Ray Bradbury, Picasso, and Bill Cosby

May 14, 2019

As one might say to the great Alex Trebek, "name three famous people you probably had no idea once worked together." 

Now pay attention please, because this gets a little complicated and there are lots of twists and turns: 

Ray Bradbury's middle name was Douglas, named for the actor Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.

Bradbury's father's middle name was Spaulding.

Put them together and you have Douglas Spaulding, the screenwriter who adapted Bradbury's short story, The Picasso Summer, for the big screen.

The story was originally known as In a Season of Calm Weather, and Douglas Spaulding was originally known as...Ray Bradbury.

Douglas Spaulding was one of the many pseudonyms Bradbury used during his lifetime, and a character by that name also appeared in his work from time to time, most notably as the protagonist in Dandelion Wine.

Picasso himself agreed to a cameo in the film until he found out that his friend, Spanish bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín, who was playing himself in the film, was also playing around with Yul Brenner's wife, another friend of Picasso's. Yul's wife Doris had a small role in the film, but apparently found a larger part, so to speak, off camera. You know those Latin lovers. 


As a result, Picasso pulled out, Yul Brenner left in a huff, and Ray Bradbury nearly got into a fistfight at the first screening with the soon-to-be-fired director, who thought the script was a bore and sometimes directed while sitting on a horse. After all this tumult, Bill Cosby, who was planning to lend his name (and a bit of his money) to the film as a producer, withdrew his support from the project, and the director was replaced by someone who presumably kept both feet on the ground.

The only guy who seemed to emerge completely unscathed was Albert Finney, who met Anouk Aimee while shooting in the South of France and married her as soon as she could divorce her husband Pierre. C'est la vie!

Yul Brenner still appears in the finished film, although he is uncredited, and the man who took over Picasso's role (as Picasso) was Duke Fishman, who worked 47 summers as a lifeguard on Catalina Island where his scenes were filmed. The Duke of Catalina also played Mr. Clean on television, was born in the Philippines, and died in a trailer in Palm Springs. He was friendly with everyone from Doris Day to John Wayne to Charlie Chaplin in his capacity as Catalina Island's official greeter.

Now that's drama!

If you've got an idea for something dramatic but need a little help pulling things together, call The Best Ghostwriters today at 323-539-7635 or drop us an email

We promise the only drama will be in the finished product!