I’ll never forget my first date with Bob Brody.

We’d known each other online for years and, like everyone who has ever met him online, I was sure this was a dear friend before we ever connected in person.

Over the course of my earliest years writing for actors, we got together several times but it was our first date that I’ll never forget.

Backstory: I used to go to Dan Tana’s a lot in the early ’90s. I was one of “those girls.” And I loved that I could get a drink bought by all sorts of men in their 40s and 50s if I just rolled out my southern accent and did a little extra flirting.

Okay, so here it is 2003 and I *know* Dan Tana’s. And that’s where Brody wants to meet, after we’ve had many dinners at The Palm (RIP). He tells me, “Go in, sit at the bar, tell Mike you’re there to meet me, and I’ll join you.”

I go in, I sit at the bar, I tell Mike I’m there to meet my friend Bob Brody, and he scowls and yells, “FUCK BRODY.”

He then pours me a drink and I don’t think I paid for a single one for another few years, there.

It was as if I had uttered a magic password of some sort, unlocking the door to something really wonderful. And man, that was the truth.

Being in Brody’s life was something really wonderful.

Or maybe it was having him in MY life that was the real magic.

So, Brody shows up, looks me up and down, and says, “Of COURSE you would sit on the exact stool on which my third ex-wife sat the night I met her.”

I told him that was the best line I’d ever heard. “You’re a writer, Bobalicious,” I said. And, for a few of us who were exposed to his works, yeah, he really was.

I’m glad I got to experience that side of him.

He contributed to my POV column, he wrote a gorgeous essay for Self-Management for Actors on how we get to “paint our day,” and he referred to me as “Emerson incarnate” when he recommended that same book to actors around the world. His poetry was not just about actors and lobsters and stiff drinks… it was about family and soul and heart.

But the best times were the ones in which we talked about — for hours and hours and hours at a time — family and heart and soul *over* lobsters and stiff drinks with actors.

He truly was a friend to all actors and creatives everywhere. And he is also the reason I was ever hired to write the weekly column for Actors Access.

Bonnie Gillespie, Bob Brody, Deb McCarthy at Dan Tana's

I had been a columnist for Backstage since 1999 and I left that gig in 2003. For months, Bob and Gary worked out a way to get me a gig with Actors Access. They didn’t HAVE a column. They aren’t a publication; they’re a casting submission service. There was no PLACE for a writer who wasn’t writing casting notices!

Basically, they CREATED the job I’ve had weekly since 2004. Brody changed my life.

As happy as I am that he is out of pain (because I really *do* understand that it’s time to go when morphine is what gives you the slightest break from what you’re feeling), I am so sad to lose this human connection.

Brody was a dear friend, a catalyst for much of my career as it now exists, and a father figure too much fun to flirt with to ever call such a thing.

Good night, my love. You’ll never be out of lobsters now.

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  1. Alaine September 29, 2015 at 2:17 am

    Sorry for your loss. Sending love and light, and thank you for all you do.

  2. Eamonn McNicholas September 29, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Thanks for sharing Bonnie, sad to loose those who have such an influence in your life. x

  3. adam kern September 29, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Bonnie, my condolences on your loss. He sounds like an amazing man and influence on your life. If you believe in such things as I do, then he may be up in heaven now trying to pave the way to creating a column for you when it’s your time. You have my thoughts and prayers, friend.

  4. Leah Breit September 29, 2015 at 7:04 am

    I am sorry for your loss Bonnie. I am sending you so much love! Xo
    Leah <3

  5. JJ September 29, 2015 at 7:29 am

    What a beautiful tribute, Bonnie.

  6. CrackerJack September 29, 2015 at 8:19 am

    The acting community has lost one of its fairy godfathers. Thank you for this wonderful piece, Bon. We’ll miss you, Bob.

  7. Sean September 29, 2015 at 8:24 am

    My deepest condolences, Bonnie. Whenever I finally get out there, I’ve got a hug for you if you should ever need it.


  8. Rosalie tenseth September 29, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Dear Bonnie,
    Thinking of you

  9. Christa September 29, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Sending you love. <3

  10. Jerry Esten September 29, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Your adventures would make a good screenplay. Loved reading it.
    I only had a few contacts with Bob. It was always a pleasure.

  11. MP Farrell September 29, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Dear Bonnie, so very sorry for your loss. I never had a chance to meet Bob but your article is so wonderful that it makes me really wish I had. What a wonderful man. Limitless now…wherever he may be…MP

  12. Cayden Kelby September 29, 2015 at 8:56 am

    This is a beautiful piece, thanks for sharing it with us, Bonnie. Sending love your way!

  13. Lisa Cole September 29, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Wish I could have met him. So much love to you, Bon. xo

  14. Kelly Raymer September 29, 2015 at 10:07 am

    My heart goes out to you Bonnie!! Much love and peace!

  15. Cailin McDonald September 29, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Wishing you peace, Bonnie.

  16. Diana Castrillon September 29, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Thanks for sharing this lovely story.
    Sharing is part of the healing process.
    My love and best wishes to you.

  17. Michael Patrick Lane September 29, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I’m sorry for your loss. It looks to me like you’ve picked up his torch and that giving flame burns stronger in you because of his contribution in your life. Luckily many will benefit from this man because of your choices.
    Your student
    Michael Patrick Lane

  18. Vanessa Wolf September 29, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Love you, Bon. What a wonderful friendship, thanks for sharing, sending TONS of love <3

  19. Amber Plaster September 29, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    So sorry for your loss, Bon. I know you are broken right now. It’s so wonderful to remember him, here. I’m happy you got to know him. He sounds magical. Much love. Praying for you. xo

  20. Denise Ivanoff September 29, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    So sorry. Big hugs from me.

  21. Kathi September 29, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Lovely tribute to a beautiful soul, Bon. *sniffle* He will be missed!

  22. Briana Cap September 30, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Sending love and light, Bon. xo

  23. nikiva dionne October 1, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    May he rest in eternal peace and may you know that he lives on through every life he has touched. Thanks for sharing, I pray you comfort during this time. You’re truly a beautiful vessel, you inspire me with every word in every season.

  24. Bonnie Gillespie October 27, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Thank you, every single one of you, for your love, support, and warm thoughts at this time. Means the world.


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