986 when David was directing me in "Doctor Faustus lights The Lights" at L.A.'s Ensemble Theater. What I learned much later was that Michael had seen my performance as Gertrude Stein in that play and had gone again with Tim Burton who was getting ready to cast "Beetlejuice." Michael wrote "Beetlejuice" and was from my home State of Alabama. We became fast friends immediately and when I was finally cast in the film in 1987, it was Michael I approached for help when I was trying to sell Tim on the idea of my character (Otho) being seen during exterior shooting in Vermont. Michael wrote a wonderful scene with Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O'Hara and I on the odd little porch Otho had designed. I passed this scene on to Tim and I was taken to Vermont!
In 1988, I spent a week with Michael and his longtime companion Lawrence at their home in Boston. Michael commuted from Boston to his townhouse in Los Angeles until 1994 when he went into semiretirement and moved back east for good.
We have had many memorable adventures over the last 14 years. We survived the Quake of '94 together and I missed him terribly when he returned to Boston that spring. Michael was a brilliant man with a good heart and enormous talent. His sister Ann called me with the news of his passing just after Christmas '99.
When the clock photo above was taken on May 1st, 1990 Michael was listening to The Cure's "Lullaby". He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him. He had expressed a desire to make it to the year 2000 so I wanted his portrait to be the first of the New Year. Fly high Michael.
In 1989 I met Lena in London. It was my first visit to England and after meeting through mutual friends it was Lena who showed me the city of London. I loved her immediately and completely. In the years that followed, we have had incredible fun in New York and Hollywood and even a bit of Cave exploration in The Land of The Enchanted.
Lena is an artist and photographer living in New York City these days. I see her when we are in each other's city's but I miss the days when we both lived in Los Angeles.
On July 29, 1990 Miss Gieseke was still living and working and playing in California. I took her picture at Ten Bungalows in the early afternoon. Roy Orbison's "Windsurfer" was playing on the CD.
I met Tim in October of 1986. He had seen me in a little local play at The Ensemble Theater West in Los Angeles and had me called in to audition for the role of Otho in Beetlejuice. He opened the door to the world of film and taught me how to work in front of a camera. Tim took the time to guide me through two video taped auditions and sold the idea of my playing Otho to David Geffen and in doing so changed my life. We became friends and saw each other socially long before I was actually signed to do the movie in January of 1987. We have remained friends and I have been through some amazing adventures with Mr. Burton in the last 13 years. We have romped around London, hit the ski slopes in Aspen ( I only conquered "Panda Peak"), explored ancient Indian caves in New Mexico, partied in Manhattan, rested on The Isle of Wight, and survived the losses good friends share as years go by. I remember sitting in a bar in Santa Fe in May of 1989. I asked him what he felt about the approaching opening of his first BATMAN film. I had just returned from visiting him in London during post production. He looked puzzled, turned his head from side to side and mumbled, "I don't know. It's kinda clunky. Who knows?" I told him, "Remember that no matter what the critical or popular response, you just remember that you are an artist." Weeks later I remember sitting by the pool at the Sunset Marquis the morning after BATMAN opened. There were four of us sitting there and Tim had just gotten the word that BATMAN had broken all existing box office records for an opening weekend at that time. Nobody said much. I know I was a little hung over from the premiere party at 20/20 (I was a drinker in those days), but I will always remember the sad, somewhat confused mood Tim seemed to be in and how far away his thoughts seemed to be. He had hit a summit and I guess it must be an odd sensation. In 1993 I was privileged to provide the voice of the Mayor of HalloweenTown. That offer came about in a way I will always remember. A couple of us were around his pool at his old place above The Chateau Marmont and I was actually in the water and I think Tim was in the Jacuzzi. Out of the blue he says, "Hey Glenn, you got a big voice. Wanna do the voice of the mayor in The Nightmare Before Christmas?" I was splashing around and yelled back, "Sure."
While visiting a friend directing a movie in London in 1989, I was introduced to the unforgettable Mr. Jonathan Gems. Near the end of my visit Jonathan invited us to spend some time at his family's home in Bembridge on The Isle of Wight. We enjoyed a memorable weekend in this two hundred year old estate and Jonathan and I became friends. Later that same year, Mr. Gems moved to Los Angeles and continued his writing career. He had been a playwright primarily, but in Hollywood he found consistant work as a writer for the screen. I appeared in a short film (The Dress) he directed in 1992. In 1996 Jonathan's "Mars Attacks" was directed by Tim Burton. Critics complained, but I saw it in Harlem on a Saturday night and had the time of my life! Jonathan has returned home to London and continues to write, collect interesting people, and go to marvelous parties. This dear gentleman was listening to The Cowboy Junkies' "Rock and Bird" when his Clock portrait was taken April 23, 1990.
