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Remembering Bobby Darin & New Biopic

Aired December 31, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Bobby Darin. Teen idol, night club sensation. His tumultuous marriage to Sandra Dee and his tragic death. Now his life's featured in a major movie. We'll talk with the Oscar-winning actor who portrays him and sings his songs, Kevin Spacey. Also with us, Bobby Darin's only son, Dodd. And his longtime friend and manager, Steve Blauner. The extraordinary life and music of the legendary Bobby Darin, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's called "Beyond the Sea." It's the story of Bobby Darin. We have three incredible guests, musical numbers later. What a movie. I mean, I don't often extol things like this, but let me tell you, you will not see a better film about a better performer than "Beyond the Sea."

And we welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Dodd Darin, the only son of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee. He's co-author of the book "Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee." Kevin Spacey, winner of two Academy Awards, best actor for "American Beauty," best supporting actor for "The Usual Suspects." He's the star, director, co-producer of the new film biography, "Beyond the Sea." He's also even doing concert tours for this movie as Bobby Darin. And Steve Blauner. He is Bobby Darin's long-time manager and friend. And John Goodman plays him in this movie.

Give me a little genesis of this movie, Steve. Is this (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: I was just looking at Steve, because Steve said when he saw the movie that he liked John Goodman, but who dressed him? Because he says, I was a fashion plate.

KING: Did you like watching yourself being played?


KING: No. Because?

BLAUNER: Because it's like, it's not me. Scary. And I'm thinner than him.

KING: He's a good actor -- give me the genesis of this. Is this based on Dodd's book?

SPACEY: No, it's not.



KING: By the way, I have a tough time looking at you, because the more I see you...


king: No, the more I see you, the more you look like your dad. And now it's become an almost like a twin. I knew Bobby, he was the first famous person I ever interviewed. You were with him that day (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Miami Beach when he came in, just to come in, this was a great guy. And now you look more like him every day. Anyway, genesis of the movie?

SPACEY: Genesis of the movie for me, it all started with my mother. My mother was a huge Bobby Darin fan. And I grew up in a house where Bobby Darin records were playing, and Sinatra was playing, Ella Fitzgerald. My dad had an incredible 78 collection. So I grew up with that brass, with that sound that Bobby captured so brilliantly. And by the time I was about 12 or 13, my mother had pretty much converted me to believing that Bobby Darin was the coolest cat that ever walked the face of the Earth.

KING: Wasn't far wrong.



KING: You sing in this movie.


KING: You do all the songs, it's not Bobby's voice. Why didn't you mouth the lyrics?

SPACEY: Because I grew up first of all loving movie musicals. And I knew that was Gene Kelly. And I knew that was Fred Astair. And this is just a personal preference. I think it's exciting for an audience to know that the person opening their mouth and singing is actually doing it. That doesn't mean we don't have great performances where actors are lip-synching. We've got "Ray" this year, with Jamie Foxx doing a great performance.

But because we were going to do all sorts of things in the film and expanding musically, these big, almost MGM-like music sequences. We couldn't have never expanded the music if we'd been tied to original tracks.

KING: Were you on the film set, Dodd?

DARIN: No, I made a conscious decision that I trusted Kevin and his vision. And there's nothing worse than someone looking over your shoulder.

KING: Did they give you any rights to take something out or put something in?

DARIN: Kevin was very gracious in getting feedback from me on musical themes and content. He was very kind, more than most. And I did my part with that and felt good about it. But at the end of the day, it's his movie to make, it's his passion, his dream.

KING: What was it like seeing someone play your dad?

DARIN: Well, there was two reactions. One was, just incredibly shocking, to actually see it, to sit in that screening. Because I'd been through a lot in trying to get it made over the years and a lot of hopes and disappointments. So to see a film, and there it is, incredible. I mean, just floored me.

And secondly, I was amazed at how real it was. Just my dad's character, his mannerisms. Important things in his life. I was very proud and very moved. It was a very, very intense experience.

