Hollywood actor, author reflects on his life, career in new book

Photo by Maria Matson / Whidbey News Group
                                <em>Whidbey Island resident Dick Evans will be signing and selling copies of his book, Fazkils, at the Clinton Community Hall.</em><em></em>

Photo by Maria Matson / Whidbey News Group Whidbey Island resident Dick Evans will be signing and selling copies of his book, Fazkils, at the Clinton Community Hall.

Richard “Dick” Evans is an actor, writer and director with a long list of titles under his belt, and he can talk for hours about the people he’s met and films he’s worked on.

Instead, he’s selling his story in the form of a book, titled “Fazkils,” that dishes on his Hollywood experiences, his fight against cancer and personal family history.

He will sign and sell copies of his book 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Clinton Community Hall.

Evans, who has lived in Clinton on South Whidbey for the past 29 years with his wife, got his start acting at a community playhouse in California, where a talent agent spotted him, he said.

Since then, he appeared in TV shows such as “Peyton Place,” “Star Trek” and “Gunsmoke” and in leading roles in films such as “Dirty Little Billy” and “Islands in the Stream.”

The motion picture “Peyton Place” was a 1957 drama that led to the television show of the same name.

During his long career, Evans worked with actors such as Mia Farrow, Jack Nicholson, George C. Scott and Michael J. Pollard.

Evans doesn’t remember much about working with Farrow, except that “she was very beautiful, very young,” he said.

His favorite Hollywood actor to work with was George C. Scott, whom he describes as the most generous and professional actor he ever worked with.

On his appearance in “Star Trek,” he worked alongside William Shatner, who played starship Enterprise Capt. James T. Kirk.

Evans said he doesn’t have many good things to say about working with Shatner.

“I’m glad he got fat and funny, because he was not happy then.”

He was rude to a young actress on the set, Evans said, and egotistical.

“Shatner was full of Shatner.”

Hollywood is just as cutthroat as people imagine it to be, Evans said. “It’s all about money.”

“It’s too bad, but it is.”

His advice to young aspiring actors is to get an education and learn another language.

His IMDb page lists his most recent movies as “The Emperor of Time” in 2016, “Shadow of Rain” in 2007 and the TV Series “The Brief” in 2005.

One early production he appeared in was 1972’s “Dirty Little Billy,” a movie about a Wild West outlaw.

“It’s one of the things I’m proud of,” he said.

He said the director and actors were the best part of working on the movie set.

Three movies Evans said he believes are the best are “Citizen Kane,” “Blade Runner” and “Chinatown.”

Actress Jennifer Lawrence is a personal hero of his, he said.

“People think that ‘act’ means ‘putting forth,’ but no, it’s about listening,” he said. “If you study the great ones, they’re the ones who listen beautifully.”

His book is divided into four sections, he said, titled “Family History,” “Careening Career,” “Cancerous Comedy,” and “Recovery, it’s a jungle out there, a jumble in here.”

Evans contracted neck and throat cancer two years ago. It took about a year to recover from the disease.

During that time, he wrote his book.

He cites the book as being one of the reasons why he pulled through.

“It was a means of survival, to write every day,” he said. “I love writing and I’ve written a lot, but not anything like this.”

“The treatment itself was hell.”

But, Evans added, he was on the receiving end of kindness from the the community and strangers, and formed kinships with people in the waiting rooms before his treatments.

“I’ve never felt so close to people who are complete strangers,” he said. “It’s a war within yourself and with yourself.”

He’s always kept busy — currently, he’s working on a film called “Who Killed the Chauffeur,” which he expects to be finished by the end of the year.

Running out of ideas has never been a concern, he said.

“I wish I would stop having ideas. I could make a movie about this room … Everything makes me curious, truthfully.”

The title of his book, “Fazkils,” is a play on the word “fascicle,” an installment of a book or printed work.

He said everyone always asks him what the word means, so he says it’s a good hook. He happens to like words with “z” and “k” in it, so it fit well.

“Anybody who’s curious about the business will find out a lot of stuff that they’ll appreciate (in the book),” he said.

The book will be available for sale at Moonraker Books, Uniquely Whidbey and the ramen restaurant Ultra, all located in Langley.

Photo provided
                                <em>A young Dick Evans, right, appears alongside Michael J. Pollard in “Dirty Little Billy.”</em><em></em>

Photo provided A young Dick Evans, right, appears alongside Michael J. Pollard in “Dirty Little Billy.”

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