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From "Inside Ventura County," July 23, 2001:

 

Familiar face at Senior Center once shone on silver screen

By David Nankivell, columnist

His face is familiar. His smile brings back the yesterdays of our lives. Where was it that I saw that face? Richard Mayer, 82, of Simi Valley, does more listening now than talking. Mayer has difficulty remembering his own colorful career on stage, screen and radio. It's easier for strangers looking beyond his white hair and smiling countenance to trigger memories of the man whose matinee face is part of their past. But what's the name that goes with it?

Now, Mayer fits in well with the snowball heads of the Silent Majority. He carries a food tray back to his lunch table at the Simi Valley Senior Center and noontime diners crane necks searching their recall for a name to go with that face.

Mayer smiles when asked if he is retired now. His eyes twinkle, and he nods his head and says, "For right now!" Mayer helps out, now and then, when vendor trucks bring in bread or cakes, and helps load groaning tables at the center. Lean and tall, this agile senior appears ready to return to his artistic career as a judge, or lawyer, or even an extra in the crowd. Richard Mayer has appeared in such films as "There's Always Tomorrow," with Fred Mac Murray and Barbara Stanwyck; "No Room For The Groom," with Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie; "The First Legion," with Charles Boyer; "Mystery Submarine," with McDonald Carey, and countless others.

If you, or your spouse, served in the armed forces during the WWII, you ate chow and watched that same face in more than 60 military training films on how to do everything from brush your teeth the correct way to field-stripping your M-1 rifle. Every film was made at the Signal Corps Photographic Center in Astoria, New York, and Mayer either directed or acted in every one. Among some of Mayer's stage credits were, "Death Takes a Holiday," "The Barretts of Wimpole Street," "Dracula," and "The Shining Hour" and many more. Was acting a good way to make a living? Why not ask ... what's his name again?