KING: How do you like the way you were portrayed as that little boy?

DARIN: They could have got a little better looking guy, I mean, I don't know what (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


KING: Do you have actual memories?

DARIN: A lot. My dad was hands-on. And some of the greatest memories were the final year or so, being in Vegas with him, watching him work at the Hilton.

KING: Were you there when he died?

DARIN: No, no, he didn't want anyone of his friends to see him for a while at the end. He was very thin. And he in his own mind said, I don't want my son to remember me like that.

But being in Vegas and watching him work a room, and watch him control an audience, just that pride. And that's my dad. We all have that.


DARIN: If your dad's an accountant or a businessman, you have that pride. But when you're walking out and they're applauding and they're standing, and they're -- it was something very special.

SPACEY: Were you on the last TV show that he did?

DARIN: No. Unfortunately, my mom, God bless her, was fighting a bit with my dad, and I didn't get to be at that.

KING: They did divorce, right?

DARIN: They did. KING: Did she ever remarry?


KING: And he never was in love with anyone else, right?

DARIN: Well, he remarried late in his life, to a lovely woman. But my mom truly -- well. To this day. I mean, it's you and I talking only privately...

KING: Kate Bosworth, who plays her, how good was she?

DARIN: She was terrific.

KING: She was. Where did you find her?

SPACEY: Well, I heard about her from my U.S. casting director. I hadn't seen her work, but I'd been told about her. And I went and met her in a restaurant one night. I always knew that I wanted someone relatively unknown to play Sandra Dee. And I walked into a restaurant, and Kate, very smart girl, had dressed for the part. So she looked like Sandra Dee. And I just saw her across the room and thought I heard "A Summer Place" playing in my head almost instantly.

And then we met. We had a great dinner. And I thought that we had terrific chemistry. I also thought that there was something she had, which is although she's young, she's a very mature face. And I knew that I needed to have her grow in the course of the film, and I think she just did a great job.

KING: It's a great movie. "Beyond the Sea," it's now playing. Be right back, don't go away.


SPACEY: Well, hello, Sandra Dee. I'm Bobby Darin. I believe we're making a movie together.






BOBBY DARIN, ENTERTAINER: I had four or five hit records before "Mack the Knife" appealing to a younger set, per se, they were rock 'n' roll hits. And prior to that I had seven or eight complete failures that didn't appeal to anyone except my immediate family, I'll be honest with you.



KING: I'm going to have to tell you that many of the visuals you're seeing during this program are from the "Bobby Darin Aces Back to Back" retrospective DVD and CD. Additional visuals come to us courtesy of Dodd Darin, who's with us. There's is also a CD out with Kevin Spacey singing, it's called "Beyond the Sea," and it's available right now in conjunction and Mr. Spacey has also been doing concert tours in support of this obviously labor of love.

What was Bobby Darin's greatness?

BLAUNER: His honesty. What he believed in is what you got. And the first time I saw him, I went up to see him, he hadn't even had "Splish Splash" yet. And he was singing rock 'n' roll. And I didn't like rock 'n' roll. But I felt I owed it to him to go see him.

And he hit the stage. He was the opening act. That's how low on the totem pole he was. In my mouth, I just went, oh my God. He took over. Elizabeth Taylor once saw him at the Sands. And she said to Jack and Trotter (ph), who used run the Sands, it's like he's in his living room.

And that -- you know...

KING: He owned the stage.



KING: Didn't Sammy Davis say once he wouldn't want to follow Bobby Darin?

BLAUNER: Right. Antonio Ando (ph) asked him one night, is there anyone you wouldn't follow? And he said, Bobby Darin. Then he listed the reasons why, which were numerous.

KING: What do you think was his greatness?

SPACEY: I think -- well, what Steve says is true. I think that Bobby may have had a weak heart but he was all heart as a performer and as a man. And you know, what I wanted so much to try to capture in the film is that essence of him as a performer.

