BASEHART LEARNS, THE HARD WAY, THAT HE'S A CELEBRITY

An unscheduled episode on Dick's program, yesterday occurred when he attempted to grab a quick sandwich at Leffler's drug store. He was quickly besieged by bobby-soxers and it was with some difficulty that he was set free from the persistet ring of admirers who demanded autographs.

Dick Basehart made one big mistake yesterday. He thought it was still possible to stroll up the street and drop into the corner drug store fro a sandwich and a cup of coffee.

He was mistaken. He is no longer Dick Basehart, the sandy haired boy from North Fifth Street. He is Richard Basehart, the movie star, and idol of every teen-aged girl (to say nothing of boys, men and matrons) in Zanesville and southeastern, Ohio.

Soon after his arrival, Dick paid a visit to The Zanesville Signal office, sat at his old desk where he had pounded out many a news story for The Times-Signal, of which his father was then editor, and even used the same old typewriter.

The he visited The Signa's mailing room where he had wrapped papers as a boy. Stopping in the composing room and other departments of the newspaper office he chatted with old friends.

Then in company with a friend, he decided to stroll uptown and see the sights.

That was his mistake.

Everything went smoothly until they reached Fifth and Main, although they were stopped a couple of times enroute. Dick then suggested a stop in Leffler's drug store for a sandwich. He had eaten there many times in other years.

Into the drug store he went, but it so happened that he was being trailed by Dick Nadel, photographer for Movie Life magazine who had been assigned, by his editor, not to let the movie star out of his sight.

That did it. A group of girls on the corner, who had not recognized Dick, suspected something when they saw the camera. Soon the drug store was jammed by a pushing crowd of girls, each thrusting a slip of paper into Dick's face and pleading for autographs.

Graciously, he signed one after another When it became clear that he could not escape, nor could he eat his sandwich, a friend slipped outside and made a telephone call. Homer Leffler summoned Dick to the phone and he was whisked out the back way.

"I don't know what to do," Dick complained later. "There's nothing I would rather do than walk about town and see the familiar places and meet old friends."

The autograph hunters have haunted the doorway of the Hotel Zane, where Dick is staying, and he is escorted with considerable difficulty from one engagement to another.

Always, however, he is gracious, although sometimes the Eagle-Lion picture offcials, who escort him around, are obliged to use more than the customary amount of tack and persuasion to make a path through the beseiging throngs.

Meets Fan Clubs

Next thing on his program was a meeting with Basehart fan club members from Lash and St. Thomas High Schools and from Muskingum college. During a half-hour's singing bee, he put his signatures on 50 photographs for the members, several of whom where high school boys.

Press Conference

From there he went into a press conference at which he expressed his pleasure to be back in Zanesville.

Asked, he and his wife thought of preparations for his homecoming, he said; "We were both completely thrown by it. I was shaking like a leaf."

He declared, among other things, that he is pleased with Hollywood, and that Eagle-Lion is a wonderful outfit to work for.
Broadcast a Hit

Those who heard the "Repeat Performance" broadcast last night from Radio Station were unanimous in declaring that it was a "professional job."

Although done by local talent with the exception of Dick Basehart, who played his own film role of William Williams, the dramatization was so successful that it will be used by Eagle-Lion for radio publicity purposes al over the country.

Those in the cast, aside from Basehart, were Beryl Sells, Bob Lyons, Tom Manssell, Mrs Raymond Coyle, Mrs Elizabeth Gorsuch White, Mrs Elizabeth McHenry, Ed PInes, Bob Adams, Gene Trittipe, Louise Davis, Don Gaylor and Mary Bauer.

After the broadcast, Basehart congratulated Cale Moore of the WHIZ staff for his expert adaptation of the film for radio use.

Stores Close One Hour

Zanesville stores will close for one hour, between 3 and 4 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, because of the parade, it was announced today by William Corry, manager of the Chamber of Commerce.

Party With Friends

Probably the most relaxing hours that Dick was able to enjoy since coming to Zanesville were those he spent last night with old friends and former St Thomas high school fellow students.

They entertained him at the Antler's club at Dillon Falls after the broadcast.

At Lash High School

Basehart told Lash high school students, at an assembly today, a few inside facts about the acting business. He described his own difficulties in making the grade and advocated more community theater projects.

He was introduced to the students by C.C. Stebbins, editor of The Signal.

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Copyright --October 20, 2000 Stephanie Kellerman and the Basehart Family