On Feburary 13, 2008 I received an email from Richard Schave, one of the people behind Esotouric crime/literary bus tours of Los Angeles, inviting me along on his inaugural Bay City Raymond Chandler tour, slated for March 8, 2008. He added the following in his email: "Judith Freemand (sic) has been contacted by Chandler's secretary at Paramount Pictures, and I am arranging for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences to interview her and place the transcript in their library. I would very much like your input on the question set for this interview."
The plans for the interview stalled until April 9, 2008. That night Judith Freeman spoke at the Hollywood Heritage Museum in the Lasky-DeMille Barn across from the Hollywood Bowl, and I attended. Judith introduced Chandler's secretary, whom she and her husband had brought along. After Judith's presentation, I, and a large number of other Chandler fans went up to Dorothy and asked for her autograph - on the picture of her and Ray in Freeman's book, "The Long Embrace." Dorothy mentioned that the Hollywood Heritage people wanted to come to her home and do a video tape interview. We all told her that she would be great. When I got home I looked at the autograph, plugged her name into Intelius, and had her phone number in less than five minutes. My wife Annie called her and we set up a meeting with Delmar Watson and a tour of the Watson Family Photographic Archive.
Dorothy and Delmar, being on different ends of the political spectrum, didn't hit it off, but Annie and Dorothy did. After the tour we took Dorothy to Musso & Frank for dinner, and made arragements to finally do the interview with Howard Prouty, head of acquisitions at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
The interview took place on Friday July 11, 2008 in our home studio. Howard got a good deal of information about the studios in the 1940s, as well as information about what it was like to work with Ray. Unfortunately there was a technical problem and parts of the recording were unintelligible. The cause of the problem is still a mystery, but since October 2009 we have been using the same equipment to record The Dr. Annie Show (Mondays 7-8 PM on TalkRadioOne), and haven't had a recurrence. We are working on salvaging the recording, but so far are unsecessful. In September 2008, Annie invited Dorothy to tea and we did another interview. This one was sucessful and the link to the recording transcript follows the pictures. Rather than tell you about Dorothy, I'll let her tell her own story. A link to Judith Freeman's article in the Los Angeles Time about Dorothy also follows. The actual recordings are too big to post, but I do have some video of the second interview that I'll edit down into some short clips and put up at a later date. I'll also edit the bad parts out of the first interview, get it transcribed and post that as well. Dorothy was a gem! Enjoy learing about her and Raymond Chandler.
September 2008 audio interview transcript with Dorothy Fisher: Dr. Ann Thiel asking the questions.