We don't live in a world NOW where we have somebody who did as many things as Bobby Darin did. If you JUST think about them. He wrote his own songs. He sang his guts out. He did impressions. He danced. He was an actor. He played the drums. He played the vibes. He played harmonica. He played the guitar. He played the piano. He was a person who walked out on stage and gave an audience his all; even when he was remarkably ill.

And that's the thing about him that is -- as I learn and gain more and more knowledge, I could watch a performance like his last television special, which was called "Mack Is Back," and people can get and watch it. When you realize how ill he was, that this was eight months before his death, he had to take oxygen in between encores. And yet people wouldn't know he had a hangnail.


SPACEY: That's a level of commitment, of wanting to make sure an audience gets their money's worth. And he was quite up front about believing that he was worthy of it. He thought, if people are going to come and pay money to see me...

KING: He was brash.

SPACEY: He was brash.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just did "Bandstand."

SPACEY: "Bandstand"'s mostly for kids, Ahmed (ph), I want the Copa. Listen, with rock 'n' roll I'm like a thousand other guys out there, and you goddamn well know it. I've got to prove I can sing. I want it all. I want the major leagues. I want nightclubs. I want Vegas, movies, TV. This album will make it happen all fast, faster than you can imagine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have to prove anything. You're a star already.


KING: How about that change of his life? This typical nightclub performer fancy, Las Vegas, becomes Bob Darin, folk singer, writes folk songs, including one that you left out, "If I Were a Carpenter."

SPACEY: Couldn't find a place, but it's on the album.


KING: And what was the other song, the wonderful song he wrote in the war effort?

SPACEY: "Simple Song of Freedom," which is...

KING: "Sing me a simple song of" -- which he sings in Vegas.

SPACEY: Exactly.

KING: Why that switch in his life?

DARIN: Well, I think two things. One, maturing just as a person, as an artist.

KING: Became Bob Darin.

DARIN: Right. Took off the toupee, the tuxedo. And I think also, Robert Kennedy's death and the whole change in his life at the time.

KING: He was one of the first activists, right?

DARIN: He was there. He was at the march on Washington. And he was doing things quietly. He didn't want to do it for the press. He'd give money. He'd go and show up.

KING: But you wouldn't have guessed that about him. He was more like...

DARIN: Right. People don't understand...

KING: You would think of as Wayne Newton. He's Vegas. Bobby Darin was clubs, Miami Beach at the height of the season.

DARIN: That's one of the great things that I hope comes across in this picture is the heart and the humanity that he had. He could be brash. He could be arrogant. He could be difficult. My theory is he was mainly those things because he knew he wasn't going to live a full life.

KING: He was supposed to die at 15. He had rickets as they called it, right?

SPACEY: Rheumatic fever, which now is treatable. It's strep now. But in the late '30s and early '40s before penicillin was introduced, it was killing kids all over the country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My friend Gregory said that my time's up.

BOB HOSKINS, ACTOR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) time's up , boy. Here. You wear that when you get older.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to get older?

HOSKINS: Sure you are.


KING: He died after surgery, right?


KING: Almost right after surgery?

BLAUNER: In the recovery room.

KING: In Vegas?


KING: They flew him from Vegas to UCLA.

We'll be right back with more on the life and times of Bobby Darin, new brilliant new film "Beyond the Sea," open -- playing everywhere now. Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

B. DARIN: You notice how carefully I slipped that strap over my head. I don't want to take a chance to see the thing land on floor next to me.





KING: If you're a fan of Kevin Spacey, and I don't know anyone who isn't, one of the things you'll be shocked at when you see this movie is his ability to sing and dance. Why have you never shown this before?

SPACEY: Just never had the opportunity.

KING: Never did a Broadway musical?

SPACEY: Auditioned for a couple.

KING: You did?

