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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Actor Paul Winfield

March 15, 2004

I have always remembered a wonderful story that actor Paul Winfield told on the radio many years ago (obituary, March 9). In February 1973 he had just gotten into a cab in Manhattan. The cabby told him that he'd just heard the Academy Award nominations announced. Winfield asked him who was up for best actor. The cabby said to him, "Let me see, uh, it was Marlon Brando, Michael Caine, Peter O'Toole, Laurence Olivier and some other guy I never heard of, I think his name is Paul ... something."

"Was it Paul Winfield?" the actor asked. "Yeah, that's right, Paul Winfield," replied the driver. Winfield exclaimed, "That's me!" He had to take out his identification to persuade the cabby that it indeed was him, an actor whose face or name meant virtually nothing to the moviegoing public at that time.

David E. Mayhan

Eagle Rock

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