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This story first appeared in the March 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
I’ve never seen anybody as happy as he was. He was always in a good mood, always had a smile on his face. He treated everybody kindly and with respect. And he was supersmart, always doing The New York Times crossword puzzle and timing himself — but with a smile on his face! He didn’t take himself real seriously.
On Groundhog Day (1993), I could tell that he really liked me, and it made me extremely comfortable. He really didn’t say very much other than one time he told me how to pronounce something that I wasn’t saying exactly how he wanted me to say it. He really didn’t give me a whole lot of direction. He loved what I did. It was very playful working with him and with Bill [Murray], too, because you never knew, Bill was always changing things.
And the same with Multiplicity. He liked what I did, and we had a good time. The set was never tense. Even if [the film] was difficult or complex, which it was on Multiplicity (1996) because Michael [Keaton] was playing so many different characters and there were a lot of details and a lot to think about, everybody was always happy and in a good mood. He played a lot of games on set.
He was always nice to me; never had anything derogatory or ugly to say about anybody. He was like a great big teddy bear. He was just a loving, gentle, kind soul — nothing complex about it.
He was the kindest man I ever worked with. I feel really sorry for his family. It’s a great loss.
As told to Hilary Lewis
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Jamie Lee Curtis