SPACEY: Yeah, didn't get in it. I used to do musicals from the time I was 13 until I was 20. I did a lot of musicals as a kid.

KING: When no one knew you.

SPACEY: Yeah, yeah, I was doing them in the Valley in Los Angeles.

KING: Did you ever think -- did you want to be booked? An evening with Kevin Spacey on Broadway, with you singing?

SPACEY: I am going around the country on a 10-city tour.

KING: But aren't you shocked at the way he sang? Before you knew Kevin.

BLAUNER: Right, right, I was stunned.


DARIN: In the beginning, Steve and I both felt, we need to use my dad's original voice in the film. That it's important to have that.

SPACEY: Yeah, they were very much against it.

DARIN: And then, with all due respect, he cared so much, he worked so hard. He got great musicians. And the actual arrangements from my dad's file cabinet. SPACEY: They went and found all of Bobby's originals and sent them to us. That's what we laid down.

DARIN: So with all that in the mix -- and he is a good singer in his own right -- we have a great film. And I'm proud of it. But in the beginning, Steve and I both, just for natural reasons, we need to use his voice. We need BD.

KING: His entertaining superseded his singing, don't you think, Steve? He was a terrific singer. But there are a lot of voices. Steve Lawrence had a great voice. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) had it. They both have great voices, but he superseded that, don't you think?


KING: As a performer.

BLAUNER: In fact, in fact, it's only -- you know, I always considered him a performer.


B. DARIN: All right, the rat bastard that took my off the boat, you better bring it back. Can I say that on the air? Too late, I just did.


BLAUNER: And now, I'll be sitting reading and we'll have his records on, and I'll put the book down and say, I'll be a son of a gun, he could really sing. I'm just discovering it.


SPACEY: We just did a great event that's running now at the Museum of Television and Radio both in New York and Los Angeles, where Steve and I put together our favorite moments of Bobby from his television career. And it's just a remarkable 75 minutes that people can now go and look at. I mean, he knew Bob Hope and Judy Garland, and you know...

BLAUNER: Jimmy Durante.

SPACEY: Jimmy Durante. And you know, watching him, just looking at that again, I was -- I just was happy that I've done a version of Bobby Darin. But the truth is, is that Bobby was in a league all his own. And for people who haven't seen him perform, I really encourage them to go get the album you mentioned. Because you know, I feel like this is my Senator Bentsen moment. I knew Bobby Darin and you're no Bobby Darin. The truth is, I've tried to get close to honor him, but nobody gets that close. He was a remarkable talent. And I hope that all the affection and love and dedication that we've poured into this film will do the one thing I think should happen, which is the spotlight gets turned back on Bobby Darin.

KING: He deserved that. He was -- I mean, as we said, when he came on, he did an album. I mean, it's not in the movie. How much could you put in a movie? With Johnny Mercer.

SPACEY: Oh, yeah, "Two of a Kind."

KING: "Two of a Kind." My cuties due at two, two, two, we're two of a kind.

DARIN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Steve was the genesis for that idea.

KING: You brought them together?

BLAUNER: Yeah. In fact, the great thing about Mercer was that Bobby and Johnny were doing a show together. "The Big Party." Television show out of New York. And they didn't know each other. And I didn't know Johnny. And I went up to him. First, I went to Bobby and said, how would you like to do an album with Johnny Mercer? And he said, oh, yeah. And I went to Johnny, and he said yes. And now we do the album. And when the album was over, Johnny came to me and he said, "Steve, I've got to tell you that I thought you were blowing smoke. I never thought this would happen." And you know....

KING: My cuties due at two, two, two today. Who keeps time while the time keeps busy keeping time.

BLAUNER: And you should have seen them.

KING: They were having such fun.

BLAUNER: Oh, God, yes. You could hear it on the record.

KING: Was it difficult for you to see them play out arguments between your father and mother?

DARIN: Sure.

KING: Your father and his temper. Your mother and her drinking.

