From Ben-Hur to driving tester!
For many years I’ve wondered about the old guy who gave me my first California drivers test in Los Angeles back in the late 50’s.
When he slid into the passenger seat I looked at him in awe. I’d seen him on the screen...I was sure.
I didn’t know or ask him his name.
We were both just concentrating on the test and he passed me this first time around. The word is nobody passes that first test.
I’ve been on the lookout for years because I know I’ve seen him in films and thanks to LISTAL on the web...I finally found him.
He was Finlay Currie...not a real famous name but a man who worked in many films but never struck it rich.
He had small parts in Ben-Hur...Quo Vadis...Solomon & Sheba....Ivanhoe and a larger part in “Great Expectations”. He worked a lot...but much of it was television where he probably was not paid that much...therefore the California Drivers License offices allowed him to make some money in between film work.
You have to understand...there were stars making a bunch of money but there were also alot of others who just had to eat. The fact that he was a drivers license officer does not detract from his talent or achievements in Hollywood but it’s an example of what actors have to do to get by.
You can go here to find his picture or just Google his name:
If the excellent actor Finlay Currie never worked as a driver tester, my apologies, but he must have had an identical twin then. His picture explains what I mean. Hard to mistake a face like that!