Monroe inspired author’s love of jigsaw puzzles

Jamie Heap
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The Book Review: From Old Hollywood to New Brunswick: Memories of a Wonderful Life. By Charles Foster (Nimbus), $17.95, 165 pages.

Marilyn Monroe, who was one of several celebrities that show business publicist turned prime ministerial speech writer and author Charles Foster respresented, inspired a love of jigsaw puzzles, something that still persists to this day.

Long before Riverview, New Brunswick author Charles Foster was a regular contributor to Nova Scotia’s Seniors’ Advocate, he enjoyed a charmed life in London, Hollywood and Ottawa with prominent people.

While in London, England, Foster was a show business publicist to such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Errol Flynn and Marilyn Monroe, to name but a few. From there, Foster returned to North America where he worked in Hollywood as a television script writer.

In a recent interview promoting Foster’s new 38 chapter soft-cover book From Old Hollywood to New Brunswick, he recalled a chance encounter with future U.S. president John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was assassinated just over 50 years ago in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. In his book, Foster recalls smuggling Marilyn Monroe into London, England for the shooting of the movie The Prince and the Showgirl, a movie in which the blonde bombshell co-starred alongside Lawrence Olivier.

“Marilyn Monroe was a delight,” recalls Foster. “She was completely down-to-earth. Her only request was that I buy a not-too-easy jigsaw puzzle, because she loved them. I spent hours working with her. Because of Marilyn, I have a love of jigsaw puzzles that continues to this day.”

In addition to rubbing elbows with Kennedy, Monroe, Olivier, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Charlie Chaplin and Frank Sinatra, Foster was both a television script and prime ministerial speech writer. As a script writer, Foster contributed to the Beverly Hillbillies, a comedic television program that can still be viewed in reruns on specialty TV channels.

What other TV shows did Foster contribute to? And what was Charlie Chaplin’s 50 year-old secret that he took with him to the grave? Gain more insight into these and other topics by reading Foster’s new book.

Geographic location: London, Hollywood, New Brunswick England Nova Scotia Ottawa North America U.S. Dallas, Texas

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