DARIN: Absolutely. I mean, that's one of the beautiful things of the film is that it's very real. And it was difficult. I mean, my mom -- you know, went through a lot with him. He could be difficult, she could be difficult. And it was painful to see that.


SPACEY: All the slaps and the smiles, and in the meantime I'm a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) joke out there.

BOSWORTH: Not as big of a joke as you are right now.

SPACEY: You know what it is? Warren Beatty is there with Leslie Caron, who's nominated for best actress, and I'm there with Gidget!

BOSWORTH: Leslie Caron is not box office!

SPACEY: Most people don't care about box office.

BOSWORTH: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Bobby. Only people from the Bronx actually care about the Oscars.

SPACEY: Melvyn Douglas is married to a congresswoman, and I'm married to Tammy.

BOSWORTH: Well, it took Melvyn Douglas 40 years to get a supporting actor's face. You should be happy you did it in just two.


DARIN: What was interesting was her reaction when she saw the film.

KING: Which was?

DARIN: She went with her assistant to watch it privately. I wasn't there. Kevin wasn't there. That's how she wanted it. And she came over right afterwards to my house. And she's a good actress. But she ain't that good. She was speechless. She was just moved and touched. And she came in and she said, "you know, I'm so proud to have been part of his life, to have spent those years with him. I wouldn't trade it for anything."

And I was with my family, my daughters. And I just took the moment. And it was -- it was beautiful. Because she's had her share of problems, publicly, you know, over the years. And this was a shot in the arm, some joy for her, some happiness. And it was beautiful. It was a beautiful moment. And as she said, I mean, that's how it was.

SPACEY: She called me after.

KING: Oh, yeah?

SPACEY: And she was incredibly generous on the phone and said she wouldn't change a frame of the film. She was very, very happy.

KING: We'll be back. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's Bobby Darin really like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most patient, lovely man, and nobody believes me. They all believe he's sort of smart and (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and you know, got a terrible temper. He's lovely.

SANDRA DEE, ACTRESS: What's the proportion of gin and water in this drink?

B. DARIN: Oh, I'd say it was about even Steven.

DEE: I'd say it was more Steven than even. See, you're not trying to get me drunk, are you?

B. DARIN: We'll examine the motives later.

DEE: But later may be too late.

B. DARIN: You know something? We're talking too much.

DEE: But if I don't talk, how am I going to know what's going on?

B. DARIN: If anything really important happens, I guarantee you you'll be the first to know.




KING: We're back with Kevin Spacey, Dodd Darin, and Steve Blauner. Kevin is the star, director and co-producer of the new film biography about Bobby Darin, "Beyond the Sea, " now open. Dodd Darin is the only child of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, the co-author of "Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee." And Steve Blauner is Bobby Darin's long-time manager and friend, portrayed in the movie by John Goodman.

The toughest part for you when you direct and star and doing something you haven't done on film before, which is sing. what was the hardest?

SPACEY: The thing I walked into the movie most nervous about was getting sleep. Because when you're directing your mind is always going, always going. And you're thinking about what you shot and you're thinking about what's coming up.

KING: It's a director's medium.

SPACEY: It is a director's medium. But I have to say, I've now read a bunch of articles where they refer to this film as a vanity project. I don't think they mean that as a compliment, or a one-man show. The truth is that this movie was anything but. And that kind of journalism is just a disservice to the collaborative effort of a remarkable team of people that joined this movie, picked up my dream and made it their own.

KING: Do you think they're mad at you?

SPACEY: Oh, I don't know why they write these things. Because it's an easy shot because I'm wearing so many hats, so it's an easy thing to say.

KING: Do you realize you begin to look like him?

SPACEY: Well, we had a great team of people.

KING: Make-up. But I mean -- but you do look like him. Didn't you think so?

BLAUNER: Yes, definitely. KING: Because you don't look like him. He looks like him. But in this movie...

