EUE Screen Gems Studios in Wilmywood
My father-in-law, who passed away a few years ago, was a working actor here. With an out-going personality, a heart for the Lord, and a flair for both the dramatic and the funny, he worked on films with stars like Gregory Peck, Reese Witherspoon, Beau Bridges, Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek, Matthew Broderick, Anthony Hopkins, Andie McDowell, Robert Duvall, Diane Ladd, Katie Holmes Cruise, Laura Dern, Teri Hatcher, and more.
I loved talking with him in the kitchen over a slice of cinnamon crumb cake when he'd return home from the set ... hearing about the stars and their off camera antics. Or lack thereof. I remember asking him what Andie McDowell was "really" like. Dick said, "She's quiet and she likes to knit." What? "When the director yells 'cut' she heads for the corner with her knitting needles." Who knew?
Dick was also involved in our strong local theater community. Plus, hosted a long running Christian radio show. So he was well known. For years it seemed everywhere Rick and I went we'd hear the same thing, "I know your Dad. He's a great guy! I really like him. How's he doing? Please give him my love."
It seems everyone had a story of how Dick showed them kindness, or cheered them up, treated them fairly, or inspired them with his use of the talents God had given him. Because their gratitude for him often paved the way for us, my experience with my father-in-law taught me the truth of Proverbs 22:21:
"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."
Just today a more recent friend of ours who works on movie sets asked me, "Hey, was Rick's dad Dick Olsen the Actor?" Rick chimed in and said, "Yes he was. It was weird the first time I saw him on the big screen. I thought, 'I make scrambled eggs with that guy?!'"
Our friend replied, "I worked with Dick numerous times. He was one of my favorite local actors and a friend. That's so cool."
That is so cool. A good name is more desirable than great riches. Dick's legacy lives on. Not on film, but in hearts.
What will your legacy be?
You and I are creating our legacies every day with each small choice we make. When we choose to be kind, to be cheerful, to be forgiving, to be humble, and to do our work to the glory of God, we build a legacy that becomes an inheritance for our family behind us.
I learned that from an actor, who made a real impact. Is there someone in your life whose name or legacy you've benefitted from?