The legendary Laurence Harvey and a young barman called Paddy

The Crown and Two Chairmen in Soho and (inset() Laurence Harvey and Kim Novak. They hated each other

I watched a programme about Laurence Harvey on Sky Arts the other day.
A brilliant actor who died aged just 45.
In his short life he managed to marry three times and have numerous affairs, annoy fellow actors and drink and smoke like they were going out of fashion which, in fairness, at least one of them was.
In 1972, the year before he died, I had a summer job* in a bar in London’s Soho.
It was called The Crown and Two Chairmen.
Good pub. And it’s still there.
It was, occasionally, packed. And sometimes there would be familiar faces – the film industry had lots of offices in the area at the time.
One of those familiar faces was that of Laurence Harvey.
He’d come in with a few friends and they’d sit in a corner and smoke and drink and laugh for an hour or more before leaving.
Nice bunch – they sometimes gave me a tip.
One day, after a few weeks of serving them, one of the lads came up to the bar to order a round.
And then he asked me a question: “Paddy,” he said, “what’s your real name.”
I replied: “It’s Paddy.”
He cracked up, turned to Laurence Harvey and the others and said: “Lads, Paddy’s real name is Paddy.”
And they all laughed heartily.
And there was me thinking they called me Paddy because we were (kind of) friends.
I still like Laurence Harvey even though his friend suggested that calling him “Larry” just for a laugh might not be a good idea.
*(I got the job through an agency and I was fired after three weeks – and discovered that if I had stayed longer, the bar manager would have had to pay the agency a fee.)

1 thought on “The legendary Laurence Harvey and a young barman called Paddy

  1. Michael Denieffe

    Nice one Paddy. Laurence Harvey was a consummate actor with a great screen presence


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