SPACEY: He has an advantage, Larry.



B. DARIN: Here, you play. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) "Boney Boney Stick of Macaroni (ph)." Now play again.


KING: From aficionados you will hear, why did you leave out "Clementine," a major Darin hit?

SPACEY: I had -- you know, look, the hardest choice. The hardest choices in this movie were what to tell about his life and what music to use.


SPACEY: Let's face it, he recorded well over 320 songs. You can't get all of them in. And what I tried to do was to use the songs that felt organic to the story telling so that the film was always moving forward; whether it was under score or I was performing those numbers.

And look, some of my favorites aren't in the film. It was very tough. That's why I'm loving doing the concert tour because I'm getting to do a lot more of his body of work.

KING: And obviously you were asked a lot about "If I Were a Carpenter and If You Were a Lady," why that was left out?

SPACEY: Yes. I just couldn't fit it in dramatically. At one point I tried it as under score, but it felt like a disservice to the song. It really deserves to be heard straight out which is why it's on the album.

KING: And you chose the other folk song.

SPACEY: Well, "Simple Song of Freedom," which is a protest song against the Vietnam War, because it felt to me that that symbolized a particular period in his life. It's a great song that Tim Hardin turned into a hit.

And you know, when I was shooting the movie, I had no idea that that particular song would have a relevance today...

KING: It does.

SPACEY: ... for audiences. I thought it would just be a nostalgic moment.


KING: How did he like acting?

BLAUNER: He loved it. He started acting. When he went to Hunter College, the first term, he got all the parts in the plays. And then in the second term, the teacher said -- or the professor said, no, we've got to give somebody else a chance, and he quit.



KING: He got his Academy Award nomination for "Captain Newman, M.D." and won the Golden Globe for that, right?


B. DARIN: You tell Captain Newman I said to shove it. Ain't nobody going to slap no needle at me. It's getting a little crowded in here. I think I'm going to go for a walk.


KING: And he did "State Fair."

BLAUNER: He did "Pressure Point." "Too Late Blues," he did "Hell Is For Heroes" with Steve McQueen. And he did -- he played a small role in a picture that Richard Brooks directed called "Happy Ending" where he plays an Italian gigolo and he was just great in that.


B. DARIN: Sorry, lady, wrong number.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry to lose your lovely accent.

B. DARIN: Well, there's plenty more. Would you like to hear me say something cockney? how's about Russian, huh? No, no, you'd much prefer something in French.


DARIN: I think if he'd lived longer, acting would have opened up for him. Because back then, to be a leading man, you had to have the Cary Grant, Rock Hudson look. And that frustrated him immensely. Because...

KING: He didn't have it.

DARIN: He didn't, let's be honest. I say can say it, I look like him. He didn't have that. And so 10 years later when Pacino and Dustin Hoffman, people were making films, I think he would have had a great shot at it. But back in that niche, that time when he was doing it. And it frustrated him enormously.

KING: You're a renowned actor. How good an actor was he? SPACEY: I think he was very good. I mean, his Academy Award nomination was very deserved for "Captain Newman." It's also, I think that role captures a kind of quality about Bobby. It's a very brashy part. It's a very -- it's a guy who's arrogant.

DARIN: It was him.

SPACEY: It was. It was tailored in some way to him. And he sort of made it his own. And I think he's very good in it.

KING: Did he really get angry when he lost?




KING: That's the one dramatic scene in the movie. Why would he get angry over losing the first time up for supporting actor?

SPACEY: But it's just -- it's a funny scene.


BOSWORTH: I heard he was dying or something. It's a sympathy vote.

SPACEY: He's dying? I'm the one dying. Way before he was dying, I was dying. Where's my sympathy?

BOSWORTH: You're doing a pretty good job (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for yourself all alone.

SPACEY: Stick your finger in my (expletive deleted) and wiggle it just like the doctor does.

