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Old 08-27-2012, 12:31 PM   #77
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Default Re: Jake Lamotta shadow boxing at 89

Originally Posted by john garfield View Post
Seeing this LaMotta thread, (with apologies to those who've read them) thought you might get kick outta these LaMotta memories:

RAGING BULL doesn't begin to hint at how volcanic Jake's rages were. Anything would set him off. Any time. Any place.

He was murder goin' someplace to happen. The worst bad guys wanted no part of him.

But when Jake hung-'em-up he went into showbiz -- had to keep a tight rein on his temper. He was tested daily.

This two incidents should illustrate:

He Jake got work in films as a character heavy -- took it seriously, wanted to be as good an actor as he was a fighter. He enrolled in John Cassevettes' Theatre Workshop in New York and did scenes to hone his craft.

I went to watch him one day. He was on stage doing some Tennessee Williams' monologue. It was curious listening to the poetry of those words comin' outta Jake's mouth-- half cement truck -- all Bronx.

While he was walkin' the stage reciting his lines, a reed-thin, fey young actor who had no idea who Jake was, bounded on stage: "Your rehearsal time is over! It's my time now! Get off the stage!"

ďIíll just be a minute," Jake said softly

The kid -- Actor's-Studio intense -- stepped closer to Jake: "No. Now! Get off!"

Jake said, "But... Ďn the kid SLAPPED Jake LaMotta in the face. " NOW!"

Jake just looked at him, like a Great White Shark poised over chum... and said ever so gently, "Don't do that," and walked off stage.

That actor had no idea how abruptly his career almost ended.


On another occasion, I was in PJ Clarke's, a N.Y. pub for the sports crowd. LaMotta could be found at the bar daily with his co-writer on RAGING BULL.

LaMotta was relaxing with his back against the bar -- trademark stogie in his mouth. A sweaty little guy in an ill-fitting suit came through the front door, spotted Jake 'n made b-line for him.

The little guy planted himself in front of LaMotta, regaling him -- and all in the bar -- with how he saw Jake KO some guy in New Orleans, demonstrating by wind-milling punches furiously...much too close to LaMotta's face.

LaMotta didnít move a muscle or change expression. The guy's swings an eyelash away.

Sure enough, one landed flush on the cigar -- flattened it against LaMotta's face, like Wile e Coyote.

After a long pause, Jake looked heavenward: "Why me?"
Excellent read, thank you
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