Harold Robbins loved music, especially jazz. He was friends with jazz great, Ray Brown. He went into business with Quincy Jones and Blake Edwards. They had an office at 9000 Sunset Boulevard and every day Harold, Blake and Quincy would hold court at a nearby restaurant, Scandia. The lunches would usually last all afternoon. Many young actors would show up, like Clint Eastwood. Harold nicknamed him "cowboy" and this was before his great westerns. George Peppard would come by, and this was before they were famous. Harold always picked up the tab and encouraged their careers. Harold met Henry Mancini at one of the lunch events. Henry was workingwith Blake Edwards on the Pink Panther movie with Peter Sellers. Henry, Harold, and Quincy remained friends and celebrated all of their many successes. Can anyone hear the first chords of the Pink Panther theme and not feel a smile on your face?
Henry Mancini was the first person I met at Harold Robbins birthday party only a short 10 days after I had gone to work for Harold. My new boss had invited me as his guest, telling me it was just a casual dinner. I was thrilled to be invited, and intimidated with the question "What am I going to wear? How could I become 'Hollywood' ready in only a few days. And I found out during the week that a casual dinner for 40 with guests flying in from France, Mexico and New York. It was Hollywood chic and awesome for me when I discovered that I was sitting next to Henry Mancini!!! What could I possibly say to the man who had written all of those beautiful songs and many movie themes. This, after all, would be my first Hollywood party experience, and it was a long way from Oklahoma where I moved from only months earlier! Needless to say, Henry was as charming as his music and we found a common bond of interest since Blake Edwards was originally from Oklahoma. From there I heard great stories of Henry's career and captured a glimpse of his playfulness.
PS. I dressed in black evening pants and a silk blouse! I was so thrilled when I was greeted by Phyllis Diller complimenting me on my outfit and accessories!