BOSWORTH: Anyway, it's an honor just to be nominated. I've never been nominated.

SPACEY: My damn Hollywood friends are the ones who probably voted against me.

BOSWORTH: I voted for you, Bobby.


BLAUNER: I made the deal for him to do the movie and I sent him the script. He was playing the Sands. And I was waiting for the phone call. And I got it. Why am I doing this picture? Because he had counted the pages, in fact, I had them marked with paper clips.

KING: Where his part was?

(LAUGHTER) BLAUNER: Yes. And I said, because if you are one-tenth the actor I think you are, this is the kind of part that Academy Award nominations come from. Winning, that's a whole other thing, but I guarantee you a nomination. And two years later when he got the nomination, this is beauty of the man, I went to the house, and he hugged me and in my ear he said, you were right. I'd take a bullet for him after that.

KING: Opening at the Copa, that was a big deal. More in a minute, and then Kevin is going to sing. We'll be right back. "Beyond the Sea," now playing. If you miss it, you're dead. I mean, no. If you don't like it, there's something the matter. Check with the doctor. We'll be right back, don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you meet?

B. DARIN: We met while we were both doing a film called "Come September," the year was 1960. The place was Portofino (ph), Italy. And I don't think there could be anything more romantic or lovelier as a meeting place. And we hit it right off. She hated me and I loved her and that was it.


DEE: What did you wish for?

B. DARIN: It's very bad luck to tell.

DEE: I hope you get what you want.

B. DARIN: That's sure sweet...

SPACEY: ... of you.


SPACEY: Hey, Sandy, Sandy, what do you say you and me have dinner tonight?

BOSWORTH: Oh, no thank you. I'm going to have dinner in my room and then go to bed early.

SPACEY: Oh, my goodness gracious, how can you stand all that excitement?

BOSWORTH: I'm not here for excitement. I'm here to work. Maybe you should think about going to bed early too.

SPACEY: Well, how do you know I don't go to sleep early? Sandra Dee, have you been...



KING: Are Bobby Darin CDs available?

DARIN: Absolutely. That's the wonderful thing with technology.

KING: You did his whole collection, didn't you?

DARIN: We did. Twenty years ago or so, you could go into the biggest record stores, maybe there would be an album of hits. But you know, now, a lot of product. Stuff that Steve and I are involved with releasing. And it's wonderful. Because truly, A, he deserves it. And B, had he lived longer, people would have had a different appreciation. A full life, Ray or Tony Bennett, or Frank. They lived to 75. He was gone at 37.

KING: Do you think we'll have a revitalization of Darin, Steve?

BLAUNER: I think that this is Bobby's immortality. Long after we're all gone and our children's children's children. There will be still people watching this movie and Bobby will live forever, thanks to Kevin.

KING: I remember walking down Collins Avenue with him and he's saying that he wants to look for this sound that he had in "Mack the Knife" and "Clementine." He talked about it. Richard Wess was the drummer? Who was it?

BLAUNER: No, the drummer...

DARIN: The arranger.

BLAUNER: Richard Wess was the arranger. Back then, well, when you were walking down, I don't think we had enough...

KING: We talked about Richard Wess, though. We talked about Richard Wess.

BLAUNER: Yeah, he was the arranger who did "Mack the Knife."

KING: "Mack the Knife." And he talked about drums, Kevin. Were you aware of that? He had -- he heard the drums.

SPACEY: The drummer is the key to the whole band. And I'm lucky that right now on my tour, I not only have Roger Calloway, who was one of Bobby's music directors, and the first guy I worked with musically, but Gregg Field, who was Sinatra's drummer for the last 10 years, is keeping the beat for us. And so we're doing all right.

BLAUNER: And one of the first white musicians who ever worked with Bassie.

KING: Really?

BLAUNER: Yes. He played drums for Bassie.

KING: He had a great ear, didn't he, your dad?

