In the meantime, I was going to Northwestern University when I first came home from the service, until approximately 1950. And they said, "You're not going to graduate." I said, "Why not?" They said, "Because you've taken everything you wanted to take. You've taken all the acting classes, you've taken all of the speech classes, you've taken all of the debate classes, you've taken all of the classes that teach people about words, language and thought, you've taken everything except what you need to get out of here. And to get out of here, you need some science, history and stuff like that." I said, "I don't like that." They said, "Then you're not going to graduate." I said, "What do I have to do?" because I had three and a half years. They said, "You got to take all these classes." So I signed up for those classes. I went only a few weeks and I said, "I can't do this." Besides, I was going to be a movie star, I had decided, and make five thousand dollars a week. Which was a lot of money in those days. It's still a lot of money, but then it was really a lot of money.
When I was at Northwestern, I met a fellow named Hank McGuinness, a young fellow my age, different fraternity, but a very nice man. We were in the speech school together. And he came running down the stairs towards me one summer
afternoon as I was going up. He stopped me and said, "Guess what just happened to me!" "What?" He handed me a business card and on it was some man's name and it read Twentieth Century Fox with an address and phone number. I said, "What is this?" He said, "He's a talent scout for Twentieth Century Fox and he wants me to be a movie star. He wants me to come to Hollywood for a screen test." Now, Hank McKinnies has never done any acting except in a few school plays. I'm the actor and I'm jealous as all get out, but I can't let him know. So I said, "Well, when are you going?" He says, "I told them I can't go." I said, "You told the man you can't go to Hollywood?" He said, "That's right; I told them I would come out there for a screen test after I graduated." He had another year or more. I said, "You're kidding." He said, "No." I said, "Well, I hope the guy is still around a year from now." He said, "Well, that's the way I feel about it." I replied, "That's wonderful." I thought, "Oh, Boy! If that could only be me!"
Parenthetically, he did go out there and become a semi-star. They did change his name to Jeffrey Hunter, he was in lot of movies with John Wayne and others. He even played Jesus in one movie.
Another story about those days There was a guy I was on the radio with in Chicago, but he was always on another show called Jack Armstrong, which was on a different network across town at almost the same time I was on Captain Midnight. So, for the most part we couldn't work together. One day he said, "I'm going to New York." And I said, "You're going to New York? Why?" He says, "Jack Armstrong is going off the air." Captain Midnight was still on, thank God! I said, "No kidding!" He said, "Yeah, I gonna give it a shot." I said, "Well, best of luck to you." So, he goes to New York and he happened to be invited to a cocktail party and meets a columnist who was big then - she's dead now - named Dorothy Kilgallen. She was on television every week. "What's My Line?" was the name of the program. But she was the big gossip columnist in New York. She was the female Walter Winchell. She knew everybody in show business. She took a liking to my friend Dick. And she said, "I'll introduce you to David Suskind" who was a producer in New York. "David is mounting a new play and I'll get you an audition with him." So, she did! She wasn't just booze talking; she got him an audition. Not only that, but David Suskind hired him. It was a play and he later brought the same cast out and made a movie. So Dick's in the movie too. The play was called Inherit the Wind.