I met Bo Welch in 1987 at Culver Studios in Los Angeles. Bo was responsible for the incredible production design for the film "Beetlejuice" and in 1992 married one of its stars, Miss Catherine O'Hara. At the very top of his field, Bo's production design credits include: "Edward Scissorhands","Batman Returns", "The Little Princess", "Birdcage", and "Primary Colors". He is currently at work on Mike Nichols' "What Planet Are You From" starring Annette Benning and Gary Shandling. This photograph was taken on the afternoon of November 6th 1990. Bo was listening to Paul Simon's "The Coast". (Bo is an avid surfer) He and Catherine are the parents of two terrific boys.
Describing Miss Catherine O'Hara (Welch) is a daunting task. When Tim Burton called and told me she had been cast in BEETLEJUICE as "Delia," I nearly dropped the phone. Word had been that Angelica Houston was to play the part and that was certainly no disappointment. Miss Houston is a fine actress from a legendary movie making family and I am sure she would have done a marvelous job as Miss Deetz. But CATHERINE O'HARA was (and is) someone whose talent I worshipped. SCTV was, by then, far and way ahead of "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" in my opinion, and Catherine's work on that comedy series made me scream like a fourteen year old girl at a Beatles' (I date myself) concert. I would literally laugh til I cried and could hardly catch my breath. She makes me scream with laughter. I can say without reservation that Catherine O'Hara is the funniest woman I have ever known. And I have known some pretty damn funny women. Her skills as an actress and as a mimic are extraordinary. I was terrified to meet her. Absolutely TERRIFIED. When we finally did meet it was in Tim's office on March 4, 1987, which also happened to be Catherine's birthday. She, Jeff Jones, and I were there to have a script conference with Tim and we have all been great friends ever since. The making of BEETLEJUICE was the happiest time of my life and sharing it with these people was an unbelievable stroke of luck. Catherine and I shared confidences, told tales, laughed, and worked as hard as I'd ever worked and loved every second. I even introduced her to her future husband (BEETLEJUICE Production Designer, Bo Welch) and made sure he asked her out to dinner, "and I don't mean lunch," I added for clarity.
Today Catherine and Bo have a wonderful home in the hills above Santa Monica and two truly delightful sons. Miss O'Hara and I get together to catch up on our latest exploits and take in a matinee whenever possible. Earlier this summer we saw "TEA WITH MUSSOLINI" and played with the kids. I will love this lady always.
When the above Clock Photo was taken May 4, 1990, Catherine was listening to Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares to You" and I was thinking, how true, how true.
Jeffrey Jones sat listening to Lou Reed's "Style it Takes" when this photograph was taken May 13, 1990. Jeffrey completed filming (March 1999) in London on Tim Burton's "LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW" with Johnny Depp who he worked with on "ED WOOD" in 1993. On July 5th, Jeffrey closed in a production of Tennessee William's "CAMINO REAL" with Ethan Hawke. Other recent features include "RAVENOUS" with Guy Pierce and David Arquette.When (on rare occaisions) he is not employed in the motion picture industry, Mr. Jones lives in the Hollywood Hills and gives marvelous parties. Jeffrey Jones' loyal friendship and generosity of spirit made my debut in "BEETLEJUICE" an incredible experience and these same attributes led him to become one of my closest and dearest friends.
Sab Shimono. I had the honor of working with Sab when he starred as Dr. Lao in The Circus of Dr. Lao. Another veteran of stage and film, Sab has a beautifully growing international acting career. I say growing, but that is a little misleading since he has been working constantly for many decades. He is Japanese but played Chinese in "CIRCUS OF DR. LAO". He was quick to remind you he was only "PLAYING" Chinese. He did it well and I love it when I see him turn up on some CSI or something because he tickles me to death. I love Mr. Shimono.
