Actor Ed Lauter Talk About Family Plot

Actor Ed Lauter Talk About Family Plot

Ed Lauter is one of many actors who started out on the New York stage before moving to Hollywood, but few have amassed such a large and diverse list of credits. He has appeared in over 90 feature films, including The Longest Yard, Cujo, Born On The Four Of July, and True Romance, as well as over 100 different TV series and TV movies.

Alfred Hitchcock’s final film, Family Plot (1976), the balding, angular Lauter played Maloney, the dangerous, blue-collar man who knows too much about dapper jewel thief and kidnapper Arthur Adamson William Devane.

Now the reason I know of this story is through Peggy Robertson, who was one of Hitchcock’s top executive secretaries; she was with him for something like 30 years and, like him, she was English. Anyway, she told me this story. She said, “Hitch came up to me one day and said, ‘You know, we’re not going to do this movie until he gets Maloney. We’ve got to get Maloney.'” benefit. My agent didn’t even bother.

Hitchcock gets the movie and goes in to watch it — again, for Burt. And Peggy said, “Usually he would sit there for maybe 15 minutes. Instead, he was in there for 45 minutes.” And afterwards he comes out, walks into his office and says, “He’s very good, isn’t he?” And Pat thinks he’s talking about Burt Reynolds. And she says, “Yes.” And Hitch says, “What’s his name again?” Well, now she’s confused. Everybody knows Burt Reynolds. I mean, c’mon! So Hitch went, “Ed… Ed…” And Peggy went, “Law-tuh.”

 He says, “We’ve got our Maloney.” So my reason for gettin’ into that freakin’ movie was not because of my agent but because some other agent sent THE LONGEST YARD for Hitch to check out Burt Reynolds. And Hitch winds up saying, “Wait a minute. There’s Maloney!”

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