DARIN: Tremendous ear for talent, you know. Helped Wayne Newton get started. Produced "Danke Schoen."

SPACEY: Gave him "Danke Schoen." Gave it to him. Was supposed to be Bobby's record.

BLAUNER: The publisher was outraged. Because they'd given Bobby the song. Bobby came down to the Copa one night, and I didn't know why. We happened to be in New York, and there was this little group that wanted to stay in the lounge. A trio.

KING: Wayne and his brother.

BLAUNER: Wayne and his brother, right.

SPACEY: That's right.

BLAUNER: And we signed them. And Bobby took them in, gave them the song.

DARIN: You know, I often wonder what he'd be doing now.

KING: Now.

DARIN: Staying on me all the time. But no, it would be amazing. Because look at Tony Bennett, how wonderful he connects with 20 somethings. A whole resurgence.

SPACEY: Tony said something about -- last week, that I thought was so true, which is that, I think you may have asked him how he thought he's endured. And he said, because I never sang for a demographic. I sang great songs that were timeless. And I think that's what's true about Bobby. He sang great songs that are timeless. That will always be around.

And this is a guy who -- you know, he moved around from genre to genre. He had more hits in more genres than I think anybody other than Ray Charles and Elvis Presley. And so you walk into a record shop today, and he's in about nine sections, not just one. And I think that also has to do with why his legacy is not as strong as it would be. When you're that diverse, when you do 15 things remarkably well over a brief life, as opposed to one thing remarkably well over...

KING: How's your mother today?

DARIN: She has good days and bad. I mean, I think you know, she has some kidney problems. But knock on wood, she's still fighting, and enjoying being a grandma.

KING: Still in love?

DARIN: That's forever.

KING: We're going to take a break, and when we come back, Kevin Spacey will sing. And don't forget his new CD. We'll show it to you when we come back. It's called "Beyond the Sea." The movie is playing now. Don't go away.




KING: We've been talking so much about music tonight, we thought we'd close musically, and Kevin Spacey remains with us, of course. Going to do a couple of songs. And with us at the piano is Peter Cincotti, who appears in the movie as Dick Behrke. Did you cast him?

SPACEY: I did.

KING: Where did you find him?

SPACEY: Well, I heard about him from Phil Ramon (ph), but he's also become quite a talented and well known jazz artist. He was on the charts last summer. And I think you were right up there, number one, weren't you?

KING: You never saw -- you've heard Bobby Darin.

PETER CINCOTTI, MUSICIAN: I heard him. I never saw his live performance. But during this film, I felt like I was on stage with him right here. You know? It came so close. And it was unbelievable for me, because it was all new experience for me.

KING: What did you think of him?

CINCOTTI: It was on -- I think he's great. You know, I always was familiar with his songs. I didn't know his life story, you know, as I've come to know. But I knew his music. "Beyond the Sea," "Mack the Knife." And I thought it was great, you know.

KING: Kevin, the two songs you're going to sing, "Just One of Those Things" and "Fly Me to the Moon" are not in the CD.

SPACEY: No, they're not.

KING: So why in your genius of promotion, have you chosen to do these two?

SPACEY: Well, because I'm doing those in a lot of different places, and I'm also going out doing a concert. But one of the things that I love about being able to present Bobby's music in concert is that I get a chance to do a lot of the music of his that I couldn't put in the movie or I couldn't put on the album. And frankly, this is a guy who recorded over 320 songs. So we thought we'd give the audience something a little different tonight. These are classic standards that Bobby did.

KING: You're in for a real treat, folks. Peter Cincotti at the piano, Kevin Spacey. And "Just One of Those Things" and "Fly Me to the Moon" to close it out. Thanks for being with us, guys. Peter, go get them, guys.




KING: Thanks for joining us on this very special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. "Beyond the Sea" now playing everywhere. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Stay tuned now for more news around the clock for your most trusted name in news, CNN. See you tomorrow night. Good night.


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