Delightful interview with Ack-Ack's co-owner, Greer Garson Fogelson. 1/27/72.
Page 10A T H E D E N T O N H E C O R D - C H R 0 N I C L E Thursday, January 27, W7t Ack Ack's 'Other Owner' Steals Eclipse Award By MILTON RICHMAN UPI Sports Writer NEW YORK (UPI)-It was a little embarrassing. This was strictly for horse lovers. Supposedly, anyway, A moment earlier, four top drawer personalities from the Thoroughbred world -were up there on the platform talking about Ack Ack. the Horse of the Year for 1971. The four were E. E. "Buddy" Fogelson, Ack Ack's co-owner; Charlie Whittingham, his trainer: Phil Iselin, president of Monmouth Park, and Mervyn Leroy, the movie director and president of Hollywood Park. Fogelson was speaking into a mike when the word suddenly spread among those forming the audience in front of the platform that "she" was here, "she" being Ack Ack's other co-owner--Mrs. E. E. "Buddy" Fogelson, sometimes known as Mrs. Minniver and better known as America's one-time sweetheart. Greer Garson. "She's here ... she's here ... in the back." In less than two minutes, E. E. "Buddy" Fogelson, Charley Whittingham, Phil Iselin and Mervyn Leroy lost their entire audience. Everybody made a bee-line for the corridor. Everybody suddenly lost interest in Ack Ack. All they wanted to do was see his other co-owner. She looked the same way she always has--letter perfect. Greer Garson was wearing exactly the right amount of lipstick and eye shadow and every last strand of that famous red hair of hers was in its proper place. A turquoise pendant around her neck matched two rings on her fingers. As Ack Ack's owners, she and her husband were honored at the inaugural Winners Circle dinner Wednesday night. They received the "Eclipse Award" and that was what Wednesday morning's session was all about. Greer Garson was supposed to show up at 11. She got there 11:30. Nobody beefed. "How nice of you to wait," she said, a bit self consciously, as if anybody really was going to leave without seeing her. "I couldn't get myself together this morning." The photographers on hand jostled each other for position. "Look into the camera," one of them instructed Ack Ack's co-owner. "You don't have to tell her how to look into the camera, I guarantee you that," said Mervyn Leroy, who directed her in three of her pictures and now had come down off the platform with the others. Greer Garson talked about Â·'today's movies" only because someone asked her about them. Specifically about some of those rated R and X. "I don't go to see those pictures," she said. "I'm .not a bedroom or bathroom pecker." The questions eventually got around to Ack Ack. What was it Greer Garson liked best about the horse? "First of all, performance," she said in that breathless, enthusiastic way of hers. "Something happened in the first race he ran for us. He was in the gate and he, fell practically on his nose. I don't know how (Willie) Shoemaker stayed in the saddle, and we just went uh-h-h-h-h, but that horse pulled himself together and ran in front of them all, stayed in front, and came in lengths ahead of them. I think this horse would die to win a race." Had she ever ridden a horse in one of her pictures? "Yes, I did. yes, I did," she laughed heartily. "Absolutely trembling in every limb, you know. An actress never really sits on a horse, but I had to. We did a certain amount of riding but I'm glad to say most of the important dialogue and close-ups were done on Bessie. Bessie was the reliable rubber- stuffed, leather covered horse on the process sound stage."