My old high school chum Leonard Maltin is celebrating 25 years with Entertainment Tonight...
...having even gotten mega-stars like George Clooney, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo Di Caprio and Dustin Hoffman to offer him on-camera tributes.
And to think it all started because of a Teaneck teacher's terrific hunch.
"I was about to graduate from Teaneck High when an English teacher there said, 'I really want you to meet this old friend of mine who's an editor at Signet Books. I just think the two of you would hit it off," Maltin recalls, on the phone from Newark Airport, where he was about to board a flight back to Los Angeles after a trip East to promote this month's 25th anniversary.
"And we did hit it off. He asked me if I was interested in doing a rival to an existing [movie reference] book, [then] the only one of its kind. ... I was 17 when I was signed to do it. It's unbelievable, like the script of a B movie."
Four decades later, the noted film critic and historian is still going strong. So is his annual guide. The 2008 edition will be out in late August.
You can read the rest of the article (from the Record in Hackensack, NJ -- still the Paris of the Tri-State Metropolitan area) here
Lenny was editing a self-published movie magazine back when he was in Junior High, actually, and he was probably the only kid in America with a row of theater seats in his basement. Many's the evening my brother and I spent down there watching 16 millimeter versions of Warner Bros. cartoons and Roger Corman films. "Bucket of Blood" is still my favorite B-movie ever as a result.