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.

Bob Brody Holding Court 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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24 Comments

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

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

    Reply
  2. Avatar 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

    Reply
  3. Avatar 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.
    Xo

    Reply
  4. Avatar 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

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

    What a beautiful tribute, Bonnie.

    Reply
  6. Avatar 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.

    Reply
  7. Avatar 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.

    Sean

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

    Dear Bonnie,
    Thinking of you

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

    Sending you love. <3

    Reply
  10. Avatar 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.
    Jerry

    Reply
  11. Avatar 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

    Reply
  12. Avatar 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!

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

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

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

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

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

    Wishing you peace, Bonnie.

    Reply
  16. Avatar 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.

    Reply
  17. Avatar 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.
    Humbly,
    Your student
    Michael Patrick Lane

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

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

    Reply
  19. Avatar 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

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

    So sorry. Big hugs from me.

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

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

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

    Sending love and light, Bon. xo

    Reply
  23. Avatar 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.

    Reply
  24. Bonnie Gillespie 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.

    Reply

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