In 1973 I saw Grace Zabriskie on stage in Tennessee William's SMALL CRAFT WARNINGS in Atlanta Georgia. I'll leave it up to poets to describe her face, those eyes--- I will simply say I was totally seduced in an instant and have remained under her spell ever since that night in the theater long, long ago. She is a mesmerizing talent as an actor and as an artist. In film she has created unforgettable characters for such directors as David Lynch, Gus Van Sant, Taylor Hackford and Martin Ritt.
As a friend she is true, loyal and loving. This is one hell of a woman. Miss Zabriskie was listening to Linda Rhonstadt's "Cry Like A Rainstorm" when this photograph was taken at 3p.m. on the afternoon of June 8th, 1990. She's so damn good, this dame scares the hell out of me.
I first met Michael Lehmann in the summer of 1985 at The Groundlings Comedy "College" on Melrose in Hollywood. We were students of improvisation at the time. Those were great days of silliness, fun and wild experimentation. In 1988 Michael cast me as Father Ripper when he directed HEATHERS. I shot my scenes on a single afternoon the week that BEETLEJUICE premiered. In 1989 we had fun making MEET THE APPLEGATES in lovely Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The movie tanked when it finally opened in 1991 but it was a great fun to make.
Michael went on to direct HUDSON HAWK, AIRHEADS, and THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOGS. He was executive producer of Tim Burton's ED WOOD. Michael's next directorial project is currently in post production. It's called 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS and stars Josh Harnett (PEARL HARBOR).
In June 1990 when I took this picture, Michael was listening to Iggy Pop's LUST FOR LIFE.
I met the legendary philosopher, scientist and 60's icon Timothy Leary in 1988. His god daughter, Winona Ryder and I had just done two films (Beetlejuice,Heathers) and he, his wife Barbara and I began to spend time together. He was not at all what I expected. I found him to be thoughtful and grounded and not nearly the space cadet that he is often depicted. He did indeed do drugs, but not in what I would consider an abusive way. He gave me the last tab of LSD that I ever did (or will do) in 1989. He took it from a small box on the mantle of his fireplace and told me it had been given to him recently by the drummer of The Grateful Dead. I could not resist one last experience with this hallucinogen when it was being offered by Timothy Leary. I remember tearing around Los Angeles in Barbara Leary's car thinking I was inside a bullet. No more acid for me, thanks. I rung in 1990 with Timothy and Barbara at Atlas, a bar on Wilshire Blvd. and it was late in that year (November 6) that I took this clock portrait while Timothy sat listening to Paul Simon's "Spirit Voices".
After his death, 7 grams of Mr. Leary's ashes were sent into orbit (along with 7 grams of Gene Roddenberry and others) and as far as I know he is still somewhere out there on his longest trip ever. According to his website (www.leary.com) his last words were "Why not?"
Barbra Leary was still married to 60's counter-culture icon Timothy Leary when she sat for this Clock Series portrait April 30, 1990. An ever present spirit on the fast lane-club and party scene of the 1980's, Barbra was on a fierce hedonistic rampage for the few years our paths regularly intersected. There was always something ravenous about the way she consumed a night out on the town. The song I chose to play for her sitting was Elvis Costello's "Watching The Detectives". After divorcing Timothy in the early 90's Barbra was rumored to be living somewhere in South America with an Argentine "business" tycoon. She always ended every phone conversation with "Big Kiss". I send her one now wherever she is and hope she pops up for another sitting in 2000.
Nick Surovy is a kind and loving husband, father and friend. We met in 1988 and by the way, Nick is an accomplished actor--he started his television career in 1965 with a guest appearance on THE BIG VALLEY starring Barbara Stanwyck (he must have been a child!) and most recently had a recurring role on HBO's "DEADWOOD". His career on stage includes many Broadway shows and he also took his turn in Soap Opera's (41 episodes in "RYAN'S HOPE and twenty something episodes of "ALL MY CHILDREN". I remember being so jealous when he co-starred with Katherine Hepburn in a T.V. movie in the 80's. I later had a featured role in Miss Hepburn's last film ( Warren Beatty's "LOVE AFFAIR") but I never saw her or had a scene with her like Nick, so I guess I'm still a little jealous...
Nicolas' late father was actor Walter Surovy and his mother is the famous (now retired) opera singer Risë Walter Surovy.
Lord knows what music was playing when I took the photograph above but it was in the spring and Nick was a brand new father for the first time.
A true gentleman, Nicolas Surovy.
