Harold and Picasso

Harold Robbins owned a home in Le Cannet, France. It was one of three homes he lived and wrote in — Los Angeles, Acapulco and the South of France. Le Cannet, was where he wrote and lived life to the fullest; his 90 foot yacht was kept at the ready for excursions and parties during the summer season. He entertained world wide mega moguls like Adnan Khashoggi, Jack Warner, Joe Lisbona, Sir Jeffrey Krueger along with celebrities like Ringo Starr, Tony Bennett, Sterling Siliphant, Irving Wallace, Sidney Sheldon.

On most occasions guests would be greeted by briefly bikini’d hostesses. The yacht was fully staffed with a captain, cook and steward. In fact, each of his homes were fully staffed with cooks, secretaries and majordomos. At one time, Harold had a valet who was at his side (reminiscent of the character Fat Cat in The Adventurers).

Harold also had an apartment on the croissette in Cannes where he worked in solitude or if he was on a deadline, he kept a secretary on call to organize his manuscript as fast as the pages came out of his typewriter. These were marathons of 24, 48 and 36 hours to meet the deadline for the publisher, producer or editor…Harold always wrote his novels, short stories and screenplays with urgency and passion. He was driven to write at least 20-30 pages a day.

His travels had a certain ritual to them…When he left LA or NY for France, he always traveled with his dogs. At one time he had a Kerry Blue Terrier named Smasher. Smasher was a beautifully majestic black dog who loved being on the boat or romping through the hills above Cannes in Le Cannet. On fall afternoons it would not be unusual to see Pablo Picasso, who lived on the other side of the hill from Le Cannet, and Harold Robbins walking their dogs together. On one particular afternoon Harold gave Pablo Picasso a copy of The Adventures. Several weeks later Picasso gave him a pen and ink rendering caricature of “l’auteur”.

I asked Harold what they talked about when they walked and he said even though neither spoke the others’ language well, they had a common subject that both men loved: GIRLS! (of course, Harold used a more earthy word)


~ by haroldrobbinsnovels on September 14, 2010.

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