Lee is a dedicated stage actor who finds time to do an enormous amount of work in film and television. We met playing parents in a Disney movie and later played husband and wife in "Meet The Applegates". Miss Garlington chose to hide behind a hat in 1990 but the lady is no shrinking violet. She has real force as an actress and a richness that has kept her working steady since she arrived in Hollywood. On June 6, 1990 when this photograph was taken, Lee was listening to The Cowboy Junkies' remake of the great Patsy Cline classic, "Walking After Midnight". If Miss Garlington is on your side you do not need an army.
Kimberlee Carlson is a complete original. We recently tried to remember exactly when and where we met. It was definitely in Hollywood and we decided together that it was at one of Sandy Martin's explosive blow-out parties in 1978. Wherever it was, we have been friends for over twenty years. I was living on Sierra Bonita Street above Melrose in a garage apartment behind Thelma White, a former Vaudeville star who had a lead role in the infamous "REEFER MADNESS" in the early 1930's . Kimberlee was living at Ten Bungalows on Poinsettia Place. When I was in the market for new digs I called Miss Carlson. She informed me that she and a friend were both being evicted from their apartments at Ten Bungalows for removing the hideous carpets to reveal the beautiful original hardwood floors. The aging landlady, Molly Adams, was a former Hollywood waitress who had literally put the down payment on Ten Bungalows with tip money and was more than a little controlling about any changes - even obvious improvements. Miss Adams had already rented Kimberlee's (a one bedroom apartment up stairs with a view) . I would, within a year, move into it and spend the next 14 years with that view. However, in that January of 1980, Kimberlee showed me the studio apartment downstairs that had just been vacated by her fellow evictee. The door to the apartment was locked, so Kim showed me how to open the tiny little door in the center of the front door so I could get a peek inside. Miss Carlson's wickedly clever friend had created, with white adhesive tape, the outline of a dead body on the lovely polished wood floor in the center of the room. It looked quite official, but Kimberlee laughed and assured me her friend was alive and well and had a terrific new job in San Francisco. That was my introduction to life at Ten Bungalows.
At the time we met, Kimberlee was dancing with the wonderfully notorious L.A. Knockers at nightclubs all over Los Angeles and they were all even flown to Japan to wow Japanese Businessmen. I was sure she would be sold into white slavery and never seen again. Happily, this was not the case. Soon Miss Carlson was off to Chicago where Hugh Heftner's organization had hired her as a Playboy Bunny. This experience lasted a year and in 1984 I co-wrote (with Eric Wise) and produced a half hour video movie entitled "DRESSING ROOMS FOR DAY PLAYERS" in association with EZTV Video Gallery and the late John Door. Kimberlee was my first and only choice for the lead in this strange little romantic musical comedy. Kimberlee can REALLY sing and was truly the best thing in this little half hour. On the 4th of July in 1989 Tim Burton flew in from London in the middle of the shooting of the first BATMAN and I picked him up at LAX and we went to Vine Street - a "terwubbly, terwubbly" hip nightclub where Kimberlee Carlson was headlining with her band and playing to packed houses. Tim was, of course, totally charmed and after they closed Vine Street, Tim, Kimberlee, John Lovitz and I spent the remaining wee hours at Canters delicatessen on Fairfax yakking away the hours 'til the sun came up and drove us to our (separate) beds.
In the early 1990s Miss Carlson was hired to develop the art design for the fledgling "E" cable channel. After giving "E" a distinctive (and obviously successful) image, Kim was snapped up by Ted Turner's organization and was off to Atlanta for what seemed like forever but was only little more than a year…
Five years ago Kimberlee created and is executive producer of "Dinner And A Movie" for the TBS network and in its fifth year it is quite clearly a success. I have dropped in twice to have dinner and talk about the movies being shown ("EDWARD SCISSORHANDS" and Steven Kings' "SLEEPWALKERS") I will be back again when BEETLEJUICE is shown later this year or in early January of 2000. Kimberley is also a serious and commited writer as well as a showstoppingly accompplished Mambo Dancer. She still has that sharp wit and glorious sense of humor that she had when she arrived as a teenager from Palmdale California to seek her fortunes in Hollywood. She has, believe me, only just begun. When the revealing clock photo above was shot on the afternoon of April 30, 1990 Kimberlee was listening to The Rolling Stones' "Blinded By Love". I would say today that her focus is 20/20 on all issues.